Chair Classics: The Steelwood Chair by the Bouroullec brothers

I know it’s only been a few weeks since my last Bouroullec Brothers post, but in case you couldn’t tell from that one, I’m a bit of a fan.

In a feature in Dwell Magazine, when speaking of the origins of the Steelwood ChairErwan Bouroullec stated “We were thinking about old cars made from punched metal and their fine organic shapes. We made a drawing—unsure of whether the process would allow it—and sent it to Italy. They said, ‘Yes, it’s possible.’”


What followed was three years collaboration between the BouroullecsMagis, and a metal punching facility in Northeastern Italy. The merging of industrial technology and human expertise eventually made the Steelwood chair possible, and it was eventually put into production by Magis in 2007. The manufacturing process which they developed has since been applied to a family of ‘steelwood‘ objects (consisting of a stool, table, coatrack, and shelving system).


This chair is built to last, both in form and function. The brother’s embraced the idea of longevity and designed the chair in a way that welcomed the eventual chipping of the paint, and tarnishing of the wood,  easing and ensuring the Steelwood‘s gradual transition from pristine to patinated. However, should you ever want to disassemble it to recycle the steel, there are no adhesives to stop you – the chair is held together by a few elegant bolts. This careful consideration in the Steelwood chair‘s materials, aesthetic and finishes serve as s poetic reminder that there are many paths to creating a truly sustainable product.




Images all c/o Studio Bouroullec.


  1. Paul,

    One of my favourite pieces of design! This Chair certainly will become a classic and im glad it was ‘born’ in my generation

  2. Nathan,

    Agreed Paul! And I think they’ll only get better as times goes on.

  3. Pingback: Chair of the Week: The Slow Chair by the Bouroullec Brothers « Gallantandjones's Blog