We are always interested in the comparison between large scale versus small scale in architectural design. Mother Earth has forced us all to take a good hard look at our lifestyle and building practices, and we have noticed a paradigm shift as the market demands smaller living spaces and the smaller furnishings to go with them. Artist Robby Cuthbert uses scaled down versions of a traditionally large scale design in the creation of his furniture and sculpture.

Cuthbert is trained in both architecture and sculpture, and is particularly inspired by the the tension created by steel cables and wood. His furniture often resembles cable-stayed bridges.

Contour Coffee Table in Poplar by Robby Cuthbert

Contour Coffee Table in Poplar by Robby Cuthbert. Source: robbycuthbert.com


Lounge chair by Robby Cuthbert

Lounge chair by Robby Cuthbert. Source: robbycuthbert.com


Examples of cable-stayed bridges include our own Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge here in Boston and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas. The bridges use steel cables attached to structural towers, which bear the entirety of the weight load. The result is a visually striking bridge that uses a minimal amount of materials.

Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge

Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge. Source: massdot.state.ma.us


Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Source: Shutterstock.com


Cuthbert’s furniture designs are all based on this same principle, using steel cables and beautifully sculpted wood to create functional furniture. His designs encompass everything from book shelves and Adirondack chairs to lamps and coffee tables. Cuthbert says that often, he uses the artistic expression of his sculptures to drive the inspiration for transforming them into functional objects.

This is the essence of what we do here at Leslie Saul & Associates Architecture and Interiors; we create architectural designs that are both artistic expressions as well as a functional solution.