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Eero Saarinen - Conference Chair 1950

Eero Saarinen Conference Chair

In collaboration with Charles Eames, Eero Saarinen won the Museum of Modern Art's 'Organic Design' competition in 1941 with their ridiculously comfortable and graceful looking Organic Chair – the perfect blend of form and function. Following this success, Saarinen plunged himself into further studies on how to produce a comfortable chair through the shape of its shell rather than the depth of its upholstery.

[caption id="attachment_1727" style="text-align: center;" width="480"]Organic Chair The Organic Chair[/caption]

His initial research was spent working with fibreglass and using this material to create a new, comfortable task chair design. But, after an approach by Florence Knoll, suggesting he make her "a big chair I can curl up in... like a basket of pillows", he went big, really big, and produced his (Model 70) Womb Chair design in 1946. It was an instant success and has gone on to become one of the most iconic chair designs from that period and certainly planted Saarinen as an essential figure in mid-century design. But Saarinen was still keen on producing a range of smaller, task seating and by making a reduction in form of his Womb Chair design; his Executive Models 71 (arm chair) and 72 (side chair) were first realised in 1950.

[caption id="attachment_1728" style="text-align: center;" width="480"]Womb Chair The Womb Chair and Footstool[/caption]

64 years later, the design has stood its ground and is still an immediate go-to chair for anyone looking for stylish and supremely comfortable dining or breakout seating. It is still referred to as the Executive Chair in the US but a few years ago, the name was changed to the Conference Chair by Knoll Studio (the European arm of Knoll International) here in the UK and across mainland Europe.

Conference Chair

It has always been available to order upholstered in a wide range of fabrics and leathers and the 4-leg base is finished in either solid oak wood or chromed steel. But, Knoll have recently introduced a couple of new wooden leg finishes, in the form of walnut or grey stained oak, and also a 'Special Edition' upholstery leather called Venezia - a beautifully soft, full grain leather with a beeswax finish available in 5 colours.

Conference Chair

We currently have examples of the Conference Chair, with the new grey stained oak legs, on display here at the Store along with a sample book of the new Venezia Leather range.