Cantilever Chairs - The Modern Classic
From an initially rigid construction to the resilient cantilever chair. Today, the cantilever chair is one of the most famous furniture classics worldwide. Last but not least, it owes this fame to numerous well-known designers and architects who created true cantilever art works. Whether the first cantilever was attributed to Marcel Breuer in 1925 or rather to Mart Stam, who secured the first patent in 1926, remains a dispute of historians. Mies van der Rohe also presented his design classic the cantilever MR20 to the public in 1926, even before the official presentation by Stam.
The cantilever is a chair construction which does not have the typical four legs, but instead, has no back legs. The chair frame and seat are supported by a bent steel tube or, similar to a sled, by two L-shaped legs, which swing slightly backwards with the weight of a person. Similar to a rocking chair, this construction allows a soothing swinging back and forth movement without the risk of falling backwards. Today, not only chairs but also stools, couches, armchairs and sofas use this patent to complement the range of cantilever chairs.
The cantilever patent allows the seat to lower until it reaches the point of tension and then teeters back by the elasticity of the material. This creates the feeling of rocking or swinging.Although there are no runners or even a steel construction in the special form of the cantilever chair made of plastic, the elasticity of the plastic combined with the weight of the seated person also makes the rocking of the seat possible.
That fact that the cantilever does not tip over, is prevented by the ingenious statics. Because the tension is transmitted via the front legs in the foot of the cantilever, so that the rear converging bottom pad prevents tipping over.
The Cantilever Chair - An All-rounder
The cantilever chair impresses with its minimalist construction. It fits perfectly next to glass, steel and concrete, as well as next to warm wood and natural building materials. Here ergonomic and intelligent design is combined with seating comfort and reliable stability.
It is an elegant and timeless design, but also offers a diverse range of uses, which makes the cantilever chair a jack-of-all-trades. You’ll find this design at home in many waiting rooms, offices, receptions and law offices, lounges, hotels and bars.
For outdoor use, there are cantilever chairs with correspondingly shrouded frame, which make them weather resistant. Overall, the cantilever has few limits in material and color. In addition to the classics, there are futuristic or playful interpretations created by contemporary designers.
Facts about the Cantilever Chair:
- Originally developed in the 1930s
- Rear legless steel construction
- Versions with a curved leg or with two L-shaped legs or runners
- Variants as chair, armchair, couch or sofa
- Covers or seats made of leather, fabric or fur
- Design classics found in offices, practices, law firms, but also apartments
- Suitable for outdoor use with a special protected frame.