The latest in our series of design icons, the Knoll Saarinen Tulip Chair. Designed by Finnish architect Eero Saarinen in 1956, the Tulip Chair has remained a design staple for almost 70 years. In the designer’s own words, it resolved the “ugly, confusing, unrestful world” underneath tables and chairs. The fibre glass and aluminium chair was handmade in Italy by Knoll International, who still manufactures the chair and matching dining, side and coffee tables to this day.
How can you tell a real Tulip Chair from the Replicas?
As with many design icons there are many inferior replicas on the market. So how do you tell an authentic Tulip Chairs from the rest?
Authentic Tulip Chairs are manufactured by Knoll International and handmade in Italy. They are stamped with the Knoll logo and have Eero Saarinen’s signature engraved on their underside. Knock-off designs will not have any of these original markings and will be plain underneath.
About Eero Saarinen (1910-1961)
After graduating from Yale School of Architecture, Eero joined his father’s Ann Arbor practice to become Saarinen and Saarinen. He taught design at the Cranbrook Academy, the birthplace of American modernism, and had a long career designing for Knoll, which produced his iconic Womb and Tulip chairs. His TWA terminal in New York is a landmark mid-century modern building, recently converted to a hotel.
Since 1938, Knoll has been recognised for creating modern furniture that inspires, evolves, and endures. Steeped in the history of modernism, their vision is carried forward today by the most talented contemporary designers.