Warren Platner '1705' Easy Chair for Knoll
Warren Platner for Knoll, lounge chair 'model 1705', steel and red fabric, United States, 1966.
This iconic beige easy chair by Warren Platner is created by welding curved steel rods to circular and semi-circular frames, simultaneously serving as structure and ornament. It was Platner who suggested to make a range of furniture for Knoll that made use of this bent steel as a material. The process to develop this line was however difficult as it took a long time to develop the technical necessities to align the large number of wires. In the beginning the opinion on the new Platner-Knoll line were divided as some critics thought the decorative nature of the designs was to prominent. However, over time, it was proven that the design of this range was a technical, visual and critical succes. It is interesting to point out that this set is very different from the other famous bent steel furniture range of Bertoia. Platner's range began with a sense of need for 'decorative, gentle, graceful' designs compartable to those of the time of Louis XV, but having a more rational base. Bertoia's range on the other hand was much more conceptual and was focussed on the strength of space division.
Warren Platner (1919-2006) was originally trained as an architect a studied at Cornell University. Although Platner made notable architectural contributions throughout his career it was his furniture collection for Knoll that earned Platner worldwide renown. Originally introduced by Knoll in 1966, the Platner collection is an icon of modern furniture. In his early years Platner worked for the architect Eero Saarinen. Platner is famous for his refined and theatrical designs and he did not shy away for color.
Knoll International was founded in New York by the 26 year old German Hans Knoll (1914-1955) in 1938. Hans' father, Walter Knoll was a true modernist and furniture manufacturer who had a reputation for quality. When Hans Knoll died at a young age his wife Florence Knoll took over and under her influence the company flourished and created its best designs. She designed and led the company where she cooperated with talented designers such as Eero Saarinen, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Richard Schultz and Harry Bertoia.
- Lutz, Brain. Knoll. A modernist universe. New York: Rizolli, 2010, p. 166 - 167.
- Larrabee, Eric and Massimo Vignelli. Knoll Design. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. Publishers, 1981, 160 - 161.