At the Furniture Showroom held at Fira de Barcelona last June, the Carpenters’ Guild exhibited the InesTable on their stand, designed by architect Enric Miralles (Barcelona, 1955-2000). This is a real masterpiece of late 20th century Catalan design which Miralles planned in 1993, one year after the start of his partnership with Benedetta Tagliabue with whom he founded the EMBT Studio.
The table came about as the result of a proposal that Miralles received to take part in a trade show. He designed the table ‘ad hoc’, but as he was developing the project the piece became more and more personal. “He was asked to design an object for a small exhibition that would sum up his philosophy and planning approach, and he sketched it in the form of a brain; he did two versions which were symmetrical yet not identical,” explain the professionals at the Miralles-Tagliabue studio, EMBT.
In fact, he asked the carpenter to make two tables, both in solid oak, like the office furniture of the early 20th century. He kept one of them at his home on Carrer Avinyó in Barcelona.
Miralles himself recognized that the design of a table is a challenge for any professional. When he planned the InesTable his intention was to create an object that would be versatile, dynamic and adaptable to different spaces, times and activities. And he most definitely achieved that aim: the table has four pairs of legs comprising one fixed and one mobile part, plus a fixed fifth leg which appears in the prototype that the architect kept at his home. The supports underpin six elements in different shapes and sizes which make up the board, all interconnected by hinges that facilitate their movements. Thus depending on the time or individual preferences, the table can be transformed by swivelling one section or dropping another, or several at a time, to create one area for thinking, another for playing, and another for working or just enjoying a meal or a game of chess. It all depends.
Today, the table takes pride of place in the EMBT Studio, occupying its centre and its heart. Everything revolves around this multifaceted object. “It’s an essential part of the office; it’s the table where we hold important meetings to discuss project with the different teams and to meet with important clients. It represents the office philosophy in terms of thinking and acting and it keeps Enric at the forefront of our minds,” say the designers at the office.
If anyone is interested in getting a close-up look, the InesTable will be on display between 25 July and 25 September at Palau de Casavells (Casavells, Girona) as part of the exhibition being opened this Saturday by Benedetta Tagliabue.