White lacquered fiberglass shell, base in cast aluminum covered with white Rilsan
Measures: 81 x 51 x 44 cm.
The tulip chair was designed by Eero Saarinen in 1955 and 1956 for the Knoll company in New York.
It was designed primarily as a chair to match the complementary dining table. The chair has the smooth lines of modernism and was experimental with materials for its time. The chair is considered a Classic of Industrial Design.
The chair is often considered "Space Age" for its futuristic use of curves and artificial materials Saarinen had hoped to produce the chair as a one piece unit made entirely of fiberglass, but this material was not able to support the base, and prototypes were prone to breakage. As a result, the base of the tulip chair is of cast aluminium with a rilsan-coated finish to match the upper shell, giving the appearance of a single unit. The upper shell is molded fiberglass, with a reinforced, plastic bonded finish. The upholstered foam cushion is removable with Velcro fastening.
Museum of Modern Art Award, 1969
Federal Award for Industrial Design, 1969
Design Center Stuttgart Award, 1962
Saarinen was awarded a patent for the Tulip chair in 1960.
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