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Tulip Armchair
Iconic Designs

Tulip Armchair

About the Design

Eero Saarinen (1910–61) absolutely hated clutter. "The undercarriage of chairs and tables in a typical interior makes an ugly, confusing, unrestful world,” the Finnish-American architect and industrial designer once said. “I wanted to clear up the slum of legs.” With the Tulip armchair, he did just that, streamlining the standard four-legged piece into a graceful shape atop a single pedestal.


The 1956 design — which is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York — was one of Saarinen’s last; he died in 1961. Its sculptural shape displays the best of Saarinen, who referred to himself as a “form giver,” whether that form was a flower-shaped seat or the swooping curve of the Gateway Arch, a more than 600-foot-tall stainless-steel-clad concrete monument in St. Louis, Missouri, that he designed in the late 1940s. 


The Tulip chair collection was meant to complement Saarinen’s 1956 pedestal collection of side chairs, stools, dining tables and more — another exercise in simplifying. Both collections were designed for Knoll, which continues to produce them today. Visitors to the TWA Hotel, the 2019 reinvention of Saarinen’s iconic airport terminal, will find Tulip chairs dotting the structure.


Interestingly, the Tulip armchair’s shape suggests one single plastic form, but despite Saarinen’s many experiments to achieve this, it is actually constructed in two pieces: an aluminum frame obscured in a plastic finish and a fiberglass upper-shell seat. Two parts or one, it achieves Saarinen’s desired streamlined effect.


Tulip Arm Chair

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Saarinen for Knoll Executive Desk Chair
By Knoll, Eero Saarinen
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Saarinen for knoll executive desk chair. Rare and uncommon form. Chair produced in 1964 only! Classic tulip design with a rolling base. Retains original label. Chair upper shell has ...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Office Chairs and Desk Chairs

Materials

Fiberglass

Eero Saarinen Tulip Armchairs by Knoll
By Eero Saarinen, Knoll
Located in Geneva, CH
Set of 6 tulip armchairs by Eero Saarinen for Knoll, circa 2006 Perfect condition. Swiveling. Orange leather cushions. Signed under the base H 81 x L 66 x D 60 cm Seat height : 4...
Category

Vintage 1950s Swiss Armchairs

Materials

Aluminum

Black Eero Saarinen Armchair for Knoll International, 1960s
By Eero Saarinen
Located in Lasne, BE
Armchair in white color fabric. Black structure. Wear and tear due to time and age of the armchair (see photo).
Category

Vintage 1960s Central American Mid-Century Modern Chairs

Materials

Aluminum

Eero Saarinen, Set of 4 Tulip Chair by Knoll International in Turquoise-Blue
By Knoll, Eero Saarinen
Located in Munster, NRW
We offer here 4 virtually new tulip chairs by Eero Saarinen, all swivel - with incredibly beautiful turquoise-blue leather. Produced by Knoll International. You will find the mat...
Category

Vintage 1950s German Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Leather

Pair of Eero Saarinen “Tulip” Swivel Arm Chairs for Knoll, 1950s
By Knoll, Eero Saarinen
Located in Miami, FL
Original 1950s pair of Eero Saarinen Tulip Swivel Arm Chairs for Knoll. Base is stamped BR50. Cushions are not original and will need to be reupholstered or have new ones made.
Category

Vintage 1950s French Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Steel

Eero Saarinen “Tulip” Spring Loaded Swivel Armchair for Knoll, 1950s
By Knoll, Eero Saarinen
Located in Miami, FL
Original 1950s Eero Saarinen Tulip swivel armchair for Knoll. This chair swivels and also returns to original position as it is spring loaded. Base is stamped ALCOA model 150. Cushio...
Category

Vintage 1950s French Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Aluminum

Eero Saarinen for Knoll Tulip Swivel Chair with Arms, White, Red, Excellent
By Eero Saarinen
Located in Kansas City, MO
This is a vintage Saarinen Tulip armchair with the swivel seat option. This has been expertly restored with a conversion varnish finish (super smooth and durable) with new red cushio...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Swivel Chairs

