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The Modern Classic: Drop Chair

The Modern Classic: Drop Chair

The Drop Chair was designed by Arne Jacobsen – the legendary   Finnish modernist and an icon of architecture and design of the 20th   century.  At least in part due to its   unusual design and futuristic appearance, the chair remained just a prototype   for more than five decades before it was rediscovered and mass-produced in   2014.  This timeless piece of furniture   still looks extravagant and fascinating despite its considerable age, which   makes it a great, tasteful addition to any modern interior.

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The Drop Chair was developed in 1958 together with the Egg Chair   and the Swan Chair to furnish the lobby of the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in   Copenhagen.  The entire building, along   with its interior and furnishings, was designed by Arne Jacobsen for the Scandinavian   Airline System (SAS).  While working on   the hotel’s project, Jacobsen, who had worked as a landscape architect in the   past, pursued a “modern garden” theme.  The result was an organic, oval shape of   the chair that matches the rest of the furniture developed for the   hotel.  The Drop Chair was produced in   a small series that is intended exclusively for the Radisson Blu Royal   Hotel.  Despite the chair’s undeniable   appeal, it was forgotten for more than half a century before it gained enough   attention and became commercially available.

The Drop Chair was brought back to life by the furniture company   of the Republic of Fritz Hansen and presented to the public again in 2014 at   the Salone del Mobile Milano.  This   Danish manufacturer began working with Arne Jacobsen in 1934. Since then,   Jacobsen has provided the company with many memorable furniture designs,   including the following: the Ant Chair, the Series 7 Chair, the Grand Prix   Chair, the Swan Chair and of course the legendary Egg Chair.


Although many people would certainly get involved in polemics   because of the dubious attraction of the SAS hotel, the design of the Drop   Chair leaves no room for such a discussion.    Its innovative futuristic design, combined with the immaculate quality   of craftsmanship, has given the chair a very special place in the history of   interior design.

Michael Sheridan, architect, author and Arne Jacobsen expert:   “Faced with a synthetic material that lacked any structure or suggested   no shape, Jacobsen was inspired by the human shape and the contours of the   body (…) He humanized technology and the drop -The chair for the Royal   Hotel is a masterful intersection of art and industry. “Indeed, the   teardrop-shaped chair has become a landmark in interior design.  Although the chair looks like a masterpiece   of modern art, it is fully functional and surprisingly comfortable.  Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the   chair is its teardrop-shaped shell.    Hence the name of the chair – “The Drop Chair”.  It is made of ABS plastic with nylon   reinforcements on the inside.    Customers can choose from two versions of the chair.

The plastic version is available in six colors.  The more demanding customers can order   their drop chairs covered with fabric or supple leather.  The upholstered version of the chair is   padded with cold cured foam for added comfort.  The base consists of four tubular steel   legs that are chrome-plated or powder-coated.    The powder coating is only available for the plastic version in colors   that match the shell.  In addition, the   legs are equipped with stainless steel and nylon glides at the ends to   protect the floor surface.  The overall   look of the chair is extremely appealing and stylish.  It’s very proportional and balanced, and   the use of the tubular steel floor makes it look both airy and   light.

The chair does not obstruct the room in which it is placed, but   improves the perception of spaciousness.    Even today, almost six decades after its presentation, when modernity   is no longer an extravagant or radical concept, the Drop Chair has neither   aged nor become banal.  It still looks   fresh and contemporary.  It is   particularly well represented by the chair maker, who promotes the chair with   a slogan: “It’s a small chair with a big personality and it’s as fresh   and vibrant as a new design but with a rare heritage.”