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Eero Saarinen Designer Chairs


Eero Saarinen, primarily active as an architect, also gained recognition as a furniture designer. In collaboration with the manufacturer Knoll he designed a range of designer chairs. The familiar and creative environment at the company enabled Saarinen and other fellow designers to experiment with material and shapes and to put their ideas into practice.

Originating from the idea to get rid of the mess of legs under tables and chairs a five-year development phase began. After countless material tests Saarinen acknowledged that the lone pedestal that should carry each of the chairs and tables of the collection would have to be made of cast metal rather than plastic. The initial plan was to produce the Tulip chair, often simply called Saarinen chair, entirely in plastic.

But in order to assure stability and durability of the furniture the base had to be heavier and cast aluminium was the most elegant option to achieve that while the seat shell could be manufactured in plastic as planned. This remains unchanged till today.


The Eero Saarinen chair in action


Due to the comforting uniformity of the Tulip chairs they are not only very popular in the privacy of the home. One often finds them deployed as conference chairs in meeting rooms. Their organic design appeal adds a certain feel good factor that works well in a professional setting as well as at home.

The chairs can easily be combined with tables of all sizes and dimensions. The swivel feature makes them particularly useful in cramped and narrow spaces.

The Tulip chair actually constitutes a chair type that, just like the cantilevers few decades earlier, offer another approach to what the base of a chair has to be like.

The broad base opens out into a slender cervix out of which the seat shell emerges similar to a calyx. Thus the catchy name for these Eero Saarinen designer chairs.

The Tulip series encompasses a small collection of designer furniture. Amongst them the chair itself in two versions, with and without armrests. Along with it come various tables in different sizes and dimensions.

But the Saarinen chair is far from being bound to its namesakes and can be mixed and matched to ones liking. Even in home offices the designer chair finds a spot. The great seating comfort makes it possible.