The Washington Collection
by David Adjaye for Knoll

| 9 comments

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Product news: architect David Adjaye has unveiled his first furniture collection, designed for American retailer Knoll, which includes two cantilevered side chairs and a limited edition coffee table.

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David Adjaye developed the Washington Collection alongside his design for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC, which is currently under construction.

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"This project has been an exhilarating and collaborative experience – an unexpected balancing act between the design and engineering processes," said Adjaye. "My original idea of what this furniture should be was continuously refined and transformed throughout."

The Washington Collection, which also includes a club chair, ottoman and side table, will be launched by Knoll in October.

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The Washington Corona coffee table is made from four cast bronze panels referencing the bronze lattice that wraps around the museum in Washington and will be available in a limited edition of 75 pieces, marking Knoll's 75th anniversary.

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The Washington Skeleton and Washington Skin chairs balance on a cantilevered stand and are suitable for outdoor use.

The lattice design of the Skeleton chair is constructed from die-cast aluminium, while the Skin version is made from injection-moulded nylon.

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David Adjaye won the design competition for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture museum back in 2009 and construction began in February 2012.

Adjaye recently designed an observatory and education centre with spiralling stone walls to be built on an island in the English Channel, and a silk-weaving facility in India.

At Design Indaba earlier this year, David Adjaye told us about his relationship with Africa and why he believes the continent provides a great opportunity for architects. See more stories about David Adjaye.

Architect Rem Koolhaas also launched a furniture collection with Knoll at the Milan Furniture Fair this year, which journalist Justin McGuirk told Dezeen was the most interesting thing he saw during the event. See more stories about Knoll furniture.

Here are some more details from Knoll:


The Washington Collection for Knoll, David Adjaye's first collection of furniture, transforms his architectural and sculptural vision into accessible objects for the home and office. The collection consists of two cantilevered side chairs, a club chair, an ottoman, a side table and a monumental coffee table.

David Adjaye said, "Knoll approaches furniture as making connections between people and how they work and live their daily lives. This project has been an exhilarating and collaborative experience – an unexpected balancing act between the design and engineering processes. My original idea of what this furniture should be was continuously refined and transformed throughout."

Commenting on Adjaye’s work, Knoll design director Benjamin Pardo said, "David is doing really innovative and important architectural projects, and what really interested us was to see that work on an entirely new scale."

Adjaye’s limited edition cast bronze coffee table reflects this cross-over. The sculptural table with a clear glass top is constructed from four cast bronze panels, and four connecting plates. The roughhewn exterior contrasts the highly reflective, hand polished interior surface. To mark our 75th anniversary the bronze coffee table is limited to an edition of 75.

  • SR

    At first glance, this channeled a Stephen Burks meets Konstantine Grcic for me. Interesting. I love David’s work and think it will be interesting to see how he moves between architecture and furniture moving forward.

  • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

    Chair looks really nice, though with a price-tag of $300 they aren’t exactly ‘accessible’.

  • pantau

    Arte has a nice feature about him and the museum he designed in Washington – including a bit about the chairs:

    http://www.arte.tv/guide/de/048922-000/this-building-will-sing-for-all-of-us

  • guest

    Revolting.

    • bunmi

      What exactly is revolting?

    • Mark313

      Very easy for a kiddo who is too much of a coward to even sign a comment on the internet to write off the work of someone with a single word. The only revolting thing here is you and the 6 people who voted your comment.

  • dan

    I don’t think that’s too bad for a chair in general, even though I couldn’t afford it at the moment, but I have to agree with the below that these are just horrible – Grcic-Panton nastiness.

  • Tim Mason

    Oh my goodness, what are they doing at Knoll? David is a lovely guy and designs nice buildings, but really that furniture is rather disappointing – really poor quality design, highly referential, Grcic (Myto-Plank) meets Bouroullecs (Vegital-Vitra) on the chair, Barber+Osgerby (Zero In-Establish&Sons) on the low table.

    Knoll must have very deep pockets to tool-up for that stuff! Good luck but I feel that it might be better to let the architects concentrate on the showrooms, and leave the products to the Industrial designers. Anyone agree?

  • mondino

    Here we are talking about chairs and not of the most important project of the world. You should use more appropriate words. You can always say that you like a chair or not, but the importance is in the idea of the project and if it is understandable or not.