The briefing for «Velas» was to develop furniture at which informal discussions could take place after the conference , especially in semi-public rooms such as lobbies and foyers.
The briefing for «Velas» was to develop furniture at which informal discussions could take place after the conference , especially in semi-public rooms such as lobbies and foyers. Degenhardt has succeeded in this spatially-related project: «The furniture should enter into a dialogue with the surrounding architecture, not declare war on it», is how he explains his idea. Accordingly the new lounge seat supports the spatial effects of the kind of modern architecture which is suffused with light.
The programme has been supplemented by a three-legged table and a foot stool, while a headrest on the collar-shaped top of the backrest is still in the planning stage. «Velas» is not just used statically, and the high and low versions create a sense of playfulness. In order to enable positioning anywhere in the room the back of the chair has been made just as attractive as the front.
As material Degenhardt makes use of tubular steel, which has been popular since the classical modern period, but he has his own way of interpreting the Sixties principle of a supporting metal frame structure with upholstered seat and backrest. The use of the filigree base as a fluent transition between front legs, side sections and rear cross member creates an expressly relaxed but at the same time orderly impression.
The upholstery is made of innovative three-dimensional cord which is rigid in the lower section of the backrest but more elastic in the upper part, enabling the cervical spine area to stretch and thus creating seating comfort. After that the surface structure is created by quilting. The cord is made in a single section and drawn over the frame like a sock, after which it is zipped closed. This also means the upholstery can be replaced if it becomes worn.
The base is made of aluminium and steel, either in a shiny chrome-plated version or matt powder coated, while the upholstery is available in a range of colours. The lower frame is reminiscent of a bent paper clip. In spite of its clean geometry the chair achieves a soft note with its subtle, organic lines and its light, highly reduced upholstery. Or to use the words of the designer himself: «In formal terms the chair suggests leisure time.»