Bertoia Side Chair

Harry Bertoia 1952

Harry Bertoia’s delicately industrial wire side chairs are among the most recognized achievements of mid-century modern design. Like Saarinen and Mies, Bertoia found sublime grace in an industrial material, elevating it beyond its normal utility into a work of art. The entire 1952 wire collection is an astounding study in space, form and function by one of the master sculptors of the last century and a proud part of the Knoll heritage.


Construction and Details
  • Seat pad, back pad and full cover available in a range of KnollTextiles 
  • Seat pad available in a range of Spinneybeck® leathers
  • Seat pad and back pad snap on to the frame with domed snap buttons
  • Full cover attaches directly to the frame with hidden mono-filament and metal hooks
  • Seat and base are constructed of welded steel rods with polished or satin chrome finish, or white, black, red, yellow, green, or blue powder coat
  • Powder coat finish suitable for outdoor use
  • Chrome finish is not suitable for outdoor use
  • Plastic glides included on sled base to protect floors
  • Knoll logo stamped into the back of the base
Sustainable Design and Environmental Certification
  • GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified®

Downloads for Bertoia Side Chair

Symbol Library Download

General Info

Planning Tools


View all approved KnollTextiles upholsteries for seat pad >

View all approved KnollTextiles upholsteries for full cover >

See approval matrices in the downloads section for Leather approvals.

Two-Tone frames can be specified in any combination of basket and base in white, black, red, blue and chrome. 

  • color Polished Chrome
  • color Satin Chrome
  • color Black
  • color White
  • color Red
  • color Yellow
  • color Blue
  • color Green
  • color White
  • color Black
  • color Blue
  • color Red
  • color Polished Chrome


Characteristic of the early environment at Knoll, Hans and Florence never demanded that Bertoia design furniture, but instead encouraged him to explore whatever he liked. They simply asked that if he arrived at something interesting, to show them. Bertoia later explained the process:

“I went around and discovered, quite soon, that I was not the man to do research. My feeling was that had to come from an inward direction. I began to rely once more on my own body. I began to think in terms of what I would like as a chair. It started very slowly…I came into rod or wire, whether bent of straight. I seemed to find myself at home. It was logical to make an attempt utilizing the wire.

"Once more, I went through the procedure of positioning, considering the possibility of shapes, then relating, of course, what the wire itself could be, what shapes it might take, whether there were any tools to do it with. There are many aspects of the same things coming into one’s mind, but the very first thing was whether a shape would come up that would begin to serve as a chair, sitting on it, etc. One was taking the shape of a side chair; another was beginning to extend to care of the head. This developed to the point where something could be held on to…You know, when you have something in front of you that can really physically be held, it becomes easier to make changes.”