70s Warren Platner executive writing desk for Knoll International
Warren Platner (1919 – 2006) was an American architect and interior designer.
Platner produced a furniture collection that has proved to be a continuing icon of 1960s modernism. He is also famed with designing several prominent interiors in New York City including headquarters offices for the Ford Foundation building and the original Windows on the World restaurant, atop the World Trade Center.
Platner was a part of Eero Saarinen’s office from 1960 to 1965, participating in the designs for the Dulles Airport in Washington, the Repertory Theatre at Lincoln Center, the John Deere World Headquarters and several dormitories at Yale University.
Working in the firms of Eero Saarinen and Kevin Roche in the early and mid-1960s, Platner unveiled his seminal collection of chairs, ottomans and tables in 1966. Produced by Knoll International, with the aid of a grant from the Graham Foundation each piece rested on a sculptural base of nickel-plated steel rods resembling a “shiny sheaf of wheat”, according to the Knoll catalogue.
Production was complicated. The sculptural bases were made of hundreds of rods, and for some chairs, required more than 1,000 welds. An intricate cylindrical mesh steel base, creating a unique architectural play between the interior and exterior space, supported the upholstered seat.
The collection has been in continuous production since its introduction, highlighting the ever-growing interest by collectors of mid-century modern design. (Knoll has brought back the previously discontinued large “Easy” chair and ottoman, but the loveseat remains discontinued.)
In 1973, Knoll introduced The Platner Executive Office Collection. The thin profile executive desk featured a bullnose oak perimeter with black leather writing surface, supported by polished chrome legs and extended feet. Drawers of varying sizes could be mounted underneath the desk for storage. The collection included matching leather-covered credenzas with upper storage units, square and round tables, desk extensions and other accessories.
Platner outlined the definition of a ‘classic’ as being, something that every time you look at it, you accept it as it is and you see no way of improving it.
This 1970s executive desk shows these thin lined design and indeed what could be improved at this design? This exclusive and rare writing desk with side desk proves his design philosophy as to be timeless design.