In 1965, German Dr. Peter Draenert first felt compelled to make a piece of furniture for himself. While out hiking in the Swabian Jura Mountains in Baden-Württemberg, he happened across a slab of oil slate imbued with fossilized mussels and sea snails. The age of the stone used was estimated at 180 million years old.
He was struck by its raw natural beauty and decided to make a table for his own home. He fashioned polished stainless steel skids for the stone to lay upon, and thus the very first Draenert table – the 1602 Primus – was born.
In the fifty-plus years since the company’s creation, the use of natural stones has become a key part of Draenert’s DNA, using it in their award-winning dining tables, coffee and side tables, and chairs – all of which are designed under one roof in the company’s manufactory in Immenstaad. Here, the team pairs natural materials with patented mechanics which allow their tables to be mobile, extend, fold away, and be more than just a static piece of work.
The company’s Immenstaad headquarters is much more than just a workshop – it’s a showroom of sorts for Draenert’s philosophy. Here, customers are free to roam around an incredibly curated Natural Stone Park – home to 200 kinds of stone, in a spectacular range of colors and patterns, each sourced from all over the world. Every slab is unique, with its very own patina and character, just like that first oil slab fashioned into a table by Dr. Peter himself.
The stones aren’t just for viewing either, customers keen to own a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture can choose whichever stone they wish, then have it crafted into a piece they desire.
Exalting Natural Materials
Using stone in furniture offers up plenty of advantages, the first being its versatility. In the right quantities, natural stone can be used to make dining tables, consoles, and side tables, as well as chairs. Durability and ease of use also play a big role. Easily cleaned, stone requires next to no maintenance and lasts for decades, becoming a lifetime investment.
The variety and uniqueness are what sets stone apart though. There’s no shortage of it in the world, while its formation over centuries, even millennia, almost guarantees that no two pieces are exactly the same. Each and every piece tells its own rich story and often becomes the central point of attention in a room.
Finally, there’s a certain profundity to incorporating such an earthly material into one’s home, giving it a stable and grounded quality. It’s not just a resource, but a piece of nature itself.
Having taken over the reins of the company from his parents Karin and Peter, their son Patric has seen the Draenert family business grow into one that exports to over fifty countries. Through close relationships with high-end kitchen designers such as Poggenpohl, they’ve stayed abreast of new trends like the further fusion of the kitchen, dining, and living area.
However, the company has stayed true to its roots, exalting natural materials, considered craftsmanship, and patented innovative extension mechanisms. As Dr. Patric states, “We have a long tradition of the careful application of tried-and-tested materials and manufacturing processes. Our craftsmanship and our patented techniques are what set us apart.”
So celebrated have been Draenert’s works that it’s been showcased at some of the world’s leading museums and exhibition halls, including the New York Met, and London’s Victoria & Albert Museum.
If natural stone is the foundation on which Draenert’s designs are built, the company’s numerous patented extension mechanisms are what allow it to become a dynamic piece of art-turned-furniture.
These automated mechanisms allow a dining table to be extended easily and closed again without changing position, allow a coffee table to feature swivel plates, and enable table tops to be lowered and raised according to purpose – all the while stabilized by its solid base.
This is in keeping with Dr. Peter Draenert’s philosophy, which has become the company’s mantra as a whole; “A table must be more than just beautiful to look at. It is our responsibility as designers to give it a further dimension.”
This “further dimension” can be summed up quite simply as “functionality”. Draenert’s luxury furniture wouldn’t have come this far – to over fifty countries around the world including right here in Vietnam – was it not able to serve its main purpose, to be used.