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Furniture design

Thijmen van der Steen’s “Stack Series” repurposes old wood

Amsterdam-based designer Thijmen van der Steen layers the material to create furniture pieces with a distinct, architectural quality.

van der Steen works with a stripped-down approach, which serves to highlight the striking quality of his Stack Series, a mini-collection of tables that demonstrate the potential of waste materials.

“In my work, I aim to make objects that are timeless and understandable in shape and in use,” says the designer, an aim underscored by the minimalist aesthetic of the collection.

Stack Coffee Table by Thijmen van der Steen
© Thijmen van der Steen
A small coffee table build like an apartment building with several floors.
© Thijmen van der Steen

It came about by chance whilst van der Steen was cleaning up his workshop and decided to make use of some big pieces of plywood that were lying around.

“After work I stayed in the workshop to cut the plywood into 5 pieces. First I thought, this could be used for 5 small coffee table tops. But when I placed the freshly cut pieces on top of my workbench I saw something new emerge.”

van der Steen used the Plywood to create the Stack Coffee Table, which resembles an apartment building.

It’s made up of six layers of lacquered plywood stacked on top of one another with enough space in between for storing small objects, books and magazines.

A small coffee table build like an apartment building with several floors.
© Thijmen van der Steen

The designer painted ten small beams of ash and the five pieces of plywood before using a Festool Domino joiner to make the necessary connections.

After making all the joints, he glued and stacked the pieces together. “I did not have big enough glue clamps so I used two straps to tighten the table,” he explains.

Stack Coffee Table by Thijmen van der Steen
© Thijmen van der Steen

A grounded sense of minimalism

The collection recalls the designer’s earlier pieces, especially the Simple Solid Chair, which resembles building blocks where the components are stacked to create a striking form.

Together, simple cuts of wood form furniture pieces with a strong shape and a grounded sensibility.

At the same time, the designer’s use of playful colours such as baby pink and light blue accentuate the use of void space that gives the table its shelf function.

“The table turned out to be pretty heavy, as it’s made out of a lot of wood, but I really like the simplicity of it,” says van der Steen. 

Stack Coffee Table by Thijmen van der Steen
© Thijmen van der Steen
A small coffee table build like an apartment building with several floors.
© Thijmen van der Steen

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