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  • Words By Mr Nick Compton

You might think that, in design-evolution terms, the armchair has come just about as far as it can go. The fundamentals are there, right? Tell that to designers. The chair is where they can really prove themselves. If they come up with an iconic creation, they can enter the pantheon of design greats.

Think of Mr Charles and Ms Ray Eames' lounger, which held pride of place in Frasier's apartment in the classic sitcom of the same name. (And not as the one that Marty sat on.) Or Mr Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona chair, still a signifier of urbane sophistication and design nous almost 85 years after its debut. The armchair will always remain a challenge that designers want to solve. There is still so much to play with: material, finish, ergonomics. There are new technologies to conjure with, new tools to use, new forms to devise.

Our top 10 is a mix of established classics and, because design never rests, a spattering of spanking-new models. The remarkable thing is how radically different each chair is, from Mr Konstantin Grcic's elegant marble composition in three parts to Mr Jean-Marie Massaud's saddlery-inspired perch for the modern power broker. Take a seat.

For the Lounge Lover...