Page 1 of 2

Brandes chairs

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:35 pm
by jmixon
do plans of these exist? the chars on the left w/white cushions ... ngton-1952

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:44 pm
by SDR
I am not aware of any publication with construction drawings of Usonian-era furniture. That wouldn't stop you from analyzing this photo and reconstructing the design for your own use. You would want to mock your design up first, to assess comfort -- with the chosen cushion(s).

This chair is probably unique to the Brandes house. I haven't seen it elsewhere. Its closest cousins may be lounge chairs found at the following commissions:

Image Pope

Image Stevens

Image Sweeton

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:44 pm
by peterm
Black Friday Poetry Festival...

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:58 pm
by SDR

It appears that this lounge chair was designed to match the form of the built-in seating in photo #3: ... to-3540966

I might have made the front skirt a bit further from the floor, for better access by the vacuum cleaner or polisher . . .


Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:33 pm
by dkottum
I have have this book at home but am away right now. I think it has some Taliesin drawings of chairs with dimensions. They would be small, not sure if you can read them. ... 0965581926

doug k

Posted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:00 am
by SDR
Ha. I wasn't aware of that book. Guess I'll have to rustle up a copy, for future reference, anyway. Thanks !

Has anybody got Vol 7 of the Monographs ? I'm curious to see if there's a furniture sheet for the Brandes house . . .


Posted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:37 pm
by krietzerjak
Brandes is covered in Vol. 8, but no drawings of furniture. There is a b&w picture showing the chair from the back.


Posted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:46 pm
by SDR
Thanks, Andy. That's what I needed to know. Off to the drawing board.


Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:58 pm
by SDR
So, I've produced a measured drawing of the Brandes lounge chair, taking my numbers from the some of the photos provided earlier in this
thread. Here is the raw drawing -- minus the numbers (for reasons of propriety) but with a 12-inch scale bar included:


The photos:

Image 1

Image 2c

Image 4

Image 5

These four photos provided useful information. The last one (5) gives the basic height and width data -- once
the perspective is corrected to make the verticals read orthogonally (an aid to the drawing process).

The process:

Image perspective adjustment

Image A

The eight-inch block height is found at far right and projected to a useful vertical module line left of center, where it is projected forward to
the plane of the near face of the chair -- using the central vanishing point established by the rows of ceiling lights (and their reflections).

The eight-inch scale is extended to the left margin of the photo, where it is subdivided into inch marks, enabling one to estimate the height
of the chair.

The 2-foot building module, determined by the structural mullions of the window band, is brought forward to a convenient line (coincidentally,
the lower edge of the photo image) where it can be subdivided into six-inch parcels and then projected back to the face of the chair -- giving
the chair's depth dimension.

Image B

The back of a chair is found at the center of this photo (the dark rectangle). Finding it to occur near or at the plane of the block wall at left,
the sixteen-inch block width is established as a horizontal scale, subdivided into 2-inch segments, and projected downward to identify the
width dimension.

Image C

The points of termination of the back supports are made available by this photo (slightly more clearly seen in the original screen shot, photo
2c above). The known width of the chair back is now subdivided into the horizontal dimensions shown; the vertical dimension is calculated

In drawing the chair following these determinations, it developed that both the seat angle and the skew of the support panels (in plan) fall right
on the 10-degree mark. And, the dimensions are (almost) all multiples of 1" or 2" -- following what I believe to be the architect's preferred
planning mode at the scale of furnishings such as these.

It should be noted that more precise use of this method is possible, using original prints of photos and "sharpening the pencil" somewhat
more precisely than I have done here. Needless to say, this method of determining dimensions of existing furniture objects will always be
inferior to the acquisition of numbers directly from those objects . . .


Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:58 pm
by SDR
It seems possible that the seat depth of this chair, with approx. 5" cushions, is a bit greater than would be ideal for comfort; it is annoying to have one's calves contacting the skirt board of a chair like this, isn't it ? Perhaps that explains the presence of the bolsters seen in the photos.

I would encourage anyone building an unknown chair from drawings alone, to rely on an adjustable prototype or "mule" of some sort, to assure that the dimensions and angles suit one's own anatomy -- before committing to final material.

This chair seems a very nice distillation of the type, developed over the previous dozen years by Mr Wright and company. It couldn't be simpler as to number of parts and structural logic; only a few cuts need to be made at unusual angles, and screws penetrating from the front of the seat and back panels would be covered by the cushions. I could see simple arm panels, perhaps with a mitered-on horizontal surface for the armrest, applied (and shaped) directly to the sides of the chair body -- perhaps with the arm rest made parallel to the floor ?


Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:42 pm
by SDR
Hmmm. Sacrilege, I know. But easier than adding arms to an Eames LCW . . . !


Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:44 am
by Roderick Grant
I've sat in those chairs. They're quite comfortable.

SDR, are you sure there is no board connecting the 'legs' across the front at floor level behind the skirt? One of the photos seems to suggest that there might be ... just a slight shadow.

Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:04 am
by SDR
Thanks, Roderick. My initial assumption was that there would be a board there. Photo 5 shows ambiguous shadows; I think photo 1 suggests that there isn't a "kick" panel. There wouldn't be a meaningful structural purpose for one, and it might only make vacuuming more difficult ?

(Thinking about that issue, it occurred to me that the most efficient floor-cleaning procedure might be to tilt the chair up on one leg (i.e., to one side) at a time, using a prop made for the purpose. These chairs aren't as heavy as an Origami, but they wouldn't move easily, especially on carpet.)


Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:26 pm
by peterm
Wright's solution to the arm chair version of this basic type, from the Sondern House: ... ive%20Arts

Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:34 pm
by SDR
Hmm. Buck Rogers of the Twenty-first Century ?

Thanks ! I wasn't aware of this chair. Mr Wright tried everything at least once, didn't he . . .