Standard table by LABOR 117 – honest and elegant
A piece of furniture made from concrete? It works fine in any case, as per the young designer team from Labor 117, Luis Czettritz and Sebastian Müller-Tiburtius. Their standard table with a concrete top and welded steel frame is an honest skin – and with its practical, undisturbed shape, the strikingly unobtrusive appearance and the perfect workmanship is exceptionally handsome. The beautiful piece combines many great and modern design features: respect for the material, function in focus, versatility, increased quality awareness.
Each Standard table is a unique hand-cast and can suit different furnishings and lifestyles. With black or steel brushed stainless steel frame, a clean or rough surface structure, in white or grey, it can be a valuable Bauhaus piece or a modern residential art object. This table brings the Loft-Style to the point or it can become the perfect industrial-style furniture. At the same time, the Standard table has done what many other concrete tables have often failed to do: this piece of furniture, which is not just light in weight, it’s also carefree and elegant.
While they discovered the material for themselves, Czettritz and Müller-Tiburtius became experts in the field of concrete. In February 2016, the two began experimenting with their material. They were doing the experiment in in their own living room – and managed to develop the perfect concrete mixture after countless tests: the toughness of the concrete used for casting load-bearing structural elements had to be improvised to create a smoother surface. Possible colours range from white, yellowish to light grey. Surfaces can be silky smooth – or can be structured with numerous air inclusions (the term “darkened”). In any case, the raw material is prepared by means of a complex aftertreatment as a tabletop: the cast surface is first sanded, then waxed several times and finally polished.
In many respects, concrete is like natural stone – a material that needs a bit of attention (Labor 117 recommends maintenance every six to twelve months), but it develops a completely individual pattern and as it blends in with the weather over the years, it becomes even more beautiful.
In future, the young designers want to throw their newly acquired concrete and steel skills on other furniture such as concrete boxes and concrete lamps. Perhaps this is a new edition of the original design for the concrete furniture experiments: an indestructible concrete hanging shelf that Czettritz’s father once built for him.