Milan, 17 April 2018 – At the 57th Salone Internazionale del Mobile, Knoll celebrates its 80th anniversary, presenting new collections and iconic designs that reaffirm the creative vision that has made the brand famous worldwide. 

Founded in 1938 through collaboration with the great masters of 20th-century design and architecture, today Knoll continues to evolve by working with the most outstanding contemporary talents.

Knoll Pavilion by OMA

Knoll Pavilion

Once again this year Knoll has called on OMA to design and install the stand at Salone del Mobile. This time, the project draws inspiration form the minimalism of Marcel Breuer, as applied in his original design for the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Taking formal and material cues from the original space, the OMA pavilion’s focal point is a replica of the modular suspended ceiling he designed for the museum.

Beneath the signature ceiling, modular design, prefabrication and geometry give rise to a versatile, functional space. OMA has chosen different materials that reinforce the concept of variety and create perfect backdrops for the products of the Knoll collection: tactile and solid, organic and artificial.

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The path through the stand reveals nuanced updates to renowned Knoll designs, mixed with the latest creations, harmoniously shifting from subtle details to elegant, unexpected ensembles. New products are the central focus, triggering relationships with their surroundings, in a blend of evolution and innovation. A new way of living – in the name of personality and creativity – developed for the home and workplace, from the most intimate rooms to intensely public spaces.

The Newson Aluminum Chair for Knoll

Newson Aluminum Chair

Knoll also introduces Marc Newson’s Aluminum Chair at the 2018 Salone de Mobile. Honoring the cantilevered chairs of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Newson’s design is a forward-looking expression that synthesizes simplicity, material and precision, in the Modernist tradition. The radical design reflects Newson’s fanaticism for the space age, as well as his belief that, “design is about improving things and about looking to the future, pushing technology forward.”

Defined by a single uninterrupted line, the design brings Marc Newson’s signature combination of organic forms and precision engineering to the Knoll seating portfolio. Echoing the futuristic vocabulary that characterizes his work, the side chair for Knoll marries hard and soft, solid and transparent, in a striking form that seems to levitate in space.

Newson and Knoll Design Director Benjamin Pardo revisited several Knoll designs, starting with Mies van der Rohe’s Brno Chair. Celebrated for its lean profile and simple details, the Brno Chair reflects the simplicity of its original locale – the Tugendhat House in Brno, Czech Republic, designed by Mies. While the Brno Chair served as a catalyst for the exploration, it was ultimately the 1928 Tugendhat Chair that most inspired Newson’s final design which similarly employs a reverse cantilever.

We wanted to reimagine the tubular steel construction revolutionized at the Bauhaus - which is transitively tied to Knoll - with Newson's unique ability to imagine organic, almost futuristic shapes

Benjamin Pardo

Newson forewent the tubular steel revolutionized by Mies and the Bauhaus in favor of cast aluminum, a material he felt allowed for a more dynamic form. The chair consists of three high-pressure castings – a main frame and two end caps – which connect to create a remarkably simple, yet structurally sound frame. To Newson’s liking, the complexity of the engineering is made invisible through mechanical precision and streamlined design. The mesh seat and back integrate seamlessly with the frame, further emphasizing the chair’s visual purity. To evoke a more residential feel, Newson selected a mesh that is tightly knit and is softer to the touch.

The Newson Aluminum Chair is offered in combinations of three frame colors: black, warm white, and grey; and six mesh colors: black, grey, blue, red, yellow, and white. In addition, the stacking chair has two versions: arm and armless. Read more about the Newson Aluminum Chair in Architectural Digest and The Wall Street Journal

Piero Lissoni Designs for Knoll

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KN Collection

In addition to the Newson Aluminum Chair, Knoll introduces collections designed by Piero Lissoni that establish a perfect dialogue with the architect’s existing work for Knoll. This year Lissoni has designed KN Collection by Knoll, a family of armchairs. The collection features a range of materials that set every creation apart, underlining the sophisticated spirit that looks to the future, while at the same time paying tribute to designs of the past: accents to scatter freely in residential spaces, but also versatile solutions for high performance workplaces and luxury interiors.

The whole collection is made with a swivel base in polished or coated cast aluminum. The base, equipped with an internal damper, offers a self-regulating system to ensure immediate comfort.

