Customer Spotlight: Simon Thomas Pirie

Nov 16, 2020 | our customers

Meet Simon Thomas Pirie…

Multi Award winning craft furniture maker renowned for contemporary bespoke furniture, luxury kitchens and architectural design projects. Simon, John & team have created commissioned pieces for both landscape and interior spaces – from places of worship, museums and universities, to purely sculptural installations.

simon thomas pirie bespoke handmade kitchens and furniture craft furniture maker

Established over two decades ago by its namesake, all projects are manufactured at the well-equipped Courtyard Workshops, where the showroom is also located. Firmly established as the experts in bespoke furniture and interiors, the team at Simon Thomas Pirie are active in Dorset, the UK, and further afield. From occasional tables to full kitchens, every project that passes through their workshop receives individual attention to detail.

Their turn of the century farm buildings contain state of the art machinery, and people with the skill to use it. Their expert cabinet makers can manufacture both solid timbers and veneers, utilising techniques from steam bending to CNC machining. Combining traditional skills with high-tech techniques, the creativity behind the work Simon Thomas Pirie delivers makes the workshop an exciting place to visit – and luckily, the team welcome visitors by appointment.

simon thomas pirie craft furniture maker interior vertical strip timber cladding

Constantly striving to push their technical and creative boundaries, the team are recipients of a number of awards, and they are the winner of the Wood Awards 2014 ‘Bespoke Furniture Category’ for the new furniture they created for the Dickson Poon China Centre, St Hugh’s College, Oxford. Their Floating Bench design earned them a spotlight at the RHS Chelsea Garden Show 2016, as a Product of the Year Finalist.

Committed to training the next generation of furniture makers, Simon Thomas Pririe usually has a number of junior and apprentice cabinet-makers in training. The formal apprenticeships take up to 3 years to complete, so the team boasts an impressive number of particularly clever makers and designers.

Project Spotlight

STP were asked to replace the public seating in a medium sized retail development situated in Dorchester, named Tudor Arcade. Their brief was to create seating that could act as a meeting place, a conversation piece, and a focal point for substantial renovation and refresh that the arcade was undergoing.

tudor arcade bench by simon thomas pirie craft furniture maker

Craft was a key element in the refurbishment, and Hutchinson Kivotos Architects of London came to Simon Thomas Pirie because they were looking for high-quality craftsmanship within Dorset.

tudor arcade public space bench by simon thomas pirie craft furniture maker

The final bench design was an 11 metre question mark, built from scorched oak with contrasting natural pale Oak chair and bench forms creating seating opportunities on all faces; from throne-line chairs to love seats, as well as areas of open bench. The curve of the structure provides natural protection from the stream of passers by. The craft furniture making process of the steam bending and scorching can be seen by following this link.

“Public art is a way of adding quality to a space and creating a focal point. This shopping arcade had been designed in the 80s and needed to be shown a little love, so we asked Simon Thomas Pirie to design us seating people could love – with a love seat. We wanted something functional that had a sense of craft and joy, and he has delivered.”

Gavin Hutchinson, Hutchinson Kivotos Architects

Timber Spotlight

Simon endeavours to source local, sustainable materials whenever possible, and that’s where English Woodlands Timber comes in.

Simon Thomas Pirie enjoy working with Oak in particular, especially when it comes to outdoor projects, because the durable, long-lasting timber has good water resistant properties, and is extremely resilient with regards to every day wear and tear. Less likely to warp when exposed to sunlight than other timbers, oak features a particularly attractive wood grain, and weathers beautifully.

Watch the video of Simon, John & team designing, selecting timber and making the Ziggurat Table, centre piece of our joint Decorex 2019 stand


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