US3669494A - Modular furniture pieces - Google Patents

Modular furniture pieces Download PDF

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US3669494A
US3669494A US3669494DA US3669494A US 3669494 A US3669494 A US 3669494A US 3669494D A US3669494D A US 3669494DA US 3669494 A US3669494 A US 3669494A
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units
furniture
trough
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Hartmut H Lohmeyer
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Hartmut H Lohmeyer
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47CCHAIRS; SOFAS; BEDS
    • A47C13/00Convertible chairs, stools or benches
    • A47C13/005Modular seating
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47CCHAIRS; SOFAS; BEDS
    • A47C5/00Chairs of special materials
    • A47C5/12Chairs of special materials of plastics, with or without reinforcement

Abstract

A unit for constructing modularized body supporting furniture pieces comprising a box having an outwardly upturned trough around the bottom portion and an upholstered cap covering the upper portion thereof. The upholstered cap can be of such configuration as to provide a seating surface on the top, or it can be such that it provides a body supporting surface, such as a backrest, on the side thereof. The trough includes means for aligning adjacent units in the course of constructing a furniture piece with a plurality of units. U-shaped clips are used to attach adjacent units together. By combining seat units and support units, various pieces of furniture can be constructed.

Description

United States Patent Lohmeyer June 13, 1972 [54] MODULAR FURNITURE PIECES Hartmut H. Lohmeyer, Schleissheimer Strasse 189, 8 Munich, 13, Germany [22] Filed: April 9, 1970 [21] Appl. No.: 26,975

[72] Inventor:

Riches ..46/26 X 2,693,847 1 H1954 Kabzotsky.... ..297/44O UX 2,793,685 5/1957 Spitz ..297/443 X 3,162,484 12/ 1 964 Kleffman ..297/248 Primary Examiner-James C. Mitchell A!t0rneylr0ns, Birch, Swindler & McKie ABSTRACT A unit for constructing modularized body supporting furniture pieces comprising a box having an outwardly upturned trough around the bottom portion and an upholstered cap covering the upper portion thereof. The upholstered cap can be of such configuration as to provide a seating surface on the top, or it can be such that it provides a body supporting surface, such as a backrest, on the side thereof. The trough includes means for aligning adjacent units in the course of constructing a furniture piece with a plurality of units. U-shaped clips are used to attach adjacent units together. By combining seat units and support units, various pieces of furniture can be constructed.

23 Claims, 18 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJUN 1 3 I972 SHEET 10F 5 INVENTOR.

HARTMUT H. LOHMEYER glow/A.

PATENTEDJUH 13 m2 3.669.494

sum nor 5 INVEN HARTMUT H. LOHME MODULAR FURNITURE PIECES BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In order to achieve variety of seating and reclining furniture to different requirements and occasions, such furniture can be modularly constructed of individual units. These systems have in the past consisted of seating units with customary dimensions which can be put together and which can be provided, as desired, with backor armrests which are separately attached. However, these systems have only limited transformability, as on one hand only relatively few variations can be executed therewith, with rigid dimensions such as multiples of the width of the seat, while on the other hand a relatively large amount of individual parts are required therefor, in particular for comer construction. Furthermore, the individual parts are mostly developed in such a way that they cannot be combined arbitrarily in another manner, as then the end portions or connection elements become visible. Benches which are composed of disk-shaped units are known, whereby the result is that benches of different lengths can be constructed through the assembling of a larger or smaller number of such disks. These disks thereby span in one piece the entire cross section of the bench. Comers or other variations can only be realized through additional specially constructed units, which are of no other possible use at all.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The instant invention provides a seating or reclining fumiture piece composed of individual units, which possesses an especially great scope of variation possibilities, but nevertheless uses only few different units. Seating units and supporting units, for example backor siderests, are provided in which each unit stands on the floor and extends to the height of the seat, or the height of the support in question, and possesses the same quadratic cross-section plan, whereby two or three units can be attached by a coupling element that fits into the unit in such a manner as to be substantially hidden from view.

The units according to the invention possesses a ground plan which is equal for all units, offering an extensive standardization for the fabrication of the individual units. By skillful combination of seating units and support units, virtually any type of furniture piece can be constructed. Aside from the fact that the optional transformability from seating furniture into reclining furniture and vice versa, as well as the optional enlargement and reduction thereof are provided for, there is also the possibility to utilize corners as well as modify comers. Furthermore, end pieces, subdivisions and reciprocal transpositions can be realized at any desired place.

