Foster + Partners Creates Custom Furniture for Cleveland Clinic

At Cleveland Clinic's Shelia and Eric Samson Pavilion, Foster + Partners designed furnishings to accommodate both plants and humans.
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Furniture plays a supporting role in the courtyard for the Sheila and Eric Samson Pavilion, the centerpiece of the Cleveland Clinic Health Education Campus at Case Western Reserve University.

At the Sheila and Eric Samson Pavilion, sun pours in like ribbons. Part of the Cleveland Clinic Health Education Campus at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, the building is the work of Foster + Partners, which has installed linear skylights to illuminate the atrium (known officially as the Delos M. Cosgrove Courtyard). Now open, the 27,000- square-foot center serves students from Case Western’s dental, nursing, and medical schools.

Supporting the program is a suite of wood and leather furniture—blond oak tables, benches, and planters—crafted by the 30-year-old manufacturer Benchmark in West Berkshire, England. These furnishings, too, were designed by Foster + Partners, in a collection called OVO. First released last year, the line has taken on custom, expanded proportions in the sprawling pavilion. “The furniture has a common design language, which adapts through dimension and change of height to allow for focused work, casual encounters, and organized meetings,” says Mike Holland, partner and head of industrial design at Foster.

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Its interior features large planters equipped with benches— a new addition to the Benchmark assortment— as well as OVO tables, chairs, and stools. Courtesy Nigel Young / Foster + Partners

In addition to aiding collaboration, the design offers flexibility. None of the pieces are fixed in place, enabling the clinic to clear the floor for events, or rearrange tables and chairs into other configurations. Even the tree planters, which feature integrated benching, can be moved—or opened, should a sapling need some extra TLC.

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Categories: Furniture