When an office furniture company in Brno, Czech Republic, sought a redesign of their showroom, they were clear about the financial constraints: “Do it cheap, ideally for free,” remembered architects Ondrej Chybik and Michal Kristof. Rather than merely repainting the 1990s-built former car showroom, and installing new signage, the duo of Chybik+Kristof settled on a more impactful approach. They covered the external walls with more than 900 seats of the company’s chairs.
First, a steel frame was installed around the perimeter of the building, offering connection points for hundreds of black plastic chairs, which cost roughly $3.27 each. Then the chairs were installed, creating a surprisingly compelling three-dimensional screen. At different angles, they look like the scales of a massive creature, or a high-tech architectural pattern. At other times, they just look like a bunch of chairs on a wall—a clear, sign-less advertisement for the business inside.
The architects also redesigned the interior, using white curtains and circular area rugs to create three distinct furniture galleries for each of the company’s main markets: school, office, and high design. The floor was painted a glossy white, and the ceiling’s raw concrete was left exposed. Offices on the perimeter of the building take advantage of windows, the natural light filtering in from behind all those plastic chairs.