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Vantage Point: November Furniture + Architecture Pairing

October 27, 2021
Phoenix Central Park building facade

Collaboration between architecture firms isn’t a new concept, particularly in mixed-use projects where specialized spaces require unique perspectives; the Phoenix Central Park gallery and performance space in Chippendale, Australia is one such endeavor. Born of an immensely successful collaboration between John Wardle Architects and Durbach Block Jaggers, this integrated performance theater, garden, and gallery supports avant-garde work in an extraordinary space for interdisciplinary music, dance, and art.

The art gallery and performance center are joined by a courtyard and an external skin of brickwork that encloses everything—a concept designed by both architects, working together. The firms met frequently with the funding patron to iterate, debate, and bring together their expertise.

“Phoenix Central Park is an essay in the collaborative process."


In concert with the ribbed brick texture is the classic Knoll Platner Arm Chair, an enduring icon of modernism designed by Warren Platner. Platner began his career working with Raymond Loewy, I.M. Pei, and Eero Saarinen, and later opened his own studio in New Haven, CT. His 1966 collaboration with Knoll birthed this collection, bringing luxury to mid-century modern—a then-groundbreaking concept that is still very much appreciated today.

For Platner, a work is deemed “classic” when you can return to it again and again but see no way of improving it. Though designed in 1966, Knoll’s Platner collection has never been put out of production; by this definition, Warren Platner’s collaboration with Knoll is a true classic of modernist design.

“You hope to produce a classic. A classic is something that, every time you look at it, you accept it, as it is, and you can see no way of improving it. You can refine something forever, but you reach a point where you’re moving backwards."


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