Take a Seat
An invitation to take a seat at Churchill College
For the last fifty years the iconic architecture of Churchill College’s Dining Hall has been complemented by the tables and chairs famously designed by distinguished furniture designer Robin Day (1915–2010).
Over the years the original chairs withstood lots of wear and tear and, as they failed, more chairs were made or repaired. However, the cost of a professional repair was almost half the cost of buying a new chair. The chairs became irreparable due to some of the details of the original design and materials used. There were four different designs of chair in use and we had to incorporate additional chairs from meeting rooms around the College for some events such as the Graduation Dinner. So the time came to invest in 350 new chairs for the Churchill Dining Hall, the largest of all the Cambridge Colleges.
In order to maintain the strong tradition of quality and contemporary design associated with Churchill College we worked with the renowned British furniture designer and manufacturer, Luke Hughes. He was commissioned to design a new chair, in homage to Robin Day’s original design, that complements the surroundings of Churchill’s Dining Hall and, most importantly, will provide a comfortable seat for diners over the next fifty years.
You can ‘take your place’ in the Churchill College Dining Hall by naming a chair. For a donation of £500, you can help the College fund the replacement of a chair and incorporate a dedication of your choice on an engraved brass disc 34mm diameter on the back of the chair.
‘For those of us who were undergraduates in Churchill College whilst the College buildings were being built, the first formal dinner in the new dining hall was a special occasion in which the chairs played an important part. We all stood behind our chairs for grace, and then, in unison, pulled our chairs back to sit down. To a man – there were no women undergraduates – we instantly recognised that, since the chairs were as wide as the places, no one could sit down. So, gentleman to a man, every one of us simultaneously stepped back a further pace, pulling our chairs back to let our neighbour sit down. But in doing so, every one of us bumped into our friends behind us doing exactly the same thing. The hall rang with peals of laughter and we all proceeded to sit down. A tradition – of joy as well as solemnity in Churchill College Hall – had begun.’
Jim Platts, Alumnus
If you would like to participate in our ‘name a chair’ appeal, please complete this form and return it to the Development Office at Churchill College.