The Parkside Lounge chair’s origin story is one firmly rooted in Canadiana. Toronto-based small-batch furniture-maker Coolican & Company was approached by high-end winter outerwear brand Canada Goose to develop a signature chair for use in its retail locations — one that was visually symbolic of the company.
In response, studio creative director and lead designer of the project Stephen Dalrymple explored the “myth of Canada as a northern landscape” and drew inspiration from popular wintertime activities (specifically snowshoeing, ice-climbing and sledding), as well as Lawren Harris’s stylized paintings of icebergs; the latter directly informed the rounded components and sculpted joinery of the chair’s shapely frame. In fact, this integral element required the studio to challenge itself and create an entirely new production process.
In pursuit of a fluid transition between the structure’s sweeping bends, tailored tapers and pill-shaped extrusions, Coolican & Company began by hand-turning locally sourced FSC-certified hardwoods (white oak, ash, walnut and cherry) on an analog copy lathe before finishing them using a CNC router. This two-part method allowed for expertly executed joinery that invites closer inspection with both the eyes and the hands.
Parkside’s slatted backrest — a nod to classic bentwood sleds — has just enough curve to it to embrace the sitter, while the seat itself invokes the lacing of traditional snowshoes. Made from kernmantle rope — a durable woven nylon cord favoured by ice-climbers — this portion of the chair presented another obstacle to overcome: Desiring a weave that appeared continuous and without end, the studio, through much trial and error, devised an original braid pattern that involves no fasteners and has no visible termination points. (An optional cushion upholstered in full-grain leather offers an additional level of comfort.)
Rounding out the homegrown influences is the name itself, a reference to the street in the city’s West End where the chair is fabricated. While originally designed to complement the spirit of Canada Goose, Parkside’s appeal is undeniably universal: elegant, timeless and truly Canadian.
Parkside’s slatted backrest — a nod to classic bentwood sleds — has just enough curve to it to embrace the sitter, while the seat itself invokes the lacing of traditional snowshoes.