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Mexican Bauhaus: Wood and Leather Furniture from a Midcentury Master, Reborn

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Mexican Bauhaus: Wood and Leather Furniture from a Midcentury Master, Reborn

November 7, 2017

A few weeks back I spent a rainy morning testing chairs in a concrete gallery at the Hotel Americano in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. I was there to see designs by the late Mexican-based, Bauhaus-trained designer Michael van Beuren that had been out of production for 50 years, now revived by contemporary furniture company Luteca, with refined craftsmanship and details that honor van Beuren’s vision. Sebastian Reant, co-owner of Luteca (with his wife Amanda Reant), invited me to “please, sit” in the Alacran chaise (which won MoMA’s Organic Design and Home Furnishing competition in 1941), then the San Miguelito armchair and dining chair, while Mike van Beuren, the grandson of the late designer, told me about visiting his grandfather’s factory as a child, and the family’s fourth-generation house in Mexico, filled with his original designs. Here’s a look at the collection, remade for 2017.

Photography courtesy of Luteca.

The Alacran Chaise is the centerpiece of the collection, with an adjustable wood frame and a woven seat, available in leather or vinyl (suitable for the outdoors). The collection combines &#8
Above: The Alacran Chaise is the centerpiece of the collection, with an adjustable wood frame and a woven seat, available in leather or vinyl (suitable for the outdoors). The collection combines “highly technical perfection and an original modernist aesthetic with elements of local materials and hand-craftsmanship,” the company says.
The San Miguelito Armchair is available with bare wooden ribs (as shown here) or ribs wrapped with thin black leather, a play on van Beuren&#8
Above: The San Miguelito Armchair is available with bare wooden ribs (as shown here) or ribs wrapped with thin black leather, a play on van Beuren’s original painted design. The chair is also available with visible brass joinery.

The armchair with black leather-wrapped ribs.
Above: The armchair with black leather-wrapped ribs.

The San Miguelito Dining Chair, shown here in three colorways, has the Mexican palm-wrapped back originally used by van Beuren. The seats can also be bound in leather, including a dark green, that&#8
Above: The San Miguelito Dining Chair, shown here in three colorways, has the Mexican palm-wrapped back originally used by van Beuren. The seats can also be bound in leather, including a dark green, that’s wrapped so tightly it almost looks like painted wood.
 Abvove: An upholstered design, the Line Lounge Chair is &#8
Abvove: An upholstered design, the Line Lounge Chair is “simple and elegantly Mexican” and is available in a variety of soft leathers and fabrics. The back panel is also upholstered.
The San Miguelito Lounge Chair is suitable for outdoors (as shown here, in woven red nylon) or in (with a woven leather seat).
Above: The San Miguelito Lounge Chair is suitable for outdoors (as shown here, in woven red nylon) or in (with a woven leather seat).

The low Woven Credenza features a wooden body and woven front.
Above: The low Woven Credenza features a wooden body and woven front.

The San Miguelito Counter Stool (left) and San Miguelito Bar Stool have an American hardwood frame, Mexican palm wrapping, and can be leather-wrapped or finished in a variety of colors.
Above: The San Miguelito Counter Stool (left) and San Miguelito Bar Stool have an American hardwood frame, Mexican palm wrapping, and can be leather-wrapped or finished in a variety of colors.
For information on ordering, contact Luteca. And for more of their designs, see Elevated Mexican Furniture for the World Market.

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