4 of Le Corbusierís Most Iconic Furniture Designs
When it comes to mid-century modern design (or any period of design, for that matter), it doesn’t get much bigger than Le Corbusier. Hailed as one of the great icons of the movement, his interest in the aesthetics of machines resulted in classic pieces, such as the LC4 chaise longue and the Basculant chair.
Here, we take a look at the life of the designer and some of his most iconic creations.When it comes to mid-century modern design (or any period of design, for that matter), it doesn’t get much bigger than Le Corbusier. Hailed as one of the great icons of the movement, his interest in the aesthetics of machines resulted in classic pieces, such as the LC4 chaise longue and the Basculant chair.
Here, we take a look at the life of the designer and some of his most iconic creations.
Life of a Designer
Le Corbusier is first and foremost known for his modernist architecture. He chiefly built with steel and reinforced concrete, to create sleek, functional, geometric buildings such as Villa Savoye, Poissy.
However, his understanding of homes as ‘machines for living’ also resulted in some of the most iconic furniture designs of the 20th century – pieces that were so slick and modern that it’s hard to believe they were created nearly 90 years ago.
What really distinguishes a Le Corbusier design is its construction from chrome plated tubular steel – a style originally conceived in the late 1920s, when Corbusier developed a system of furniture alongside French designer, Charlotte Perriand, and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret. The resulting effect is one of weightlessness, with the seat or table appearing to ‘hover’ away from the frame.
Le Corbusier also firmly believed in ‘form over function’. In essence, this meant that the way a piece of furniture looked should be dictated by the function it served, and not the other way around. As a result, designs such as the LC4 chaise longue are renowned for their exceptional comfort and functionality.
Today, the designer’s pieces still have the impact that they did when they were first conceived, and look completely at home in any modern interior.
Iconic Furniture Designs
The LC4 Chaise Longue
The LC4 Chaise Longue is perhaps Le Corbusier’s most famous design, having achieved a truly iconic status. The recliner was first sketched by Le Corbusier in the late 1920s, with the drawing showing a padded surface bent twice, with a supporting head column.
Echoing his fascination with the function of machines, the designer described the chaise longue as a ‘relaxing machine’, due to its mimicking of the body’s natural curves. However, whilst comfort is the piece’s first and foremost function, its striking design became hugely coveted and one of the hallmarks of the mid-century modern movement.
The LC1 Basculant Chair
Designed along with Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand, the Basculant Chair encapsulated Corbusier’s principles of rationalisation in furniture. Its simple form was reduced to the essentials, with the materials of tubular steel and canvas reflecting the designer’s view of furniture as equipment.
The Basculant Chair was featured in many of the houses Corbusier designed, including the aforementioned Villa Savoye, Poissy.
View our replica of the LC1 Basculant Chair.
The Swivel Chair
This elegant swivel chair was first exhibited at the 1928 Salon des Artistes Décorateurs, as well as the 1929 Salon d’Automne, as part of the collection by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand. With a revolving chair and padded frame, the piece made a big statement for the time.
View our replica LC7 Swivel Chair.
The LC2 Sofa
With big, comfortable leather cushions, encased in an external frame, the LC2 Sofa became an instant classic. The simple design reflects Corbusier’s interest in aesthetic purity and functionality – what is now known as the International Style.
View our replica LC2 Two Seat Sofa.
From his geometrical architecture to his no-nonsense furniture, Le Corbusier was one of the icons of the mid-century modern movement, leaving behind a legacy that has truly stood the test of time.
To add a replica of one of the designer’s iconic pieces to your home, view our range of Le Corbusier replica furniture today.
*All the images in this post are replicas