Drawing on the past but not getting lost in it, the Gebrüder Thonet Vienna group is working with some of the most interesting designers today, including the Stockholm-based Swedish trio Front.
Since the early 1800s Thonet has produced beautifully made, bent timber furniture. Back in 1819 German designer, and founder, Michael Thonet created the first bent wood techniques, long before designers including Alvar Aalto and Ray and Charles Eames were steaming their own timber chairs. By 1976 the Thonet company had divided into two groups, with Thonet GmbH in Germany and the Gebrüder Thonet Vienna (GTV) company establishing itself in Austria.
With the traditions of the Thonet brand and iconic designs like the No. 14 Chair, GTV has been developing the collection with new and contemporary pieces in collaboration with designers like Swedish trio Front – Anna Lindgren, Charlotte von der Lancken and Sofia Lagerkvist.
Recent designs by Front include the Furia horse, a rocking horse for kids made by hand in beech or ash timbers, with an upholstered leather saddle. It is a nod to the roots of GTV and a refreshingly robust take on children’s furniture.
The collaboration with Front has seen a collection of grown up furniture too, with the Hideout Lounge Chair, the Arch Coffee Table and the Coat Rack Bench exploring wood and cane with both whimsy and a classical approach.
And this year, GTV won a 2017 Wallpaper* Design Award for the innovative use of bent wood. The Waltz coat rack uses repeated sinuous rotations to represent the motions of a ballroom dance, and perfectly sums up the balance the group carefully choreographs with tradition.