Ladder-Back Chair – 1903

The Ladder-Back Chair, also called the Hill House Chair, is an icon created in 1903 by the architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Chair ‘Ladder-back chair’ – Glasgow in United Kingdom – Made by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 2006 (originally 1903).
Chair ‘Ladder-back chair’ by Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Image source: by Yanajin33

What is the main feature of the Ladder Back Chair?

Features of the Ladder-Back Chair

The Hill House chair was exclusively designed for the White Bedroom of Mackintosh’s famous Hill House in Scotland and is an example of the style of the Arts and Crafts movement. Further, the chair combines figurative and symbolic ideals with linear geometry undoubtedly inspired by the abstract graphics of Japanese design. Additionally, it is more than just a chair in the sense that it exemplifies the articulation of space by the Mackintosh, with its high back and rows of horizontal bars topped with mesh.

Maxistuhl Hill House chair by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 1903.
Maxistuhl Hill House chair (1903) Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Image source: by Andreas Schwarzkopf

The geometric structure contrasts sharply with the delicate white decor of the master bedroom. Moreover, the elegant Ladder-Back Chair is delicate and decorated for aesthetic purposes. The slender hind legs are elliptical with a series of ladders connecting them together. In addition, the seat cushion is also small to emphasize the fragility of the chair.

Hill House 1 by Charles Rennie Mackintosh: A dark chair with a tall back of parallel ladder-like bars across the back. Additionally, the cushion is a small pink seat.

Hill House 1 by Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Seat- Solid beech with crossed elastic webbing: A close up of the pink cushion seat.
Beech seat with crossed elastic webbing
Ladder-Back close up: Photo of the back of the dark chair.
Ladder-Back close up

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Mackintosh felt that the design was far more important than the function, and the chair was intended more as an art piece than a chair. The Ladder-Back Chair has many modernist features with a minimalist design. Further, it is a piece of furniture with a strong decorative effect, elegant and appropriate for every type of environment.

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