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Pair of Mies van der Rohe Brno Chairs by Knoll, circa 1960s

About

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's flat bar Brno Chair is comprised of polished chrome-plated steel and leather, made circa 1960s by Knoll. These chairs retain their original brown leather upholstery and arm pads as well as one of it's original Knoll labels. Designed by Mies van der Rohe in 1930 for his renowned Tugendhat House in Brno, Czech Republic, the Brno Chair reflects the groundbreaking simplicity of its original environment. The chair, an icon of 20th-century design, is celebrated for its lean profile, clean lines and meticulous attention to detail. The Tugendhat House, often considered to be Mies van der Rohe’s defining residential work, is the summation of his ideas incorporated at every level of the design. Architectural historian Peter Blake explains in his book Master Builders: “As in every one of his designs, from skyscrapers to dining chairs, Mies reduces each object to its essential elements, and then refined each detail to a point of almost breathtaking beauty and eloquence. There was nothing in this house that did not reflect this process of distillation to the point of utter perfection; not a window mullion, not a heating pipe, not a lighting fixture, not an ashtray.” While there were 24 Tubular Brno Chairs in the Tugendhat House, there was only one Flat Bar Brno chair in a master bedroom (Grete Tugendhat). Unlike the tubular version, the design was not subsequently put into production. In 1958, Phillip Johnson requested that Knoll produce the flat bar Brno Chair for use in his design of the Four Seasons restaurant. After making a few slight adjustments, including added cushioning (all with the approval of Mies); Knoll reintroduced the chair in 1958. The company continues to produce each chair to Mies’ exacting standards, thanks to a collaboration with the Mies van der Rohe Archives at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Literature: Above information taken directly from the Knoll and The Tugendhat House websites.

Details

  • Dimensions

    H 31.5 in. x W 22.75 in. x D 22.5 in.

    H 80.01 cm x W 57.79 cm x D 57.15 cm

  • Seat height
    17.5 in. (44.45 cm)
  • Seller location
    New York, NY
  • Item location

    1stdibs Gallery at 200 LEX

    200 Lexington Avenue

    New York, NY 10016

  • Reference number
    f86331610135696173fs

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About Knoll (Maker)

As a company that produced many of the most famous and iconic furniture designs of the 20th century, Knoll was a chief influence in the rise of modern design in the United States. Led by Florence Knoll, the firm would draw stellar talents such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Eero Saarinen into its compass. Their work would help change the face of the American home and office.


     The company was formed in 1938 by the German immigrant Hans Knoll. He first worked with his fellow ex-pat, the Danish designer Jens Risom, who created furniture with flowing lines made of wood. While Risom served in World War II, in 1943 Knoll met his future wife, Florence Schust. She had studied and worked with eminent emigré leaders of the Bauhaus, including Mies, Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. She won Knoll over with Bauhaus notions of industrial arts, and an aesthetic that featured flat and tubular metal frames and angular forms. When Hans died in a car crash in 1955, Florence Knoll was appointed head of the company. It was as much through her holistic approach to design—a core division of the firm was dedicated to planning office systems—as Knoll furnishings themselves that she brought about the sleek and efficient transformation of the American workplace.


     Today, classic Knoll furnishings remain staples of modern design collections and decors. A history of modern design is written in pieces such as Mies’ elegant Barcelona Chair, Saarinen’s pedestal Tulip chair, Breuer’s tubular steel Wassily chair and the grid-patterned Diamond chair by Harry Bertoia. As you can see from the items on the following pages, these designs and others have become timeless emblems of the progressive spirit and sleek sophistication of the best of Modernism.

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