Getting Away From It All
Designer: Sebastian Cox
Maker/Manufacturer: Sebastian Cox and Benchmark Furniture Wood Supplier:Lathams, Tyler Hardwoods
Client/Owner: Terence Conran as part of the Wish List project
Wood Species: American Cherry, American Red Oak
Getting Away From It All uses wood bravely and with precision to create an exquisite, cocoon-like, private workspace for Sir Terence Conran, free from ‘dogs, secretaries, wives and journalists’. This piece is a celebration of traditional, fine cabinetry while simultaneously testing the boundaries of what wood can do. It is made from American red oak and cherry; the timber of choice due to their unfashionable, less-popular status.
Getting Away From It All comprises a desk, between two monolithic bookcases, enveloped within curved, woven screens. The woven screens are made entirely from red oak. The great curved frames were steam- bent into arcs. The panels were filled with woven, band-sawn strips of the oak, after time spent soaking in the River Kennett at the foot of Sir Terence’s garden in order to make them supple. The bookcases and the desk are made entirely from cherry. They purposely contain a whole host of cabinet makers challenges; their immaculate perfection, contrasting with the tactile rusticity of the woven screens. The bookcases house sliding doors, dovetail joints, an entirely wooden tambour and a secret compartment. The whole thing comes neatly apart too, should the tambour need maintenance in the future.
Getting Away From It All is special because it is a seemingly indulgent and extravagant celebration of wood and of making. However, its thoughtful design and conscientious choice of material make it a brave and wonderful commission, made from sustainable hardwoods that will be treasured forever. We intentionally selected under-procured species of American hardwood to try to boost use of these, and avoided popular species such as American black walnut.