2023 marks the 75th anniversary of one of Knoll’s most recognizable creations that has left its mark on global history and culture: the Womb Chair.
Designed by Eero Saarinen in 1948 on a commission from Florence Knoll, the Womb Chair disrupted the very concept of an armchair with techniques and technologies that were revolutionary for those years, giving it not only a unique form, but a functionality that eluded any cataloging.
Knoll’s Womb Chair: A Soft Shelter
At the time Florence Knoll had commented, “It was a particular request of mine, because I couldn’t take it anymore with chairs that only allowed you to sit in one position. I thought it was time to take the bull by the horns and be the first to break the mold. And that’s exactly what happened. I wanted an armchair that looked like a basket full of pillows, a soft shelter to curl up in.”
The principle behind Knoll’s Womb Chair-answering the primal need for absolute comfort-has proven universal, transcending time and generations.
In a 1949 letter to J. Irwin Miller, Saarinen explains that this chair “is based on the assumption that so many people never really feel safe and comfortable in the world after leaving the womb.”
And so what more befitting name than Womb to call this icon, which is still produced today respecting the original design and is one of Knoll’s most sought-after items.