Florence Knoll was one of the great entrepreneurs of mid-century modern design. One of her most enduring projects was the Tulip Dining Table created for Knoll by the designer Eero Saarinen, who vowed to address the “ugly, confusing, unrestful world” he observed underneath chairs and tables – a so-called “slum of legs.” A five-year design investigation led him to create the revolutionary Pedestal collection, first introduced in 1956. A hero product of the collection is the simple yet elegant Tulip Dining Table, whose sweeping silhouette provides the perfect antithesis to the typical clutter found under chairs and tables. The sturdy and sculptural white base sweeps elegantly from the floor to support a classical white top. An icon of mid-century design, the Tulip Table is still to this day manufactured exclusively by Knoll and carries Saarinen’s signature as a mark of authenticity. This version of the table comes with 5 matching chairs with seat pads covered in pink fabric.
The seat covers do suffer from some marks and tears (see photo for example) so you may wish to replace these. We’ve left them in place for now because they just look so damn cool!!
Eero Saarinen (1910-1961) was a Finnish-born American industrial designer and architect who helped pioneer the neo-futurism style and redefining modernism in midcentury America. Son to influential architect Eliel Saarinen (1873-1950) and sculpturist and textile designer Lola Gesellius Saarinen (1879-1968), Saarinen from an early age exhibited a strong interest in design and architecture. At the age of thirteen, he and his family emigrated to America, where he went on to study sculpture and furniture design at the Bauhaus-inspired Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. (His father taught there as well.) There he befriended future design luminaries Charles Eames (1907–1978) and Florence Knoll (née Schust, b. 1917). In 1929, he continued his education at Paris’s Académie de la Grande Chaumière, and subsequently at Yale University, graduating with a degree in architecture in 1934.
In 1936, Saarinen joined his father’s architectural practice, which was renamed Eero Saarinen & Associates after his father’s death in 1950. His well-known projects include the main terminal of Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. (1958); and the TWA Terminal at Kennedy International Airport (1962). Beyond Saarinen’s many architectural accomplishments, he also maintained a successful career in furniture design. In 1940, working in collaboration with Charles Eames, he designed a collection of plywood chairs, which won first prize in all categories for the Organic Design in Home Furnishings competition sponsored by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Though the chairs never made it into production, Saarinen designed many other iconic pieces for friends Hans and Florence Knoll, including the Tulip Collection (1956)—arguably his most famous series which featured side chairs and armchairs , as well as coffee , dining , and side tables.
Designing in post-war America, Saarinen is known for introducing curvilinear and organically-inspired forms into both his architecture and industrial designs. Over the course of his career, Saarinen received many awards and accolades, including becoming a fellow of the American Institute of Architecture in 1952 and winning the AIA Gold Medal posthumously in 1962. Saarinen’s designs have been featured in exhibitions around the world, including the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. and the Museum of Finnish Architecture in New York.
Diameter 137cm – Height 70cm