Architects and Their Chairs  “B”

Architects and Their Chairs “B”

     B is For Breuer

Marcel Breuer image via The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research

Marcel Breuer image via The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research



Marcel Lajos Breuer was born May 21,1902 in Hungary. He attended university at the Bauhaus School and later was a teacher in the carpentry department. When he came to the United States he was a professor at Harvard University (1937-46) in the School of Architecture.

 First recognized for his invention of bicycle-handlebar-inspired tubular steel furniture, he designed his most famous creation, the Wassily Chair, so called after being admired by artist Wassily Kandinsky. It was the first chair to feature a bent steel frame. Breuer designed a whole range of tubular metal furniture including chairs, tables, stools and cupboards. Tubular steel has lots of qualities; it is affordable for the masses, hygienic and provides comfort without the need for springs to be introduced. Breuer considered all of his designs to be essential for modern living.


 Democratic Affordable Furniture for the Masses

                    B 34  1928


B 34 1928 via

B 34 1928 via


Breuer's flat aluminum band furniture (1932-1934) Image:

Breuer’s flat aluminum band furniture (1932-1934)
Between these years Breuer experimented with flat aluminium in his furniture. It was not as strong as tubular steel but was considerably cheaper. The seats were targeted at the mass- market and were sold in Wohnbedarf in Switzerland. The concave bands at the back are structurally necessary but at the same time are aesthetically pleasing.
The seat above is named the Armchair, Model No. 301. It is made from painted aluminium with a painted and moulded laminated seat and back. Image:




Plywood Chair

Plywood Chair



Lounge Chair

Lounge Chair



As an architect, Breuer worked primarily in concrete. Breuer’s buildings were always distinguished by an attention to detail and a clarity of expression. Considered one of the last true functionalist architects, Breuer helped shift the bias of the Bauhaus from “Arts & Crafts” to “Arts & Technology”.



jvworks: St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota

jvworks: St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota



[Marcel Breuer's 1969 Armstrong (aka Pirelli) Building, pre-IKEA

[Marcel Breuer’s 1969 Armstrong (aka Pirelli) Building, pre-IKEA
Image and story


1966 Whitney Museum of American Art. New York (with H. Smith)

1966 Whitney Museum of American Art. New York (with H. Smith)



  •  The UNESCO building in Paris

  • Lecture Hall, New York University (1961, New York City )

  • Whitney Museum of American Art (1966, New York City ) ,

  • St. John’s Abbey Church (1953, Collegeville, MN ),

  • Ameritrust Tower (Cleveland, his only skyscraper)

Complete list:



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Mid-Century Modern Furniture Evolution: 7 Designers Who Changed the Industry

Learn about all of your favorite mid-century modern furniture designers before you begin your search for that perfect piece of furniture:

  1. Le Corbusier: Pioneer of “Modern” Furniture and Architecture
  2. Mies van der Rohe: Mid Century Design – Glass and Steel Architect Extraordinaire
  3. Eero Saarinen: Curling Up in Mid-Century Modern Furniture
  4. Arne Jacobsen: Danish Influenced Modern Furniture
  5. Poul Kjaerholm: The Final Figure of Danish Furniture Design
  6. Hans J. Wegner: Simple and Elegant Minimalist Design
  7. Marcel Lajos Breuer: International Style

Now that you’ve seen what some of the most popular designers have made, you can choose what type of modern furniture you want for your home.

If you’re still not 100 percent sure what piece of furniture you want, you should check out popular pieces like these:


– Lynne