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.
Mike Holland, Head of Industrial Design at Foster + Partners said: “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.”
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.