With his experience in the firm of Eero Saarinen and Associates, it is not surprising that the mantle for the second generation of pedestal and wire furniture fell on the creative shoulders of Warren Platner. Reflecting a dramatic shift in cultural values, modernism became more expressive in the 1960s. Platner felt there was an opportunity to merge the competing aesthetics of the time.
Designed in 1966, The Platner Collection was originally supposed to be gold-plated. However, the technology of the time made gold plating in large-scale production impossible, leading to the nickel-plated steel known today.
When Benjamin Pardo, Knoll Design Director, learned of Platner's intent, he began attempting to recreate the design with its intended finish. “I went to the Italians and asked if they could do it and they said, ‘no.’ I kept asking them, again and again, and they were eventually able to create a series of prototypes." These experiments culminated in the issue of Platner Gold in 2015, honoring Platner's original wish in time for the collection's fifty-year anniversary.
The gold finish reflects Platner's gilded modern aesthetic, the most quintessential example of which is Windows on the World, a complex of venues that crowned the North Tower of the former World Trade Center. Lush with brass fixtures, taupe upholstery, shiny wood-paneling and kaleidoscopic mirrors, the sky-high interior was named a "modernist Versailles" by some architectural critics and featured two restaurants, a bar—called "The World's Greatest Bar"—and a number of luxurious executive lounges.