The original chairs from 1963, some of which can still be found for instance in Germany's Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, are today selling as modern classics. This alone would be grounds enough to think abut bringing back the chair. But there were two more good reasons: For one thing, lounge furniture is enjoying more popularity in the modern office world than ever before. And for another, the Modell 1600 marked the start of production of Girsberger furniture in Germany exactly 50 years ago.
This was a major turning point in the Swiss furniture manufacturer's history. The classic-looking lounge chair captured the spirit of the times and was soon in such heavy demand that Heinrich and Wilhelm Girsberger decided to establish a second production site, in Germany, in 1963. The European Economic Community had opened up new market opportunities which were difficult to tap into operating out of Switzerland. Three employees set up the workshop in a former cigar factory in Endingen am Kaiserstuhl – today a workforce of 120 is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Girsberger GmbH.
The designer notes for the Modell 1600 are marked “Girsberger in-house design 1961”. It is based on a draft that Wilhelm Girsberger originally sketched on packing paper. His idea was to produce an extremely comfortable lounge chair with a classic, modern design. Stretchable fabric straps and soft upholstered cushions provide the comfort. The frame is made of solid chromium-plated flat steel. The Modell 1600 is available either with felt-type fabric or high-quality smooth leather covers. Two and a half square metres of leather from a single piece, i.e. half a cowhide, are used for each chair.