Rotunda Serotina: 3,084 pieces of cherrywood

April 16, 2015

Made entirely of American cherry, with not a nail, screw or glue in sight, the woodwork experts at Benchmark and The American Hardwood Export Council have produced a three-storey exemplar of timber craftsmanship.

What do you get when Scandinavian architects Kolman Boye, timber experts Benchmark, The American Hardwood Export Council and Wallpaper* Magazine collaborate on a hand made, three-storey general store, to be installed in the heart of Milan during Milan Design Week?

You get Rotunda Serotina, made entirely of American cherry (Prunus Serotina), inspired by skeletal systems and the seemingly endless apothecary style shelves inside old fashioned general stores.

To add an even greater level of cultural significance to this melting pot of influences, Japanese square peg joints were used throughout the design. “In total we made 3,084 separate pieces connected by 1,800 joints to make up the skeleton of the Rotunda, together with 528 trays for the surface layer all assembled without the use of nails, screws or glue. It is a wonderful piece of cabinet making and a tribute to the skills of our craftsmen who have used their fine techniques on such a grand scale,” explains Sean Sutcliffe, co-founder of Benchmark.

The structure is intended to educate the public on the new varieties of cherry wood available for furniture making. Gone are the traditional reddish highly lacquered connotations of cherry, the new pale pinkish timber as seen in the Rotunda this year in Milan is the new look for this traditional American wood.

To learn more about the quality of American hardwood, and view other innovative timber projects, visit www.americanhardwood.org

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