As with all of the exquisitely curated furniture selections at Optima, the focus is always on comfort and functionality, timeless minimalist design, flawless engineering and superb materials The NOOMI chair, the brainchild of renowned Danish designer, Susanne Grønlund, is no exception, and fits handsomely into the interior spaces of our latest development, Optima Lakeview.
Since 1991, Grønlund and her studio in Aarhaus, Denmark have earned a reputation for innovative, thoughtful design that’s rooted in Scandinavian traditions. In creating her Noomi Swivel chair in 2013, she set out to combine aesthetics with practicality. Recognizing that people want to sit comfortably AND easily turn to speak to others in an intimate setting, Grønlund designed a soothing, smooth-swiveling chair on a 360-degree base.
With references to branches on a tree, the delicate and slightly bent legs seize the upper part of the NOOMI Chair and create a strong graphic expression where steel and fabric meet in harmony. The frame is light, but distinctive with an elegant humanly-contoured shape that makes the soft, rounded upper part of the chair — with its strong backrest and traditional manual padding — look like it’s hovering above the floor.
With the focus on form and function, Grønlund took great pains to ensure maximum comfort with the NOOMI Chair. The angle of the backrest to the seat has been carefully resolved, and the wide armrests are comfortable. The chair invites various sitting positions as it signals the priorities of comfort and rest.
With such flawless design, it isn’t a surprise that the NOOMI chair has garnered a number of awards, including the Good Design® Award (2017) and German Design Award (2018).
We’re not only happy to have NOOMIs welcoming residents in Optima Lakeview but in many of our other communities at Optima, where the ideals of form and function continue to inspire all of us.
One of the ways we honor the Forever Modern promise and keep it relevant at Optima is by curating both public and residential spaces in our communities with timeless furniture. As we put the finishing touches on the furniture selections for the lobby and model apartments at Optima Lakeview, it’s a perfect time to take a closer look at the Womb™ Chair.
In 1946, Florence Knoll, the pioneering architect who led the furniture empire Knoll Associates with her husband Hans, reached out to friend and fellow architect Eero Saarinen to design a lounge chair for the company. In numerous interviews following the release of the chair, Knoll explained, “I told Eero I was sick and tired of the one-dimensional lounge chair … long and narrow … I want a chair I can sit in sideways or any other way I want to sit in it.” She envisioned “a chair that was like a basket of pillows … something I could really curl up in.”
Originally named No. 70, the chair quickly took on its more intuitive name as people raved about its countless positions and the deep sense of comfort and tranquility it provides. “There seemed to be a need for a large and really comfortable chair to take the place of the old overstuffed chair,” Saarinen explained. “Today, more than ever before, we need to relax.”
Apart from its novel appearance, the Womb™ chair is also highly innovative from a structural perspective. To achieve a balance between comfort and a modernist silhouette, Saarinen wanted to construct the chair out of a single piece of material. This led him to a groundbreaking new material that had recently been developed to produce minimalistic, yet-durable hulls for Navy vessels during World War II. He then turned to a New Jersey boat builder to use this reinforced-fiberglass-and-resin to produce a prototype of the cropped, folded cone shape he had designed. The final result — a padded and upholstered fiberglass shell that sits on a polished chrome steel frame — combined simplicity of shape with true comfort and flexibility.
Once released, the Womb™ chair quickly became a cultural icon. A 1958 Coca-Cola advertising campaign showed Santa Claus drinking a Coke in a Womb™ chair. The chair also made an appearance in a New Yorker cartoon as well as a Saturday Evening Post cover by American Painter, Norman Rockwell.
Discover the iconic Womb™ Chairs as part of our invitation to “Expect the Extraordinary” when you visit Optima Lakeview. Experience for yourself what it means to lounge in absolute comfort and modernist simplicity, just as Eero Saarinen and Florence Knoll imagined 75 years ago.
As our tagline “Forever Modern” implies, Modern design is integrated into every part of our business and our work. Our inspired interiors are no exception; full of Modernist artwork, sculpture and furniture, the interiors of our properties reflect the same principles and aesthetic. So what exactly is Modern furniture, and what distinguishes it from other furniture styles?
A Brief History
Like Modernism itself, Modern furniture design developed in a post-World War II environment that necessitated cutting excess waste, focusing on functionality, and reevaluating the practicality of materials in design. Compared to the decorative styles before it like Victorian, Art Nouveau and Neoclassical, Modernism was a striking departure into new territory. This drastic shift from ornate, decorative pieces to minimal pieces is attributed to new technology, changes in design philosophy and the direction of architecture at the time. Since then, Modern furniture has become an iconic part of interior design history.
How to Spot Modern Furniture
Functionality, clean lines, smooth shapes, bold colors and minimal design are all common aspects to Modern furniture. Most iconic pieces of Modern furniture pioneered new uses of materials such as glass, steel and leather, so those are common signs to look for. Odds are, you’ve seen Modern furniture before, especially if you’re in the design or real estate industry. Barcelona chairs, Noguchi coffee tables and Le Corbusier lounges are commonplace in many residential buildings and homes, in the United States and around the world.
To explore the individual and detailed history behind the pieces, here’s a more complete list of popular Modern furniture pieces. Within our practices at Optima, Modern furniture plays a critical role in completing our vision for each space we create. Our Modernist sense of design through architecture and furnishings helps us tell a holistic, intentional story through design. Without this consistency, our buildings and amenity spaces would seem incomplete. Though rooted in the past, Modern furniture integrates beautifully with a bright, inspired future.