News

Heraldic gates

Heraldic gates

December 2012

As part of the continuing works at the Hall of the Worshipful Company of Mercers, the premier Livery Company in the City of London, Luke Hughes® has just designed and supervised the installation of a new set of heraldic gates, separating the Ambulatory from the Chapel. The gates sport the heraldic devices of two saints, both Mercers - Thomas More and Thomas Beckett, as well as that of the medieval merchant, Dick Whittington - who was admitted as Mercer in 1393.

The work follows on from making new furniture for the chapel, including a new altar, lecterns, prayer desks and upholstered pews. The project has also involved re-siting a remarkable pieces of 15th century sculpture - a figure of Christ taken down from the cross. This sculpture was apparently hidden during the Reformation and remained so until it was found in the rubble when the Hall was hit by a bomb in 1941.

The gates were made by Paul Elliot of Hammer and Tongs. The gilding and heraldic crests are the work of Philip Surey, who also carved a new inscription to a new plinth for the 16th century alabaster memorial to Sir Richard Fishborne (d 1625).

Links:
http://www.mercers.co.uk/
http://www.philipsurey.co.uk/
http://www.blacksmithonline.co.uk/










Christmas wishes



We are now celebrating our 32nd year in Covent Garden.
Many thanks to all our professional colleagues during 2012 and the years to come.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
from all of us at

Luke Hughes®








A Modern University Library

A Modern University Library

November 2012

The University Library, one of the foremost libraries in the world, has just completed the refurbishment of the old catalogue and circulation areas with furniture designed and supplied by Luke Hughes®. A modern university library is now a virtual as well as a physical space, with an increasing amount of content delivered digitally to remote users. Inevitably, the way the space is used has to change. Nevertheless, the interior of the library still closely reflects the legacy of Giles Gilbert Scott's original design intent. In addition to accommodating advances in technology, Luke Hughes® worked with the project architect to provide a physical environment that continues to be welcoming and inspiring for readers, staff and visitors to meet and work - either alone or in groups.

Luke Hughes® has been working for the UL since 1998, originally for Aoi Pavilion (named after Tadao Aoi) which houses the Chinese, Korean, Japanese and East Asian collections, and later for the Munby Rare Books and elsewhere. The project architect was the Cambridge-based practice, Saunders Boston.

The project bore out many of the design principles applied to the refurbishment of the Oundle School Library (completed in Oct 2011) and formally opened by the Cambridge University Librarian, Anne Jarvis.
(See Oct 2011 news)

Links to:
http://www.saundersboston.com
http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/

Related articles
Library projects










Westminster Abbey Cellarium

Westminster Abbey Cellarium

October 2012

Westminster Abbey is continuing the ancient Benedictine tradition of providing hospitality to visitors. The Cellarium, part of the 14th century fabric of Westminster Abbey, was where the monks kept their stores of food and drink. Now the Cellarium café, run by Benugo, refreshes this tradition of hospitality and allows visitors to enjoy a meal with views over the towers of the Abbey on the upper level or under the historic vaults downstairs.

The conversion was carried out by the architects, Panter Hudspith, who won an architectural competition for the project run by Malcolm Reading Consultants. The furniture was also the result of a design competition, won by Luke Hughes® towards the end of 2011.

The furniture, made in solid English oak, is designed to complement the tough regime of Benugo's catering operation whilst still reflecting the monastic traditions of the Abbey. The tables are designed to be capable of reconfiguring for more formal feasts as well as daily catering for visitors. More important, all the furniture can be cleared away completely in less than 15 minutes.

The leather upholstered backs of the chairs are embossed with the Abbey coat of arms, and the stacking benches have a bronze version, cast from a lime-wood carving by Gyorgy Mkrtichian, set into the backs

Partners
Benguo
Westminster Abbey
Malcolm Reading Consultants
Panter Hudspith
Georgy Mkrtichian









Stirling prize 2012

Stirling prize 2012

October 2012

Stanton Williams' Sainsbury Laboratory at the University of Cambridge has just won the UK’s most prestigious architectural award, the Stirling Prize. The shortlist was drawn from a “RIBA Mid-List“ of twenty schemes, which included two further Stanton Williams projects: the new UAL campus for Central St Martins at Kings Cross and the Hackney Marshes Centre.

The Stirling Prize is awarded to the architects of the project built or designed in Britain "which has made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture in the past year.

