Michal Maciej Bartosik’s Pretzel chair for Battery Park

A chair created by Toronto-based designer Michal Maciej Bartosik is among the top 50 designs of the Battery Conservancy Americas “Draw Up A Chair” Design Competition. The winning design will be fabricated for the public’s use in the Battery, New York City’s birthplace and original waterfront park.

The Top 50 come from nine countries in the Americas: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, and the United States; 30% are from students and 70% are from professional designers.

The Top 50 were selected by a world-renowned jury from an impressive 679 submissions.

“It is wonderful that more than 1,500 talented designers from 15 countries in North, Central and South America submitted designs for this unique international competition,” says NYC Parks commissioner Veronica M. White. “We are proud to share the designs with the public to receive feedback since the chair is for all New Yorkers and visitors to use when they come to Battery Park. Special thanks to the team at the Battery Conservancy for moving this innovative project forward.”

To see all 50 design, including Michal Maciej Bartosik’s Battery Park Pretzel chair, visit thebattery.org/chair. 


According to Michal Maciej Bartosik, “The Battery Park Pretzel reinterprets the iconic cantilever chair by folding its continuous tubular frame in onto itself to produce what resembles an ergonomic ‘pretzel’ having three legs, a back, and arm rests. In doing so, like its predecessor, it achieves its new form with a minimal amount of material and labor, making it lightweight and stable. Its economy of production echoes the economy of the human body in the Park, in so far as the Pretzel Chair is reversible and accommodates the Park’s visitor in their most common positions: Task and Leisure. Its legs and rests work interchangeably, their proportions and angles designed to respond to the body in its respective positions.

The welded wire webbing prevents the bent steel tube frame from spreading, while providing a subtle surface to capture the body when in the reclined position; supporting the back and bracing the knees when cross legged. Its staggering minimizes the chair’s silhouette when not in use to allow uninterrupted views of the Park. A recycled rubber roller acts as a lumbar like back support in the task position. It completes the bent tube with of a tamper proof coupling fastener at either end. Cast in metal, it bears the park’s name to commemorate it, and the history of the iron works of the city. Dramatic in color, opportunistic, the Battery Park Pretzel chair longs for the attention bestowed upon the park’s most exotic flora.