a chair on the vertical axis – side chair

The hinoki cypress stage of Kiyomizu-dera Temple employs a traditional Japanese construction method called kakezukuri, an architectural style in which a building is built on a cliff by fixing the underfloor with long pillars or piers. This chair abstracts the traditional construction method, which has supported Japanese temples for over 1500 years, as a chair structure and design. The joints where vertical and horizontal lines intersect connect flexibly as in the human body. The backrest, carved into an oval form from solid wood, creates simple and neat appearance that gently accepts a resting body.

The idea of traditional construction methods behind Japanese temples has been abstracted into the structure and design of a chair on the vertical axis. Here we have sought to create a lightweight and durable chair that reveals a delicate appearance like that found in Japanese wooden architecture.

To create a chair with the tranquil standing posture we envisioned, we began by creating a vertical line from the rear legs to the top of the stile. In response, we extended the depth of the seating without changing the position of the backrest, ensuring a spacious depth that does not feel cramped. Although the stile is vertical, the backrest is carved into an elliptical cross-section to create better contact with the back and cradle it.

Accordingly, we lowered the stile straight down to the floor without change to the position of the backrest. By giving the seat surface greater depth to create a margin where the user does not actually sit, and by joining the stile to the seat frame, we secured a relaxed depth that never feels cramped. Moreover, while orienting the stile vertically, the solid backrest is carved with an elliptical cross section to improve contact with the back, and is further turned and rounded to ensure the same angular sense as the dogleg and gently cradle the back.

The armrests look in the same thickness as the front legs when viewed from the side, but show an elliptical bulge when seen from above. This slight bulge of the armrests fits the user’s arms and offer comfortable support for the entire body despite a compact size.

Materials and finishes


Time & Style x KOKURA SHIMA SHIMA fabrics

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