Pierre Chapo is a French designer and architect. Like the wood in his furniture, he does not cheat in his creations: he delivers generous, honest and authentic designs with impeccable construction and pure lines.
Freshly graduated from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Pierre Chapo decided to visit the world: first alone, he travelled to Scandinavia in 1951 before meeting Nicole in Paris and going back on the road again in Central America and the United States in 1955. When they returned to France, Pierre Chapo worked in architectural firms. But this career did not suited him. After his experiences around the world, he decided to found his own furniture making business, paired with a store run by his wife: the Chapo Gallery opened in 1958 at 15 Boulevard de l’Hopital in the 5th arrondissement of Paris. He offered his own furniture but he also presented some designers creations of his time, such as the lamps of Serge Mouille (1922-1988) or the Akari of Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988), exclusively represented by Steph Simon gallery before, located nearby in Saint-Germain-des-Près, but he probably recovered the distribution at the closing of his competitor in 1971.
He was in love with the Vaucluse so he set up his design studio in Gordes, close to nature, but it was not the perfect place to manufacture furniture. So he found a family business in Alsace, the Seltz company, wood workers for several generations. Seltz will be Pierre Chapo’s only manufacturer, able to express the true essence of his furniture.
Pierre Chapo’s furniture are honest, both in their forms and the material he used: wood. He designed precise and architectural pieces: from his L01 bed, known as “Godot bed”, in reference to his first client, Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), to the T14 table, building with simplicity and simple lines, from his seats such as the S32 sofa, which is extremely comfortable to his R16 sideboard, perfectly architectural and functional, he delivers strong designs with harmony, perfect proportions and extreme purity. There is no patterns or decoration : it’s all about the wood. He said: “the beauty comes out of the right place of an assembly and the right conformity to the human scale. The color of the wood, its natural pattern, the curves it offers bring fantasy, the unexpected, the grace.”
Between craftsmanship and industrial design, Pierre Chapo’s furniture are golden and solid. They seduce a large number of people and are still highly collectible. Pierre Chapo said of his furniture that it was made “with sincerity and beautiful materials, materials that human beings have always touched, always worked.”