Inspired by Louis XVI, the Ghost Chair is a type of neoclassic French-style chair made from polycarbonate material. French interior and product designer, Philippe Starck designed the chair in 2002. Since it was launched, the chair earned raves and generated knockoffs.
Philippe Starck is known for transforming classic silhouettes into modern pieces of furniture. According to Mr. Starck, he came up with the idea of the ghost chair after Italian furniture company Kartell, develop a cutting edge way to render polycarbonate into pieces of furniture.
As the name suggest, the Ghost chair is typically transparent. The translucent material gives the impression that the chair is a drifting shape that blends perfectly into the background. Although Starck developed the first Ghost chair, other models have been launched before and after the chair’s launching.
Types of Ghost Chair
The La Marie is considered as one of Mr. Starck’s inspiration behind the ghost chair. The model was launched in 1998 and was created by Kartell. The chair features a slightly tinted or completely transparent polycarbonate material. The material is also tremor, scratch, and climate resistance.
The Louis is the original ghost chair. As mentioned above, the chair is inspired by King Louis XVI, who was the husband of Marie Antoinette. The model features simple lines, symmetry, and tapered legs, a design inspired by Neoclassical French style. The Louis is stackable so it is very convenient to store when not in use.
The Victoria was introduced in 2005, at the peak of the Louis’ popularity. The chair features the same translucent material this time in antique, rounded back. The Victoria is designed to complement the Louis. It is also stackable.
The Lou Lou
The Lou Lou is a smaller version of the Louis model. It was launched in 2008 as a children’s dining chair. The Lou Lou features the same style, inspiration, and design seen on the Louis ghost chair.
Materials of the Ghost Chair
Some ghost chairs are made of methyl methacrylate or Lucite. The material is scratch, shock, and tremor resistant. Methyl methacrylate is also shatter-resistant transparent thermoplastic. Most replica ghost chairs are made with acrylic because of its translucency. However, this material is less durable than polycarbonate. It is also less resistant to scratches and chipping.
This material is pliable that it can be bent and molded into different shapes without breaking. Polycarbonate is extremely durable. The transparency is clear though it turns yellow over time. An authentic Philippe Starck or Kartell ghost chair is made with polycarbonate. This material is more expensive than acrylic and glass.
Replica ghost chairs are sometimes made with glass. Although durable, glass is very brittle so it is more likely to shatter after some time. However, glass can be tempered to make it resistant to scratches, bumps, and shock. Because the material is very dense, a ghost chair made with glass is very heavy. Do note that because it is breakable, glass ghost chair is extremely rare except for the Fiam ghost Armchair, which has been mass produced for several decades.