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Berlin Daybed
Iconic Designs

Berlin Daybed

About the Design

With its long mattress gently elevated on a molded wooden frame, the Berlin daybed created by Bruno Mathsson (1907–88) offers a simple space for relaxation and reveals the Swedish architect as a pioneer in ergonomic furniture design. While outwardly minimal, its four tapered legs with their sculptural details reflect Mathsson’s technical innovations in working with wood. The Berlin daybed — an update of the “lounge bed” he introduced at the 1937 Paris Exposition — debuted at the 1957 International Building Exhibition in Berlin, which showcased contemporary urban living. 


Each element of the Berlin daybed was conceived with optimal support in mind. Mathsson was influenced by the aesthetics of fellow Scandanavian designers Alvar Aalto and Gunnar Asplund, but he prioritized human comfort. Mathsson observed how people positioned themselves on furniture and made anatomical studies of posture. This guided his furniture design, which began in the 1930s. Born into a family of cabinetmakers, Mathsson also understood the properties of wood and its untapped potential. By laminating and bending the material, he molded lightweight forms that would fit the body. Mathsson conducted various experiments with seating and chair backs, all of which had curved dynamic lines, a contrast to Bauhaus-style hard angles, which were then dominating modernism.


Despite his international success, Mathsson never opened his own firm. His Berlin daybed entered production at his father’s studio, Firma Karl Mathsson, in his hometown of Värnamo, in 1964. Such intimate oversight gives this and the other pieces of Mathsson’s furniture that were manufactured by his father’s firm — all constructed with the natural materials that characterize Scandinavian mid-century design — an enduring quality.


Bruno Mathsson Berlin Daybed

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Bruno Mathsson 'Berlin' Daybed by Karl Mathsson
By Bruno Mathsson, Karl Mathsson
Located in Utrecht, NL
Birch and beech plywood daybed model T303 also known as the 'Berlin' daybed since it was first presented at the International Building Exhibition in Berlin in 1957. Designed by Swedi...
Category

Vintage 1950s Swedish Scandinavian Modern Daybeds

Materials

Beech, Birch

Berlin Daybed by Bruno Mathsson Sweden, circa 1960
By Bruno Mathsson
Located in New York, NY
Chic "Berlin" daybed by Swedish modern master, Bruno Mathsson. Made by Firma Karl Mathsson Sweden, circa 1960 Molded Beech, new upholstery Measures: 80" L x 40" W x 18.5" H. Bruno M...
Category

Vintage 1950s Swedish Scandinavian Modern Daybeds

Materials

Upholstery, Beech

"Berlin" Daybed Bruno Mathsson for Karl Mathsson
By Bruno Mathsson, Karl Mathsson
Located in Dallas, TX
Elegant curving platform daybed in birch with split leg and cotton upholstered mattress. Marked and made by Karl Mathsson and dated 1969.
Category

Vintage 1950s Swedish Scandinavian Modern Daybeds

Materials

Fabric, Plywood

Bruno Mathsson Daybed Model Berlin Produced by Karl Mathsson in Sweden
By Bruno Mathsson
Located in Malmo, SE
Rare daybed model Berlin designed by Bruno Mathsson. Produced by Karl Mathsson in Värnamo, Sweden.
Category

Vintage 1960s Swedish Scandinavian Modern Daybeds

Materials

Leather, Beech

"Berlin" Daybed Bruno Mathsson for Karl Mathsson
By Bruno Mathsson, Firma Karl Mathsson
Located in Dallas, TX
Elegant curving platform daybed in birch with split leg and cotton upholstered mattress. Marked and made by Karl Mathsson and dated 1969.
Category

Vintage 1950s Swedish Scandinavian Modern Daybeds

Materials

Beech