Bruno Rey, born 1935 in Brugg, completed an apprenticeship as a cabinet maker before he attended the interior work class of the Zurich School of Applied Arts with Willy Guhl. After journeyman’s years of travel at home and abroad as well as activities in architectural offices, he opened his own atelier in 1968.
During this time, initial designs emerged for a new kind of wooden chair, which went into serial production in 1971 and as the “Rey Chair” became the most successful Swiss chair of all time. Together with the renowned designer Charles Polin, Bruno Rey also developed the restaurant chair Patron as well as the Quadro stacking chair for Dietiker Switzerland.
The Rey Chair
The design that emerged from a period of countless experiments was model 3300, the Rey chair, which became one of the most iconic pieces of Swiss industrial design. Made of local beech wood, it was constructed with a unique, screw-less signature metal-to-wood connection. It went into serial production in 1971 and was the first chair to be patented by Dietiker a year later.
In Rey’s design, the chair legs are joined to the self-supporting round seat by means of a bonded aluminum console that was still handmade in 1970/71 using sand casting and afterwards produced using the gravity die casting process. In 1989 the invention of aluminum pressure die casting then allowed for the industrial production of the chair in large series. Except for the final finishing, the entire production process could then be done by machine, including the gluing of the wood and metal at a bonding carousel.
The chair was available with a plain solid wood or an upholstered seat and was also manufactured in other variations, like a bar stool and a stool. The client can also choose between large selections of colours for the finish. The Rey chair is not an individual piece of furniture but is almost always used in a group setting often placed around a table.
In 2014 Bruno Rey’s model 3300 was also produced in a junior edition. The solid execution and rounded edges of these extraordinarily stable and stackable chairs and matching table are perfectly suited for children’s usage.