Art and design unite in the new oak furniture collection by London-based architect, designer and maker Benni Allan. The new ‘Low Collection’, on show at London’s Béton Brut gallery (until 8 July 2022), considers the different ways of sitting in cultures around the world.

‘“Low Collection” is a fresh meditation on sitting and our connection to the ground,’ says Béton Brut director Sophie Pearce. ‘Benni Allan is also the artisan to watch. Such works in wood haven’t excited me since Axel Einar Hjorth’s “Utö” stool from 1932 or Lina Bo Bardi’s side chair for the centre SESC Pompéia from 1980.’

wood armchair
‘Low Seat’ by Benni Allan for Béton Brut

Allan plays with proportions in the sculptural forms of sustainably sourced solid oak. Situated low to the floor, their gently curved forms cast sensual silhouettes. Designs, encompassing benches, tables for two and armchairs, create opportunities to rest and interact, offering a sanctuary whether alone or in a pair.

The curvilinear design of the furniture, which takes inspiration from Allan’s recent trips to Japan as well as his time spent living in China and southern Spain, is celebrated in boldly drawn lines, with the wood itself taking centre stage in the pieces, which are cross-cut to highlight the high quality of the end-grain. Created using a mix of both traditional and modern craftsmanship, each piece is hand-finished by Allan.

Low Collection oak furniture
‘Bench for Two’ by Benni Allan for Béton Brut

It is the latest work for Allan, who explores projects at the intersection of architecture and the visual arts in his architectural practice EBBA. A preoccupation with objects and spaces is expressed through themes such as materiality and proportion. This, Allan’s first full collection of furniture, is available to view exclusively at Béton Brut.

The London gallery, specialising in both rare, architect-led furniture and lighting from Europe and Japan, encapsulates Pearce’s interest in both pieces dating from the last century and a distinctive, sculptural aesthetic. §

Oak table
Low Collection oak furniture

Top, ‘Table Two’ and bottom, the ‘Low Collection’ by Benni Allan for Béton Brut