Block Party

In Peter Sandback’s hands, geometry is chic, not square.


Any of the modern, modular tables in Peter Sandback’s collection looks like it could have been made out of a grade-schooler’s set of colorful foam blocks. The sculptor-turned-furniture-designer relies on that kind of simplicity to make bold statements. In his hands, geometry is chic, not square.

His lighthearted approach has won him customers including the late Peter Jennings and a Jordanian prince. It was striving for another kind of lightness, though, that led him to make the signature Sandback table.

The designer started out in the furniture world making solid concrete tables. They were a hit in California, where he lived at the time, but their weight and frailty became a shipping nightmare when he and his wife decided to move to Rindge, New Hampshire. So he created the first Sandback table, made of a pigmented, polymerized concrete material cast around a lightweight core. It weighed less and wouldn’t crack during delivery—important factors for Sandback, who doesn’t think he’s ever sold a piece in his resident state (most are ordered through designers).

The made-to-order coffee, end and dining tables are created by mixing and matching basic shapes, such as the Thick Top coffee table, composed of two square blocks next to a rectangle. The coffee table line also includes the Fiske, and the Crosby.

The blocks can be made in 40 different hues—from Peony to Pea Soup—so you can design with your own color scheme in mind. That’s a geometry lesson we can learn to love.