In 1979 Luke set up his own craft workshop designing and making furniture, then in 1987 he founded Luke Hughes and Company with a view to linking furniture craft skills with modern industrial techniques. He now specialises in designing and making furniture for major institutions with sensitive architectural interiors interiors (including more than 50 Oxbridge colleges, 60 parish churches, 11 cathedrals, 5 Royal Palaces, 2 synagogues and more than 900 boardrooms for major city corporations). Major current projects include the library and court rooms for the new UK Supreme Court, the reordering of St Albans Cathedral, the clergy seating on the Cosmati Pavement of Westminster Abbey (used by the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury in September 2010) and the Middlessex Chapel in St Paul’s Cathedral.

His design philosophy revolves around the idea is that in any quality building, the connection between architecture and furniture should be seamless. Most buildings cannot function without furniture, yet inappropriate pieces grossly undermine great architecture. This is particularly true for ecclesiastical buildings where designing furniture is less about making objects than helping a congregation run a community building, albeit one that may be steeped in history, sanctity, sentiment and splendour. Poor design can destroy the sense of the building; the challenge is to enhance it.


Luke Hughes read History of Architecture at Peterhouse, Cambridge. He was a member of the Crafts Council for six years and Chairman of their Grants Committee (1994-7). He is former Chairman of the Trustees of the Art Workers Guild, a former member of the Academic Review Board of the Prince of Wales School of Architecture, and from 2005-8 was Honorary Designer for the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers. He currently sits on the Fabric Advisory Committee of Southwark Cathedral.

Contact details

Send this member an email

Image Gallery

Chichester Cathedral  the Lady Chapel

Title: Chichester Cathedral the Lady Chapel

Media: European oak

Description: Solid oak stacking benches for the Lady Chapel at Chichester Cathedral.

Scottish Supreme Court Library

Title: Scottish Supreme Court Library

Media: American black walnut

Description: Shelving, stairs, reception desk, seating, desks and benches, judges private offices.

Classic Chair Collection

Title: Classic Chair Collection

Media: American black walnut

Description: Napoleon dining chair. Classic Chairs Collection

St George s Bloomsbury

Title: St George s Bloomsbury

Media: European oak

Description: Stacking 'Charterhouse' benches for the re-odering of this 18th century central London church by Nicholas Hawksmoor.

United Kingdom Supreme Court library

Title: United Kingdom Supreme Court library

Media: American black walnut

Description: Library shelving and library ladders, part of the refurbishment of the old Middlesex County Hall building in Westminster Square, as the United Kingdom Supreme Court.

St Giles  Cathedral  Edinburgh

Title: St Giles Cathedral Edinburgh

Media: Carrara marble

Description: A new Holy Table in Carrara marble for Edinburgh's St Giles' Cathedral.

Winchester  Cathedral  Venerable Chapel

Title: Winchester Cathedral Venerable Chapel

Media: Jerusalem Limestone

Description: Altar made for Winchester Cathedral Venerable Chapel designed in collaboration with artist Rachel Schwalm by Luke Hughes. Though cut at the famous workshops at Carrara in Italy, the stone comes from a warm, honeyed seam of Jerusalem Limestone. Its origins in the Holy Land.

British Embassy  Moscow  Clam table

Title: British Embassy Moscow Clam table

Media: Sycamore, lacquered MDF, stainless steel fittings

Description: One of a series of pieces designed for the new British Embassy in Moscow. Designed in conjunction with architects Ahrends, Burton & Koralek, 1999.

Cathedral Church and Abbey of St Albans

Title: Cathedral Church and Abbey of St Albans

Media: European oak

Description: Clergy chairs, part of a complete set of nave furniture including altar, clergy seats and processional pieces