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Florence Knoll Table Desk - Oval 96"

Florence Knoll 1961

Florence Knoll described her designs the fill-in pieces which had to be provided. "I needed the piece for a job and it wasn't there, so I designed it." While this may have been the motivation for the 1961 Table Desk, the elegant, perfectly proportioned result will be anything but a fill-in piece in your office or dining room.

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    Details

    Construction and Details
    • Frame and legs are heavy gauge welded steel with polished chrome finish
    • KnollStudio logo and Florence Knoll’s signature are stamped into the base of the table
    • GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified®
    Additional Options Available by Phone (See Below)
    • Tabletops in wood, coated and natural marble, and natural grantie in a wide range of colors and finishes View >
    • Base in satin chrome

    Dimensions

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    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 matching low credenza.

    The elegant 2480 Pedestal Table Desk, introduced in 1961, exudes executive quality and epitomizes Mies van der Rohe’s impact on Florence’s approach to design. Each detail was endlessly refined to achieve simple, seemingly effortless beauty. Knoll Development Group member Vincent Cafiero: “She had an ability to see. I remember working with her on the base of the table, and we were talking about fractions of an inch — 16ths and 32nds of a taper — just to get it absolutely right.” Despite being conceived for the office, the table has found itself in many dining rooms over the last fifty years.
     

    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.

     

     

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