The Earth Table isn’t quite as old as creation, despite what its name might suggest, but the wood used to make it is however a staggering 50,000 years old. It’s a rare type of wood called millenary Kauri, and it’s only found on New Zealand’s North Island. The wood comes from prehistoric Kauri trees (otherwise known as “swamp kauri”) that were buried in peat at the end of the last ice age, and they’ve been perfectly preserved underground in a chemically balanced environment ever since.
The table is made by Riva 1920, a family-run Italian furniture design company. The base is designed by well-known architect Renzo Piano and the table is made from a combination of resin, iron, and wood. “It wants to be a stylized representation of the earth,” says the company. “The wooden parts metaphorically representing the continents and the resin sections the oceans. The texture of wood and the transparency of the resin are capable of creating a fascinating interplay of light and shadow.”