Remy Lounge Chair

Designer: Jeffrey Bernett

Location: 3rd Floor (located in study rooms)

The Remy Lounge Chair is a USA-made “self return” swivel lounge chair that seems to float in the air as the upholstered seat elegantly rests on a stainless steel base.  Its designer, Jeffrey Bernett, collaborated with Bernhardt design to create this chair.  

Bernett began his studies at the business schools at Northwestern University and the University of Minnesota before studying design at the Parnham College in England.  He then moved to New York where he became a consultant for design.  In 2002 Bernett founded the Consultants for Design Strategy (CDS) which works with manufacturers such as Design Within Reach, B&B Italia, and Northwest Airlines.  

Below are links to some examples of the works produced by CDS: 

Flight Recliner, manufactured by Design Within Reach

Metropolitan Collection, manufactured by B&B Italia

Moment Side Chair, manufactured by Knoll

Tulip Sixtysix, manufactured by Bernhardt



Le Bambole

Designer: Mario Bellini

Location: 4th Floor

This scrumptious number just begs for you to lounge around for bit, then curl up and read a book.  The puffiness of the chair creates a down comforter effect, but the strength of the structure makes it feel very stable and secure. The Bambino chair is place in two separate groups on either side of the 4th floor viewing area, so you can choose color and view while you and your friends gather for book club, or a chat.

Bellini designed the Bambole Armchair in 2007 for the B&B Italia collection.  The steel frame is surrounded by shaped polyurethane foam and the fabric can be either leather or fabric (all the Bambino chairs in the CoHL are leather).  He also designed a Bambole Sofa for the collection, which looks just as delicious to lounge in.   Check out his other designs here, and his architecture here.


Cassina Aspen Bench

Designer: Jean-Marie Massaud

Location: 4th Floor

The Hunt Library’s only Aspen bench sits directly across from the 4th floor “fishbowl.” Despite the fact that it is placed somewhat innocuously against a short wall, the stark contrast of the bench’s bright red leather against the forest-green backdrop, along with the its graceful asymmetry, creates a visual that commands attention. Basically, it’s an amazing photo-op.

The Aspen Bench was designed by French designer and architect Jean-Marie Massaud, who graduated from the French National School for Advanced Studies in Design in 1990. Since then, he has gone on to design several award-winning furniture-pieces and architectural layouts (seriously, you have to check out this concept art for a spa/resort and store interior. They are incredibly awesome.), as well as the Estadio Omnilife in Gudalajara, Mexico.

- Jake

SM1 Lounge Chair and Sofa

Designers: Peter Shelton and Lee Mindel

Location: Second Floor

Walking through the main entrance of Hunt will lead you right to this common, modern gem. The SM1 series of chairs and sofas is one of the most recently designed seating options in Hunt, coming only from the year 2006—making it 78 years older than the Barcelona Chair.

The two designers, Peter Shelton and Lee Mindel, founded their own architectural firm: Shelton, Mindel & Associates. Since its inception in 1978, they have won twenty eight American Institute of Architect (AIA) awards for interior design, and that’s only the beginning of their renown. Both Shelton and Mindel have been inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame, which I’m sure most people didn’t know even existed until this sentence.

Some of their major projects have been the Polo Ralph Lauren Headquarters, Fila USA Headquarters, Sting and Trudie Styler’s London Town Home, an awesome cruise ship named The Mercury, Private Jets, and a lot of other amazing stuff.

Peter Shelton passed away on August 26, 2012 in Manhattan. The NYT has a great piece on his life. Lee Mindel continues to head the firm and even has a pretty awesome twitter account.

The Oxford Chair

Designer: Arne Jacobson

Location: 4th floor - Video Seminar Room

Arne Jacobsen designed the egg chair, which is probably the first chair you’ll notice upon entering on the second floor of the library. But we’re here to talk about a later design of his: the Oxford Chair.

