Collection 822: A Bentwood Furniture Evolution by Claesson Koivisto Rune
The renowned bent wood furniture manufacturer TON, will launch the new 822 seating collection, designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune, for the international public at this year’s Salone del Mobile.
How do you retain the soul of a traditional design but integrate a more contemporary, Nordic feel? Claesson Koivisto Rune created the new 822 collection for TON on the proportional principles of the 811 chair and armchair, which was inspired by the A811 chair (no longer in production) designed by Josef Hoffmann in 1930.
”The history of bentwood furniture
is an evolution, not a revolution.
We designed the 822 collection to continue
this story and last for generations.”
Claesson Koivisto Rune
Claesson Koivisto Rune shifted the design in the direction of contemporary Scandinavian minimalism, creating a distinct version characterised by the striking circular perforations in the plywood seat and backrest.
The A811 armchair by Josef Hoffmann, from 1930, beside the new 822 armchair designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune for TON
“The original designs of the A811 and 811 are great examples of the early modernist movement. But they clearly show the heritage of 19th century romanticism. We decided to remove this feeling,” stated Mårten Claesson, one of the trio of designers. “It is quite natural to work on something from the past and update it for our time. And, as architects, we work on many projects where we have to deal with renovating old buildings and implementing the original architecture in a new way and this is quite a similar task,” adds Eero Koivisto.
The idea for the 822 collection was originally conceived on the basis of Claesson Koivisto Rune’s desire to create a limited-edition series for the interior of a new family restaurant in the former Norwegian stock exchange building. TON liked their idea, a variation on a classic model, so much that they decided to make an expanded, mass-produced collection.
“Many iconic designs from history were initially produced for some specific architecture project. I think it is actually much better to design a product for some specific project, because you think about it differently,” Eero Koivisto explained.
Collection 822 combines the use of shaped plywood and manually bent solid wood. “Bentwood chair design is closely connected to the technology and limitations of bending. And we like these limitations,” stated Mårten Claesson. The exclusive use of beechwood for manual bending is also one of the specifications. The natural character of bent beechwood can be retained, or it can be finished with stains or pigment colours. The products are made from wood certified by PEFC, a system focusing on responsible approaches to forest ecosystems and on expanding them.
Designers and architects, Mårten Claesson, Eero Koivisto and Ola Rune inspecting 822 collection prototypes at the TON manufacturing site at Bystřice pod Hostýnem, in the Czech Republic.
The 822 model gains its unique character from the graphic dot perforations in the plywood seat and backrest. They impart the chair’s distinctive character and create a shifting visual motif, connecting with the interior, the colours worn by the person sitting in it, or rays of sunlight. “We had to adjust the dot pattern to the chair’s structure, to avoid some construction elements which are placed under the seat. The history of bent wood is evolution, not revolution, and we are continuing this story. And that is why we call the chair 822, because we are in 2022,” Mårten Claesson explained.
Eero Koivisto adds: “From the beginning, we did not know how many holes there should be, or how large. We spent many hours creating those openings. We also had to deal with the dimensions of the holes. The original Hoffmann chair has larger holes because it was not possible to make them smaller at that time. But now we have procedures that can. I like that we extended traditional bentwood technology, which has not changed for 160 years, to the future, using these contemporary possibilities.”