Warren Platner Early Bronze Chair in Raf Simons Mohair
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Warren Platner Early Bronze Chair in Raf Simons Mohair
- Design:Platner ArmchairPlatner Series
- Dimensions:Height: 28.75 in (73.03 cm)Width: 26.5 in (67.31 cm)Length: 28.75 in (73.03 cm)Seat Height: 19 in (48.26 cm)
- Style:Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
- Materials and Techniques:
- Place of Origin:
- Date of Manufacture:1966
- Condition:Reupholstered. Wear consistent with age and use.
- Seller Location:San Diego, CA
- Reference Number:1stDibs: LU936622150052
About the Design
Despite being made of sturdy nickel-plated steel wire rods, the Platner armchair — designed by Warren Platner (1919–2006) — takes on a delicate, organic quality.
The interior designer and furniture maker studied architecture at Cornell University before working in the offices of Raymond Loewy, I.M. Pei and Eero Saarinen. Architecture became Platner’s primary field — the Baltimore native was the 1955 winner of the Rome Prize in Architecture, and he is best known for his glamorous design of the Windows on the World restaurant at the original World Trade Center. Over time, Platner also developed a special interest in furniture and took on interior projects under award-winning Irish-American architect Kevin Roche. As head of interior design for Roche's firm in the mid-1960s, Platner created the now-revered office spaces at the Ford Foundation’s headquarters in New York City. While finishing that project, he went on to open his own practice in Connecticut.
Platner’s armchair was part of the decorative Platner Collection, his seminal work in furniture design. In addition to the armchair, the series — created in 1962 — originally included a dining table, side tables and more. The designer had already built a relationship with Knoll over the years, and the company introduced Platner's chair in 1966. Platner found inspiration for this piece in the now-celebrated designs that came before it, such as Saarinen’s Tulip chair and tables. But rather than firmly plant his work within the futuristic realm of mid-century modernism, Platner incorporated a graceful aesthetic reminiscent of the Louis XV era in his lightweight chair. The Platner armchair is still produced by Knoll today.
About the Designer
Though his vintage furniture and interiors are icons of mid-century modernism, architect and furniture designer Warren Platner took his stylistic inspiration from as far back as 18th-century France, once saying about his seminal collection for Knoll that his design intent was to evoke “the kind of decorative, gentle, graceful kind of design that appeared in period style like Louis XV.”
Indeed, the marriage of modern sensibility and classical grace is a marker of Platner’s style across furnishings and interiors — both genres in which he left an enduring legacy.
Born in 1919 in Baltimore, Maryland, Platner studied architecture at Cornell before cutting his teeth working for design icons like Eero Saarinen and Kevin Roche, eventually serving as head of interior design in the latter’s office. In 1965, Platner opened his own office, in Greenwich, Connecticut, where he continued to hone his particular brand of graceful modernism.
Knoll released the Platner Collection of seating and tables in 1966. (Originally designed in 1962, the suite took nearly four years of development to bring to life.) The decorative bent-metal-and-glass pieces — an armchair, a dining table and more — make certain nods to the trademarks of his former employers, but also to the shapes of historic European furniture. The sculptural elegance of his line recalls Saarinen’s iconic Tulip collection, which includes armchairs and dining tables, while his materiality aligns with Roche’s cutting-edge use of glass and metal for the headquarters of the Ford Foundation in New York.
Many of Platner’s Knoll pieces would go on to find homes in a certain fabled locale: the Windows on the World restaurant at the original World Trade Center, whose interiors Platner was tapped to outfit in the mid-1970s. Upon the opening of the restaurant in 1976, New York Times architecture critic Paul Goldberger dubbed its style “sensuous modernism” — an apt tagline for Platner’s oeuvre as a whole.
Platner died in 2006 at the age of 86. His furniture is still produced by Knoll, and original examples — along with idiosyncratic custom works he created for interior design clients — are coveted by collectors today.
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