Terence Conran/Barton Court/Eames Chairs Posted January 15, 2006 by Daniel Ostroff
Metropolitan Home, December 2005/January 2006 issue, heralds England’s leading purveyor of design, TERENCE CONRAN, at his country estate, BARTON COURT.
It is a “throwback to old English landed estates: its a completely self-contained village.”
But there’s nothing “old English” about its owner, or his taste in furniture.
Terence Conran who has sold more chairs at retail in England than perhaps any one in history could have any chairs he wants in his office. His choices? Behind his desk, an Eames Soft Pad Aluminum Group Executive chair; for his guests, in front of his desk, an Eames Aluminum Group chair, both in black leather.
Conran’s examples are made by Vitra, the long-standing partner of the Eames Office for Europe and other international sales.
Judge a chair design by the company it keeps? Here are some highlights from the Wikipedia biography of TERENCE CONRAN:
Conran first professional work came when he worked in the Festival of Britain on the main South Bank site, he left his college education to take up a job with Dennis Lennon‘s architectural company, they had been commisioned to make a 1/4 scale interior of a Princess Flying Boat..
Conran started his own design practice in 1956 with the Summa furniture range and designing a shop for Mary Quant. In 1964 he opened the first Habitat shop in Chelsea with his third wife Caroline Herbert, which grew into a large chain selling household goods and furniture in contemporary designs. In the mid-1980s, Conran expanded Habitat into the Storehouse group of companies that included Mothercare and Heals but in 1990 he lost control of the company. His later retail companies include the Conran Shop and FSC-certified wood furniture maker Benchmark Furniture, which he co-founded in 1983.
He has also been involved in architecture and interior design, including London‘s Michelin House (which he turned into the restaurant Bibendum) and the Bluebird Garage both in Chelsea. Conran had a major role in the regeneration in the early 1990s of the Shad Thames area of London next to Tower Bridge that includes the Design Museum which is managed by the Conran Foundation.