Chairs have volume. They need space. They occupy space.
Easy to understand, isn’t it? Well, such a simple theory hides a bunch of interesting implications when projecting your venue. Most times we work in halls where our chairs play a key role in their design – but occasionally we are required our chairs to be unnoticed. Still needed, but anonymous.
In order to illustrate this idea we would like to share with you the case of the Centro Cultural de Corella (Spain): an extraordinary conceptual experience that helped us to appreciate the idea of volume.
The architect of this building, Mr Vicente I. Díez Elzaguirre, immediately shared with us the concept that permeated this job: a clean space in which the volume of the chairs should be very low… light. We were asked to consider narrow standards that would not attract the spectators’ glances, arms as small as possible and above all, thin upholstered backs that would help to create a slim chair.
Although we took our Javier model as a starting point we had to work hard in order to apply all these small details required by the architect.
So we reduced the thickness of the standards, foams – and even of the wooden arms so they would be in tune with the outer plywood panels of seat & back.
The only objective was volume. Always volume. How to produce a lighter chair while giving more importance to the space of the venue. A conceptual challenge that was revealed to us when the installation was completed.
The chairs are there – but they do not “occupy” the space. The standards hold the chair but do not bother. Both seat & back cushions follow the shapes of the outer plywood panels.
And you can see the space.
And of course we force ourselves to maintain the “essence” of the chair in terms of aesthetics and design: backs are joined without gaps, tipping seats are 45º aligned with the arms and air outlets are located right in the middle of both standards.
To be fair: only when we look at the completed venue we realize the final result – don’t you see the chairs sharing the dimensions of walls, floors and ceiling?