‘Now we are in the presence of sublime imagination; now rambling through one of the ﬁnest lumber rooms in the world – a chamber stuffed from ﬂoor to ceiling with ivory, old iron, broken pots, urns, unicorn’s horns, and magic glasses full of emerald lights and blue mystery.’
The Elizabethan Lumber Room, The Common Reader
The lumber room is a store of ideas, objects, thoughts, stories, desires and actions. The root activity begins with an artist in residence. The goals of the residency attempt to address an open-ended question: What is the residual effect of a creative act on a place or community?
The Felt Hat collaborated with client and architect to name, brand, manage all communications and assist in programming the activities of the lumber room. In addition to designing a web site and book about the birth of the lumber room, we designed many of the one-of-a kind furnishings in the residence.
The approach to the furniture derives from the name in its many and varying facets; from the intellectual definition to its physical definition to its cultural definition.
The intellectual definition of lumber room is the mind.
There are two physical definitions, one refers to the lumber itself and the other refers to a store room for things.
There is a rich history and culture of harvesting lumber.
Intellectually and physically lumber is most relevant and useful when stored for potential use. It transforms to useless junk when collected for the mere fact of having it. The lumber in this residence is about potential. Only things that have a potential purpose will be included, whether that purpose is to make someone comfortable or to inspire an unexpected perspective – hope.
Felted Silk Window Sheers
The sheers are formed after the cellular structure of wood. Beginning with a magnified cross section of Douglas Fir, we enlarged it and designed patterns for each sheer. We sourced and engaged a fabric artisan to create the sheers in felted wool and silk. They are 12 feet tall and span 70 linear feet. They wrap the room in a cocoon of soft light.
The Trestle Bench takes its inspiration from historic bridges built to carry timber out of the rugged coast range. The engineering of these bridges resulted in beautiful structures. The bench elevates this aesthetic in the hands of a local master furniture maker. The bench slats are scaled to echo the old wood floors in the lumber room.
The form of the bench takes it’s cue from the Deacon Bench. Sunday service was provided to logging crews by visiting chaplains. The same bench that served as storytelling venue around the evening fire was transformed into a makeshift chapel Sunday morning. Our bench is recalls these vital social functions by serving as informal gallery seating in The Yard (the lumber room’s primary exhibition space). It is re-configured according to the needs of each exhibition of event.
In the Pacific Northwest, rain is ever present. After a downpour one notices patterns of raindrops on the windowpane. Imagine
lifting the pattern from the pane, then recreating each drop in blown glass, subtly hued to represent the myriad colors seen
in every drop. Repeat the pattern seven times to create a box of rain greeting each guest as they enter the lumber room.
Communal Dining Table
Our table was based on those built in logging camps. It emulates the utilitarian yet elegant design, in richly hued walnut and impeccable craftsmanship.
architectural photography: Jeremy Bittermann