Cathay House Furniture Company near Taipei prefers the durability, design, grain and color of North American hardwoods when constructing furniture. Oak, Walnut, Cherry, Alder and Maple are favorites.
North American Hardwoods Favored By CATHAY HOUSE
By Di Nguyen
Taipei, Taiwan-About one hour outside of Taipei, a drive to the mountains through miles of winding roads, is the Cathay House Furniture Company, a custom interior fittings contractor and high-end furniture manufacturer.
The company was incorporated in 1960 under the name “Cathay House Craft Co.” as a custom furniture manufacturer until current company President Lu Kun-Ting joined in 1962.
Early projects primarily included temples, and today the company outfits some of the region’s best hotels and most celebrated temples. Upon Kun- Ting’s arrival, his carpentry skills and leadership led them to luxurious, exclusive interior projects throughout the island of Taiwan. Today, the successful company has additional locations in Mutan and Nankan to meet demand for their work.
The company has built several temples throughout the country for the Tzu Chi Relief Foundation, which established in 1966 on the east coast of Taiwan, and is most notable for its humanitarian efforts after the 2004 tsunami.
Cathay House Furniture Co. President Lu Kun-Ting (left) joined the firm in 1962 and works closely with Lu Chien Chu.
The American hardwoods most notably visible in the temples are the Hard Maple doors, large mouldings and interior fittings. These pieces are an excellent showcase for American hardwoods. For example, temple doors are broad and filled with carved detailing that simultaneously highlights the intricacies of traditional Taiwanese design and the grain, color, and durability of American hardwoods.
As a contractor for high-end hotels, the company matches the demands for a luxurious design with the elegance of U.S. hardwoods like Oak, Walnut, Cherry, Alder and Maple. For the five-star Sherwood hotel-Taipei, which opened in 1990 as the first domestically- owned luxury hotel in Taiwan, the company used Maple wood veneer. The hotel is the most recognized masterpiece of Cathay’s interior decorations, and - like Cathay House Furniture Company - elegantly blends traditional local and European design.
Currently, the company is focusing on fitting new hotels in Japan with large softwood beams covered in Red Oak veneer.
Cathay House has multiple locations, including Mutan and Nankan, to meet the demand for their custom-made furniture. The firm’s vice president, Lu Chien Chu, inspects a craftsman’s handiwork.
Cathay House Furniture not only serves as interior outfitters but as a place of training for future interior designers and architects. Cathay representatives say their company’s preference for American hardwoods is shared with the up and coming designers, and it is hoped that U.S. hardwoods will become the product of choice for local consumption.
Key personnel at Cathay House Furniture Co. are Lu Chien Chu, vice president; Hsu An Hsin, senior manager; John Lun, assistant to the president; and Huang Jaw Chien, assistant manager. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 8862-2781-8507.
Cathay House has built several temples in which large mouldings of Hard Maple and interior fittings are abundant.