Constructive Constructivism

The Paulistano Armchair

Over the past 60 years, architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha has devoted his career to conceiving of an architecture that strives simultaneously to  meet social & aesthetic human needs. His work has merited the award of the prestigious Pritzker Prize for Architecture & the Mies van der Rohe Award.

Among his iconic achievements is the 1957 design of the Paulistano armchair that could, for many years, be found in the interiors of the Athletic Club of Sao Paulo.

Rooted in constructivism, the chair is composed of a single steel bar of 17 feet combined with a sling-like envelope cut from a single cowhide or canvas forming the seat.  The steel frame is polished entirely by hand.  The result is a design that possesses an extraordinary lightness and incomparable comfort.

In this case, less is so much more.

Photography & Visualizations by Peter Guthrie.

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