Jacobsen was not only contracted to build the chair, however, he was contracted to build a majority of the buildings for the school. But before we get there, let’s take a step back and look at how the university came about, as it has a rich modern history.

In the mid-1850s, a college education in Oxford was prohibitively expensive (apparently crushing student loan debt didn’t exist yet?). The Royal Commission came up with a plan that basically allowed students to congregate and learn under a University, without paying the cost of attending college. The group was called the Delegacy for Unattached Students. Over the years, this group evolved and changed into the St. Catherine’s Society.  They had been meeting for many years in various locations, however, they had no central campus. Finally, after decades of relocation and decentralization, the time had come for the group to get a campus of their own. After a few years of fundraising by University head Alan Bullock (who wrote the first comprehensive biography of Hitler) they finally had the funds to build a campus of their own. 

Arne Jacobsen was chosen as the architect after a handful of Oxford dons visited the Munkegaard School and the SAS Royal Hotel. There was some uproar over the commission of Jacobsen to design the buildings and interiors for St. Catherine’s College. The debate was over the idea that a modernist foreign designer on the payroll for such an important task. However, a university with a modern mission needed an equally modern designer. Upon revealing Jacobsen’s designs for the college, including the Oxford chair, everyone’s fears were quelled.

Jacobsen received an honorary doctorate from Oxford upon completing the project. Today, the Oxford chair stands as one of Jacobsen’s outstanding design achievements.

"Kontour" Davis Bench

Designer: Wolfgang C.R. Mezger

Location: Ground floor

This elegant bench was designed by the well-respected contemporary designer Wolfgang C.R. Mezger. Interestingly, Mezger is seen as something of the champion of the modern office, producing simple, sleek desks, bookshelves, and coffee tables.

The muted tones of this bench make it somewhat unique among the more colorful furnishings in the library. This was a deliberate choice by library interior designers Gwen Emery and Patrick Deaton (who we’ve mentioned before). They wanted to maintain the sleek, modern aesthetic of the rest of the library while not distracting from the fascinating display of the bookBot just behind it—and given the incredibly awesome nature of the bookBot, I can’t blame them.

Overall, I think they nailed it.


Bertoia Diamond Chair

Designer: Harry Bertoia

Location: private group study rooms throughout library

Italian born Harry Bertoia met Florence Schust at the Cranbook Academy of Art.  This friendship would pay off, as Florence would later marry Hanz Knoll and invite Bertoia to create whatever he’d like for the Knoll company.  The result was the Bertoia Seating Collection (1952) which included the Bertoia Diamond Chair. 

The Diamond Chair (which looks a little marine-like to me) is constructed out of thin steel rods which criss-cross and are formed to create the curvature of the chair.  Bertoia said of his chair design: “If you look at the chairs, they are mainly made of air, like sculpture.”  It isn’t too surprising for him to make this comparison, because not only was he famous for his furniture designs, Bertoia was a prolific sculptor and jewelry artist.

Much like his furniture designs, his sculptures and jewelry are made out of industrial materials like metals and woods.  But he uses these typically rugged substances to create graceful and elegant pieces of art.


Dip and Double Dip Benches

Designer: Chris Howker

Location: 1st Floor

Quantity: 1 each

The dip and double dip benches are the first pieces of beautiful furniture greeting you as you enter the library from the 1st floor. Their metallic texture and stainless steel construction provide a great visual parallel to the magnificent book bot before you. Speaking of, these benches are one of the few pieces of furniture not made out of leather or pleather material in the library (another rare one being the Womb Chair). Another thing to notice is the gray the ground floor furniture selections, matching visual texture of the floor (remember the Cycle Bench from way back? )

These benches come to us from the mind of Chris Howker, from the B&B Italia furniture design firm. Howker is a UK designer who has worked on industrial design, hotel interiors, salon interiors, coffee bars, and a bunch of other things. He’s actually one of the few designers we’ve mentioned on the blog that has a professional background in furniture design—most designers have started in architecture.

//B&B Italia - Chris Howker