In the Wings – Royce Armchair by Nikolai Kotlarczyk and SP01
Sydney, NSW, Australia

Words Sam Manchester
Industrial Designer Nikolai Kotlarczyk
Design Company SP01

The Royce armchair is an elegant piece of furniture created by Nikolai Kotlarczyk in collaboration with SP01. Developed from a club-style dining chair, the Royce has been lowered into an embracing lounge chair with an avian inspiration.

It took two years to bring the Royce armchair to life, and the results are inviting and sophisticated. This latest addition to the SP01 collection expresses memories of vibrant fauna in the rainforest hinterland behind Byron Bay. Kotlarczyk explains he began the Royce “as an almost reminiscent act of design that reflected the environment in which I grew up.” Now based in Copenhagen, Kotlarczyk’s memories of home eventually lead him to the form of a tropical dove, stating, “the idea was sparked by the colourful and loud native birds from the hills behind Mullumbimby.” The dove lends Royce sweeping lines like enfolding wings, endowing the armchair with a sense of life and movement.

The Royce armchairs elegance is paired with its simplicity to create a sense of timelessness.

While the form has an almost striking simplicity, it does retain some visual surprises. The Royce sits with a stout profile of curving lines, visually reminiscent of a bird on a branch. Its shape creates an unmissable statement of solid presence, with walls that hem you in, like enveloping wings. There is a sense of privacy here, an individual experience one can sink into, cocooned in comfort. In contrast to the material of the body, the legs of the Royce introduce new language with a functional twist.

There is a sense of privacy here, an individual experience one can sink into, cocooned in comfort.

The footing of the Royce is an assertive design element that traces the back as if adorning it with dark steel ribbon. Curving around the back of the chair, the bar itself bends in shapes which harmonise with the sides of the armchair. These two primary materials speak with each other in a dialogue of call and response. Set against the warm leather with crisp, stark, black steel, the seated user is held in the wings of the chair, which themselves are supported by the accent of the legs. Standing in front of the Royce, the legs at the fore border the chair and anchor it to the ground. At the same time, its rear legs are hidden behind, only subtly glimpsed from the side. The resulting effect is almost one of suspension, balancing this tilting cradle in the air.

Available in a range of materials, colours and textures, the Royce is a canvas for personal expression.

Created with design brand SP01, the Royce has been given expression in two styles and a suite of materials and finishes. Available both with and without the headrest, this component sleekly attaches to the back of the armchair to bring added support in a consistent form. Kotlarczyk and SP01 tested variations for this module, and he notes, “the aesthetic we chose for the headrest followed the chair’s overall form – creating something equally organic and flowing.”

“The aesthetic we chose for the headrest followed the chair’s overall form – creating something equally organic and flowing.”

The body of the chair is available in a wide range of materials and patterns. SP01 has released five material collections from ‘indoor leather’ to ‘marble and stone’. The colours within these collections create just over 100 material possibilities. Variations are also available for the legs too, including ‘glossy red’ and ‘gold chrome’. Kotlarczyk notes, “the versatility of the piece was definitely something we had in mind during the prototyping phase and was one of the reasons we decided for a smaller and more compact armchair for the final piece.”

The Royce in intended to provide walled-in comfort, Kotlarczyk describes it as both soft and welcoming.

The Royce armchair joins a host of designs in the growing SP01 collection. Having launched internationally in 2017, SP01 is a design brand creating hand-finished furniture in collaboration with Australian designers. The brand’s vision is for a tasteful collection that is based on rigorous design and the honest use of materials, with pieces that speak an elegant versatility. The SP01 collection is intended to be as applicable to a New York studio as a Sydney beach house.

These two primary materials speak with each other in a dialogue of call and response.

The Royce armchair joins this vision of diversity, as Kotlarczyk shares, “we see Royce in a variety of settings – hotels, workspaces, the home and more.” Available now through SP01, this versatile armchair is a modern classic ready to take flight.

Sp01 Armchair By Nikolai Kotlarczyk Product Feature Image 13
Published 21 April, 2021
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