The story behind the design
Our chairs are part of the Chandigarh or Capitol Complex collection designed by the vision of Pierre Jeanneret in the 1950’s. How these chairs came to life is a fascinating story and if you're interested in purchasing a chair, it is well worth knowing a thing or two about it.
After India got independent from England, the new Indian government was looking to make a statement to show they were to become a modern democracy.
So in the 1950’s they commissioned renowned architect Le Corbusier to create a masterplan for a new modernistic city that would become the new capital of the Punjab state. This city was named Chandigarh.
Le Corbusier took the job to design the city's masterplan and asked his cousin Pierre Jeanneret, a trained architect and designer, to assist him. The masterplan included residential sites, office sites, government buildings (the Capitol Complex), industrial sites and so on. And since it was a new city - and there were no furniture shops - Pierre Jeanneret was tasked with designing a distinctive line of furniture for this new city.
The Pierre Jeanneret Chandigarh furniture was born.
Pierre Jeanneret created his vision for the furniture line by combining modernistic western 1950's design with locally available materials and production techniques.
(See the resemblance to the iconic 1950's Rietveld chair?)
For Jeanneret teak proved to be perfect for furniture manufacturing as it has some characteristics unlike any other type of wood. It is extremely durable, resistant to heat, moist & bugs and it is hardly affected by changes in humidity. The hand woven rattan seating provided the required comfort.
The ‘V-legged’ design vision by Pierre Jeanneret was functional and simple, so it could be made by local craftsmen in their workshops. Over time these craftsmen in their turn have made adjustments to the designs to improve production process and/or functionality.
In this way the designs from Pierre Jeanneret also structurally differ from other designs as rights can often not be attributed to a single creator.
The result is also that today, there is no ‘official manufacturer’ of Pierre Jeanneret chairs. There are different brands that provide re-editions, in a wide variety of qualities.