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Landi Chair, designed 1939; this example manufactured after 1961

This is a Chair. It was designed by Hans Coray and manufactured by P. and W. Blattmann Metallwarenfabrik. It is dated designed 1939; this example manufactured after 1961 and we acquired it in 2001. Its medium is aluminum, rubber. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

The Landi chair, designed by Hans Coray, was one of the first highly successful designs for seating furniture using newly available aluminum sheeting. Introduced at the Swiss National Exhibition in Zurich in 1939 as the official seating for the grounds, the chair has been in continual production since —with only a minor design modification in the 1960s.
The seat and back are made from a single aluminum sheet, molded into shape and perforated with circular holes; the legs are formed from thin aluminum strips. The Landi was probably inspired by aircraft seating, which used aluminum extensively by the late 1930s. The aluminum made the chair extremely lightweight and weather resistant, allowing it to be portable, stackable, both indoors and out. Coray designed other furniture in the 1950s, but eventually returned to fine arts. The Landi was originally manufactured by P. & W. Blattman Metalwarenfabrik in Switzerland, but since 1970 has been made by the Italian firm Zanotta under the name 2070 Spartana.
The chair proposed for acquisition appears to be an early example of Landi production. It is an important example of innovative use of material and would be an excellent addition to the museum’s collection.

This object was donated by The Lake St. Louis Historical Society. It is credited Gift of The Lake St. Louis Historical Society.

  • Chair, 2015
  • nickel-plated steel, aluminum.
  • Courtesy of Thom Browne.
  • 74.2015.2
  • T-3-C Table Lamp, 1951
  • spun aluminum, enameled aluminum, stainless steel rods, cork.
  • Gift of George R. Kravis II.
  • 2018-22-53

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 76.5 x 51 x 65cm (30 1/8 x 20 1/16 x 25 9/16in.)

It has the following markings

On front top center of back: "MEWA"; on back of seat support, rear: stamped "SWITZERLAND"

Cite this object as

Landi Chair, designed 1939; this example manufactured after 1961; Designed by Hans Coray (Swiss, 1906 – 1991); Switzerland; aluminum, rubber; H x W x D: 76.5 x 51 x 65cm (30 1/8 x 20 1/16 x 25 9/16in.); Gift of The Lake St. Louis Historical Society; 2001-31-5

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition IDEO Selects: Works from the Permanent Collection.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18693711/ |title=Landi Chair, designed 1939; this example manufactured after 1961 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=26 January 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>