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Florence Knoll Sofa
Iconic Designs

Florence Knoll Sofa

About the Design

Although Michigan native Florence Knoll (1917–2019) modestly described her furniture as “meat and potatoes” designs that were largely “fill-in pieces” for the Knoll Associates catalog, works like the Florence Knoll sofa demonstrate her artful expression of modern proportions. Introduced in 1954, the sofa was made during the American designer and entrepreneur’s direction of the Knoll Planning Unit, the company’s pioneering “design consultant service” that would define the look of the postwar workplace. The versatile Florence Knoll sofa, with its angular silhouette and tasteful mix of textures — from the colorful upholstery options to its exposed metal frame and legs — could as easily fit into the glass lobby of a skyscraper as the living room of a home.

Before she met her husband, Hans Knoll, with whom she built Knoll Associates into an international tastemaker of mid-century style, Florence studied under architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe at the Illinois Institute of Technology and worked for architects Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. That mentorship — from the major figures of the Bauhaus — had a significant impact on her approach to “total design,” in which each part of an interior was not just an object, it was a component of a comprehensive whole. Mies’s influence in particular is evident in the simplicity of the Florence Knoll sofa, its modern materials and restrained design channeling his “less is more” ethos. Its polished chrome steel legs and cushions with their clean lines further provided an architectural contrast to more sculptural pieces being created for Knoll Associates by designers such as Harry Bertoia, Eero Saarinen and Isamu Noguchi.

The numerous pieces Florence Knoll designed for the Knoll Associates furniture line were envisioned as design solutions for the changing needs in residential and office spaces. The Florence Knoll Lounge chair, also released in 1954, was a scaled-down companion to the sofa, so together they could offer flexible seating for a meeting space or entertaining area in the home.

Knoll may have designed her sofa because she needed a minimal piece as an element in the diverse interiors being filled with her company’s furnishings, but it’s now among the most celebrated of the company’s designs. Knoll, Inc. continues to produce the Florence Knoll sofa over half a century after it was introduced, and vintage models are still prized for their sturdy construction and timeless qualities.

Florence Knoll Sofa

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Florence Knoll for Knoll Cabinet
By Knoll, Florence Knoll
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Florence Knoll for Knoll Hanging or standing Cabinet. Always meant to hang from the wall, last used as a bar. Added feet for ease of placement. Walnut outer cabinet, and cream col...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Credenzas

Materials

Metal

Knoll Associates Couch, Park Avenue, New York, Made in Italy
By Florence Knoll, Knoll
Located in Palm Springs, CA
Knoll Associates sofa on steel frame. Sofa has been restored with new webbing, foam and upholstery. Label located on the left hand side of sofa. Label is Knoll Associates, 320 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10022. Made in Italy. Upholstered in Knoll textile called Infinite in Sugar (Infinite is a highly usable upholstery and wrapped panel fabric showing continuous circles defined by a fine black outline...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Steel

1960s Florence Knoll Sofa Reupholstered in Wool Mohair
By Florence Knoll, Knoll
Located in Palm Springs, CA
A stunning vintage 1960s Florence Knoll sofa that we had redone and reupholstered in a beautiful Kravet wool mohair. Color is called indigo blue. A rich navy color. We had 6 extra ba...
Category

Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Steel

Florence Knoll, Sofa "Parallel Bar" for Knoll, 1954 / 1960. Newly upholstered.
By Florence Knoll, Knoll
Located in Paris, FR
Lovely Two seat sofa model 52 also known as ‘Parallel Bar’ designed by Florence Knoll in 1954 and produced by Knoll International from 1955 to 1973 This sofa is an edition from the v...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Steel, Chrome, Metal

Mid-Century sofa with wooden side table / end cabinet by Florence Knoll 1960
By Florence Knoll
Located in Antwerpen, Antwerp
Mid-Century sofa with wooden side table / end cabinet designed by Florence Knoll in the 1960s. The sofa has a black metal frame that suppo...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Fabric, Wood

