This chair was originally designed by Hoffmann for the Sanatorium Purkersdorf, a medical facility in Vienna. The simple form is a combination of the perfectly straight seat and chair back with the curved armrests that made use of a new technique for bending wood. The incline of the chair back can be adjusted by means of a mechanism, so the name of Machine for Sitting fits perfectly. Be that as it may, it is clear that equal emphasis is placed on both form and function. it is clear that looks is emphasized as well as function. Wooden chairs have a tendency to be stiff and formal massive, but the lattice of the back and the long vertical slits on the side add a sense of lightness. The joint at each section, often referred to as a “Hoffmann Ball,” does not simply provide strength but also adds a tasteful accent, from which we can sense Hoffman’s highly developed aesthetic sensibility.
Hoffmann’s motto was design intended for daily living, and he established the “Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshop)” in 1903. This light fixture was made for the Sanatorium Purkersdorf medical facility, the first architectural project undertaken by the Wiener Werkstätte where the workshop created the building and the interiors according to Hoffmann’s designs. Hoffmann designed a large amount of metal hardware, and the frame of the present work is made of a nickel silver alloy. With small facets like a diamond, glass has been inset into a geometric frame characteristic of the early Wiener Werkstätte that combines squares, equilateral triangles, and rectangles. With restrained decorativism, the simple, smooth shape is both modern and elegant, and we can imagine how it harmonized with the entire Sanatorium Purkersdorf building and the underlying design principle of its square shape.