Sometimes a design idea just won’t go away. The concept for this table has been floating around in my head for over 20 years. It has taken that long to find the right material and technology to create it.
The story started in 1990. I was studying architecture and at that time had a number of recurring design ideas. These revolved around taking regular shapes or materials and creating something unusual with them, playing with their conventional visual or material form.
The first Parobol table prototype, built while I was at university, was made up of 39 equal sized pinewood slats with a central round dowel running through the middle, acting as a pivot point. The slats were offset against each other, creating a clean, symmetrical parabolic curve at one end of the table base. Viewed from the other end, you could see the inverse of the same curve. The form was there, but it looked clumsy and unrefined.
A couple decades pasted and in 2010, the table was CGI modelled and we arrived at an image that was a true reflection of the concept. The design was further tested by printing a 3D scaled model that could be physically handled as a miniature prototype.
However, there was a major challenge; what to build it from? I needed to find a material that could be formed into three-dimensional curves and complex shapes. Whilst visiting the 100% Design Show in London I was inspired by furniture built with Corian®.
Partnering with a design-led manufacturer the base shape is constructed by heating the Corian®, pressing it in a two-part mould and finally polishing & finishing by hand. The glass table top rests on the base as if floating.
The form is simple with just one curve that inverses and rolls through, twisting into another curve. As you move round the table, the curve is constantly changing, with its reflected opposite always visible.
The table is fabricated from thermo-formed Corian® that is pressed into a two part mould and allowed to cool. It is trimmed on a CNC machine and hand finished to give the crisp polished edges.
Corian® is the original solid surface material made up of an advanced composite of natural minerals and pure acrylic polymer. Created to last a lifetime it is a stone-hard surface that can be shaped to meet any design or dimension.
Normally associated with kitchen & bathroom worktops, Corian® is now being used by designers and architects for furniture and exterior cladding in much more than flat panels and sharp angles. The material’s natural solidity and its ability to be shaped is fundamental to the Parabol table form. The sheet colour used for the Parabol table is Glacier White and is 12mm thick. The table base is available in the following other Corian® colours: Designer White; Cameo White; Vanilla.
Corian® is easily cleaned and maintained with a damp microfibre cloth used with a standard household kitchen spray. You can find out more details here by linking directly to Corian’s® website. The glass top is cut from 10mm low iron toughened glass with bevelled edges, and the curved shape is designed to respond to the 3 points that the glass bears onto.
The glass rests onto specially cut pads that are bonded to the Corian® base. The pads are highly resilient flexible polyurethane based tape coated with an aggressive pressure sensitive adhesive. It is transparent with a high coefficient of friction to grip the glass firmly whilst having excellent cushioning properties.