The Butler

AHEC collaborates with David Chipperfield Architects and e15 to create ‘The Butler’ for Wallpaper* Handmade in Milan. Made out of solid American willow, ‘The Butler’ is a contemporary take on the valet stand crossed with a sideboard


April 18, 2016 – The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the leading international trade association for the American hardwood industry, has partnered with David Chipperfield Architects and e15 to re-imagine the hotel wardrobe / suitcase stand and create a bespoke piece of furniture that allows travelers to unpack their belongings easily and ensure they won’t leave anything behind. On display at the Arcade via San Gregorio 43 Milan from April 12 – 15, 2016, ‘The Butler’ marks the fifth collaboration between AHEC and Wallpaper*’s innovative Handmade exhibition, which has proven to be a brilliant platform to experiment with American hardwoods and work with some great designers.

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London-based David Chipperfield Architects was invited by Wallpaper* to design an alternative to the traditional hotel wardrobe and chest of drawers to tie in with Wallpaper* Handmade’s theme for 2016 – travel and the Wallpaper* hotel. In response, David Chipperfield Architects have designed the piece and instructed furniture-makers e15, who manufacture much of the practice’s furniture. e15 has pioneered the use of solid wood in its purest form and has crafted ‘The Butler’ out of American willow. The team at Wallpaper* travels often and rarely unpack fully in hotel rooms or make use of the standard wardrobes and suitcase stands. In an effort to re-define the in-room experience and make unpacking and re-packing an effortless and elegant experience, they commissioned David Chipperfield Architects to design a contemporary take on the valet stand crossed with a sideboard.


“Most hotels have badly designed wardrobes and cupboards,” says David Chipperfield. “They are not well organized and unpacking your suitcase is not enjoyable. The idea of Butler was to design a ‘dressing table’ that makes unpacking in a hotel room into a joy.”

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“We are thrilled to be working with such a distinguished creative team on such an exciting and very original piece. The timber is beautifully showcased within David Chipperfield and e15’s unique design for our conceptual hotel room,” adds Ellie Stathaki, Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*.

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“This was the first time we worked with American willow, a wood that is much softer than e15’s primary material European oak, but we are very satisfied with the result,” says Jan Philip Holler, Senior Product Designer at e15 who worked on the project. “With a focus on premium craftsmanship, the furniture features a number of constructive details, such as a gap at the back of the piece which allows the wood to expand and shrink over time. American willow as the main material was combined with brushed brass, vegetal leather and Bianco Carrara marble to create a rich mix of materials. This interplay of pure materials creates an intriguing contrast with the reduced, architectural design of Butler.”


About AHEC

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) is the leading international trade association for the U.S. hardwood industry, representing the committed exporters among U.S. hardwood companies and all the major U.S. hardwood production trade associations. AHEC runs a worldwide programme to promote American hardwoods in over 50 export markets, concentrating on providing architects, specifiers, designers and end-users with technical information on the range of species, products and sources of supply. In addition, AHEC also produces a full range of technical publications. For more information, please visit:


About American willow

American willow has light creamy brown sapwood; in contrast the heartwood is pale reddish brown to greyish brown. The wood has a fine even texture and is generally straight grained. It is used for furniture, joinery and interior mouldings and in some markets it is stained to reproduce the lighter tones of walnut.


About David Chipperfield Architects

Since its foundation in 1985, David Chipperfield Architects has developed a diverse international body of work including cultural, residential, commercial, leisure and civic projects as well as master-planning exercises. Projects range from the revitalised Neues Museum in Berlin to the Nobel Center in Stockholm that is currently in progress. Practices in London, Berlin, Milan and Shanghai contribute to David Chipperfield Architects’ wide range of projects and typologies and the practice has won more than 100 international awards and citations for design excellence. For more information, please visit: or email: [email protected].


About Wallpaper*

Truly international, consistently intelligent and hugely influential, Wallpaper* is the world’s most important design and style magazine. Wallpaper* has readers in 93 countries and has unparalleled success in reaching the design elite right across the globe. With 12 themed issues a year, a limited-edition cover by a different artist or designer each month, over 1.15million Twitter followers and a monthly iPad edition, Wallpaper* has evolved from style bible to internationally recognized brand. For more information, please visit:


About e15

e15 stands for consistent, progressive design coupled with high-grade materials and innovative, handcrafted production methods. As a quality modern brand that caters to a global home and contract market, e15 maintains a comprehensive approach to interiors, offering a distinct collection of furniture, lighting and accessories that is compatible with diverse environments. With a strong foundation in architecture and design, e15 is defined by the unique backgrounds of its co-founder and architect Philipp Mainzer together with designer and art director Farah Ebrahimi. In close cooperation with a coterie of designers, architects and artists, e15 develops original products and supports artistic statements, which reflect the brand’s philosophy and its open approach to diverse cultures and disciplines. For more information, please visit: or email: [email protected].