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Deftly sidestepping the ordinary and expected, this three piece contract-furniture collection by award-winning Vancouver practice Patkau Architects for Nienkämper combines elegance and whimsy — with a little material exploration thrown in for good measure.

First to be conceived was the Twist chair, which required the development of a patented process to achieve its signature shape: Two layers of Birch plywood are bent and fused together — without the need for heat or steam — to form a super-thin yet superbly strong structure. A trio of stainless steel hairpin legs support the flattened conical seat, maintaining its graceful and lightweight appearance.

“Beautiful, soft and friendly.”
Ini Archibong, AZ Awards 2021 Juror

From here came the Cocoon. Intent on creating an intimate space for semi-private meetings, Patkau applied the same manufacturing techniques used for Twist only at a grander scale. Reminiscent of the firm’s Skating Shelters in Winnipeg, the freestanding and partially enclosed booth is equipped with acoustic panels and a fixed bench and can be integrated with power and charging outlets.

A slight deviation, the Bilateral Bench is comprised of two solid wood planes — sloped for comfort — that are seemingly separated by a narrow gap. In actuality, they are connected via an internal stainless steel disc joint where two sets of slender hairpin legs (a direct reference to Twist) intersect the wood.

While the individual pieces have their own merit, the three profess a common language — one that emphasizes originality and beauty as much as practicality and functionality.

Winner: Furniture Systems and Collections
People’s Choice: Furniture Systems and Collections
AZ Awards 2021 Winner: Patkau Collection

Deftly sidestepping the ordinary and expected, this three piece contract-furniture collection by award-winning Vancouver practice Patkau Architects for Nienkämper combines elegance and whimsy.

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2020
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2013
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