Transformer Furniture in Iceland: The Sóley Chair By Valdimar Hardarson

Soley Chair openLloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

There is really nothing new about what we call Transformer Furniture, that folds up flat for easy storage; Visiting the home of Iceland architect Pall Bjarnason, I was shown a wonderful design by his brother-in-law, architect Valdimar Hardarson. The Sóley chair was produced by Kusch+Co in the early 1980s and one site notes that it was Furniture of the Year in 1984.

soley flatLloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

It has a very simple mechanism; you unsnap the curved back from the rear leg and the front and back leg pivot flat and the seat folds down.

Bottom soleyLloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

there are springy latches under the seat to hold the legs in place.

Here is an image of it from a Pinterest on Icelandic Design.

Bjarnason HouseLloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

I saw the chair in architect Pall Bjarnason's house, an historic residence in downtown Reykjavik that was previously occupied by one of the country's most famous poets, Einar Benediktsson. Bjarnason, who specializes in historic restoration, has applied his skills to this unusual house.

Bjarnason HouseLloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

Inside, the house is an eclectic mix of the new and old furniture that belonged to the poet and has been also meticulously restored, including the piano.

bjarnason houseLloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

From right to left, architect Pall Bjarnason, Doctor Georg Bjarnason, and Sigridur Hardardottir. Five minutes later I was on a bus to the airport; what a wonderful way to end a trip.

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