Irwin Seating introduces new lines of beam-mount chairs


Irwin Seating Company announced availability of a new line of fixed seating for its clients. In partnership with Blue Cube (GB) Ltd., Irwin Seating introduced Solara and Integra beam-mount chairs this past summer at its national sales meeting in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Bruce Cohen, Irwin’s senior VP of sales and marketing, stated, “We’ve seen interest for this type of seating system and are confident our customers who are interested in a beam-mount solution will find Solara and Integra chairs to be a good fit for them.”

Irwin has been using the Integra chair on its telescopic platforms and bleachers for more than a year. Cohen noted, “This is not a ‘new’ product. This is a tried and tested system that has been a standard in the European market for years. In fact, some of Europe’s largest and most prestigious stadiums and arenas have Solara and Integra chairs installed in them.”

Installations for Solara and Integra include the home for the 2010 World Cup, Soccercity Football Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the famed Wembley Stadium in London. In addition, Blue Cube installed Solara and Integra chairs in many of the venues used for this year’s Olympic Games, including 80,000 chairs at the Olympic Stadium, 6,000 chairs at the Velodrome and 28,000 chairs at Lord‟s Cricket Ground, MCC.

With traditional stadium seating, chairs are installed by component with standards anchored to the concrete first. Once that is complete, backs are attached to the standards followed by the seat components and then other accessories. Solara and Integra models are installed on an extruded aluminum beam and chair units are shipped complete to the job site for quick installation. This system allows chair installation to be completed in phases, with the stanchions and beam installed once the concrete is ready and the chairs installed later when other members of the construction team are finished with their work above and around the seating. This helps to keep the area clear for scaffolding or other equipment and helps to protect the seating from damage.

The flexibility of the beam-mount system also offers venues the option to reconfigure the seating for major events like the Super Bowl or a Final Four. Cohen explains, “This system is infinitely adjustable…chair modules and beam-mount accessories can be reconfigured to increase capacity if desired. One of the benefits of this system is the way patron space is created; with traditional seating, the chairs are connected to one another in various chair widths to fill a row so there is no flexibility there. With the beam-mount system, chair modules are spaced evenly to fill the row. If a venue needs additional capacity, they can very quickly and easily reconfigure the spacing of the chair modules to add more seats if needed for a one-time event like that.”

While Blue Cube has been installing Solara and Integra chairs around the world for many years, some enhancements were needed for stadiums and arenas in North America, explained Graham Irwin, director of engineering. “Our engineers worked closely with Blue Cube’s to develop accessories required here in the States like rear-mount cupholders, aisle lights and aisle end panels with real estate for a team or sponsor logo.”

Irwin also noted that to meet expected demand and keep lead times short, it was important for Irwin Seating Company not to be a “reseller” of Blue Cube’s products and to make these chairs in the United States using their own supply chain. “We didn’t want to run into capacity issues where our customers’ needs were competing with demand from other parts of the world, so new molds and tooling were made which allow us to make most of the chair’s components right here in the U.S.”