Essentially a merging of an oval and rectangle, Danish poet/mathematician Piet Hein initially defined the “super ellipse” shape as a solution to an urban planning problem in Sweden. The year was 1959 and a new motorway was replacing Stockholm’s Sergel’s Square. Improving the efficiency of traffic through the area was crucial and Hein’s newly defined shape satisfied this need. Hein soon came to believe that the super ellipse was the most visually pleasing shape for any number of applications, including sports arenas, swimming pools and, of course, dining tables. Hein first collaborated with designer Bruno Mathsson on a line of super elliptical desks; their Super Elliptical Tables were designed for Fritz Hansen in 1968. Fritz Hansen introduced this extension version in 1988. Seating 12 people max (though it’s possible to squeeze a few more in at the gently rounded “corners”), the table comes with two self-storing extension leaves. With a lighter profile than most extension tables, the Super Elliptical has polished chrome legs that support an easily cleaned white laminate top. With both leaves inserted, a subtle bowing occurs in the center of the table – this is not a defect. Full expansion is intended for special occasions; use one or no leaves for daily use. Original design and licensed manufacture by Republic of Fritz Hansen. Made in Poland.
Polished chrome steel legs and base; white laminate top; aluminum banding.
Arne Jacobsen bought a plywood chair designed by Charles Eames and installed it in his own studio, where it inspired one of the most commercially successful chair models in design history. The three-legged Ant chair (1951) sold in millions and is considered a classic today. It consists of two simple elements: tubular steel legs and a springy seat and back formed out of a continuous piece of plywood in a range of vivid colors.
Jacobsen began training as a mason before studying at the Royal Danish Academy of Arts, Copenhagen where he won a silver medal for a chair that was then exhibited at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Art Decoratifs in Paris. Influenced by Le Corbusier, Gunnar Asplund and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Jacobsen embraced a functionalist approach from the outset. He was among the first to introduce modernist ideas to Denmark and create industrial furniture that built upon on its craft-based design heritage. Read more >