two cafe chairs

A Café Chair Designed for Luxurious Efficiency

A collaboration between Shanghai-based Stellar Works and Connecticut design studio BassamFellows yields a beautiful-yet-functional update on the classic style.

 Pagoda, the latest update of the classic stackable café chair, is also a model of design optimization. Its frame disassembles into six compact parts (a ring-shaped seat, a curved back, and four legs) for easy reassembly and flat-pack shipping.

The user-friendly design evolved from a collaboration between Shanghai-based manufacturer Stellar Works and Connecticut-based design studio BassamFellows. As founders of the latter, architect Craig Bassam and creative director Scott Fellows are known for creating “sculpturally expressive” furnishings that have a “functionalist’s simplicity.” In line with that philosophy, the Pagoda collection features a combination of commercial-grade durability and visibly handcrafted details, such as the optional Vienna-style caned seat. Compared with chairs of similar material heft but more parts and hardware, Pagoda also holds the potential for a positive environmental impact as its innovative form requires less packaging and ships at lower-than-average cost. “This project has allowed us to pave the way for something entirely new: a luxurious yet efficient design,” Bassam says.

a wooden chair next to its component parts
Pagoda’s chief materials (an oak or walnut seat ring and back, a classic Vienna cane or upholstery seat, and wood or aluminum legs in a choice of gold or silver finishes) lend themselves to numerous configurations. ALICE GAO, COURTESY OF STELLAR WORKS

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