Knoll furniture by Antonio Citterio references historical designs

Designs of TH Robsjohn-Gibbings and Mies van der Rohe inspire the new collections of chairs and tables by Antonio Citterio for Knoll, presented at Salone del Mobile 2022

Detail of wooden chair and metal table with marble top, by Antonio Citterio for Knoll
The Klismos chair and a side table from the Citterio Table Collection, part of the new collection of furniture by Antonio Citterio for Knoll
(Image credit: Federico Cedrone)

For his latest collaboration with Knoll, Italian architect Antonio Citterio was inspired by classical Greek culture and historical designs from the 20th century.

Launched during Salone del Mobile 2022, the ‘Klismos’ collection of seats – comprising dining and lounge chairs, a bench, a sofa and a stool – uses archetypal designs as a starting point to create a contemporary, dynamic form. A series of tables comprises large and small models as well as a console, whose essential metal structure nods to Mies van der Rohe’s works. 

Knoll furniture in wood

(Image credit: Federico Cedrone)

Citterio was interested in the plurality and depth of TH Robsjohn-Gibbins’ design work, which he used as a starting point for the pieces. ‘What interests me the most of Robsjohn-Gibbins’ work is one of the typologies of sofas he designed: a daybed inspired by the ancient Roman “triclinium”,’ he explains. ‘However, there’s no intention of Robsjohn-Gibbins’ revival in my project for Knoll: if Robsjohn-Gibbins’ daybed and chair are defined by very solid lines, this collection is characterised by a very dynamic shape for the seats, with the supporting elements in wood slender and lightened, combined to the seat elements, the light leather cushions, and the armrests in a game of curves and counter-curves.’

The ‘Klismos’ collection features natural cotton cord woven on slender oak wood structures, with full wood options as well as cushions available for the back. The chairs’ design is further developed into a symmetrical sofa, reminiscent of the classic récamier and featuring the same material palette. The use of wood is rare in Knoll collections, so for Citterio, this material forms the most distinctive trait of the series he designed. 

Knoll furniture metal and marble tables

(Image credit: Federico Cedrone)

The tables, the architect explains, follow Mies van der Rohe’s idea of

less is more, their essential steel structure supporting marble or glass tops.

‘I always try to design pieces that are timeless,’ says Citterio. ‘For Knoll, the references to tradition are present but impalpable, almost subliminal, and in any case, they all combine to create the idea of

elegant and – at the same time – welcoming pieces of furniture.’

Knoll daybed in wood with beige textile upholstery, back view

(Image credit: Federico Cedrone)

Knoll furniture

(Image credit: Federico Cedrone)


Knoll will be at Salone del Mobile 2022, Hall 20 - Stand D05 E10, 7-12 June 2022

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.

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