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Coconut Lounge Chair
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Coconut Lounge Chair

About the Design

George Nelson (1908–86) attributed many of his design breakthroughs to creative “zaps.” He described such moments as “when the solitary individual finds he is connected with a reality he never dreamed of.” The Coconut lounge chair can certainly be traced back to one such “zap.” The inspiration for the piece — which evolved from an idea presented by George Milhauser, a designer who worked at Nelson’s Manhattan studio, George Nelson Associates, Inc., and is now credited with the concept — was as simple as the name suggests: a curved slice of coconut. In addition to the tropical fruit, the sleek chair nods to architect Eero Saarinen’s swerving Kresge Auditorium at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, built in 1953.


Minimal in appearance, the Coconut lounge chair comprises only a few materials: a molded plastic shell, a single leather cushion and a trio of chrome legs. The chair was created in 1955 for Herman Miller, where Nelson served as director of design until 1972. In his studio, Nelson and his designers produced a wealth of hits, including benches, pendant lights and more for Herman Miller and other clients. In his director role, Nelson also supervised a team of now-legendary mid-century designers, such as Charles and Ray Eames, Alexander Girard and others. 


Herman Miller founder D.J. De Pree hired Nelson in 1945 after having read about a modular storage system that he conceived with architect Henry Wright — it was featured in a joint editorial project from Life and Architectural Forum. Nelson started at Herman Miller before he opened his design studio, and today, several of the pieces designed at George Nelson Associates, Inc. are in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection, including the Coconut lounge chair. 


Shop the Coconut Lounge Chair

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Original George Nelson Coconut Chair, Vitra, Black Leather, White Shell, Chrome
By Vitra, George Nelson
Located in Kansas City, MO
Coconut lounge chair designed by George Nelson for Herman Miller, manufactured by Vitra. Black leather, white shell and chrome legs. Very good original condition.
Category

Early 2000s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Chrome

Black Leather Coconut Chair by George Nelson for Vitra, 2003
By George Nelson, Vitra
Located in London, GB
Originally designed by Geroge Nelson in 1955, the Coconut chair has become a design Classic. Constructed with a white glass fibre reinforced plastic shell, the chair is upholstere...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary French Lounge Chairs

Materials

Leather

George Nelson for Herman Miller Coconut Chair and Ottoman, 1950s
By George Nelson, Herman Miller
Located in Houston, TX
George Nelson & Associates Coconut chair and ottoman Manufactured by Herman Miller USA circa 1956 Leather, enameled steel, aluminum, chrome-plated steel. Dimension: 41 W x 33 D x 33...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Aluminum, Steel, Steel

1950s Coconut Lounge Chair by George Nelson for Herman Miller
By Herman Miller, George Nelson
Located in Sagaponack, NY
An excellent example of Nelson's iconic coconut lounge chair, with its original brick-red leather upholstery on splayed, chromed steel legs.
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Steel

George Nelson Coconut Chair in Alexander Girard Minicheck
By George Nelson, Herman Miller
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Iconic coconut chair designed by George Nelson. A low-slung lounge profile with spacious seat for superior comfort. Triangular fiberglass shell rests on architectural brushed-steel t...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Fiberglass

Early Coconut Chair and Ottoman by George Nelson for Herman Miller
By George Nelson
Located in Dallas, TX
Early coconut chair and ottoman designed by George Nelson for Herman Miller, circa 1955. This iconic Classic was acquired from the private collection of the original owner and is in ...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Steel

Early George Nelson for Knoll Coconut Lounge Chair
By George Nelson
Located in Las Vegas, NV
RARE early metal shell version of George Nelson's design for Knoll coconut lounge chair. Aluminum legs. Original orange Knoll fabric. Iconic chair ready to upholster in your favorite...
Category

Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

George Nelson Coconut Chair and Ottoman
By George Nelson
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Leather chair and ottoman with metal base.
Category

Vintage 1950s Lounge Chairs

Original Early Version George Nelson Coconut Chair
By George Nelson
Located in San Diego, CA
Rare original early version George Nelson coconut chair, circa late 1950s. Pretty sure this is the second version and has a metal shell. Later the chairs shelf were made in fiberglas...
Category

Mid-20th Century Lounge Chairs

Early Coconut Lounge Chairs by George Nelson for Herman Miller
By Herman Miller, George Nelson
Located in National City, CA
For your consideration a pair of early Coconut chairs with metal shell and chrome-plated legs. New upholstery in dark forest green leather. Paint is the original with vintage p...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Metal, Chrome

Coconut Chair and Ottoman by George Nelson 1955 brown suede
By George Nelson
Located in Dallas, TX
An Icon of Modern Design, Early Production Coconut chair & Ottoman by George Nelson for Herman Miller 1955. Chair has the original paint to the shell with new foam and suede leather ...
Category

Early 20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Sheet Metal

Rare Pair of 1. Edition Metal Shell Coconuts
By George Nelson
Located in Munich, DE
designed by george nelson in 1955 and made by herman miller.
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Metal