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5 iconic pieces of plywood furniture you need to know

Tomasz, 13 january 2020
5 iconic pieces of plywood furniture you need to know

Plywood chair
Lounge wood chair - Ch. and R. Eames

Lounge wood chair - Ch. and R. Eames

source: www.scandinavia-design.fr/


5 iconic pieces of plywood furniture you need to know

Plywood was the material that in the last century allowed architects to realize even the most fancy designs. They experimented by combining intriguing forms with incredible functionality creating iconic furniture. Thanks to their imagination, w

e are still in awe of the pieces of plywood furniture they created. Here are five iconic projects you should know about.

The most famous plywood furniture was created in the 1930s. Solid structures with a subtle, and sometimes quite massive form, fit very well in the interiors of stylish apartments of that era. Is it surprising that the iconic designs were made of plywood?

Well no. Plywood offers designers a lot of possibilities - it is extremely durable and at the same time very flexible. It is thanks to these properties that visionaries were able to experiment and cross the boundaries of what was then considered a creative border in the design of everyday products.

Plywood furniture is stronger than furniture made of many types of wood, not to mention LDF (chipboard) or MDF. Where is this strength coming from? The answer is not complicated: from the construction of the plywood itself and the arrangement of its individual layers: their number is odd and each layer is laid alternately. What is more, plywood can be bent in many ways allowing for creation of interesting shapes that are impossible to achieve while using other materials.

The functionality of plywood furniture is also significant - they are much lighter than furniture made of solid wood (e.g. beech or oak), which makes them easy to move and transport. And in terms of visual qualities, they are much more sophisticated than massive forms made of heavy wood.

It is no wonder then that the aesthetics of 20th-century plywood furniture and the material itself inspire contemporary designers who ingeniously combine the old and the new. Which iconic projects are worth knowing?

Bookcase no. 111 - Alvar Aalto

Plywood stool
Alvar Aalto

źródło: Pinterest

This solid piece of furniture is made of birch plywood with a warm color. Measuring less than ninety centimeters in height, the bookcase allowed storage of objects on three shelves. The creation of this iconic plywood furniture dates back to around 1933. Certainly it did not fulfill only a practical function, but was also a decorative element of the contemporary study rooms, living rooms and home libraries.

Lounge Wood Chair - Charles and Ray Eames

Plywood stool
Lounge Wood Chair - Charles and Ray Eames

source: Pinterest

Designed in 1949, Charles and Ray Eames’ chair is a piece of plywood furniture whose design combines versatility and effortless elegance. This pair of American designers used ash plywood to create it. At first glance, you can see that the seat and backrest have been mounted on a characteristic structure - the front legs of the chair differ significantly in height from the rear legs. Thanks to this feature the design is so memorable. The Lounge Wood Chair is also a great example of mid-century modern aesthetics, which inspires stylists and interior designers today.

Bookcase No. 545 - Wilhelm Lutjens

Bookcase plywood
Wilhelm Lutjens

source: Pinterest

This is another example of plywood furniture that could successfully fit in any contemporary apartment furnished in vintage style. Wilhelm Lutjens created this practical piece of furniture for storing books around 1959. What catches the eye is the shape of the shelves themselves, whose edges have been "folded" up. The asymmetrical construction of the case is also characteristic - the top three shelves have half the width of the bottom two. Undoubtedly, the designer used plywood with real fantasy.

Hat Trick Chair - Frank Gehry


Plywood chair
Hat Trick Chair - Frank Gehry

source: Pinterest

In 1990, the American architect designed a chair that cannot be mistaken for any other piece of furniture. His inspiration were wooden apple crates, which he remembered from his childhood. The sophisticated seat is connected to the backrest, reminiscent of the construction of the said crates. The lower part of the chair design also catches the eye - its rounded shapes make Frank Gehry's design not only a functional piece of furniture, but also a beautiful home décor item.

Armchair Paimio - Alvar Aalto

plywood armchair
Armchair Paimio - Alvar Aalto

source: Pinterest

This piece of plywood furniture was designed by a Finnish architect in the 1930s. The Paimio armchair is shaped like the letter "u". A characteristic feature of this type of frame is its elasticity - clearly felt when sitting in an armchair. This is another example of a project that combined a modern approach to everyday objects that, in addition to functionality, also impressed with their appearance.

Inspiration by vintage aesthetics and combining functionality with the beauty of everyday objects are clear features of today's plywood furniture designs. We have successfully modernized what is best in the mid-century modern style and created among others bookcases with shelves and cabinets, sideboards with cupboards and/or drawers.

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