David Adjaye’s Yaawa furniture debuts in new Carpenters Workshop Gallery venue

Close-up of Yaawa chair

Cast-bronze furniture by Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye has gone on show at a new Carpenters Workshop Gallery outpost in west London.

The Adjaye Associates founder has created eight limited-edition designs that combine both immaculately polished and highly textured bronze surfaces.

Polished surface of Yaawa table
Yaawa is a collection of tables, consoles and a dining chair

The collection, called Yaawa, is the first to launch at a huge new venue that collectable-design specialist Carpenters Workshop Gallery has opened in Ladbroke Grove.

Gallery founders Julien Lombrail and Loic le Gaillard felt it was a fitting project to mark the launch of their largest space to date – a 120-year-old beaux-arts building named Ladbroke Hall.

Yaawa dining chair by David Adjaye for Carpenters Workshop Gallery
Each piece features two distinctly different surface finishes

"Yaawa showcases Adjaye's mastery in manipulating light by experimenting with the surface of the bronze to achieve a unique play with reflection," said Le Gaillard.

"While David has often incorporated bronze details into his buildings, this is the first time he has exclusively used the metal in his functional sculptures."

Yaawa table by David Adjaye for Carpenters Workshop Gallery
Dark undersides are deeply imprinted with fingerprints

The Yaawa furniture collection includes a series of tables and consoles with a mix of round, rectangular and triangular surfaces, plus a matching dining chair.

Building on ideas that Adjaye first explored in his Monoforms furniture of 2007, the aim was to create works that experiment with the possibilities of a singular form.

"My work is always about an idea, a material and about exploration," said Adjaye. "It's about pushing craft forward."

Yaawa furniture by David Adjaye at Ladbroke Hall
Surfaces feature a polished metallic finish

All eight pieces combine two distinct material treatments, created using techniques that include hand-casting, oxidising, patinating and polishing.

Surfaces feature a polished metallic finish while darker undersides are deeply impressed with fingerprints, creating a hand-crafted aesthetic reminiscent of sculpted clay.

Yaawa furniture by David Adjaye at Ladbroke Hall
The tables come in round, rectangular and triangular shapes

Adjaye's previous uses of bronze include the facade of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and the interior fittings of a boutique for fashion retailer The Webster.

His interest in the metal is tied to its history on the African continent, as a material traditionally used for various craft and weaponry applications.

The architect said his aim was "to expand this lineage, doing so through the creation of a form and technique that also offers utility in space".

The name Yaawa translates as "bronze" in Twi – one of the indigenous Ghanaian languages.

Yaawa dining chair by David Adjaye at Ladbroke Hall
The works feature in one of two shows at the new Carpenters Workshop Gallery venue

Adjaye's furniture debuted in one of two inaugural exhibitions at Ladbroke Hall. The other is a show of retro works by the late Brazilian designer Jose Zanine Caldas.

The new gallery, which is opening in stages across the summer, features four large exhibition rooms, two artist-designed salons, a terrace created by designer Robert Stadler and a dedicated jewellery showroom.

David Adjaye at Ladbroke Hall
It is David Adjaye's first collaboration with Carpenters Workshop Gallery

Carpenters Workshop Gallery has spent four years renovating the building, which previously served as a photography studio.

It will allow the gallery – whose other venues are in New York, Los Angeles, Paris and London's Mayfair – to significantly expand its operations.

"A lot of work has gone into its restoration and expansion over the last four years," said Le Gaillard.

Yaawa furniture by David Adjaye for Carpenters Workshop Gallery
Yaawa is on show at Ladbroke Hall until 1o June

"To finally be able to share this labour of love, which has brought so many of our artists together for a unique opportunity to collaborate on a single and multi-faceted project, is deeply rewarding," he continued.

"Born from a desire to create a space for artistic expression that moves beyond traditional models and invests more into an emotional engagement with the arts, we cannot wait to experience the new ideas and opportunities it will inspire and nurture."

The photography is courtesy of Carpenters Workshop Gallery.

Yaawa opened at Carpenters Workshop Gallery's Ladbroke Hall on 28 April and continues until 10 June. See Dezeen Events Guide for more architecture and design events around the world.

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