“I promise you we will never allow any outrageous colours or materials to be used on your furniture.”
That’s what Florence Knoll Bassett (who would have turned 100 this year) told her friend and former tutor Mies van der Rohe to get him as a designer for her company. That worked out – whether it was due to these words, however, is not known.
Knoll stands for her philosophy of “Total Design” and has revolutionized interior planning as director of the Knoll Planning Unit. In the middle of the last century, their approach of covering all aspects of a room – architecture, interior design, graphics, textiles and production – was by no means the usual practice of interior planning. But success proves you right: Today, this all-embracing claim is almost standard. Florence Knoll had an excellent sense of talent. Under her direction, many of the modern masters created collections for Knoll. Among these legacies are the Tulip tables and chairs by Eero Saarinen, Isamu Noguchi’s coffee table or Harry Bertoia’s wire furniture.
For us Florence Knoll is the master of perfect proportions. Her sideboards – otherwise a rather masculine piece of furniture – always look light and elegant. And that runs through all their designs, whether the Executive Pedestal Table, the sofa line BC 25, etc.
Currently we have another 3-seater by Florence Knoll in a longer version in our showroom: New upholstered and newly covered with a cotton velvet by Raf Simmons for Kvadrat (100,000 Martindale, thus also suitable for the highly frequented Mad Men Office). The colour is reminiscent of a water lily pond at dawn – or more prosaic: depending on the incidence of light, it shimmers from silvery-grey to reed-green.