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Before and After: Reclaimed Lumber Bench

Oakland-based design-building studio Because We Can was hired by SunPower to create furniture for their new office in an old Ford manufacturing building in Richmond, CA. This enormous, potential-filled pile of lumber had been taken out of the building and slated to be dumped, but the studio stepped in, deciding the wood could be reclaimed to build something new. After mulling it over, they "decided that benches were the most feasible idea to use the lumber and keep costs down." They created two designs, one simple with legs and a seat, and another that doubled as a bookcase, with a bottom shelf fit for storing books. They designed 20-foot-long benches to use the wood most efficiently, basically as it was in its found state — but prettier and less splintery. When the wood was milled down, they discovered "a beautiful Douglas Fir glue lam, not far beneath the weathered exterior." The benches are so large that they had to be fork-lifted through a small opening on the second floor of the building. Now installed in the new HQ, they look gorgeous and fit for the vast size of the old factory building. To see the splintery wood planks in their fabulous new form,


Are they eco chic or what?

Join The Conversation
amber_castaldo amber_castaldo 9 years
These benches are beautiful. I love reclaimed lumber.
Just-Oh Just-Oh 9 years
This is so very impressive. Those benches are beautiful.
darkangel2305 darkangel2305 9 years
Awesome. =)
davismama2003 davismama2003 9 years
Love these! Want to make some for my own home! Don't have time for that, though. Anyone have a source for something similar, scaled to at home size?
jillerin457 jillerin457 9 years
Yay! It makes me happy to see something useful and pretty made out of what someone else was trying to throw away!
taboos taboos 9 years
Wow! Beautiful! What I love about them is how simple and minimal they are. The second one is nice because it could be flipped over and made into a higher bench. Very cool!
silly3 silly3 9 years
These are beautiful and look perfect for the space! Bitters Co., based in Seattle, makes beautiful reclaimed Douglas fir tables and chairs, so if you like this look, you could put something just like it in your house:
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