American Office hosted the Modern Classic – a juried art competition and silent auction – on April 3 at the Try Me Gallery in Richmond, VA. The venue was generously donated by Bill and Pam Royall.
Inspired by Charles and Ray Eames, American icons in modern architecture and furniture design, The Modern Classic invited local area designers to create sculptural art using Herman Miller’s classic Eames Molded Plastic chair.
The event was the first of its kind to be held in Richmond, planned by Ashley Bitner, American Office Architecture and Design Consultant.
“The Modern Classic events held in our Baltimore and DC markets turned out great designs; I knew the talented Richmond-area designers and architects would take a fresh and innovative look at this design competition,” Bitner said. “Designers who have appreciated and respected Charles & Ray Eames took great effort in recreating their iconic chair. The result was a flawlessly curated show which paid homage to the Eames’ and amazed its audience, who generously bid over $3,000 for the 11 pieces.
The event featured eleven chairs designed by various Richmond Architecture & Interior Design firms, including KSA; BCWH; Tait Saunders Mulvaney; Virginia Commonwealth University; Odell Associates; Gresham, Smith and Partners; HKS Inc.; and SMBW Architects.
Judges selected Patterns of Ten, by BCWH, as the first place winner; Chairfix by Gresham Smith & Partners as second, and third was The Modern Swing Chair by Odell. People’s Choice was Dead Presidents by HKS & Need Supply. The chair designed by Virginia Commonwealth University received the highest bid of $450.
The designers of Patterns of Ten, Therese Lange and Andy Lehman, were honored their design was chosen as the first place winner.
“Going toe-to-toe with the Eames’ iconic design was perhaps our most nerve-wracking and exhilarating experience to date. We are humbled by the response to our pattern design and the resulting piece,” said Therese Lange. “Our goal was to pay tribute to the Eames’ work while creating a new look that provides continued discovery and enjoyment.”
The chairs were entered into a silent auction where event attendees bid to win their chair of choice. $3015 was raised for Hospital Hospitality House.
“We (American Office) chose Hospital Hospitality House because their mission embodies our core belief that space has the power to inspire, engage and even heal” said Brie Entel, Director of Marketing for American Office. “We are honored to be able to help them with their mission to provide a healing space for families in Richmond.”
Beverly Bean, MPH Development Director of Hospital Hospitality House, commented, “What a wonderful blessing to have American Office as a community partner. The $3,015 raised will provide a ‘home away from home’ to 201 people.”