Canadian Architect


Royal Ontario Museum unveils Daniel Libeskinds Spirit House Chair

May 9, 2007
by Canadian Architect

In advance of the June 2nd opening of the new Michael Lee-Chin Crystal at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), architect Daniel Libeskind and Toronto furniture designer Klaus Nienkmper have unveiled a new limited edition, custom built piece of furniture entitled the Spirit House Chair, inspired by the architectural peaks and facades of Libeskinds Lee-Chin Crystal.

The contemporary, multi-faceted Spirit House Chair is architect Daniel Libeskinds first foray into the world of furniture. The chair is constructed entirely of 14-gauge stainless steel with a brushed finish and weighs 180 lbs. It is designed to be oriented in five different positions and can be used as a side-table. Each chair takes 40 hours of labour to complete. As a special finishing touch, each chair will have Libeskinds signature etched onto it.

Libeskinds design for the ROMs new addition lends itself well to small-scale interpretations so it was a natural step for us to conceive a modern piece of furniture that would represent this monumental occasion, said Klaus Nienkmper, President and Founder of Nienkmper Furniture. The steel structure of the chair is symbolic of the Lee-Chin Crystals strong steel foundation, its unique concept and its permanence on the Toronto landscape.

The chair is named for the space at the heart of the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal called the Spirit House, where the structural support beams unite to form an open space that will be filled with a soundscape reflecting various aspects of the Museum. Thirteen Spirit House Chairs will be placed on Level 1 of the Spirit House, so visitors can use it as a place of contemplation and reflection, three will be placed at the front entrance to the Lee-Chin Crystal and two will be on display in the new ROM Museum Store.

The chair is being manufactured by Nienkmper Furniture & Accessories Inc. of Toronto and will be available for purchase after June 2nd through the Nienkmper store, KLAUS by Nienkmper, on King Street West in Toronto. Please visit for contact details.

We are extremely grateful to both Daniel Libeskind and Klaus Nienkmper for their collaboration on this remarkable piece of furniture, adding another unique dimension to the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal,” said William Thorsell, Director and CEO of the ROM. “It’s gratifying also that the Spirit House Chair will have a life outside the ROM, as it will certainly appeal to discerning people around the world. The Museum is accessioning one Chair into our decorative arts collection for the appreciation of future generations.”

On June 2nd, 2007, the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, the centrepiece of the Renaissance ROM expansion project, opens to the public. The 175,000-square-foot, aluminium-and-glass-covered Lee-Chin Crystal will house seven permanent galleries overlooking Bloor Street West, a new main entrance and lobby, the ROM Museum Store, Crystal Five (C5) Restaurant Lounge and special events facilities, as well as Canadas largest space for international exhibitions.

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada's only monthly design publication, Canadian Architect has been in continuous publication since 1955.
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