Skyline Chess was conceived as a way of creating beautiful, carefully crafted objects, which embody both our passion for architecture and the game of chess.
We developed the idea over a few chess matches and went on to model the pieces in 3D. From there we had them 3D printed and we've been using these to replace our standard set ever since.
We believe that as individual objects they are beautiful and when arranged across the board represent something unique. What better way to topple the might of the King than with a humble pawn, or in this case Canary Wharf being placed in check by a terraced house.
In developing the idea we thought long and hard about suitable alternatives for the chessmen, both in terms of their architectural and symbolic value as well as their value on the chess board.
Pawn - The quintessential London abode - the humble terraced house
Bishop - This couldn't be played by any other piece other than 50 St Mary Axe (or the Gherkin) the form of this building perfectly suited the role
Knight - This one was tricky, but what better way to see the whole board then from the London Eye
Rook - One of London's most recognisable landmarks, Big Ben
Queen - This most powerful of pieces had to be played by the most dominant building on London's skyline - none other than Renzo Piano's Shard of Glass
King - No other building would suitably match the might and presence of the King, than that of Canary Wharf
The design of the chessmen has been scaled to best represent the quality of the chosen buildings - we hope you'll agree these look great!
We believe in craftsmanship and each chess set will come with an optional presentation box (please see rewards). The prototype box has been made from laser-cut plywood but we are hoping to develop these and make the finished boxes in perspex.
The funding generated through Kickstarter will go towards the initial setup costs for the project. The initial tooling costs are expensive and it is this that needs your support. Alongside this we will use the funding to go towards packaging and distribution.
Our vision is to take our prototype chess set and bring it to market. We are currently in discussions with manufacturers and we hope to be able to market the sets in a weighted acrylic as well as cast them in metal.
But we don't want to stop at London.....we have visions of global domination! Why not play your home city against that of your friends or family; London vs. Paris, New York vs. Rome, Dubai vs. Shanghai.
We already have designs for Paris and New York in the pipeline but we want to develop more.
Our goal is to create a new chess experience where you can pick any of the worlds most iconic cities and pit them against one another.
Risks and challenges
The complexity of the manufacturing process has its own inherent challenges, our aim is to manufacture these using compression moulding, however, we would also like to produce sets in metal and glass - this is dependant on the success of the project.