Remmi chair, a classic for 50 years

Remmi chair, a classic for 50 years

The Remmi chair, designed by Yrjö Kukkapuro in 1969, combines minimalism with ergonomic comfort.

The Remmi chair, designed in 1969, skilfully combines minimalism with ergonomic comfort.
It been called the best music listening chair in the world. But how was Remmi created?

Yrjö Kukkapuro's long period of fibre glass chairs had lasted for almost 8 years. The 60's colourful period in the influence of pop art made him long for new impulses and change. “The classic material of today, steel tube, had been sidelined for me for the entire 60's. All I did was aluminium casting or glass fibre laminating. I had used furniture tube in my models in the 50's, but it felt outdated to me”, tells Kukkapuro.

Yrjö Kukkapuro's great role models have been Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer of the Bauhaus school, whose tube chairs are today's classics. “In the colourful sixties, however, they were appreciated very little. So I rediscovered tube chairs. Vertical portions, horizontal tubes and cohesion-providing springs formed the basic structure of the new chair. In a way, I redesigned the frame of the Ateljee chair. Initially, the cushioning was constructed using the same rubber straps used in Ateljee, but they looked very awkward when viewed from behind”, Kukkapuro recounts the birth process of Remmi.

As often happens in life, chance interfered. “In Remmi, the springs of the back section are visible. When I was fretting about this, a representative of a Danish chair accessory manufacturer happened to be visiting the factory. He introduced a stylish steel spring that the company manufactured. I instantly realized that this was the answer for the cushioning of the chair. From that day on, the springs for Remmi were manufactured in Denmark”, Kukkapuro recounts.

The Remmi chair skilfully combines minimalism with ergonomic comfort. Kukkapuro himself is fascinated by the extreme modularity of the chair “The vertical parts of Remmi and the intermediate tubes are tied together by a spring structure. These simplified modules can be used to construct the couch as long as you want, to the edge of the world if you wish. Each section is equally durable.”

The final ergonomics of the chair are delivered by a cushion section shaped to support the lower back and neck. In principle, the upholstery can be made from any material that can be sewn. Kukkapuro's own favourite is black leather “It is a resilient material that endures for decades, and when properly maintained, gets better with use. Of course this can be disputed in our current environmentally conscious times. But as long as livestock farming exists, it is good to make use of the leather of the animals as well. In my opinion, sustainable development in product design means longevity and of course also recyclability. In this sense, also steel tube is a good material.”

Where did the name of the chair, Remmi, come from? “The chair got its name from the leather straps attaching the cushioning to the tube frame, “remmi” in Finnish”. Similar straps we’re previously used in ski bindings, they were called “mäystin”. This is a small wink for hobbies of my youth”, Kukkapuro jokes.