Knoll to debut new brand pavilion and refreshed design direction at Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2023
Jonathan Olivares to make debut as new Knoll design director alongside pavilion collaborators OFFICE, Jonathan Muecke, Jeroen Provoost and Les Éclaireurs
Photo credit: Bas Princen
Milan, 18 April 2023 – At this year’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile, Knoll will debut a renewed design direction, led by Jonathan Olivares, Senior Vice President of Design, beginning with the introduction of the all-new Salone del Mobile pavilion. The pavilion—designed by OFFICE, the studio founded by Belgian architect duo Kersten Geers and David Van Severen— refers to the domestic scale, providing rooms, gathering spaces and gardens, and is built with recycled and recyclable materials.
The pavilion houses the brand’s new collections, such as Piero Lissoni's Outdoor Collection, a re-launch of an archival lounge-height Saarinen Table, and Richard Schultz's 1966 Collection in a dark red frame, alongside the brand’s iconic products, such as Tulip Chairs, Barcelona® Collection, Florence Knoll Sofa and Bertoia Collection.
“At its best, Knoll has acted as a platform that captured and catalyzed the zeitgeist in architecture and design,” said Jonathan Olivares, Senior Vice President of Design, Knoll. “The pavilion provides a residential setting for Knoll to inhabit with its existing and new collections, and a space to dream about future pieces as we embark on a new chapter in Knoll’s history.”
Knoll Salone del Mobile Pavilion by OFFICE
The new Knoll pavilion is a series of interconnected rooms, alluding to indoors and outdoors, providing intimate and open areas where visitors can experience a technological and sustainable vision for our time. Built of aluminium posts and beams and aluminium and glass panels, with a recycled concrete terrazzo floor, the pavilion is imagined as a reflective and colour-neutral home, which is made of largely recycled materials—and can be fully recycled after use.
Asked to consider Knoll’s roots in Eliel Saarinen’s and Mies van der Rohe’s respective ideologies, OFFICE has delivered a space that addresses and enhances the contested dream of a modernist utopia and integrates nature as an indispensable aspect of the environment.
“Nature is fundamental to our work. To us, it’s always about the position of architecture in relation to the reality of the world—and to life,” said Kersten Geers and David Van Severen, Co-Principals, OFFICE. “In that sense, architecture can perhaps be understood as an organizing device. In fact, some of our projects—even when they’re finished—would be nothing without nature.”
Along the pathway are interior gardens designed by landscape designer Jeroen Provoost, who curated a selection of greenery that recalls desert landscapes to create a soft contrast with the aluminum and concrete pavilion materials. The gardens serve as a backdrop to Knoll’s products by highlighting nature as an essential part of living. A sophisticated lighting system created by Les Éclaireurs reproduces different "sunlight scenarios" within the green areas. The light changes colour and intensity during the day, nodding to the conditions of natural light.
The pavilion also contains two-dimensional and three-dimensional art works by designer Jonathan Muecke. In the spirit of the works that Florence Knoll commissioned from Harry Bertoia for Knoll showrooms in the 1950s, Jonathan Muecke’s works introduce shapes and textures in a scale that invigorate Knoll’s spaces in our time. The works on display, including PS (Painted Shape) and FS (Flat Shape), are the first of many works commissioned from Jonathan Muecke for future Knoll showrooms.
At the centre of this new space is Piero Lissoni's Outdoor Collection, offering a new interpretation Richard Schultz’s 1966 Outdoor Collection. The pavilion features recent introductions by Antonio Citterio and Piero Lissoni, alongside timeless Knoll classics by Charles Pfister, Eero Saarinen, Frank Gehry, Joseph D’Urso, Florence Knoll, and Harry Bertoia. Three classics have also been revitalized; Eero Saarinen’s Tulip Table has been reintroduced in its original lounge height, Charles Pfister’s 1971 Sofa has been softened to honor its earliest manifestation, and Joseph D’Urso’s 1980 Low Table is reintroduced to the European market.
Salone Internazionale del Mobile: what’s new in the 2023 edition
Lissoni Outdoor Collection
Designed by Piero Lissoni
The collaboration with Piero Lissoni began in 2007 and has continued to this day with light aesthetic collections such as the Avio Sofa, the Grasshopper Table, the KN Seating family and the more recent Matic and Panoramic Collections, to name a few.
