Making is Thinking

A Communal Table Brings Insight

Designing, manufacturing, building, and installing a communal table for the BLOCK Project Home 009 provided Bergerites insight into making while giving back.

It is not every day that we get to leave our desks for the site or shop to build one of our own designs but when the right opportunity comes along we jump at the chance to get our hands dirty. It makes us better designers and closes the gap between thinking and making. Our work with Facing Homelessness and The BLOCK Project presented a wonderful opportunity to volunteer both design and construction efforts while supporting a great local cause.

A special component of BLOCK Home 009 is the large, communal table. Identified early on in the design process by the host family, the table is to serve as a unifying element of the site and as a physical manifestation of the BLOCK Project’s belief in bringing people together. The table had to be large, simple, and sustainable. Constructed from locally sourced cedar, table and bench tops are exterior versions of a ‘butcher block’ assembly with ¼” spaces between the boards to allow for drainage and wood movement. The tops are supported on simple post and beam cedar frames.

Project logistics and construction parties were hindered but not deterred by COVID safety precautions. Intrepid coworkers gathered in a Ballard garage over the course of a few weeks to cut, join, and finish parts.  Then all parts, the top separated into two halves, were loaded into a U-Haul truck for delivery and final assembly. Few built elements can so simply capture the act of coming together as a table. It was our great pleasure to contribute to this project and we hope for a long life of service and many great gatherings.

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