sometimes I have occasion to work with architects and interior designers. In this case, a local architect, Matthew Bialecki Architects, approached me with an office desk design that his client wanted to have built from reclaimed factory framing timbers. The concept was complicated: the desk top would be made up by gluing scores of 'staves' or tapered sections of wood together to form an arced shape. The top would overhang the pedestals by an unusually large amount which contributed to a sense of tension. The pedestals would be clad in more reclaimed boards that would wrap around the perimeter giving them the appearance of having neither sides nor front and back - they were all treated the same. None of these aspects I'd taken on before in any project; combined together in one project promised to be a major challenge especially considering the scale of these desks: 10 1/2' and 8' long.
after a fair amount of experimentation and mock-ups, we arrived at the best proportions, relationships, and overall aesthetic of this design. In most cases of one-off design, it's nearly impossible to envision from a 2-dimensional drawing how a design will turn out once it's fleshed out into 3-d. In this particular instance, the accumulating material and time investment made a successful resolution of all the design issues imperative - there was no going back and starting over.
happily, the result turned out exceeding everyone's expectations: truly a win/win/win culmination to a 5 month long project!
30"h x 32"d x 10'-6"/8'-0 L
reclaimed and resawn factory beams; douglas fir, white fir, spruce
2 box drawers, 1 file drawer in each pedestal
finish: soy based catalyzed oil