Colosseum Chair and Domical Stool

Part of Charles Jencks’ series of symbolic furniture designs, the Colosseum Chair and the Domical Stool play with the language of classic architectural forms, referencing various scales, from the human body across architecture to the globe.

As Charles Jencks wrote: ‘The round backed chair is a traditional form stemming I suppose, from two sources: the idea of the circle and resting one’s arms and back against an embracing shape. At once comfortable and geometric, it leads to the idea of a perfect circle and then to a full globe: the sphere and arch forms. Hence The Colosseum, which had a canopy suspended across it from time to time. Invert this tensile structure and you produce a dome. Design a domed stool and place it, with centred oculus, and you have a pantheon. Repeat arches and there is an aqueduct. Put the stool inside the chair and the result is an enigmatic object with several overtones. Sit in it, close the gates and you’re imprisoned in a sixteenth century stock. Add hinges and columnar order and it becomes again, a Colosseum with major and minor arcades. It is quite comfortable for reclining.’

Charles Jencks
Colosseum Chair and Domical Stool
Symbolic, Charles Jencks