Church chair designs shortlisted

The Church of England has shortlisted a number of designs in the competition to find a new chair design which could be used in its 16 000 parish churches.

Shortlisted design by Soren Rose Studio
Shortlisted design by Søren Rose Studio

Sir Terence Conran, Søren Rose Studio and Tomoko Azumi are among those whose designs have been shortlisted.

The competition, which launched in January, has been split into three categories.

Category one is open to students and recent graduates. The shortlist is: Ian Smith from Rycotewood Furniture Centre, Luke White from the University of Plymouth, Harry Owen from Bucks New University, Nick Shurey from the University of Bath and Marie Blanchot from Ecole National Superieure D’Architecture de Bretagne, France.

Category two is open to professionals. The shorlist is Sir Terence Conran, Julian Evans from Broome Jenkins, Søren Rose Studio, Tomoko Azumi & TNA Design Studio and David Colwell.

Category three is for a chair already in production, with designs from Luke Hughes and Simon Pengelly for Chorus shortlisted.

Shortlisted design by Sir Terence Conran
Shortlisted design by Sir Terence Conran

Designs have been judged on their sympathy with historic church interiors, affordability, functionality, comfort and aesthetics.

The overall winners will be unveiled on 14 June. A Church of England spokesman says that while there are currently no plans to establish links with manufacturers, it is hoped that the winning design will be brought to market.

Anne Sloman, chair of the Church Buildings Council, says, ‘The point of the competition has been to raise both the standard of chairs going into churches to replace pews and to highlight the potential that churches have to offer the design community and those just entering the profession.’

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