Transparent chairs: sitting on thin air

Sheila Byers Sheila Byers
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There are many kinds of chairs, but today we want to highlight those that catch our attention more for what we don’t see, rather than what we do see. Today we want to talk about invisible (or almost invisible) chairs. Transparent chairs, which look like they have arrived from the most fantastic future, actually, however, come from a not so distant past. In 1934 a kind of plastic was invented that was as transparent as glass but much more flexible. From then on, this light and hardy material has had a large (if sometimes invisible!) presence in the world of design. Transparent chairs can be a fun and almost irreverent choice for sitting and dining, so today we will discover some models that would make us feel that we were floating as we sit quietly and read the newspaper or drink a cup of tea in the air.

A butterfly with transparent wings

 Household by homify
homify

Le LLUM

homify

In 1938 the Austral group, formed by Antonio Bonet, Juan and Jorge Ferrari Kurchan, created the BKF chair. Made of metal and leather, its organic forms earned it the nickname Butterfly Chair. It ended up going around the world and becoming one of the great icons of twentieth century design.

This model belongs to the leading French brand Airborne, which has been producing these seats since 1951. One of their most transgressive designs is the chair we see here. The leather cover has been replaced by a transparent sheet of plastic, which makes this chair ideal for both indoor and outdoor use.

Inspired by insects

eclectic Living room by Denis Burlet
Denis Burlet

Chaise Mantis

Denis Burlet

For designer Dominique Denis Burlet, if nature had made a chair it would have been in the shape of an insect, complex and simple at the same time, like the model we see here, which is called the Mantis. It is a steel chair whose bars seem to float as if they were threads of a spider web. The seat is made of transparent plastic, and the whole piece of furniture manages to create a haunting and magical feeling, looking as if it defies all laws of physics.

Now you see me, now you don't

modern Dining room by Ciacci
Ciacci

SEDIA CAMILLA

Ciacci

The Camilla chair is designed by the Italian firm Ciacci. It comes in various models and colours, but today we are interested in the transparent version that we see in the picture. It is true that at first sight is more difficult to see the sinuous forms of the backrest and seat, but it is a model that wins when someone sits on it. Then the chair, like a chameleon that adapts to the environment, will display the colours from the clothing of the person occupying the chair. A striking effect that will certainly attract the attention of your guests.

A couple with no secrets

modern Dining room by Fables de murs
Fables de murs

Cheminée dans une salle à manger

Fables de murs

This dining table and chairs follow a similar line: transparency. Both designs openly show their structure and shamelessly tell us all their secrets. One advantage of this transparent chair is that its visual lightness allows focus of the room to be on the modern fireplace, thus becoming the star of the room.

For more dining area suggestions, have a look at this ideabook.

A table that hides another

Just as in the previous example, in this dining room the fireplace attracts all eyes. Here the transparent chairs are combined with a white table, which is actually  a counter top, hidden in the kitchen island. When lunchtime comes, we can pull out the sliding counter and set up the chairs. When we are finished eating and the table is put away, the chairs can be stacked and placed unnoticed in any corner of the room.

Sitting on thin air

 Artwork by Pascalina
Pascalina

Beach Cocoon

Pascalina

Speaking of transparent materials, one of the protagonists of this chair is the air, as in our the air in our lungs. The chair, called the Beach Cocoon is an original signature design by the firm Pascalina, created with transparent plastic. Sitting here not only gives us the feeling of floating, but, in fact, we actually will float. Inspired by typical beach mats, this chair is perfect for the garden or the pool, and it is an excellent resource when the room is crowded and we do not have enough chairs.

What do you think of these chairs? Let us know in the comments!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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