The Golden Gate Bridge is a vital 1.7 mile transportation link that serves 40 million vehicles a year. Now, thanks to Richard Bulan, this 75-year-old pedestrian-friendly feat of engineering could become a monumental addition to your home decor. Bulan founded the Golden Gate Bridge Furniture Company in 1996, after having purchased 2,557 feet of weathered railing from the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District. He has been designing and crafting limited edition artisan steel furniture from the iconographic San Francisco landmark ever since.
83,000 tons of structural steel was used in the construction of the bridge. There have only been three instances where significant amounts of the material were removed. In 1976, the suspension cable was replaced; in 1982, the whole road deck was replaced; and in 1993, a large portion of the pedestrian handrail that faces west toward the open ocean was replaced due to corrosion caused by wind and salt. That hand rail is the chunk of history that Bulan was able to save from the melters and transform into sentimental home furnishings.
New designs include a coffee table, side table, and task lamp. Every table, lamp, and headboard is custom welded and repainted to match the bridge’s original “International Orange” color. While each piece contains a significant amount of the Golden Gate, some of the designs also incorporate new American made steel. Adding lighter weight, domestically manufactured metals to the mix is a way for the artist to stretch out his supply of 75 year old weatherbeaten steel. It also enables Bulan to construct more movable and affordable art pieces.
The task lamp (pictured above) utilizes some of the scrap from the larger pieces as well as a small section of channel beam that ran along the base of the handrail. To make the shade and base, the steel was sliced with a band saw and fanned out as an abstract reference to the slotted architecture of the original rail. The post, which is crafted from new steel, is reminiscent of the bridge’s own street lights. A 6.3 watt, 401 lumens LED with a 3,000K white color temperature is used in the fixture, which weighs in at 7 pounds and stands 17 inches tall.
Price points vary due to the nature of the material and the labor involved. The Task Lamp sells for $995 and a Side Table will cost you $2,195. For the purists, tables and headboards crafted entirely from repurposed Golden Gate Bridge steel are valued at $9,500.
Via Urban Daddy