The Anatomy of a Project

The Four Seasons – Beverly Hills

When The Four Seasons Hotel wanted to remodel and enhance their restaurant, Culina, in Beverly Hills, California, they hired the Engstrom Design Group (EDG) for their wide experience and sumptuous taste. It was EDG’s concept to use exceptional and unusual material for the principal tables, oval in the bar, liveedged in the restaurant, to compliment the exceptional dining experience the restaurant offered. EDG came to us to find a source to match their ideas.

After scouring our suppliers and contacts, we were led to something special indeed. A massive tulip magnolia tree, planted in 1896 on the grounds of the California State Capitol in Sacramento, had died and was slated for removal. Yorgen Kvinsland, an artist from Mendocino, had already scouted this tree and secured permission to cut and distribute its wood to a select group of artists to make best use of it. The wood from the heritage tree came with a declaration of authenticity:

Delarationclick to enlarge


We spent some time working with their designers, led by Yoko Ishihara, offering ideas and building several test models to assure the final products would be graceful, yet stable. We felt compelled  to suggest the iron footrests on the tall bar tables and were given  leave to design them to fit the unusual shape of the table bases.  All were finally delivered in secure custom crates to their new  home in Beverly Hills.

We invite you to follow our progress from standing tree to  elegant, finished tables: