Custer's Announcement of the Award:
Custer and Steelcase distributed table bases to our West Michigan architecture and design partners and asked them to unleash their creativity by designing and building a customized, one-of-a-kind Bassline table top. The firms showcased their imagination and ingenuity by presenting their tables and vying for votes at last week’s annual Custer ArtPrize party.
Six firms from Grand Rapids, Holland, Kalamazoo, and Portage participated in the competition—and with that many incredible designs, the decision was a difficult one for our guests! But with all the ballots cast and counted, the winner of the 2018 Bassline Competition is Mathison | Mathison Architects.
Mathison | Mathison Architects created a Bassline table that functioned as a tree stand and featured shelving around its exterior, which they used for bar accessories. The innovative, industrial design won over voters! Their design statement reads:
“With a weight capacity of 800 lbs, the Bassline table design guidelines limited the horizontal reach, but allowed for vertical extension. For MMA, this became an invitation to transform a low, sturdy set of table legs into a spatial experience. The Falcon Cube weighs over 400 lbs and is constructed modularly with a series of 8 x 8 white oak beams salvaged from a 100-year-old local barn. The beams are massive but their arrangement is playful. While they are rugged, we used fire-charred treatment on exterior surfaces called Shou Sugi Ban, to demonstrate a careful material refinement. With LED lighting in the void spaces, live plantings, and finally, ingredients for an evening cocktail, the goal was to show how a seemingly excessive and abstract assemblage of raw materials could invite a profound flexibility of use, and offer an experience of intimate, human interaction.”