Club leather armchair by Rudolf Horn | Ding des Monats September 2021

Thing of the Month September 2021
Club leather armchair by Rudolf Horn

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Club leather armchair on band steel frame; design Rudolf Horn; ca. 1965; collection Werkbundarchiv - Museum der Dinge, Berlin. Photo: Armin Herrmann, 2021.

Looks familiar? Don't be fooled. This chrome plated band iron club leather chair with leather seat and back cushions was not designed by Mies van der Rohe, but by Rudolf Horn in the GDR in about 1965. It was a reworking of van der Rohe's Barcelona Chair, which Horn said was "beautiful to kneel down and pray on" but uncomfortable. Horn - who, among other things, was a university lecturer at Burg Giebichenstein and the developer of the functionalist MDW assembly furniture program at Deutsche Werkstätten Dresden-Hellerau - instead used a Z-shaped stainless steel frame attached to the back of the chair as a base that could open forward and spring. The cantilever chair, which was exported almost exclusively to the West, was manufactured by the Potsdam-based steel and seating furniture company Röhl.

Rudolf Horn's "Socialist Barcelona Chair" will be on display from September 23, 2021, in the exhibition "Forming Everyday Life! Bauhaus Modernism in the GDR" at the Werkbundarchiv - Museum der Dinge.