Check It Out

Most patrons exit the recently inaugurated Des Moines Public Library, in Iowa, with a borrowed book or two, but the custom Reader chair also merits checking out. Architect David Chipperfield, who designed the building, and New York manufacturer Dune collaborated to develop an upholstered seat that both complements the library and provides maximum comfort for visitors, all while staying within the tight municipal budget. The result is a surprisingly streamlined chair whose stark frame is anything but institutional. “The Reader is a structural element, so it becomes a component of the architecture rather than decoration,” Dune president Richard Shemtov says of its appeal. “It’s [also] a crossover product that can be applicable to residential interiors.” He’s right: with their monochromatic minimalism, the Reader and its companion ottoman and sofa are a bit too chic to sit quietly at the library much longer.

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