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March Madness: Breuer Wassily Chair vs. Rietveld Chair

Our playoff series continues with a battle between two chairs inspired by the Dutch De Stijl movement.

For this edition of March Madness (or is it April Madness now?), we’re kicking it old school with Vancouver designer Jamie Banfield, here to debate the attributes of two chair designs that pre-date World War II: the Breuer Wassily and the Rietveld.

The History: While Hungarian-born designer Marcel Breuer was a 23-year-old apprentice at Bauhaus, he started experimenting with tubular steel after buying his first bicycle. Inspired by the bent handlebars and frame, he created the Breuer Wassily chair in 1925, a new version of the classic club chair stripped down to the basics. The Rietveld chair, or 635 Red and Blue, was designed by Gerrit Rietveld in 1917, also in the Neoplastic style, De Stijl, which was a Dutch artistic movement that focused on work reduced to its essentials. It’s currently housed at The Museum of Modern Art in its permanent collection.

Which classic chair is best? Designer Jamie Banfield talks pros and cons:

wassily-chair

Breuer Wassily Chair

PROS: Elegant and timeless, the clean lines and use of soft and hard materials allows this chair to be used in many spaces from contemporary to eclectic. It is very light weight and extremely durable. It also comes in a collapsible version, so it would be great for small spaces. 

CONS: The cold look and feel may be too industrial for some. 

rietveld-chair

Rietveld Chair 

PROS: If you’re looking for a showstopper, this is it! The contrast of geometric shapes and bold colours makes this chair not only functional and comfortable to sit in (you wouldn’t think so to look at it), but a real stand-alone art piece. 

CONS: Bold colours aren’t for everyone. 

Which chair gets your vote? Comment below!

You can check out the rest of the March Madness (Classic Chair edition) here.

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