Giroflex celebrates 150 years of activity with a new headquarters
A joint venture between Giroflex, Karimoku and Big-Game, the ‘Giroflex 150’ office chair is launched at Salone del Mobile 2022
Swiss office furniture brand Giroflex celebrates its 150th anniversary with the launch of an unusual wooden office chair at Salone del Mobile 2022, in collaboration with Karimoku. Lausanne-based studio Big-Game dug into the brand’s archives for inspiration, finding a treasure trove of turn-of-the-century bentwood designs, shaped for optimal comfort and clearly built to last.
“Every time we find a vintage Giroflex wooden chair in a second-hand store, we are amazed at how comfortable it still is. This is a great lesson from the past. People would keep these chairs throughout their careers, their entire lives,” the designers explain. Their contemporary version, perfectly balanced with reclining points under the seat and back that allow the chair to adapt to the weight and movements of its user, aims to reflect the best of Swiss design – robust, sober and of the highest quality.
It was built with the help of the new Japanese Karimoku standards using sustainable wood sourced from small-diameter oak trees in northern Japan – trees that would otherwise have been discarded or pulped to make paper.
Transported to Karimoku workshops in Aichi Prefecture, the wood is then crafted with state-of-the-art woodworking machinery and meticulously hand-finished to shape the back, seat, armrests and foot of the chair.
These are held in place by a flexible steel frame – incredibly, the only plastic in this office chair is the casters – and a cleverly designed synchro mechanism to fit under the seat.
“We wanted a wooden chair with a very contemporary feel of balance and dynamism,” says Big-Game. “Using the seated person’s body weight to create balance, this movement naturally adapts to different body positions throughout the day. The experience can be very surprising, as novice users expect to sit on a stiff wooden chair and don’t expect the mechanisms, the gently articulated seat and back, to adjust to their posture.
As well as a natural oak version, the limited edition “Giroflex 150” office chair is available in a range of stained finishes, including moss green and indigo blue. It is exhibited during the Salone at the Assab One gallery in Milan. §