Movie: Thonet is launching an outdoor range of classic chairs by Mart Stam, Marcel Breuer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, reveals CEO Thorsten Muck in this exclusive movie Dezeen produced for the German brand.
Called Thonet All Seasons, the new collection will be unveiled next week at the imm Cologne 2016 trade fair and consists of four tubular steel chairs originally designed in the 1920s by teachers at the famous Bauhaus art school.
Stam's original cantilever chairs are included in the collection – the S 33 and S 34 – together with Breuer's S 35 lounge chair and Mies van der Rohe's curvaceous S 533.
"We were missing our classic tubular steel products in a condition where they were suitable for outdoor use," says Muck in the movie, which was filmed at Thonet's factory and headquarters in Frankenberg, Germany. "We chose the really iconic pieces."
The chairs feature ultraviolet-resistant mesh upholstery on steel frames treated with a special weather-resistant coating called ThonetProtect.
"We use the same steel as our classic pieces, but we treat it in a very special way with a surface that is resistant against harmful outdoor environments," Muck explains. "They can last for decades."
Customers will be able to mix and match frame and upholstery colours, while the S 34 and S 35 chairs will be available with either mesh or wood armrests.
"You are able to combine different colours to produce very individual furniture," Muck says.
The frames of the chairs are produced at Thonet's Frankenberg factory by bending three-metre lengths of tubular steel.
Although the furniture is machine-bent, each angle must be checked and adjusted by hand due to slight differences in the tolerance of the metal.
"The tubular steel comes in a size of seven metres, and is polished and then cut down," Muck explains. "Every single chair is approved by the person who operates the machine – a person has to control the work of the machine to make it really perfect."
Thonet was founded by German carpenter Michael Thonet in 1819 and became famous for its steam-bent wood furniture, especially the iconic No 14 cafe chair that it still produces today as the 214 chair. The company expanded into bent steel furniture in the 1920s.
"Everything started with the bent-wood furniture and the Vienna coffee house chair," Muck explains.
"Then the teachers of the Bauhaus came to Thonet to ask if we were able to bend tubular steel in the way we were able to bend wood."
This movie was filmed by Dezeen in Frankenberg, Germany, for Thonet. Additional photography is courtesy of Thonet.