Luke Hughes and Company, recent news

Keystone Academy Library Beijing

Keystone Academy, Beijing - Our Latest Library Project

June 2016

Luke Hughes® has just completed all the design work and manufacture for a library at Keystone Academy, Beijing. The school is a brand new Chinese international school offering a new model of education in China, aiming to create a new world school that is academically outstanding. It offers bilingual immersion in Chinese and English from the age of 5 all the way through to 18, promoting Chinese culture and identity in a world context and concentrating on building character and community in a residential setting. This is a significant departure from the normal state education; it’s a first for China and is quite unlike any other international schools that have set up there as satellites of other western private schools.

In the words of the principal Malcolm McKenzie, ‘famous libraries have captured the imagination of writers for millennia, especially those that have been ruined, burnt, or in other ways destroyed’. The design of this library, with an equal mix of Chinese and English books, is seen as critical in establishing the cultural identity of the new school. Luke Hughes® was commissioned in January 2016 to devise how best to interpret this. The aim is to create a fine blend of eastern and western aesthetics and sensibilities about both libraries and books and what they are likely to mean in the 21st century, in a world dominated by the world-wide web.

The project promises to be one of the largest projects in the 35-year history of Luke Hughes and Company and is on track for dispatch, on time and on budget, at the end of June, for installation at the end of August.

Read more about our library projects here.

Leathersellers Company Livery Hall

New livery hall for the Worshipful Company of Leathersellers

May 2016

On 5 May 2016, the Court of the Leathersellers’ Company sat down at a new court table created by Luke Hughes® in their brand new livery hall, designed by Eric Parry Architects. The project was driven by architect Chris Burton and boasts an unusual yet luxurious combination of materials and finishes.

Luke Hughes® is also responsible also for new library furniture, the refurbishment of the company’s historic furniture and the re-engineering of the original mahogany dining hall tables in such a way that they can now be effortlessly folded away, stored, rearranged and reconfigured.

Over recent years, Luke Hughes® has designed furniture for many Livery Halls, including those of the Mercers, the Fishmongers, the Butchers, the Haberdashers, the Skinners, the Pewterers and the Carpenters.

Read more about our institutional projects here.

CBST Synagogue LGBT New York Gay

Critical acclaim for New York’s LGBTQ synagogue

May 2016

In May 2016 Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum led prayers of dedication for the new home of the Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, an inclusive New York-based LGBTQ synagogue featuring new worship and community spaces within a 1928 city landmark building.The project was overseen by New York firm Architecture Research Office and Luke Hughes® was commissioned to design new seating for both the sanctuary and chapel. 

The official opening coincided with receipt of many congratulatory letters including those from Barrack Obama, the Governor of New York State, the Mayor of New York, and a host of political leaders across the USA - a welcome sign of changing times.
The project has since attracted considerable architectural acclaim, not least from the New York Times and an erudite appraisal by Justin Davidson in NYMag. Davidson commends ARO for injecting ‘much meaning into a modest space’. He goes on: ‘history and symbolism weave through the building in intimate ways… and in the spots where it counts, custom luxury asserts itself – in the pews for instance, made in London by Luke Hughes, which are made of oak, for a durability that is symbolic as well as practical; curved to bring congregants as close together as possible; stackable so the room can be cleared for dancing; upholstered not just for comfort but also in memory of painful metal chairs.’

Luke Hughes first began working on the project three years ago and now has several other US synagogue projects on the drawing board.

Read more about this project here.

Dyson Centre completed

May 2016

Luke Hughes® has recently completed work on the new Dyson Centre for Engineering Design at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Engineering.

The new centre, partly funded by acclaimed British engineer and entrepreneur Sir James Dyson, brings together a newly refurbished workshop, library and research space. Architects Nicholas Hare have created the new centre, bridging spaces that were once unconnected to form a creative hub that will produce a new generation of engineers.

Luke Hughes® were commissioned to design much of the new furniture including workshop benches and storage, research and study spaces, library desking and custom seating for the new bridge. Read more about the project here


Render of Sanctuary at CBST with curved Luke Hughes benches

Excitement for CBST’s new home

April 2016

This month saw the opening of the new home for Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, an inclusive synagogue on New York’s West 30th Street. The renovated building, overseen by Architecture Research Office, will provide a wealth of new community spaces for the growing congregation. Luke Hughes® first began working on the project three years ago, having been commissioned to design seating for the Sanctuary and Chapel.

Whilst we wait on final imagery of the space, you can read an article on the project in the New York Times here and below are a few reactions to CBST’s new home from social media…

Congregation Beit Simchat Torah is open in NYC!

Posted by Architecture Research Office on Monday, 4 April 2016


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