outdoor furniture series by adrienne lau repurposes wood boards and galvanized steel

outdoor furniture series by adrienne lau repurposes wood boards and galvanized steel

Acute And Obtuse by Adrienne Lau Revitalizes Urban Spaces

 

The outdoor furniture series, Acute And Obtuse, debuted as part of the London Festival of Architecture, showcasing a commitment to sustainability through the use of reclaimed materials and garden waste. Architect and designer Adrienne Lau led the project, employing a design approach that prioritizes the inherent qualities of existing materials to inform fabrication and expression. The inspiration for the series stemmed from the need to revitalize food growing in Abbey Gardens, an open-access park and harvest garden in Newham, London. Originally conceived as a living art project 15 years ago, the garden featured trapezoid planters crafted from wood boards held together by galvanized steel corner sleeves. When it became necessary to replace these planters, the decision was made to repurpose the steel corners as furniture components. The unique angles of the steel corners lent themselves perfectly to form the structural framework of various furniture pieces, with specific angles designated for different functions.

outdoor furniture series by adrienne lau repurposes wood boards and galvanized steel
all images by Raquel Diniz

 

 

reclaimed wood and steel shape the furniture pieces

 

Collaborating with grassroots community gardens facilitated storage and flexible working arrangements, as local volunteers assisted in separating the steel corners from the old wood boards. Due to the challenges posed by the toxicity and risk associated with welding thin galvanized steel, alternative materials were sought for joints. Working alongside fabricator Rosie Strickland, designer Adrienne Lau integrated Douglas Fir beams reclaimed from a demolished Victorian army barracks into the construction process. To complement the visual sharpness of the steel, the Douglas Fir pieces were crafted into clean, rounded forms.

 

Imperfections such as notches and nail holes on the reclaimed wood were intentionally left untouched to highlight the material’s history and add character to the design. Following their participation in an Edgy Collective winning installation at the London Festival of Architecture 2023, the Acute And Obtuse furniture pieces found a new home in Abbey Gardens, where they now serve as versatile seating in a thriving community space. Adrienne Lau emphasizes the importance of creatively embracing imperfections in materials to make reuse more appealing, with the collective material story serving as a source of inspiration for conscientious care and preservation.

outdoor furniture series by adrienne lau repurposes wood boards and galvanized steel
a lounger and a bench placed in the sunken ruins of Abbey Gardens

outdoor furniture series by adrienne lau repurposes wood boards and galvanized steel
benches are made of notches carved into Douglas fit beams which sit on acute steel corner pieces

outdoor furniture series by adrienne lau repurposes wood boards and galvanized steel
reclaimed Douglas fir planks held together by 150-degree steel corner sleeves generated garden loungers

outdoor furniture series by adrienne lau repurposes wood boards and galvanized steel
Acute and Obtuse is a set of outdoor furniture for the relaxation of local communities in an open green space

outdoor furniture series by adrienne lau repurposes wood boards and galvanized steel
cuts on the Douglas fir are preserved and shown off as material features

outdoor furniture series by adrienne lau repurposes wood boards and galvanized steel
acute steel corner pieces salvaged from old planter beds are used as supports for a bench

acute-and-obtuse-outdoor-furniture-adrienne-lau-designboom-1800-2

loungers, chairs, and benches arranged in pairs

outdoor furniture series by adrienne lau repurposes wood boards and galvanized steel
the weathered side is contrasted by its freshly polished and lighter surface

outdoor furniture series by adrienne lau repurposes wood boards and galvanized steel
close-up of the joint between a steel piece and Douglas fir

acute-and-obtuse-outdoor-furniture-adrienne-lau-designboom-1800-3

material history is preserved and celebrated by leaving edges unpolished

 

project info:

 

name: Acute And Obtuse
designer: Adrienne Lau | @thinking_out_lau

material salvage: Abbey Gardens, Spring Cafe, Good Gym volunteers

material sourcing, technical design and fabrication: Rosie Strickland

collaborators: Edgy Collective, Colindale Community Garden

photography: Raquel Diniz | @raqueldinizfoto

 

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: christina vergopoulou | designboom

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