The Best Architectural Furniture of the Century

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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As another year comes to a close, we take this opportunity to express our gratitude to those who have contributed towards making the field of architecture more enjoyable. To most, architecture brings to mind tall skyscrapers adorned with an innovative blend of precision and artistry. Very few consider the architectural flair involved in designing a piece of furniture. In this write-up, we highlight some of the finest pieces of architectural furniture that have transformed home decoration.

Mesa Table by Zaha Hadid

Mesa Table - Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid has made a name for herself by designing some of the best architectural buildings we see today, including the Heydar Aliyev Centre, Havenhuis Antwerpen, Guangzhou Opera House, and Generali Tower. Hadid has also dabbled in furniture design, and one of the most notable is the Mesa Table, which echoed her aesthetic motto: merging futuristic designs with organic forms. The Mesa Table features a web-like base design that resembles the hidden network of lily pad stems.

Wiggle Chair By Frank Gehry

The Wiggle Chair is not the first piece of furniture designed by acclaimed Canadian architect Frank Gehry. In fact, he has a furniture collection that has been beautifying homes for several years now. However, before he became a celebrated artist, the Wiggle Chair has become his iconic piece. The chair, made of corrugated cardboard layers beautifully laid in alternative directions, is an imaginative play in design.

Wiggle Chair - Frank Gehry

Barcelona Chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Barcelona Chair - Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is a strong proponent of “less is more” when it comes to his design approach. The ever-classic Barcelona Chair is a testament to this. The Egyptian folding stool-inspired furniture features simple yet interesting curves that make it a statement piece while being a comfortable item to actually sit on.

The Washington Skeleton Chair By Sir David Frank Adjaye

For those who don’t know, Sir David Frank Adjaye is a Ghanaian-British architect who has achieved success in designing some of the most iconic structures, including the Skolkovo Moscow School of Management and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The Washington Skeleton Chair drew much inspiration from the national museum’s aesthetics, particularly its distinct ribbing pattern that also has an ergonomic feel to it.

Washington Skeleton Chair - Sir David Frank Ajaye. Image source: RISD MUSEUM 

Tulip Table By Eero Saarinen

While introduced in 1958, the Tulip Table is Eero Saarinen’s most distinctive design for its flowing lines and simplicity. Its futuristic features improve the look of your dining room and help provide comfort when using it. What’s great about this piece is it retains its aesthetic identity even when not in use, making it a functional art piece.

 Tulip Table - Eero Saarinen

Soft Mosaic Collection by Jürgen Hermann Mayer

German architect Jürgen Hermann Mayer was responsible for designing numerous buildings and art installations. He has recently dabbled in furniture design, producing notable pieces that push materials’ boundaries, like the Soft Mosaic Collection. The piece features glass mosaic ergonomically designed to accommodate the human body’s shape while making it usable in different wet environments.

Soft Mosaic Collection - Jürgen Hermann. Image Source :  ArchiTonic 

Black Art Furniture by Ania Jaworska

Black Art Furniture  - Ania Jaworska. Image Source: .ILOBOYOU  

Ania Jaworska is an architect by profession who has successfully curated a set of architectural furniture that defy the norms, one of which is the Black Art Furniture collection that explores the connection between art, humor, and architecture. The bold designs have been featured in a number of exhibitions. The furniture pieces can be identified by their consistency in material, color, shape, form, and scale.

Architects are notable for creating the exterior facade of buildings. They are also responsible for ensuring that each structure they make has the form and functionality necessary. However, it is no longer unusual for them to come up with design pieces that will adorn interiors.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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