| Designbest editorial staff

“H

omes are machines to live in”. And what's an armchair then? “A machine to relax in, of course!” This was the thinking of Charles-Edouard Jeanneret Gris, better known as Le Corbusier. Le Corbusier became an instant hit after designing LC4, a piece which would instantly become the archetypal chaise-longue. In the years to follow, LC4 would be talked about, loved, dreamt and praised. This is a real icon. Who knows if Le Corbusier really imagined all this success? And to think that he was only inspired by simple relaxation. What's more, Le Corbusier drew his ideas from a private moment “stolen” to Charlotte Perriand; immortalised while lounging on a primitive version of this piece, made from a thin mattress mounted on a simple frame.

LC4 is the archetypal chaise-longue, known also as the “relaxing machine”. Yes a machine. In fact, for Le Corbusier, undisputed master of Modernism, each piece was to be considered a machine, designed and built following the principles of the Bauhaus movement. LC4 was first designed in 1928 with Pierre Jeanneret and his partner Charlotte Perriand. LC4 is an highly functional piece, almost extreme in the way it defies gravity. Its has an ergonomic structural frame: a steel cradle supported by a stand also in steel.

LC4 is true genius. Its curved frame rocks backwards and forwards following the incline of the body, made more comfortable by adding a thin mattress and a padded cylindrical headrest. In fact,  Le Corbusier revolutionized furniture design, by transforming this armchair into a true symbol of modernity. In 1929, LC4 was presented at the Salon d'Automne, Paris with the most evocative name of  Chaise Longue à réglage continu. It was an immediate success, radpidly becoming a design icon in its own right.

It wasn't until 1964 that Cassina bought the exclusive rights to LC4 and started to sell it world over, winning the favour of both the international design industry and the general public. LC4's success is linked to its timeless comfort, which offers tailor made relaxion and to its dynamic functionality. The moments of rest you can catch on LC4 are the kind that can be consumed during the day, very much in tune with our modern fast paced life. What's more, its genius design still hasn't found its proper match, bringing true innovation to any home. This is exactly why, LC4 chaise-longue, found in the collection I Maestri by Cassina, is destined to outlive any fad and fashion: unique, inimitable, celebrated; bringing together function with modern aesthetics. 90 years along the line it's still an emblem of modern design.

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