Vertex and Miroslav Navrátil
The Czech company Vertex is tightly connected with production of fiberglass of the same name. Since 1949, the main factories were placed in Hradec Králové and Litomyšl. Both factories played an important part in forming the cities, the booming fiberglass technology required many workers for whom the company Vertex build a housing estate in Litomyšl that still exist. The factory building in Hradec Králové was recently converted to library by a Czech architect David Vávra. While Vertex focused its production on engineering and building industry, many people are aware of its existence because of the collaboration with a designer Miroslav Navrátil.
Miroslav Navrátil (1913 - 1999) was one of the most extraordinary designers in the history of Czechoslovak design. He was a member of a studio called Vývoj nábytkářského průmyslu (Furniture Industry Development). Together with his colleagues he supplied the local factories with product designs that often used their innovative technologies.
In 1959 Miroslav Navrátil designed a fiberglass chair, simply known as Vertex chair, that later became an icon of Czechoslovak socialist design. Vertex chair i a fiberglass shell chair with an elliptical hole between seat and back made in bright colours that were significant for the Brussels Style it very clearly represents. The unusual geometric shape was enabled by a construction from the Vertex fiberglass material that is made from glass and synthetic resin.
The Vertex chair became a part of everyday lives of people in many Europe cities and it still is. It became a part of the interiors of the famous tram T3. The Czechoslovak Tatra T3 is the largely produced tram in the world and the seat of Vertex chairs are its inseparable component.
Fiberglass was also great for the ship production. Many a Czech (Czechoslovak) boater cruised rivers and ponds in Czechoslovakia and abroad on boats produced in the former Vertex company. In 1968, the ship hull and license for production was brought to Czechoslovakia from France. The hull was pressed into a form which was then moved to Vertex Hradec Kralove where it was consequently produced for many years to come.
The chair was produced in many shape and colour options. The universality of the chair was supported by different kinds of metal bases that made the chair suitable for all industrial, office and residential spaces. A legend permanently written in history of the Czechoslovak design was born. More at http://www.czech100.com/?lang=en&page=icons-3.