Eero Saarinen desired to create a beautiful chair that relied on the simplicity of design, and that would serve to declutter the modern world by removing what Saarinen saw as the 'mess' of the four legged chair. The result: The Tulip chair, part of the Pedestal Collection, is a chair with a single leg sitting on a round base. The seat's rounded-edged square cushion is available in various colours, giving a splash of colour to an otherwise monotone chair.
Contrary to popular belief the Tulip chair is not moulded from a single sheet of plastic, in fact it is constructed from three materials. In addition to plastic, the Tulip chair relies on fibreglass and aluminium. The Tulip chair is finished in one solid colour that gives it a solidity as well as a sheen travelling through it.
The future in a chair
Saarinen's Tulip Chair combines futuristic attributes with a very delicate grace that would become a much sought after addition not only to the contemporary mid-1950's home, but in the 21st Century, the Tulip chair is still readily available from numerous Ecommerce sites. The only company licensed to reproduce Saarinen's Tulip chair is Knoll.
Born in Finland in 1910, Saarinen along with this family, emigrated to the United States when he was 13-years old. There he would remain for the duration of his life in Michigan, until his death in 1961 at the age of 51.
Saarinen's legacy can be appreciated across the United States. Chairs we not his only vocation; Saarinen designed a number of design pieces: including the arch Gateway Arch, St Louis.