MILAN, April 12, 2016—At the 55th edition of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, 2016, Knoll presents new designs that confirm the creative vision and guiding philosophy that have made it a world-famous brand with an illustrious heritage.
In keeping with the motto Modern Always®, Knoll presents new designs by Piero Lissoni and Marc Krusin alongside modern classics by Florence Knoll, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Eero Saarinen and Harry Bertoia, reflecting the determination to always offer innovative ideas, regardless of passing fashions—ideas that last in time. The latest research has generated products by contemporary designers Piero Lissoni and Marc Krusin, guided by design imperatives of comfort, balance, elegance and functional quality.
The collaboration with Piero Lissoni—a previous design collaborator with Knoll—has led to a system of upholstered furnishings with an innovative technological concept. With its nonchalant sense of style, the Avio sofa by Piero Lissoni plays with contrasts, from the metal structure to the soft cushions, the essential lines that conceal complex workmanship to aesthetic detailing based on painstaking material and structural research. Alongside the sofa, Knoll presents the Krusin Collection 016 designed by Marc Krusin, a family of chairs in a range of variations for outstanding functional versatility.
Continuing its relationship with OMA, Knoll has called upon the architecture studio, co-founded by Rem Koolhaas, to design "This is Knoll." The Salone display is a hypermodern interpretation of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's modernist masterwork, the Barcelona Pavilion, with a focus on chromatic effects, stylistic twists and timeless furnishings. Occupying an even larger display area than last year, the OMA-designed space, refined down to the smallest details, emphasizes the creation of atmosphere—thanks to collaborations with SolidNature—famous all over the world for its natural stones used in prestigious projects—and Sabine Marcelis—whose material experimentations achieve new, surprising visual effects. The itinerary through the space reveals fresh nuances, highlighting signature classics and design icons alongside the new products.
Andrew Cogan, CEO of Knoll, Inc., comments: "Hans and Florence Knoll created a business founded on an unwavering commitment to good design. The goal of our innovation is always timelessness and adaptability—rejecting short-term trends and anticipating the inevitability of change. Our task is to ensure that Knoll remains vital and synonymous with good design for generations to come. Knoll is Modern Always because modern always works."
Avio Sofa System Collection
Designed by Piero Lissoni, 2016
Avio, designed by Piero Lissoni, is an elegant yet relaxed sofa system that can reinterpret and improve the use of any type of space. Modular and linear, with a light structure that easily complements a variety of settings, Avio's design is the result of extensive aesthetic research. The sofa combines functional and proportional poise, playing with the contract between the lightness of the slim structural framework and the plump volume of the seats. The sofa is ideal for both home and contract environments; at Salone, Avio finds an easy stylistic affinity for classic, architectural designs by Florence Knoll.
"This is a true industrial project, of great complexity," says Lissoni, "based on the idea of a structural steel beam that through a series of brackets supports different parts for diversified use: the seats are conceived as platforms, but also as support surfaces made of different materials. In practice, it is a product that changes the traditional idea of upholstered furniture, taking the form of a technological and aesthetic alphabet to assemble in different compositions, for different needs."
Avio is constructed around an elegant load-bearing structure, a steel beam that acts as a spine for seats, backs and tables. The framework translates into a versatile system that can generate benches, sofas for two or three people, a chaise longue and tabletops in a practically infinite sequence and can produce surprising corner compositions. Avio's padding provides maximum comfort, and the sofa can be covered in leather or fabric, completed with decorative throw cushions. An object of clear, precise beauty, ideal for everything a sofa is supposed to offer: for resting, conversing, reading, listening to music, sleeping, watching a film, enjoying an aperatif...
"My points of reference," Lissoni continues, "are Mies van der Rohe, Eero Saarinen, Florence Knoll. Names that have awesome importance for anyone who works on design. Nevertheless, I don't think we should hide in the shadow of the great masters: you always have to come to terms with the contemporary world, without making heritage into the sole value with which to approach the future."
The sofa system premiered at the Salone del Mobile is joined by cabinets, and in the near future it will be enhanced by new elements to gradually expand its functional range and versatility.
Designed by Piero Lissoni, 2016
A sensual game of full and empty parts, lights and shadows: Piero Lissoni has designed Matrioska, a variable-geometry storage system of wood, marble and glass. Each movable piece can create a variety of spatial sequences, offering glimpses of the credenza contents. The effect is almost immaterial; the pieces can be closed with doors or left open, arranged at regular distances from one another or in free compositions.
Krusin Collection 016
Designed by Marc Krusin, 2016
Quality craftmanship, simple, precise lines and refined proportions define the new seating system designed by Marc Krusin. Krusin Collection 016 is a harmonious family of chairs that offer remarkable padded softness in modern, minimal silhouettes. The collection includes three pieces: a seat with or without armrests and an archair with an enveloping back. All three types are unified by the same base, available in die-cast aluminum or solid ash in a range of finishes. Upholstery options are available across the Knoll range of offerings, including leathers, velvet, wool and cotton fabric. As is characteristic of designs by Marc Krusin, the collection matches good looks with functional detailing: the armchair's back and seat are designed to enable natural, responsive movement.
Marc Krusin, who after years working in Italy recently opened his own London studio, has collaborated with Knoll since 2011; his collection of tables and seating won the Good Design Award in the same year. "It's much less about me (and my design), and much more about excellence in a product," he says. "Less ego, better results."
