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During the 1980s and early 1990s, Mario Botta achieved international fame as an architect with signature buildings such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. During this time he also designed a distinctive series of furniture for the Italian manufacturer Alias. Botta's designs had a strongly architectural quality that came from the use of minimal frames of black metal. The Tesi table is one of his most imposing designs. The composition of a massive base of metal supporting a dramatic cantilevered plane of glass some eight feet in length quickly established the Tesi table as one of the icons of Modernist design in the 1980s.

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