This year Lissoni has decided to focus on outdoor furniture, creating an unprecedented outdoor collection that reflects his elegant style. The element that unites all the products in the collection—divided between two- and three-seater sofas, armchairs, stools and coffee tables of various shapes and sizes—is the linearity of the design.
What stands out is the contemporary design and modernist style typical of Knoll's historic 1966 Collection by Richard Schultz, which inspired the architect and which he reinterpreted in a modern key: Piero Lissoni's Outdoor Collection is distinguished by its essential lines and comes with an aluminium frame, available in white, onyx and dark red. The micro-perforated pattern on the back of the sofa and armchair's backrest catches the eye and defines its contemporary aesthetic, while the large cushions and upholstery of the seats ensure an absolute level of comfort and informal relaxation. The covers of the seat and back cushions are fully removable and suitable for extended outdoor use.
To accompany the new outdoor proposals, Knoll is introducing a new selection of outdoor fabrics that allow numerous customisation options, ensuring maximum performance and original colour combinations.
Says Piero Lissoni on the new introductions, "The Lissoni Outdoor Collection quietly complements other Knoll outdoor collections. It consists of an aluminium structure, which is why it is a product designed to last or to be transformed into something else at the end of its life.”
Saarinen Lounge-Height Table
Designed by Eero Saarinen
Saarinen's furniture for Knoll includes the famous and revolutionary collection of pedestal-based tables and chairs from 1957 and is considered one of the most iconic examples of post-war design. In his approach to architecture and furniture design, Eero Saarinen combines the essential with striking solutions. Every single detail of this collection speaks to the uniqueness of its creator's vision, starting from the search for marble for the tops to the unmistakable profile of the pedestal base that seems to grow out of the ground and become one with the surrounding environment.
To complete the Knoll offer, an archival height has been reissued for the iconic table collection in the round version—66cm for two types of diameters: 91cm and 107cm—able to adapt to all contemporary living spaces with style and elegance.
Materials and finishes remain unchanged for the collection: the base is in white or black rilsan and the top is available in a wide variety of marble, white or black laminate, or various types of precious wood.
The Richard Schultz 1966 Collection ®
Designed by Richard Schultz
Richard Schultz remains best known for his collaboration with Harry Bertoia, who created the iconic steel wire seating collection at the time. A few years later, Florence Knoll, perhaps mindful of this, expressly asked Schultz to create a collection of outdoor furniture resistant to the open air. Thus, was born the "Leisure Collection" now known as the "1966 Collection," the first contemporary outdoor collection that immediately became a classic and is now available with a dark red frame contrasting with the white of the mesh that characterises the whole seat.
The new collection with dark red frame includes the 1966 Tables, rectangular or square with porcelain steel top, the 1966 Chair with and without armrests, the 1966 Chaise Longue with or without adjustable backrest, the 1966 Armchair with armrests, the 1966 Serving Cart and the 1966 Square Tables in different sizes.
Designed by Charles Pfister
Charles Pfister, whose design philosophy is reflected in a restrained elegance, designed a sofa collection in 1971 with solid proportions that make it a cornerstone of the company, an example of timeless craftsmanship and design. The Pfister Collection includes several lounge variants including armchairs, and two and three-seater sofas. The same collection is renewed and offered with a more comfortable seat designed to optimise comfort.
A wide range of leather and fabric finishes enhances the possibility of customising Pfister in every detail, so that it can easily fit into any type of environment.
D’Urso Low Tables
Designed by Joseph D'Urso
Joseph D'Urso, a renowned interior designer with a minimalist style, designed a collection of tables in 1980. Initially developed for the US market, the collection has now also reached the European and Asian markets. Hallmarks of the collection are the simple lines that combine streamlined proportions and industrial materials, highlighting D'Urso's preference for objects designed to adapt to any function and situation. The D'Urso Low Table has a round or square top and is available in a variety of materials. Its structure, complemented by casters, also allows for convenient movement within spaces.
Founded in 1938, Knoll is a globally recognized leader in modern design and the founding sponsor of the World Monuments Fund Modernism at Risk program. Knoll uses modern design to create places people love to be, and over the last 85 years, its commitment to modern design and ongoing dialogue with designers and customers has yielded a timeless collection of pioneering products for high-performance workplaces, work-from-home settings, and luxury residential interiors. A recipient of the National Design Award for Corporate and Institutional Achievement from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, Knoll has championed sustainable practices in manufacturing. Knoll is a part of MillerKnoll, a collective of dynamic brands that comes together to design the world we live in. For more information, visit knoll.com.
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