Woodwrights 4 Crossing Chair

  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Jeremy Evison
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Huxley Trewavas, Anna McLeod, Kelvin Smith
  • Kaitautoko / Contributor
    Jackie Trewavas

A smaller footprint lounge chair designed and crafted to order in New Zealand, Crossing provides a comfortable seat, suitable for both residential and commercial spaces. Organic junctions crafted using complex CNC manufacturing methods, bring unity to the frame – appearing more sculpted than assembled.

With complex manufacturing capabilities in our Motueka factory, there was an opportunity to craft a chair that not only highlights solid timber but explores and pushes the limits of the material. Products of a similar nature in the local market are largely imported from overseas – where manufacturing capabilities are much more developed and widespread. A desire to develop the local industry, and craft something of this standard entirely in New Zealand, was a key motivation behind Crossing.

The process began looking to explore the relationship between each component of a chair frame, alongside extensive research and development into specific manufacturing techniques.

The frame is composed of junctions where each component “crosses,” interacting in a way that creates visual rhythm. In its first iteration, the most successful aspect of the frame was the back leg connection to the arm and seat rails. The use of dowel and rounded forms creates consistency between otherwise distinct components, balancing and grounding the form. While, the softness of the frame offers tactile attraction, making each interaction with the chair – be it touching, moving or sitting – enjoyable.

A key evolution in the design phase was the backrest, starting as a straight timber back with a leather sling. The sling was removed, and the back rest extended to run the full width of the chair. This helped both ergonomically, offering a better level of support, and visually, leaving the curved rear face and timber grain on display. An optional upholstered backrest allows for additional comfort if desired.

Crossing is constructed from sustainably sourced, FSC certified solid timber. Each component was designed to be machined out of the smallest piece of timber possible with joins positioned to ensure very little waste is created during manufacturing. Each leg is roughly band sawn before being profiled using CNC technology, which enables offcuts to be up-cycled easily. Any short usable timber offcuts are recycled into sofa legs and feet, while unusable offcuts and sawdust are repurposed as heating pellets and compost.

The overall weight of the chair is reduced through the integrated frame design and removal of the centre of the seat base. The seat foam density is engineered to find an ideal balance of support and long-term loft recovery, with comfort enhanced through the introduction of interlaced elasticised webbing. A smaller sized seat cushion allows for the upholstery pattern to be run across the fabric roll – reducing material consumption. Foam and fabric offcuts are repurposed, with any large fabric offcuts used to wrap chair frames prior to upholstering and foam offcuts turned into carpet underlay.

In its final form, Crossing offers balanced visual qualities from all angles, blending the best of traditional techniques and materials with today’s design and manufacturing technology.