Clive Wilkinson architects has established a reputation for its influential approach to designing for the office landscape. This is evidenced in the bespoke desk that the california-based developed for the Barbarian Group‘s New York office. The ad agency requested of clive wilkinson architects that they conceive a piece of furniture that facilitated interaction between their various departments.
The Barbarian Group, a new generation internet advertising agency, required a workspace design that would foster collaboration and transparency in their growing company, and challenge their creativity.
What does your desk look like? Chances are that it pales in comparison to the Barbarian Group’s 4,400-square-foot behemoth work surface. The digital creative agency worked with Clive Wilkinson Architects to create the unique piece, which serves as the focal point of their inspiring Manhattan office.
Since conventional office tools are now largely redundant, people simply need flat surfaces to work on and easily accessible places to meet and collaborate. We got excited about the idea of massively simplifying this concept by uniting all employees at a kind of ‘endless table’. Like an electrical wire, the table surface itself becomes a medium for connecting and centering a community.
The snaking curving desk is made from CNC Machines using low cost materials such as plywood, MDF, and plate steel. The work surface runs along a horizontal plane, occasionally sloping upwards to create archways for ease of circulation. Every section flows into another, creating opportunities for casual interaction and communication as people move from one space to another. Since office tools are more digital, people simply need a flat and comfortable surface to work on.
The plywood structure rises from the existing oak floor as pony walls supporting the table. Because the movement routes bisect the space, we lifted the table to fly over pathways and maintain surface continuity. The resulting grotto-like spaces underneath the ‘arches’ can accommodate meetings, provide private focused workspace or high counter workspace, and house bookshelves and other storage. The resulting ‘superdesk’ resembles a skate park more than a work surface, curving across a horizontal path with intentional architectural interruptions which slope upwards to create archways, only to drop downwards again onto a level plane.