Canteen tables featured in this selection are a proof that functionality and durability are in no way detrimental to aesthetics. Quite to the contrary, the rigorous demands placed on canteen tables result in clean, understated, and, above all, beautiful designs.
Take Alvar Aalto’s 1935 ‘Table 82A’, a long, linoleum-topped, rectangular canteen table with bent, birchwood laminate legs, manufactured by Artek. Poul Kjærholm’s Fritz Hansen-manufactured ‘PK58™’ is an altogether more austere design with a round, white, polyester composite tabletop resting on a square, brushed aluminium base.
ONDARRETA’s cautiously expressive ‘Bob’ line of canteen tables combines slanted, solid wood legs and a massive, plywood tabletop with rounded, bevelled edges. Additionally, different configurations can be achieved by combining square, round, and rectangular tabletops from this collection. Atelier Alinea’s ‘Universaltisch’ offers a similar possibility, and can be specified as a small, square table or stretch up to 3 meters, in a single, impossibly slender span.
Iiro Viljanen’s ‘Alku high’ is a canteen table at counter height, its neutral appearance making it ideal for canteens, break areas or as a place for informal meetings. Paul Leroy’s ‘Spinal Table folding’, produced by Paulistan, stands on two columns, which branch out and end in castors, creating a mobile, multipurpose table. U.T.S. Design’s ‘Boom’ for Segis is a small, round, height-adjustable canteen table, available in polished stainless steel and aluminium.
Roberto Lucci’s and Paolo Orlandini’s ‘Fold-Up / Fold-Up Slim’ canteen table, also for Segis, returns to a wooden, linoleum-covered tabletop, but has elegant, folding, tubular steel base, making it an ideal temporary solution. Oskar Zieta’s ‘Koza’ is a lightweight, but sturdy, steel trestle, giving its users virtually unlimited choice in tabletops.
Bare Møbler, Ørjan Djønne and Marius Sveen experiment with the form of the tabletop in ‘RBM Twisted Little Star’ for SB Seating. Here, the jigsaw-shaped top is rotated with respect to the elegant, wooden base. Finally, Philippe Starck’s and Eugeni Quitllet’s ‘Play’ canteen table for DEDON combines a modular, brushed aluminium base with a teak tabletop and an optional, central compartment where plants, office supplies, decorations or drinks may be stored.