150928 Spirit House Chair - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto
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The contemporary, multi-faceted Spirit House Chair is architect Daniel Libeskind’s first foray into the world of furniture. The chair is constructed entirely of 14 gauge stainless steel with a brushed finish and weighs 180 lbs. It is designed to be oriented in five different positions and can be used as a side-table. Each chair takes 40 hours of labour to complete. As a special finishing touch, each chair will have Libeskind’s signature etched onto it.

"Libeskind’s design for the ROM’s new addition lends itself well to small scale interpretations so it was a natural step for us to conceive a modern piece of furniture that would represent this monumental occasion," said Klaus Nienkämper, President and Founder of Nienkämper Furniture. "The steel structure of the chair is symbolic of the Lee-Chin Crystal’s strong steel foundation, its unique concept and its permanence on the Toronto landscape."

The chair is named for the space at the heart of the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal called the Spirit House, where the structural support beams unite to form an open space that will be filled with a soundscape reflecting various aspects of the Museum. Thirteen Spirit House Chairs will be placed on Level 1 of the Spirit House, so visitors can use it as a place of contemplation and reflection, three will be placed at the front entrance to the Lee-Chin Crystal and two will be on display in the new ROM Museum Store.


All of the text in italics is taken from the Royal Ontario Museum's press release about its signature chairs. Times have changed a bit since it was written – May 2007 – and the cluster of chairs in the central 'Spirit House' atrium has been broken up and repositioned within the Crystal. These ones now live on an open walkway on Level Three, near the elevator, which also provides a great view of the skylights as well.

For what it's worth, the angled steel chairs are surprisingly comfortable. They're a bit bulky for modern condo living, though.


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