Wallpaper* invited the American Hardwood Export Council, architects Kolman Boye and furniture-makers Benchmark to create a towering structure of food plates. This January, the three-storey ‘general store’ will be presented in London for the first time as part of ARCHITECT@WORK from 27th to 28th January 2016.

The installation, which articulates the technical and aesthetic qualities of American cherry, combines an interest in traditional woodworking techniques and the photographic documentation of silent buildings by Bernd & Hilla Becher and Ole Meyer, creating a functional sculpture within the walls of a gallery.

The vast columns of shelves were arranged in a cylindrical shape so that a single ladder could slide around inside the structure to scale every shelf. Each shelf in the Rotunda held rows of cherry-wood snack trays that visitors could take home as limited-edition samples from the exhibit. All 526 trays were snapped up by enthusiastic visitors in under three hours.

Rotunda Serotina was originally exhibited at Wallpaper* Handmade from 15th to 18th April 2015 during Milan’s Design Week. 

"MEAT – A spatial strategy exploring the notion of aedicula, forms the body of an enclosed vertically pronounced space within space, that establishes a lively gathering point in and around the heart of the gallery.

BONE – The structure of the installation is informed by an intention to forgo the use of glue, metal brackets and screws in exchange for wooden joints. It is comprised of 12 elements set at an angle of 30 degrees to each other creating a closed, almost cylindrical, polygon. Each leg of each element consists of doubled framing studs, clasping inclined rails that in turn carry the shelves. The shelves holding the serving trays are joined by mortise and tenon joints and act as barrel hoops allowing the large amount of loose-fit components to act as one structural whole.

SKIN – The skin of the installation consists of 528 stacked wooden trays tooled with a purpose made, ball shaped drill to create a soft concavity for serving. Conceived as transformative process, the installation will by each serving slowly be reduced from a temple like space with casette-walls to a transparent carcass."

Kolman Boye Architects AB


“In total we made 3084 separate pieces connected by 1008 joints to make up the ‘skeleton’ of the rotunda together with 528 trays for the surface layer, all assembled without the use of nails, screws or glue.  It is a wonderful piece of cabinet making and a tribute to the skills of our craftsmen that they have used their fine techniques on such a grand scale”

Sean Sutcliffe, co-founder of Benchmark.




Kolman Boye Architects was founded in 2013 by Erik Kolman Janouch and Victor Boye Julebäk after having collaborated on several projects. The practice has a research-based approach, coupling academic work with construction and material investigation. Projects are informed by a sensitivity to experience, cultural heritage and the physical qualities of architecture.




Benchmark is a leading company of craftspeople and designers, founded 30 years ago by Terence Conran and Sean Sutcliffe. One of Great Britain’s most technologically advanced workshops, the team is now 50 strong in over 40,000 sq ft of workshops for timber milling, carpentry, veneering, spraying, specialist metalworking and upholstery, as well as design studio. Their sustainable credentials are second to none. Benchmark works extensively with hotels, restaurants, public buildings, offices and private residences.




For over 20 years the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has been at the forefront of wood promotion in Europe, successfully building a distinctive and creative brand for U.S. hardwoods.  AHEC’s support for creative design projects such as The Wish List for The London Design Festival, helps demonstrate the performance potential of these sustainable materials and provides valuable inspiration. This is the AHEC’s fourth and most ambitious collaboration with Wallpaper* Handmade.




For over 20 Truly international, consistently intelligent and hugely influential, Wallpaper* is the world’s most important design and style magazine. Wallpaper* has readers in 93 countries and has unparalleled success in reaching the design elite right across the globe. With 12 themed issues a year, a limited-edition cover by a different artist or designer each month, over 1.14 million Twitter followers and a monthly iPad edition, Wallpaper* has evolved from style bible to internationally recognised brand.