In principle this great variation possibility results through the use of only two different units, i.e., the seat unit and the support unit. Suitably thereby the seat units are constructed quadratically, for example the seat unit can be about 15 inches high and about 7 inches or inches wide, depending on whether two or three seat units are arranged in the seating depth. Using such a dimensioning of the seat units as the basis, there suitably results a height for the support units of about 28 inches to 30 inches.

Through a slight variation in the form of the support units there further result special adaptation possibilities to different conditions. Thus the support units can be provided from the height of the seat units upwardly with a constant narrowing in the cross section, which, for example, manifests itself in a slanting of one or two side portions, whereby an especially good adaptation to the posture of the body is possible. Then one can also develop the narrowing of the cross section as the slant of a diagonally proceeding vertical edge of the support units, making possible in the case of support units slanted in the side areas an especially favorable insertion into a comer. As is obvious, this shaping different from the support unit with continuously equal cross section is hardly farreaching, so that one can still speak practically of an essentially uniform support unit. In any event the change in shaping of the support units, however, extends to only a very few cases, so that the manufacturer or retailer only needs to stock a very limited amount from which any special requirement, in particular ever spatial condition, can be considered. The user has the advantage that he can modify by himself pieces of furniture consisting of such units, without any difficulties, whereby he is afforded the opportunity, for example if he moves, to adapt to changed spatial conditions without any problems.

The simplicity of shaping of the units opens the possibility to manufacture them by correspondingly simple fabrication methods. Suitably the units are developed of a hat shaped box with short, upwardly-pulled brim and a foam-material toppiece pulled thereover. The hat shaped box thereby forms a hollow core, to some extent, which is covered with foam material in known manner. Thereby the unit is set up in principle. Suitably a slight tapering off upwardly is imparted to the box-shaped core, so that the individual boxes can be piled up in a space-saving manner within the framework of fabrication. For the purpose of secure fit into the given screen, projections and recesses can be provided at the brims, which fit into each other upon the coupling of two units, so that the units automatically align themselves.

Such a unit provided with a top-piece of foam material can also easily be covered. The covering is stretched over the foam material top-piece in that in the area of the brims in each case a rod is provided which is pressed behind the pulled-up brim under the foam material top-piece which reaches thereto.

In the drawings working examples of the invention are shown as follows:

FIG. 1 a box to be covered with foam as component of a unit,

FIG. 2 a stack of such boxes,

FIG. 3 a box covered with foam in section, which box forms a seat unit,

FIG. 4a-e different shapings of units FIG. 5 an easy chair FIG. 6 a reclining chair FIG. 7 a double bench FIG. 8 an easy chair FIG. 9 an easy chair of special construction FIG. 10 a sitting island" FIG. 11 a comer bench FIG. 12 a row of benches with opposite seating direction FIG. 13 a clamp for the coupling of two units FIG. 14 a cover for a unit.

FIG. 1 shows a hat-shaped box 1 which is providedwith a short, pulled-upward brim 2. This box is preferably sprayed of synthetic material, it forms the hollow core for a unit according to the invention. Below the brim four sliding feet 3 are provided. These can be manufactured along with the box during the spraying process. At the outer upwardly-pulled edge of the brim projections 4 and recesses 5 are afiixed, which serve to secure two units upon the coupling thereof. I.e. if one puts two units 1 together next to one another, projection 4 extends into a recess 5 of the other unit.

The above-described design of boxes 1 permits to pile them up one atop another, as is shown in FIG. 2. This space-saving piling up is of special importance in the manufacture.

The finished unit results in that a box 1 is provided with a foam material covering 6, as is shown in FIG. 3. Foam material cover 6 is pulled down into the area of the pulled-up brim 2, where it holds rods 7, which are explained in more detail in connection with FIG. 14. The unit shown in FIG. 3 securely stands on the floor and is, above all, well upholstered on its upper surface due to the use of the the foam material cover 6.

FIGS. 4a to e show different forms of units. FIG. 4a shows a seat unit which corresponds to the representation according to FIG. 3.

If one extends the seat unit shown in FIG. 4 upwardly, at a continuously equal-width cross section, a support unit according to FIG. 4b results. As core this can use the same box as the seat unit according to FIG. 4a. However it is also possible to use upwardly extended boxes for the higher support units. If

the rigidity of the foam material is sufficient, it is possible to be able to use only one box for all elements, the height being controlled by the build-up of upholstery material.

The support unit shown in FIG. 4c possesses a narrowing of the cross section constantly proceeding upwardly starting at the height of the seat unit, in the form of a slant 8 of a side area. This slanting makes possible the achievement of an adaptation to a slanted body posture. This slant is used for the back area or a side area.

In FIG. 4d a different slanting is shown. Here it proceeds as an approximately diagonally-directed area 9, by which a vertical edge of the unit is sloped. This unit is suited preferably for a comer of a bench, which is provided with sloped support units according to FIG. 40. See also FIG. 8. The unit according to FIG. 4e is provided as support unit for an outwardly directed comer. For this purpose it possesses two slopes, as shown in FIG. 10.

The further drawings show seating and reclining furniture which is composed of the above described units.

FIG. 5 shows an easy chair without side rests with two seat units in the seating depth. The back rest of this easy chair is formed by three support units provided with sloping areas, as shown in FIG. 4c.

FIG. 6 shows a reclining chair which principally has resulted from the easy chair according to 5 in that the seating area thereof is extended in the direction away from the back rest through attachment of further seat units. In addition the reclining chair shown in FIG. 6 possesses a series of seat units. The end portion of this reclining chair is formed through four support elements according to FIG. 40.

FIG. 7 shows a double bench, which resulted through the joining of two benches, back to back. Each of the benches corresponds to a side-extension of the easy chair according to FIG. 5.

FIG. 8 shows an easy chair with arm rests, the back and sideparts of which each consist of two support units according to FIG. 40. At the corners in each case a support unit according to FIG. 4c is inserted, so that an easy chair results which is completely closed on the sides and in the back.

If one omits the support units at the comers in the easy chair according to FIG. 8, the easy chair according to FIG. 9 results, which offers an especially interesting shaping.

FIG. 10 shows how, with the aid of the units of the invention, in simple manner a seating island can also be constructed which in principle corresponds to a corner bench constructed around a pillar. In the center of this island four support units according to FIG. 4e are arranged, so that a large bench results.

A further variation of a bench is shown in FIG. 11. Here the bench is constructed into a corner, and again the support unit according to FIG. 4d forms the corner unit. Otherwise this bench corresponds to a great extent to the easy chair according to F IG. 5.

FIG. 12 clearly shows that especially interesting variations are possible with the units according to the invention. Here a row, composed of two benches, is constructed, whereby each bench possesses opposite seating direction, but the separating wall is a joint one.

As already mentioned in the beginning, the individual units are coupled with each other so that in each case a rigid piece of furniture results. FIG. 13 shows a working example for means for such a coupling. It is a U-shaped bow which is pressed, its opening directed upwardly, from below, over the lower edge of the boxes within the units. Thereby the bow is located between sliding means 3. If, for example, a piece of seating furniture is to be constructed, the bow is pushed under an already standing unit and thereafter the unit to be joined is introduced into the opening of the bow from above, whereby the alignment of the seat units towards each other takes place through the fitting of the projections 4 into the recesses 5. Thereby each unit is connected with each adjacent unit by such a bow.

The foam material upholstery of each unit can be provided with an exchangeable covering, which is of special advantage in particular for cleaning purposes. Such a covering is shown in FIG. 14. It consists of a cap 10, which can consist, for example, of cloth material synthetic material, leather or the like. It fits snugly over the foam material top piece 6. Below the cap ends in the area of the pulled-up brim 2 of each box I in a hollow seam 11 into which a rod 7 is inserted. Such a covering is pulled over a foam material top piece until rods 7 reach the hollow space behind the pulled-up brims 2,.where they are pressed behind the end of foam material top piece 6. Thereby the covering stretches automatically. It can easily be removed again from foam material top piece 6 by pulling out of the rods behind the foam material top piece. In this manner it is also possible, as required, to cover the elements difi'erently, and to also provide them, if desired, with a color pattern.

This invention provides a novel modular unit for use in manufacturing various pieces of furniture. The basic part of each unit is a box having an outwardly upturned trough at the bottom thereof. Using this box as the basis, an upholstered section converts the box to a seating or a support unit. Since all the troughs have identical dimensions, the units are completely interchangeable. Many different types of upholstered caps can be used, adding further to the versatility of the system. Upholstery can be quickly and easily attached or removed, as can the clips which attach adjacent units together. By the use of protuberances and recesses built into the trough on all sides, adjacent units are easily aligned. The boxes are advantageously designed in such a manner as to enable them to be stacked when the upholstery is removed, thus conserving storage space.

It is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the specific form or arrangement of parts herein described and shown, but is limited only by the scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A unit for constructing modularized furniture pieces comprising:

a generally quadratic box having an outwardly upturned trough about the lower portion thereof said trough'ineluding means for engaging others of said units to construct modularized furniture pieces, and an upholstered cap covering said box.

