Bulldozed buildings transformed into furniture at WantedDesign


Among the focused components of the 2012 WantedDesign event calendar, 12×12 stood out as an inspiring exhibition of upcycling and repurposing. The idea was simple—supply 12 designers with timber from 12 demolished New York City buildings to create a piece of furniture. While the work presented by a juried group of Big Apple-based designers made for an impressive collection, there were four that resonated strongly for us.


Water Tower Chair

As the name implies Bellboy‘s Water Tower Chair takes its shape from planks salvaged from a 10,000-gallon rooftop water tank that once stood atop a Park Avenue co-op. The 40-year-old California Redwood lends its beautiful color and rich grain perfectly. Each 8’ plank has been chopped down and consecutively laid to accentuate the lounge chair’s flowing, mid-century inspired silhouette.


Round & Round

Hailing from the Bronx, Louis Lim‘s reclaimed wood was originally erected as structural timber in the 1920s. After so many years of weight bearing the still-strong Heart Pine now finds itself in a significantly less conventional form. Commanding both attention and floor space, the Round & Round bench with drawer represents one of the most creative applications we saw.


Standing Desk

One part desk and two parts shelf, Daskam & Dworkis and Emily A. Martinez‘s collaborative Standing Desk project is comprised of century-old Heart Pine also originally used as structural timber. While the structure says modern, the spiraling grain and raw nail stains give the shelving structure a one-of-a-kind, worn-in look.


Coney Island Low Table

No stranger to the weight of wandering New Yorkers, Design Brigade‘s Coney Island Low Table is constructed of wood reclaimed from the legendary boardwalk built in 1947. Curiously enough the non-native hardwood was originally harvested from northern South American rainforests. After over half a century of abuse the weathered wood simply sits to show off its beautifully distinct, dark patina.

Each of the 12 pieces will be auctioned off to benefit Brooklyn Woods, a wood shop job training and education center in NYC. For more information head to 12×12 online.

Images by Josh Rubin