Introducing Bertoia Gold

The 18k gold-plated Diamond Chair honors Bertoia centennial celebration

In celebration of the Harry Bertoia Centennial, Knoll is pleased to introduce the Bertoia Diamond Chair in an 18 karat gold-plated finish. The option, developed in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Platner Collection, pays homage to beryllium’s golden quality that Bertoia so favored. The Harry Bertoia Centennial is Knoll’s year-long celebration of the life and work of Harry Bertoia, who would have turned 100 this March.

Bertoia Diamond Chair in 18k gold-plated steel. Photograph by Knoll.

Recognized worldwide for his groundbreaking furniture designs for Knoll, Bertoia was primarily a sculptor. Immensely prolific, he is estimated to have created tens of thousands of sculptures over the course of his life, taking the form of screens, panels, mobiles and free-standing sculptures. Among the latter were his Sonambient works, designed to produce unusual sonic experiences at the touch of a hand or the sway of a breeze.

Two photographs of Harry Bertoia's dandelion-like Sonambient sculptures. Photographs from the Knoll Archive. 

Bertoia's Sonambient sculptures also provided the inspiration for the release of the Bertoia Diamond Chair in gold. Knoll Design Director Benjamin Pardo explains the choice through a description of Bertoia's material preferences. “Harry’s own work was mostly done in beryllium," Pardo states, "including many of his Sonambient sculptures.”

Ingot of beryllium copper, the alloy favored by Harry Bertoia and the inspiration for the Gold Diamond Chair. Photograph by Knoll.

Beryllium is a copper alloy traditionally used to make non-sparking tools for working with a live current. A metalworker, Bertoia became interested in the material for its relatively low density and high elasticity—50% more elastic than steel—which resulted in unusually fast sound conduction and a consistent tone and timbre. The alloy was well suited for Bertoia's formal experiments, through which he strove to emulate shapes and sounds of the natural world.