Neutra’s Boomerang Chair makes a comeback
Modernist architect's furniture (featured in The Design Book) receives worthy reissue courtesy of VS America
When we think of the key pioneers of modern architecture and design, our thoughts turn to Le Corbusier, Gropius, Alva Aalto, and Mies van der Rohe. But let’s not forget Richard Neutra. Born in Vienna in 1892, he emigrated to the US in 1923, spent some time with Frank Lloyd Wright, and made his name there with a slew of radical houses and furniture.
And now Neutra has another moment in the sun with the reintroduction of some lost classics. US manufacturer VS America is bringing out the Neutra Furniture Collection. "Though Richard Neutra's visionary architecture has put him squarely among the world's modern masters, his mid-century modern furniture has been relatively unknown,” says Claudius Reckord, CEO of VS America. “It's exciting for us to add these timeless designs to our collection that includes the work of leading architects and designers like Bruno Paul and Richard Riemerschmied, Verner Panton, and Guenter Behnisch.” The company says the range is “neutral enough to blend with a variety of interiors”, which – pun aside – does the pieces a disservice, perhaps.
Initial delights include the Boomerang Chair, originally designed with his son Dion in 1942 as functional furniture for the Channel Heights Housing Project in Los Angeles, a high-quality prefabricated housing development near a naval shipyard. As our new design bible The Design Book explains:
"The use of low cost materials and straight forward construction created a chair that these workers could assemble for use in the compact residences. The assertive yet often raking lines of the chair create a striking an efficient structure, held together with simple pegged-through tenons and webbing."
The Lovell Lounge and Ottoman have also been issued– which were never manufactured but designed for Neutra’s 1929 Lovell house. VS America are promising these next year, with more Neutra gems to follow in the future.
To find out more go here. For more on Neutra's built work, consider our book, 20th Century World Architecture. For greater insight into great chair design, take a look at our Taxonomy of Office Chairs and you want to upgrade the look of your life you'll need The Design Book.