My favourite Mid-Century design piece is the Chandigarh chair by Pierre Jeanneret. As they’re no longer in circulation, getting your hands on one of these beauties is no small feat; it’s the type of piece you might snatch up at a high-end auction house. However, if price is a factor for you, you’re better off gazing longingly at one inside a museum. Seen below is the Modernist office of Kourtney Kardashian, photographed by Roger Davies for AD Spain, which boasts a lovely pair of these iconic chairs.
Swiss architect and designer Pierre Jeanneret is often mentioned in the shadows of his more famous cousin, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret – better known as Le Corbusier – with whom he frequently collaborated on striking, innovative furniture and building designs. However, Jeanneret was a brilliant thinker and creator in his own right. Best known for the work he did after World War II, he lived in Chandigarh, India, for the final years of his life and was responsible for much of the city’s civic architecture.
With its signature compass-shaped legs, the Chandigarh chair, also known as the Easy Armchair, was one of Jeanneret’s first manufactured designs in teak and cane. In contrast to his peers championing the Bauhaus movement, many of whom worked with tubular steel, Jeanneret was extremely sensitive to materials and worked predominantly with wood.
When the Easy Armchair was designed in the 1950s, it was simply because the people of Chandigarh – a utopian city created by Le Corbusier – needed seats. It was just one of several chairs that would be produced by the thousands. Years later, when people began to gravitate towards more contemporary designs, discarded Chandigarh chairs piled up across the city and many were sold as scrap at local auctions for as little as a few rupees. Things have certainly taken an interesting turn for this iconic chair, which is now virtually impossible to find and makes an appearance in many a celebrity home around the world.
Finding an original Pierre Jeanneret chair is tricky, as they can’t be ordered. Knoll used to have the rights to produce them but released them years ago. Many pieces on the market today are originals being refurbished, which were found by dealers in scrap yards in India in the late 1990s. If you do happen upon one today, a single Chandigarh chair can set you back $12 900.