Whenever I design something new for a client, I enjoy hearing the challenges they want to solve and their vision for their environment. Sometimes, that vision needs a lot of coaxing; sometimes, I am asked to provide the vision for them. In this case, the client has worked with us a few times before and felt comfortable providing dimensions, a list of functions, a description of the space, and wood preference. Then he turned me loose — a designer’s dream.
Using the client’s photos and spatial descriptions, I imagined walking into the space as an empty canvas. The restored Art Deco Bank building, where his office resides, has a huge arched window on one wall where this workstation will abut. Light bathed the room and provided an excellent opportunity to play with the sun.
The client has been using one of our Grand Lily armchairs in curly maple with walnut legs as his desk chair and loves that wood combo. The curly maple for the top of the desks would play wonderfully in the sun, with the walnut base grounding its chatoyant fluttering.
Imagining sitting in this space working away all day, I felt the sun through the window, looked at the shape of the desk and my working relationship to it, and realized there was one perfect way to orient the maple. I wanted it to relate to my imagined working day and the shape of the desk all the way around.
So, using the mitered joints of the top, I took the point where their angles converged and created segments like those of a sunburst table radiating from this center point.
The center curves accentuate the radiating maple and open the space for fluid movement between work functions. A couple of file cabinets, a pencil drawer, and a sturdy keyboard tray provide all the modern-day executive needs.
Of course, wires need management, too, so in keeping with the overall design, we added a backsplash with curly maple keystones that lift out of the way to allow large plug ends to pass below. This opening allows wires to remain flat on the desk rather than lift to enter a hole.
This piece involved a team effort, with John Alberg did the cabinet work, Jack Micoli sawed and laid up all the veneers, and our finisher, Sean Elton, made it gorgeous with his finishing magic.
We love how this turned out and look forward to further refining it for the next executive suite. We can scale this up or down or use it as a reference for something new for your space!
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