Pleased to greet you

Walking into an office or any corporate building, the first thing you’ll be greeted with is a reception. Not always just a dull desk with a pot plant or two, the design savvy are well aware of the important first impression that this often overlooked piece of furniture can give.

So it’s good to see the humble reception desk getting a bit of recognition in The Wood Awards – a prize that celebrates the best design and architecture in the natural substance – last week.

Fred Perry reception
Fred Perry reception by Buckley Gray Yeoman in collaboration with The Cutting Room

Rather than a chair or table, Fred Perry’s reception at the fashion company’s London headquarters won the top furniture prize, with its stand-alone sculptural form inspired by the famous laurel wreath logo.

The structure, designed by Buckley Gray Yeoman in collaboration with makers The Cutting Room, acts as a seating area and reception desk and impressed the judges with its craftsmanship and brand application.

The reception desk also includes a seating area
The reception desk also includes a seating area

Furniture judge Sean Sutcliffe from Benchmark Furniture says, ‘It’s a dramatic piece that is both emblematic and practical. The design and production has been carried out to the very highest standard – this piece ticks every box.’

Built from 405 sheets of 18mm birch plywood, with a total length of 7.3m, it spans the length of the reception area and was created on a tight budget.

Fred Perry reception
Fred Perry reception

The 2.5 tonne structure took around six weeks to build, with two machinists and six people to sand and lacquer over 1.8km of edges.

Apparently when Mark Drury from The Cutting Room first saw the plans he thought they were too ambitious and shut them away in his drawer for a week and ignored it. Luckily for Fred Perry, he reconsidered and a winner was made.

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