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Ecclesistical & Heritage World No.99

New York cathedral gets bespoke furniture to accommodate diverse needs

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In March ICS Church Furnishers of the Republic of Ireland announced the successful completion of a bespoke seating project for The Cathedral of St John the Divine, the cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of New York. This collaboration began in 2018 when the cathedral sought a solution for their seating needs that would accommodate their diverse range of services and events.

The project, which resumed in early 2023 after a pause due to external factors including the COVID-19 pandemic, resulted in the creation of 2,000 custom-designed chairs tailored specifically for the cathedral’s requirements. Each chair, a modified version of ICS’s renowned ICON 40 chair, was meticulously crafted to compliment the cathedral’s existing architecture, featuring a darker stain, and engraved with the cathedral’s iconic Rose Window emblem.

One of the distinctive aspects of this project was the opportunity for individuals to dedicate each chair as part of the cathedral’s fundraising efforts. ICS provided personalised dedication plaques for each chair.

“ICS are truly humbled that Dean Patrick Malloy and his team at St. John the Divine have chosen to work with us and our chair design for their seating project,” said Gavin Duignan, the designer of the ICON 40 chair and owner of ICS Furniture. “The ICON 40 chair is designed with the end user in mind ensuring that each chair not only meets functional requirements but also reflects the cathedral’s unique identity.”

Dean Patrick Malloy said: “Modern objects can be jarring in historic buildings, but the contrast between the classic and the contemporary, when done well, can be extremely pleasing and even evocative. ICS understands both the problems and the possibilities. Years of dynamic and exceptionally cordial dialogue between them and the cathedral is about to bear fruit. Their chairs will allow us to stage the cathedral’s diverse events – music, the visual arts, lectures, panel discussions, and, above all, the worship of God – efficiently and beautifully. We are delighted that the cathedral is ICS’ first major American commission.”

The project, completed in just over six months from sign-off to delivery, ensured the chairs were installed for Easter Sunday Service 2024, demonstrating again ICS Furniture’s ability to deliver bespoke furniture solutions on a tight timeline.

For further information visit icsfurniture.com

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