The Canadian Coconut Chair by A.J. Donahue

The Winnipeg Chair- also known as the Canadian Coconut Chair - is a Canadian classic.

This sensational piece of furniture was designed in the late 1940s by Canadian architect A.J. Donahue, with the help of his architecture students at the University of Manitoba (where Donahue taught).


Image Courtesy of Design Exchange

The design of the chair uses a bent plywood base with brass legs. The sloped back adds to its comfort and makes it inviting.

It’s impossible to resist taking a seat. 

Image courtesy of Architonic

This design resembles the Coconut Chair, designed by George Nelson in 1955, although bear in mind Donahue’s Winnipeg chair came out first, serving as a great example of Canadian trend-setting!

It was recently featured as part of the Design Exchange’s show ‘Playing Favourites’, which looked at post-war and contemporary design in Canada.

Only 200 were ever made, so consider yourself lucky if you’ve had a chance to see one. And if you own one... we're green with envy!


Researched and Written by Gorana Tolja, Graduate of the Ryerson School of Interior Design & a MA Student at OCAD University in the Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Histories program, focusing on contemporary design history.

Posted In: Canada

Post your comment