Florence Knoll (24 May 1917 – 25 january 2019)
Florence Knoll defined the standard for the modern corporate interiors of post-war America. Drawing on her background in architecture, she introduced modern notions of efficiency, space planning, and comprehensive design to office planning. Florence ardently maintained that she did not merely decorate space. She created it. Florence and the Planning Unit were responsible for the interiors of some of America’s largest corporations, including IBM, GM and CBS.
Florence befriended Eilel Saarinen, whom she would later study under at Cranbrook Academy of Art. Warmly embraced by the Saarinen family, Florence vacationed with them in Finland, and formed a very close relationship with Eliel’s son, Eero. The connections she made and the skills she developed while at Cranbrook were the foundations of Florence’s incredible design education and pioneering career. With recommendations from Eliel Saarinen and Alvar Aalto, Florence went on to study under some of the greatest 20th century architects, including Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
In 1941 Florence moved to New York where she met Hans Knoll who was establishing his furniture company. With Florence’s design skills and Hans’ business acumen and salesmanship, the pair, who married in 1946, grew the nascent company into an international arbiter of style and design.
About the Author:
Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.