Quartz and all: the making of Handmade 2015’s dining table, by Formafantasma and Caesarstone

making of Handmade dining table
We hooked up Caesarstone (an Israeli company specialising in quartz) and Formafantasma (the Italian duo of Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin, pictured), to create an exclusive piece for Handmade 2015. The result was both 'monumental and intuitive'
(Image credit: press)

This is the second time we have instigated a Handmade collaboration with Caesarstone, the Israeli company whose quartz and granite products are more traditionally used for kitchen countertops and bathroom surfaces. In 2014, a project with Sebastian Herkner produced a bench and table combo that was so striking, we couldn’t wait to collaborate with them again to see what surfaced. So we hooked them up with creative Italian duo Formafantasma, who designed a dining table that enhances the flat nature of the materials and expresses their structural interest.

Founded by Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin in 2009, Formafantasma often use materials as a starting point when developing their pieces: last year, they produced a collection of furniture out of Sicilian lava, while their recent collaboration with Established & Sons included a marble clock where the stone’s natural veins are used to indicate the time.

‘Material research is the base of our work,’ say the pair, noting how often designers are not involved in material development, and just called in to work on shapes and production. The Caesarstone dining table is the result of the designers’ immersion in the company’s new materials, and it includes two new ‘Concrete’ finishes, with the joints held together by an oxidised brass joint. The round top is made of ‘Raw Concrete’ quartz, while the slanted legs combine ‘Fresh Concrete’ quartz with ‘Vanilla Noir’, a black marble-like stone.

‘We combined different colours and used panels in a structural manner. We tried to highlight the technical and expressive possibilities of the material,’ the designers say. They describe the table’s construction as ‘both monumental and intuitive’, noting how the piece’s flatpack appearance suggests how easy it is to assemble, dismantle and transport, something you could never achieve with marble.

Eli Feiglin, Caesarstone’s vice president of marketing, oversaw the pair’s work and was instantly drawn to their strong material sensitivity. ‘It is almost a modern take on elaborate Italian marble furniture and interiors,’ he says, noting how the metal element seamlessly fits in with the materials, enhancing them as well as complementing them. It’s a piece of furniture that is best summed up by the design duo’s creative mantra: ‘We like honest constructions, where nothing is hidden.’

As originally featured in the August 2015 edition of Wallpaper* (W*197)

Menu card looks like an invitation card

'We combined different colours and used panels in a structural manner. We tried to highlight the technical and expressive possibilities of the material,’ the designers explain

(Image credit: press)

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.