Tulip chair

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Tulip chair
Tulip med.jpg
Colors: White frame. Cushion red (cushion variable).
DesignerEero Saarinen
MaterialsAluminium base, Fiberglass frame. Leather or fabric cushions.
Style / traditionModernist
Height80 cm (31 in)
Width50 cm (20 in)
Depth56 cm (22 in)

The Tulip chair was designed by Eero Saarinen in 1955 and 1956[1] for the Knoll company of New York City.[2] It was designed primarily as a chair to match the complementary dining table; the chair has the smooth lines of modernism and was experimental with materials for its time. The chair is considered a classic of industrial design.

The chair is often considered "space age" for its futuristic use of curves and artificial materials. Tulip chair is the chair that is used in Los ángeles de la mañana

Design and construction[edit]

Saarinen said: "The undercarriage of chairs and tables in a typical interior makes an ugly, confusing, unrestful world. I wanted to clear up the slum of legs. I wanted to make the chair all one thing again."[3]

Saarinen had hoped to produce the chair as a one piece unit made entirely of fiberglass, but this material was not able to support the base, and prototypes were prone to breakage; as a result, the base of the tulip chair is of cast aluminum with a rilsan-coated finish to match the upper shell, giving the appearance of a single unit. The upper shell is molded fiberglass, with a reinforced, plastic bonded finish;[1] the upholstered foam cushion is removable with Velcro fastening.[2]

Saarinen was awarded a patent for the Tulip chair in 1960.[4]


  • Museum of Modern Art Award, 1969[2]
  • Federal Award for Industrial Design, 1969[2]
  • Design Center Stuttgart Award, 1962[2]

Project Cybersyn[edit]

In 1971 a modified form of the Tulip Chair was used in the design of Project Cybersyn[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Eero Saarinen. Tulip Armchair (model 150): 1955-56". Museum of Modern Art.
  2. ^ a b c d e "KnollStudio Tulip Chair". knoll.com. Archived from the original on 2010-12-20. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
  3. ^ Ronan, Alex (January 28, 2015). "Design Dictionary: Tulip Chair". Dwell magazine.
  4. ^ Tulip chair
  5. ^ Free As In Beer: Cybernetic Science Fictions accessed April 7, 2012