A Geometric Challenge
These multi-faceted desks, one an enormous 10 metre desk for the main reception with a 6m back unit, and the other a 6m desk for the reception area of the floors taken by Debenhams, were conceived by architects Wilkinson Eyre .
The multi-angled components certainly made the geometry of these desks a challenge and took the Benchmark design team several months to resolve. The desk was modelled on CAD, working first on the outer shell and then building on the next layer of plywood cladding with each panel requiring changes in dimensions to ensure perfectly mitred joints. The next step was to construct a complex rib system for the skeleton of the desk. Once the framework of the desk was complete, we planned for cable management, computer wells and storage. Finally the 3D CAD model was deconstructed into individual components to be programmed for the CNC machine.
With the framework complete, attention was turned to the cladding. It is a testament to the skill of our metalworkers that the desks are often thought to be cast bronze due to their seamless finish. In fact, they are clad in sheets of gilding metal that were cut, bent, welded, ground and polished by hand over many, many hours.
Benchmark also made these geometric tables and seats for the reception area.
The seats have gilding metal frames and are upholstered in leather with feature stitching.
These images show the combination of traditional and modern techniques used to make the oak tables which were shaped using our five axis CNC.
Interested to see more of our projects? Examples of our bars, counters and reception desks made in zinc, pewter and copper can be seen here.