Reframed classics

Consisting of a series of interconnected rooms, the Knoll pavilion at the Milan Furniture Fair was designed by Belgian architecture practice OFFICE, and conceived as a space that envisioned life through a sequence of intimate spaces and elegant flower gardens.

The Knoll stand at Milan Design Week.

Within that sequence, visitors were taken on an eloquent journey through the hallmarks of modern design — from the new finishes of four Bauhaus-era collections to the archival reissue of the Tugendhat Chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and on to Knoll’s newest release, the Perron Pillo Sofa by Willo Perron.

The latter looks to the future of design, with the Pillo Sofa translating the designer’s distinct perspective to an unexpected form — seemingly a stack of oversized pillows — an all-encompassing comfort that feels easy and familiar. With deep seats to be sat in, not on, the sofa is an invitation to curl up and relax.

Platner Armchair and Dining Table.

The four Bauhaus-era collections were on display, each of which will be commercially produced in three new ultra-matte finishes for the first time; white, black and an archival dark red were presented for the MR Chair and MR Tables by Mies van der Rohe, and the Cesca Chairs and Stools, Laccio Tables, and Wassily Chair by Marcel Breuer.

“When these pieces were first made by workshops in Germany their frames were painted, giving us a precedent to build on and license to take on the recolouring,” says Knoll senior vice president of design, Jonathan Olivares. “Seeing the tubular structures in white, black and red, the way these colors interact with the seats and backrests, completely changes our perception of the work and allows us to see them with fresh eyes.”

Womb Chair with Ottoman.

Alongside these, Knoll presented the reissue of the Tugendhat Chair, a Mies van der Rohe masterpiece originally designed in 1929. The sophisticated lounge chair delivers comfort and versatility with a cantilevered base, leather strap back, and sleek form. A pair of untufted cushions and optional armrests top the chair’s pleasingly kinetic frame. Tugendhat’s relaxed yet elevated appeal is ideally suited to how we live and work today — a testament to its timelessness.

That timelessness is perhaps what has always best defined Knoll — its origins, journey, and its contemporary overture. The Barcelona Chair, designed by Mies van der Rohe in 1929 is, arguably, one of the most recognised objects of the last century; the Florence Sofa, a scaled-down translation of the rhythm and proportions of mid-century modern architecture; the Wassily Chair by Marcel Breuer, inspired by the frame of a bicycle and influenced by the constructivist theories of the De Stijl movement, Breuer was still an apprentice when he reduced the classic cub chair to its elemental lines and planes, forever changing the course of furniture design.

The Wassily Chair.

“The beauty of Knoll is not only in the timelessness these design classics offer but also in the pioneering manufacturing processes and materials that continue to offer inspiring contemporary narratives. Knoll’s collections at once articulate the architectural legacy of the brand, and present an uncompromising relevance today,” says Studio Italia’s Joanna Hoeft.

The Tugendhat Chair.

Visit Studio Italia for 30-60% off the entire Knoll collection in store until 15 June, while stocks last.

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