The 107: A Comfortable and Resilient Wooden Chair for Restaurants, Bistros and Private Dining Areas
Design: Robert Stadler, 2011
Originally designed as a custom commission, the superior quality of the 107 chair has now earned a place in the Thonet collection. With this chair, the Paris-based Austrian designer Robert Stadler has created an object that combines elegance and stability with a lightweight feel. The chair was originally designed for the Corso restaurant near the Bastille in Paris, which was opened in the autumn of 2011. As a contemporary re-interpretation of a design classic, the 107 playfully references the famous 214 coffeehouse chair. Continuing Thonet's longstanding tradition, it is especially suited for use in restaurants and cafés, whilst also being an ideal piece of furniture for private dining areas.
With the 107, Robert Stadler wanted to create a chair that - in a similar fashion to the coffeehouse chairs from the 19th century - would address the particular needs of this market segment by providing good value for money and that would also clearly reference its classic predecessor. Today, the original 214 (or 14 historically) would not be suited for this segment, since its solid bentwood construction would entail such a high percentage of manual labour that the production costs would be comparatively high by modern standards. Therefore, the 107 is an almost entirely machine-produced wooden chair that is nonetheless elegant, comfortable and sturdy. Fulfilling both a constructional and aesthetic function, the offset backrest is a particularly striking feature. The frame of the 107 (only available without armrests) is made of solid wood and its seat and backrest are made of moulded plywood with a plain or stained finish. The seat is available with fabric or leather upholstery.
Talking about the concept behind the 107, Stadler says: "You only have to remember Buckminster Fuller who, with his geodesic domes, was able to achieve maximum stability with minimal use of materials. I used this idea as a guideline, together with the concept of simplifying a curve with a straight line, whilst taking great care to maintain the chair's comfort. I wanted to design a new version based on the original intention behind the famous 214: a Thonet chair that can be produced in a cost-efficient manner and that is suited for use in restaurants and cafés."
Robert Stadler was born in Vienna in 1966. He studied design at the IED Milan and at the ENSCI Paris. In 1992, he co-founded the RADI DESIGNERS group, where he was an active member until 2008. The group followed a free and radical design approach, based on the new possibilities offered by digital media and tools. In his work, Stadler wants to test and transcend the boundaries of objects as well as the supposedly universal boundaries between art and design. Robert Stadler is represented by the Carpenters Workshop Gallery and the Triple V Gallery. His work is included in many private and public collections, such as the Fondation Cartier and Fnac. His clients include Dior, Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton, Maison Thierry Costes, Nissan, Orange and Ricard.
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