Alain Gilles creates lounge chair that references vintage bicycles
EDDY Lounge chair by Alain Gilles

Alain Gilles creates lounge chair that references vintage bicycles

Belgian designer Alain Gilles looked to the world of cycling when designing this lounge chair, which incorporates a tubular metal frame and customisable elements.

The Eddy lounge chair, named after the renowned Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx, was designed for Italian brand Bonaldo. Its tubular metal structure is reminiscent of the elegant a-frame of vintage competition bikes.

"If you look at the history of design, the first Le Corbusier pieces were made in bike shops, because they had the technology to make those kind of designs, and he and others had a vision to make furniture that emphasises structure," Gilles told Dezeen.

"I suppose it's another way to look at the classic functionality of a furniture piece."

The bike's various components are connected using quick-release locks, which are more commonly used to attach wheels to a bike frame. The ergonomic shell of the upholstered seat is injection moulded to offer comfort like a high-performance bike saddle.

"What I like about the bikes, especially the fixies, is that they're very basic, but they have all these customisation possibilities and add-ons, so people can make their bikes their own," said Gilles.

The Eddy's customisable elements include the head rest, leather side pockets that hang off the arm rests like bicycle saddle bags, a cushion and a plaid blanket. The chair is designed so the latter two items can be rolled up and tucked into the back of the chair frame when they're not in use.

"Obviously, upholstered furniture is customised when people chose the fabric, but this goes one step further," said Gilles.

"Once you've got the plaid at the back, it gives it a totally different feel – a softer aesthetic – and you can see straight away that it's not a standard seat. That's something that's very important to me."

EDDY Lounge chair by Alain Gilles

Gilles has worked with the Italian furniture designer Bonaldo for over a decade, creating pieces such as the Mass tables and the Contour range. He describes these and his latest design as being united by a similar graphic aesthetic.

The designer's other recent projects include a minimal foosball table and an easy-to-assemble chair.

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EDDY Lounge chair by Alain Gilles
EDDY Lounge chair by Alain Gilles
EDDY Lounge chair by Alain Gilles
EDDY Lounge chair by Alain Gilles
EDDY Lounge chair by Alain Gilles
EDDY Lounge chair by Alain Gilles
EDDY Lounge chair by Alain Gilles
EDDY Lounge chair by Alain Gilles
EDDY Lounge chair by Alain Gilles
EDDY Lounge chair by Alain Gilles
EDDY Lounge chair by Alain Gilles
EDDY Lounge chair by Alain Gilles
EDDY Lounge chair by Alain Gilles
EDDY Lounge chair by Alain Gilles
EDDY Lounge chair by Alain Gilles