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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.

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