KN comes in two versions. In the low model KN01, the proportions between seat and shell height provide a balanced blend of compactness and comfort. The curved design has a minimalist tone, while offering maximum relaxation for those who choose it.

A second version KN02 with more compact and extended proportions is offered with a headrest and a practical manual mechanism built into the armrest that enables the chair to recline, adapting to posture variations. The configuration can be completed with a footrest and a seat cushion.

Red Baron

Based on the detail of an airplane wing, Lissoni has also designed Red Baron by Knoll. The sophisticated shelving system combines parts that gradually become lighter, tapering into an almost impreceptably thin sheet of metal. The vertical structure–steel posts clad in anodized extruded aluminum–supports shelves with a refined aluminum finish. The parts allow for compositions of different heights and lengths, using modules one meter in width and 45 centimeters in depth.

The modular bookshelf celebrates material essence and personalized finishing for a unique touch and look, designed to display remarkable collections. From the residence to the workplace, the bookshelf can alter its function while maintaining its aesthetic characteristics, depending on the choice of materials – extra-clear tempered glass or chestnut wood – which can also be applied in a mixed approach for the back and sides. The result is a family open to expansion, easily coordinated with the other products in the Knoll collection.

Avio Sofa System

With the Avio Sofa System, Knoll expands its collection of upholstered furniture, making it more complete and well balanced in terms of functional harmony, styles and requirements. The renewed Avio Sofa is available in a more compact version, without sacrificing any of the aesthetic appeals of the original. The seat is slightly less deep, fitting in smaller spaces while still providing moments of relaxation. 

Knoll has expanded the range of fabrics for the Avio Collection, successfully marrying the appeal and elegance of contemporary design with a vivid identity. 

Grasshopper Table

The elegance of Grasshopper is the result of a perfect combination of surface and structure. The surface, available in the rectangular form with rounded corners, or in a circular form, stands out for its extreme slenderness. The structure, slim and made from high-performance cast steel, is available in burnished or coated finishes. New to 2018, Grasshopper Table tops feature unusual stones such as Rosso Rubino marble, glass and various types of wood. 

80th Anniversary Reintroductions

Bastiano Sofa Collection

Bastiano adapts to the proportions of the contemporary domestic landscape. Conserving its finely tuned dimensions under the careful eye of Tobia Scarpa, Bastiano now includes more ample and casual models, while maintaining its commitment to comfort and informal sophistication. 

The soft upholstery is juxtaposed with the hardness of the wooden structure. The new 2018 edition features a new frame from iroko wood, a wood that is particularly durable and sturdy, giving off a warm, yellow tone. 

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Butterfly Chair

For its 80th anniversary Knoll pays tribute to design originality, creating a special edition of the Butterfly Chair. The year 1938 was a very fertile one for design history: the Knoll company was founded, and a very special chair was designed, which Hans Knoll decided to include in the firm’s catalogue from 1947 to 1951, meeting with remarkable success.

In 1937 three young architects – Antonio Bonet, Juan Kurchan and Jorge Ferrari-Hardoy – met in Paris and came up with a formidable intuition. They decided to redesign a true classic of military outfitting, the so-called “Tripolina,” a light folding chair with a wooden skeleton and metal joints, on which to place a cover in leather or fabric. The original was designed by Joseph B. Fenby in 1877 for the British army. 

In 1947 Hans Knoll purchased the rights to their design, and it was produced with great success for four years, as the Model no. 198. The Butterfly invented a new way of sitting, freeing people from formal situations and encouraging a new convivial spirit that laid the groundwork for contemporary furniture design.

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Today, history once again looks to design in pursuit of immortal beauty: the Butterfly chair proposed by Knoll in 2018. The project, developed 80 years after the original, introduces new materials to improve the sensory experience of users. Today’s Butterfly has sinuous, dynamic lines, made possible by the quality of materials involved: thermoformed felt supported on a steel frame. The thermoformed felt seat represents the true innovation of the project, because it becomes a self-supporting structure with the dual role of seat and covering. Furthermore, the laser shaping of the fabric, without added stitching, permits the direct interlock of the seat and the steel framework, ensuring comfort and elegance. Innovation, refinement and timeless style: three principles captured in a single chair by Knoll, creating a constant dimension in time and space.

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