Knoll International - Entrepreneur with tradition
Wilhelm Knoll (1839-1907) founded a leather store in Stuttgart in 1865. The business developed into a factory that bore the title of "Royal Court Supplier" from 1890. His son Walter Knoll (1878-1971) completed an apprenticeship as a merchant from 1891, among others at Vollmoeller AG. Walter initially failed as an independent merchant and fled to America with numerous debts. After the death of his father Wilhelm, Walter Knoll returned to Stuttgart in 1907 and managed the company together with his brother, who was also named Wilhelm. In the meantime, the main factory in Stuttgart was joined by another factory in Stammheim, a factory in Vienna and an offshoot in England (the Parker-Knoll company). In 1909, Walter Knoll married the sister of Karl Gustav Vollmoeller. His marriage to Maria Vollmoeller produced five sons. The first-born, Robert Knoll (1912-1985), took over the business in 1966 as the third generation together with his cousin Walter Combe. The second-born, Hans Knoll (1914-1955), founded Knoll International Inc. in Pennsylvania in the USA in 1938. In 1982, Michael Knoll and Stefan Combe took over the management of the Walter Knoll company for a good ten years. Since 1993, the company has been managed by the lawyer Markus Benz (*1955), whose father Rolf (*1933) had already built up a successful furniture company in 1964 with the company Benz Möbel Programme BMP in Nagold. With the takeover of the company Walter Knoll by the Benz family, the family tradition in Germany came to an end - in a certain way also for the Benz family, which concentrated on the name Knoll. What remained was the high quality, sustainability and aesthetics. The next generation, Leon and Mara Benz, are expected to continue the Knoll company.
Hans G. Knoll Furniture Company
Immediately after his arrival in America in 1938, Hans Knoll founded the "Hans G. Knoll Furniture Company". Through his father and his uncle Karl G. Vollmoeller, Hans Knoll was acquainted with Bauhaus greats Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who provided him with further contacts with architects and designers who had emigrated to the United States. In 1946 Hans Knoll married the architect Florence Schust (1917-2019), who in her youth traveled through Europe with Eero Saarinen and his parents and met artists such as Le Corbusier and Alvar Aalto. The marriage produced two children, Peter and Maria (Maja). Hans Knoll established Knoll showrooms around the world after World War II, while his wife Florence worked on design and corporate identity. In 1951, Knoll established its first branch in Stuttgart. Florence Knoll had studied and worked under Marcel Breuer and Walter Gropius. She is considered an important architect and led the company after the death of Hans Knoll. In her second marriage she married the banker Harry Hood Basset. In addition to her own designs, the company still produces furniture by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer, Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertoia and Isamu Noguchi. In 1960 Florence Knoll sold the company.
Knoll furniture: over 75 years of Bauhaus design
Knoll has remained true to Bauhaus design over seven decades - functionality and geometry characterize Knoll's designer products. The manufacturer has taken up the cause of resource conservation and sustainability programs and also pays attention to these values with its suppliers. The Knoll production facilities are certified according to ISO 14001.
Knoll Möbel in the pro office Shop
In the pro office store you get the Knoll Wassily armchair, the original design by Marcel Breuer (1902-1981) from 1925 and the matching Knoll Laccio 1 or Laccio 2 coffee table. Breuer designed the tables in the same year, matching the Wassily armchair. The chairs were named after the famous artist and Bauhaus master Wassily Kandinsky. Not to be missed, of course, is the legendary Barcelona Chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) with the matching stool - each piece of furniture is unique thanks to natural materials and craftsmanship. The sofas were made for the 1929 World's Fair. The scissor shape is already found in ancient Egypt, it symbolizes power and influence. Also legendary are the Knoll Diamond Chair and the Knoll Bertoia chair made of wire mesh by metal artist Harry Bertoia (1915-1978). You can also get the Saarinen side table, design classic by Eero Saarinen (1910 -1961), in your pro office store. In the set you get the Platner armchair, designed by Warren Platner (1919-2006), designed for dining rooms and public waiting and conference rooms. In the early 1960-ies, the famous architect developed furniture with a desirable moiré effect.