Recliners are multifunctional lounge chairs whose design allows the seating area to assume different positions, from upright sitting to a reclining mode, when the chair often unfolds an integrated footrest, becoming a temporary chaise longue.

Many designers try to unite the recliner in one single, yet adjustable, form. This is demonstrated in Christophe Giraud’s ‘Icarus Relaxchair’ for Jori or Centro Design’s ‘Nova’ for Bonaldo.

More often than not, however, the chair appears slightly segmented, with backrest, seat and footrest (and sometimes armrests) being readable as parts of the whole. This approach is visible in Sylvain Jolly’s ‘Alloa’ for Durlet, or ‘Pillow’, manufactured by Poltrona Frau. Maarten van Severen goes even further and deconstructs the recliner into floating cubic forms in his ‘MVS Lounge’ for Durlet.

Others still take on the appearance of other types of chairs, but feature various mechanisms for presenting the footrest. Stefan Heiliger’s ‘rocky’ for ip designs takes on an appearance of an abstracted traditional armchair, Christian Werner’s ‘DS 277’ for de Sede appears to be a mid-century lounge chair, and ‘Gabo F’, designed by Markus Hartmann for FSM, takes the form of an early modernist cantilever chair.

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