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Womb Chair with Ottoman

Eero Saarinen 1948

Eero Saarinen designed the groundbreaking Womb Chair at Florence Knoll's request for "a chair that was like a basket full of pillows - something she could really curl up in." This mid-century classic supports countless positions and offers a comforting oasis of calm—hence the name.

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    Details

    Construction and Details
    • Seat shell is foam-covered molded fiberglass
    • Base is steel rod with polished chrome finish
    • Womb Chair with Ottoman is certified Clean Air GOLD
    Additional options available by phone (See below)
    • View Approved KnollTextiles
    • Available in a range of Spinneybeck® leathers
    • Base finished with matte black paint

    Dimensions

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    After winning the Museum of Modern Art Organic Design Competition with Charles Eames for their experiments with bent plywood in 1941, Eero Saarinen was eager to continue exploring the possibilities of a chair that achieved comfort through the shape of its shell, not the depth of its cushioning. Initially, he began the investigation with designs for smaller fiberglass task chairs, but changed direction when Florence Knoll approached him and asked, “Why not take the bull by the horns and do the big one first? I want a chair that is like a basket full of pillows…something I can curl up in.” While that’s not exactly where Saarinen ended up, the suggestion inspired one of the most iconic, and comfortable, chairs of the modern furniture movement.

    Like many of Saarinen’s furniture designs, the Womb Chair required production techniques and materials still in the infancy of their existence. Saarinen and Florence Knoll found a boat builder in New Jersey who was experimenting with fiberglass and resin to help develop manufacturing methods for the new chair. Florence Knoll: “He was very skeptical. We just begged him. I guess we were so young and so enthusiastic he finally gave in and worked with us. We had lots of problems and failures until they finally got a chair that would work.”

     

     

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    in the Archive

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