Saarinen Tulip Table – the Story Behind the Legend

Source: Architectural Digest

Finnish born architect Eero Saarinen had clear objectives when it came to furniture design: “It must be classic, in the sense of responding to an often recurring need.” One such need emerged in the 1950s, while he was designing dining furniture, including the sleek Tulip Table, for Knoll. 

“I wanted to clear up the slum of legs,” he stated, speaking of the unsatisfactory undercarriages he observed in chairs and tables back then.

Saarinen had addressed the issue before for the Kingswood School at  Michigan’s Cranbrook Schools when he devised a four-legged table clustered in a base. His father was president of Cranbrook Academy of Art. 

Source: Architectural Digest

But, the streamlined, mass-producible Tulip Table he masterfully created in 1957 scrapped the legs altogether. Instead, the Tulip Table’s star was a tabletop of marble, wood or plastic set atop a cast-aluminum base.

Soon after its introduction, the Tulip Table was everywhere, from commercial interiors to modern homes across America. A personalized version with terrazzo base, marble top and functioning fountain was devised for Saarinen’s iconic Miller House in Indiana. 

A fleet with polished bronze tops and black enameled aluminum bases was sent to the Four Seasons restaurant in 1959. Recently, they were sprinkled throughout Saarinen’s 1962 TWA Terminal, reborn as part of the TWA Hotel at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Source: Dwell

Replicas emerged, too, but originals are still being produced. Anyone who has been stuck sitting at one of the legs of a circular table can appreciate the functionality of the pedestal base,” stated Shelley Selim, a curator at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and Miller House and Garden. 

We hope this info truly inspires you. Now you know all about Eero Saarienen and how his iconic Tulip Table solved the common dining room dilemma!

Visit Manhattan Home Design for Tulip Table replicas. Founded by Daniel Levy, entrepreneurial success award winner according to Fox News, Manhattan Home Design has been producing MCM replicas for over a decade. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *