Project: Main reception desk – Secondary reception desk – Browser
LIVING CONCRETE were approached by designers from the PENTAGON GROUP to construct three concrete pieces for the international ROMO GROUP textiles company at their Chelsea Design Centre showroom.
Pentagon are a long-established, privately owned design company who specialise in making fabulous workplaces. Their mission statement says it all: ‘We use design to connect people through the thing they love.’ To be invited to produce statement pieces for a high-end international textiles group was fantastic in itself. The fact that the UK Romo flagship showroom is based in the design haven of London, and perhaps the world, the renowned Chelsea Harbour Design Centre, was even more of a compliment. And a measure of how highly our work is recognised. Home of London Design Week and buzzing with visitors all year long, the CHDC is the place that designers from all over the world come to for inspiration, to browse, to source materials and objects, to keep abreast of the latest and best of all things interior design.
Romo needed three impressive items of furniture and the Pentagon designer had come up with a bold vision: A huge concrete main reception desk, a concrete secondary reception desk, and a concrete browser – a specially designed separate area where customers can explore their catalogues in comfort.
We were presented with concept designs and 3D sketches which quickly highlighted the first challenge of this project… The main reception desk was to be 4.5 metres in length. A single piece of concrete of that size would weigh in at around 3.5 tons. The prospect of getting a beautiful slab of exquisitely finished concrete of that length and weight safely up to a second floor showroom was out of the question.
To solve the problem, we worked with the designers to devise an ingenious solution. First we cast what would be the backbone of the desk. Then a different concrete formulation was sprayed into a mould, then fixed to a concrete frame. Brass strips were added to finish the pieces, and metal channels to allow the electrician to install LED lights. Sounds simple? It wasn’t. But it worked perfectly.
From design to installation of the three units took 10 weeks. The pieces were assembled and finished on site.
Problem-solving is an enjoyable – and inevitable – part of what we do. There were many challenges with this project – the complexity of the design, access, and of course, creating some beautiful pieces of furniture that fully deserve their place in the ultimate design hub of the UK. Here, the discerning eyes of some of the world’s most critical tastemakers will see our work in situ. We’re proud of our contribution to the Chelsea Harbour Design Centre, and delighted to see our furniture in the showroom amongst ROMO GROUP’s exquisite textiles. And maybe seeing our desks and browsers will inspire more designers to think of concrete for their next project! Contact us for more information.