General Woodwork Bench by Roger Arquer
for the Stepney Green Design Collection

| 7 comments

General Woodwork Bench by Roger Arquer for the Stepney Green Design Collection

East London designer Roger Arquer has made a bench out of materials he salvaged from his local hardware shop before it closed down, which he is contributing to the Stepney Green Design Collection curated by Dezeen.

General Woodwork Bench by Roger Arquer for the Stepney Green Design Collection

All of the materials in the bench, from the wood to the screws and even the sandpaper Arquer used to make it, are from General Woodwork Supplies, a hardware shop near Dezeen's office in Stoke Newington that closed down this year after over 60 years of trading.

General Woodwork Bench by Roger Arquer for the Stepney Green Design Collection

The seat of the bench is made from a plank of English chestnut that Arquer found in the back of the shop, while the 12 beech legs that are screwed in to it are replacement parts for old 1950s coffee tables.

General Woodwork Bench by Roger Arquer for the Stepney Green Design Collection

Talking about his affection for the store and the concept behind the project, Arquer told Dezeen "General Woodworks has been a reference hardware shop for many makers based in the creative hub of East London. This was the place to go - they had everything and they knew everything - but it sadly closed down in August. This one-off bench is my tribute to the shop."

General Woodwork Bench by Roger Arquer for the Stepney Green Design Collection

Dezeen has been commissioned to curate a collection of products designed by east London creatives that live near to new housing development VIVO and we have been publishing the designs as they are added to the collection all month. See all the stories we have published so far here.

General Woodwork Bench by Roger Arquer for the Stepney Green Design Collection

The designs will be on show as part of a collection of 30 works of art, fashion, sculpture and furniture celebrating local talent that will be exhibited at the Genesis Cinema in October and then donated to the VIVO residents – find out more here.

  • Claude

    I don’t see why this is worth being on Dezeen. I have seen better projects from students.

    • http://www.dezeen.com Marcus/Dezeen

      I have to disagree with you there Claude. This piece is a homage to a store that was an important part of our local community. It had been continuously trading since 1946 and was a really amazing place that the local creative community relied upon for materials and expertise.

      To me Roger’s bench is a lovely, meaningful evocation of General Woodwork Supplies and its design reflects an ad-hoc, somewhat mad treasure trove of a shop that is very much missed.

      You can read more about the store here: http://spitalfieldslife.com/2012/09/22/so-long-ge

      Marcus/Dezeen

      • MIKE

        I would have to disagree with you Marcus. The shop in itself is/was an amazing alcove of components, that although ad-hoc in appearance and display were essential and sometimes unique items for craftsman as well as hobbyists and DIY-ers, I do not see any craftsmanship in this piece. Only a sense of DIY and the ad-hoc jumble – an untrained view of this legacy store. A MASSIVE INJUSTICE. How many beautiful items have been made from items bought solely from this store… to be summed up by this!

        I doubt you will publish this comment.

        • internautas

          Completely agree with MIKE.

          • MIKE

            Here’s an idea, designed in Hackney, why not. Made with the help of GWS. There must be hundreds of projects that have sourced things from this store that changed its direction/allowed it to come to fruition.

            Publish the projects together and that will be a worthwhile statement, how a store like this was a resource for true design inspiration no matter what the project and how it effected the design community.

  • claudio

    Nice job Roger. Sweet reference to the much loved and much missed GW.

  • http://www.mcmullencarpentersandjoiners.co.uk/locations/carpenter-london/ John McMullen

    It's really positive that someone has bothered to pay homage to a store that was part of the local community.