Tracing the designs of 4 basic chairs

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SDR
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Post by SDR »

A little diversion: Wright's simplest early chairs.

Image Hanks, "Decorative Designs. . ."

Image Thomas A Heinz
Image Dana, 1902

Image 1914 (Maddex)

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Compare to Schindler's Freeman chairs. Date, Peter ?


Image

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Ah, here it is, on page 155 of Hanks's "Decorative Designs. . .":

' The design of the dining chair in figure 175 [below] can be understood in terms of its basis in the "hexagonal unit or module," which gave the house
what Wright called "a livelier domesticity." This chair was one of eighteen dining chairs, some of which can be seen in situ around the dining table in
figure 174 [photo I posted previously]. Designed in 1936, the chairs were not executed until 1957 in a shop in the Hanna House. Although they were
integral to the architecture, they were impractical. According to Dr. Hanna, the family

"used these chairs for the first few years, but a number of guests tipped forward and lost their balance off the chairs because of the triangular
suspension points. Mr. Wright condemned his design vociferously and asked us to destroy them all. . ." '

Image

Palli Davis Holubar
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Post by Palli Davis Holubar »

Designed in 1936, the chairs were not executed until 1957 in a shop in the Hanna House.
SDR- what do you take that to mean...in the workshop by Mr. Hanna?
What a strange chair, even in the 1936 terms.
Have you had a chance to talk to the Archivist? If not, I am due to pester them again about the perforated boards, would you like me to add it to my questions? Palli

DRN
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Post by DRN »

SDR: THAT'S IT! You found the pic I had referenced earlier of the unstable Hanna house chair with the perfs. Thanks.

peterm
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Post by peterm »

schindler's freeman house chairs are from 1938.

schindler is interested in making the chair "float". he uses a device here which he repeats through the rest of his life: a sort of sled base, moving the front legs back and creating a huge cantilever. wright's chairs look sturdy, but some tip... schindler's chairs look extremely precarious, but stand up quite well. schindler's plywood chairs tend to appear lighter than wright's, but this is a trick, often they have a very large flat base which stabilizes them.

the mori chair is an outstanding piece and embodies so much of wright's thinking about breaking down the box. all four legs (posts) are shifted away from the corners, the arms become a flat "roof" line, the open back and sides being like walls of glass, and the form is based on the perfect module of the square. a house for sitting.

the box chair from 1895, incredibly reductive and modern for it's time.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

A "Parsons Chair" before its time, to go with the Parsons Table ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsons_table

http://www.popularmechanics.com/home_jo ... 46191.html



SDR

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Here's the final plan of the Hanna house. The guest and "hobby shop" wing at top was added in 1950, at a cost of $22,000. The Hannas report
that everyone in the family, as well as Stanford volunteers making toys for hospitals, etc, used the shop. The equipment included "a radial arm
saw, table saw, band saw, lathe, drill press, jointer, grinder, and vacuum cleaner."

The tool in the foreground of the photo is a ShopSmith, a popular multi-tool. But the list doesn't include a planer, essential for working all the
hardwood that Paul Hanna liked to collect on his travels. So that is a mystery. That he could have made eighteen of those complex dining
chairs in this shop is impressive. However, the text says only that they "were made in the shop." It doesn't say who made them. . .

Image

Image

peterm
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Post by peterm »

schindler 1930s cantilevered chairs:

http://www.architonic.com/mus/gal/4107605
http://www.architonic.com/mus/gal/4107594

gerrit rietveld gravity defying zigzag chair (1934) supported by similar base:

http://www.architonic.com/mus/gal/4102533

wright adelman chair (1951); still four "legs", but inset.

http://www.architonic.com/mus/gal/4104700

Palli Davis Holubar
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Post by Palli Davis Holubar »

he could/would send the logs/boards to any shop for planning...planers are so noisy I bet his neighbors would have heard it by the 50's...we both know basement butchers who skip that machine

I love the Adelman, '51 chair!

peterm
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Post by peterm »

it looks like they skipped the honeycomb scored concrete grid here. the module is clearly there, but i only see one expansion joint.

what a "hobby shop"!

Palli Davis Holubar
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Post by Palli Davis Holubar »

Skipping the grid is a good idea in a wood dust shop!

peterm
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Post by peterm »

right you are!

DRN
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Post by DRN »

I had seen the cube chair before, but not the Mori chair. I had always felt the cube chair uncharacteristic of Wright, but this IS Wright. I'm smitten.

peterm, you are right about chair employing Wright's principles for the box. What I'm most struck with, is the way the chair distills Wright's treatment of wood elements into such a simple yet sublime object. Haiku. It also speaks to me in that it would look good in any Wright building, precisely because it is so elemental. The treatment of the corners, and the relationship of the wood members to one another is seen in Wright's mullion systems and their relationship to the eaves on most of Wright's work from 1901 to 1959.

peterm
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Post by peterm »

the more i look at this chair, the more i am blown away by it. the front stiles are square, the rear stiles rectangles on edge, further dematerializing the back of the chair. the proprtions are so perfect, and it is as minimal as it could possibly be.

it makes no difference whether this chair is comfortable or practical, as a sculpture, it's effect is equal to brancusi's "bird in space", but done in straight lines.

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