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78 HOMES & ART AUTUMN 2014
FLOTSAM AND JETSAM TABLE
MARCUS O’REILLY ARCHITECTS
The Flotsam and Jetsam series evolved after architect Marcus O’Reilly
decided to turn some appealing pieces of driftwood he had found washed
up on the beach near his home in Melbourne into a piece of furniture.
After incorporating the driftwood into a coffee table, more furniture and
commissions followed, adding to the Flotsam and Jetsam range. The
driftwood components were gathered on beaches near and far. Pieces that
show some evidence of their past life – for instance, parts of boats, stampings,
weathered paint layers, among others – were selected first and foremost. As
the series developed, pieces were sourced on overseas and local trips. The
driftwood was then sanded, shaped, cut to size, and in some cases a touch
of colour was added; then the pieces were fixed to a black zinc steel frame.
The Flotsam and Jetsam coffee tables can be ‘flat packed’ which, in a lovely
twist, allows the driftwood, which has arrived quietly by sea, to be air freighted
back to a new home. To date, tables have been flown to Italy, Switzerland and
Kuwait, as well as being sent all around Australia.
Bespoke furniture for the home has become more and more
common, with homeowners keen to create the ultimate
design aesthetic for their personal spaces. Furniture by
Architects (Images Publishing) explores why, historically,
so many iconic furniture pieces have been designed by
architects – think the Barcelona chair by Mies van der Rohe,
and the now-ubiquitous Eames lounge and ottoman.
Along the way, the book showcases beautiful and unusual
furniture pieces and collections, including tables, chairs,
sofas, benches, cabinets, shelving and lighting fixtures, as
well as some unique one-off pieces. The styles range from
futuristic to classical, and geometric to organic; the materials
used everything from state-of-the-art plastics and the best
quality timber to found objects and recycled metals. Here,
we take a look at some of the examples featured in the book.
SSD ARCHITECTURE + URBANISM
Beginning as a critique of vertically adjustable shelving where one has
to remove all the materials to accommodate change, these shelves slide
horizontally to instantly allow the co-existence of different-sized objects.
The curved ends of each horizontal plane express the materiality of the
bamboo plywood, as well as acting as bookends. Cantilevering the system
from the wall creates an uncluttered and flexible storage and display system.
Designed either for a person constantly rearranging their shelves or for
multiple users who ‘negotiate’ the shelving space, the product brings a sense
of whimsical play to a very practical problem. The material used is sustainably
harvested bamboo plywood that is mounted to horizontally sliding hardware.
Approximately 2.1m wide, 40cm tall and 35cm deep, each shelf module can be
installed separately or in a grouped set.
Flotsam and Jetsam table by Marcus
O’Reilly, 40x150x83cm, recovered
driftwood, zinc steel frame.
Floor Lamp, 214cm
tall, weight 25kg.
lighting fixture. Arm
extends to 120cm.
Shawn Godwin originally created the lamp to
display in the annual Base Exhibition, the theme
influencing this innovation being ‘Old & New’.
The lamp was displayed along with the following
descriptive text, “Balance of light: Tectonics and
materials align themselves to assist the function of
light and become one. New, old, salvaged, rough
and refined collaborate to produce an everyday
necessity”. Elements of the adjustable floor
lamp including the timber stand were crafted
from salvaged material epitomising the ‘old’
component, while the lamp’s teardrop light fixture
and off-form concrete base contrasts as the ‘new’,
refined and rough factor, respectively.
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