Images below by Carren Jao
Bay Area designer Richard Bulan entices San Francisco diehards to take a piece of the Golden Gate Bridge home with them. The Golden Gate Bridge Furniture Company (GGBFC) has been creating limited edition furniture crafted from Golden Gate Bridge steel since 1994. GGBFC makes use of pedestrian handrails salvaged from the iconic bridge. The handrails, originally installed in the 1930's, were removed and replaced in 1994 because of deterioration from severe wind and salt air damage.
At this year's Dwell on Design conference, Bulan brought along two new large table designs: a conference table and executive desk. Both limited editions of twenty. Known for smaller pieces such as coffee tables, desk lamps and headboards, these two new designs represent larger ambitions, perhaps spurred by the Golden Gate's 75th anniversary this year.
GGBFC's first offering of a headboard made from Golden Gate Bridge steel was the product that began the business.
GGBFC's conference table makes its debut at Dwell on Design.
The conference table is a simple glass table top placed on top of a Golden Gate bridge steel body. Its transparency allows visitors to fully appreciate all the fine details of the Golden Gate Bridge steel up close, rivets, scrapes and all. Much of the handrail has been kept intact as a nod to the historic nature of the material, says the designer.
Designer Richard Bulan with his large executive desk.
Detail shot of the executive desk, showing the steel's original wear and tear.
The executive desk sees Bulan experimenting with a meld of industrial and natural. The tabletop was made out of salvaged Claro walnut attached to the recognizable burned orange of the Golden Gate. Richard's wife, Christy, tells Core77 that the designer specifically looked for Claro walnut that showed where the California walnut was grafted onto the lighter colored English variety. The groove, which appears as a meandering line on the desk, creates added interest to the table while also recalling the tree's own historic roots in California.
GGBFC's furniture pieces all share the appeal of its larger sister, the Golden Gate Bridge. Richard says it's because he's careful not to overdo his furniture's industrial aesthetic. "I don't want to slap people's face with it," said Richard. Instead, he exercises restraint, adding a bit of orange where it makes sense. Working with only a limited supply of Golden Gate Bridge material, one would assume it's also logical to moderate. To those who inevitably ask, "What will you do once your stockpile of Golden Gate Bridge material runs out?" Richard says, "I guess we'll just have to cross that bridge when we get there."