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Knoll International - Furniture in perfection

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Knoll International - the rise of a design empire

That Hans G. Knoll made a career as a furniture manufacturer is not surprising when you look at his lineage: His father Walter Knoll and his father Robert Vollmöller before him were among the pioneers of German furniture industry. Hans Knoll also completed his apprenticeship in the interior design sector and moved to the USA in 1938. There, the ambitious emigrant founded his furniture company, the "Hans G. Knoll Furniture Company" after a short while.

He benefited from the big advantage of personally knowing famous designers such as Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe through his father. These contacts threw open the door to the American furniture scene, as at that time numerous architects and designers who were known to him - as well as Knoll himself- emigrated to the US. They provided him with their design creations for marketing - the success of the Hans G. Knoll Furniture Company was thus literally inevitable.

A new era in company history - Knoll Associates

In 1943, Hans Knoll met his future wife, Florence Schust. As an employee in his company she impressed him with her impressive credentials. The young designer and urban planner not only had a degree from the Cranbrook Academy in Michigan, but also a degree in architecture from the Architectural Association in London. Knoll and Schust even had acquaintances in common - Mies van der Rohe was a former classmate of Florence and she had worked in the architectural office of Gropius and Breuer.

After their marriage in 1946 Hans G. Knoll and Florence Schust renamed the company "Knoll Associates" and acted from this point onward as equal managers.

Tulip Chair

The good business contacts of the young couple made a significant contribution to the outstanding success of their company and made it the market leader in the furniture segment. Thanks to Florence the list of well-known designers of Knoll Associates was enriched by another important representative - the famous Eero Saarinen who Florence knew since childhood and who contributed the legendary "Tulip Chair" to Knolls product range.

While Hans Knoll proved his business skills after the war by creating global subsidiaries, so-called "showrooms", Florence took care of design and the corporate identity of the company.

After Hans Knoll's early accidental death in 1955 Florence led the company for five years afterwards and then handed it over to the employees who continued Knoll Associates (later Knoll International) to the best interests of Hans Knoll and her.

Knolls pillars of success: Exquisite design for home and individual business solutions

Functionality, timelessness and elegance run like a thread through all the creations of Knoll International.

Over the years the successful manufacturer developed into a treasure trove for classics of design history.

Wassily ChairA famous example is the Wassily chair which Marcel Breuer designed in 1925 for Knoll and which contributed as the first seating furniture made of tubular steel decisively to the Bauhaus movement.

Even whole collections of famous designers are sold today with the exclusive right of Knoll International. Who does not know the famous Barcelona collection by Mies van der Rohe? Also the extravagant Bertoia chair series, designed by Harry Bertoia, is part of Knolls product range.

Besides interior designs in Bauhaus style Knoll has always been selling intelligent office solutions. The needs of the customer are the most important factor. Thanks to solid workplace research and innovative thinking Knoll International succeeds time and time again with designing the perfect solution for business needs.

Excellence of design on one hand and individual solutions tailored to the customer on the other hand – this is what Knoll International stands for to this today. Or to say it with Florence Knoll's words: "Good design is good business!"

Find out further informations about Knoll International: www.knoll-int.com