Artek and Bless present dressed-up furniture at Chicago Biennial
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Artek at the Chicago Architecture Biennial
Photograph by Steve Hall of Hall Merrick Photographers

Artek and Bless present fur-covered and marble furniture at Chicago Architecture Biennial

Finnish furniture company Artek has collaborated with fashion label Bless to dress up a collection of seats, which form a decadent lounge at this year's Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Artek at the Chicago Architecture Biennial

The team customised Artek's Kiki range, which was originally designed in 1960 by Finnish designer Ilmari Tapiovaara and features in Dezeen's London offices.

The new collection, called N°60 Lobby Conquerors, updates the metal-framed pieces with materials such as marble, fur and concrete.

Artek at the Chicago Architecture Biennial

A modified Kiki three-seater bench stands in the centre of the lounge, which occupies the landing of a staircase in the biennial's primary venue, the Chicago Cultural Center.

Artek at the Chicago Architecture Biennial

Further single seats referred to as "architurniture units" are scattered throughout the space, which links two further exhibition areas in the venue. These seats feature add-ons including a piece of red marble that extends a two-person bench, while an armless tan chair has an extra-high back and side made of concrete.

Artek at the Chicago Architecture Biennial

"Through garments and fragmented architectural add-ons, Artek's iconic Kiki Lounge Chairs are transformed into small architurniture units," said a statement from Artek and Bless.

Artek at the Chicago Architecture Biennial

A range of stools also designed by Tapiovaara are "dressed-up in hairy costumes" with fur and dotted throughout the lounge.

Artek at the Chicago Architecture Biennial

The materials were selected to complement the space's decorative burnt-orange floor tiles and ornamental fittings.

Artek at the Chicago Architecture Biennial

Founded in 1935, Artek was led by Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen and Nils-Gustav Hahl. The company was acquired by Swiss furniture giant Vitra in 2013, and has since relaunched updates of some of its iconic mid-century designs. Bless was set up in 1997 by Desiree Heiss and Ines Kaag, and has stores in Berlin and Paris.

Artek at the Chicago Architecture Biennial

N°60 Lobby Conquerors was commissioned for the Chicago Architecture Biennial and is on on display until 7 January 2018.

The biennial's programme includes installations and events across the city, including a variety of performance art pieces and a series of metallic structures hung in Garfield Park Conservatory.

Photography is by Bless, unless otherwise stated.