Front revisits Gebrüder Thonet Vienna's roots
to design bent-wood furniture

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Milan 2014: Swedish design group Front has created a combined coat rack and bench, and two tables from bent wood for design brand Gebrüder Thonet Vienna.

Coat Rack Bench and Arch Tables for Gebrüder Thonet Vienna

Designers Sofia Lagerkvist, Charlotte von der Lancken and Anna Lindgren of Front aim to design products that communicate a story about how they are made or what they are made of.

Coat Rack Bench and Arch Tables for Gebrüder Thonet Vienna

Their starting point for the collection for Gebrüder Thonet Vienna was the company's heritage in bent wood, dating back to the 1800s.

"In the middle of 19th century Thonet developed the new ground braking technique of solid bent wood," Sofia Lagerkvist told Dezeen. "The iconic Thonet chair has been a success for more then a 150 years and sold to millions."

Coat Rack Bench and Arch Tables for Gebrüder Thonet Vienna

For this collection, the designers added a bench to the Thonet coat rack to create a piece of furniture that can be placed in an entrance hall or elsewhere within the home. It is available in black or white with an unpainted rattan seat.

"One of the most iconic pieces is the Thonet coat rack, which we combined with a bench in the traditional techniques of bent wood and rattan to make a piece of furniture that welcomes you in your hallway," said Lagerkvist.

Coat Rack Bench and Arch Tables for Gebrüder Thonet Vienna

Front used steam bent wood as a structural element in both Arch tables. The large table features a bent wood frame and a top panel made of ash. It is available in two sizes, making the table suitable for either a dining room and a meeting room.

The coffee table features three bentwood loops supporting a tabletop in glass or wood, bounded in either case by a bentwood edge.

Coat Rack Bench and Arch Tables for Gebrüder Thonet Vienna

"The arches that create the base of the Arch Coffee table are from the Thonet Chair and the construction of the dining table is inspired by the constructive elements of small bent pieces of wood that supported many of the early Thonet pieces," Lagerkvist said.

"Bent wood is a fantastic material to work with," she continued. "It is light and creates strong structures. It has been very interesting to gain insight in the process of the highly skilled craftsmanship of bending wood."

Coat Rack Bench and Arch Tables for Gebrüder Thonet Vienna

Front's collection for Gebrüder Thonet Vienna launched at Salone Internazionale del Mobile furniture fair during Milan design week last month.