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Design in the architecture of Antonio Bonet #Antonio Bonet


The work of Antonio Bonet was mentioned in the book A decade of modern architecture 1937-1947, by Sigfried Giedion, in the sections of furniture, architecture and urbanism at the same time. The BKF Chair, one of the most renowned, and most copied, design works of the XXth century, illustrated the furniture section. The chair was made by Austral, a group of young architects that first met in Le Corbusier’s atelier that included Bonet during his exile in Argentina.

In fact, the chair was originally designed for being used in Bonet’s studio in the building for artists’ studios that they built in Buenos Aires. The chair is not part of an integrated design, but it generates its own space at human scale as a transition to the scale of the architecture. Even so, some authors relate the outline of the chair to the section of the vaults in the penthouse of the building. Other writers, however, relate the light and flexible structure of the chair with Alexander Calder’s mobiles, such as the one in the Pavilion of the Spanish Republic in Paris 1937. Bonet met Calder while he was working with Josep Lluís Sert in the Pavilion.

The wide range of scales that Bonet worked with takes part in the project for Punta Ballena, in Uruguay 1947. There, Bonet designed the urban plan of the set, several houses such as La Gallarda for poet Rafael Alberti, and a full-equipped restaurant.

Bonet came back to Spain under the protection of an elite interested in modern art. Here he designed the Gomis House, also known as La Ricarda, which became a meeting point for the contemporary avant-garde artists. Bonet designed a series of furniture that he also used to organise the open interior. Although none of these pieces achieved the importance of the BKF Chair, the set is a good example of furniture integrated in architecture.