Day 43/365 of Steel – Marcel Breuer

Marcel Breuer was born in Pecs (Hungary) on 21 May 1902.
Breuer became a student at the newly founded Bauhaus in 1920, and in 1924 was made responsible for the furniture department there. He designed chairs, the legs of which were made of continuous metal tubes. 

In 1937 Breuer arrived in the US. After mediation by Walter Gropius, he became a lecturer and later a professor of architecture at Harvard University for nine years. Breuer was among other things architect of the UNESCO building in Paris and of the sports palace in Flushing Meadow, New York. As a true functionalist, Breuer tried to give each functionally different part of a design a different look.

The Wassily Chair

The Wassily Chair designed by Marcel Breuer
Fig 1: The Wassily Chair designed by Marcel Breuer
Photo: vntg

Marcel Breuer designed the Wassily chair between 1925 and 1927. Because Breuer gave his chairs numbers, he called this chair No. 3. The Wassily chair was absolutely revolutionary. Both through the use of tubular material and the way it was produced. The tubular material is chromium-plated. The first versions, by the way, were nickel-plated. The seat, backrest and armrests were made of leather or canvas.

Model B64 - With Armrest
Fig 2: Model B64 – With Armrest

Perhaps not the most beautiful design chair, but definitely one of the best known is model B32 without armrests, and model no. B64 with armrest. Both have stood at the table in many kitchens. These classic tubular chairs were designed around 1929 and are made of non-reinforced steel tubing.

Model B32 - Without Armrests
Fig 3: Model B32 – Without Armrests

About the Author:

Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.

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