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Tulip Armless Chair
Iconic Designs

Tulip Armless Chair

About the Design

With his iconic Tulip collection, architect and designer Eero Saarinen (1910–61) vowed to “clear up the slum of legs,” as he described the visual clutter resulting from traditional furniture frames in a 1956 TIME magazine cover story. Central to this endeavor is the Pedestal table, whose round top on a slender, graceful pedestal would become a near ubiquitous — and oft-imitated — form. The Tulip armchair and the Tulip armless chair continue this streamlining in Saarinen’s modern, space-age aesthetic.

With its simplified silhouette and fiberglass body, the armless chair is at once elegant and industrial, a feat that Saarinen continually mastered in works ranging from furniture to architecture (think the St. Louis Arch and the TWA Terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, which has reopened as a hotel). The designer originally tried to cast the entire seat in fiberglass, pushing the envelope of modern furniture production, but, to ensure stability, he eventually settled on a cast-aluminum base and fiberglass seat. In 1957, the chair was put into production through Knoll — Saarinen knew pioneering American designer Florence Knoll from his days at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he taught and took on design projects for the school. It has remained one of the legendary firm’s most popular seats ever since.

Given its sculptural shape, the Tulip armless chair can be paired with a Saarinen table for a wholly modern dining set — as it appears throughout the TWA Hotel — or hold its own as a side or accent chair, a popular touch by top residential designers today. The Velcro-attached seat cushion is available in over a dozen upholstery options, though the thoroughly space-age cherry red is undoubtedly the most famous.

Tulip Armless Chair

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Eero Saarinen for Knoll Tulip Pedestal Armless Chairs 6 Available
By Eero Saarinen
Located in Milano, IT
Available 6 tulip chairs from the Pedestal series designed in 1961 by Eero Saarinen for Knoll with original labels. The chairs still have the original cushions. Blue pillows are als...
Category

Late 20th Century European Mid-Century Modern Chairs

Materials

Aluminum

Set of 4 Tulip Dining Chairs by Eero Saarinen Produced by Knoll, circa 1960s
By Eero Saarinen
Located in Geneva, CH
Set of 4 early tulip dining chairs by Eero Saarinen produced by Knoll International, circa 1960. 2 swiveling, 2 fix chairs Indigo blue new cushions.   
Category

Vintage 1960s Swiss Chairs

Materials

Aluminum

Eero Saarinen Set of Six Tulip Swivel Chairs Original Leather Seats, Knoll 1970s
By Eero Saarinen
Located in Vienna, AT
Eero Saarinen set of six tulip swivel chairs original leather seats, Knoll, 1970s. Signed Knoll.
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Leather, Fiberglass

Eight Eero Saarinen for Knoll Tulip Group White Swivel Dining Chairs
By Knoll, Eero Saarinen
Located in Ferndale, MI
Set of eight Saarinen for Knoll tulip base dining chairs. All have swivel base. A few minor nicks and chips but overall very nice above average condition.
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Aluminum

Early Tulip Pedestal Dining Set by Eero Saarinen for Knoll
By Knoll, Eero Saarinen
Located in Munster, NRW
This dining set, consisting of a round dining table and 6 side chairs, dates back to the 1970s and is in very good vintage condition. The white color of the plastic seat shells di...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Sets

Materials

Aluminum

Eero Saarinen Set of Six Tulip Armless Swivel Chairs, Leather Seats, Knoll 1970s
By Eero Saarinen, Knoll
Located in Vienna, AT
Vintage Eero Saarinen set of six tulip armless swivel chairs with grey leather seats, Knoll, 1970s. Signed: Knoll.
Category

Vintage 1970s North American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Beech

Eero Saarinen et Edition Knoll Set of 6 Swiveling Tulip Chairs, 1956
By Knoll, Eero Saarinen
Located in Saint-Ouen, FR
Eero Saarinen (1910-1961) et Edition Knoll Set of 6 swiveling tulip chairs 6 chaises modèle tulipe Brightness and repainted on feet On request re-upholstery is possible in any ki...
Category

Vintage 1970s European Scandinavian Modern Chairs

Materials

Fiberglass

Important Early Tilt Swivel Tulip Desk Chairs by Eero Saarinen for Knoll
By Knoll, Eero Saarinen
Located in Buffalo, NY
Important early Knoll tilt swivel tulip top task chair, Eero Saarinen. I believe this chair was only in production for one year. Produced in very limited quantity. Stylized cast stee...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Swivel Chairs

Materials

Steel