I first saw the Tapas Dining Chair by Matthew Hilton for De La Espada in a local magazine and found it to be unique. To add more flavour to the chair, the owner of the featured apartment threw in a couple of colourful dining chairs of lime green and pink to create a Modern Eclectic array of Dining Layout.
Designed in 2008, this “tripod” dining chair creates a stable form out of a seemingly unstable visual impact, much like single hind legged Carl Hansen & Sons CH07 Shell Chairs. The Tapas chair is light and provides good back support with its high back. Traditionally tall back chairs usually dominates your eyes due to their high and bulky back, but are also typically supportive and comfortable. Matthew Hilton managed to create more visual space by choosing to having three legs instead of the traditionally four, as well as designing a tall but narrow back to provide just sufficient amount of support. All these design cues kept visual clutter to a minimum while maintaining full functionality of a dining chair.
As what most manufacturers would have done, the Tapas is also available in upholstered form. Available in a wide range of colours, fabrics and leather upholstery, the Tapas Chair can also be a very art inspired chair or could easily match colour palettes of most home designs. However, with contoured or sculptural chairs like the Tapas and the classic Eames Lounge Chair Wood, they are best left in their original form. It is the patterns of the wood complemented by the shapes of these chairs that augments their appeal. True enough, it would most definitely be more comfortable with added padding and upholstery. But the appeal of the wooden form is too much of a waste to be covered by fabrics and leathers.
De La Espada said that the tripod design provides superior balance on any terrain. This, I can’t tell until I sat on it. The tripod Carl Hansen Shell Chair feels stable enough when I sat in it which I attribute it to its wide base. But the Tapas Chair may be questionable with its small base. Nevertheless, I still find this an appealing chair that I would love to have if I can convince my Significant Other to have an Eclectic arrangement for my dining table. 🙂