Designed in 1956, the Tulip Table shakes up furniture codes, with its organic style representative of Eero Saarinen's work. With its fluid and elegant curves, this table still seduces design enthusiasts today and remains a best-seller...
Eero Saarinen has been immersed in design since his childhood. He is the son of the famous Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen, director of the Cranbook Academy of Art. Eero studied sculpture at the Grande Chaumière in Paris from 1929 to 1930, then architecture at Yale University, where he graduated in 1934. After a trip to Europe, he took up a post teaching at the Cranbook Academy, where he will meet Charles Eames. Together, they participated in 1940 in the competition organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York “Organic Design in Home Furnishing”. From this collaboration will be born a very progressive series of furniture which will be awarded, among which we find a series of armchairs in the shape of a shell, with a monobloc molded structure. This realization opens the way to new creative possibilities.
Eero Saarinen finds the world "ugly, confusing and hectic" and wants to put an end to the "jungle of feet" which visually clutters the space under the tables and hides the domestic landscape. He had the idea of making a table with a central leg, a kind of pedestal. From there was born the beginning of his research which will lead to the creation of the Pedestal Group . For 5 years, he carried out extensive research on curves and proportions in order to produce perfect furniture, in accordance with his ideas. The tulip table was born… Although freed from the grip of the base, Saarinen was however somewhat disappointed not to be able to produce this piece of furniture completely in one piece, the materials imposing some technical limits on him. The shells of the chairs were made of plastic reinforced with fiberglass and rested on an aluminum leg, for added strength.
Produced in 1958 in collaboration with Florence Knoll, the Tulip table has an injection molded aluminum base, machine polished and covered with a plastic coated paint. Different types of tops have been created for this table, in laminate, wood or marble, they can be round or oval. When these are in marble, a porous and sensitive material, Knoll decides to coat it with a layer of polyester. The edges of the top, thin and profiled, give it an undisputed elegance.
Technical prowess and immediate success, this table has never ceased to seduce and remains timeless.