Bridge FB 11 office chair, 1946
A new model of office chair appeared in 1939, one more comfortable than that designed for the CPDE.1 The basic principle was taken up again after the War and used for a special office furniture order:2 sloping, tapered back legs to which were welded the tubes of the seat frame and of the front legs, the latter being extended to support the solid oak armrests and the back. This first version, with its chrome base and sprung leather upholstery had a low back set vertically on the seat and a rear bar attached to the top of the base. Designed in 1946, the Bridge FB 11 office chair began volume production in 1947, after undergoing a number of modifications. The rear base was extended, the back was raised and its support bar curved. The chair was intended for offices, but also for classrooms, which earned it the sobriquet of “teacher’s chair”. The variants used different thicknesses of padding, upholstered with fabric, leather or imitation leather, and the painting of the metal components: first enamel, then oven lacquering. In 1950, 120 examples were made. In the same year, following a request for greater comfort from Steph Simon, modifications were made to the “ex- Bridge” fixed office chair.3 Straightening the rear leg unit by several centimeters meant the user could tilt the chair back and, most importantly, made the position of the back more comfortable. The new Direction office chair was marketed early in 1952 as
no. 352. Volume production continued until the late 1950s. It was distributed—then made—by Steph Simon. One or more prototypes with a fully aluminum frame were made in 1953.
1. Relaxation chair for the French pavilion at the Universal Exhibition, New York, 1939.
2. Furniture for the publisher Editions Braun, Mulhouse, 1946–1947.
3. “General observations on the furniture”, Steph Simon memorandum, 28 August 1951.