Up to the Task

As much as I delight in the latest injection-molded plastic chair, my favorite pieces of furniture remain humble flea-market finds: my dark-wood, cup-ringed café table has a sturdy timelessness that outshines any CNC-milled tabletop. That said, I’d gladly give up my beloved cup rings for Björn Kersting’s stunning Crescendo C2 Max­­i­mus desk. Handcrafted in Germany from black walnut, it combines the best of both worlds: the enduring quality of antique furniture with the clean lines and functionality of modern industrial design.

The table’s slender silhouette belies its complexity—it’s actually com­posed of nearly 400 pieces. In addition to being height-adjustable—it can go from a child’s workstation to an adult’s secretary—it has a built-in lectern and pencil stop, a removable shelf, and an internal storage compartment. “I wanted to create a piece of furniture that does everything without blatantly showing it,” the 32-year-old Kerst­ing says. “When it’s a child’s desk, for instance, you don’t think it could be anything else.” Here he describes the ins and outs of the multi­faceted design, available through his company, Stilvoll (www.stilvoll.de).

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