This simple design was the first piece of furniture created by Harry Bertoia for Knoll. Although the bench does not have the signature wire grid of his more recognisable 1952 collection, the welded wire base shows an early exploration of the material and foreshadows what was to follow.Share
Sculptor Harry Bertoia's exceptional 1952 seating collection formed from bent metal rods includes the simple, elegant Bertoia bench of wood slats spanning a metal frame.
Platform bench cushions are available separately, up to a maximum of three per bench. The Knoll logo is stamped into the base of the bench.
Solid wood slats are pre-treated to prevent sagging or warping.
The frame is made of welded steel with rods in chrome finish.
Slats are available in black or white painted finish.
Firm foam cushions can be upholstered in a variety of fabrics.
Designer of the Year, USA, 1955.
Certificate of Merit, American Institute of Architects.
Design Center Stutgart Award, Germany, 1962.
183cm W x 48cm D x 39cm H.
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.”
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."