Armchair (tubular steel)

Knoll International

Wassily chair/ Model B3 chair (1925), Marcel Breuer

Marcel Breuer (1902–1981) was a Hungarian-born modernist, architect and furniture designer. Inspired by his Adler bicycle handle, Breuer revolutionized the modern interior with his tubular-steel furniture, which he fabricated using the techniques of plumbers.

The Model B3 chair was designed by Marcel Breuer in 1925. Wassily Kandinsky admired the design, and Breuer fabricated a duplicate for Kandinsky’s personal quarters. The chair became known as ‘Wassily’ decades later, when it was re-released by an Italian manufacturer named Gavina who had learned of the Kandinsky connection. The Wassily chair was revolutionary in the use of bent tubular steel, made possible by German steel manufacturer Mannesmann who had perfected a process for making seamless steel tubing.

Today, the trademark name rights to the design are owned by Knoll International. Reproductions are produced around the world by other manufacturers, who market the product under different names – so beware of knock-offs.

Marcel Breuer’s B35 by Thonet (1929) is a noteworthy alternative:

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Heritage, design.
Photo credits
© Knoll International S.P.A., Milan, Italy

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