Commissioned to design the government offices of Chandigarh India in the 1950s, Swiss architect Pierre Jeanneret’s collection of teak and cane chairs have become one of the most sought after mid-century modern design pieces in the world. We’re thrilled to be working with skilled artisans from Phantom Hands on re-edition furniture pieces that embody the craftsmanship and honour the design of the originals.
Over 70 years ago Pierre Jeanneret was appointed to help his cousin, Le Corbusier, design a range of desk and armchairs for the committee meeting rooms in the capital city of Chandigarh, India.
The chairs were assembled with durable and bug resistant local rosewood and teak in an age when many other contemporaries in Europe were innovating design with materials such as aluminium and plywood. This locally sourced materiality has enabled Pierre Jeanneret furniture to survive decades in warehouses or junkyards (some were even sold as firewood) after being tossed aside in lieu of more ‘modern’ (ie mass-produced) designs about 20 years after the completion of the Chandigarh project.
More recently the appreciation for mid-century modernism design has grown, with the original pieces re-discovered by collectors and designers such as Axel Vervoordt, gallerist Larry Gagosian and in recent times have even been coveted by reality stars the Kardashians. French architect Jospeh Dirand mused of their design, “It’s so simple, so minimal, so strong… put one in a room, and it becomes a sculpture.”
“It’s so simple, so minimal, so strong... Put one in a room, and it becomes a sculpture.”- Joseph Dirand
Tigmi Trading are thrilled to be working exclusively with the skilled artisans from Phantom Hands on Project Chandigarh to offer Pierre Jeanneret re-editions to Australia and across the globe. As the market becomes cluttered with replicas of all kinds, Phantom Hands are preserving the integrity of the original design.
Crafted by hand, each piece in the Project Chandigarh collection are true to the dimensions of the original Chandigarh/Jeanneret pieces whilst also seeking to reinterpret these designs for the contemporary world by improving functionality, quality of materials and level of craftsmanship, without compromising the original design and philosophy. The nuances and details that make these designs special – finger joints, radius of the arms and legs, various joineries – are given special emphasis. The natural rattan cane used for the seat and back are peeled and woven by hand by highly skilled weavers. The timber used is ethically sourced – made from either used old reclaimed teak as well as new ethically harvested plantation teak, with Phantom Hands holding a FSC certification for their production facility.
Based in the city of Bangalore, in the state of Karnataka in Southern India, their workshop welcomes a crafts community of artisans from all over India, including from the same city of Chandigarh where the design was conceived. They work to empower artisans by providing housing and health insurance to them and their families, and by paying wages that are well above market rates. They have also supported research programs on Pierre Jeanneret's archives at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) since 2016, with the purchase of furniture made by Phantom Hands contributes towards research and the preservation of these archives.