Characteristic of the early environment at Knoll, Hans and Florence never demanded that Bertoia design furniture, but instead encouraged him to explore whatever he liked. They simply asked that if he arrived at something interesting, to show them. Bertoia later explained the process.
"I went around and discovered, quite soon, that I was not the man to do research. My feeling was that had to come from an inward direction. I began to rely once more on my own body. I began to think in terms of what I would like as a chair. It started very slowly…I came into rod or wire, whether bent of straight. I seemed to find myself at home. It was logical to make an attempt utilizing the wire.
"Once more, I went through the procedure of positioning, considering the possibility of shapes, then relating, of course, what the wire itself could be, what shapes it might take, whether there were any tools to do it with. There are many aspects of the same things coming into one’s mind, but the very first thing was whether a shape would come up that would begin to serve as a chair, sitting on it, etc. One was taking the shape of a side chair; another was beginning to extend to care of the head. This developed to the point where something could be held on to…You know, when you have something in front of you that can really physically be held, it becomes easier to make changes."
This simple design was the first piece of furniture created by Harry Bertoia for Knoll. Although the bench does not have the signature wire grid of his seating collection, the welded wire base shows an early exploration of the material and foreshadows what was to follow. The bench also makes a great coffee table.
- Solid Wood, Welded Steel Rods
- Height: 38.6 cm /15.2 inch
- Width: 182.8 cm / 72 inch
- Depth: 48.2 cm / 19 inch
- Height: 7.6 cm / 3 inch
- Width: 48.2 cm / 19 inch
- Depth: 48.2 cm / 19 inch
- Outdoor use: With proper care and preventative maintenance, benches specified with painted or stainless steel base and teak slats are appropriate for outdoor use.
- Outdoor paint: Ultra-durable polyester powder coat paint.
- Plastic glides included on sled base to protect floors
- Greenguard Indoor Air Quality Certified®
Many Knoll products are subject to shipping charges. Please check our shipping policies for details.
NOTE: Cushions can be sold separately or in a non-matching collection. Contact us here.
Boasting an extensive portfolio of products ranging from office work systems and residential mid-century modern classics, to textiles and accessories, Knoll is a leader of modern and sustainable design. Iconic designs from classic designers such as Harry Bertoia, Eero Saarinen, Warren Platner, Isamu Noguchi and Florence Knoll herself make up a large component of Knoll's collection, along with innovative contemporary pieces. Knoll's products can be found in private residences and major art museums alike, including 40 products in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. read more...
Founded in 1938, Knoll's reputation for design integrity has a long and decorated history under the guiding principle: "good design is good business." Knoll invests in extensive research, field studies, customer collaborations, and partners with experts from the fields of architecture, organizational behavior, technology and business management to ensure that its products adapt and respond to the evolving needs of their customers. Environmental needs and requirements are not overlooked by design house either. In fact, Knoll is also considered a leader in production practices that reduce waste, conserve natural resources and protect the biosphere.Knoll has a strong international presence in the design world - headquartered in Pennsylvania, USA with showrooms across North America, Europe and represented by dealers throughought Latin America and Asia.
Knoll Harry Bertoia Bench Designed by:
- Harry Bertoia , 1952
Italy, 1915 - 1978
Harry Bertoia was born in Udine, Italy, in 1915. When he was fifteen he moved with his family to Canada and then on to Michigan. In 1939 he was awarded a scholarship to the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, which had been founded by Eliel Saarinen in 1932. He began to teach there, establishing a workshop for metalwork. At Cranbrook, Harry Bertoia met Charles Eames and in 1943 Bertoia went to California, where he worked briefly with Charles and Ray Eames for the Evans Product Company, designing furniture made of bent laminated wood.
In the 1940s Harry Bertoia concentrated entirely on furniture making and in 1950 he founded a business of his own in Bally, Pennsylvania. 1950 also was the beginning of Harry Bertoia’s collaboration with Florence and Hans Knoll, whose acquaintance he had also made at Cranbrook Academy. Harry Bertoia’s first chair design for Knoll, the Model 420 Diamond, 1950-1952, featuring molded mesh of chromium-plated steel wire, was an immediate best seller.
While he only designed one series of furniture, Bertoia continued to be involved in the Knoll story by providing sculptures and architectural installations for projects. He designed an altar for the MIT Chapel, designed by Eero Saarinen. Bertoia spent the next 25 years of his life experimenting with light, sound and volume through sculptures, paintings and architectural installations.
Today Knoll carries on Harry Bertoia’s legacy of innovation, inspiration, and beauty with the Bertoia collection, which has been in continuous production around the world since its introduction. In 2005 Knoll introduced the Asymmetric Lounge, a design from Bertoia’s initial experimentation that had never reached production.