High Style Plus Utility in a Contemporary ZigZag

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It was a revolutionary design in the 1930s, but not everyone can afford to sit on a piece of art. We work the best features of the original Zigzag chair into a stylish and completely accessible chair you can actually pull up to the dinner table.

T he original Zigzag chair designed by Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld in the 1930s is an iconic piece of artwork. The cantilevered, Z-shaped chair looked deceptively simple but employed masterful joinery and was hailed as a sublime example of minimalist design. It was not a chair you would want to use for, say, everyday dining. 

Nevertheless, with modern adhesives and joinery techniques, it is feasible to build a comfortable upholstered dining chair both reminiscent of Rietveld’s Zigzag and strong enough for everyday use. Our chair’s cantilevered frame also gives it a slight comfortable springiness.

To withstand structural stresses, the chair’s side assemblies must be made from a strong hardwood such as jarrah, maple or white oak. The seat cross-rails and the slip-seat frame can be made from a secondary hardwood. The chair’s miter joints are reinforced and locked with floating tenons, epoxied, and pinned with brass screws. We designed this chair to be built using the Festool Domino tenon joiner.

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