There are some design pieces that endure and resist the spirit of time. The industrial design of Tolix benches and chairs are just timeless.
Just few projects and design pieces can glorify themselves with it comes to resist the passing of time. They remain as popular as they were 50, 60, 70 years ago or even 100 years ago. They are, effectively, design projects that will always be populares and consequently they will always have a great demand. Some of those pieces are instantanaly recognized in any part of the world, especially for those how really know how to enjoy a design product.
The Tolix furniture pieces are the ones that best represent this type of immortal pieces and that continue to have their own magic. That they had when they were first created. If, during the 1920s, the first model of the brand was a revolutionary mark, today it remains an epitome of industrial design.
Throughout all Tolix furnitures, the Model A is the one that stands out. As the first model to be draw by the brand, it was this same model that made the industrial design to start to be used outside industrie fields. Aluminum and steel pieces started to be used in cafes, restaurants and hotels, surprisingly, this pieces continue to be used until today.
Model A is probably the design piece that has been most copied all over the world, but the originals are immediately recognizable when seen or when touched. This is, by far, the most popular model of all design projects made by TOLIX. So much that it is a permanent part of the collections of museums like Vitra Design, MoMA and Center Pompidou.
In this way, Tolix is a brand more relevant that one would think. In addition to producing highly resistant industrial design parts, Tolix is representative of the most predominant designs of the mid-twentieth century.
Tolix and the paradigm shift in industrial design
Xavier Pauchard the sole responsible for changing the perspective when it comes to industrial design. Of French nationality he was the pioneer of the use of galvanized metal in the world of furniture, right after the First World War. A bold idea for a time when wood was the main material used.
Just before First World War. Pauchard (who worked with zinc) discover that he could prevent metal from rusting. And for that, he only needed to dip the piece in molten zinc, that is, to galvanize it.
With this new realization, industrial designs pieces appeared and Tolix made it self notice in France. The brand was registered in 1927, and in 1935 the french brand was already a big presence in every World’s Fair exhibitions. Tolix was a true pioneer in realizing how pieces of galvanized steel furniture could be part of interior and exterior decoration. After this period, and having a positive response, the brand even launched a line for children – “La Mouette”.
In the late 1950s, the company TOLIX had about 80 workers in a single store and was responsible for producing 60,000 units each year – many of which were the model A chair in galvanized steel. Few videos have been published on their production and taking pictures is forbidden in some areas of the factory. The durable paint, remains a well-kept secret, never having been shared.
The company continued to be family owned until 2004, when it was finally sold to a lady named Chantal Andriot. The buyer, formerly the company’s financial director, completely revitalized the TOLIX brand, presented projects that were forgotten or had never been produced since the early 1930s. Chantal hoped in this way to raise TOLIX to a new era of prosperity. And he did it.
Years later, Tolix was named “Entrepreneurial Living Heritage” by the French Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry.
Timeless design parts
With so many people fascinated by the modern design aesthetics of mid-century, once again, TOLIX chairs and other pieces of furniture are quickly disappearing from the shelves (so to speak). This trend is likely to continue to increase as time progresses. These designs were popular at the time and continue to be popular in these days!
TOLIX chairs and benches were initially produced for factories but quickly became used in social settings such as cafes, restaurants and public gardens. They were purchased for office and even for hospitals. The fact that they are used in such a diversity of places is due to their functionality. These design pieces are solid, but also, they are lightweight and stackable. They are comfortable and have a greater average durability.
Other characteristics of the brand pieces go through the shapes and colors used. The sober lines and graceful colors make them adapt easily to different spaces. And there is more, maintenance and cleaning do not require much effort.
Tolix collections and resistance over time
It is true that the most recognizable parts of the brand are the galvanized steel chairs, but the brand has also expanded its portfolio to other industrial design pieces.
Tolix is currently the owner of the largest collection of galvanized steel seats. From the indoor and outdoor chairs to the bar stools, and through the perforated pieces, these are incredibly sturdy, stackable and lightweight pieces.
In addition to the seats, the brand also created a collection of round and dining tables with an irreverent industrial design. There are several models in various colors that can easily complete the decoration of any space.
The archive collection is likewise a brand innovation. Inside this is possible to find several models of cabinets, lockers, shelves, among others. However, this innovation is not the only one. The brand also went on to produce decorative accessories for industrial design and outdoor furniture – the Azur Collection.
One of the collections that started to be commercialized again is the line for children. In this collection there are pieces such as a toy chest, a mini Model A chair, among many others.
The production processes
The industrial design chairs are still handmade with the help of machines, as incredible as it may seem. Only in this way it is possible to maintain the quality and standards of Tolix pieces. However, the French brand does not have completely handmade production processes.
In order to become more sustainable, Tolix invested in contemporary processes and equipped with the latest technology. The computerization of the brand was also a great step for the brand because now is more capable to to satisfy the demand of their pieces. The performance of the brand keeps on despite the times, just like the pieces it produces.
The finishes are of high quality to ensure its durability, its strength and unique aesthetics.