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Walter Knoll

German

Inspired by the Bauhaus — founded in 1919 by Walter GropiusWalter Knoll decided to bet big on modernism. He launched his eponymous German furniture maker in 1925, and the company has been going strong ever since.

Most design lovers are familiar with Knoll, the manufacturer of furniture by Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertoia, Marcel Breuer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and other modernist giants. It was founded by Hans Knoll in 1941 and led after his death by his wife, Florence Knoll, the doyenne of postwar American office interiors. In recent years, the company has added collections by Maya Lin, Rem Koolhaas, Frank Gehry and David Adjaye, among others, and encouraged customers to do what some of them had been doing all along: use Knoll’s “office furniture” at home.

Fewer Americans are familiar with Walter Knoll, the company Hans’s father founded in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1925 and later moved to nearby Herrenberg. That company has existed in the shadow of the larger U.S.-based Knoll for decades.

Both companies descended from the German manufacturer of ornate leather goods established by Wilhelm Knoll in 1866. In 1907, Wilhelm’s sons, Willy and Walter, took over the father’s business and started producing leather club chairs. Five years later, the company introduced its Nestra line of stripped-down wood and leather seating, foreshadowing the family’s future innovations.

In 1925, when he was 50, Walter Knoll launched the Walter Knoll Company, which soon released the revolutionary Prodomo line of chairs, whose upholstered seats and backs are supported by tubular metal frames. Other lightweight Walter Knoll pieces were used in the passenger compartment of the Hindenburg zeppelin.

In 1927, Walter Knoll furnished five apartments designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for the Weissenhof Estate, 21 prototypes of “workers’ housing of the future” constructed as part of an exhibition in Stuttgart. A decade later, Walter’s son Hans, then 24, traveled to the United States to market his father’s furniture and to make a new life for himself in the New World. But inspired by his encounters with Jens Risom — a Danish-born designer who furthered Scandinavian modernism in the United States — Hans broke away from Walter, creating Knoll Associates (now known simply as Knoll). Florence Schust (later to become Hans’s wife) joined him in the company in 1943, and soon they were working with mid-century modern icons such as Saarinen and Bertoia on new designs and licensing Mies’s Barcelona chair.

After the war, with his factories destroyed and labor and materials in short supply, Walter Knoll turned to Hans for help. Hans sent over several pieces from his Vostra line, designed by Risom. Walter replaced the web seats with upholstery and launched his version of the Vostra at the New Living exhibition in Cologne in 1949. It became hugely successful, persuading many Germans still accustomed to traditional furniture to give modernism a go.

Walter Knoll retired in 1964, but his namesake firm continued growing in Germany. Just like the American Knoll, Walter Knoll has found that some customers want to use pieces originally meant as office furniture in their houses. In fact, these pieces give living and dining rooms a crispness that almost no residential furniture can match.

Find vintage Walter Knoll lounge chairs, sofas, tables and other furniture on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$1,890
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Walter Knoll Lounge Chair by Arno Votteler Model 350, 1950s
By Walter Knoll, Arno Votteler
Located in Oostrum-Venray, NL
Walter Knoll Lounge Chair by Arno Votteler Model 350, 1950s Walter Knoll Inspired by the Bauhaus - founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius - Walter Knoll decided to focus heavily on modernism. He launched his eponymous German furniture maker in 1925 and the company has been going strong ever since. Most design enthusiasts know Knoll, the manufacturer of furniture by Eero Saarinen...
Category

20th Century German Mid-Century Modern Walter Knoll

Materials

Chrome

  • Walter Knoll Lounge Chair by Arno Votteler Model 350, 1950s
  • Walter Knoll Lounge Chair by Arno Votteler Model 350, 1950s
  • Walter Knoll Lounge Chair by Arno Votteler Model 350, 1950s
  • Walter Knoll Lounge Chair by Arno Votteler Model 350, 1950s
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H 32.68 in W 29.14 in D 25.6 in
Walter Knoll Andoo Leather Chair by EOOS in STOCK
By Walter Knoll
Located in New York, NY
The soft leather of this chair appeals to those who sit in it, while solid wood ensures stability. The elastically springy back and the pocket spring cores in the seat offer the seat...
Category

2010s European Modern Walter Knoll

Materials

Leather

Bauhaus Steelpipe-Fauteuil by Walter Knoll for Tonet Brothers (Vienna, 1935)
By Thonet, Walter Knoll
Located in Wien, AT
Objekt: Fauteuil (Stahlrohr-Freischwinger, Bauhaus) Entwurf: Thonet / Walter Knoll, Wien um 1932 Modell-Nummer: S411/K411 Ausführung: Thonet, Wien um 1932 Maße in cm (H x B x T): 78 ...
Category

1930s Austrian Bauhaus Vintage Walter Knoll

Materials

Steel, Chrome

2010s Lord Norman Foster for Walter Knoll Model 500 Leather Arm Lounge Chair
By Sir Norman Foster, Walter Knoll
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Listed for sale is a very rare and unusual Walter Knoll 500 chair in black leather designed by Lord Norman Foster, the renowned British architect. Walter Kno...
Category

2010s American Modern Walter Knoll

Materials

Aluminum

Rudolf B. Glatzel Vintage Walter Knoll Art Collection Leather & Stainless Chair
By Rudolf Bernd Glatzel, Walter Knoll
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Listed for sale is an original vintage 1970's Rudolf B. Glatzel armchair, produced by Walter Knoll in Germany (The company owned by Hans Knoll of Knoll International's family). This ...
Category

1970s American Modern Vintage Walter Knoll

Materials

Stainless Steel

Lord Norman Foster Model 500 Black Leather 2 Seat Settee Sofa for Walter Knoll
By Sir Norman Foster, Walter Knoll
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Listed for sale is a very rare and unusual Walter Knoll 500 settee in black leather, designed by Lord Norman Foster, the renowned British architect. Two sofa...
Category

2010s American Modern Walter Knoll

Materials

Steel

2014 Bob Lounge/Side Swivel Chair by Pearson Lloyd for Coalesse / Walter Knoll
By Walter Knoll, Pearson Lloyd
Located in Philadelphia, PA
This is a Bob Guest Swivel Chair, Model 231, designed by Luke Pearson and Tom Lloyd of Pearson Lloyd for Coalesse and Walter Knoll in 2014. The listed price includes one chair. We ha...
Category

2010s American Modern Walter Knoll

Materials

Aluminum

Walter Knoll George Cantilever Stacking Chairs designed by EOOS in Black Leather
By Walter Knoll
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Listed for sale is a single (chairs are sold individually but multiple chairs are available) ""George"" armchair, designed by EOOS of Vienna and produced by Walter Knoll. In the US, ...
Category

2010s German Modern Walter Knoll

Materials

Steel

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Walter Knoll furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Walter Knoll furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of animal skin and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Walter Knoll furniture, although black editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original furniture by Walter Knoll were created in the mid-century modern style in europe during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Burkhard Vogtherr, COR, and Egon Eiermann. Prices for Walter Knoll furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at £228 and can go as high as £13,594, while a piece like these, on average, fetch £2,257.

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