Writing Desks: 12 Designs of Diverse Architectural Languages – Part 3

B473-222_KOAs we continue to unleash the architectural function, form and styles of the most common desk variations produced, let’s examine the designs of the following writing desks: Bible Box, Rolltop, Desk and Bench, Desk on a Chest, Desk on a Frame, Moore Desks, Cubicle, Davenport, Escritoire, Fall Front Desk, Partners Desk and Chinese Altar Table.

1. Bible Box: This type of desk was small and originally meant for storing and using a bible.

2. Rolltop Desk: A series of stacked compartments, shelves, drawers and the desktop surface can be covered by means of wooden slats that roll or slide through slots in the raised sides of the desk.

3. Desk and Bench : Sometimes used to describe a school desk which has a built-in seat. It is also called a “Desk and stool”.

4. Desk on a Chest: An antique portable desk made up of two chests: the bottom one usually has drawers and the top one has a hinged desk surface.

5. Desk on a Frame: An antique form made up of two pieces of furniture: a fairly large and closable portable desk and a stand made of it out of the same material and in the same style.

6. Moore Desk: Comes in two antique forms – The “Moore Office Queen” (a large desk, that has a single large door to lock up the main work surface with drawers and nooks around it; and The “Moore Insurance Desk” (nearly twice as big as the “Office Queen” and also opens up by means of a single large door, with its internal work surface sliding in and out).

7. Cubicle Desk: An economical way of putting more desk workers in the same space without actually shrinking the size of their working surfaces. The cubicle walls are used to house papers and other items once left on the horizontal desktop surface.

8. Davenport desk: A small desk with an inclined lifting desktop giving access to a large compartment with ample storage space for paper and other writing implements.

9. Escritoire: A small, portable writing desk with a sloping front door, hinged at the bottom edge that can be opened to provide a writing surface. It is usually larger than a lap desk.

10. Fall Front Desk: Considered the cousin of the Secretary Desk and has a main working surface or desktop which does double duty as a cover to seal up papers and other items located in small shelves or small drawers before the desk is closed.

11. Partners desk: An antique desk which is basically two pedestal desks, initially constructed as one big desk joined at the front, for two users working while facing each other.

12. Chinese Altar Table: The versatility of this table can be used as an altar, dining room buffet, sofa table, or office computer credenza. It is designed with two end tables or bed-sized tables, joined together with a solid piece of cypress wood. Each table has a storage drawer carved on all four sides.

The increase of paper usage and correspondence, prompted the need for producing more complex and specialized desks. Steel desks were introduced to take heavier loads of paper and withstand the pounding dished out on typewriters. Refinements to those first desk forms were considerable through the 19th century. The new desks can be transformed into many different shapes and angles, which is ideal for artists.

Writing desks, depending on whether you purchase one from an office supply store, a furniture store or an antique shop, can range in price anywhere from one hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Your choice depends on what type of personal statement you prefer to make.



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