Religious furniture can be used to furnish both new-built structures, as well as replacing older models in existing buildings. The selection here consists of church chairs and pews. Unsurprisingly, the main focus lies on comfort, practicality, and modesty; resulting in straightforward and formally understated designs.
It comes as a little surprise then that a large portion of religious furniture consists of Scandinavian modern classics, such as architect Alvar Aalto’s birchwood ‘Chair 611’, where linen webbing constitutes the seat and backrest; or Hans J. Wegne’s ‘PP501|The Chair’, which combines a solid stable base and elegantly smooth armrest. Arne Jacobsen’s iconic ‘Ant™|3101’ by Fritz Hansen, which combines an elegantly carved plywood seating shell mounted on slender steel legs, can also serve as a practical, stackable church chair.
There is the aptly named ‘Church Chair’, a stripped down take on a traditional chair by Kaare Klint, produced by dk3. In some cases, religious furniture may need to be used only temporarily, in which case one should look to Zooey Chu’s ‘Riva’ folding church chair, which combines a sleek, flat bar structure with a moulded plastic seat and a taut mesh backrest. o4i Designstudio’s ‘Zesty chair’ for Plycollection is a wholly plywood design with an expressive, N-shaped base. This church chair can also be ordered with an upholstered seat and is also stackable.
Another design classic among religious furniture is David Rowland’s supremely elegant ‘40/4 chair’ by HOWE, which combines a steel-rod skeleton and two moulded plywood panels as seat and backrest, and which can be linked to create larger seating ensembles. Lastly, pews are an ideal solution whenever larger groups of people need to be seated. Consider the pared down ‘S32’, a carefully proportioned wooden bench with a padded seat, designed by Carmen and Urs Greutmann Bolzern for B+W.