Knoll relaunch Harry Bertoia’s iconic 1960 shell chair
Knoll is re-introducing Harry Bertoia’s 1960 Molded Shell Chair and Barstool which builds on the design of his widely admired and well-loved 1952 Wire Series. Over half a century has passed since Harry Bertoia designed his colorful and distinct iteration of his wire-form side chair that uses a seat made from a mix of plastic and fiberglass. The unique seat blended bright colors and flexibility without compromising the graceful curves Bertoia often employed.
Starting in 1952, such themes of Nature, gravity, and the kinematic limits of metal, began to take form into what ultimately became icons of mid-century modern design. Always thinking about comfort, Bertoia played with positioning, “considering the possibility of shapes, then relating what the wire could be, what shape it could take.” In profile, Bertoia’s side chair looks as if the steel wires were bent to match the contours of the human body, letting gravity smooth out any irregularities and rendering the graceful swooping seat curve.
Knoll is now re-introducing Bertoia’s old design as the Bertoia Molded Shell Side Chair. With a new seat made from injection molded glass fiber-reinforced nylon — which achieves the thin profile and complex curves of the original design — and an updated colorway, this reinvigorated classic offers an iconic chair with a playful tone. The new design also meets commercial furniture industry BIFMA standards.
The Bertoia Molded Chair is available in black, white, medium gray, orange/red and yellow. Steel base finishes include polished chrome or powder coated white or black. Both a dining/side chair and 39½- and 41¼-in. tall barstools are available.