Knoll recolours some Bauhaus classics

The company reintroduces iconic tubular steel pieces with ultra-matte colors by Mies and Breuer that have made design history.

Knoll revitis four famous tubular steel collections by Marcel Breuer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe: the Wassily Chair, the Cesca Chairs and Stools, the Laccio Tables, the MR Chairs, and the MR Table. Originally designed between 1925 and 1928—when Breuer and van der Rohe were active at the Bauhaus, then directed by Walter Gropius—these furniture pieces are now reimagined with a palette of ultra-matte colors: white, onyx, and an archival dark red discovered by Knoll's design team.

Breuer was still an apprentice at the famous Weimar school when his experiments with new materials began to revolutionize interiors, marking the advent of modern design. He was the first to use tubular steel in his furniture designs, inspired by the construction of his own bicycle, and in turn, inspired the great Mies van der Rohe, who adopted the material to develop the first pieces of his celebrated MR Collection.

Bauhaus designers saw color as a fundamental tool for altering spatial perception, far more than just a decorative and aesthetic accessory. They often explored the psychological effects of colors and their interactions, with particular interest in white, black, and primary values, with an approach that was both artistic and scientific, aimed at understanding how color could influence our cognition.

Florence Knoll, a direct pupil of Mies at IIT and also of Breuer and Gropius in Cambridge, fully absorbed the idea of gesamtkunstwerk, which aimed to integrate art, architecture, and design into a cohesive whole, making it one of the cornerstones of her design philosophy. This vision then flowed into the company of her husband, Hans Knoll, establishing productive collaborations with her mentors from the 1940s onwards.

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