119 Lounge Chair, Classic Thonet Redesign, Furniture Design Update, Pictures

Thonet – 119 Lounge Chair

16 Dec 2021

Thonet - 119 Lounge Chair

Sit back and relax on the 119: the lightweight lounge chair for living rooms and hotel lobbies
Design: Sebastian Herkner, 2021

119 Lounge Chair

Classic materials such as bentwood and canework, reduced to the essential. The new 119 chair designed by Sebastian Herkner is a quintessential Thonet piece that’s bound to make its mark in any setting. It can be positioned alone or in a pair as an elegant counterpoint to a comfy sofa, whether in a residential living room or the lounge area of a hotel lobby or the reception/breakout area of a ‘New Work’ type environment. This new design has emerged organically from the successful 118 chair programme, originally created for Thonet by Sebastian Herkner in 2018.

The 119 – a spin-off of the 118 family and yet completely independent
The new 119 lounge chair has a strikingly distinctive shape and offers inviting comfort: its wide, gently inclined backrest and deep seat that tilts backwards at an angle of 5.5 degrees are optimally designed for a relaxing seated position. There is also an optional seat cushion, which can be tied to the back legs to make the chair even more comfortable.

The relationship with the 118 chair family is evident in both the design principle and several finer details: the shape of the chair legs, for example, which are rounded at the back and have gentle edges at the front, echoes the characteristic horseshoe shape of the seat base. A bentwood frame encloses the seat of the 119, in the same ways as all models in the 118 collection, and each is available in a canework or a moulded plywood seat. Sebastian Herkner has also designed a loose seat cushion for the lounge chair, which is available on request. The chair comes in the same stain colours and high-gloss lacquers as all the models in the 118 collection.

Thonet - 119 Lounge Chair

“Both the design and production of the 119 lounge chair highlight the balance struck between tradition and innovation. That’s what makes the chair such a good fit for Thonet,” explains designer Sebastian Herkner. The production process combines craftsmanship and technology: some components are handcrafted using the bentwood process, while others are based on the latest CNC technology.

“The 119, with its versatility – from living space to office to hotel – is the perfect addition to our portfolio: it is strong enough to work as a stand-alone product but also in combination with the different 118 models. This is Thonet embracing the concept of landscape formation using furniture,” says Creative Director Norbert Ruf. In addition to the classic 118 chair in a range of finishes, there is now also the 118 F armchair, launched in 2021, and two different heights of barstool added in 2019, all contributing to a truly versatile family of seating options.

Thonet – future-oriented furniture design with a long tradition
The unique success story of Thonet began with the work of master carpenter Michael Thonet. Ever since he established his first workshop in Boppard on the River Rhine in 1819, the name Thonet has stood for high-quality, innovative and elegant furniture. The breakthrough came with the iconic chair No. 14, today known the world over as the Vienna Coffee House Chair: the pioneering technique of bending solid beechwood enabled the mass production of chairs for the first time.

The second milestone in design history was the tubular steel furniture by the famous Bauhaus architects Mart Stam, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer in the 1930s. During those pioneering years, Thonet was the world’s largest producer of these tubular steel furniture designs, which are today considered timeless.

For the company today, the continuous process of innovation is the top priority, together with a focus on tradition and fine craftsmanship. Thonet’s furniture designs originate both from its collaborations with renowned national and international creatives and from the in-house Thonet Design Team. Chief Executive Officer Brian Boyd and Creative Director Norbert Ruf manage the company from the corporate head office and production site in Frankenberg/Eder (Germany). Michael Thonet’s fifth- and sixth-generation descendants are actively involved with the company’s business as partners and sales representatives


Thonet agent in the UK: T +44 (0) 7980 019 194

Thonet – 119 Lounge Chair images / information received 161221

Location: London, UK

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