Designer's Special #4

Pierre Chapo

Pierre Chapo (1927 – 1987), France, was a furniture designer-maker and prolific figure of Mid Century Modern design. Influenced by design masters of Bauhaus from the preceding years, such as Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, Chapo developed a distinctive style with iconic designs that have today become highly collectable pieces.

Chapo first expressed his interest in furniture design in 1947 when he met a Naval carpenter with a studio. Here he developed woodworking skills and produced his first furniture designs. The following years were further enriched by studies in architecture at Les Beaux-Arts in Paris, during which time he also travelled across Scandinavia and the Americas, bringing back a deeper knowledge and understanding of traditional crafts.

In 1958, Chapo opened 'La Galerie Chapo' in Paris. Showcasing his designs, including the L01 'Godot' bed, commissioned for Novelist and Playwright, Samuel Beckett, with Knoll furniture, Noguchi lamps, ceramics and decorative objects. Soon after he opened a workshop in Clamart where he produced further works, collaborating too with Charlotte Perriand and Serge Mouille. Chapo soon became recognised for his work and in 1960 was awarded a Gold Medal at the Exhibition of Arts and Techniques of the Crafts, Paris.

Pierre Chapo's designs are distinctly bold and robust, juxtaposed with fine details. Typically working with oak, ash and massive elm wood, exposed joints, asymmetrical details and smooth mechanisms show a sensitivity to the level of craftsmanship involved. This is perfectly represented here in the R08 sideboard or the B10 cabinet showing the contrasting colour of finger joints. Drawers are carved to perfection and clean lines are hand carved into the panels.

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Large Pierre Chapo T19 Dining Table in Solid Elm

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Rare Large Pierre Chapo T14D Dining Table in Elmwood

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One of Two Pairs of Pierre Chapo S45 Chairs in Solid Elm

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Pierre Chapo Coffee Table in Elm Wood, France 1970s