After a series of successful restaurant projects including Studio East Dining and The Filling Station, Carmody Groarke produced a new bistro chair, "Chair 182", with designer Joe Pipal. The simple, comfortable and lightweight form was generated through close examination of the qualities and economy achieved by some of the notable early twentieth-century bentwood bistro chairs produced by Thonet, Mundus and JJ Kohn.
Carmody Groarke and Pipal began designing the chair by choosing a material they could work with directly in prototypes and which had strong associations with a legacy of simple, mutable and elegant bistro chair forms. Choosing a material to work with affected the form that the chair has taken, how it performs and even the visual signals it offers as to how comfortable it is. By making the chair from wood, they were able to work in a way that was true to the tradition of furniture production and allowed them to easily produce a series of prototypes within Carmody Groarke’s studio workshop.
The elegant chair is constructed entirely from stained and waxed CNC cut plywood and achieves its durability from robust, flexible cork lined joints, which prevent the need for screw fixings.
Chair 182 was produced in central London by Sunbeam Manufacturers. It was exhibited at the 'Wallpaper Handmade' exhibition, during the 2015 Salone di Mobile in Milan. Fernandez & Wells’ new Soho, Denmark Street café and Maggie’s Cancer Care Centre in Liverpool were the first commissions for the chair’s production.
Photography in situ: Luke Hayes
Photography: Richad Davies and Carmody Groarke