Mira Nakashima (American, b. 1942)
Custom Wall Mounted Shelf, 2004
1-3/4 x 135-3/4 x 26-1/2 inches (4.4 x 344.8 x 67.3 cm) (slab)
Signed and dated with commission information in permanent marker to the underside
A CUSTOM SUITE FOR THE HYATT CORPORATE OFFICES, CHICAGO
In 2005, the Hyatt Corporation built a new national headquarters in the West Loop neighborhood in Chicago. Eschewing traditional, sanitized office decor in favor of something more comfortable, intimate, and warm, the Hyatt hotel group commissioned these pieces via the design firm Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM) for Hyatt's new corporate office. This was a large project undertaken to unify Hyatt's international brand, and meant to convey a practical luxury. SOM sought a way to humanize the corporate environment and found a perfect fit with Nakashima, balancing precisely the utility and the style of the furniture.
The Hyatt commission grew to include a significant number of works, many of them ambitious in size, including tables, benches, and credenzas. These pieces, made of solid walnut, are joined with Nakashima's iconic butterfly keys and feature the design house's characteristic freeform edges, thus highlighting the natural beauty of the organic material. Particular emphasis is placed on the exaggeration and extension of the horizontal plane. Mira Nakashima's signature can be found on the underside of each piece in this collection, along with its respective date of completion. In the original design sketches accompanying these works, we see the attention to detail and respect for material so synonymous with the Nakashima name.