Explore the upholstery and frame options available for this piece at the bottom of this page.
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We are in the arcanum of modernism. The F51 (1920) is not just any armchair, it is the iconic armchair for the director’s room in the Weimar Bauhaus. Walter Gropius had already injected his modernist dynamic into the building and created a small holistic work of art, encompassing interiors and furniture, tapestry and ceiling lamp. Nothing is randomly chosen and everything is connected. If you study the isometric layout of the director’s room you can see the furniture as part of a three-dimensional coordinate system.
All major designers, including Mart Stam, have walked through this central room of the Bauhaus in Weimar. Consciously or unconsciously, they were already influenced by the overarching ideas of the F51 armchair. Its protruding armrests can be seen as a precursor of Mart Stam’s chairs without back legs and anticipate Marcel Breuer’s stool on runners (1925).
“The first cantilever chair concept is from Walter Gropius, the first cantilever armrest architecture from El Lissitzky,” says Tecta’s Axel Bruchhäuser. Walter Gropius’ own thoughts: The goal of modern architecture is “to defy gravity and overcome the earth’s inertia in impression and appearance.” This later became the intellectual root of the cantilever principle and the creed of the collection in Tecta’s Cantilever Chair Museum in Lauenförde.
Despite its cubic form, the chair has an almost human appearance with its heavy but floating upholstery and simple frame. With the F51 Gropius has made a piece of space around us tangible and given it a geometric shape. It seems as if the architect had intermeshed two C-shaped elements in such a way that they continue to convey suspense. The projecting frame lifts the back of the seat and armrest upholstery away from the floor. Calm and dynamism – the armchair radiates both simultaneously and thus points to the architect’s future-forward design approach, which radically questioned all things traditional.
In 1926 Gropius wrote emphatically in his “Principles of Bauhaus Production”: “It is only through constant contact with constantly evolving techniques, with the discovery of new materials and with new ways of putting things together that the creative individual can learn to bring the design of objects into a living relationship with tradition.” The intricately crafted F51 armchair is a case in point. Existing elements are reinterpreted and the construction, the “crafted” elements are openly revealed.
The Bauhaus Archive in Berlin has officially licensed the F51 from Tecta as an authentic Bauhaus production, made to the exact proportions of the original design.
- Walter Gropius, Germany (1920)
- Solid Ash, Oak or Walnut in either clear lacquer or painted lacquered finish with selected textile or leather upholstery on foam
- Made in Germany
- Height 70cm / 27.6"
- Depth 75cm / 29.5"
- Width 215cm / 84.6"
- Seat Height 42cm / 16.5"
Tecta F51-3 Options
In the 1920s the first tubular steel furniture by Marcel Breuer and Mies van der Rohe was produced using nickel-plated steel frames, which at the time was state of the art technology. This tradition is why Tecta still produces the original Bauhaus models from that era with nickel plating.
Nickel plating slightly patinas over time giving it an organic feel and has a warmer appearance than chrome or stainless, however Tecta also offers matte-finished V2A stainless steel on some models.
All Tecta steel tube frames are produced completely in Germany and Italy - including the galvanization process - in accordance with EU environmental directives.
Kvadrat Hallingdal 65
By Nanna Ditzel
Kvadrat’s first textile ‘Hallingdal’ has become the archetype of woollen textiles. The very durable upholstery fabric was originally designed in 1965 by Nanna Ditzel, and is now available in a version with an updated colour scale: Hallingdal 65.
Hallingdal 65 is made of wool and viscose, which complement each other well: the wool provides excellent durability and flexibility, whilst the viscose adds brilliance and depth to the colour. Both materials are dyed before they are spun, which highlights the rich texture of the fabric.
- 100% New Wool
- Made in Norway
Durability Rating 100,000 Martindale
Pilling Rating 3-7
Lightfastness Rating 7
Kvadrat Harald 3
By Raf Simons & Fanny Aronsen
A closely-woven, very short-pile velour, Harald brings the fresh, soft texture of cotton to a directionless velvety textile. The intense colour offered by this matte velour places the focus strongly onto the silhouette of the upholstered object, emphasising its shape and contours.
Originally designed by Fanny Aronsen, Harald comes in a new colour palette conceived by Raf Simons offering a particularly large selection of vivid keynote tones, including primrose yellow, burnt orange, raspberry, lavender, aubergine and dark mint green, alongside more natural tones. Harald is a durable fabric suitable for use as curtains as well as in upholstery.
- 100% Cotton
- Made in Italy
- Durability Rating 100,000 Martindale
- Pilling Rating 4-5
- Lightfastness Rating 6
Kvadrat Divina Melange 3
By Finn Skødt
Divina Melange is a textile characterised by its lack of texture and nap and consequently the fabric accentuates the dimensions of the furniture, giving prominence to the colours.
Melange means mixture. The original six grey and beige colourways are produced by mixing varying proportions of either black or brown wool with white wool. The different colours of wool are mixed before the garment is spun.
The additional colourways have come about by dipping the two base colours in bold, virtually luminous pigments creating coloured melanges.
- 100% New wool
- Made in the UK
Durability Rating 45,000 Martindale
Pilling Rating 3
Lightfastness Rating 6-7
Kvadrat Vidar 3
By Raf Simons & Fanny Aronsen
Woven from bouclé yarns with a regular loop size, Vidar has a deep, tight, large-grained texture that lends itself particularly well to the graphic use of colour in upholstery. Originally designed by Fanny Aronsen, Vidar has been re-coloured by Raf Simons, with shades ranging from fresh jade green, raspberry pink and iris blue through to brick and earth tones, and easy neutrals.
The gentle satin surface finish of the weave contrasts with the deep shadowy tones in the depths, giving a multifaceted richness to the intense colours in the range. Tightly woven, without the irregularities of the other bouclé fabrics within this collection, Vidar has an inviting texture, which variously recalls blackberries, orange peel or the comforting close-knit texture of a favourite sweater.
- 94% New wool, 6% Nylon
- Made in Norway
- Durability Rating 100,000 Martindale
- Pilling Rating 4
- Lightfastness Rating 5-6
For over 40 years family-owned Tecta’s mission and responsibility has been to preserve and review the best ideas and designs of modernism as created by the Bauhaus movement in Weimar or Dessau while being driven by the desire to think forward, enhance and adapt them.
Tecta unites craftsmanship, values and family tradition with the Bauhaus school of thought. This is what makes the company so unique with its cycle of developing and cherishing what the Bauhaus movement once taught and merged with traditional craftsmanship. Both today and yesterday.