ROM Unveils Spirit House Chair

Architect Daniel Libeskind Designs Chair For Michael Lee-Chin Crystal

The Spirit House Chair, a custom, limited-edition chair designed by architect Daniel Libeskind and manufactured by Toronto furniture-maker Klaus Nienkämper.

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 Nienkämper have unveiled a new limited edition, custom built piece of furniture entitled the Spirit House Chair, inspired by the architectural peaks and facades of Libeskind’s Lee-Chin Crystal.

The contemporary, multi-faceted Spirit House Chair is architect Daniel Libeskind’s 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 Libeskind’s signature etched onto it.

"Libeskind’s design for the ROM’s 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 Nienkämper, President and Founder of Nienkämper Furniture. "The steel structure of the chair is symbolic of the Lee-Chin Crystal’s 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 Nienkämper Furniture & Accessories Inc. of Toronto and will be available for purchase after June 2nd through the Nienkämper store, KLAUS by Nienkämper, on King Street West in Toronto. Please visit for contact details.

"We are extremely grateful to both Daniel Libeskind and Klaus Nienkämper 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."

Nienkämper is a Toronto-based furniture manufacturer recognized for producing some of the best corporate and residential furniture on the market. The Nienkämper factory in Toronto is a 120,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility producing furniture for international customers. The Nienkämper philosophy is founded on classic and contemporary designs that work together, the highest standards in manufacturing, durability, ease of maintenance and to create furniture that responds directly to customer demands in a constantly evolving marketplace. Nienkämper is a lead supporter of the Renaissance ROM Furniture Initiative, a project through which several leading Canadian manufacturers have donated almost $1 million in furniture for the Museum’s new public spaces. Nienkämper’s elegant furniture can be seen throughout the ROM’s new main floor galleries and in the Samuel Hall Currelly Gallery.

On June 2, 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 Canada’s largest space for international exhibitions.