Alpina furniture by Ries is made from thin steel shapes

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Argentinian architecture studio Ries has designed a collection of minimal furniture based around simple steel frames.

Alpina furniture by Ries

The Alpina range includes a chair, work desk, table and storage unit, all of which feature V-shaped solid metal supports.

Alpina furniture by Ries

The studio created an underlying matrix with fixed proportions which they used to create the underlying steel framework for each of the four pieces.

Alpina furniture by Ries

"This matrix has measures and proportions that are fit to create a large number of furniture pieces," said the studio.



"The legs of the table are the matrix cut to a certain height, then rotated 90 degrees."

Alpina furniture by Ries

The chairs feature rectangular backs and A-shaped side supports, and have perforated copper seats.

Alpina furniture by Ries

"This material is used historically in factories, it has an industrial connotation, so by giving it a polished copper finish we like to think we are giving this material a new meaning and taking it out from where our minds think it comes from," added Ries.

Alpina furniture by Ries

Although the furniture may look "uncomfortable to the eye", the studio told Dezeen that it hasn't been designed for long periods of sitting.

Alpina furniture by Ries

The work desk includes a rectangular tabletop laminated with pale blue Formica, which rests in a framework reminiscent of a child's swing. The dining table is also covered in blue laminate, and rests on four slanted legs as well as two central V-shaped struts.

Alpina furniture by Ries

The storage unit combines the forms of the work desk with a pair of shelves, one of which includes a small hammock-like section.

Alpina furniture by Ries

"We wanted to design a furniture collection that looked visually light, weightless, but rigid at the same time," the studio told Dezeen. "We believe that furniture shouldn't be conceived or shown as isolated objects, we believe that furniture is part of a bigger environment when put into a space."

Alpina furniture by Ries

Slender metal rods were also used to form minimal chairs by Nissa Kinzhalina – one a variety of recently launched designs that look like line drawings.

  • Natcam

    What would start to ache first, arms or arse?

    • Sim

      I’d say the back.

  • Sim

    “Although the furniture may look “uncomfortable to the eye”, the studio told Dezeen that it hasn’t been designed for long periods of sitting.” This is just dreadful.

    My back aches from just looking at it. And then the designers explain that it is not really meant for sitting on. Pray do tell what will be next; a car you can’t ride in or a bath that can’t stand water? What do they propose people do when they do need to sit for longer periods of time?

    This is insanity manifested as a chair designed by people more concerned with looks, image and pictures than with function and use.

    • I agree with you. The shelves are on point, though. I’d buy and throw in the useless chair just for the hell of it.

  • dick_c

    The chairs are what they are. Here’s something I read about the Red and Blue Chair, and comfort.

    In his book, De Stijl, Paul Overy writes:

    One of the functions of Rietveld’s chairs, with their hard seats and backs, is to focus our senses, to make us alert and aware. Rietveld was not interested in conventional ideas of comfort (the 19th-century armchair that relaxes you so much that you spill your coffee or fall asleep over your book). He wished to keep the sitter physically and mentally “toned up.”

    That said, I believe I read that Rietveld did put cushions on his.

    • Sim

      Yes I have a Rietveld chair. However, it is a completely different thing. The blue and red chair you mention is angled, so you slide down the back when you sit down but you don’t tend to glide forward because the seat is tilted up a bit, the backrest is high, together it becomes a very comfortable chair.

      It is not necessary for a chair to be full of cushions, but these chairs offer no support or comfort and really, does the world – given the state it’s in – need even more useless chairs?

  • Gavin

    God people moan on here. These chairs look amazing. You don’t think they’ll be comfortable? Don’t buy one. Don’t use them as office chairs. Why are designers so bloody up themselves that they can’t say anything positive?

  • I see these as primarily photo shoot props.

  • Gertreude

    Also an overrated designer.