"Siège à Dossier Basculant" Armchair (model B 301)

Designer: Le Corbusier (French (born Switzerland), La Chaux-de-Fonds 1887–1965 Roquebrune-Cap-Martin)

Manufacturer: Gebrüder Thonet GmbH

Date: 1929

Medium: Chrome-plated tubular steel, canvas

Dimensions: 25 1/2 x 25 1/2 x 25 1/2 in. (64.8 x 64.8 x 64.8 cm)

Classification: Furniture

Credit Line: Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation and Robert and Joyce Menschel Family Foundation Gifts, 2003

Accession Number: 2003.293


The Swiss-born architect Le Corbusier was a highly influential proponent of the modernist principle of rationalization in furniture. He used modern industrial methods to create standardized designs based on the manufacturing and design concepts of automobiles or ocean liners. He described the house as a "machine for living in," and referred to domestic furnishings as equipment. This chair, designed along with two other models with his associates Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand, encapsulates these principles. Called basculant because of its pivoting back support, the chair was ergonomically designed to the proportions of the human body. Its simple form, reduced to essentials and made of industrial tubular steel and canvas, reflect Le Corbusier's concept of furniture as equipment. The chair was used to furnish several of his most influential houses, including the Villa Savoye.