Warren Plattner – American Furniture Designer

Posted on 7th October 2011 in American Designers, Furniture Designers

Warren Platner, born in 1919 in Baltimore, and graduated from the Cornell University School of Architecture in 1941.  Working for such renowned and bold thinking architects from 1945-1950 such as I.M. Pei and Raymond Loewy formed his modern design bent.  From 1960-1965 he worked in Eero Saarinen’s architecture firm, which involved him working on the designs for the Dulles International Airport in Washington D.C., Lincoln Center’s Repertory Theory and several dormitories at Yale University.  Exposure and experience allowed Platner to open his own firm, Platner  Associates in 1967 in Connecticut.

Platner’s, Knoll “Platner Collection” in the 1960’s still stands as his major furniture contribution to the mid-century landscape.  The series include ottomans, chairs and tables and Platner designed both the structure and the production method.  Some chairs required more than 1,00 welds for the sculptural bases, which were constructed with hundreds of rods.  The upholstered seat was supported by a mesh steel cylinder base, reflecting both interior and exterior space.  Platner wrote, “as a designer, I felt there was room for the kind of decorative, gentle, graceful kind of design that appeared in period style like Louis XV.”  His defined the term “classic” as “something that every time you look at it, you accept it as it is and you see no way of improving it.”  This series of furniture has many times been referred in the same terms.

Among Platner’s major interior and lighting designs are evident in the Georg Jensen Design Center and Water Tower Place in Chicago.  And, another perhaps, even more famous now that it is gone, was the work done for the Windows on the World Restaurant in the World Trade Center, destroyed in the attacks of September 11, 2000.

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