American Hardwoods
Real American Hardwoods

“In the summer of 2019, ten leaders of London’s cultural institutions collaborated with some of Europe’s most exciting designers to create a ‘legacy’ piece to pass on to a family member, or the institution they lead.”

Inspired by the needs of each individual commissioner or cultural institution, and crafted using American red oak supplied by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the Legacy pieces are “everyday” objects, superbly characterized by American red oak’s fine grain, warm coloring, and exceptional robustness and durability.

According to AHEC European Director David Venables, ‘"We wanted to create a project that highlighted the suitability of the American red oak for furniture manufacturing. We are absolutely delighted with the resulting objects, which will hopefully be admired by many generations to come."’

The Legacy exhibition was first presented at the London Design Festival 2019, and then at the International Furniture and Interiors Fair - IMM Cologne - January 2020.

  • 'Fugu' by Jasper Morrison Studio, with Dr. Tristram Hunt, Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum: Two chairs and a side table for the waiting area outside Tristram Hunt's office
  • 'Beehave' by Marlène Huissoud, with Sir Ian Blatchford, Director and Chief Executive of the Science Museum Group: A beehive which will feature in a new agricultural area of the Science Museum
  • 'Serpentine Postbox' by Nina Tolstrup and Jack Mama of Studiomama, with Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries: A large and a small postbox for visitors to send postcards from the gallery
  • 'Duo' by Terence Woodgate, with Alex Beard CBE, CEO of the Royal Opera House: Two sofas intended for one of the meeting rooms in the Royal Opera House
  • 'Writer's Collection' by Sebastian Cox, with Amanda Nevill CBE, CEO of the British Film Institute: A desk, chair and pen holder where emerging filmmakers and writers can leave a record of what they were working on at the time
  • 'Musical Shelf' by Martino Gamper, with Tamara Rojo, Artistic Director of the English National Ballet: A shelf for Tamara's LP record collection
  • 'Valet' by Max Lamb, with Maria Balshaw, Director of Tate: A multipurpose dressing screen with a mirror, a shelf and a button for hanging clothes
  • 'Wooden Hinge' by Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay of Raw Edges, with Iwona Blazwick OBW, Director of Whitechapel Gallery: A bookstand made to display books and catalogues in the gallery
  • 'Au' by Tomoko Azumi, with Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE, Artistic Director of the Young Vic Theater: A boat-shaped outdoor seat for Kwame's garden
  • 'The Nest' by Juliet Quintero, with Sir John Sorrell, Chairman of the London Design Festival: A garden look-out seat for John's countryside home

To view the Legacy collection, visit the American Hardwood Export Council at

'Fugu' by Jasper Morrison Studio

'Musical Shelf' by Martino Gamper

'The Nest' by Juliet Quintero


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American Hardwood Information Center

The American Hardwood Information Center (AHIC), located at, provides advice from industry experts on decorating, care and maintenance, design trends, as well as flooring, cabinetry, furniture and millwork product information and specifications, to assist with building material selection for both residential and commercial applications. Step into the world of American Hardwoods and understand why products made from this sustainable and exceptionally beautiful material have been treasured for generations.
American Hardwood Information Center
American Hardwood Information Center13 hours ago
Cerusing—also known as "liming"—is the application of white-pigmented, non-toxic wax sealers to porous wood to bring out the natural grain without changing its color. @mckinleyarchitects make expert use of the finish for this custom, cerused-oak vanity in a Connecticut bathroom. White subway wall tiles, chrome fittings and mirror frames, and oak flooring set the honey-tone cabinetry off to perfection.

Photo by Jason McGrail

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