Tubular steel classic S 43 – clarity in the spirit of modernism
Simplicity that unfolds its effect everywhere: Mart Stam removed the back legs from furniture that for centuries had been created based on the same principles. Through evolutionary refinement, an object that simply looks good in any place where both understatement and quality are wanted. For his furniture designs, Mart Stam placed a high value on usefulness and austerity with regard to aesthetics as well as material. The straight-lined form, a clear construction and improved sitting comfort resulted from this approach. Stam achieved the greatest possible reduction with the cantilever chair S 43 by combining the tubular steel frame with moulded wood elements for seat and backrest. The pure, restrained form of this cantilever chair makes it an exemplary design in the spirit of modernism. Today, Thonet owns the artistic copyright for the strictly cubic chair without back legs. The reading hall for natural sciences of the German National Library in Leipzig was furnished with the cantilever chair S 43 in 1933. More than 70 years later, Thonet delivered more of the S 43 chairs as an addition to the existing furniture. Only tubular steel furniture of the highest quality, as is typical for Thonet, exhibit such durability and sustainability. In all of his furniture designs Mart Stam relied on straightforward forms, an aesthetic economy of means in the construction and the benefit of improved seating comfort. In the case of S 43 he combined the tubular steel frame with moulded plywood shells for seat and back and thus created an absolute reduction.