The Second Centerbrook Chair Workshop

CENTERBROOK, Conn. -- Seven participants in the second Centerbrook Chair Workshop have crafted eight unique constructions of their own design. They range from a petite music seat fit for a child horn player to a languorous, wood-slatted, chaise longue/Adirondack chair cross suitable pour la Côte d'Azur.

The chairs were presented recently by their respective creators to the assembled office and to the firm’s partners, who repeatedly test-sat and examined the entries from all angles, proclaiming each to be soundly conceived, well crafted, comfortable, and beautiful.

After oral presentations by the chair makers, and the viewing and serial sittings, the partners declared Reno Migani’s modern interpretation of a club chair to be the winner of the Fall 2013 Centerbrook Chair. Consisting of multiple, horizontal, thin layers of plywood - stacked top to bottom with each sheet separated by a narrow uniform gap and laser cut to resemble a topographical model, including a tapered landing zone – the design combines a clean, crisp appearance with traditional comfort from a variety of sitting positions. Reno’s chair and the others are on display in the office lobby.

The Chair Workshop is offered to Centerbrook staff members semiannually and is lead jointly by Patrick McCauley, the firm’s Master Model Maker and Industrial Designer, and Bill Rutan, Facilities Manager and Master Carpenter. Patrick is preparing a post for the firm’s blog on the latest workshop that will include photos of each design.

“The workshop is a reflection of our devotion to craft, to a sense of the handmade, to the beauty and humanism with which we endeavor to imbue all of our buildings,” said Centerbrook Partner Jefferson Riley, FAIA. “Participants receive hands-on instruction in a variety of building crafts, including woodworking, metal work, ceramics, resins, castings, fabrics, and finishes.”

The other Centerbrook designers were Charles Mueller, Dan Batt, Andrew Safran, and Dillon Wilson. Two guest participants were Mary Wilson, a former Centerbrook architect, and Ben Gunn, who designed and built two chairs. Elizabeth Hedde of Centerbrook also participated until the appearance of her firstborn intervened. She will resume her project in an upcoming workshop.