Design Solutions - Fall 2019 - 33

Full height curved doors
with charred planking over a
steel framework needed to
keep the weight down and
swing on European hinges,
points out Bernhard.

Woody Sculpture
The sculptural element
Woody was created
completely digitally but was
made entirely by hand. "This
piece is at the entrance of the
space to greet people and
provoke them to ponder the
art and the architecture of
the space. Once this moment
is created, the visitor is then
immersed in a number of
environments, each with
a different approach to
furniture, lighting, and spatial
experience," Shimoda says.
"The use of bent wood is a
reference to the past where
all furniture was created by
the skill of the craftsman. The
complexity that we created
in this complex bentwood
piece celebrates the ability
for design processes to be
virtual, but that the making
of the work is analog and
requires a human eye and
hand."
Woody is solid Ash with
a clear finish. The unit was
suspended from the ceiling
on Unistrut with aircraft cable,
says Bernhard. "This project
was unique and one of the
more challenging engineering
endeavors we have faced.
Woody was meant to be a
fluid weightless sculptural
element. Bending the wood
was a challenge but so was
the scale of the piece and the
need to break it into sections
to bring into the building up
an elevator, then make it look
like a single homogenous
piece even though it was split
in two."

Through weekly meetings
with Shimoda Design and
Pure Timber, we developed
the 3D model and game plan
to fabricate and install, he
continues. "The Merchandise
Mart is an old building with
little environmental control
and large fluctuations in
humidity from summer to
winter. Attaching and hanging
the sculpture to the ceiling
to multiple materials on
several planes was a difficult
challenge as was allowing it
room to move over 100 feet."

Showroom Team
"The complexity and
expectation of high-quality
work required the skill and
vigilance of the woodworking
firm, the client, the contractor,
the fabricator and the
architect. The teamwork was
exceptional in this project,"
summarizes Shimoda.

At Bernhard,
architectural
woodwork goes
far beyond
manufacturing.
Rather, it's a
time-honored
craft, practiced
by craftsmen,
with its roots in
Europe.
- Mark Bernhard

Bernhard Woodwork
drove the design of both
Woody and the nourishment
bar, says Bernhard. "We
fabricated templates for the
field to lay out and hang and
attach Woody. This project
was a tight deadline from
the start for such a complex
piece. We had to simplify
the original design to meet
budget requirements. We
were able to trim the number
of pieces in the design to
reduce cost but still maintain
the look of the elements."
We had an excellent team,
he adds. "Sometimes daily
updates were needed to drive
a very tight deadline. Joey
Shimoda was engaged in the
process throughout the whole
project, driving the design
forward while maintaining a
practical/buildable approach.
Mroz and his team were
invaluable in developing the
design for ease of production
and installation."

Johnson agrees. "The project
was extremely successful.
The wood elements in the
project are constantly being
complimented by the people
who work there and the many
guests that come to experience
the space and the workplace
solutions Steelcase creates."
PROJECT:

WorkLife and WorkCafe
Showroom
Chicago, IL
PROJECT OWNER:

Steelcase, Inc.
Grand Rapids. MI
WOODWORKER:

Bernhard Woodwork Ltd.
Northbrook, IL
WOOD BENDING:

Pure Timber LLC
Gig Harbor, WA
ARCHITECT:

Shimoda Design Group
Los Angeles, CA
GENERAL CONTRACTOR:

Bushman Construction
Management
Chicago, Il
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Steelcase, Inc.
Grand Rapids. MI

fall 2019

I

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Design Solutions - Fall 2019

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