Here's why you're seeing Pierre Jeanneret's Chandigarh chair everywhere.

By Tina Chadha
February 11, 2019
Courtesy of 1stdibs

Move over Platner: The latest chair du jour is Pierre Jeanneret's Chandigarh. Perhaps it's our current obsession with natural materials and woven furniture that's made the style so prominent, or maybe it's because mid-century design is consistently so popular. Whatever the reason, one thing's for sure: Everyone's love of the Jeanneret chair isn't slowing down.

We first noticed the chair-its iconic V-shaped legs inspired by an architect's drafting compass-in designer Joseph Dirand's gorgeous Paris apartment. His were upholstered in a chic green velvet. Soon the sculptural design started popping up in stylish, high-end homes all over our Instagram feed. Athena Calderone, interior designer, chef, and creator of EyeSwoon, keeps her ebonized version in the sunny kitchen of her stunning new Brooklyn townhouse.

The chair, made of teak and cane, was created by Swiss architect Pierre Jeanneret in the 1950s. Jeanneret, recruited by his cousin-the famous architect Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, or Le Corbusier-was tasked with creating furniture for a newly-minted, modern city in India called Chandigarh. To combat the humidity and insects that plagued the area, the designer chose to work with local Burma teak and hired the city's craftsmen to bring his design to life. Sturdy, comfortable, and cool, the pieces mainly furnished administrative buildings and schools.

Years later, as styles changed and people moved towards sleeker furniture Jeanneret's creations were neglected and often tossed out on the street. But yesterday's trash is today's treasure and since the late 1990s dealers have been sweeping Chandigarh for these famous pieces, most which need refurbishing. If you want to buy one of these mid-century chairs today, auction houses like 1stdibs are selling them for around $4,000 each. Steep! Can't spend a small fortune on a chair? France & Son has a near identical reproduction for just $429. Or do like us and add it to the list of items we'll be stalking at antique fairs and estate sales.


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