Sheffield-based Studio Polpo has created interlocking furniture using HI-MACS® solid surface and OSB for Bloc Projects – an artist-led exhibition space. The furniture pieces playfully explore the properties and assumptions of these two very different sheet materials. The objects, which include a desk, a storage unit and a display case, were fabricated by WALL (We Are Limitless Limited), a specialist company based in the north west of England which manufactures bespoke British furniture.
The three objects can be connected into each other to create seamless white solids, or separated to reveal a rougher OSB inner lining. The project experimented with HI-MACS® solid surface, playing with the ability to invisibly join the material, but also revealing a supporting timber structure which is conventionally hidden by fabricators. Altering the configuration of the three objects allows different functional and aesthetic requirements to be met.
The furniture pieces complete the first phase of a larger feasibility study prepared by Studio Polpo that considered ways to broaden the activities and events hosted by Bloc Projects. They allow events and administrative work to be carried out alongside exhibitions.
The project explores the need for functionality, flexibility and simplicity within gallery spaces but also incorporates an aspect of investigation and surprise.
“We were seduced by the smooth, perfect finish that the solid surface could achieve, but also excited – in a kind of mischievous way – about revealing the hidden, rougher supporting carcass that does most of the work,” says Jonathan Orlek, of Studio Polpo.
“Configuring the three objects in different ways reveals this interdependence whilst also allowing Bloc Projects to achieve specific functional or aesthetic demands.”