Heatherwick Studio Pannonia Spun Chair

London-based Heatherwick Studio has created a series of Spun chairs made of granite for its EDEN skyscraper, which recently opened in Singapore. Materials Assemble has manufactured the trio of Spun chairs in an Austrian granite called Pannonia Verde. As the building of Eden was nearing completion, Swire Properties commissioned the studio to design a unique sculptural piece to bring an extra dimension of interest and specialness to the richly planted tropical garden that was emerging at ground-level.  Rather than create an abstract object to look at, the studio felt this could be an opportunity for residents to sit among the green shade and enjoy tranquil moments of reflection away from the busy city beyond the garden walls.  Taking the concept of the Studio’s Spun chair design, which was initially developed in 2007, the idea was to create a limited edition of just three pieces that would be unique to this project, made from polished granite.  The selected stone is a green granite called Pannonia Verdi from Austria. Chosen for its rich and layered tonality, it has visual harmony with the garden at Eden, whilst the hardness of the material provides a counterpoint to the soft and undulating leaves that flow from the garden and entwine the apartment balconies.

Unlike the original Spun chair, which evolved from the traditional technique of metal spinning, where a flat sheet of metal is pressed against a shaped former as they both rotate, the Eden Spun chair is not a completely symmetrical rotational form.

The final piece would be far too heavy to comfortably and safely rotate, so one point rests on the ground and is anchored securely in place with a metal rod.

A new making process was developed by the team which required specialist fabricators, such as Materials Assemble.  Once cut into a smaller block of granite, the form was roughly shaped using a giant circular saw and a slow-moving 6-axis CNC lathe.

As the block turned on the machine, the tool head carved the stone away to reveal the spun chair. The symmetrical section of the chair was polished by hand on the lathe while the flat portion was polished free-hand.

ProjectPannonia Spun CHair
DesignerHeatherwick Studio
MaterialPannonia Verde