Launched during Clerkenwell Design Week 2018, the new OVO range of solid wood furniture, designed by Foster + Partners and made by Benchmark, celebrates the age-old tradition of craftsmanship in everyday objects, combining durability and careful detailing with a strong materiality to create a range of furniture that is exceptionally tactile and generous.
Building on the practice’s earlier partnership with Benchmark to produce bespoke furniture for the Maggie’s cancer centre in Manchester, OVO carries forward the sense of home it brought to the project. Appropriate for both domestic and commercial spaces, the collection comprises of two variants of dining table, accompanying benches, sideboard, shelving unit, high table, stool and occasional tables made in either white oak or American walnut.
Mike Holland, Head of Industrial Design, Foster + Partners, said: “The soft geometry of the OVO range not only imbues the pieces with a quiet solidity, but also serves as a compelling invitation to touch, while the boldness and simplicity of its form demands perfection of execution of the craft. Working closely with the craftspeople at Benchmark, we have created a unique range of solid wood furniture that embodies a sense of warmth and generosity, and has an inherent sense of longevity that will allow each piece to gather memories and meaning through successive generations.”
Using the wonderful tactility of solid wood, the pillowed top surface of the tables and benches invites the arms and thighs to rest softly on the gentle bevel along its edge, an ergonomic detail that eliminates uncomfortable pressure points. The underside has a sloped profile that accentuates its crafted aesthetic, and four turned-wood legs pierce through to the table-top with a traditional expressed circular wedged tenon joint. The entire ensemble has an oiled natural finish that brings the materiality of the solid walnut to the fore.