Spun chair by Thomas Heatherwick


British designer Thomas Heatherwick recently launched a chair shaped like a spinning top made of spun steel and copper.

The limited-edition Spun chair, produced for London gallery Haunch of Venison, is similar in form to Heatherwick's rotation-moulded plastic chair for Magis that was launched in Milan last month.

Studio photos are by Peter Mallett. Production photos are by John Hughes / CPP.

Heatherwick also designed the UK Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010, which opened on Saturday.

Here's some info from Heatherwick Studio:


Spun came out of research into the geometric simplification of a familiar object type. Could a completely rotationally symmetrical form make a comfortable chair?

Developed through full size test pieces an ergonomic was established where seat, back and arms were all the same profile. The result is not immediately apparent as a chair and when upright looks more like a sculptural vessel. However, when lent on its side it forms a comfortable and functional chair that the sitter can rock from side to side in, or even spin round in a complete circle.

In October 2009 the studio produced a series of pieces using the craft of large scale metal spinning, traditionally used to make objects such as Timpani drums. The chairs are handmade by pressing sheets of metal against a rotating cast iron form using a paddle. Each chair is assembled from six metal spinnings, welded together and polished to produce a single unified form with a leather trim inlaid into the weight bearing rim.

A limited edition of metal Spun chairs is available through Haunch of Venison.

 Haunch of Venison
d88 x h65 cm
 Brushed/Polished steel/copper

See also:


Spun Seat by Thomas Heatherwick for Magis UK Pavilion at
Shanghai Expo 2010

Posted on Tuesday May 4th 2010 at 10:28 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • norm

    Could a completely rotationally symmetrical form make a comfortable chair?
    the answer is no but it makes a beautiful object.

    • CJimenez

      Actually they are very comfortable, in my opinion. And fun.

  • marl karx

    this is wow

  • tanya telford – T

    have just had a thought (and imagined picture in my head) – how about if they were used in an outside public installation, do they need a special surface? could put intentional groves into surface. Imagine it could look very beautiful and also fun to sit on & use ,

  • yes, beautiful object

  • applejack

    Beautiful object agreed, heres a more comfortable version of this chair by Rene Barba :


  • super cool. love spun metals.

  • hallo!

    here you find a sexier and more innovative version of this chair by louise campbell,.. it’s been made 4 years ago but it still seams more advanced than this one …


  • matt goddard

    Very Penrith ! part of the expo collection is it , its like foundation work is it not ?

  • i thought this was a plastic chair for magis?

  • Gunnar Á.

    Doctor doctor!

  • MrCoolTeapot

    Similar to a chair my parents bought in the 60’s. The seat shape is rather comfortable when a cushion is added.
    Theirs was similar on top, albeit made out of painted wood, but the base went straight down so it was much more stable.
    When you leaned back your center of gravity extended over the rear of the chair so it was commonplace to roll back on the rear edge of the base.

  • modular

    I’d rather see this as a vase. Not a chair.

  • will

    Buy one and use it as a vase

  • spinners!

    spin spin spin weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Awesome!!! I think some ideas can be repeating by accident.

  • There is no front photo with the model sitting in this chair? I would love to see how much it’s comfortable…

    François Beydoun

  • 呵呵,有点意思,刚好可以满足一些人爱边坐边动的需求

  • Laura Maranzana Skeeters

    I tried this chair today at the ICFF show in NYC. It is big, bulky, comfortable if you sit with wide open legs, bit as soon as you close them and relax, you start spinning around like a human top spin. You become dizzy at best, or like me motioned sick! Nice object, but nothing more than that. It has its place, not in my home, though!

  • LeeLee

    Had a go on these chairs last night and they are brilliant. We were sqeeling like children. So much fun!!

  • DIS-cour.se

    These were made by Marzorati-Ronchetti in Cantù, they are called “Coriolis”. I got to visit the factory and saw these chairs being built and tested a couple of years ago, impressive company with some really interesting projects to their name.

    Credit is due to the people who built this piece, I would have expected Dezeen to do their due diligence and go beyond relaying half a press release, which is just sloppy.