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The Mark 2: A Stacking Chair We Can Praise
Stacking chairs are the nemesis of many an interior, especially when the rooms are classical in nature. Hence, from the beginning of our commission for the interiors of the new Historic Hudson Valley Foundation's Headquarters building, we were dreading the selection of furniture for their large assembly room.
This august new building, designed by Peter Pennoyer Architects, sits across from the Kykuit, the Rockefeller Estate, in the bucolic Pocantico Hills. It is in the Neo Georgian style with a modern overlay. The façade, for example, features classical brick massing with stylized Grecian ornament stemming from 18th-century Neo-Classicism and its revival in and the early 20th.
The public rooms are well proportioned, also with stylized and stripped back classical elements. The largest is the assembly room, which is designed for lectures, exhibits and parties. It will also be available for private functions so it must be both functional and handsome (or as we say in meetings, "rentable"). The room will feature a handsome carpet from Wool Solutions within a wooden frame, have curtains patterned after antique examples at Montgomery Place, one of the properties that Historic Hudson Valley oversees, and a selection of paintings in replica from the foundation's collections.
The room requires 200 hundred stacking chairs. In my experience stacking chairs are the weak link in all but the most contemporized rooms. They often look alien and uncomfortable, especially when they are styled traditionally--it is always a poor idea to take a modern form and decorate it in an old fashioned way. We wanted a chair that looks contemporary but not aggressively modern and that serves as a good piece of decorative art while not calling undue attention to itself.
Last week I was very pleased to have Marissa Stokes from our firm present for client review a beautiful chair that is attractive, functional, and even cost effective: the Mark 2 design by Mark Goetz. I like it because they are new but not jarring against the other elements of the room. They can sit next to curtains with swags and jabot and not look funny. They really bring all the room furnishings up to a highest level of taste and style.