A Modern Classic by any design and even proportions. The next chair I am going to talk about can easily be the tallest dining chair I had seen. Measuring 1.41 meters tall, toddlers must be looking up in awe everytime they pass by this towering chair. Designed in 1902 to 1903 by Charles Rennie Mackintosh for publisher W. W. Blackie as a place to lay hats and gloves, the Hill House 1 Chair was never put into mass production until 1973 when Cassina licensed the design and put Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s mastery into the reach of the masses. Today, the original Hill House 1 chair still stands in the “White Bedroom” of Hill House in Helensburgh, Scotland. Back then, Charles Rennie Mackintosh thought that form beats function in the case of the Hill House design and was originally painted white and was meant as a decoration in the room rather than been sat on. That, granted the Hill House 1 Chair with its art status than being a functional chair.
The Hill House 1 Chair one of the most famous and classic designs by the great designer. Featuring a tall ladderback with lattice built into the top of the back rest, the Hill House 1 spots very Japanese flavours. Had the Hill House 1 been finished in light oak or maple and not in black stained ashwood finishing, you would not be faulted for thinking that it was born from the pen of a Japanese Designer. It is also the black stained ashwood frame that gives this chair its unique character of Modernism mixed with traditional Japanese Inspiration. The seat is upholstered in a special fabric of either green or pink.
Although sculptural in design and its original intention as a display piece, the Hill House 1 Chair does have the function of being a proper seat with a “full-height” back rest. You may wonder what is so sculptural about the Hill House 1? Undeniably, the sky-scrapping back rest is probably what makes it sculptural, especially if you look at the finer details in the design of the back rest. The horizontal ladder slats of the back rests are gently curved elliptically to link up both back legs and the series of ladder slats draw the eyes upwards to also give an added sense of vertical volume in the room.
The perfect place of my choice to put the Hill House 1? It’s none other than in the entrance foyer where it greets your guests upon entry and serves as a seat to wear your shoes before leaving your home. Of course, any designer chair may serve this purpose, but the Hill House 1 does it better than most of them.
This is still, in my opinion, the best placement – at the Entrance Foyer as a solitaire art piece. (Picture from Elle Decor)