It isn’t easy to reinvent a classic for contract use. But when O&G Studio partnered with industrial designer Lothar Windels, Chair of the Furniture Department at the Rhode Island School of Design, to reimagine the American Windsor, that’s exactly what they set out to do.
“In the very beginning of the design process, it was paramount to create a chair with a very small footprint,” said Windels. The compact chair—only 16” in width and 18.5” in diameter also needed to be durable.
“The Sakonnet was designed with the tight conﬁnes of a café in mind,” said Sara Ossana and Jonathan Glatt, founders of O&G Studio (Ossana and Glatt met as graduate students at RISD).
A backrest of three triangulated spindles connecting to a circular undercarriage makes the chair compact and gives it a slightly modern look.
The team tested the Sakonnet multiple times throughout the process to ensure its durability. The chair can hold up to 400 lbs, and its tenons are 30-40% thicker than those of residential chairs.
All of the Sakonnet’s stretchers and tenons were reinforced with wood pins to withstand years of constant use. The designers even made sure that each piece of wood within the chair was oriented to take advantage of the directional strength of the wood’s grain.
The 19 signature stained ﬁnishes were specially designed to hold up in contract applications, soaking into the grain to maintain color in the face of scratching or denting.