Own the Chair That Frank Lloyd Wright Saved for His Personal Home

(Bloomberg Businessweek) -- At Taliesin West, the Scottsdale, Ariz., home and design studio where Frank Lloyd Wright dreamed up many of his greatest works, one chair had pride of place. The architect often created the furniture that went inside his famous structures, but he saved the Taliesin 1 for his own living room. Originally made 70 years ago and out of production for the past 30 years, the reclined seat has been rereleased by Italian manufacturer Cassina SpA in a limited edition for $5,500. Like the original, it’s made almost entirely from one piece of beech plywood with a cherry wood veneer and folds like origami into an elegant seat.

The Competition

• Starting at $3,542, the Metropolitan armchair from B&B Italia SpA has a Jetsons vibe and a much roomier seat.

• Eero Saarinen’s Womb Chair, designed at about the same time as Wright’s Taliesin, has long armrests that run horizontally rather than at an angle. It’s a modern-day classic, starting at $3,879.

• Luca Nichetto’s Elysia, from $5,090, also has a wood frame but with a more curvaceous profile and many fabric options.

The Case

For all their brilliance with the outside of buildings, architects haven’t had much success making furniture that you’d actually want to sit in once you’re inside—just look up the designs from Daniel Libeskind, Zaha Hadid, and David Adjaye if you want proof. But the Taliesin’s short-hair leather upholstery is comfortable, first and foremost, and the profile will go as easily with a leather sofa as with a glass side table. The slanted armrests are perhaps the best feature: They’ll prop you up no matter your body type or how high you sit. It comes in three options: blue, petrol green (pictured above), and its original burgundy. Only 150 pieces, in each color, are being made. $5,500; cassina.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Rovzar at crovzar@bloomberg.net

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