Materials

Upholstery, Fiberglass

1960s Set of 4 Vintage Eero Saarinen Resin Armchairs
By Eero Saarinen
Located in Marseille, FR
Set of 4 vintage Saarinen resin armchairs from the 1960s Knoll edition with a height of 82 cm and a width of 67 cm by 50 cm. Original cushions in leatherette for most to change.
Category

Vintage 1960s French Armchairs

Materials

Epoxy Resin

Classic Set of Four Vintage Eero Saarinen Tulip Chair Swivel, Early Knoll Labels
By Knoll, Eero Saarinen
Located in Buffalo, NY
Classic set of four vintage Eero Saarinen Tulip chair. Early Knoll labels. All swivel 360%. Nice vintage set. Retain original seat pads, three blue, one purple. In useable condition,...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Iron

Set of 6 Swiveling Tulip Armchairs by Eero Saarinen for Knoll International
By Eero Saarinen
Located in Geneva, CH
Set of 6 swiveling tulip armchairs by Eero Saarinen produced by Knoll International, circa 1970 Good vintage condition, light blue/grey fabric. Stamped Knoll International Zurich u...
Category

Vintage 1970s Swiss Armchairs

Materials

Aluminum

Set of Eight (8) Tulip Chairs by Eero Saarinen for Knoll
By Knoll, Eero Saarinen
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A rare grouping of eight (8) iconic Tulip swiveling dining chairs by Eero Saarinen featuring the Classic organic sculptural form and orange wool upholstery on white enameled cast iro...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Iron

Tulip Armchair by Eero Saarinen
By Knoll, Eero Saarinen
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A Mid-Century Modern dining chair designed by Eero Saarinen. This chair features an upholstered seat on a white enameled cast iron pedestal base. Upholstery varies. Manufactured by K...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Acrylic, Upholstery

Eero Saarinen for Knoll 1960s Tulip Table and Six Chairs
By Knoll, Eero Saarinen
Located in Tucson, AZ
Vintage, 1960s Eero Saarinen Mid-Century Modern, 54 inch round Tulip table and six chairs with original cushions. Two armchairs and 4 dining chairs, all chairs swivel. As found condi...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Sets

Materials

Aluminum

Knoll, Eero Saarinen, Tulip Armchairs
By Knoll, Eero Saarinen
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Knoll, Eero Saarinen, Tulip armchairs Designer: Saarinen, Eero. Date of design: 1956. Model number: 150A. Made in France. Materials: Base is cast aluminum, powder coated paint fi...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Mid-Century Modern Chairs

Materials

Aluminum

Knoll Tulip Dining Set by Eero Saarinen 1960s Large Marble Table Armchairs
By Knoll, Eero Saarinen
Located in Ijzendijke, NL
Magnificent fully original tulip dining set designed by Eero Saarinen and produced by Knoll International in the 1960s. The set consists of 6 original marked tulip armchairs and the ...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Sets

Materials

Carrara Marble, Aluminum

Set of Four Eero Saarinen Tulip Chairs
By Eero Saarinen, Knoll
Located in Chicago, IL
Saarinen for Knoll International, vintage white tulip swivel armchair. Reupholstered with green Cato wool fabric a Knoll textile. [Signed label Knoll International]
Category

Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Aluminum

1 Original Knoll Eero Saarinen Swivel Tulip Armchair
By Eero Saarinen
Located in Pasadena, TX
Designer: Saarinen, Eero. Date of design: 1956. Model number: 150A. Made in France. Materials: Base is cast aluminum, lacquer paint finish. The shell is molded fiber glass reinforced...
Category

Vintage 1950s French Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Aluminum

Eero Saarinen for Knoll Tulip Armchair
By Eero Saarinen
Located in Pasadena, TX
Designed by Eero Saarinen in 1957, a solid classic upon its introduction, the Tulip series has remained a prime example of timeless, Modern design. Base is cast aluminum with whi...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Fiberglass