The Tonneau chair by Pierre Guariche

Pierre GuarichePierre Guariche is a 20th century French designer. He brought a personal and innovative touch to design by combining aesthetics and mass production.
He was keen to meet the needs of his time by using mass production processes. His creations have become legendary pieces such as the Tonneau chair (1953 and 1954), the Tulipe chair (1956) and the Président desk (1961). He is one of the founders of theAtelier de Recherche Plastique (ARP) with Joseph-André Motte and Michel Mortier. Founded in 1954, ARP’s aim was to challenge the codes of classicism by designing new forms in order to create more accessible furniture. The association of the three designers ended in 1957.

Before the ARP projects, in 1953 the famous French designer designed the first version of the Tonneau chair with a reinforced polyester (plastic) shell. In 1954, a second version was created in folded plywood, which quickly met with great success because the technology required was inexpensive and the seat was particularly comfortable.

It is common to read that the Tonneau and Amsterdam chairs are identical models and that the names can be substituted. However, there are some nuances and slight differences. The Tonneau chair has a raw wood shell with a small window and a metal or wood frame:


The Amsterdam chair also has a small-window shell, but the moulded plywood is covered with fabric or single-ply skai. The tubular base can be black lacquered, chromed or varnished metal.


The Tulip chair, similar to the two above-mentioned chairs, has a large windowed shell in lacquered fibreglass or aluminium.


The Tonneau chairs were produced by Steiner in 1954, today they are produced by Maison du Monde.

View all Pierre Guariche pieces

The mythical vintage Tonneau chair by Pierre Guariche adds a lot of charm as shown in this beautiful interior:


Source: Elle Decor