Franco Albini pour Knoll, Desk, 1970s
Franco Albini, attributed to.
Knoll, edited by.
Pedestal desk opening with two drawers. Chromed metal base, white marble top.
Work realized in the 1970s.
Dimensions: H 75 x W 140 x D 75 cm
Franco Albini (1905-1977) started his career as an architect in the rationalit current of the 1930’s Italy. For the two next decades, his creations would kept the print in their minimalistic design. He created his first pieces of furniture for exhibitions, notably the 1936 Triennale of Milan, which would bring him a worldwide recognition. In the post-war period, he collaborated more actively with the Italian studio Cassina and the American Knoll studio would buy the disbribution rights for his desk armchair Model 48 and his desk Model 80. During the 1960’s, he participated to the design of the stations of the Milan Subway, or the Brionvega television set.
Hans Knoll, son of Walter Knoll, a Deutsch furniture manufacturer, founded in 1937 in New York the Hans G. Knoll Furniture Company. In 1941, he created with Jens Risom a collection of modern furniture realized with straps from military surplus. He hired Florence Schust in 1943 after she studied at the Cranbrook Academy and to the Architectural Association of London and after she met Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer and Walter Gropius. She did evolve the scandinavian style of the company to the International Style with modern shapes and materials.
In 1946, Florence and Hans get married and founded Knoll Associates where they developed modern furniture with sculptural shapes created by famous designers such as Eero Saarinen, Isamu Noguchi or Harry Bertoia. In 1948, the company gained the production rights of Mies van der Rohe furniture models. In the 1950’s, the visual identity of the brand was entirely revised thanks to the collaborations between Florence Knoll and the graphisc artist Herbert Matter.
In 1955, Hans Knoll died but the company is still famous thanks to Florence Knoll. She hard worked on space and the integration of furniture in places where they took place. Her great acuity and her large sense of harmony permitted her to perfectly link shapes, colors and materials.
She quit in 1965 and left the company to Cornell Dechert. The company endured many changes notably in the visual identity that became more colorful and graphic from 1967 thanks to Massimo Vignelli. Then the company sales fell more and more in the 1970’s and 1980’s creating financial difficulties.
Finally bought in the 1990’s, the company became Knoll Group and came back on the front scene with original creations by contemporary designers as Frank Gehry or reedition of old collections as the Krefeld collection of Mies van der Rohe or seatings from Harry Bertoia.
Today the Knoll company produces original creations or reeditions with the company caracteristical style : modern, pure and elegant.
- C.&P. FIELL, Design du XXe siècle, Taschen Bibliotheca Universalis, 2018.
- B. Lutz, Knoll, le style moderniste, Éditions du Chêne, 2010.
- Made in Italy, Les grands noms du Design, Vercelli, éd White Star, 2011, p. 23
- Neumann Claudia, Dictionnaire du Design Italie, Paris, éd. Seuil, 1999, p. 89, 90 et 91
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