This month, Pentagram partner Eddie Opara opts for the iconic Trapeze table by French designer Jean Prouvé
It has been said by the greatest architect of the 20th century, Charles-Edouard Jeanneret (Le Corbusier), that Jean Prouvé “combines the soul of an engineer with that of an architect”. This is unequivocally true. It might sound cheesy but the first time I saw Prouvé’s Trapeze table in person it was love – so much so that 10 years ago I saved up enough money and bought one: a new edition model. It’s a tour de force; a table with very strong design signals. Prouvé’s work is a successful marriage of materials, construction and design.
Originally, I used the table as my office desk. At the time, my New York apartment was the usual closet-sized nightmare and the table was always tucked away in the corner, covered with papers. Eventually, when I purchased a house and set my sights on having a family, the table served its purpose as my home office and became the centrepiece of my kitchen. I’m sitting at one of its corners as I’m writing this.
The sense of craftsmanship of the Trapeze table is second to none. Prouvé’s early education as a blacksmith allowed him to think and forge in metal. Prouvé had a knack of creating objects without them looking heavyweight and overly industrial. The Trapeze table is a mix of steel sprayed with a high black gloss and a matt lacquered, black wood top. All the table’s edges are stunning and the legs are made out of single sheets of steel shaped in a trapezoidal formation, hence the name of the table, whilst the tabletop declares an acute splayed bevel edge. The table’s exposed traverse and circular feet add other functionally brilliant aesthetic oddities to a table that oozes originality. It’s a must-have if you’re into individuality.