Meeting Peter Cardew

The Meeting Table by Peter Cardew Architects, currently on display in our 50 Water Street showroom.

After designing the head office and five stores for the Vancouver-based athleisure company Reigning Champ (2 in Vancouver, 2 in Toronto, 1 in L.A), Royal Architecture Institute of Canada Gold medal-winning architect, Peter Cardew was asked for design suggestions for the company’s library. For this project, Cardew designed a shelving system, a display system, and a Meeting Table which is currently on display in the window of our 50 Water Street showroom.

A bit of background on Peter Cardew and his firm: After graduating from Kingston School of Art Department of Architecture in London and working in the office of Max Bächer in Stuttgart, Peter left Europe and settled in Vancouver where he worked for Rhone & Iredale Architects becoming a partner before establishing Peter Cardew Architects in 1980.

The firm has worked on a wide range of projects from schools, galleries, libraries, residences, and commercial buildings. The tower at 1500 West Georgia (image left) constructed in 1978 was recently awarded heritage status.

Deceivingly simple, Cardew’s architecture blends form with place seamlessly. This simplicity requires technical precision and workmanship that is fundamental to all of Cardew’s projects — including the Meeting Table. His firm collaborates with skilled tradespeople to produce clean, pared-back buildings, interiors, and furniture which then allow the function of each space or object to be fully realized without interruption. This approach is illustrated in the Reigning Champ stores that have a bright, open feel that is synonymous with athletics culture: clean, clear, and active (image below). White tiles, tube lighting, and hemlock display cases highlight the softness of the clothing and quietly activate the clientele.


When it came time to produce the table, Cardew and his team knew that the complex structural design of the Meeting Table required exceptional fabrication accuracy. Having heard great things about a young millwork company in Squamish called Leon Lebeniste Ltd., a visit with the company was booked. After meeting the owner, Jon Hewitt and his crew, Cardew was impressed by the enthusiasm and skill of the entire operation.


The millwork company’s shop has a 5-axis CNC machine, which allowed the computer in Cardew’s design office to “speak” to their machine in Squamish. Hemlock timber was chosen for the structure of the table for both its appearance and its abundance within British Columbia. The tabletop is white Fenix, a soft-touch nanotech laminate.


When asked what his influences are in the realm of furniture design, Cardew best relates to Maarten van Severen and Poul Kjaerholm whose pieces are produced by Vitra and Fritz Hansen respectively. Examples of work by both these designers can be found within our showroom. We invite you to see these pieces and to have a first-hand look at Cardew’s Meeting Table while it is on display in our 50 Water Street showroom window.