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Rubra furniture collection on show for the first time at Interzum

by Minna Havstad

Following a series of hugely successful projects with Sebastian Cox, AHEC have commissioned the furniture designer/maker to create a bespoke set of bar tables and stools for this year’s Interzum.

“Red oak is not just America’s most abundant hardwood, and so its most sustainable, it’s hugely versatile with an appealing, wonderfully warm aesthetic. However, while it’s very popular in other markets, it’s been less utilised in Europe," says David Venables, AHEC European Director.

Earlier this year, architects Chan + Eayrs and furniture maker Sebastian Cox designed and crafted the Blushing Bar for Wallpaper* Handmade at Milan Design Week, with a design that exploits the unique properties of American red oak. In preparation for the Interzum trade show in Cologne, Germany, in May this year, AHEC commissioned designer-maker Sebastian Cox to produce yet another red oak piece that highlights the performative and aesthetic qualities of the wood.

The result is the Rubra collection; a long bar-height table with stools that can be ingeniously stored underneath.

Sebastian Cox says, “everything we design is scaleable with production in mind. Added to which the market needs more products in this material.”

“It was the perfect material for the brief. Its strength to weight meant we could make the proportions of the pieces very elegant,” he added. “It also bends a great deal before snapping, machines beautifully and takes a finish well. One challenge was its eagerness to absorb glue, but, given a double application, the connections were as strong as in any hardwood.”

American red oak is the dominant species in the U.S. hardwood forests, making up nearly one fifth of their standing hardwood volume – with distinctive grain, and wood that is not always red in colour. The name comes from the leaf colour in the fall. Red oak trees grow only naturally and almost exclusively in North America, although planted elsewhere. They are widely distributed throughout most of the eastern United States in mixed hardwood forests. American red oak is growing 55.2 million m3 per year while the harvest is 33.9 million m3 per year. The net volume (after harvest) is increasing 21.3 million m3 each year – a size equivalent to five Wembley stadiums.

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