Furniture Furniture

Pantoflex

Year: 1994
Serial production model
The cooperation between Verner Panton and VS covers the years 1993 to 1998.
Thomas Müller, CEO of VS Vereinigte Spezialmöbelfabriken, says of his cooperation with Verner Panton:

The improvement in the ergonomy of school chairs

The starting point of the cooperation with VS as a manufacturer of school furniture was for Verner Panton the discussion he had about dynamic sitting with the Basle orthopaedic specialist Prof. Dr. Erwin Morscher. The orthopaedist's main requirements had already been met by the plywood chair which Panton designed in 1965 for Thonet. This in particular was the feature that when the seating position was forwards the seating area should also incline forwards, which was not the case with existing cantilever chairs such as those by Marcel Breuer and Mies van der Rohe. This principle was then developed further with VS for a family of chairs which consisted of a sub-frame of steel tubing, bent in five places, and a plywood seat in a number of variations. Originally the PantoFlex chair family was intended for use in offices, for example in seminar or conference rooms, but thanks to their exceptional ergonomic features a version was also put on the market for use in schools. For this purpose the chair had to be made less expensive, which was achieved by the kind of plastic seat of double-walled design and breathable ventilation which VS was already using for other products. The double-walled seat also had the advantage that the backrest could be formed as a closed surface, which considerably improved the quality of the chair's form. Because the movement properties of the seat supported dynamic sitting, the name of this chair family was then changed from PantoFlex to PantoSwing.

The double-walled plastic seat of PantoSwing and PantoMove

Because of the relatively high tooling costs for the plastic seat, a production volume of 30,000 a year was planned. Customer reaction was astounding: after initial hesitation the PantonSwing established itself as an ergonomic chair for dynamic sitting at school, with the result that today four different sizes are available for the seat, to cover pupils of all sizes, from the smallest to the biggest. With production of over 300,000 a year the PantoSwing is today the most successful chair in Europe for schools. The popularity of the PantoSwing encouraged Verner Panton and VS to develop further versions, initially in the form of a height-adjustable revolving chair with a two-dimensional tilting mechanism, the PantoTurn. The tilting mechanism has now been improved further, so that its three-dimensional mechanism allows sideways movement as well as forwards and backwards. As a result the PantoTurn was renamed PantoMove, because the ability to move in all directions is the special feature of this chair and enables it to meet the criteria of Prof. Morscher for the ideal school chair.

PantoFour – a classical four-legged chair

For use in public areas such lecture rooms or canteens a chair was required which could be used individually or linked to form rows. For this purpose Verner Panton developed the stackable, four-legged PantoFour, which can also be fitted with the double-walled plastic seat. The special feature of this chair is the formal design of the linking mechanism, which is not visible to the eye.

PantoStack – an ideal stackable and visitor chair

For large events, especially in multi-purpose halls, it is essential for more than 10 chairs to be stacked vertically. In design terms this can only be achieved with thin seats and backrests. Verner Panton solved this problem with PantoStack, a chair family which has two special features. Whereas most stackable chairs fail to impress in design terms because of their many functional requirements, Verner Panton's PantoStack does not look like a chair which is readily stackable. In addition the wave-like structure of the seat and backrest enables the kind of breathability which had previously only been possible by the use of holes. With the 1998 PantoStack the extremely successful cooperation with Verner Panton came to an end, but all the main products of this cooperation are still part of the VS production range:

PantoSwing
PantoMove
PantoFour
PantoStack
Compass

(tm 08.07.2008)

Manufacturer: VS Vereinigte Spezialmöbelfabriken, D

a) "PantoSwing"

Stackable cantilever chair, with C-frame and forward tilting motion.
Material: steel tubing, epoxy resin, powder coated
Versions: "PantoSwing-2K" (1994), "-VF" and "-MM" (1994)
Dimensions: H84 Sh46 852 D54

-VF child's chair (1999) and Lupo child's chair (1998)
Dimensions: H71 Sh35 845.4 D41

b) "PantoGlide" stackable, with runners

Material: steel tubing, epoxy resin, powder coated
Versions: "PantoGlide-2K" (1995)
Dimensions: H84 Sh46 851.5 (54.8 with armrests) D 54

c) "PantoFour'' stackable 4-legged chair.

Material: steel tubing, epoxy resin, powder coated
Versions: "PantoFour-2K", "VF", "Lupo" (all versions from 1999)
Dimensions: H84 Sh46 854 D54

d) "PantoMove"

Revolving chair, cross-shaped base with 5 feet; with gas spring height adjustment, tilting mechanism with or without casters (height increase with casters: 30mm)
Material: aluminium base, steel tubing stand

Versions: "PantoMove-2K" (1995), "VF" and "VF-child's chair" (1999), "Lupo" and "Lupo child's chair " (1998), "-MM" (1995)
Dimensions: H 83-94 Sh 44-55 B 57 (62.5 with armrests) D54
(The overall height of "PantoSwing", "Four'" and "Move" varies slightly depending on the top of the backrest).

e) "PantoStack"

Stackable 4-legged chair, oval seat and backrest connected by a tie bar, with and without armrests, can be arranged in rows.
Dimensions: H B4 Sh 46 W 49 (65 with armrests) D55

"PantoStack-SH"(1999)

Material: die cast aluminium, beech plywood, natural or coloured, fully or partly upholstered in different colours.

"PantoStack-PP"(1999)

Material: die cast aluminium, polypropylene, wavy, with or without upholstered seat.

Version designations (for first four models):

"2K"
Integral, rounded seat and backrest.
Material: beech plywood, natural or coloured (red, yellow, blue, green); full or part upholstery in different colours, with and without backrests. With full upholstery no handhold in backrest.

"VF"

Integral seat and V-shaped backrest, rounded seat, backrest with straight top, handhold in backrest, with and without armrest.
Material: beech plywood, natural or coloured.

"LUPO"

Integral rounded seat, V-shaped backrest with straight top, handhold in backrest, with and without armrest.
Material: double-walled polypropylene, or beech plywood, natural or coloured.

"MM"

Child's chair; integral seat and backrest, rounded seat, double-eared backrest (Mickey Mouse). Material: beech plywood, natural or coloured.
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Crosslinks:
VS-furniture in biography
Start of the collaboration with VS-Möbel...
VS-Vereinigte Spezialmöbelfabriken GmbH & Co.KG
 
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