Featured in nearly all Florence Knoll-designed interiors, the Saarinen Executive Chair remains one of the most popular Knoll designs. Introduced in 1950, the chair transformed the notion of what executive seating could be with its sculptural form and modern finishing.
After winning the Museum of Modern Art Organic Design Competition with Charles Eames for their experiments with bent plywood in 1941, Eero Saarinen was eager to continue exploring the possibilities of a chair that achieved comfort through the shape of its shell, not the depth of its cushioning. Initially, he began the investigation with designs for smaller fiberglass task chairs, but changed direction when Florence Knoll approached him and asked, “Why not take the bull by the horns and do the big one first? I want a chair that is like a basket full of pillows…something I can curl up in.” While that’s not exactly where Saarinen ended up, the suggestion inspired one of the most iconic, and comfortable, chairs of the modern furniture movement, The Womb Chair.
After completing the Womb Chair, Saarinen returned his focus to task seating, scaling down the concept and form of the womb into arm and armless chairs. Introduced as the 71 and 72 Series, the chairs replaced Florence Knoll’s model 43 chairs as the Planning Unit’s go-to seating solution. The iconic chair, often referred to as “that chair with the hole in the back,” has been a staple of the Knoll portfolio for more than 60 years.
Seat features molded, reinforced polyurethane back shell and a contoured plywood seat form. Steel legs are seamless tubular steel with polished chrome finish.
GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified®
Minor scratches to the metal legs. Fine condition overall.
Born to world famous architect and Cranbrook Academy of Art Director Eliel Saarinen and textile artist Loja Saarinen, Eero Saarinen was surrounded by design his whole life. By the time he was in his teens, Eero was helping his father design furniture and fixtures for the Cranbrook campus. After studying sculpture in Paris and architecture at Yale, Saarinen returned to Cranbrook in 1934.
It was at Cranbrook that Saarinen met Charles Eames. The two young men, both committed to exploring new materials and processes, quickly became great friends and creative collaborators. They worked together on several projects, most notably their groundbreaking collection of molded plywood chairs for 1940 competition Organic Design in Home Furnishings, sponsored by MoMA.
At Cranbrook, Saarinen also met Florence Knoll, who at that time was a promising young protégé of Eliel Saarinen. When Florence joined Knoll in the 1940s, she invited Eero to design for the company. Saarinen went on to design many of Knoll's most recognizable pieces, including the Tulip chairs and tables, the Womb chair, and the 70 Series of seating. In addition to these achievements, Saarinen became a leader of the second-generation modernists. Among his outstanding projects are the Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, and New York's CBS Building and TWA Terminal at Kennedy International Airport.
With proper care, your KnollStudio furniture should last for years to come. To help ensure the longevity of your purchase, below are helpful hints on routine cleaning for your KnollStudio piece. Most basic maintenance can be performed with common household cleaning products.
Optional Scotchgard treatment protects fibers from dirt and staining. Wipe all spills immediately. Brush and vacuum every three to four months.
Cleaning Code: S:Only mild, pure water-free dry cleaning solvents may be used for cleaning this fabric. Try a hidden area to test for color fastness.
Clean with Windex or an automotive chrome cleaner such as Semi-Chrome twice a month. Apply a coat of hard paste wax to protect against moisture.
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Knoll warrants to original buyer only that the products Knoll manufactures and sells to original buyer are free of defects in workmanship and materials for 5 years. Should any failure to conform to this limited warranty appear to a Knoll product during the applicable warranty period from the date of shipment, Knoll shall, upon prompt written notice, repair or replace, at its option and cost, the affected part or parts. Seating upholstery, textiles, leathers and finishes by Knoll carry a 3 year warranty.
This warranty does not apply to:
Normal wear and tear or acts or omissions of parties other than Seller (including user modification, improper use or installation of Products).
COM or other third party materials applied to Products.
Dramatic temperature variations or exposure to unusual conditions.
Changes in surface finishes, including colorfastness due to aging or exposure to light.
Except as specifically noted above, textiles and upholstery supplied by KnollTextiles.
Natural variations occurring in wood, marble, and leather shall not be considered defects, and the Seller does not guarantee the colorfastness or matching of the colors, grains or textures, or surface hardness of such materials. The Seller also does not guarantee the colorfastness of fiberglass panel surfaces.