The building, for which Luke Hughes® developed the bespoke designs for almost all the furniture in the building, has already won a remarkable list of architectural prizes, including:

2012 RIBA Award
2012 RIBA East Building of the Year Award
2012 LABC Award, Best Educational Building
2012 RICS Award, Highly Commended in Design & Innovation category
2012 Civic Trust Award
2012 Lighting Design Award
2011 World Learning Building of the Year WAF Award
2011 Concrete Society Award, Overall winner
2011 David Urwin Design Award Best New Building, Commended
2011 Construction News Award, Highly Commended
2011 British Construction Industry Award, Highly Commended

Related Articles:
Sainsbury Botanic Institute opened by the Queen
Sainsbury Laboratory architect wins Gold Award
The Sainsbury Botanic Institute Project Profile









Vibrant storage at St Albans

Vibrant storage at St Albans

September 2012

St Albans Cathedral has commissioned Luke Hughes® to complete Luke's proposal to accommodate all the new liturgical furniture, completed for the nave in 2011, under the organ loft in the centre of the building. Although the scheme was designed and received approval from the Cathedral Fabric Commission for England in 2009, funding has only recently been forthcoming.

The new storage area will be decorated with panels painted by artist John Maddison, whose designs echo some of the decorative ceilings and walls elsewhere in the 11th century cathedral. Maddison is the artist of the much-loved reredos in Bishop Alcock's chapel at Ely Cathedral, depicting Instruments of the Passion.

The storage area has been developed in association with the cathedral surveyor, Richard Griffiths, and will help to re-create a processional route between the nave and the choir.

Related articles
St Albans Cathedral project profile









Jesus College

Jesus College

August 2012

Jesus College, Cambridge have recently restored the rooms over the medieval Chapter House, embedded within the college fabric, that sits on 13th century remains of the ruinous nuns' Priory of St Radegund. The college incorporated the nunnery in the 1490s. The recent upgrade was supervised by Donald Insall Associates and carried out by contractors Morgan Sindall.

Luke Hughes® were commissioned to design the furniture, intended to enable the two principle spaces to be used for a variety of meetings and gatherings. The table design incorporates the unique, patented, MINERVA folding table mechanism, which enables the legs of tables to fold without looking like a trestle table, allowing the room to be cleared.

The building project won an RIBA Spirit of Ingenuity Award in 2011, although the furniture was installed a little later.

Other related articles
Cambridge Online article









Upgrading the 1960s CLASSIC

Upgrading the 1960s CLASSIC

July 2012

400 new chairs for the Grade II* dining hall at Churchill College were delivered in July fifty years after the original version were designed by Robin Day - (January news article)

A number of advances in technology were accommodated in the new design, including accommodation for acoustic management, ease of storage, jointing techniques and (in a nod to contemporary notions of comfort), leather upholstery. But all of those changes are 'below the line', so that casual visitors to the dining hall will barely notice any change. Most crucially, the new chairs are designed to be easily handled, stacked and removed from the Hall.

Churchill College received its Royal Charter in 1961 and does not have the long traditions and endowment of the oldest colleges, such Peterhouse (1284) or Corpus Christi (1352), nonetheless the chairs are being sponsored by grateful alumni.









Flexible college breakout area

Flexible college breakout area

July 2012

Architects Berman Gueddes Stretton have supervised the restoration of this historic part of the college. The furniture chosen was the ATHENA folding table system and a version of the NEWNHAM stacking chairs (originally designed for Newnham College, Cambridge and, subsequently favoured by the Prince of Wales for the Orangery at Highgrove). The room is designed for a variety of conference, catering and break-out uses, part of a much larger scheme to upgrade the college catering facilities.

Other relevant articles
New Catering Facilities Unveiled

 








Luke Hughes returns to Singapore to lecture about environmental issues affecting furniture

Luke Hughes returns to Singapore to lecture about environmental issues affecting furniture

June 2012

Luke Hughes is in Singapore again this week, as one of the keynote speakers at the 17th Southeast Asia and Greater China Convention.  The event is hosted by the American Hardwoods Export Council (AHEC) and jointly organised by the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) and the Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC).  The Convention will address the sustainability of American hardwood, green design and the true environmental impact of material choice through AHEC’s recent Life Cycle Assessment study.
http://www.ahec-singapore.com/seventeen/page/program

Luke’s presentation will look at the paradox that, in the recent rush to be ‘seen to be green’ political correctness has got in the way of understanding forestry practices over the last two thousand years.  Similarly, in consumer-driven societies architects and designers have tended to lose sight of the benefits of designing for long life-expectancy.  Who these days designs for the next hundred years?  Drawing on his experience of the last thirty years designing for institutions and their buildings that have been around for five hundred years or more Luke will address some of these issues.

During the week Luke and Jeremy Cummin, chairman of Luke Hughes®, will also be following up business opportunities identified during their visit earlier in the year.  ‘We were enormously encouraged by the interest shown during our visit in March - the response was truly overwhelming.’ said Jeremy Cummin.








