Bench Press, Victoria & Albert Museum
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Bench Press, Victoria & Albert Museum

Bench Press, Victoria & Albert Museum
By Editorial Staff -
Ahec has participated in the project
Started in 2004, designer company Established & Sons aims to promote British creativity by commissioning design objects from both high-profile and emerging designers. At the Milan Furniture Fair in April 2009, the group presented its fifth collection in a multi-purpose hall known as the Pelota. 30 tonnes of untreated American tulipwood were used to partition the 1340 sq m rectangular space into a miniature urban replica with roads, quiet corners and viewpoints. To prove how versatile and recyclable American tulipwood is, some of the Milan exhibition timber was reclaimed and used to make the “Bench Press”, an installation designed by Sebastian Wrong, Design Director of Established & Sons, decorated by artist Richard Woods, and placed in the domed atrium of London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. Set against the four corners of the atrium, the benches, some of them 3-metres long, are mirror images of their opposite number. Wrong’s clean, uncluttered layered design takes its cue from the many tiered cornice of the V&A’s atrium. It is further highlighted by artist Wood’s signature wood grain prints in brilliant turquoise, yellow and red. The beautiful grain patterns of the unpainted board, whose colour palette ranges from pale, yellow tones to olive green, is offset to great effect by the striking painted patterns. Collaboration between the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) and Established & Sons further raises awareness of the versatility of tulipwood, one of the most prolific American hardwoods combining versatility of use with resource sustainability. As David Venables, AHEC European Director, points out, working with important artists, designers and architects is an excellent way to demonstrate the many new applications open to tulipwood.

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