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Delfi Table

c. 1969/2009

by Marcel Breuer
for Cassina

Delfi Table

by Marcel Breuer
for  Cassina

or Call to Order

There is a rich history behind the Delfi table by Marcel Breuer. In the 1930s, Breuer designed a ratio­nal­ist model for Studio Simon founder Dino Gavina’s resi­dence in Bologna. It then became a part of the Ultra­razionale collec­tion, which launched in 1968. This collec­tion is composed of sculp­tural pieces designed by Carlo Scarpa, typified by his signa­ture atten­tion to detail and choice of mate­ri­als. In 2009, Tobia Scarpa intro­duced vari­a­tions to the design. Shown here, a glass table-top high­lights the elegant brass supports and the fluting on the marble bases, the better to see the formal elegance of the piece. For more in the Ultra­razionale collec­tion, see the Doge table and the Sarpi table.

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Marcel Breuer

Hungary (1902–1981)

Marcel Breuer holds a legacy as an accomplished architect, furniture designer, and master of Modernism who pioneered the design of tubular steel furniture. During the 1920s, an 18-year-old Breuer enrolled at the Bauhaus in Germany, where his curriculum was equally focused on visual art as it was concerned with technology and industrial production. Four years later he had become one of its main teachers. In charge of its furniture section, Breuer encouraged students to look at how furniture and furnishing could be industrially manufactured, tackling the relative technological and stylistic problems with a thorough and methodological approach.

During this time, Breuer became acquainted with modern architects Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier, and Mies van der Rohe, all of whom would heavily influence his work. By 1935, Breuer had established a reputation as a sought-after designer, known for his steel furniture and the Wassily chair, so named after its production due to an anecdotal connection to Kandinsky (who had admired the design and commissioned a duplicate for his home). Upon WWII, Breuer followed Gropius to London, moved on to teach architecture at Harvard University, and later established his own New York-based firm and designed the Whitney Museum.

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