Ian Ritchie Architects

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S Seat

The brief was to provide a sculpture that would also serve as a place to sit, relax and enjoy the splendid south west views across the Oxfordshire landscape from the clients’ estate. It was to harmonise with existing steel and bronze contemporary sculptures in the park, as these would be in the observer’s line of sight. The clients approved the concept on the basis of two drawings – one a concept etching by Ian Ritchie and the other a detailed design setting out the precise geometry.

The teak seat is 2.4m long x 04.m wide and the supporting intersecting frustra is 0.88m high and made of EN 1.4404 / 316L ASTM grade stainless steel. The treatment of the surface uses a technique refined during Ian Ritchie Architects’ design of the Spire of Dublin: first shot peened with steel, then glass beads, to give the metal a soft feel and make it responsive to changing light while enhancing its durability.

The clients were delighted with the result, and were especially enamoured of the contrast between the haptic qualities of lightness and softness of the steel and the quality of the light it reflected and the solid teak.