!...comment sept 21....updated sept 21 nov 21 jan 22 May 23...>
Frankl fans will instantly recognise the source of this bookcase-table piece was closely based on Frankl's bookcase desk of c. 1928. The original bookcase desk, shown below, was the most complex design of any of his bookcases and arguably has the most striking composition. Frankl, like all designers, adapted his own designs to produce new variations, we followed the same design process in designing this new bookcase desk/table. This is a showstopper piece of Deco furniture and will dominate any interior it sits in, it has that WOW factor in abundance. And it's practical too, offering plenty of storage and lots of display space. It was designed as a room devider visually separating the kitchen space (in matching style) from the living area in this Chicago condo, with a large picture window end wall looking out over the Downtown skyscrapers, a tribute to Frankl's vision. The CAD drawing for this interior is shown below. Interestingly this living area has another large Frankl skyscraper bookcase sitting right beside it, running along the side wall. And it has 2 small Frankl bookcase on the oppisate wall. This was for a very brave client who knew what he wanted.
Clients today demand more worktop space, for notebooks, reference books, etc. So we extended the worktop to give a good working space while keeping the excellent storage & display function of the bookcase. As this pieces was being used as a room space divider, between the kitchen & living area, it also had to act as a breakfast/dining table for 4 sitters. The worktop is quite deep to allow 2 sitters to sit either side of it. The table also has 4 large drawers under the worktop; the 2 drawers on the kitchen side hold cutlery and dining utensils, very practical. The complete piece is totally asymetrical yet very balanced visually. This bookcase is almost a complete essay in Art Deco furniture, and Skyscraper styling in particular, a tour de force piece.
The original bookcase desk had a radiused top, we took the liberty to change this to a squarer shape following the profile of the base and it's proposed use as a wider desk/table, which emphasised the stepped shapes even more. The table end support took it's idea from a Frankl console table, and was intended to carry on the stepped features of the piece. The high plinth is striking on this piece, with it's stepped profile and partly in wood partly painted black - it gives an incredible crispness to the piece.
If you want we can do an accurate reproduction of the original piece, but we are not slaves to the past, and design new variations on such pieces as you require. Depending on it's final position and use we can add access to storage from the back and sides. We can change the proportions, wood or finish or maybe a painted finish. As stated above this is a very complex designwise, and complicated to cut and assemble. It is made of several sections, for ease of shipping; which requires minimal assembly at your end. This is not a piece for the budget constrained, it is just a very expensive time consuming piece to make. Please enquire for more details and to discuss your requirements. We're just waiting for some photos of the bookcase table in the remodelled condo room.
Many customers initially defer to the furniture designer for the ideas and final design of new work - however, i find customers inspiring for thinking of new variations & designs and uses based on original pieces, and the designer just pulls those ideas together to make them work. Frankl did the same for new commissions. We are already producing a large 'skyline' Frankl bookcase for this Chicago condo, and are designing a new kitchen as well. And they wanted a Frankl bookcase to act as a room divider, to hide the kitchen to some extent and act as a dining table. As space was tight, and the large skyline bookcase came nearly up to the kitchen, this was why we changed the original radiused table top to a stepped top; to step out and away from the other large bookcase. Below are shown 3 designs for the bookcase-table in the kitchen area. The kitchen units are shown white so the client could see how they work, but in reality the base & tall units are black, with the skyscraper roofline wall units in matching oak.
While we all love coffee table photos of finished pieces furniture making is a very practical craft, going from initial sketches to a finished piece. The above photos show work in progress on the bookcase table. The top 2 photos show the main top section, which is the most complicated part to machine & assemble and finish, with so many panels on different planes. Also shown is the very substantial slab of wood which will form the table top. There is something very satisfying seeing some very large boards get machined down to so many components and then seeing those components come together to produce a striking piece of furniture. And at this stage we are also looking at wood finishing stains for the piece, which the customer receives to make decision on. The later photos show the bookcase table stained a rich wood colour and then we had to mask off the cubby holes & lines that were to be painted black. The last photos show the whole piece finished, ready for final lacquering.
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