design et al are delighted to announce that Bernardo Guillermo has been shortlisted for Table Product Design Award in The International Design & Architecture Awards 2019.
This table was a bespoke commission for an art gallery, functioning both as a desk and a dining table. 1115 mm D x 865 mm H. American White Oak. Pickled White. The commission was for a table for an art gallery office, whose primary function was a desk for the gallery director.
Moreover, the table had to do additional double duty as a dining table, when the client would organise more intimate private events at the gallery, such as hosting artists and clients. Being both a desk and a dining table, it was therefore necessary to have hidden drawers. Moreover, the client specified that the entire table be solid wood as they do not like the look of veneer.
As solid wood has seasonal movement this presented all sorts of challenges when designing the structure of the table. As solid wood tends to expand and contract, having moving elements in a piece of solid wood furniture can potentially cause issues such as drawer jams or warped surfaces.
Additionally, as the client is quite tall, she requested that the table have unusually long legs. Given the narrow access to the gallery, there was therefore no way to get the table inside the space without it having detachable legs. Since the client detested the look of any cross support or any visible hardware whatsoever, the legs had to also be very strong and stiff. The legs are made from 2 boards of quartered white oak joined at an angle of 50 degrees to make a V-shaped profile. Like how an I-Beam functions, this makes the legs exceptionally rigid, requiring no additional cross support at the bottom. The client’s need for a table that both has drawers and detachable legs, posed an especially challenging problem of the design.
To date, we have never seen another such table in solid wood. To solve the above-mentioned functional problems while also sporting a minimal and elegant design, makes this table a uniquely successful work of design and craft.
The detachable legs utilize a unique angled tongue and groove joint utilizing a standard worktop connector bolt. The angle pulls the leg into and up towards the table top locking it in place. For the drawer to function, we had to recess the bolt inside the groove for the drawer slide. This joint was custom designed by Bernardo Guillermo, and is the solution to having the table feature detachable legs as well as drawers.
The minimally elegant design of the table hides the overall complexity in the structure as well as the function. Above all the design reflects the clients sophisticated aesthetic sensibility and is in a sense a ‘portrait’ of her.
As a functional piece of furniture an art gallery, the table has an elegantly neutral aesthetic that is both beautiful and not-attention seeking at the same time.