Softshell Chair ~ Hard Looks, Soft Touch

The Softshell Chair is exactly what it is meant to be: A chair with a shell, yet soft to touch and sit in. Think Softshell crabs and you will get the idea, looks hard, but it’s not.

Vitra Softshell Chairs as Dining Companions (Pictures from Vitra Website)

Designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec in 2008, the Softshell Chair is an organically shaped chair with an internal shell made of fibreglass-reinforced polyamide. The shell is not one piece as it would prove too rigid. Vertical structural elements are built into the shell for a flexible back rest to adjust to the user’s back resting positions. This supports the users back while allowing freedom of movements to enhance seat comfort over long periods of time. The padding are made of CFC-Free polyurethane foam and upholstered in a variety of Plano/NestKnit fabrics and leather options.

Various Applications of the Softshell Chair makes it a versatile chair (Pictures from Vitra Website).

The Softshell Chair comes with 3 leg variants: Four Legged Plastic Base, Four-Star Swivel Base and Four-Star Swivel Base on Gliders. You can see that the Softshell Chair is not meant just for the cosy home dining experience, but also for offices and public places with these base options, making it a versatile chair.

Vitra Softshell Chair in Four Legged Plastic Base

Vitra Softshell Chair in Four-Star Swivel Base

Vitra Softshell Chair in Four-Star Base on Gliders

All three base options on Display

Like what Vitra mentioned on its description of the Softshell Chair, you can only appreciate its comfort when you actually sit on it. It don’t look as comfortable as it claims due to its single-shell shape and seemingly thin padding. It’s the uniquely contoured, curved and flexible shell design that augments the all-round soft padding. Vitra also described the Softshell Chair as having a “calming, inviting impression as well as a cozy character”. This may be subjective, but it does appeal to me in Vitra’s intention and I find it very much appropriate for use as a Dining Chair. My favourite fabric of choice would have to be Stone and Mauve Grey as these colours brings out the luxury and warmth respectively.

My favourite fabric option that gives a luxurious feel: Stone.

My other favourite fabric option that evokes the feeling of warmth: Mauve Grey.

Looks great regardless of whether it is around a Round Dining Table or a long Rectangular Dining Table (Pictures from Hot Furniture Looks Blog).Well, it simply looks great everywhere (Picture from Buro Project).

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