Photography: Adrianna Glaviano
Text: Duncan Riches
Max Lamb's latest design for Hem, The Max Table, is a sturdy and heavy "functional hero". At three-meters (118 inches) long, the table is destined to be at the heart of any space and is sure to last for generations. We took a journey to a remote industrial estate on the outskirts of Padua, in the northeast of Italy, to visit the birthplace of this remarkable piece and give you a closer look at its production.
The small family business, run by the son of the founder, combines advanced manufacturing techniques with traditional craft, perfected over many years. As a perfect example of old and new, the Max Table is a product of great pride to the workers, and even standing there in the middle of a sizeable factory, the tables hold a weighty presence.
Large by any standards, the three-meter long Max Table and accompanying benches were designed to be at the heart of any space. Max Lamb was asked to create something indestructible, starting with giant, unused core logs. Lamb applied his classical constructivist approach, and his solution shows both technical mastery and flare for the organization of materials.
The more time you spend with understanding how proudly produced and impressively engineered the Max Table is, the more your affection for the product increases. It becomes something you want to surround yourself with, something that grows with you.
— Cristina Poelk, Art Director at Hem
The design features two cleverly-executed details — a sliding dovetail joint that attaches the legs to the tops, and a hidden screw mechanism that holds the entire construction together. The result is a visually uncomplicated design of great elegance. Crafted from Douglas fir*, Max Table suits a range of settings, such as communal working spaces, conference rooms, dining rooms, and restaurants. This is the table for ages, for vigorous use, and for aging gracefully.
[* Editorial note: During the development process, the material of the Max Table and Bench has been changed to Lightly White Pigmented Ash, sourced locally and offering even more durability.]
With Max Table, our aim was to create a satisfyingly ‘stable table’ which, rather than just being considered as a piece of furniture, becomes part of the architecture of the space it is in. For being such a massive piece of furniture the engineering is actually very sophisticated and as with all Hem products, it is designed for shipping and smart assembly.
— Petrus Palmér, Founder of Hem