Hans Knoll arrived in New York City in 1937, to establish the Hans G. Knoll Furniture Company just one year later. The German was familiar with the Bauhaus and many important european figures for 20th century modern design and architecture. His first intent was to use this knowledge and import European furniture for the American market. Unfortunately this proved rather difficult with the outbreak of World War II.
The Charismatic German decided to build furniture rather then import it. It was not before long that the talented designer Florence Schust crossed his path and the two married in 1947. Florence’s contribution was felt and she had the idea to incorporate the Bauhaus approach in their furniture design by offering pieces made with technological innovation that were easily mass-produced.
With quality in their mind, the Knolls sought out talented designers and believed they should be credited by name and receive a royalty for their work, which was an innovative idea at the time.
After the war, Knoll began searching for a manufacturing base outside of New York City. The company eventually settled in East Greenville, Pennsylvania in the early 1950s. The company’s largest manufacturing facility and headquarters remains there today.
Misfortune struck when Hans was tragically killed in a car accident by a runaway truck at the young age of 41. After his death in 1955, Florence became head of the factory until her retirement in 1965.
Even Today Knoll still stands for quality, innovative furniture and they truly have stipulated 20th century modern design.