The “Garden Egg Chair” turns 50
by Anna Moldenhauer | 12/3/2017
The Adam Brussels Design Museum in Brussels hosts the world’s first solo show on the work of Peter Ghyczy.
Historically known as one of the first chairs made with Polyurethane. The chair’s exterior is hard enough to withstand all weather conditions, while on the inside a soft cushioned section promotes comfort. Worthy of interior use, suitable for outdoors and collected by Karl Lagerfeld.
The very beginning of Peter Ghyczy’s career as an in-house designer with German manufacturer, Reuter, was dominated by the hype of polyurethane (plastic) as a new material in the 1960s and its endless possibilities. Experimentation and freedom formed this stage of Peter Ghyczy’s work during which the Garden Egg chair from 1968 became his most iconic piece. The malleability of polyurethane as a material echoes the Garden Egg chair’s freedom of form – it can be moved inside or out, its seat opened or closed. It can be lifted and carried as a suitcase or left closed as a garden sculpture. It is functional – the opening mechanism ensures that the chair will withstand wet weather – yet supremely attractive, its colourful, eye-catching form indicative of Peter Ghyczy’s innate design talent. It embodies both a domestic piece of furniture and a sculptural object – a true design pop icon.
In many ways the Garden Egg chair is a testament to this mid-century experiment and endeavour. By working with engineers at Reuter, the quality of the polyurethane foam was improved – enabling the shell’s thickness to be reduced by a significant two centimetres. Gottfried Reuter, a dynamic entrepreneur, invited Peter Ghyczy in 1968 to build a design center, for the industrial promotion of the company’s product Polyurethane (PU). Peter Ghyczy, as a young architect, was delighted to plan the design center. Innovative polyurethane vaulted sandwich panels were used for wall and roof; enabling a fast construction. The Design-Center was opened in September 1970. 1972 Reuter sold his company to BASF. The production licensing of the egg chair was moved to East Germany, after which Peter Ghyczy was no longer involved in the production nor received royalties for his early designs. Till today it remains uncertain how many Garden Egg chairs that have been produced and sold, but regardless of its controversies the Garden Egg chair has gained a cult status and is featured in permanent collections of renowned museums worldwide, including the V&A Museum (London, GBR), The Wende Museum (Los Angeles, USA), the Design Museum Holon (Holon, ISR) and of course ADAM-Brussels Design Museum (Brussels, BEL).
Statement of why we chose these colours/materials for the anniversary edition
We designed the 2018 edition garden egg chair in a way which Felix Ghyczy would like to own himself. Black is elegant, masculine and luxurious it is designed for indoor. The cushion is made of black nubuck leather which is mat and is in a nice contrast with the high gloss black plastic egg. This egg reminds him of his old porsche targe which is made in the same year 1968.
The black Garden Egg Chair is the 2018 edition. It is not limited but only available in 2018.
The egg is signed by Peter Ghyczy.
|Height||450 mm / 980 mm|
|Seat finish||with upholstery|
|Height of seat||310 mm|
|Backrest finish||with back padding|
|Armrest finish||without armrests|
shades of blue
shades of red
shades of orange
shades of grey