Metropolitanstolen / Metropolitan Chair by Axel Bender Madsen and Ejnar Larsen 1949


designed by Axel Madsen (1916-2000) and Ejnar Larsen (1917-1987)
made by Ludvig Pontoppidan
shown at the Cabinetmakers' Exhibition in 1949

height: 76cm
width: 56cm
depth: 44cm
height of seat: 44cm

The frame of the seat is interesting with side pieces that have a very pronounced inward curve. When seen from a normal viewpoint this reduces the bulk of the frame and emphasises the thin piece of plywood that forms the seat and makes the chair look lighter and more elegant.

Here the back and the arm rests of the chair are in a single piece of shaped and curved plywood. This is cut from a single sheet and bent and held in place by screws driven down into the tops of the legs with the screw heads covered by plugs of wood.

The shape is reminiscent of the changes in plane of the back and arm rests of The Chair (The Round Chair) by Hans Wegner from the same year although in that chair the back rest and arms of The Chair are in solid timber - rather than in plywood -  cut with the sections joined to achieve the propeller like twist in the shape. *


 * The first version of The Chair had a seat woven in cane but a year later a version with an upholstered seat was produced. What is interesting is that in that relatively expensive chair, the seat was not given traditional upholstery that would have either been taken over the frame of the seat, destroying the clean lines and elegant curves, or it might have had an upholstered cushion dropped into the frame instead of the cane work but that would have been baulky. The solution was to use a sheet of plywood resting on simple metal tabs, fixed on the inside edge of the frame just below the top, with a padding over the plywood - presumably in the original chair with hair but now foam - that was then covered with leather.