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Nine drawer units, stacked and alternating between contrasting black and white. A vibrant and congenial design (1924/27) by the Bauhaus master. The chest of drawers was designed to remain mobile, therefore it features castors and can be pushed into place with a handle on either side. In an essay on his philosophy, Breuer described his ambitions as a designer: “’Human’ seems to me more than just a pleasant forgiving of imperfection and an easygoingness as to precision of thinking, as to the quality of planning, as to consequences of materials, details, and construction.” Precision as part of human nature, this is the intellectual concept that distinguishes Breuer’s designs and makes them so likeable.
Anyone who sees the S43 chest of drawers next to its little sister, the S41, will immediately notice the family resemblance. Marcel Breuer was paying homage to the huge modern buildings that embraced function after function with every storey and seemed to reach astronomical heights. And yet this comparison is not far-reaching enough. Breuer has meshed a second approach with the architectural principle of addition: that of seriality. Like Constantin Brâncuși’s “Endless Column”, erected in 1937/38 on the southern edge of the Carpathians, the aim was to translate the advantages of the serial into art and transcend the purely material aspect. Instead of truncated pyramids, Breuer “only” stacks boxes. But the effect is noticeable: instead of just stacking functions, Breuer wanted to offer the eye and brain an opportunity to grow and think beyond the purely material aspect.
Breuer used these small chests of drawers with their vibrant black and white contrasts in all his interiors at Bauhaus Weimar from 1924 to 1926. Expressive basics that were always built according to human proportions with a highly aesthetic effect owing to their ingenuity. They have retained their signature handles until this very day.
The S43E version of the S41 chest of drawers is even lighter and more flexible, with a stainless steel body evoking the Bauhaus’ innovative use of tubular steel.
The Bauhaus Archive in Berlin has officially licensed the S43 from Tecta as an authentic Bauhaus production, made to the exact proportions of the original design.
- Marcel Breuer, Germany (1924)
- Lacquered black and white wood or stainless steel, castors and black glass top
- Made in Germany
- Width 30cm / 11.8"
- Height 100cm / 39.4"
- Depth 41cm / 16.1"