The inspiration for the Clamshell concept was found in the philosophy of architect Eero Saarinen: he believed that the most timeless and elegant furniture was a structural total and, absent excess decoration, the design could be reduced to its essence. From there, designer Craig Bassam pursued the clamshell shape for its purity of form and purpose. "The shell is so honest and beautiful in its own right. At the same time, it provides strength and support, without the need for frames or braces," says Bassam.
"I wanted to create a chair that meets prevailing notions of status and luxury," explains Bassam. "And I wanted an extremely comfortable chair." To achieve luxury and comfort without bulk, Clamshell employs an elegant structural shell made using advanced veneer technology. The shell's contour is based on compound curves found in nature that were impossible to express in wood—until recent advances in veneer molding. This breakthrough allows for shaping veneers without cracking, while maintaining the veneer's structure.
With three distinct design variations, two heights and two arm options, Clamshell provides long-term comfort in individual offices, meeting spaces, lounge areas and residential settings. Clamshell Conference is a full swivel chair on casters, available in highback and lowback, with or without arms; Lounge highbacks are on glides, with or without arms; Side lowbacks feature a swivel return on a four-star base with glides, available as arm- or armless chairs; and Lounge lowbacks feature solid-wood frames, with or without arms.
SSJPA Ash shell
SSJPW Quarter-cut walnut shell
SSJPF Flat-cut walnut shell
SSJQA Ash shell
SSJQW Quarter-cut walnut shell
SSJQF Flat-cut walnut shell
Veneered, molded plywood
FR foam over rigid insert
Four-star, polished aluminum swivel-return base on black glides
See how this product can contribute to your environmental goals.
Click the logos below to learn more about the Forest Stewardship Council, U.S. Green Building Council and the SCS Indoor Air Quality standards.