Early Pierre Chapo Sculptural Chair 'S34' in Solid Elm
Pierre Chapo, chair, model 'S34A', elm, France, circa 1973
This design is an early edition, created according to the original craft methodology of Pierre Chapo. This chair model 'S34A' is designed circa 1973. This asymmetrical chair executed in elm with seven-shaped back and twisted base is a true icon of Chapo's playful and complex designs. The diameter of the seat on this chair is inadequate for maintaining structural stability and too large to adapt the tripod base of the S31 stool. Chapo solved this issue by implementing a dihedral angle that rests on the ground, where the seat is positioned in the middle and the backrest at the top. This section is supported by a transverse leg that is reinforced by the other two legs, which are connected in a way that evenly distributes the weight among the four converging legs. In order for the chair to remain stabilized, the last leg completes the assembly by resting on the first leg at a dihedral angle. The polygonal seat is also precisely placed to evenly distribute the weight of the person sitting on it. The S34 chair truly showcases Chapo's expertise and proficiency in woodworking and innovative techniques.
Pierre Chapo (1927-1987) was born in a family of craftsmen and trained as an architect at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Already from a young age, he felt the need to roam the world. He was only twenty-one when he left France in order to spend the next few years traveling through England and Scandinavia. In December of 1951, he was living back in Paris, where he met his future wife, Nicole. Their meeting was the beginning of a lifelong union. Together, the lovebirds travelled through South and North America being captivated by the architectural diversity. Back in France, he and his partner Nicole set up Société Chapo in 1957. Société Chapo was a design workshop and gallery in one where he showed his own creations. However, Nicole also presented her ceramics, and textiles here and they even exhibited other great designers of that period. In 1958, they opened their famous gallery at 14 Boulevard de l'Hopital. Chapo's work originated by means of special commissions that could later be adapted to universal needs. Throughout his career, Chapo combined his interest for contemporary design with his love for traditional craftsmanship. In his designs, he was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's balanced lines, Corbusier's research on proportions and the ideas of Bauhaus. The three principles that motivated Pierre Chapo were 'material, form, and function.' He measured his furniture by means of golden ratio and used elmwood as his preferred material. Unfortunately, Chapo fell ill, and he died in 1987, however, until his last day, he kept on designing and working.
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