Saarinen Womb Settee

Designed by Eero Saarinen, 1948

A Womb Chair fit for two. We are very pleased to welcome the Womb Settee back to the Knoll line up. The design has been out of production, but never out of style. The double-wide design is the perfect modern refuge for the living room, bedroom or office.

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Womb Settee
  • Smoked Grey Womb Settee Designed by Eero Saarinen in 1948
  • Womb Settee Designed by Eero Saarinen in 1948
  • Smoked Grey Womb Settee Designed by Eero Saarinen in 1948
  • Red Womb Settee Designed by Eero Saarinen in 1948
  • Neutral Womb Settee Designed by Eero Saarinen in 1948

Details

FEATURES

Designed by Eero Saarinen in 1948, the fit-for-two settee was not part of the designer's famous trio—the Model 70 Womb Chair, Model 71 Executive Arm Chair and Model 72 Executive Armless Chair—but, rather, developed in anticipation of Saarinen’s first big architectural commission: The General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan—a twenty-five-building complex that required furnishings for over 5,000 people.


CONSTRUCTION

Seat shell is foam-covered molded fiberglass.

 

Base is steel rod with polished chrome or black paint.

 


FINISHES

Upholstered in a range of fabrics and leather.

 

These products are available with foam that meets requirements for BS5852.

Dimensions

 

SAARINEN WOMB SETTEE

159cm W x 94cm D x 92cm H with seat height of 43.5cm.


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Product Story image

Designed by Eero Saarinen in 1948, the fit-for-two settee was not part of the designer's famous trio—the Model 70 Womb Chair, Model 71 Executive Arm Chair and Model 72 Executive Armless Chair—but, rather, developed in anticipation of Saarinen’s first big architectural commission: The General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan—a twenty-five-building complex that required furnishings for over 5,000 people.

Knoll decided to revisit the design in 2012. Design Director Benjamin Pardo remembers it as a trying experience. “We encountered all the same challenges they had in the late 1940s,” says Pardo. Like many of Saarinen’s furniture designs, the Womb Settee required production techniques and materials still in the infancy of their existence. Intended to stand up to heavy use within a corporate interior, the flexibility of the plastic shell, an asset in the Model 70 and 72 designs, proved problematic in the Model 73. Ultimately, Pardo and his team prevailed and the piece was welcomed back in 2015.

Of the clumsy, oversized models the Womb Settee was designed to replace, Saarinen wrote, “These dreadnaughts [have] disappeared from modern interiors partly because they were designed for an era that tried to impress by sheer mass.” While such robust forms may have gone out of vogue, Saarinen saw their necessary function as timeless: “The need for such chairs has not passed. Today, more than ever, we need to relax.”

DISCOVER THE STORY BEHIND THE WOMB SETTEE

Designer  image

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.