The main attraction of the office interior is its so-called Living Room, for which Olson Kundig namesake Tom Kundig conceived a monumental coffee-height table that encourages gathering. Measuring 144-square-foot table in total, the table is divided into 6-foot-square and 800-pound quadrants that can be wheeled in and out of various configurations. All four quadrants were assembled from timber offcuts by British Columbia fabricator Spearhead, another of Olson Kundig’s repeat collaborators. One of the quadrants also incorporates a turntable and record collection curated by Seattle’s Sub Pop Records. “It would be like a love note from the Pacific Northwest to New York,” Kundig says of his initial vision for the centerpiece.
“The design was really the crescendo of a conversation that Alan and I had, about our memories of gathering around a table with our teacher Astra Zarina in her home in Campo dei Fiori in Rome,” Kundig says. “She would have a pile of fantastic candles in the center of the table, and we’d all have negronis and sit in conversation together. The design is another love note, back to Astra and her table and the community that gathered around it. That spirit of collegial conversation and sharing is what we are looking to nurture in this new office space, so the table felt just right.”
To cultivate community and exchange, Olson Kundig will conduct its traditional Thursday design critiques and host regular presentations and other events in the New York office, in addition to its Ledge programming. Parwani particularly looks forward to using the space to forge relationships with New York–based designers and artists, noting, “While we have been part of the design discussion for six decades, the New York office gives us the ability to engage a global community in new and exciting ways.”