BY MARCEL GASCOIN
The garden gets an upgrade with the simple functionality of two of French architect and designer Marcel Gascoin’s most enduring iconic designs. GUBI’s new outdoor collection, now in teak, represents significant innovation for Gascoin’s iconic design, adapting the C-Chair for al fresco mealtimes, and adding a new lounge typology to GUBI’s collection.
Originally designed in
A new outdoor version of the much-loved C-Chair – a dining chair originally designed in 1947 for post-war housing in France – is joined outside by a little-known Gascoin gem, the F-Chair. This rarely seen design made its first appearance in 1949 at the traveling exhibition ‘Maison Rurale’, which set out to showcase furniture that met the particular needs of life in the countryside. However, it was never produced at scale, and original examples are rarities today.
An archetypal lounge chair
An archetypal lounge chair, the F-Chair evolved out of the C-Chair and shares the same tapered rear legs, though the F-Chair features upright front legs. The more relaxed incline and paddle-shaped armrests, together with its woven seat which widens at the front, make the F-Chair an altogether more leisurely affair.
Coming from a family of mariners, Gascoin became fascinated with the clever and compact design demanded by seafaring vessels. As part of the Modernist movement, he was also driven by a sense of responsibility towards those who had lived through the Second World War. He found the opportunity to combine these influences as part of France’s recovery effort and his philosophy to create useful furniture that would serve French families. This resulted in utilitarian, yet elegant designs in wood that became a staple in French households. For the new outdoor versions, a combination of hardwearing and naturally durable teak and weatherproof woven cord, inspired by Gascoin’s nautical upbringing, makes the perfect material choice for high-quality exterior furniture.
The slender footprint of the C-Chair that made it ideal for those compact spaces make it ever more appropriate for the bijou patios and gardens that characterize city living today – or simply to fit more people around a large table when dining al fresco.
Like the C-Chair, the F-Chair has been developed especially for the outdoors in close collaboration with Gascoin’s family from his original drawings, supported by intensive research and prototyping. The harmonious interlocking between the armrests, the rear legs and the backrest took particularly high levels of craftsmanship to resolve.
Optimized for the outdoors
Both the C-Chair and the F-Chair are optimized for the outdoors in both their ergonomics and their materiality. Proportions have been fine-tuned to maximize comfort and frames have been carefully crafted with traditional joinery using plantation teak. The seats and backrests are tightly woven from an outdoor all-weather fiber made of an extruded polyethylene and twisted to resemble natural hyacinth woven furniture. The weave pattern creates triangle shapes from all four sides of the seat and backrest, converging at the center of each like an envelope. The woven cord captures the natural look of the indoor version, while being durable enough to withstand the elements outside. Teak’s naturally high oil content allows it to stay in fantastic condition in even the harshest of climates, without additional treatment, developing a beautiful silvery patina over time.
Marcel Gascoin was one of the leading designers in postwar Europe. Innovative and with a strong social conscience, Gascoin’s democratic design connected art with industry, and functional aesthetics with rational manufacturing processes.
Even today, Gascoin’s furniture is praised for its simple lines, minimalist aesthetics and compact modular design that makes optimal use of space.
GUBI GOES AL FRESCO
Designed to move as easily between indoor and outdoor spaces as we do, GUBI’s new transterior furniture and lighting features the aesthetic of Gabriella Crespi’s refined Bohemian ’72 Collection loved by the stars of stage and screen. GUBI adds dynamism to GamFratesi’s TS Table and Bill Curry’s innovative Obello Lamp, reinventing them as portable accessories that follow us wherever we go, bringing the look and feel of the indoors outside.