Charles Pollock Arm Chair
Charles Pollock Arm Chair is back on the market after a 35-year. Originally manufactured from 1964-79, the steel and leather ‘sling chair’ or ‘657’ is reintroduced by Knoll this year.
The armchair is a refined combination of materials and finishes; its tubular steel legs connect to cast-aluminum arms and stretchers with exposed hardware, exemplifying Pollocks approach to design.
Pollock describes the chair’s inception:
“I was penniless, didn’t have a car and I was making my prototypes out of plumbing that I pulled out of an old, abandoned basement. I brought all these prototypes in [to Knoll] without an appointment and pushed them off the elevator and said, ‘I want to see Florence Knoll.’ Fortunately for me, [Senior Designer] Vincent Cafiero came out just by accident, and he said, ‘Who are you?’ I said, ‘I’m Charles Pollock.’ I had had a major article in Interiors, in a series of articles about Saarinen, Eames, and myself about three or four months before, and he had read that…. So Cafiero said, “Look, this stuff is interesting. Why don’t you take this idea and throw this other idea into it?” Eventually, between Vincent Cafiero and myself, I developed a quarter-inch scale model of a chair that was very, very similar to…the 657 chair. That was the beginning…. And the rest is history.”
The chair designed in 1964 remained in Knoll’s catalog through the late ’70s. Three decades later, Knoll offers the re-introduced Pollock Arm Chair in a small set of colors online.
[divider]About Charles Pollock[/divider]
After graduating from Pratt Institute and working with George Nelson, Charles Pollock assembled a portfolio of designs and presented them to Florence Knoll. Planning Unit member Vincent Cafiero saw promise in a leather and steel lounge chair and encouraged Pollock to keep working on the design. The 657 Lounge, as it was introduced in 1961, showed the young designer’s precision handling of line, form, and materials.
Pollock again demonstrated his command of line and material when he conceived the 1250 series executive collection, introduced in 1965. His idea for the chair was to use an aluminum “rim,” which outlined the chair as the main structural and design element. This rim would hold the parts together, without any further support; slots in the aluminum held the back shell and the upholstery in place, and the plastic back became rigid only after being fitted into the frame. The resulting design was an achievement in structure and aesthetics, and the chair remains a Knoll classic to this day.