A purposeful table can do more than just hold work. It can inspire ease and civility, and gather a community to build richer ideas together. Yet in the workplace, the typical meeting table isn’t always supportive or welcoming; and the long stretch of a formal conference table can just as often separate people as connect them.
On the other end of the spectrum, tables borrowed from the world of residential design can have to sociability, warmth, and character that people wish for, but not the feature functionality and scalability that a modern office really needs.
The Coalesse Design Group decided to find out what would happen if these two world were combined.
Traditional Craft, Technology Rich
In the workplace, we noticed that conference rooms were becoming uninspired and often underutilized, rather than desired destinations,” suggests John Hamilton, Director of Design at Coalesse. “Our research shows than genuine meeting places can spur the collaboration that helps to migrate ideas around an organization, and give people the fuel to do their best work, even after they go off to concentrate on a solo task. So when we started to design this table collection, we realized we wanted to solve for that sense of well-being that comes from being engaged emotionally as well as productively in a great space. We wanted these tables to be inviting—a form that would draw people in, but without the look getting in the way of practical performance.”
“One way to think about the resurgence of a good table as that venue, is that it is like a real hearth in an office. There is such a human instinct to joining a group around a central setting, spending time together either to make something or just socially engage. That notion of the hearth meant these tables needed to be approachable and familiar, to greet people with a sense of positive potential.”
To find that familiar identity, says John Hamilton, “We looked back to move forward, by adopting the classic shape and studio soul of a sawhorse worktable, and remaking it in light California Modern proportions for a fresh identity.” The archetypal A-frame and the long stretch of communal tabletop reference third-place settings from picnics to libraries to creative laboratories—and so suggest more camaraderie when people come together at work, whether for collaboration or collective concentration.
Yet the tables are equally designed to embrace a future of technical flexibility and change. Coalesse has developed a system with an open architecture that affords wide variation and evolution in scale, technology, materials, and color, so that each table environment can be fully specified for its own application.
With Potrero415, the table once again becomes the centerpiece for all the ways we work today.
A & C for the A & D
Adaptability and customization are key to Potrero415’s platform, as core values that serve the A&D community’s desire for specialized styling with sensible economies of scale. The strong, slender bases have hollow leg cavities and bays in both standing and work heights, to guide cables invisibly down to the floor. Sturdy yet light, this patented design combines structural integrity with minimal mass, allowing table lengths to span long distances without interposing legs or a bulky appearance. The frames are fully paintable in standard colors for a unique finish on any project. Striking leg rings reveal the close union of technical and design mastery—transforming a commonly hidden adjustable glide function that levels the table into a key aesthetic feature. The rings can be painted in a continuous color with the legs or highlighted in one of these jewelry-like metal finishes.
“Every detail we design is considered an avenue for expressing modern craft,” adds Hamilton. “Elements like the leg rings or the concealment of cords and clutter not only heighten functionality and aesthetics at the same time, but they also humanize the table’s overall performance by emphasizing its presence as an expertly made, complete solution.”
Round, square, rectangular, and boat-shaped tabletops respond to needs from private workrooms, to small group meeting spaces and standing-height work islands, to virtually any length of conference format. The tops can be fabricated in a broad range of materials and levels of technology integration, from the most elegant uninterrupted surface, to customized tables that can be penetrated along the central spine of the work bay so as to house a series of standard PowerPod outlets, upleveled power and communications configurations of any choice, or other evolving utilities in the future.
The result is a system that is always cohesive but never fomulaic—full of practical and creative possibility to employ and update one table family many ways throughout a project.
With Potrero415, work has a new home.
Learn more about the Potrero415 Table Line.
This article was originally published on coalesse.com.