Eero Saarinen designed the groundbreaking Womb Chair in response to Florence Knoll’s request for “a chair that looked like a basket full of pillows, a chair that she could actually curl up in”.
This mid-century classic supports countless positions and offers a relaxing oasis of tranquility, hence the name.
After winning the Museum of Modern Art Organic Design Competition with Charles Eames in 1941 for his experiments with bent plywood, Eero Saarinen was eager to continue exploring the possibilities of a chair that provided comfort not through the depth of its cushioning but through the shape of its shell. . Initially, he started the research with designs for smaller fiberglass work chairs, but Florence Knoll approached him and said, “Why not take the bull by the horns and make the big one first? I want a chair like a basket full of cushions… something I can curl up in. Although this is not exactly what Saarinen arrived at, this proposal inspired one of the most iconic and comfortable chairs of the modern furniture movement.
Like most of Saarinen’s furniture designs, the Womb Chair required production techniques and materials that were still in their infancy. Saarinen and Florence Knoll found a boat builder in New Jersey who was experimenting with fiberglass and resin to help develop production methods for the new chair. Florence Knoll: “He was very skeptical. We just begged him. I think we were so young and so enthusiastic that he finally gave in and worked with us. We had many problems and failures until we finally found a chair that would work.”