The name “Alvaro Uribe” rolls off the tongue, so it’s fitting that the Miami-born, Bogotá-raised, NYC-residing designer’s recent Copenhagen Chair is as sculptural and smooth as a stainless steel S. It’s also fitting that Uribe’s chosen material for this homage to the Danish masters is not that industrial-age standby but rather its more venerable cousin, wood—beech veneer and oak to be exact. The chair belongs in a long line of seamlessly-joined, tri-pod efforts, dating back to the iconic Walter Papst and up to recent work by designers like Timothy Liles (Crested Comb Back), Franco Poli (Fullerina), and Will Oltman (Tolima Chair). Copenhagen has a place among them to be sure, yet the piece carves out its own indispensable niche among aficionados of stylish design.
Copenhagen Chair. Designed by Alvaro Uribe.
Dynamic Movement in Sculptural Stasis
One distinguishing feature of Uribe’s chair is that it deftly synthesizes straight lines and broadly-swooping curves. The three legs stand in stark relief, jutting forward with a rigid yet dynamic insistence that’s the picture of energetic forward impetus. Yet this intimation of motion is becalmed by the gentle twin arcs of seat and back. Taken together—and Uribe’s fine joinery makes it virtually impossible to do otherwise—the elements create a bit of a paradox: a furnishing primed for movement yet absolutely sedate and still. One gets a heightened sense of this dual nature by contrasting side and front views, but ultimately Copenhagen succeeds in tempering this would-be chasm in an holistic and functional whole: “sensual, dynamic, and modern... meant to bring energy into space, the chair flows naturally, reflecting the beauty of the material and the craftsmanship.”