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Janus Chairs, Plashetts, Kielder by Ryder Architecture

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Ryder Architecture create three rotating chairs on the banks of Kielder Water.

Ryder Architecture was invited to complete this shelter having previously worked with one of the project’s stakeholders, Northumbrian Water. The firm’s Janus Chairs - incomplete at the time of my visit due to some contractual wrangling - comprises three large rotating seats, a short ride away from SIMPARCH’s Silvas Capitalis. The shelter is named after the Roman deity of ends and beginnings, who is often depicted with two faces. The seats are arranged in a group and can be rotated to face the most pleasing view or, as often is required on this exposed part of the lakeside, to face away from inclement weather.

The form of Janus Chairs is a riff on the idea of a fl ower gradually opening. When facing inward, the seats resemble the closed bud of a fl ower; when facing away from each other, they are like petals unfurling. Ryder worked with Scottish fabricator Norbuild to construct the seats, which are made of laminated Douglas fir (sourced from nearby borders forests) and stainless steel. The reflection created by the stainless steel backs contributes to the illusion, from certain vantage points, that the seats are floating on the water.

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