Posted in materials on November 30, 2016 10:54 am EST

The Art of the Chair

Danish-based furniture provider Howe, with a U.S. showroom in Chicago, is a go-to for worship space chair specification by architects in their house of worship projects. Here, Church Designer asks architects for their take on Howe products.

Images of the chapel at First Unitarian Church of St. Louis, courtesy of Powers Bowersox Associates. Shown here, the 40/4 stacking chair.


 

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TAGS: chair, design, ff&#, interior design,

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By Carol Badaracco Padgett

Howe's 40/4 chair graces a number of house of worship projects around the world, including Unitarian Universalist Church of Oregon in Bend, Ore. (profiled in the MayJune issue of Church Designer magazine), as well as First Unitarian Church of St. Louis, to name a few. Most notably in London the 40/4 chair—named because 40 chairs are able to be stacked just four-feet high—was specified in St. Paul’s Cathedral in 1973, demonstrating the product’s longevity. The chairs were used for the royal weddings of Prince Charles and Diana in 1981 as well as the more recent wedding of William and Kate.

"While many manufacturers are introducing stacking chairs, more often than not they look like stacking chairs. We are intrigued by the design [of] the 40/4 chair because of its elegant, integrated look, something we don’t find in other chairs."

—James Theimer, AIA, Founder & Principal, Trilogy Architecture, Redding, CA

Church Designer spoke with three U.S. architects that focus on sacred space design to collect their thoughts on the 40/4, as well as another gathering space-appropriate configurable, modular seating product from the company, the Manhattan.

Fred Powers, AIA, of Powers Bowersox Associates Inc. in St. Louis reports the following of the 40/4 chair, which his firm specified in its First Unitarian Church of St. Louis project: “To express an overused description … they are timeless. We have been an enthusiast for this chair since it was introduced … in 1964.”

Fred Powers, AIA

Aubrey Garrison III, AIA Emeritus and president of Live Design Group in Birmingham, Ala., reports that he’s looking forward to seeing Howe’s Manhattan modular seating in person this September at Worship Facilities Conference and Expo (WFX) in Louisville, Ky. When asked if the Manhattan has application for gathering and youth spaces, he notes: “As an architect, I like the clean look of the seating. The product has a look that is current—and the shapes can be connected in many different layouts. It also appears it has an option to add various electrical connections and USB connections.”

Aubrey Garrison III, AIA Emeritus

James Theimer, AIA, Founder & Principal, Trilogy Architecture in Redding, Calif., states the following on the 40/4 chair: “While many manufacturers are introducing stacking chairs, more often than not they look like stacking chairs. We are intrigued by the design [of] the 40/4 chair because of its elegant, integrated look, something we don’t find in other chairs.”

James Theimer, AIA

Theimer also reports that the Manhattan modular is exciting in its “flexible, freeform expression,” saying, “It looks like a place where people—especially children—will want to sit. And engaging children in our designs is always important to us."

 

 

 

 

Learn more about the companies in this story:

Howe

 

Live Design Group

 

Trilogy Architecture

 

Powers Bowersox Associates Inc.

 

 

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