Florence Knoll would be proud. The design of the new Knoll Toronto showroom — created by the Knoll Design Group’s Karen Stone and Kenjo Ito — follows a set of principles established by the company’s co-founder in the 1940s, when she designed the very first Knoll showroom. (The reclusive Knoll turns 92 in May.) “Her reductive aesthetic,” says Knoll regional manager (Canada/Bermuda) Greg Rapier, “incorporated light, open spaces furnished with elegant woven fabrics, furniture grouped for informal conversation and brightly coloured wall panels.”
The new location, in a revitalized 19th-century industrial building in Toronto’s Liberty Village, is a stunner. Twice the size of Knoll’s old digs, the space is expansive and elegant. Perhaps its most notable characteristic is an extensive west wall, with 22 large, evenly spaced windows adding a special grace. Products on display include AutoStrata, which brings a fresh, horizontal European aesthetic to systems furniture; the Life chair, “the highest-performing ergonomic task chair in the market,” according to Rapier; and Reff wood systems furniture.
Design aficionados will thrill to a presentation of the entire KnollStudio collection. Items range from iconic masterpieces by Knoll’s earliest collaborators — such as Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona chair and Eero Saarinen’s Tulip pedestal chair — to fresh new designs from young architects and designers from around the world.