Juan Kurchan and Jorge Ferrari Hardoy, two young architects, returned to Buenos Aires in the late 1930’s. They brought along Antonio Bonet i Castellana, a Catalonian colleague and friend with whom they had been collaborating at Le Corbusier’s studio in Paris. Together, the three of them also brought a clear vision for a modern version of “La Tripolina”, a chair designed in 1877. The three men’s own chair design first saw light in December 1938. Solid steel (12 mm) was used for the frame, the seat being made from heavy-duty leather. The latter was handcrafted by Cuatrini, a famous saddle maker who worked for leading polo saddlery, Rossi & Caruso.
Only a few examples were produced. Despite winning some awards, the chairs were left unsold in a Buenos Aires store. Two of the chairs were finally brought to the US. One of these can still be admired at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Some years after the Second World War, a new generation was ready for the trio’s seating concept. Originally named the BKF (the initials of the three designers), the design became known as the “Butterfly Chair” or the “Bat”. Mass production took off in the 50’s and 60’s. In those decades, millions of teenagers chose the design as their first “own chair”. It allowed them to sit in a new laid-back manner that was not always approved of by their parents.
4 new and exciting versions of this modern classic are now being produced in Sweden.
“Mariposa” is Spanish and can be translated as “Butterfly”.