“Sitzmaschine” reclining armchair, model no. 670, Josef Hoffmann

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Sitzmaschine

The adjustable armchair Sitzmaschine (a machine for sitting), designed in 1905 by Josef Hoffmann, initially for the Westend Sanatorium in Purkersdorf near Vienna, and manufactured as bentwood furniture by J. & J. Kohn Company in 1906 under the catalogue number 669, epitomised the Viennese geometrical Jugendstil in furniture design. Later several series were also produced by other manufacturers of bentwood furniture.

The rectangular design of the cuts in the plywood on the sides and the movable back support of the armchair emphasises the precise architecture of the mathematical construction of the armchair. Hoffmann also created a steel rod placed into the steel stops to alter the back support. The ornamental ovals that provide the reinforced connection between the seat and the legs are distinguishing features. The armchair was based on the popular Morris armchair, although it had a distinct aesthetic. It is a modern artistic artefact, an object on a new horizon, that has elevated the understanding of a one-of-a-kind utility work to the level of high art.

Sources

Google. (n.d.). Adjustable armchair – sitzmaschine – josef hoffmann – google arts & culture. Google. Retrieved September 19, 2021, from https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/adjustable-armchair-sitzmaschine-josef-hoffmann/jgHaqt2CaBpQrQ.

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