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KnollStudio®

Florence Knoll Credenza

Item #254

Florence Knoll 1954

When Florence Knoll revolutionized private office design by replacing the typical executive desk with a table desk, she needed a place for all the filing and storage that had traditionally lived in desk drawers.

Her solution, executed in typical Florence Knoll elegance, was the low credenza. Perfectly proportioned and immaculately detailed, the iconic design works as well in the dining room as it does in the office.

 

Starts at: $4098

 

Call to Purchase

Customer Service: 800 343-5665

NYC Home Design Shop: 212 343-4190

 

Design & Plan

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Details

Construction and Details
  • Available in two and four positions
  • Credenza tops are available in wood, coated and natural marble, in a wide range of colors and finishes
  • Sides, back, drawer and door fronts are wood veneer
  • 2545M available in white lacquer
  • Base available in polished or satin chrome
  • Optional central locking system available
  • KnollStudio logo and Florence Knoll’s signature is stamped onto the base frame
Sustainable Design and Environmental Certification
  • GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified®

Dimensions

Prior to the pioneering approach of Florence Knoll and the Knoll Planning Unit, executive offices in America were nearly all planned the same way.

Florence Knoll described this standard layout in her 1964 “Commercial Interiors” entry for the Encyclopedia Britannica: “In such an office there was always a diagonally-placed desk, with a table set parallel behind it, a few chairs scattered around the edge of the room, and a glassed in bookcase. The table behind the desk generally became an unsightly storage receptacle.”

Seeking to create a space better suited to the executive’s primary function — communication — Florence reconsidered the illogical layout from an architectural perspective. She eliminated the imposing desk, replacing it with the more inviting table desk, placed parallel to the back wall. Storage was moved to behind the table in a low, matching credenza.

To execute this new layout, Florence introduced the 2544 Credenza in 1961. The elegant design exuded executive quality, and clearly exhibited Mies van der Rohe’s impact on Florence’s approach to design. Design historian Bobbye Tigerman notes that, “the furniture is architecture miniaturized…The structure of a large case balanced on thin peripheral columns recalls Mies’ Seagram Building.” Like Mies, Florence Knoll would endlessly refine each detail of a design in order to achieve simple, seemingly effortless beauty.

Born to a baker, and orphaned at age twelve, Florence Schust grew up Saginaw, Michigan. Schust demonstrated an early interest in architecture and was enrolled at the Kingswood School for Girls, adjacent to the Cranbrook Academy of Art.

While at Kingswood, Florence befriended Eilel Saarinen, whom she would later study under at Cranbrook. Warmly embraced by the Saarinen family, Florence seeded in Michigan the foundations of her incredible design education and pioneering career. Florence went on to study under some of the greatest 20th century architects, including Gropius, Breuer, and Mies. In 1941 Florence moved to New York where she met Hans Knoll who was establishing his furniture company. With Florence’s design skills and Hans’ business acumen and salesmanship, the pair, who married in 1946, grew the nascent company into an international arbiter of style and design. In creating the revolutionary Knoll Planning Unit, Florence Knoll defined the standard for the modern corporate interiors of post-war America.

After the tragic death of Hans Knoll in 1955, Florence Knoll led the company as president through uncertain times. In 1960 she resigned the presidency to focus on directing design and development and, in 1965 after pioneering an industry and defining the landscape and aesthetic of the corporate office, Florence Knoll Bassett (she remarried in 1957) retired from the company. Her contributions to Knoll, and to the rise of modernism in America, are immeasurable.