Maniera 01

OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen

Prototypes

A set of three tables, designed in close collaboration with engineer Arthur de Roover, is conceptualized as an investigation on structural spans and the strength of materials. The main frames of the tables are assembled out of industrial L-profiles of polyester, aluminium and steel respectively and covered with an ultra-thin table top in the same material. The different structural resistances of the L-sections generated three different sizes of tables spanning 100 cm (polyester), 185 cm (aluminium) and 260 cm (steel). A thick epoxy coating is poured on the table surface in order to create a uniform countertop for all three prototypes and to contrast the coldness of the extruded profiles with a smooth and soft finishing. The tables’s legs are detachable (to allow flat-pack shipping). A smart metal connection pin assembles the vertical elements to the horizontal table top. This ‘cuff button’ as the designers humorously started naming it, sits precisely into the inner part of the polyester, aluminium and metal L-profiles, creating an elegant detail that adds character to the whole.

The Solo Chair is an open interpretation of the legendary walking-stick chair ‘No.6822’, as designed by the Austrian Thonet in about 1866, and long out of production. Undone from its actual folding mechanism, it becomes a ‘frozen’ constellation in which a small square table is suspended diagonally above the round seat. The unbalance produced by this side-table in the triangular structure, is countered by an additional weight at the opposite side of the leg, creating a persuasive play of motionless balance. The geometric composition of the circle and square, refers to the Solo House by OFFICE in which a circular perimeter circumscribes a square inner patio: this project soon to be realized by the Brussels duo in the outskirts of Barcelona, gave the chair its name.

The newly developed Corner Chair was inspired by the architects’ Villa Der Bau in Linkebeek, organised with a basic geometry of squares and corners. There are three versions of the chair. All three have the same seating made from coated steel and leather, reprising the materials used in Solo Chair, but each version has a different back and armrest: one version is made from epoxy, a second from burl, and a third from marble.

A Prototype 1 – Polyester Table is part of the collection of the CID (former Grand Hornu – Images) in Mons. A Solo Chair is part of the collection of the Design Museum in Ghent.