Worthy creation

Thomas Heatherwick has designed the furniture for the Worth Abbey Church in England, using solid American black walnut wood.

The Worth Abbey in England’s South Downs has been given a creative interior makeover by Thomas Heatherwick.

Designed by architect Francis Pollen, the Abbey Church was first opened in 1974 and has since then had freestanding chairs, which had given this place of worship a temporary, cluttered feel.

Recently the 25 English Benedictine monks who reside at the Abbey decided that it was time to make some changes for more cohesive, relevant and purposeful furniture.

Heatherwick’s expertise were called upon and he developed furniture for the abbey that integrates with the other renovations. New pew benches, choir stalls, desks, benches, credence tables, server seats and confessional rooms were designed.

All the furniture was designed in solid hardwood, specifically American black walnut, a decision that makes the furniture stand out in a space that is otherwise natural and neutral in tone.

Heatherwick says: “Walnut was chosen for its darkness and subtlety and for the way that when it would be used in quantity on our project, its dusky colour would not become overbearing.”

Watch the Talk with Thomas Heatherwick