walter Knoll’s epoch-making 369 armchair
Designer Walter Knoll team, 1956. Details Leather and powder-coated steel armchair, from £1,539, Walter Knoll at Aram Store. Background As much a symbol of Germany’s post-war renaissance as an iconic piece of mid-century furniture, the 369 ‘bucket’ armchair heralded the arrival of a pan-european aesthetic that still dominates the interiors scene 60 years later. Taking its cue from both the curvy silhouette of Fifties Scandi style and the more minimal, architectural lines of Bauhaus design, the 369 was a radical attempt to combine elements of the avant-garde with the everyday. With Germany still suffering from the traumatic events of the Thirties and Forties, its launch was met with some bemusement at first, being so far removed from the prevailing style mood of the era. Nevertheless, the 369 immediately struck a chord within the industry and was soon adorning Berlin’s Hilton Hotel, where international travellers were bowled over by its warm, embracing shape. In continuous production since then, the 369 was re-imagined with this perforated leather upholstery as part of a special series celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Stuttgart-based brand. Sleek and sensual, the 369 thoroughly deserves its status as a modern masterpiece – a ‘bucket’ armchair with buckets of style.