Featured in nearly all Florence Knoll-designed interiors, the Saarinen Executive Chair remains one of our most popular designs.Share
In his groundbreaking collection of 1957, Eero Saarinen transformed executive seating into a fluid, sculptural form.
Available with or without arms, with four legs or a multi-purpose swivel base and caster option.
Four-Leg Base: Steel rod, polished chrome finish or wood finish.
Five-Star Steel Base: in black protective epoxy finish. Stainless steel top cap.
Frame and Upholstery: Moulded reinforced polyurethane shell.
Contoured plywood seat form. Upholstery with matching full surround welt details. Available in a wide range of fabrics and leathers.
Chrome or wooden structure. Fabric and leather upholstery. This product is available with foam that meets requirements for BS5852.
Museum of Modern Art Award, Federal Award for Industrial Design, 1969.
Version with Four Legs
Armless: total H 80 cm, Seat height 46 cm, W 63 cm, D 61 cm.
With Arms: total H 80 cm, Seat height 46 cm, W 65 cm, D 65 cm.
Version with Swivel Base
Armless: total H 89 cm, Seat height 55 cm, W 62 cm, D 62 cm.
With Arms: total H 93 cm, Seat height 59 cm, W 66.5 cm, D 64 cm.
After winning the Museum of Modern Art Organic Design Competition with Charles Eames for their experiments with bent plywood in 1941, Eero Saarinen was eager to continue exploring the possibilities of a chair that achieved comfort through the shape of its shell, not the depth of its cushioning. Initially, he began the investigation with designs for smaller fiberglass task chairs, but changed direction when Florence Knoll approached him and asked, “Why not take the bull by the horns and do the big one first? I want a chair that is like a basket full of pillows…something I can curl up in.” While that’s not exactly where Saarinen ended up, the suggestion inspired one of the most iconic, and comfortable, chairs of the modern furniture movement.Like many of Saarinen’s furniture designs, the Womb Chair required production techniques and materials still in the infancy of their existence. Saarinen and Florence Knoll found a boat builder in New Jersey who was experimenting with fiberglass and resin to help develop manufacturing methods for the new chair. Florence Knoll: “He was very skeptical. We just begged him. I guess we were so young and so enthusiastic he finally gave in and worked with us. We had lots of problems and failures until they finally got a chair that would work.”
The son of architect and Cranbrook Academy of Art director Eliel Saarinen and his wife, textile artist Loja, Eero Saarinen studied sculpture in Paris and architecture at Yale before working on furniture design with Norman Bel Geddes and practising architecture with his father. He collaborated on several projects in furniture design with his friend, Cranbrook alumnus Charles Eames, and opened his own practice in Bloomfield Hills in 1950. Among the many buildings for which he is known are the Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC, The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, and the TWA Terminal at Kennedy International Airport in New York. He was the recipient of numerous awards and the subject of many exhibitions.