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Design history -

Tolix chairs: the story of one of the most well-known metal chairs


Tolix chairs: Made of sheet steel and highly recognised in industrial design

This is a story of one of the most well-known metal chairs in the industrial design world.

Tolix chairs, which first appeared in the 1920s, are a symbol of French craft design.

Back in 1908, the company X.Pauchard was a specialist in galvanized steel and run by a young plumber and zinc worker called Xavier Pauchard.

At the beginning of the century, working conditions in factories and industrial premises was evolving considerably. Companies wanted furniture adapted to their workplaces and they wanted it made of metal, so it lasted longer and was easier to maintain.

There was more time for leisure as well, and a need for furniture for parks, café terraces and gardens, with pieces suitable and practical for outdoor use.

This trend created a turning point in design, and Xavier Pauchard expanded his company to specialise in the design and manufacture of metal furniture; this is when Tolix chairs came on the scene.

We are in the 1920s and Tolix chairs were rapidly seen as revolutionary as they are stackable and can be assembled with a single block of sheet steel.

The range was a success and Tolix chairs rapidly became highly sought after.

Tolix metal furniture started to equip many public spaces, such as the 1937 universal exhibition, but also restaurant terraces, and industrial premises, offices and factories.

Tolix chairs: evolution and consecration

Tolix chairs were a milestone in industrial design : they were mass-produced, with only one sheet of steel was needed for assembly, rust-proof, stackable and had a refined aesthetic look.

p>Mr Pauchard's sons obviously took over the running of the Tolix brand.

In 1954, Jean Pauchard rounded out his father's collection with Tolix tables, and rethought the Tolix chairs, especially the A56 model, for which he removed certain superfluous details to simplify its design.

The astonishing nature of the Tolix chairs led them to be used in homes, where they finally appeared around dining tables owned by design enthusiasts.

The Tolix brand is distributed by many furniture manufacturers and its success led it to be exhibited in the Georges Pompidou centre in 2006, and in the Amsterdam design museum.

Production of Tolix chairs continues to respect the convictions and wishes of its founder.



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