2. The unit set forth in claim 1 wherein said upholstered cap includes a seating surface on the upper portion thereof.

3. The unit set forth in claim 1 wherein'said upholstered cap includes a body support surface on at least one of the sides thereof.

4. The unit set forth in claim 3 wherein said body support surface is inclined.

5. The unit set forth in claim 1 wherein said upholstered cap extends downwardly into said trough.

6. The unit set forth in claim 5 further comprising a removable cover over said upholstered cap, said cover extending into said trough and being secured therein by interaction of said trough and said upholstered cap.

7. The unit set forth in claim 5 further comprising a cover over said upholstered cap, said cover extending into said trough and including rod means attached to said cover in said trough, said cover being secured in said trough by interaction of said trough, said upholstered cap, and said rod means.

8. A unit for constructing modularized furniture components comprising:

a generally quadratic box having an outwardly upturned trough about the lower portion thereof, said trough comprising four upturned sides, and

means for engaging others of said units to construct modularized furniture pieces, said engaging means comprising a protrusion and a recess on each of said sides, whereby said protrusion of one of said units engages said recess of another said unit.

9. A piece of body supporting furniture comprising a plurality of modular units adapted to be attached together in a predetermined cons-truction, each of said units comprising a generally quadratic box having an upholstered cap covering the upper portion thereof and an outwardly upturned trough about the lower portion thereof, said trough including means for engaging others of said units, and

means for releasably attaching said units together.

10. A piece of furniture as set forth in claim 9 including a first group of said units wherein said upholstered cap is of such suitable dimensions as to include a seating surface on the top portion thereof and a second group of said units wherein said upholstered cap is of such suitable dimensions as to include a body support surface on at least one of the sides thereof.

11. A piece of body supporting furniture comprising a plurality of modular units adapted to be attached together in a predetermined construction, each of said units comprising a generally quadratic box having an outwardly upturned trough about the lower portion thereof, said trough including means for engaging others of said units, and means for releasably attaching said units together comprising a U-shaped clip engaging said troughs of adjacent of said units.

12. A piece of body supporting furniture comprising a plurality of modular units adapted to be attached together in a predetennined construction, each of said units comprising a generally quadratic box having an outwardly upturned trough about the lower portion thereof, said troughs of all of said units having identical dimensions, each of said troughs including means for engaging others of said units, and

means for releasably attaching said units together.

13. A piece of body supporting furniture comprising a plurality of individual floor-standing seat units for providing a seating surface and individual floor-standing supports units of greater height than said seat units for providing back rest or arm rest surfaces, said seat units and said support units having an identical quadratic ground plan, the depth of said seating surface being formed by at least two of said seating units, and means for attaching said units to one another to form said piece of furniture.

14. A piece of furniture as set forth in claim 13 wherein each of said seat units is in the form of a quadratic block.

15. A piece of furniture as set forth in claim 13 wherein said ground plan of each of said units is in the form of a square.

16. A piece of furniture as set forth in claim 13 wherein said attaching means is hidden from view within the confines of said piece of furniture.

17. A piece of furniture as set forth in claim 13 wherein each of said support units has a portion slanted inwardly and upwardly beginning at the level of said seating surface.

18. A piece of furniture as set forth in claim 13 wherein each of said units comprises a generally quadratic box having an outwardly upturned trough about the lower portion thereof, said trough including means for engaging others of said unit.

19. The unit as set forth in claim 18 wherein said trough comprises four upturned sides, and wherein said engaging means comprises a protrusion and a recess on each of said sides, whereby said protrusion of one of said units engages said recess of another of said units.

20. A piece of furniture as set forth in claim 13 wherein each of said seat units further comprises an upholstered cap to form said seating surface and each of said support units further comprises an upholstered cap to form the surface of said back rest or arm rest.

21. A piece of furniture constructed exclusively of a plurality of interchangeable individual floor-standing units of identical square ground plan assembled adjacent one another, some of said units being seat units having a unit seating surface on the top and collectively forming a furniture seating surface and the remainder of said units being body support units having on the upper portion a unit body supporting surface of greater height than said furniture seating surface and collectively forming a furniture body supporting surface, the depth of said furniture seating surface being fonned of at least two of said seat units, and means for releasably attaching said units to one another.

22. A piece of furniture as set forth in claim 21 wherein each of said seat units is in the form of a quadratic block for its entire height.

23. A piece of furniture as set forth in claim 22 wherein each of said body support units has a portion slanted inwardly and upwardly above the level of said furniture seating surface.

