Ryan Frank, a South African born furniture designer has recently finished his latest project at the London Theatre. His philosophy is to create furniture that has raw materials that have already been used, to create unique and desirable furniture with the lowest impact on the environment as possible. His holistic approach has raised people’s awareness of him and he has undertaken projects from the Hyatt Hotels Group to London based record label TAPE.
His latest project features a range of outdoor furniture made completely from reclaimed materials from the structure of the London National Theatre. The outdoor café area is locate on the roof terrace of the theatre’s building and which itself has undergone a sustainable revamp recently. The area features uniquely designed café furniture that enables herbs and plants to grow within them, that can be used by the theatre’s café.
The furniture is not your average café tables and café chairs, but a system of block wooden stools and tables that are mounted on wheels so can be moved around in different configurations depending on who is using it.
There is another reason for the plants and that is to attract bees. The fragrance given off by the herbs and plants are designed to attract bees and create what he calls a “living space”. Ryan was the designer of choice according to the catering manager, Vicky Falconer-Pritchard who says, “Ryan’s sustainability ethos directly corresponds with what we are aiming to achieve here.” This comes after the theatre recently joined the Sustainable Restaurant Association,
Ryan found inspiration from the distinctive wood grain within the theatre’s concrete structure. Ryan says, “"I wanted the furniture to look like it had been made from the very planks reclaimed from the original construction of the National Theatre. I wanted the furniture to have a sense of belonging"
Looking at the furniture you can see why the National Theatre chose him for the job. The area looks inviting, stylish and weirdly enough quite modern in design.