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The opening of the pleasingly clear, well-planned and colorful showrooms with their graceful, unpretentious models of Knoll furniture was an immediate success, especially so since the Institute of Technology and the Academy for Plastic Arts, situated in the vibrant atmosphere of this south German capital, now again were open to progressive ideas. Since the days of the Bauhaus, nobody had dared to present such unorthodox construction of furniture and form, such generous freedom of spatial design and such clear, strong color contrasts.

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Today, ten years after the founding of the German Knoll International GmbH, we find in ten cities of the Federal Republic and in West Berlin, the Knoll insignia, designed by Herbert Matter. The main office and the planning unit are situated in Stuttgart. However, the branches in Wiesbaden, Dusseldorf, Berlin and Frankfort and the licensees in Munich, Nuremberg, Hannover, Hamburg and Bremen too are under expert leadership and the purity of the Knoll style is their chief concern. With the concurrence of Florence Knoll, who studied with Mies van der Rohe, each new showroom and sales office is planned according to the same guiding principles of clear spatial design and color.

In the main office in Stuttgart, under the leadership of Toby E. Rodes, President of Knoll International for Europe, a comparatively small by well-organized planning and executive staff works together with the architects on the planning of large installations. This operation, in turn is modelled after the Knoll Planning Unit in America, which is charged with the planning of large projects, such as the furnishing of entire office buildings and public as well as industrial and administrative installations.

In collaboration with Knoll branches and licensees, Knoll's own architects will adapt Knoll standard designs for special requirements, if this becomes necessary in the case of large projects. For example, a new and very efficient type of files and racks for periodicals for the Hessian State Library was developed in cooperation with the director of this institution.

Without doubt, it is American influence in the best sense of the word which produces the teamwork of the many branches of the Knoll organization. Many extraordinary talents have contributed to the Knoll style. This concept has meant more to the individual artist than the satisfaction of purely personal ambition.

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"Florence Knoll has abundantly justified her training as an architect as well as the rare fortune of being a protégé in Eliel Saarinen's family, and also a student under Mies Van Der Rohe." So writes Philip Will, President of the American Institute of Architects, in a letter in which he presented her with the Industrial Arts Medal. The award was given her as Directory of Design and Planning in the international scope of Knoll Associates and for her meritorious work in the furthering good contemporary design. After mentioning how very fruitful her early contact with the family of Eliel Saarinen and her studies under Mies van der Rohe had been, the letter mentions explicitly Florence Knoll's unique efforts in assisting and spreading the work of outstanding international designers.
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