Florence Knoll Brown Sofa ~ Model 2577
By Knoll, Florence Knoll
Located in New York, NY
Florence Knoll three seat sofa by Knoll Associates. Model 2577. Original Naugahyde brown upholstery with chrome-plated steel base. Unsigned. USA, circa 1960-1970. Dimensions:...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Metal, Chrome

Florence Knoll Model 65 Slipper Lounge Chair, 1956
By Florence Knoll, Knoll
Located in Dronten, NL
Slipper chair designed in 1955 by Florence Knoll and produced by Knoll International. Model No. 65, produced from 1955-1973. We bought this chair directly from the family who bough...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Chrome

Florence Knoll for Knoll International Sofa in Teak and Grey Upholstery
By Knoll, Florence Knoll
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Florence Knoll for Knoll International, sofa, model '2557', fabric, teak, 1955 This sofa model 2557 is designed by Florence Knoll for Knoll International in 1955. This sofa is simpl...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Fabric, Teak

Mid Century Modern Florence Knoll Chrome Base Sofa Newly Upholstered
By Florence Knoll
Located in Chicago, IL
Mid Century Modern Florence Knoll Chrome Base Sofa Newly Upholstered in a Blue Velvet Beautiful MCM Florence Knoll Sofa made in the Style of Jonathan Adler's Lampert Sofa...
Category

Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Chrome

Wonderful No. 26 Sofa by Florence Knoll for Knoll International
By Florence Knoll, Knoll
Located in Munich, DE
Rare no.26 by florence knoll in showroom condition. Hardly used only re-upholstered and used one time for a photo shooting and very exclusive model redone with very cosy fabric in wa...
Category

Vintage 1960s German Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Metal

Parallel Bar Sofa, Model 57, by Florence Knol, USA, 1960s.
By Florence Knoll, Knoll
Located in Barcelona, ES
Sofa Model nº57, "Parallel bar" series, designed by Florence Knoll in 1959 and produced by “Knoll International” during the 1960s. The sofa, two-seater, with arms at both ends, is...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Chrome

Pristine Florence Knoll Sofa for Knoll International
By Florence Knoll, Knoll
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Pristine Florence Knoll Sofa for Knoll International. Upholstered in gorgeous Sina Pearson fabric. Florence Knoll was a pioneering designer and entrepreneur who created the modern...
Category

Early 2000s American Modern Sofas

Materials

Stainless Steel

off White Leather and Stainless Steel Parallel Bar Sofa by Florence Knoll
By Florence Knoll, Knoll
Located in Palm Springs, CA
Off white leather and brush stainless steel parallel bar sofa designed by Florence Knoll for Knoll. This came out of the Australian embassy and retains their label. This was reupholstered about 10 years ago. Was used only in winter home...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Stainless Steel

Florence Knoll for Knoll Mid-Century Modern Sofa in Fuchsia
By Knoll, Florence Knoll
Located in Philadelphia, PA
An iconic sofa designed by Florence Knoll and produced by Knoll in the early 1960s. It features a stainless steel frame with fuchsia tweed upholstery.
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Stainless Steel

90in Vintage Mid-Century Knoll Three-Seat Sofa
By Florence Knoll
Located in Pasadena, TX
Iconic Florence Knoll three-seat sofa in original berry fabric. Chrome legs. Chrome has been restored. Measures: 90 in.
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Chrome

Florence Knoll for Knoll Original Tufted 3-Seat Sofa Cream White, USA 1954-2000s
By Florence Knoll, Knoll
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Florence Knoll for Knoll Original Tufted 3-Seat Sofa Cream White, USA 1954-2000s. Warmed through color and texture, the Florence Knoll Sofa is a scale...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Textile

Florence Knoll Midcentury Walnut Sofa
By Florence Knoll
Located in Countryside, IL
Florence Knoll midcentury walnut sofa. This sofa measures: 90.75 wide x 28.5 deep x 31.5 inches high, with a seat height of 15.5 and arm height of...
Category

Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

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Florence Knoll Sofa & Chair Set on Steel Bases in Heather Grey Tweed Fabric
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Florence Knoll for Knoll Model 26 Sofa with Original Fabric
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