Orbital is an extendable dining table that shows off its beautiful complexity.

When we buy dining tables, we often take into account how many people are in the household, plus two more people just in case. That said, while we have more control over the size of our own family, we can’t always predict how many people will come for a potluck or party. Extendable dining tables are pretty much the only flexible solution to that problem, but most designs for this type of table are cumbersome or unattractive. This elegant dining table, on the other hand, is already beautiful on its own, especially with its elegant transparent top. It also uses a seemingly smooth but non-trivial mechanism to expand, and isn’t shy about putting it on display, especially since it only adds to its allure.

Designer: Pininfarina

Most extendable tables, whether for eating or working, are made of wood, probably because it is a material that lends itself well to moving parts. The most common designs involve flaps on one or both ends that can be raised to expand the available surface or sliding panels that may or may not involve moving the table legs as well. Either way, these tables require a bit of effort to expand or contract, making them inconvenient and discouraging to set up unless absolutely necessary.

The Orbital Dining Table makes that process easy and even has a level of finesse to match the look of the table. The top and its extensions are made of transparent tempered glass, which makes it impossible to use the aforementioned mechanisms. Instead, the table has an automatic mechanism that moves the extensions from under the table in a smooth circular motion. You don’t have to worry about lifting or pushing fragile glass, as the complex mechanism takes care of that for you.

Better yet, the table also makes this mechanism the visual centerpiece of the design; His metallic body and arms can be clearly seen from both the top and the sides. It doesn’t hurt that this part of the table is just as well made as the rest, making it as much a work of art as it is a product of engineering. It definitely adds to the charm of the table, making it a great conversation starter for guests and friends alike.

The tabletop and mechanism are supported by a rigid polyurethane column that has a large central opening that makes the table appear to defy physics. It helps emphasize Orbital’s character of transparency, both in the way it works and the way it looks. It is a minimalist design that contrasts with the sophisticated mechanism that makes it work, but at the same time it is not ashamed to reveal its entrails, albeit in a very elegant way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *