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Milan: Carl Turner’s ‘Tulip Bar’ at Handmade exhibition


Photography: Giovanni Nardi

The Leclettico Gallery in Salone del Mobile, Milan is currently playing host to Wallpaper magazine’s Handmade exhibition showcasing specially commissioned works and one-off collaborations between the world’s best designers and craftsmen. The magazine has collaborated with the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) to create a new social hub for Ace Hotel’s ‘Lovage’ juice bar, designed especially for the Milan Design Week.

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The project involved work by British architect, Carl Turner, and sculptor and maker, Adam Kershaw. Taking inspiration from one of Kershaw’s previous works, which used heat-treated tulipwood, the current project involved re-purposing of standard tulipwood to build the bar.

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Turner divided each board into equal timber slats which are presented in different guises – patterned transparent edges and solid surfaces, creating a lightweight set of hollow units or ‘bridges’ that are arranged to form a continuous structure that weaves into the exhibition space.

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Benches and a high table at either end of the bar provide a social hub and support the bar unit which bridges between the two benches seeming to defy gravity.

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As the fabricator, Kershaw found a simple structural solution to work with only one timber dimension. The bar has been done in natural and heat-treated American tulipwood, which is sturdy yet lightweight.

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The designers chose a darker shade of the wood to avoid visible stains on the surface. Thermal modification process permanently alters the chemical and physical properties of wood and limits the wood’s ability to absorb moisture or warp and twist with changes in humidity.

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