The John F. Kennedy Space Center is the site where all U.S. human space flight missions have launched. From the early days of Project Mercury to today’s space shuttles, one of the best places to watch these dramatic events has been the Apollo/Saturn V Center conference room at the Space Center.
Here, special guests ranging from world-wide government officials to the families of the astronauts themselves watch rocket launches in the comfort of an executive conference space.
So when it was time to upgrade the office seating in the conference room, not just any executive chairs would do.
“We brought several different chairs to the space center for NASA to test,” says Tara Braden, account executive for American Business Interiors in Melbourne, FL. The dealership and Steelcase have worked with the Space Center (KSC) since its beginnings in the 60s.
“We had recently bought Siento chairs for our own conference room, and we think they’re the most comfortable and best looking chair available.”
“The Apollo/Saturn V Center conference room hosts a variety of functions, and gets a lot of use,” says Michele Mack, manager of procurement for Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, Inc., who manages the visitor complex at the KSC. “It’s where VIP receptions are held prior to Space Shuttle launches, as well as other events for a variety of space program contractors.”
“They’re the chairs NASA wanted, and they’ve worked out great.”Michelle MackManager of Procurement Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, Inc.
NASA tried out the different chairs for a week and, not surprisingly, selected a chair that reflects both ergonomic and design innovation: Siento.
Designed in collaboration with Spanish designer Jorge Pensi, Siento includes patented LiveBack® technology that actually moves along with the spine to provide smart, sophisticated user comfort in an elegant executive chair. Expressly designed for high end environments like the Apollo/Saturn V conference room, Siento has no exposed hard parts that could damage wood furniture.
The chairs are fully upholstered in dark brown Elmo Soft Leather. Braden says “they had originally wanted black leather, but they changed their mind when they saw how great that dark brown leather looked with the wood conference table.”
To provide comfort during what can sometimes be a prolonged wait for liftoff, the standard Siento chair back extends 24” high from the seat, and the seat edge flexes naturally to relieve pressure under the user’s thighs.
Although enclosed, fully upholstered arms are available, the Kennedy Space Center Siento chairs were specified with open T arms. “They serve food in the conference room quite often, and they felt it would be easier to clean the chairs with these arms,” says Braden.
For the upgrade of this exclusive conference room, the Siento chairs represent a successful launch. “They’re the chairs NASA wanted, and they’ve worked out great,” says Mack.
“When you look at the chair,” Siento designer Pensi says, “it looks like a simple chair, but there’s a lot of technology inside that makes it remarkable.” In its own way, it’s a perfect complement to the remarkable technology seen through the conference room windows.
Kennedy Space Center
Cape Canaveral, FL
American Business Interiors
Steelcase: Siento seating