Top Ten: Molded Plywood

Bent and molded plywood is one of the many beloved signatures of mid-century icons, and has seen a resurgence in both consumer popularity and designer experimentation. Contemporary designers are using the technique to find new, contemporary lines, while revering the classics. Here are some of our favorites, both old and new.


1. Merano
DESIGNER: Alexander Gufler
PRICE: Inquire for pricing

This contemporary gem holds its own in a field of mid-century icons. In this shell chair the legs are held directly by the seat- and back shell. In combination with the substructure this parts become a stable unit.


2. Shell Chair
DESIGNER: Hans J. Wegner
MANUFACTURER: Carl Hansen & Son
PRICE: $3,245
H 29.25″ W 36.25″ D 32.75″ Seat H 14″

Danish master Hans J. Wegner is known for his solid wood pieces, but his bent plywood work is as iconic and distinctive as his most famous solid wood pieces. Currently designed by Carl Hansen & Son.


3. Eames Molded Plywood Chairs
DESIGNER: Charles and Ray Eames
PRICE: $849 – $1,398
H 26.5″ D 24.5″ W 22″

A classic and design favorite, the Eames innovated and perfected the very molded plywood technique that is employed in every design featured in this post. If there was ranking higher than one, the Eames Molded Plywood Chair deserves a permanent spot there.


4. Armchair 42
DESIGNER: Alvar Aalto
PRICE: $2,620
28.3″ H x 23.6″ W x 29.5″ D

A beloved Finnish design, the seat is bent from birch with plywood and lacquered.


5. Cherner Armchair
DESIGNER: Norman Cherner
MANUFACTURER: Cherner Chair Company
PRICE: $1,199
H: 31.5″ x W:26.5″xD:21.5″ SEAT H: 18″ x ARM H: 26″

A stunning chair that employs bentwood and pushes it to its extreme, the Cherner Armchair was designed in 1958.


6. CH33
DESIGNER: Hans J. Wegner
MANUFACTURER: Carl Hansen & Son
PRICE: $815
28″ h x 18.9″ d x 21.7″ w seat: 17.3 h

A modern dining chair that offers comfort and stability from the mind of the chair master Wegner.


7. Kirkos Chair Series
MANUFACTURER: Davis Furniture Industries
PRICE: Inquire for pricing

A contemporary design that brings the bent wood aesthetic into today’s commercial interiors from Davis Furniture.


8. Yo Yo Stool
DESIGNER: Jacob Wagner
PRICE: $650
13.75″ W X 17″ D X 17.75″ H

A paired down stool that celebrates the form and curves of molded wood from Moroso.


9. Yanagi Butterfly Stool
DESIGNER: Sori Yanagi
PRICE: $705
17″ x 12.5″ x 15.5″

A gorgeous application of the molded plywood technique, and first designed and manufactured in 1954, the Yanagi Butterfly Stool celebrates graceful curves and stunning symmetry.


10. Half Pipe Desk
DESIGNER: Eric Pfeiffer
PRICE: $899 - $999
26″ d x 42″ w x 28/33″ h

Drawing inspiration from the skateboarding world, the Half Pipe desk is a tasteful contemporary desk that is both reverent to the past of molded wood and the future of design.

Top Ten articles publish every Tuesday. Email if there’s a category you’d like to see.

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