Vitra is set to release a pair of dazzling limited edition versions of the Panton Chair, Verner Panton's famous S-shaped cantilevered seating design, launched in1967. Unveiled at IMM Cologne this past January—50 years after the Panton Chair's debut at the same venue—Panton Chrome and Panton Glow feature two striking state-of-the-art finishes for the chair's sculptural form. Panton Chrome features a lustrous metallic coating, while Panton Glow showcases an rridescent glow-in-the-dark blue.
According to Vitra, Verner Panton had long envisioned a reflective metallic coating for is plastic Panton Chair, feeling the chair's dynamic curves lent themselves particularly well to a mirrored surface's reflections. But technology lagged behind Panton's vision, and a Panton Chair with a mirrored finish remained part of the chair's backstory—until now. Using a technically sophisticated process by which metal particles are imbedded in layers of varnish, Vitra was able to produce a scratch-resistent chrome coating that's both visually convincing and resilient enough to withstand the wear and tear of sustained use.
Verner Panton's penchant for vivid color schemes and techological innovation is legendary, and Vitra aims to capture something of Panton's interest in luminous, futuristic interiors with Panton Glow, a Panton Chair that emits a dramatic glow in low-light conditions. In collaboration with Marianne Panton, Verner Panton's widow, Vitra has created a chair in which phosphorescent pigments are carefully applied by hand to the raw shell of the Panton Chair, and sealed with a high-gloss protective coating. The pigments absorb daylight and emit a ghostly blue glow in the dark, further emphasizing the graceful organic form of the classic Panton Chair. Vitra says the chairs will be available to consumers in spring 2018, but with editions limited to only 300, we predict both Panton Chrome and Panton Glow will be consumed in record time.