By 1922/23, following its expressionist beginnings, a system of formal geometric design influenced by the De Stijl school had established itself in Bauhaus.It was in this context that Gropius designed the strictly cubist director’s room using both his own designs and those of other Bauhaus designers. Books and journals are housed in a meandering shelving system, the desk and chair shape the room’s rectilinear structure, further accentuated by a four-tube festoon lamp. The ensemble is completed with a Gropius-designed cubist armchair and sofa suite that combines voluminous upholstery with a novel frame.
This intersection of volume and linearity is reminiscent of contemporary architecture projects by Gropius, particularly the residential building that he referred to as Baukasten im Grossen (Large-scale building kit). Yet the frame of this armchair is significant for another reason. The armrests protrude freely and even the back of the chair does not touch the ground. When the upholstery is removed this cantilever armrest structure reveals itself as a precursor of the cantilever chairs, and anticipates, if turned 90 degrees, Marcel Breuer’s stool on runners from 1925. That Tecta were the first to discover Gropius’ contribution as part of its research for the 1986 publication »Der Kragstuhl« (The cantilever chair) on the suspension principle of the cantilever design, is typical of a company that is less concerned with new fads than with deepening our understanding of products that belong not just to the marketplace, but are part of our culture.
Tecta is a furniture company based in German Lower Saxony. With the protection and innovative continuation of original Bauhaus models they selected a very prominent field of activity and a very fastidious one. Released by the avant-garde of the 1920s as an risky venture in small-scale production, Tecta managed it exclusively to produce in larger scales today. This has been authorized officially by the Bauhaus archive in Berlin. So Tecta belongs to the leading names when it comes to Bauhaus furniture.
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