As early as the 1950s, architect and urban planner Roland Rainer had already designed a wooden chair range for Wilkhahn. Known for designs that emphasised natural forms, reduced to essentials, Rainer created a stackable chair in beechwood for concourse seating. This early model, with its characteristic A-shaped base frame that made it possible to stack large numbers of chairs on top of one another, became the archetype of successful stacking chairs.

Flash forward to today and Wilkhahn continues its tradition of high-quality furniture solutions that combine cutting-edge design with industrial-standard perfection and superb craftsmanship. Some 60 years since Rainer’s original design, Wilkhahn collaborated with designer Wolfgang C.R. Mezger to redefine this prototype of a stacking chair for contemporary spaces, thus creating the new Aula chair.

Microsoft’s auditorium in Schiphol (the Netherlands) featuring Aula Stacking Chair

The Aula features a three-dimensional shell that provides comfort and support for any body shape and size. Recalling Rainer’s original design and echoing the trend for natural materials, the updated Aula is available in wooden shells, including beech or a natural oak veneer, as well as a black, stained oak veneer. A version with a three-dimensional plastic seat shell is also available, with its shape and elasticity lending itself to the chair’s ergonomic design.

While designing the wooden shell, finding a shape with the same comfort and support as a plastic shell proved challenging. A one-to-one wooden copy would have been too rigid, which is why the design includes a three-dimensional seat that tapers when it joins the backrest. The backrest takes on a sculpted form at the top to provide comfort for people’s backs. The end-result is an exceptionally distinctive shape that is ideal for modern interiors.

Both plastic and wooden shell versions are available in a range of shell and frame colors, different types of upholstery, and with or without armrests, tapping into a vast number of  design and functional options for multipurpose areas, cafeterias, seminar, conference centers, or co-working spaces. The fully-upholstered version offers a home-like aesthetic, ideal for today’s new workspaces that emphasise comfort and wellbeing. Where fire safety is a concern, the models with a wooden shell and tubular steel frame come with fire-safe varnishes and meet fire safety regulations.

To reap the benefits of the perfect seat shell for specific demands in multipurpose spaces, Wilkhahn and Mezger have created two new Aula models – one comes with a tubular steel frame and the other with a sled base, which is particularly easy and compact to handle. Both are stackable, up to 10 high, for space-saving convenience, and offer connecting capabilities.

Winner of the prestigious Red Dot Design Award, with GREENGUARD Certification and an AFRDI Blue Tick, the Aula chair reinforces Wilkhahn’s commitment to high-quality design, craftsmanship, and providing customers with diverse design options. The company’s engineers collaborate with designers and leading materials processing specialists to create furniture components whose shapes and surfaces meet all requirements.

To find the current Aula models, dimensions, material dimensions and reference photos, download the Aula brochure here or send an enquiry directly to the Wilkhahn team here.


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