Knoll - Furniture Company History
Knoll was founded in 1938 by Hans Knoll. Starting from scratch, Knoll slowly built up a roster of respected designers and a catalogue of impressive furniture designs. In 1943 Knoll furniture hired Florence Schust, a young designer with bright ideas who'd worked with European masters. In 1946 Hans married her, and Florence Knoll became a dynamic partner in their alliance, creating gold-standard furniture, laying out design principles, and enlisting dozens of internationally renowned designers to work with and sell their wares through Knoll.
In 1940 the production offices of Knoll furniture were moved from New York City to Pennsylvania. Florence Knoll took over as the head of Knoll after Hans Knoll died in 1955. Since then Knoll has expanded both within the United States and internationally, boasting production facilities and design studios in East Greenville, Pennsylvania; Toronto, Canada; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Muskegon, Michigan, and two locations in Italy. Several design teams in all locations have come up with groundbreaking furniture designs over the last seven decades.
In that time period, Knoll was responsible for inspiring, creating, manufacturing and popularizing some of the greatest pieces of furniture ever made.
- 1953: Knoll secures the exclusive right to make and sell the furniture of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, arguably the greatest furniture designer ever. His collection includes the Krefeld Collection, the MR Chaise Lounge, and the world famous Barcelona Chair.
- 1952: Knoll manufactures and distributes the Harry Bertoia Collection.
- 1956: Eero Saarinen is commissioned by Knoll to make a chair. He responds with the Tulip Chair, a modern classic.
- 1968: Knoll acquires the catalogue of Marcel Breuer, including the Cesca Chair and the Wassily Chair.
- 1973: Knoll produces the Warren Platner Executive Seating Collection, an office design suite that helped shape modern offices furniture.
- 1988: The Toledo Stacking Chair by Jorge Pensi is made available by Knoll.
- 1992: Knoll commissions icon Frank Gehry to create the Frank Gehry Wood Collection, including the Cross Check, High Sticking, Face Off and Power Play designs.
- 1998: Maya Lin debuts her minimalist Stones Seating collection with Knoll.
- 2003: The Suzanne Lounge by Kazuhide Takahama is produced by Knoll.
Knoll furniture has great taste and a long history of success, working with only the top designers and accepting only the top designs (big and small, important rooms and lesser spaces) from themselves and others. Buying Knoll furniture is buying history, and buying Knoll design is buying beauty, elegance, and timeless style.