Everybody needs a table that can expand sideways! We can't keep these things on the shelf. Actually at 10' long and up to 36" wide they just don't fit well on a shelf and sideways expanding dining tables are probably not for everyone, but for our client on this project it was the perfect solution. The dining space for this table is long and somewhat narrow and the client wanted to seat up to ten guests at times, while having the table function as an architect's desk at others.
He also wanted an elegant and simple way to make the table thin, minimizing it's footprint in the space the rest of the time. Wide enough to spread full size blueprints on in its expanded position each of its 6 leaves can be individually collapsed to customize the shape of the top to the task at hand. In order to make this functionality easy to use on a daily bases we chose to create a Dutch pullout system.
Dutch pullouts use a series of rails attached to the leaves. Each leaf stores underneath the top when collapsed. To expand the table one simply pulls on the leaf. As the leaf moves out, the top lifts up. Once the leaf is clear the top drops down to its initial height. The problem with this system has always been the loud bang associated with the top dropping back into place. We resolved the issue by placing small hydraulic pistons underneath the top to dampen its fall. Now, when the leaves clear the top settles gently into position. The system works with minimal effort despite this unique application and the steep angles required to make such short leaves function properly. Take a look at our process videos page to see the table in action.