The Saarinen Conference Chair Relax, a constant presence in all the interiors designed by Florence Knoll, has been one of the most popular Knoll models for almost 70 years
Ideal for offices and homes, thanks to a range of new finishes and materials. With its sculptural shape and modern finishes, it has revolutionized the concept of seating, and today it is often found in the dining rooms as well as modern offices.
In his groundbreaking collection of 1957, Eero Saarinen transformed executive seating into a fluid, sculptural form.
Available with or without arms, in a classic version on four legs, or in a height-adjustable swivel model with four-star on glides or five-star on casters for the base.
Four-Leg Base: Four Leg base: polished chrome, painted black chrome, painted black steel or wood finish.
Four-Star and Five-Star chrome base or black painted finish.
Frame and Upholstery: Moulded reinforced polyurethane shell.
Contoured plywood seat form.
Upholstery on the armchair includes piping on the seat and back.This is not available on the armless chair.
Available in a wide range of fabrics and leathers.
Chrome or wooden structure. Fabric and leather upholstery.
Saarinen Conference Armless Chair Relax – four legs
57W 51.5D 79H
57W 51.5D 80H
Saarinen Conference Armchair Relax – four legs
65.5W 63D 82.5H
65.5W 63D 81.5H
Saarinen Conference Armless Chair Relax – swivel base
62W 62D 84.5/78H
Saarinen Conference Armchair Relax – swivel base
66.5W 64D 85.5/79H
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.