Last summer when The Standard Hotel opened it's rooftop bar overlooking the Hudson River and Manhattan cityscape, many New Yorkers were left ogling the stylish woven deck chairs, known in Mexico as the Acapulco Chair. The chair's timeless ease in both design and comfort makes it an ideal candidate for reinvention, reinterpretation and global inspiration. A pedestrian eye can list its core qualities as: a metal frame, a rounded shape and a woven seat.
The classic Acapulco Chair was designed in Mexico around the 1950's from steel and plastic. Many believe that the American Hollywood presence in Acapulco's hey day made the chair popular. Some say the chair is based on Mayan hammock weaving but the design and its designer continues to remain anonymous to this day. It is said, though, that in 2000, the Mexican designer Cecilia Leon Dela Barra officially christened the chair as the "Acapulco Chair."
These simple chairs rainbow Mexican resort towns in their vibrant plastic splendor and are becoming more common stateside with the help of the Brooklyn-based collective Greenpoint Works. Maya Marzolf of GW explains the chairs essence like this, "its rudimentary function is a sun lounger: The flexible cording cradles the body comfortably, and its open weave allows the breeze to cool your skin."
Top: "Medio Dia Chair" by Sebastian Lara. Bottom: Leather Chair by Ocho WorkshopTop: "Medio Dia Chair" by Sebastian Lara. Bottom: Leather Chair by Ocho Workshop
Such poetic closeness to comfort and the natural elements of summer heat make for colorful interpretations of this timeless chair. Mexican designers are taking a more nuanced and romantic approach to their contemporary variations of the chairs. Sebastian Lara's "Medio día" chair in American red oak pronounces itself as a detailed study of ergonomics and Ocho Workshop's rendition in leather was designed for adults who appreciate timeless design. While Texas-based team, Garza Design + Build, used the Acapulco Chair as inspiration for their round leather bucket seat, with an inverted wishbone leg-base. Garza Design + Build uses the skeleton of the Acapulco chair for their round leather chair.
As mature as the Acapulco Chair has become in recent years, its secure identity allows for turns in invention and playful use, Innit Designs seated a whole Mexican cinema with them and artist Pedro Reyes created a sweeping love chair for two. All in all, the Acapulco Chair continues to be colorful, ingenious and quintessentially Mexican.
Pedro Reyes' "Moebius Chair" inspired after the Acapulco Chair