Knoll: A Legacy of Design Innovation


Knoll is a name synonymous with design excellence and innovation. Founded by Florence and Hans Knoll, this iconic brand has left an indelible mark on the world of design, inspiring generations with its innovative approach and timeless creations. In this article, we delve into the fascinating history of Knoll, tracing its origins, design philosophy, iconic designs, evolution, and contemporary relevance.

Florence Knoll and Hans Knoll, a married couple passionate about design, co-founded Knoll in 1938. Florence, an architect and designer, brought her keen eye for aesthetics and spatial understanding, while Hans, from a family of furniture manufacturers, contributed his expertise in business and manufacturing. Their shared vision was to create a brand that seamlessly merged beauty, functionality, and purpose. Setting new standards in modern design.


Design Philosophy

Knoll’s design philosophy centres on the harmonious balance of form and function. Their approach is rooted in the Bauhaus tradition, valuing simplicity, clarity, and the elimination of unnecessary elements. Florence Knoll, in particular, believed in designing spaces and furniture that catered to the evolving needs of modern life while being aesthetically pleasing.


Iconic Designs

Knoll has produced numerous iconic designs that have become emblematic of 20th-century modernism. Some of these include the Barcelona Chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, celebrated for its elegance and comfort, and Eero Saarinen’s Tulip series, known for its futuristic design and organic forms. These designs have had a profound impact on the cultural landscape, influencing countless architects, designers, and enthusiasts.


Barcelona Chair:


The Barcelona Chair, a timeless icon of modern design, embodies elegance and sophistication, redefining the concept of luxury seating.


Tulip Series by Eero Saarinen:



Eero Saarinen’s Tulip series revolutionised furniture design with its sculptural, sleek forms and remains a symbol of modernist aesthetic.


Evolution and Influences

Over the decades, Knoll has evolved its designs in response to changing design movements and societal trends. From Bauhaus-inspired minimalism to embracing organic shapes and materials in the 1960s. Knoll has shown a remarkable ability to adapt while staying true to its core values. The brand’s designs have been influenced by mid-century modernism, the International Style, and the postmodern movement, among others.


Legacy and Modern Relevance

Knoll’s legacy endures, and the brand continues to play a vital role in the design industry. Their commitment to timeless, enduring designs that balance beauty and functionality keeps them at the forefront of contemporary design. Knoll’s influence is evident in the multitude of awards and accolades they have received. As well as the presence of their designs in prestigious museums and private collections worldwide.


Closing Thoughts

Knoll stands as a testament to the enduring power of great design. Through their commitment to excellence, innovative thinking, and timeless creations, the brand has solidified its place in design history. To experience the legacy of Knoll first hand, we invite you to explore Knoll products at our showroom and witness the seamless blend of aesthetics and functionality that has defined the brand for generations.


Anna McKinney Stevens

Account Manager, Edinburgh


In October 2023, the Tsunami Axis Edinburgh Showroom hosted a month-long exhibition to celebrate the introduction of Knoll to the commercial market in Scotland.


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