Modern Classics: Verner Panton Chairs

Modern Classics: Verner Panton Chairs

Nancy Mitchell
Sep 28, 2012

Long before the ghost chair, there was the Panton Chair — the very first chair ever to be made from a single, continuous piece of material.

That means that every plastic chair that has come along since then — from the lovely Ghost to the lowly Monobloc — owes a little something to Verner Panton, the Danish designer who created the chair and pioneered the technique for its construction.

Since its introduction in 1967, the chair has been in continuous production. Over the years, four different versions of the chair have been produced from four different kinds of plastic. Originally made in fiberglass-reinforced polyester resin, which was then painted in various colors, the chair is now made from colored polypropylene. (The so-called 'third series' of the chair, made from painted rigid polyurethane foam, is still available, marketed as the "Panton Chair Classic".) It's available in a myriad of colors, including the limited-edition pink and light blue.

I was introduced to the Panton chair at a tender age — I have fond memories of sitting in one of these in the shag-carpeted sunken reading pit at the Lafayette public library circa 1985. While the Panton chair, on its own, may conjure up images of a bizarre, space-agey 60s modernism, it's also a tremendously versatile design, equally at home on a balcony in Sydney, in a modern dining room, or even in the nave of an old Bohemian church.

1. Rustic fireplace, sleek chairs… a beautiful contrast. From The Design Files.
2. An orange Panton chair strikes just the right note in an eclectic interior from The Selby.
3. On the balcony of Sam's Sydney apartment.
4. A white Panton chair adds just a touch of the modern to a tailored interior from Desire to Inspire.
5. In black in a dramatic Melbourne kitchen, from House to Home.

6. In a luxurious living room from Interiors Digital.
7. Orange, to match the artwork, in Gene & Heidi's Colorful Art-Filled Home.
8. A Panton chair is lovely paired with a traditional desk. From Mi Casa.
9. Perfect with a rustic table in Lyndsay and Fitzhugh's Summer Cottage in the City.
10. Panton chairs in a baroque church — the ultimate mix of old and new. From Dezeen.

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(Images: as linked above)

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