Lord Phillips commemorates Middlesex JPs at the UK Supreme Court

Lord Phillips commemorates Middlesex JPs at the UK Supreme Court

May 2012

Lord Phillips, President of the Supreme Court, unveiled a plaque in the Supreme Court, formerly the Middlesex Guildhall, on Monday, 26 May 2012 to commemorate the work of the former Justices of the Peace for the old county of Middlesex.  For over a hundred years these JPs served on the Magistrates Courts Committee and on the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee for the Middlesex Area. 

Samuel Kershen, a former Magistrate and Deputy Lieutenant of the County, left a small legacy, which paid for the commemorative plaque.  Richard Walduck, who was also a Middlesex Magistrate, commissioned Luke Hughes® to design the plaque with assistance from Laurie-Ann Ward at Webb & Webb.

In 2008 when the building was converted for the Supreme Court Luke Hughes® designed the library and, with Tomoko Azumi, developed the designs for the furniture in the three principal court rooms and the Justices’ private rooms.  http://www.supremecourt.gov.uk/news/index.html

Image shows left to right: Luke Hughes, Lord Phillips (President of the Supreme Court), Jenny Rowe (Chief Executive) and Richard Walduck, JP DL OBE








Pews back in pride of place after plastic seat ‘horror’

Pews back in pride of place after plastic seat ‘horror’

April 2012

The Daily Telegraph featured an article in their Easter edition (Saturday, 7th April) with the above headline. The full article, by Religious Affairs Editor, John Bingham, can be read by following this link:
www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9190548/Pews-move-back-into-churches-after-plastic-seat-horror.html

The article notes some key changes in guidance from English Heritage and the Church of England:

“Officials at English Heritage, a guardian of the country’s historic buildings. have given their blessing to a new design of lightweight ‘stackable’ pews which traditionalists hope will drive ‘doctor’s waiting room’ chairs out of historic naves.
Faced with dwindling attendances on Sundays and a desire to attract new worshippers, the Church of England is in the midst of a drive to open up historic buildings for new uses such as concerts, plays or children’s playgroups.
But opponents say some of the modern chairs which have often taken (the) place (of pews) destroy the historic atmosphere.
English Heritage has stepped in with a solution .........and given its backing to the introduction of portable pews.
Church of England guidance now also encourages the use of portable pews.
Luke Hughes, a furniture designer who came up with the idea of a stacking pew 12 years ago, said “the official approval represented a breakthrough…..church chairs are diminishing some of the greatest architectural designs of all time. I couldn’t bear what was happening to a lot of those church interiors.”
Local church authorities have recently got behind the shift, encouraging parishes to consider pews rather than chairs.

See the full range of Luke Hughes Stacking Pews by following this link:
http://lukehughes.wardourdigital.com/index.php/support/screenbook/stacking_pews/








Church Times features stacking pews

Church Times features stacking pews

March 2012

We are delighted to reproduce the article from the 16th March edition of the Church Times.
www.churchtimes.co.uk








Interest builds in Singapore

Interest builds in Singapore

March 2012

Luke Hughes and the new company chairman, Jeremy Cummin, are in Singapore for the International Furniture Fair in March. Luke Hughes will also be a guest at the International Furniture Night in Kuala Lumpur on 8 March.

Over the last 30 years, Luke Hughes® has become a thought leader in its market sectors, including corporate, institutional and luxury hotel spas. The company has an unrivalled blue chip client list and has established the reputation of providing the very best in British design and craftsmanship. It has completed over 900 boardrooms, worked with more than 25 corporate clients worldwide and 41 spas in international hotels, and is now looking to develop the Luke Hughes® brand internationally.

Luke Hughes personally lectures worldwide on sustainability and the relationship between architecture and furniture.  Inspired by Luke, the company provides professional advice on the optimum use of buildings, showing users how they can inhabit their space more efficiently and breathe life into modern and historic buildings, through the delivery of beautifully resolved bespoke furniture. A good example of thought leadership is how we are changing the way people think about libraries in the digital age, and the integration of technology into sensitive settings.

Luke Hughes® has 30 years’ experience in furniture design with outsourced manufacturing, and is now looking for partners in Asia/Pacific. The company will support new international franchisees of the Luke Hughes® brand through an established partnership approach, to provide additional specialist skills, a wide network of architects and niche suppliers, and an extensive catalogue of fully resolved designs.

In 2010, we were shortlisted for the Walpole Award for British Luxury Design Talent, which honours individuals and companies for their work in the luxury sector both in Britain and around the world, celebrating their outstanding achievements in design, craftsmanship, business and culture. Past winners include Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Dunhill, Paul Smith, Goodwood, Links of London, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Aston Martin, Burberry and Marc Jacobs.








Luke Hughes lectures at the Royal College of Art

Luke Hughes lectures at the Royal College of Art

February 2012

In February, Luke Hughes gave the first of a series of three-hour lecture to students at the Royal College of Art on subjects including ‘Sustainability - what the eco-lobby doesn’t publish’, ‘Designing around the materials’ and ‘Technical aspects of timber design’.

