Walter Knoll is known as a furniture brand of modernity.
The history of the Knoll family is inextricably linked to this time of awakening and the developments of the age. The company has repeatedly made its mark on furniture history, and created classic pieces and icons of the avant-garde. On the occasion of its 150-year anniversary, Walter Knoll presents the “Classic Edition”: classics that recount furnishing history. With reissued products and familiar favourites – to explore and rediscover. All with their very own story.
Vostra exudes the charm of memory. As far back as the fifties, the armchair was courageous enough to make a statement about casual seating. Today, it once again stands for lifestyle. Unconventional and easily remembered, it soon became a symbol of the time of awakening. Today, still an example of the timeless quality of good design.
In post-war Germany, Walter Knoll was publicising a modern way of life. His son Hans Knoll supported him in this: in 1947, he sent his father the »Vostra« model, a small belted armchair made of beechwood, and designed by Jens Risom. With its clear lines, »Vostra« corresponded to the attitude to life and helped Walter Knoll regain international recognition. Presented in the upholstered version at the »Neues Wohnen« (New Living) exhibition in Cologne in 1949, the armchair was one of the first great seating ranges of the post-war era and became the embodiment of modern living.
The rediscovery. A connoisseur sees its charm at a glance: the reading and relaxing armchair 368 is a quiet classic of mid-century modernity. Designed in 1956 by Arno Votteler for Walter Knoll, the armchair tells of the inspirations of the time: Scandinavian objectivity and austerity in the best possible sense. The deliberately angular volume of the upholstery rests on a delicate tubular steel framework.
Attractive detail: the armrests made of solid wood, elegantly shaped for comfort. With a high or a low backrest – the essence of lightness for a timeless appearance.
In 1956, Germany was still being subjected to a classic style of furnishing. The whole of Germany? No, because a small bucket seat appeared on the scene that was to change the design of the age. Its allies came from Scandinavia, the Bauhaus and the avant-garde. The armchair set flowing forms and sweeping vital lines against the straightness prevalent at the time. Experiments with new materials and the invention of plastic made this possible. In the Classic Edition the 369 armchair reminds us of the fact that Walter Knoll was often an advocate of the avant-garde and that the company is still creating designs today which will enjoy lasting validity.
At the time, the Cologne Furniture Fair praised the small armchair, developed by Walter Knoll back in the 1950s, as an »ornament of the modern room with its own elegant form and its tasteful touch«. Pleasing as well as timeless, the classic screams lifestyle.
The new elegance. The designers had presumably imagined a shared aperitif or a conversation in the salon when they came up with this small armchair in 1957. The Lady’s Chair 375 has a light-footed and charming air. It's not a chair for lolling around, but taking a seat. And the slightly larger easy chair 376 is also reminiscent of familiar social rituals. A genuine Gentleman’s Chair, particularly supple and comfortable.
The dawn of a new age: the 1950s in Germany were characterised by joie de vivre and an increase in prosperity. The economy was beginning to gather momentum; the age of the economic miracle had begun. A new affluence and a progressive way of life were determining the everyday routine. The easy chair 375 by Walter Knoll reflected the spirit of the times. A fine seat, lightweight and comfortable. For the new retreat into private life.
The new Chesterfield. The special quality of craftsmanship, upholstery expertise and modernity – that is what Walter Knoll is all about – as is Haussmann 310. Designed in 1962 as part of the Swiss Design Collection, Walter Knoll is reissuing the legendary club armchair by Swiss architects and designers Trix and Robert Haussmann. The aim at the time: »To design a piece of furniture that offers the comfort of the classic Chesterfield but looks lighter,« says Robert Haussmann.
As with all Chesterfield furniture, the characteristic diamond pattern structures back and seat. The traditional upholstering technique of button tufting makes sure of that. A sign of masterly upholstery experience. Modernity is reflected in the delicate legs – a tribute to the Bauhaus movement.
»This club armchair has the charm of something that has grown old with dignity. And creates this inimitable ambience of familiar noblesse,« continues Robert Hauss- mann. Originality that is here to stay – with the quality and substance to be something special, not only today but also tomorrow.
FK – Scandinavian design by Fabricius and Kastholm – is classic design history. In the sixties the bucket seat was laying down markers for a new formal language: FK – the unique form, the clear contours, the perfect lines. Bucket and three-star base, volume and lightness – a graphic image of compelling conciseness.
In 1969 the armchair was awarded the first federal style prize for »Gute Form« (Good Shape) and became an icon of minimalism in design. A wave of adulation that can still be felt today.
As a genuine classic, Fabricius tells the story of furniture. The Conversation Chair from the seventies combines the tradition of Scandinavian design and functional aesthetics with the charm of casual seating comfort. Precise in the processing of metal, top quality in the surfaces: armrest and supporting structure frame the slide-in seat. The result is lightness and a slim-line shape. Whether as a soloist or an ensemble, it was made for lounges, lobbies and living rooms. And of course for design museums.
A genuine classic. The Berlin Chair is once again taking to the stage. Designed in 1975 by Meinhard von Gerkan for the VIP lounge of Berlin's Tegel Airport, Walter Knoll has reissued this icon of design history. Clear, logical, authentic: the Berlin Chair – a masterpiece of modern design. Inspired by functionalism and the resoluteness of Scandinavian design, the armchair is still a prime example of timeless aesthetics today.
Shiny steel carries supple leather. Elaborately finished, with pleasantly soft upholstering. It is the clean lines, the materials, their innate harmony and the special top-grade craftsmanship that characterise the value of this design. And not least the precision: the art of leaving nothing to chance. More gently, more quietly, with greater endurance. Timeless and familiar in the very best sense of the word. For sensitive connoisseurship and orientation in a world of objects.