Atelier Writing Desk

Dr. Georg Emprechtinger’s company, Team 7, has been in the furniture business for nearly 50 years, but one might say that it took him 21 years to formulate his singular vision – that of a purveyor of high-end solid wood furniture with natural finishes.

Atelier Writing Desk, from the home office collection. Designed by Team 7.

In 1980, with a bit of a push from the era’s poor financial outlook, Dr. Emprechtinger decided to revamp Team 7. The upshot of the revamping? Today, the Austrian based manufacturer is among the most renowned designers/suppliers of solid wood furnishings. The company philosophy is simple: design and create furnishings for home and office that evince old-world craftsmanship, that show respect for the natural world, and that involve the individual consumer in the manufacturing process. To that end, Team 7 extols the virtues of wood's natural variations: “we paint with wood,” says Emprechtinger, whose philosophy is “design meets nature,” and who champions the organic quality of wood: “wood is a natural and living material - each piece is individual. Grain, structure and color variation as well as a degree of swelling and shrinking are a unique feature of natural, solid wood.” But Team 7's products are not “untouchable”; to the contrary, the company invites input from consumers, offering both custom-measured pieces as well as a choice of woods (alder, beech, core beech, maple, cherry, oak, and walnut). And Team 7 strives to work with rather than against the natural world, minimizing their ecological footprint by using only finishes of solvent-free herbal wax and formaldahyde-free glues. Lastly, all Team 7’s products are made by master craftsmen (more than 60% of the company's production staff are trained as custom cabinet makers).

The attention to craftsmanship shows. Take the Atelier Writing Desk from the home office collection. Featuring (of course) a solid wood top with matching grain, at first glance, the Atelier appears to be an ingeniously simple and sensuous writing desk, but closer inspection reveals that the desk’s height is adjustable – a simple touch and the supporting pillars at either side rise from or descend into shafts which are seamlessly integrated with the trapezoidal bases. This nifty disappearing trick complements the desk's geometricity, thus achieving an intriguing synthesis of old-world detail and modern convenience.


Home office with integrated channel for cables and hinged cover lid. Below the removable organizer tray is a hidden compartment.

Many of Team 7’s designs emphasize this blend of impressive craftsmanship and funky gadgetry: the Lift Coffee Table, for instance, which moves on a pneumatic pillar from a height of 14″ to 28″; or the Cubus Sideboard, which boasts a dual slide-action top for storage ease and access. And this is no easy trick – creating a piece of furniture that seems equally at ease in the old world and the new, in Rembrandt's studio or the salon of Thomas Wolfe, in the apartment of Audrey Hepburn or the villa of Cate Blanchett, in your home or mine.


Left: Cubus Sideboard. Right: Lift Coffee Table.

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