The lectures are part of a programme, organised for the Royal College with visiting tutor, Sebastian Wrong (Design Director of Established and Sons), which is intended to mentor RCA students through a course dedicated to designing a chair in solid American hardwood whilst also calculating the Life Cycle Impact of the product.

‘The project is less about designing an indulgent product, than it is about the wider furniture-making industry, the understanding of each process and its environmental and cost implications’ said David Venables of the programme sponsors, American Hardwoods Export Council.

Luke Hughes’ institutional clients tend to seek chairs with at least 50-100 year life expectancy, and some of his chairs are still giving good service after 25 years or more - so he is particularly well-qualified to pass on specialist knowledge on the subject.

The programme continues throughout the next six months.

www.establishedandsons.com

www.rca.ac.uk

http://www.americanhardwood.org








Chancel furniture for Holy Trinity, Cuckfield

Chancel furniture for Holy Trinity, Cuckfield

January 2012

Luke Hughes® won another design competition in December, to design the new liturgical furnishings for the extraordinarily beautiful parish church of Holy Trinity, Cuckfield, Sussex.

The church traces its origins back to at least the 11th century. Athough the current buildings are largely 13th century, there is much evidence of heavy Victorian restoration, to a very high standard, by G F Bodley and C E Kempe. As part of the re-ordering by their current architect, Nicholas Lee-Evans, the parish have been determined to maintain the quality of this evolution in the new furnishings. The parish had invited a number of furniture designers to compete for the project before approaching Luke Hughes.

Colin Sewell-Rutter, the project chairman, wrote to confirm the appointment of Luke Hughes®, saying: ‘I am pleased to report that our team has unanimously decided that you should be chosen to design and fulfil our Chancel furniture commissions. We felt that you, unlike any of the other leading designers we have considered, listened to (and helpfully challenged) not just our own detailed brief but also very carefully to what our very special building is itself saying’.

The project is due for completion in May 2012.

Link to www.holytrinitycuckfield.org
Link to www.lee-evans.co.uk








Designing with hardwoods - lecturing in Rotterdam

Designing with hardwoods - lecturing in Rotterdam

January 2012

Luke Hughes was invited to Rotterdam as a principal guest speaker at the Houtag Conference 2011. Luke was speaking on ‘Where the tactile meets the technical’, a look at how key design factors can help extract the best value (and a 100-year life expectancy) from hardwoods. The lecture continues the series given in by Luke Hughes over the last few years in India, the Middle and Far East, as well as Australasia. Having designed furniture for over 30 years, Luke is uniquely placed to share his expertise with architects and designers and to analyse the trends, characteristics and species available.

Other speakers included Andrew Lawrence, Associate Director of Arup, who spoke about the structural considerations behind the Timber Wave, a sensational three-dimensional latticework timber spiral, designed by Amanda Levete. The Wave is 12 metres in diameter, made in American Red oak, and employs construction techniques and materials normally used in furniture making. The project was sponsored by the American Hardwood Export Council.

www.londondesignfestival.com/events/timber-wave-amanda-levete-architects
www.houtblad.nl/maak-kennis-met-de-sprekers-van-de-nationale-houtdag.html
www.americanhardwood.org
www.arup.com








New Dining Chairs for Churchill College

New Dining Chairs for Churchill College

January 2012

Luke Hughes has been commissioned by Churchill College, Cambridge to design 400 new chairs to replace the originals in the dining hall, designed by Robin Day.  The funding is largely expected to come from alumni whose generosity will be recorded on brass discs on the rear of the chairs. The chairs are expected to be delivered in July 2012.

After 50 years, the chairs had finally come to their end of their natural, economic life - not least because of the modern presssures on Cambridge colleges of the conference trade, which greatly increases the ‘churn’ on furniture during college vacations. ‘It’s a great honour to be able to build on Robin’s knowledge’ said Luke Hughes, ‘fashions have changed and so have manufacturing techniques and today we have more theoretical understanding of the structural problems of timber stacking chairs - not least thanks to research by Cambridge University Engineering Department, which has had many students from Churchill College’.

The college have remained extremely loyal to architect Richard Shephard’s 60s vision for the Grade II* buidlings, as well as to retaining the synthesis of the architecture with its furnishings.

Luke Hughes got to know Robin Day (who died in November 2010 aged 95) through a shared interest in mountaineering - they met through the Alpine Club. Robin was a strong ski-mountaineer, as well as being one of Britain’s most celebrated furniture designers of the 20th century. Luke has climbed the North Face of the Eiger and made many exploratory expeditions to Tibet and the Himalayas (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luke_Hughes_(furniture_designer).

www.churchillconferences.co.uk/gallery_dining.php
http://designmuseum.org/design/robin-lucienne-day







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