A new partnership between BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), KiBiSi and Republic of Fritz Hansen is an example of architecture and design going hand in hand. Debuting in New York on 13 May 2016, the collaboration celebrates the completion of BIG’s first New York City project — the VIA 57 West building.
Bjarke Ingels, who is known for his innovative architecture, together with KiBiSi, which is known for its idea-driven approach, have taken Danish design abroad by reinventing the American skyscraper and presenting the VIA57™ chair, co-created with the Danish furniture brand Republic of Fritz Hansen.
“VIA 57 West is a ScanAmerican hybrid combining the communal space of a Scandinavian courtyard building with the density and views of an American skyscraper into what we have nicknamed a ‘courtscraper’. Designed for its lobby and lounges, the VIA57™ chair combines Scandinavian simplicity and elegance with American comfort and generosity. The rotated corners allow a variety of social configurations while also evoking the tetrahedronical geometry of its parent architecture,” says Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner, BIG.
With its adaptive and inventive design, VIA57™ is the chair for the modern lifestyle, allowing you to reconfigure it to suit individual needs: create a small sofa for intimate conversations, expand it into a sprawling lounge area with a welcoming atmosphere, or just let the chair stand out on its own as a sculpture that doubles as a seat, according to Republic of Fritz Hansen.
“For the first time in many years, we have designed a piece of furniture with an architect who normally creates buildings. This is in line with some of our classic products from the past, including our collaboration with Arne Jacobsen. In its shape, the VIA57™ chair is a meeting between Scandinavia and America. Bjarke Ingels and KiBiSi have succeeded in merging the American lounge chair with minimalist organic Scandinavian design, and we are extremely happy with the result,” says Christian Andresen, Head of Design, Republic of Fritz Hansen.
Just as the VIA 57 West building casually leans into the Manhattan skyline, the VIA57™ chair has a laid-back feel that will add an element of ease to its surroundings. At first sight, the look is engaging and inviting. Once seated, users will appreciate its calm and comfortable embrace. They can position themselves on any of the three sides, remaining open to interaction, and approachable by anyone in the room.