A case for classics

Elevating spaces through timeless design

In this age of constant change and digitalisation, the workplace is no longer an obligation but a destination of choice. High-quality workspaces outfitted with timeless furnishings promote employee well-being, while also fostering an emotional connection with the organisation’s values and culture.

Investing in authentic classics that will remain relevant over decades contributes to appealing office environments and generates a sense of home. The longevity of these iconic pieces also reflects a company’s vision of sustainability – a key factor in attracting and retaining talent.
‘A classic comes from a different era and yet is contemporary and current. When it was presented for the first time, it was new – and it will stay new until another product challenges the established norms.’
Rolf Fehlbaum, Vitra Chairman Emeritus

Classics are iconic and timeless

Vitra’s classics are the result of a close relationship we have maintained with our designers and their descendants over the past decades. Just as these designs forgo stylistic trends and eliminate superfluous details, a workspace furnished with classics remains fresh despite passing fashions and changing workstyles. More home-like than the typical contract pieces, they also elevate the office interior by creating a refined environment with enduring appeal.

Classics are made to last

As part of Vitra’s environmental mission and its commitment to sustainable development, our products are designed with an emphasis on durability and longevity. This holds especially true for classics, whose lasting functionality and timeless aesthetic keep them up-to-date and in active use for decades.​ To ensure that these remain in circulation as long as possible, Vitra helps extend the life of these products through multiple initiatives that promote preservation and facilitate refurbishment and recycling. ​  

One example of our dedication to a circular economy are the Vitra Circle Stores. Through these, used Vitra products are restored and returned to the market – giving them a second life.​
Discover our Circle Stores
Refurbishment and repair initiatives go hand in hand with Vitra’s ambition to design long-lasting products that reduce the environmental impact. This is exemplified by a project for the University of Bern, in which 50-year-old Eames Fiberglass Chairs were refurbished.

Classics are designed for maximum lifetime value​

The true value of a classic can only be recognised by considering its lifetime. While a conventional chair may already need to be replaced after fifteen years, a Vitra classic offers lasting durability, with the possibility to exchange individual parts if necessary – the accumulated cost of which is significantly lower. Thanks to its superior quality and robust design, a classic will also continue to retain its worth, even many years down the line – so it may later be found in a new home or office. At the end of its long life, the individual components can be recycled and make their way into a new manufacturing process.
‘The Eames Soft Pad Chairs travelled with us from our old studio and they still look as good as when we first bought them. Also an added bonus is that they are a smart investment.’
Ilse Crawford, Designer, Academic and Creative Director 

Classics are adapted to changing needs

In the current era of rapid change and uncertainty, there is a growing need for more thoughtfully-designed office spaces with a greater emphasis on quality and sustainability. Much like the evolving nature of the workplace itself, classics have adapted to meet these demands – ensuring their continued relevance in today’s dynamic work environment.

Guided by the principles of authenticity and in collaboration with the designer’s heirs, colours, materials or other aspects of the products may occasionally be updated over time. The Eames Shell Chairs, for instance, have witnessed a number of material changes over the years and have recently been introduced in recycled post-consumer plastic: a locally sourced material that meets Vitra’s high standards of quality. In order to suit the individual needs of the client, classics can also be customised beyond the standardly available options.
Classics portfolio

Planning examples