Benjamin Pardo, Executive Vice President of Design, Knoll, describes Krusin Collection 016: "The objective is to introduce a discreet product that is silently attuned to the surrounding space. This is the thinking behind the conception and design of the new products, which will then work perfectly with the company's classic icons."
Krusin carefully studies the precise details that set apart exceptional spaces and objects. It is this work that elevates his designs to the level of classics. "I often think about the objects I design as classics: presences that stand out for their discretion and balance. And my job is to perfect them, honing the proportions, the details, to improve their image and their functional quality. I have imagined this seating family as noble objects that you learn to appreciate more with the passage of time. Something like a bespoke suit that gets more elegant with wear. For this collection I wanted to create bespoke beauty, perceptible in the fine workmanship and the details."
New colors and finishes for classic and contemporary Knoll products
The Bertoia Collection
Cowhide Cover & Bronze Finish
Designed by Harry Bertoia
Knoll celebrated the Centennial of Harry Bertoia's birth in 2015, opening a year of memorial events at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2015 that year. The Bertoia Collection options now include a new bronze finish and a refined cowhide cover in natural, black and dark brown.
The Bertoia Collection
Chair & Stool—Outdoor
Designed by Harry Bertoia
The Bertoia Shell Side Chair and Bertoia Shell Barstool are now available in Europe for outdoor applications. The shell is available in three different colors—white, black and gray—and the metal structure is available in white or black paint finishes. The shell seat is a modern and colorful interpretation of the inimitable classic, faithfully conserving Bertoia's unique form and lending added comfort. The chair is sutable for a wide range of contexts, from residential to contract. Also now available in Europe is a breathable, waterproof cushion, designed specifically for prolonged outdoor use. The cushion is available in six colors.
Designed by Eero Saarinen
Knoll presents the Womb Settee. This two-seat settee was originally designed by Eero Saarinen in 1948 and is generally believed to have been for his major architectural work for the General Motors Technical Center in Michigan, a complex for over 5,000 employees. Knoll reintroduced the settee in 2015. The innovative design has never gone out of style and is perfect for all settings, from the living room to the bedroom, as well as the office.
Like the Womb Chair, the Womb Settee called for particular production techniques and exceptionally high-performance materials. The sturdy, oversized form embodies Saarinen signatures of timeless, sensual functionality. Eero Saarinen said: "The need for such seats has never gone away. Now, more than ever, we have the need to relax."
The Womb Chair doubles its comfort and joins the Relax collection, with a foam-coated chassis in soft polyurethane and down-filled cushions for a chair that is sturdy, comfortable and welcoming at the same time.
Pilot Chair and Ottoman for Knoll
Designed by Barber & Osgerby
Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby's first collaborated with Knoll in 2013 when they designed The Barber Osgerby Lounge Collection. The British design pair went on to design the Piton Stool and Side Table, released in 2015, as well as the critically acclaimed Pilot by Knoll, which Knoll debuted at Salone Internazionale del Mobile in 2015. The innovative, upholstered lounge chair is a streamlined, comfortable and lightweight seating system designed for home, work and contract use. This year, the collection expands to include an ottoman with a matching cast aluminum base.
"This is Knoll" by OMA
Continuing its relationship with OMA, Knoll has called upon the architecture studio, co-founded by Rem Koolhaas, to design "This is Knoll." The Salone display is a hypermodern interpretation of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's modernist masterwork, the Barcelona Pavilion, with a focus on chromatic effects, stylistic twists and timeless furnishings. OMA designed the space to adapt to flux and flow of visitors, employing mobile partitions. These sliding walls make it possible to divide the Knoll display area into two separate sections or to create an open space, depending on need.
OMA deployed a range of materials that reinforce the concept of heterogeneity and create lush backdrops for the Knoll collections. These contrasting materials range from soft and solid, organic and synthetic, to transparent and opaque.
As in the original Barcelona Pavilion, designed by Mies van der Rohe in 1929, the OMA design puts luxe, natural stone at center stage. SolidNature, a longtime partner to OMA in realizing complex architectural projects, contributed stunning material offerings, testing the limits of material expression with some of the world's most exclusive marbles, including SolidNature's signature travertine.
OMA juxtaposed the marble materials with "Architectural Glass Panels," a custom project by the designer Sabine Marcelis that combines glass, metal and touches of color to create spatial dividers or theatrical wings. The work, specifically commissioned for Knoll at the Salone del Mobile 2016, reflects OMA's own signature theatrical choreography.
A series of scenes unfolds throughout the space, with new products playing the characters in a story of innovation and creativity—new ways of living at home and at work, from the most private rooms to the most public facilities. New designs by Piero Lissoni and Marc Krusin are highlighted just beyond the entrance (where the kinetic 04 Counter worksurface of the "Tools for Life" collection, designed by OMA for Knoll in 2013, is on display). Visitors who follow the OMA-designed circulation will discover new interpretations of design icons mixed with the latest pieces in unexpected settings.
"Our space at the Salone illustrates the innovative spirit of Knoll design through the new creations developed for this year by Piero Lissoni and Marc Krusin, celebrating the past and future story of the brand at the same time," says Demetrio Apollini, President of Knoll Europe.
For Benjamin Pardo, Executive Vice President of Design, Knoll, "OMA has created our stand to emphasize the contribution of our founders, who brought the benefits of modern design into both homes and places of work."
"Knoll is Modern Always® because modern always works."