With his iconic seating collection, Harry Bertoia transformed industrial wire rods into a new furniture form. The events that made this work possible began a decade earlier at Cranbrook Academy of Art when Bertoia met Florence Knoll Bassett (then Florence Schust). Years later, the Italian-born designer was invited to work for Florence and her husband Hans Knoll. Bertoia was given the freedom to work on whatever suited him, without being held to a strict design agenda, and the result of this arrangement was the Bertoia Seating Collection (1952). Featuring a delicate filigreed appearance that’s supremely strong, these airy seats are sculpted out of steel rods. In his art, Bertoia experimented with open forms and metal work, and these chairs were an extension of that work. “If you look at the chairs, they are mainly made of air, like sculpture," said Bertoia. ”Space passes through them.” After designing his seating collection, Bertoia returned to focusing mostly on sculpture. His work was often used in projects by Eero Saarinen (another Cranbrook friend), notably at MIT and the Dulles International Airport. Manufactured by Knoll according to the original and exacting specifications of the designer. Made in Italy.
Simple, elegant Bench of painted wood slats spanning a metal frame.
Solid wood slats are pretreated to prevent sagging or warping.
Frame is scratch, chip and chemical resistant.
The Knoll logo is stamped into the base of the Bench.
Welded steel rods; polished chrome finish with stainless steel connections.
Italian artist and furniture designer, Harry Bertoia, was thirty-seven years old when he designed the patented Diamond chair for Knoll in 1952. An unusually beautiful piece of furniture, it was strong yet delicate in appearance, and an immediate commercial success in spite of being made almost entirely by hand. With the Diamond chair, Bertoia created an icon of modern design and introduced a new material, industrial wire mesh to the world of furniture design.
Bertoia's career began in the 1930.s as a student at the Cranbrook Academy of Art where he re-established the metal-working studio and, as head of that department, taught from 1939 until 1943 when it was closed due to wartime restrictions on materials. During the war, Bertoia moved to Venice, California, and worked with Charles and Ray Eames at the Evans Products Company, developing new techniques for molding plywood. Read more >