Saarinen Tulip Side Chair

Designed by Eero Saarinen, 1957

With the Pedestal Collection, Eero Saarinen has solved the “ugly, disordered world of legs” under tables and chairs. This collection defines modern design and is a timeless piece of furniture in any interior – an undisputed classic.

From the late 1940s to the 1950s, Eero Saarinen designed many of Knoll’s most recognizable classics, including Tulip Chairs and Pedestal Tables, Womb Chair and the 70 Series Executive Seating Collection. At the very beginning, Knoll created the brand identity in a noble and sublime way through modern materials used in Saarin’s designs.

A characteristic element of the table is its single, cast aluminum leg.The collection of Saarinen tables includes three types of products: dinner tables with a round and oval top, coffee tables and occasional tables with a round top, as well as garden tables also in two versions of the top shape. This series includes many noble top finishes such as stone, veneer, glass, slate and laminate, there are also three variants of the table base finish and a wide range of dimensions.



The Saarinen Tulip seating collection consists of an armchair and an armless chair, with swivel or fixed base.

The chairs are available with either an upholstered seat cushion, or fully upholstered inner shell with seat cushion. The swivel stool with an upholstered cushion completes the collection. The KnollStudio logo and the signature of Eero Saarinen are located on the underside of the base.


Base consists of cast aluminium with Rilsan coated finish for the white and black versions.

The shell is moulded fibreglass reinforced plastic bonded finish.


The shell and base are available in black or white colours.
Fully upholstered inner shell with seat cushion available in a wide range of fabrics.

Stool and chairs with seat cushion only are available in a wide range of fabrics and Spinneybeck leather. This product is available with foam that meets requirements for BS5852.


The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1969.
Federal Award for Industrial Design, Germany, 1969.
Design Career Stuttgart Award, Germany, 1962.


Arm Chair
68cm W x 59cm D x 81cm H with seat height of 48cm.

Armless chair
49cm W x 53cm D x 81cm H with seat height of 49cm.

Product Story

With the Pedestal Collection, Eero Saarinen vowed to eliminate the “slum of legs” found under chairs and tables with four legs. He worked first with hundreds of drawings, which were followed by ¼ scale models. Since the compelling idea was to design chairs that looked good in a room, the model furniture was set up in a scaled model room the size of a doll house.

Drawing on his early training as a sculptor, Saarinen refined his design through full scale models, endlessly modifying the shape with clay. “What interests me is when and where to use these structural plastic shapes. Probing even more deeply into different possibilities one finds many different shapes are equally logical—some ugly, some exciting, some earthbound, some soaring. The choices really become a sculptor’s choice.”

Saarinen was assisted by Don Petitt, of Knoll’s Design Development Group, who introduced several ingenious methods of model making. Together with a Knoll design research team, they worked out the problems arising in production. Full scale models became furniture and, with family and friends acting as “guinea pigs,” the furniture was tested in the dining room and living room of the Saarinen house in Bloomfield Hills.

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