Dezeen Magazine

Patrick Frey's Stella Chair backrest is upholstered like a saddle

This chair by German designer Patrick Frey for seating brand Freifrau combines a traditional wooden frame and leather cladding with spring steel.

Stella Chair by Patrick Frey

The back and armrests of the Stella Chair are made of spring steel – a flexible "low-alloy" steel with a high yield strength, which allows it to return to its original shape after bending or twisting – so that they flex in response to the user's movements.

The spring steel parts are clad in leather using traditional saddle-making techniques.

Stella Chair by Patrick Frey

"The metal construction in the backrest is not very comfortable," Frey told Dezeen.

"I like the traditional saddle process because it reminds me of saddles for horses: precise, functional and strong. Plus leather plays wonderfully with wood."

Stella Chair by Patrick Frey

The hand-turned wooden frame is available in oak, beech and walnut. The result is evocative of the Danish tradition – in particular Hans Wegner's Flagline Chair.

Stella Chair by Patrick Frey

"The frame construction is traditional, but often chairs with this traditional construction seem static," Frey told Dezeen.

"My intention was to design a combination of a static frame with a dynamic backrest. The backrest not only seems dynamic - it is dynamic because of the spring steel inside."

Stella Chair by Patrick Frey
The Freifrau collection

The chair is produced by Freifrau and was first shown at the imm cologne trade fair in January.

Patrick Frey's previous projects include an outdoor chair made from curved and folded sheet aluminium, a collection of stools and benches each made of a single piece of folded plastic, and a range of wall-mounted boxes with hooks made from extended joints.