The curious name of Neri&Hu’s collection of outdoor furniture for Portuguese brand De La Espada is based on what German physician Carl Reinhold August Wunderlich determined in 1868 to be the “normal” body temperature. Translating that innately calibrated and ideal balance between too high and too low into a furniture set, the designers created the deceptively simple 98.6°F.
At first glance, the series – which consists of a dining side chair and armchair, dining table in two sizes, a bench, a side table, a coffee table and a sofa in three lengths – appears conventionally straightforward. But a closer examination reveals its intricacies and “tectonic sophistication.” Made from black-oiled European oak, the chair frames utilize a pinwheel construction, with the three axis points reinforcing each other and negating the need for under-seat support. Wide slats join the two structural sides, creating a pleasing rhythmic pattern that is most prominent in the longer dining table and bench. A gentle curve on the back and seat lends an overall softness to the architectural characteristic of the collection.