Calvert Coffee Table
The Calvert coffee table is an enduring and modern piece designed by Ferdinand Kramer in 1951. The sculptural quality of the table is revealed as two invertible crossing sheets serve as a base for the tabletop, all three elements have been cut out of a single sheet of plywood.
Calvert comes from a series of designs by the German functionalist architect Ferdinand Kramer, who, during his time in America, became a pioneer of modern flat-pack furniture, showing his confrontation with the American Way of Life. Calvert is produced in 1/2” thick oak plywood in clear, signal white, jet black, mint, or neon red lacquer.
An architect, interior designer, and furniture designer, Ferdinand Kramer is best known for his minimalist and functional designs. Born in 1898 in Frankfurt, Germany Kramer spent the first few years of his adult life as a soldier in World War I. After the war he studied for a few months at the Bauhaus before leaving to continue his education in Munich with Theodor Fischer. During his early career, Kramer created furniture designs for Thonet as well as product designs, including metal utensils and the Kramer Oven. Between 1925-1930 he worked with Ernest May designing housing projects in New Frankfurt. Kramer left Germany in 1938 due to the upcoming Nazi terror. World War II broke out the following year and he emigrated to the United States. While in the U.S. He developed the knock-down foldable furniture that is a large part of his design legacy. After returning to Germany in 1952, Kramer became the director of building for the Goethe University in Frankfurt, over his tenure Kramer designed 23 buildings for the university. His work shaped the architecture of the largest university in Frankfurt.