The Panton Chair is a classic in the history of furniture design. Conceived by Verner Panton in 1960, the Panton Chair was developed for serial production in collaboration with Vitra. It was the first chair to be manufactured completely out of plastic in one single piece. Since its market launch in 1967, it has advanced through several production phases. Only since 1999 has it been possible to produce the chair in accordance with its original conception – out of durable, dyed-through plastic with a lustrous matte finish.
The comfort of this chair results from the combination of a cantilever structure with an anthropomorphic shape and a slightly flexible material. It can be used individually or in groups and is suited for indoor and outdoor environments. The Panton Chair has received numerous international design awards and is represented in the collections of many prominent museums. Due to its expressive shape, it has become an icon of the twentieth century.
- Dyed-through Polypropylene
- Height: 83 cm / 32 3/4 inch
- Height: 41 cm / 16 1/4 inch
- Depth: 61 cm / 24 inch
- Width: 50 cm / 19 3/4 inch
- Suitable for outdoor use
Vitra is a Swiss company dedicated to improving the quality of homes, offices and public spaces through the power of design. Their products and concepts are developed in an intensive design process, bringing together engineering excellence with the creative genius of today’s leading international designers. It is Vitra’s goal to create furniture and accessories that are functional and inspiring. Founded in 1950, Vitra produces many products from internationally recognized designers such as Verner Panton, Isamu Noguchi, Eero Saarinen and Jasper Morrison.
Vitra Panton Chair Designed by:
- Verner Panton , 1999
Denmark, 1926 - 1998
Verner Panton was a master of the fluid, futuristic style of 1960s design that introduced the Pop aesthetic to furniture and interiors. Born in Denmark, he made his name there before settling in Switzerland in the 1960s.
Nothing in Verner Panton’s childhood suggested that he might become a designer but meeting Pøul Henningsen at the Royal Academy of Art introduced Panton to product design. An equally important influence was Arne Jacobsen, whom Panton assisted from 1950 to 1952 on various projects including the famous 1951-52 Ant Chair. Panton later claimed he had “learned more from him than anyone else.”
In 1955, Fritz Hansen began production of Panton’s Bachelor Chair and Tivoli Chair. But it was not until the Cone Chair’s introduction in 1959 that Panton came into his own with a truly distinctive style. A thinly padded conical metal shell placed point-down on a cross-shaped metal base. A Danish businessman, Percy von Halling-Koch, spotted it at a restaurant opening and offered to put it into production for Panton. When it was photographed for Mobilia, the Danish design magazine, in 1961, Panton draped naked shop mannequins and models on the chairs, which caused a minor scandal. The Cone Chair even attracted controversy in New York, after the police ordered that it be removed from a shop window where large crowds had gathered to see it.
Panton settled in Basel in where he began a long collaboration with Vitra, the European licensee of Herman Miller, the US furniture maker. They launched the Flying Chair, a playful piece of fantasy furniture, which was the hit of the 1964 Cologne Furniture Fair, and developed the 1967 Panton Chair, the first cantilevered chair made from a single piece of plastic. Sleek, sexy and a technical first, the Panton was the chair of the era. A glossy red Panton featured in Nova magazine’s 1970 shoot in which a model demonstrated “How to undress in front of your husband.”
Verner Panton’s popularity faded but in 1995 British Vogue featured a naked Kate Moss on a Panton Chair on its cover. His 1960s pieces were put back into production and he was invited to design an exhibition, Verner Panton: Light and Colour, at Trapholdtmuseum in Denmark. The exhibition opened as planned on 17 September 1998, but Panton had died in Copenhagen twelve days earlier.