With their distinctive aesthetics and design language, the Viennese bent wood chairs have defined an entire era. Around 1830, master carpenter Michael Thonet had developed a new process for bending wood under steam to artful effect and thus bringing the material into novel shapes. Furniture such as the so-called Viennese coffee house chair with its distinctive Viennese mesh seat – an octagonal braided cane pattern – quickly became international design classics. The name of the current N.200 lounge chair by Gebrüder Thonet Vienna continues the long tradition started by Michael Thonet of naming the seats with plain ascending numbers. At the same time, the number celebrates the 200th anniversary of the opening of the very first joinery workshop, launched by Michael Thonet in Boppard on the Rhine River in 1819. The construction and appearance of this lounge chair is the result of an intensive search by designer Michael Anastassiades for a form that adequately incorporates the traditional style elements of Gebrüder Thonet Vienna’s heritage. The outcome is a lounge chair that fascinates with an elegant appeal which is both stylish yet timeless. It is the very modern, distinctive appearance that skilfully manages to tie in with the past. Following an approach that is both stringent and poetic, the N.200 has emerged as a successful design that is close to the brand’s archetypal features in that it continues the traditional use of Viennese woven cane and steam-bent wood. Harmoniously curved, it offers an ergonomically comfortable seating quality.
Statement by the Jury
The design of the N.200 lounge chair brilliantly merges a new approach in construction with the use of a traditional technique. The result is an iconic design language embodying harmonious proportions and an outstanding implementation down to all details. Made of bent beech wood and woven cane, archetypal for products by Gebrüder Thonet Vienna, this lounge chair aestheticises and enriches any given interior ambience.