Built between 1904 and 1906, the “Postsparkassenamt,” or Postal Savings Bank, on the Ring in Vienna, is one of Otto Wagner’s masterpieces. Against the stipulations of the project, the architect placed all of the bank counters under a huge glass roof, which proved a solution ahead of its time. Guided by rational considerations, he sought out forms and spatial relations that would benefit everyday situations. In their function as mere ornament, decorative elements were given a secondary role, at best. Light bulbs, for an example, were simply left naked in their lamp holders. “Anything impractical can never be beautiful,” was Wagner’s functionalist motto. The architect also made sure to design all the furnishings of the building. To accommodate clients in the bank’s station-like main hall, he made elegant, cubic chairs and stools such as the one shown here. However, by contrast, Wagner also designed comfortable armchairs to furnish the large meeting room. The holes punched into the seat on view add an impression of lightness, despite an additional solid feel. Embellished with Wagner’s characteristic bolts, the metal shoes on the feet and the aluminum mounts on the rests and joints contribute to a solid and permanent effect.