by Gerrit Rietveld
To design a chair out of one piece was Rietveld’s aim when
he made the Zigzag Chair. The chair had to take up as little space as possible
in the living room.
It took some time before Rietveld had finished the definite
design of the Zigzag Chair. At first, he tried to make a similar chair using
several different constructions. He made a version with a steel frame and a
seat of fibreglass. A few of these designs later came back in other pieces of
furniture. For example, Rietveld created a child’s seat and a chair with
armrests in which the same shape is represented. The famous version of the
Zigzag Chair was made especially for the Rietveld Schröder House in Utrecht.
The Zigzag Chair is built up out of solid elm wood sheets,
glued together. The backrest and the seat are connected to each other through
the system of dovetailing. The base and the seat use mitre joints and are
strengthened with bolts. The chair used to be produced in sets of twenty copies
by Metz & Co. Nowadays, it is still being produced, by Cassina.
Alongside the Zigzag Chair, Rietveld designed a long wooden
table. The table’s base frame consists of two U-shaped wooden supports.
Rietveld also combined the Zigzag Chairs often with simple wooden tables in the
style of his crate furniture.