1 / Who is Florence Knoll?
Florence Knoll is an American architect and designer whose work is recognized internationally. She was born in 1917 in Saginaw, Michigan. She studied at the Architectural Association of London then at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. In 1941, she married Hans Knoll, at the head of the company "Knoll international"; after having assumed the function of designer, she took over the management of the company in 1955, when her husband died. Other great designers, like Eero Saarinen or Bertoia, have worked for the company; this enabled him to market furniture, certain pieces of which have become icons of 20th century design.
2 / What are the characteristics of Florence Knoll's modernism?
Modernism appeared during the 20th century. Its characteristics, which are clean, geometric lines and minimalist and airy designs, inspired many artists of the time. Florence Knoll, whose style is simple, is no exception to the rule; she works with open and bright spaces, and defends minimalism while promoting elegance. The materials she uses most often for her designs are metal and steel, and the bases she imagines are all very thin. For example, his cult coffee table from 1954 is a polished glass top one and a half centimeters thick, supported by a very thin chromed steel base.
3 / Which table to match the Bertoia chairs with?
Bertoia chairs are design icons. But which table to choose to highlight them? If you are proud of your chairs, it would be ideal to pair them with a glass table; in this way, the chairs will not be hidden by an opaque material, and they will be the center of attention. If you like wooden tables, it is quite possible to choose one, as long as the table top is not too thick, at the risk of hiding the chairs. Marble tables should be avoided with a Bertoia chair, unless the marble is black. As for the color of the table, you can choose a neutral color or a color that is much more pop; Bertoia chairs adapt to everything! Regarding the shape of the table, there are no rules!
4 / How to recognize a real Knoll tulip table?
The Knoll company is particularly known for the marketing of the tulip tables created by Eero Saarinen. Their success has led some manufacturers to create imitations; here are the details you need to pay attention to to know if your Knoll table is genuine. The base: It must be in cast aluminum, monobloc, and covered with Rilsan. The top: It is in smooth laminate or in marble; the veins are unique. The shape of the top: It is round or oval; the round top has a diameter of 120, 140 or 150 cm; as for the oval top, it measures 198x121 or 244x137cm. The signature: It is present on each of the undersides of the feet; the Knoll logo and the signature of Eero Saarinen are engraved. The screws: On an authentic table, they are not visible. The price: A new authentic table is sold for around € 6000; in general 2000 € for side tables to 10 € for larger ones. Large vintage tables are sold between 000 and 4000 €.
5 / How to recognize a real Knoll tulip chair?
The Tulip chair, imagined by designer Eero Saarinen in 1957, has become a staple in the world of design. If this chair is so called, it is because the shape of its shell recalls that of tulip petals. Here are the characteristics of the genuine Knoll models. The foot: The Tulip chair has only one foot; Saarinen wanted to free up the space under the tables and chairs. It is made of cast aluminum and covered with rilsan, a plastic coating that gives it a uniform look from its inception until today. The base of the axis is very thin. From 1957, the foot is stamped "Knoll International" under the Rilsan; rilsan completely covers the underside of the foot. Models manufactured between 1960 and 1970 are not always stamped, and the rilsan only partially covers the underside of the foot. From the mid-1970s to the 1990s, rilsan still only partially covered the underside of the foot, and three reinforcing studs appeared under the foot of the chair. Since the late 1990s, the chairs have been fitted with a "Knoll Studio" stamp plate and the designer's signature. The underside of the foot is completely covered with rilsan, and ribs are present. The foam: From 1957 to the mid-1990s, the lower part of the foam is dimpled. Then the foam is full. The sticker under the cushion is rarely present. Fixing the cushions: From 1956 to the beginning of the 1960s, the cushions were fixed with laces on an overflowing grooved plate. Then, until 1995, they were fixed using round velcro sewn by a single machine pass, then two passes thereafter. The hulls: The hulls are unchanged since 1957; they are made of fiberglass. The plates: They are black or white. For fixed armchairs, a screw with visible head under the cushion, directly screwed into the cast iron of the foot is used. For swivel chairs, no visible head under the cushion, it is a Phillips head screw. There you have it, now you will recognize a real Tulip Knoll chair!