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.
Bruno Mathsson descended from four generations of cabinetmakers in Värnamo, Sweden. A perfectionist to the core, he did not consider a piece of furniture complete unless it could pass inspection turned upside down. The designer experimented with carving, bending, laminating, and finishing different types of wooden frameworks and fashioning them with innovative webbings made of hemp, linen or other fabric. Mathsson would make a chair or chaise lounge, and continue to create variations and refine the piece until he was satisfied it was both pleasing to the eye and the rest of the body. Each work of art was custom-made in his family's shop in Värnamo and signed by Mathsson who associated his own Modern furniture with the traditional handicraft of his ancestors.
Mathsson was an architect as well. He designed the Småland Art Archive in Värnamo and from 1947 - 1957 experimented with incorporating large areas of glass into local residential architecture. Although his experiments were not well received in the cold, conservative northern province where he worked, he completed over 100 architectural projects. But it was in the arena of furniture design that he had the most far-reaching impact. While his specialty was seating, he also created influential table designs. Read more >