Belleville is the name of the vibrant Paris neighbourhood where the designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have their studio. Visual references for the Belleville Chair can be found in the classic French bistro furnishings and lively atmosphere of this Parisian quarter. The chair's familiar shape - even in a contemporary context - might at first be taken for granted, yet it also evokes a sense of mystery and bemusement, since the materiality, construction and fabrication of the chair only become apparent at second glance.
The Belleville Chair is a technically sophisticated plastic chair consisting of two components - a structural frame and a seat shell. Tracing the calligraphic lines of the legs and back, the slender black frame supports a thin shell that tapers from the wide seat surface into a narrow backrest. This type of construction opens up new perspectives for the materiality of the plastic chair, since the surface of the seat shell is the defining characteristic of the Belleville Chair's identity: available in coloured polypropylene, moulded plywood veneer or with a cover in fabric, the perception of the Belleville Chair is transformed from a plastic chair to a wooden chair to an upholstered chair - and even to an armchair with forward slanting armrests.
Paired with the Belleville Tables, the Belleville Chair and Armchair form a unified yet diverse group - a hybrid family of furnishings whose forms and materials are harmoniously coordinated. Thus the chairs and tables - in small or large numbers - can be attractively combined in bustling bistro settings as well as sleekly modern galleries or diversely styled home environments.