|Materials||Aluminium base, Fiberglass frame. Leather or fabric cushions.|
|Style / tradition||Modernist|
|Height||80 cm (31 in)|
|Width||50 cm (20 in)|
|Depth||56 cm (22 in)|
The Tulip chair was designed by Eero Saarinen in 1955 and 1956 for the Knoll company of New York City. 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.
Design and construction
Saarinen said: "The undercarriage of chairs and tables in a typical interior makes an ugly, confusing, unrestful world. I wanted to clear up the slum of legs. I wanted to make the chair all one thing again."
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 aluminum 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.
Saarinen was awarded a patent for the Tulip chair in 1960.
- Museum of Modern Art Award, 1969
- Federal Award for Industrial Design, 1969
- Design Center Stuttgart Award, 1962
- "Eero Saarinen. Tulip Armchair (model 150): 1955-56". Museum of Modern Art.
- "KnollStudio Tulip Chair". knoll.com. Archived from the original on 2010-12-20. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
- Ronan, Alex (January 28, 2015). "Design Dictionary: Tulip Chair". Dwell magazine.
- Tulip chair
- Free As In Beer: Cybernetic Science Fictions accessed April 7, 2012