Thursday, August 7, 2014

Y Design Loop : A Custom Dining Table Project

The need for a custom dining table arose while designing a contemporary kitchen for a penthouse condominium at 131 Holland Avenue, Ottawa, Canada. My clients wanted a banquette to be part of the design, to be used as a casual eating area, adjacent to the more formal dining room. This drove the need for something custom, as finding a table with the exact shape, size, materials and style was impossible.

View into kitchen and banquette eating area [on right] from dining room :



It was obvious that the table had to be a pedestal table, so that you could slide around the banquette without bumping your knees.  The top needed to float on a stable, yet elegant base. How to design a table that looks elegant yet strong? Unique yet match the banquette? Delicate yet stable? Complimentary not conflicting? Where to start?

I was inspired by several tables including the ultimate modern pedestal table from Knoll, the Platner table :



But it needed to be rectangular like this one from Tonelli :



There aren't many rectangular pedestal tables to study and learn from.....finally I found this one from Nilo :



My inspirational search continued with the stacked rock sculptures along the Ottawa River :




I started to draft the table, and to study the ergonomics, i.e. maximum glass size, glass to banquette overhang, glass to top plate overhang, minimum column size, etc. Dimensions were key and were massaged many times over several weeks, in order to get the visual and physical balance perfect.



Concurrently, I started to make small to-scale maquettes using dimensions of the existing banquette. I used simple card stock for the base and clear acrylic to model the glass :





I knew I needed to use steel for strength, and sought the expertise of Ottawa sculptor Cairn Cunnane. We decided along with the clients that cold rolled steel with hand-rubbed was finish was best to achieve the blackened look I was going for :



Next I had to figure out a way to fasten the glass to the base and with the assistance of The Glass Shop, had a test piece made :



As it turned out, the glass not only didn't need any fastening [thank you gravity], the natural turquoise/green edge matched the leather and fabric of the banquette beautifully.




The steel plates were fastened together with knock-down stainless steel hardware and using 1/4" thick spacers to provide hairline shadows between the parts. Here is the top plate where it meets the center column :





Voila! The final installation photographed by Marc Fowler of Metropolis Studio, as seen in Ottawa Magazine :

Ciao !


15 comments:

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Thank you so much for taking time to read my interior design blog ! Much appreciated, Yvonne