Bertoia Diamond Chair

Designed by Harry Bertoia, 1952

The graceful Diamond Chair is an astounding study in space, form and function by one of the master sculptors of the last century. Like Saarinen and Mies, Bertoia found sublime grace in an industrial material, elevating it beyond its normal utility into a work of art.

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Details

FEATURES

A classic, modern design that enhances any environment, sculptor Harry Bertoia's Diamond Lounge chair remains a fascinating study in bent metal and a fixture of mid-century design.
Available either fully upholstered or with seat pad only. The Knoll logo is stamped into the base of the chair.

CONSTRUCTION

The frame is a welded steel construction with rods in chrome or bonded rilsan.
Full covers are stretched over the wire seat basket and attach to the seat basket with hooks.
Seat cushions secure to the chair with lock-snaps. The unupholstered small Diamond chairs in Rilsan are also appropriate for outdoor environment.

FINISHES

The small diamond chair is available in polished or satin chrome finish, and black or white rilsan finish.
The small chair is available with seat pad or fully upholstered. This product is available with foam that meets requirements for BS5852.

AWARDS 

Designer of the Year, USA, 1955.
Certificate of Merit, American Institute of Architects.
Design Center Stutgart Award, Germany, 1962.

Dimensions

 
BERTOIA DIAMOND CHAIR

Chair dimensions are 85cm W x 75cm D x 75cm H, with seat height at 46cm.


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Product Story image

Characteristic of the early environment at Knoll, Hans and Florence never demanded that Bertoia design furniture, but instead encouraged him to explore whatever he liked. They simply asked that if he arrived at something interesting, to show them. Bertoia later explained the process:

“I went around and discovered, quite soon, that I was not the man to do research. My feeling was that had to come from an inward direction. I began to rely once more on my own body. I began to think in terms of what I would like as a chair. It started very slowly…I came into rod or wire, whether bent of straight. I seemed to find myself at home. It was logical to make an attempt utilising the wire.

"Once more, I went through the procedure of positioning, considering the possibility of shapes, then relating, of course, what the wire itself could be, what shapes it might take, whether there were any tools to do it with. There are many aspects of the same things coming into one’s mind, but the very first thing was whether a shape would come up that would begin to serve as a chair, sitting on it, etc. One was taking the shape of a side chair; another was beginning to extend to care of the head. This developed to the point where something could be held on to…You know, when you have something in front of you that can really physically be held, it becomes easier to make changes.”

Designer image

Italian sculptor, university lecturer and furniture designer Harry Bertoia displayed a unique stroke of genius with his patented Diamond Chair for Knoll International in 1952. Bertoia was an inventor of form and an enricher of furniture design with his introduction of a new material: he turned industrial wire rods into a design icon. Educated at Detroit Technical High School, the Detroit School of Arts and Crafts and Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Bertoia taught metal crafts at Cranbrook. He worked with Charles Eames to develop his signature moulded plywood chairs. Eero Saarinen commissioned him to design a metal sculptured screen for the General Motors Technical Center in Detroit. His awards include the craftsmanship medal from the American Institute of Architects, as well as AIA's Gold Medal.


"In sculpture, I am primarily concerned with space, form and the characteristics of metal. In the chairs, many functional problems have to be satisfied first... but when you get right down to it, the chairs are studies in space, form and metal too."
by Harry Bertoia