List of products by brand Jiri Jiroutek

Jiri Jiroutek

The beginnings

Jiri Jiroutek is from Pardubice in the Czech Republic. At a very young age, he was introduced to the world of carpentry by his uncle, who himself works with wood. He studied in Chrudim and graduated from the School of Applied Arts in Prague. After graduation, he joined Josef Michalík, who owns a furniture company at Uhříněves and a shop in Vinohrady. In February 1948, the company was nationalised under the name of Interiér Praha. After a year spent in the workshop, defects in mass production appeared. Specifically, the production is not fast enough, and the finishing takes too long. This is followed by a "simple construction procedure", where each piece of furniture is made with its finishes, allowing mass production of the parts, with the final phase of production being the assembly of the furniture. On this model, several pieces are made in this way, including a sideboard, a bookcase, a table, four chairs and a sofa.

The U-450 series, an innovation

In 1954, Jiri Jiroutek had a new and exciting idea: he invented the "kitchen storage unit", which consisted of two sinks hidden under a sliding worktop. In one sink the dishes were washed and in the other they were dried.
After innovative kitchen furniture, Jiroutek turned his attention to heavy and bulky office furniture with horizontally aligned drawers. He reworked this alignment, to propose a suite of column drawers. These may be the origins of the famous U-450 chests of drawers? The 1958 Universal Exhibition was a huge source of inspiration for the designer, who imagined colour: a chest of drawers with black, pink and grey drawers resting on a "compass" base. At that time, homes were painted in all colours, so why not incorporate them into the furniture? This is how the U-450 series appeared, with its twenty or so separate components, and its great success on the market.

Professional experience

In the autumn of 1968, Ingvar Kamprad, the owner of IKEA, travelled to Czechoslovakia to expand his product range and suggested that Jiri Jiroutek move to Sweden. For three years, the designer worked there on his technical drawings and offered so-called 'kit' furniture, which is sent in parts and is simply assembled. He remembers this experience as "three beautiful years of his life".
In 1992 he founded his company, l'Atelier Jiroutek and designed premises for banks and companies. He also had the opportunity to give lectures at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague for 6 years.
His love for wood and his technical knowledge make Jiroutek an artist designer and interior architect, who has put all his knowledge to work in the field of furniture. According to the interiors of the time, he imagined wooden furniture combining practicality and low price, and offering the choice of colour and model.

What about today?

Six decades after its creation, the U-450 model is back in fashion. The interior designer, who has just celebrated his 90th birthday in 2019, is fortunate to note that the furniture he designed, after having furnished tens of thousands of Czech homes under socialism, now furnishes modern homes! Few designers have the opportunity to see, in their lifetime, a piece come back in force in today's interiors.
Even today, Jiroutek still designs children's furniture, storage units for entrances and corridors, always at the lowest possible price.
"I have always tried to design affordable furniture so that everyone can buy it. I have always tried to design affordable furniture so that everyone can buy it," Jiroutek said in an interview in 2019.

If you want to know more about the sideboards of this designer : Jiri Jiroutek's chests.