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“Positively 11th Street” is a maple dining table that is part of a custom flat designed for a couple in their sixties, designed by Peter Budeiri & Associates, Architects.
The flat has an open multi-purpose space that accommodates a living area, kitchen, dining area, study, grand piano, and lots of bookshelves. The clients have dinner parties two or three times a year; but more often they have out-of-town friends staying over, with whom they like to eat breakfast and chat. This dining table needed the flexibility to accommodate both eating scenarios and to fit efficiently within the constrained space. The table has two configurations, serving its two main functions:
On special occasions, for dinner with guests, the table is freestanding between the living area and kitchen. Its top is a full ellipse, seating eight. An elliptical fixture, recessed in a soffit above, lights the table. The fixture’s frosted glass diffuser vertically aligns with the base of the table’s pedestal.
For everyday meals or breakfasts with another couple, an asymmetrical leaf is removable from the tabletop and from the base. The table stands against a window, with views down the tree-lined street outside. Again, a frosted glass ellipse at the soffit, aligning with the base, diffuses light to the table.
A veneer joint in the tabletop crosses the joint between the fixed top and the removable leaf at an oblique angle. The veneers are diamond-matched about this intersection. Quarter-sawn veneers are used for the top because their straight, parallel grain pattern accentuates the diamond-match, taking light differently from different angles.
In this flat, the soffit is an important design element that incorporates lighting and defines the kitchen and living areas by creating a lower, more flowing space between them. The dining table relates to the flat’s overall design by engaging the soffit with vertical alignments, and by complementing the soffit’s oblique direction and its curves.