Foster + Partners and Molteni have had a long and fruitful relationship that began with the design of the Still sofa in 2006. The practice also designed a range of office furniture called ‘Elements’ for UniFor, Molteni’s sister company. Ava follows a natural progression from the earlier design of the UniFor Elements metal conference table to create a timber dining table.
The new design explores the warmth and tactility of timber and economy of material to create a sustainable piece of modular furniture that is suited to both domestic and commercial settings.
“The ‘Elements’ range for UniFor demonstrated the efficiency of modular furniture. We wanted to explore the same spirit of flexibility and exactness of detail through a different material altogether that was more suited to a domestic setting.”
Mike Holland, Head of Industrial Design at Foster + Partners
True to their policy of designing eco-friendly buildings and furnishings, Foster + Partners have come up with a set of tables for contemporary settings. Made entirely of wood, the natural material par excellence, the Ava Table responds to the ever-increasing need for designer furniture to meet the demand for ecosustainability without forgoing the need to represent the space that every piece of furniture deserves.
Inspired by the lightweight forms of aircraft wings and bridges, it consists of two basic segments – a middle section and a cantilevered end – that can be combined to create a single table of any length. The table’s bridge-like structure is a highly sculptural object with minimal detailing and a high-quality finish. The joints between the two sections are accentuated by a shadow gap that references architectural traditions.
The geometry allows the end sections to cantilever up to one metre out on either side, while remaining stable and rigid. The entire table is made from timber, save the fixing elements, and the sculpted legs taper from a wider section at the top for support to a thin line towards the floor. The table is available in walnut and eucalyptus finishes and off-the-shelf versions come in three standard sizes – 2.9, 3.4 and 3.8 metres.
Foster + Partners
Foster + Partners is one of the most innovative architectural and integrated design studios in the world. Since its founding in 1967, the studio promoted a sustainable approach to architecture, with a wide variety of projects including urban planning, public infrastructure, airports, civic and cultural buildings, offices and workplaces, private houses and product design. Its architects and engineers combine their knowledge to develop integrated solutions for sustainable design by working together creatively from the project’s beginning. Foster + Partners and Molteni&C deal with each project eclectically through the use of innovative materials and technologies such as the Arc table with its lightweight concrete base, or the Teso coffee table where the production technique was totally reinvented.
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