Great design is about designing something different and sometimes it’s about designing something better. With a doubt, it was exploration of unconventional forms and styles that drove forward Danish design through the decade of the 60s and 70s.
This Shell Chair by Hans Wegner, designed in 1963, could definitely not be described as conventional. It was one of his most sculptural and most starkly simple chair designs!
First drawings for the three legged Shell Chair show a more squared-off back than was made for the final version. It had a downward curve across the top with sharp outer corners emphasizing the sides of the back rest followed up in line from the angle.
There are just four parts to the Shell Chair with a wide and curved seat in thick plywood with an outline close to the shape of a segment of leather and a back rest as a separate piece, curved and with a complex shape, tapered towards the top. It has sweeping curves
All corners are generously rounded and the angles of the sides set by the angle of the legs below when seen from the front, giving the Shell Chair a smiling appearance.
The frame of the Shell Chair’s legs is in bent wood with two front legs from a single piece of wood that forms a saddle shape to support the seat. There’s a single back leg formed from a single elongated triangle of wood that’s taken back from the crossbar of the front legs.
As you can see, both versions of the Shell Chair, Danish masterpiece, are now loved by both the critics and the public, even if it didn’t get a great reception back then.
The Shell Chair is present in collections in museums worldwide including the Museum of Modern Art in N.Y., Die Neue Sammlung in Munich and Danish Museum of Art & Design in Copenhagen. Brilliant!
Ready to get one of these three legged beauties for yourself’? Visit Manhattan Home Design for Shell Chair replicas. Founded by Daniel Levy, entrepreneurial success award winner according to Fox News, Manhattan Home Design has been producing MCM replicas for a decade.