"Lapella" armchair: when Zaha Hadid Architects revisits an icon by Hans J. Wegner
9 August 2018
A masterpiece of the 20th century, Hans J. Wegner's "CH07" armchair is reinvented today thanks to the technology and creativity of Zaha Hadid Architects.
Designed in 1963 by Hans J. Wegner, the CH07 armchair swapped its original plywood with the veins of Italian marble. Driven by their research on the structure and strength of materials, teams Zaha Hadid Architects have recaptured the emblematic seat of the "Master of Chair" to imagine the Lapella model with an unprecedented marriage between stone and carbon fiber.True to the proportions and inclination of his grandfather, the chair reinterprets the famous three-legged silhouette of the CH07 from the latest tools and digital processes. And for good reason, at the head of the agency since the death of Zaha Hadid in March 2016, Patrick Schumacher has partnered with the University of Westminster and engineers from London AKT-II, already involved in many of the achievements of the firm, in order to develop the finest stone structure and the lightest possible.
Impressive finesse never exceeding 12 millimeters, the marble parts are cut with the precision of a CNC machine, then reinforced with a layer of carbon fiber that ensures the strength of the whole and emphasizes its expressive geometry. A set of curvatures in the line of "Organic Modernism" developed by Hans J. Wegner and honored at the festival "Stereotomy 2.0 and Digital Construction Tools" held in New York in April.
For a long time confined to the stonecutters' historical know-how, the rock reveals its new potential through the use of digital tools and parametric design that have forged the reputation of the agency. Possibilities outlined in the early 1990s that should soon apply to a different extent, the Lapella armchair is a first experiment at the body scale before trying to that of architecture.