Loft Chair by Zbigniew Strzebonski
by Harry / March 27, 2011
From MODESTWORK, a lightweight chair made of 12mm steel rods with a seat in either wood or steel.


(Click the images below for full sized images)

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Says designer Strzebonski, "This design was conceived as a statement piece for an urban loft. It draws its aesthetic cues from steel structural elements, but expressed with greater levity. Its reinforced steel structure makes it well suited to outdoor use also. Construction is based on familiar techniques - TIG welding and powder coating - to achieve a very durable finish in a very economical way. The chair is available in three different options: coloured, straight crossbars; radial bend crossbars or a wooden seat."

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"My interest in lightweight steel furniture ultimately derives from visits to a small workshop producing unique Georgian-style pieces. There the craftsmen created the furniture by intricately manipulating steel bars, and I wanted to revive their largely lost techniques in a thoroughly modern way.

I started with concepts for versatile outdoor pieces with a view to eventually developing an full range. I made initial sketches last summer, with the development of physical prototypes beginning after a holiday.

Both the fresh ideas I brought back from holidays and the prototyping process were influential in the development of the chair. Although initially conceived for a pipework construction, the lack of satisfactory manufacturing facilities meant that the current design is in solid 12mm steel rods. Through contacts at a blacksmiths and a steel engineering company I was able to obtain the first bent components. Once these had been delivered, I could build the jig and start TIG welding the pieces into shape. This was a protracted, experimental process where I explored both expression and ergonomics by painstakingly refining the shape and proportions of the chair. Among the biggest design challenges was the resolution of the backrest - I wanted to maintain the singular materiality but also make sure the chair was comfortable without having to compromise on its aesthetic value.

The result is quite industrial in character, making particularly well suited to the photographer's studio in a converted warehouse for which it was originally commissioned. The pure, sculptural lines also suggest an interesting piece for a garden, and the materials make it suitably durable for such use.

As a design predicated on economy, it uses only readily available materials and familiar manufacturing techniques with basic tools. It is available with the seat in either wood or steel.

I was striving for an ostensibly light object with a pronounced sense of its three dimensional form which can add character to its setting. The use of slender metal elements and an angular form express this levity and introduce it to any clinical, soulless space."

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