In the mid-1950s, Alexander Girard designed the interior of the legendary Miller House in Columbus, Indiana. He gave the bright and airy rooms an intimate, warm atmosphere by interspersing the Miller family’s fine art collection with folk art and a wide variety of bespoke objects. The heart of the house was the so-called ‘conversation pit’ – a sunken lounge area with built-in seating. The surrounding sofas featured a multitude of colourful scatter cushions that changed with the seasons, and in the middle of the lounge ensemble stood its centrepiece: the Flower Table.
Today the famous Miller House belongs to the Indianapolis Museum of Art and is accessible for public viewing – as is the Flower Table, which was specially fabricated for the lady of the house, Xenia Miller. Modified in 1977 with an altered top, the brass table still stands in its original location. In close cooperation with the Girard family, Vitra has developed a version of the table in powder-coated steel for serial production. It is available in a choice of colours and can also be used outdoors.
Along with his colleagues Charles and Ray Eames and George Nelson, Alexander Girard was one of the leading figures in American design during the postwar era. While textile design was the primary focus of Girard’s oeuvre, he was also admired for his work in the graphic arts as well as furniture, exhibition and interior design. Girard brought a sensuous playfulness to twentieth-century design that had been absent from the austere aesthetic of classic modernism.
Girard devoted the same level of attention to every visible surface in an interior. Ceilings, walls and floors were treated with great care and coordinated with the moveable objects in the room.