Eero Saarinen produced numerous designs that became inextricably linked to the history of the famous furniture company.
Saarinen designed the Womb chair in 1946 , Eero "I was sick and tired of the one-dimensional lounge chair…long and narrow…I want a chair I can sit in sideways or any other way I want to sit in it".
Saarinen rose to this challenge and created a chair that proved comfortable in a number of different positions. Originally named No. 70, it soon became known as the Womb chair because of its comfortable, organic appearance. "It was designed on the theory that a great number of people have never really felt comfortable and secure since they left the womb," Saarinen explained.
Apart from its novel appearance, the Womb chair is also highly innovative from a structural perspective. Saarinen wanted to construct the chair out of a single piece of material, and achieved this by experimenting with new materials and techniques drawn from the shipbuilding industry. The final result—a padded and upholstered fiberglass shell that sits on a polished chrome steel frame—combined simplicity of shape with true comfort and flexibility.
Initially released in 1948, the Womb chair quickly became a cultural icon. A 1958 Coca-Cola advertising campaign showed Santa Claus drinking a Coke in a Womb chair. The chair also made an appearance in aNew Yorker cartoon as well as a Saturday Evening Post cover by Norman Rockwell.
"Every object, whether large or small, has a relationship with its context," Saarinen said in 1958. "Perhaps the most important thing I learned from my father was that in any design problem, one should seek the solution in terms of the next largest thing. If the problem is an ashtray, then the way it relates to the table will influence its design. If the problem is a chair, then its solution must be found in the way it relates to the room." The sculptural form of the Womb chair effortlessly achieves this balance, matching any interior while still drawing the eye to its colors and curves. Today, the Womb chair seems like an almost ubiquitous addition to any midcentury-inspired home.
Opinions about the iconic chair
The chair consists of a molded fiberglass shell which is covered in foam. The cushions on the ottoman, seat, and back are separate pieces.
Dufner Heighes Inc
Although great for curling up in, a pair of Womb Chairs are also great for relaxed conversation. They are perfect for a therapists office!
The chair comes in three sizes - Standard (the largest), Medium and Small. Standard and Medium size have the coordinating ottoman option.
James Cleary Architecture
The base can be finished in chrome or black matte powder coat.
Dijeau Poage Construction
In my humble opinion, one of the attributes of this chair that makes it so great is the bright color options. This green one is dreamy.
Glenn Gissler Design
When designing this chair, Eero experimented with new materials, and had his eyes on the prize: Ergonomics. In simpler terms, comfort!
Jennifer Weiss Architecture
Here the Womb Chair is paired with another Saarinen invention: The Tulip Base.
Jennifer Weiss Architecture
The chair has a sculptural quality which allows it to stand on its own and really command a corner.
Billinkoff Architecture PLLC
It also fits in well as the one side chair in a room dominated by a sectional.
My favorite use of the Womb Chair is when it's used as the comfy chair for reading in a library or study, as it is placed here.
Author Becky Harris
Note that The designer name and his products was mentioned in this article to demonstrate the history of furniture design and it doesn't represent any of the items sold in this store.
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