Furniture Award Highly Commended 2006
Designer: Paul Gower
Maker: Paul Gower
Dimensions: 175cm x 73cm x 280cm
Wood Species: Black Walnut, North America
The brief was to design an oval dining table, which would seat 10 comfortably, and 12 at a squeeze. The aesthetics were to be defined by the following: a contemporary statement piece, which would complement the architecture of a medieval barn; a requirement to see the table substructure; dark timber to provide contrast with the floor and complement other dark accents in the room.
Dining tables can often look stunning when viewed from a distance without seating, but as soon as the chairs are placed around them, the substructure is lost. To overcome this, the client had considered buying a glass top table but was not comfortable with the harsh feel and the noise generated by clanking cutlery. The ideal solution was to provide a glass centre panel through which the substructure could be seen and surround it by wooden surfaces. This would work particularly well in this setting because there is an internal gallery at first floor height, which allows a view down through the middle. The overall aesthetic challenge was to design a piece that complemented the very strong architecture but didn’t attempt to compete with it.
The top is constructed using 3mm saw cut Walnut veneers from 2inch waney edge stock. The core material is Birch throughout ply. The lipping and legs are solid walnut. 12mm stainless steel rods provide rigidity and dramatic graphic contrast. The central panel is 8mm toughened glass.