“Spinning Seats” installation, Chelsea Flower Show 2009, London, UK; design and photo by Noel Blakeman
Noel Blakeman’s “Spinning Seats” made with Corian® solid surface
Renowned sculptor Noel Blakeman showed a collection of dazzling garden features and furniture at Chelsea in 2008, including his impressive “Spinning Seats” installation clad to striking effect in sleek Corian® solid surface.
Inspired by the forms and shapes found in nature, Noel works primarily in metal to create unforgettable pieces of exterior art. By drawing on his twin passions for design and mathematics, Noel brings together these two disciplines to translate the complex structures of the natural world into simply exquisite sculptural interpretations.
“Spinning Seats” is an innovative stainless steel seating platform composed of eight sections, each of which spins 360 degrees around a central post. Each seat is shaped like a seed pod and can either come together to rest in a vertical line one above the other or can be placed at any degree along the circumference. This results not only in an aesthetic triumph, but also in a highly practical and sociable piece of furniture which can be adapted as desired. From public spaces to family gardens (where each member, no matter how tall, can in effect be seated at eye level) this piece offers both originality and dramatic impact.
Noel was inspired to clad his visionary design in Corian® after seeing the high-performance material used for a lighting installation at a design show.
"At 2007’s 100% Design exhibition I loved the ”Kinetic Moonlights installation” by Holgersen & Llewellyn,” says Noel. “While I was speaking with the designers I found out that the lights were made from Corian® solid surfaces. I just started buzzing as I could visualise the curves of my 'spinning seats' also being thermoformed in this way.
“As I began to explore the possibilities I became even more excited by the material…its strength and durability, its ability to be seamlessly joined and the fact that it is UV stable and can also be easily cleaned, all made it ideal for this application. So we have made a version of my 'spinning seat' in the Glacier White colour hue from Corian® solid surface, which will not only look striking in any setting but will also be tactile, welcoming and will weather very well."
Paul McDowell, MD of McD Marketing for Corian® in the UK says, “This stunning installation represents a welcome return to Chelsea for Corian®, which made its debut at the show last year with the much-lauded - Gavin Jones’ ‘Garden of Corian®’ and began to awaken garden and landscape designers to the multitude of exciting possibilities for working with the original composite solid surface.”