Although office work no longer requires enormous amounts of storage for different documents and correspondence, limited amounts of storage space are still necessary, and sideboards can easily fulfill today’s more relaxed requirements.
In an office setting, the emphasis is often on practicality and durability, but that is not to say that aesthetics is neglected. Consider Florence Knoll’s exemplary ‘Florence Knoll Credenza’ for Knoll International, an elegant, sober, midcentury sideboard with a polished marble top. This minimalist approach still inspires countless designers and manufacturers, and is seen in Piure’s delicately detailed ‘Side’ sideboard, and TECNO-manufactured ‘Shift’, a sideboard with smooth edges, designed by the renowned architectural office Foster + Partners.
In some cases, the sideboard is mounted on a relatively tall base, to give it almost floating appearance. Pastoe’s veneer-fronted ‘Frame’, mounted on metal legs and emphasizing its horizontality with wide, aluminium handles; as well as Salih Teskeredžić’s ‘Latus Sideboard’ for Artisan, where the minimally detailed, handleless cabinet is attached to the underside of a narrow, wooden table, both demonstrate this approach.
Minimal formal language can also be combined with material experimentation, for example in Luca Papini’s ‘Liber’ for Tonelli, an open, wholly glass sideboard, whose rigorous outer form is countered by playful internal divisions; and in Giuliano Cappelletti’s ‘Rialto Briccola Lowboard’ for Riva 1920, which combines wood from old Venetian mooring posts with weathering steel.
Some office sideboards are inspired by more functionalist, industrial forms, such as Fritz Haller’s and Paul Schrärer’s seminal, 1965 ‘USM Modular Furniture Haller’ for USM, which combines an exposed, modular, metal construction with variable infill elements to create any desired sideboard. Jürg Steiners and Dirk Uptmoor's ‘Inline Highboard 22926’ is a similar, contemporary design.
Flötotto’s ‘Profilsystem’ of furniture operates on the same principle, but its skeleton is from wood instead of metal. ‘TALL’ line of sideboards from adeco, on the other hand, highlights its industrial aesthetics by covering its sides with corrugated metal sheets. Finally, TECNO-manufactured ‘Beta unopuntozero’, designed by Pierandrei Associati, is a system of modular, stackable sideboards that can be joined at 120 degree angles, and either meander through the office, or serve as table dividers.