A fresh approach to Valparaiso University's Chapel of Resurrection seating
In 2014 the Dean and key decision makers at the Chapel of Resurrection in Indiana, USA, contacted the Gordon Russell Trust, in the UK, to inquire if anyone was making the chairs designed for Coventry Cathedral. The chairs had been out of production for over 30 years.
The original drawings were unusable, not because they were illegible, but because the original construction method was no longer economically viable; whereas modern techniques could deliver a commercially viable chair.
The original drawings and models needed to be re-drafted into a computer system, as today’s makers no longer work from hand-drawn diagrams. The Gordon Russell Trust, therefore, needed the help of a specialist and detail-driven design and production team to create drawings, as well as engineering amends for an updated version of the iconic chair, ready for manufacture.
As a trusted partner and friend to the Gordon Russell Trust, we were the only designers contacted and were tasked to find out if the Coventry chair could be re-engineered for manufacture in a modern workshop and for a modern audience, the ergonomics of chapel seating being very different in Midwest America today than in post-war Britain nearly 70 years ago.
With very few detailed drawings and only a few original chairs available for us to inspect, our brief was simple - update the Coventry chair for modern machining and modern use.