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Saarinen Executive Armless Chair
Iconic Designs

Saarinen Executive Armless Chair

About the Design

With the founding of the Knoll Planning Unit at Knoll Associates in 1946, the modern open-plan office was born. Soon after the launch of the internationally celebrated design firm’s workplace-focused division, the Saarinen Executive Armless chair would emerge as one of its seating staples. A departure from more rigid office seating, the 1950 design by Finnish architect Eero Saarinen (1910–61) offered some of the comfort of his 1948 Womb chair in a more formal shape. Nicknamed “that chair with the hole in the back” for its sculptural seat back, it fit easily into mid-century boardrooms and corporate cafeterias as part of the harmonious interiors designed by Florence Knoll, a legendary figure in mid-century modernism.

Saarinen and Knoll met while they were studying at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where Saarinen’s father, Eliel, was dean. Their lifelong friendship led to some of the most revered designs of the 20th century. Like his work in architecture, from the Gateway Arch to the TWA Flight Center, Saarinen’s furniture used innovations in postwar materials to create dynamic volumes. The Executive Armless chair expanded on Saarinen’s ergonomic experiments in molded plywood furniture that he had designed in collaboration with fellow Cranbrook alumnus Charles Eames (with assistance from Ray Eames), work which had been honored in the Museum of Modern Art’s Organic Design Competition.

The chairs introduced as the 71 and 72 Series found their initial multipurpose use in the Knoll office interiors but soon were popular in home dining rooms and living spaces. Knoll, Inc. continues to produce the Saarinen Executive Armless chair, with options updating the design’s original fiberglass form including an exposed plastic back or upholstered polyurethane shell joined by a contoured plywood seat and sturdy legs in steel or wood.

Executive Armless Chair

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Pair of Eero Saarinen Executive Side Chairs
By Eero Saarinen, Knoll
Located in Port Jervis, NY
Pair of Saarinen executive side chairs by Knoll. Not signed but they came from the IBM building in East Fishkill NY. Sold and priced as a pair. Vinyl fabric could use an update. Seat...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Side Chairs

Materials

Steel, Chrome

Saarinen Executive Armless Chairs in Navy Velvet, Obsidian Matte
By Eero Saarinen, Knoll
Located in Wilton, CT
We have been restoring Saarinen Executive Chairs for years in every fabric one can imagine, right in our very own workroom. Skilled craftsmen bring each chair back to life to live on...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Steel

Saarinen Executive Armless Chairs in Dove Luxe Suede by Eero Saarinen for Knoll
By Eero Saarinen, Knoll
Located in Wilton, CT
We have been restoring Saarinen executive chairs for years in every fabric one can imagine, right in our very own workroom. Skilled craftsmen bring each chair back to life to live on...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Ch...

Materials

Steel, Chrome

Early Version of Eero Saarinen Side or Desk Chair for Knoll
By Eero Saarinen
Located in St. Louis, MO
Early version of Eero Saarinen side chair for Knoll with early label. This version has aluminum legs and early base configuration, unlike the later segmented legs. Chair should be re...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Side Chairs

Materials

Aluminum

Eero Saarinen Conference Chair, Knoll International
By Eero Saarinen
Located in Berlin, Berlin
A conference chairs designed by Eero Saarinen. U.S.A., Knoll International, circa 1970. The conference chair, no. 72 with chrome-plated metal frame and new velvet covered seat and...
Category

Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Metal

Eero Saarinen for Knoll Side Chair, a Pair
By Eero Saarinen
Located in Plainview, NY
A pair of Mid-Century Modern side chairs designed by Eero Sarrinen (Finnish/American, 1910-1961) for Knoll Associates, USA. The chairs are finely upholstered in a stylish turmeric or...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Side Chairs

Materials

Metal

Pair of Eero Saarinen Conference Chairs, Knoll International
By Eero Saarinen
Located in Berlin, Berlin
A pair of conference chairs designed by Eero Saarinen. U.S.A., Knoll International, circa 1970. The conference chair, no. 72 with chrome plated metal frame and new velvet covered ...
Category

Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Metal

Pair of Eero Saarinen Executive Chairs by Knoll / Nordiska Kompaniet, 1960s
By NK (Nordiska Kompaniet), Eero Saarinen
Located in Uppsala, SE
Pair of Eero Saarinen executive chairs by Nordiska Kompaniet under license from Knoll International Ltd. These examples were produced in 1962. They still have their original grey/bla...
Category

Mid-20th Century Swedish Mid-Century Modern Chairs

Materials

Metal

Saarinen Executive Side Chair with Metal Legs for Knoll
By Eero Saarinen, Knoll
Located in Glendale, CA
Saarinen Executive side chair with metal legs for Knoll. Originally designed in 1946, this late 1990s / early 2000s edition is executed in green and white with Knoll manufacturer's s...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Chairs

Materials

Chrome

The Executive Series
More Eero Saarinen Designs
Saarinen Pedestal Table
Saarinen Pedestal Table
Average Price
$3,331
Number Available
61
Saarinen Pedestal Table
Materials
Metal, Aluminum, Stone
Styles
Mid Century Modern
Finnish-American architect and furniture maker Eero Saarinen (1910–61) declared that he “wanted to clear up the slum of legs” crowded beneath tables. Enter his Pedestal collection, which Knoll launched in 1958. The collection included chairs, stools and tables of various sizes all balanced on a single supporting leg. Saarinen got his start in furniture as a student at Michigan’s Cranbrook Academy of Art, where his father, architect Eliel Saarinen, was director. Some of Eero’s earliest work wa...
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