May 22, 1902 he was born Marcel Breuer, architect and German designer best known for his affiliation with the Bauhaus, the school of art and architecture founded by Walter Gropius and the center of the most important experiments and innovations in the field of design in the course of the twenties. Breuer was among the first students of the school and was soon noticed by Gropius for his talent: in 1925, at the age of 23, he was entrusted with the direction of the laboratory furniture at the school.
Marcel Breuer in laying on one of the first examples of the chair B3
In the years of his tenure at the Bauhaus (1925-1928), Breuer embarked on a series of studies intended to give life to a real milestone of the furniture modernist. Together with the contemporary achievements of Le Corbusier, the chair model B3, Breuer – this was his original name – is indeed one of the very first experiments with tubular steel in the design sector.
The Chair Wassily, in a historical photo from the catalogue Knoll
Breuer sought in the furniture solutions can offer a feeling of lightness and transparency , and found a perfect solution to the formal and expressive in the new technology of the steel tubular. The intuition comes from the observation of the bicycles, which were among the few objects made of steel components: their solidity and perfection of construction, encouraged Breuer to explore the potential of the material in the furnishing sector.
Variants of contemporary chair Wassily
The realization of the first prototypes was closely related to technological developments and industrial in place at the time: the company Mannesmann had recently perfected the production of the tubular so that the joints could be replaced by elements bent without welding. The chair of Breuer, proudly the most recent technological innovation, by making the curvature of the tubular one of the key elements of their design.
Wassily in some of the new colour variants
The experiments of Breuer were met at once with the enthusiasm of Wassily Kandinsky, then a colleague of the architect at the Bauhaus: the Russian painter, including actually one of the first prototypes of the B3 in the decor of your own home. In his honor, Dino Gavina renamed it the chair “Wassily”, the name by which are known the specimens in production since the Sixties.
The chair was also a distinctive element of the interior of the new building of the Bauhaus in Dessau, and became a true icon of furniture modernist. The chair, embodying to perfection the synergy of art and industry, promoted by the Bauhaus, and still today, after so many years, remains a symbol of how technology and the industrial aesthetics can be integrated with taste in the home environment.
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