Claims (23)

1. A unit for constructing modularized furniture pieces comprising: a generally quadratic box having an outwardly upturned trough about the lower portion thereof said trough including means for engaging others of said units to construct modularized furniture pieces, and aN upholstered cap covering said box.
2. The unit set forth in claim 1 wherein said upholstered cap includes a seating surface on the upper portion thereof.
3. The unit set forth in claim 1 wherein said upholstered cap includes a body support surface on at least one of the sides thereof.
4. The unit set forth in claim 3 wherein said body support surface is inclined.
5. The unit set forth in claim 1 wherein said upholstered cap extends downwardly into said trough.
6. The unit set forth in claim 5 further comprising a removable cover over said upholstered cap, said cover extending into said trough and being secured therein by interaction of said trough and said upholstered cap.
7. The unit set forth in claim 5 further comprising a cover over said upholstered cap, said cover extending into said trough and including rod means attached to said cover in said trough, said cover being secured in said trough by interaction of said trough, said upholstered cap, and said rod means.
8. A unit for constructing modularized furniture components comprising: a generally quadratic box having an outwardly upturned trough about the lower portion thereof, said trough comprising four upturned sides, and means for engaging others of said units to construct modularized furniture pieces, said engaging means comprising a protrusion and a recess on each of said sides, whereby said protrusion of one of said units engages said recess of another said unit.
9. A piece of body supporting furniture comprising a plurality of modular units adapted to be attached together in a predetermined cons-truction, each of said units comprising a generally quadratic box having an upholstered cap covering the upper portion thereof and an outwardly upturned trough about the lower portion thereof, said trough including means for engaging others of said units, and means for releasably attaching said units together.
10. A piece of furniture as set forth in claim 9 including a first group of said units wherein said upholstered cap is of such suitable dimensions as to include a seating surface on the top portion thereof and a second group of said units wherein said upholstered cap is of such suitable dimensions as to include a body support surface on at least one of the sides thereof.
11. A piece of body supporting furniture comprising a plurality of modular units adapted to be attached together in a predetermined construction, each of said units comprising a generally quadratic box having an outwardly upturned trough about the lower portion thereof, said trough including means for engaging others of said units, and means for releasably attaching said units together comprising a U-shaped clip engaging said troughs of adjacent of said units.
12. A piece of body supporting furniture comprising a plurality of modular units adapted to be attached together in a predetermined construction, each of said units comprising a generally quadratic box having an outwardly upturned trough about the lower portion thereof, said troughs of all of said units having identical dimensions, each of said troughs including means for engaging others of said units, and means for releasably attaching said units together.
13. A piece of body supporting furniture comprising a plurality of individual floor-standing seat units for providing a seating surface and individual floor-standing supports units of greater height than said seat units for providing back rest or arm rest surfaces, said seat units and said support units having an identical quadratic ground plan, the depth of said seating surface being formed by at least two of said seating units, and means for attaching said units to one another to form said piece of furniture.
14. A piece of furniture as set forth in claim 13 wherein each of said seat units is in the form of a quadratic block.
15. A piece of furniture as set forth in claim 13 wherein said ground plan of each of said units is in the form of a square.
16. A piece of furniture as sEt forth in claim 13 wherein said attaching means is hidden from view within the confines of said piece of furniture.
17. A piece of furniture as set forth in claim 13 wherein each of said support units has a portion slanted inwardly and upwardly beginning at the level of said seating surface.
18. A piece of furniture as set forth in claim 13 wherein each of said units comprises a generally quadratic box having an outwardly upturned trough about the lower portion thereof, said trough including means for engaging others of said unit.
19. The unit as set forth in claim 18 wherein said trough comprises four upturned sides, and wherein said engaging means comprises a protrusion and a recess on each of said sides, whereby said protrusion of one of said units engages said recess of another of said units.
20. A piece of furniture as set forth in claim 13 wherein each of said seat units further comprises an upholstered cap to form said seating surface and each of said support units further comprises an upholstered cap to form the surface of said back rest or arm rest.
21. A piece of furniture constructed exclusively of a plurality of interchangeable individual floor-standing units of identical square ground plan assembled adjacent one another, some of said units being seat units having a unit seating surface on the top and collectively forming a furniture seating surface and the remainder of said units being body support units having on the upper portion a unit body supporting surface of greater height than said furniture seating surface and collectively forming a furniture body supporting surface, the depth of said furniture seating surface being formed of at least two of said seat units, and means for releasably attaching said units to one another.
22. A piece of furniture as set forth in claim 21 wherein each of said seat units is in the form of a quadratic block for its entire height.
23. A piece of furniture as set forth in claim 22 wherein each of said body support units has a portion slanted inwardly and upwardly above the level of said furniture seating surface.
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