Bronze desk : designed by Patalab Architecture

March 18, 2014

The reception desk is located in a ground floor office lobby in 55 Grosvenor Street in the heart of Mayfair, London. A challenging aspect of the design brief was to provide an eye-catching feature in a restricted entrance lobby. Rather than creating a feature wall, we have taken the approach to create a feature desk. The solution was to deliver a 5.5 m long bronze sculpture.The project was heavily process driven, and we began by developing detailed hand-sketches and some 2D drawings which would inform how the desk may house the required equipment and be manufactured.Initial 2D explorations were then developed and explored further in 3D through tactile wax modelling. Thousands of dimensions were then translated through a 3D computer model, an intense process due to the double curvature of the proposed desk.The desk design could then be further refined and finalised before preparing the data for manufacturing. This data was transferred to an advances computer controlled manufacturing process, CNC (Computer Numerical Control), which allowed a full sized pattern to be cut and shaped in hard foam.The pattern was separated into sections which could then be casted. Each section was then cast in aluminium. Once the casting was complete, the sections were joined together, and then sprayed with molten bronze to provide a finish which was then patinated and waxed to achieve the desk’s attractive final appearance.The timber carcass and bronze body were then joined, and the final reception desk began to take shape. The unique geometry of the desk aims to guide visitors into the reception area and accentuate the space. Parts of the curvature were polished further in order to catch more light and highlight the sculptural quality of the desk.The two coves are more textured than the main desk face in order to create contrasting tactile and visual qualities. A linoleum inlay provides a practical writing surface for the receptionist, whilst soft and highlighted bronze edges provide a sensuous tactile experience for visitors. The completed 5.5m long sculptural bronze reception desk.

Design: Patalab Architecture
Photography: Julian Abrams & ‘Patalab Architecture

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