The Wire Diamond chair by Manhattan Home Design (starting at $383) has earned a much-deserved spot on the best-selling list because of its aesthetic prowess. This is a replica of Harry Bertoia’s excellent Diamond chair, which was first produced in 1952, making it one of the true mid-century classics.
Manhattan Home Design yearns to produce quality reinterpretations of these types of classics, and to do so, we need to understand where the chair comes from in terms of vision. The Diamond chair by Harry Bertoia was a new, innovative way to look at both space and craftsmanship, using metalwork in a different way. Before Bertoia’s breakthrough, this material was considered to be for frames only. The idea of sitting comfortably on a metal back was something unusual, if not undesirable.
Suggested Item: Wire Diamond Chair
The genius behind Harry Bertoia’s furniture design
We’ve already wrote at length about Harry Bertoia and his particular view of space. Being a sculptor, first and foremost, he had a knack for experimentation that other designers from his era simply lacked. A sculptor, one could argue, has a different understanding of material itself, as the primary idea behind his work relies much more heavily on aesthetics, rather than function.
This doesn’t mean that Bertoia was not concerned with functionality or ergonomics, to say so would be pretty reductionist. The Diamond chair is the understanding that metalwork must shed its bulkiness and hardness in order to become comfortable. The idea of the metal grid imbues the chair with flexibility, and the addition of an upholstered cushion is also proof that Bertoia understood the difference between the weight we apply to the back of a chair, and the weight we put on the seat itself.
Manhattan Home Design’s Wire Diamond chair
MHD’s best-selling Diamond chair reproduction does not compromise in terms of material quality. The wire mesh is pure steel while the supporting frame is polished chrome. The upholstered seat is made from leatherette, carefully attached with hidden mono-filaments and small metal hooks. This means that the pad is not removable, as it can be in some Diamond chair reproductions, but is definitely more durable in comparison.