Marble is a luxurious material; its cool, smooth surface carries a unique beauty that has a voice of its own, and Knoll knows a thing or two about working with this highly sought after stone. For over 50 years, Knoll has been working alongside master craftsmen to create breathtaking and timeless pieces topped with marble. From the quarry to you, this is the story of Knoll Marble Classics and five of our favorites.
Marble first entered into Knoll’s collection of materials with Eero Saarinen’s launch of his Pedestal Collection in 1958. The collection became the balance of old and new, creating a striking harmony between the modernist design of his Pedestal Collection and marble, a classic material, rich in an ancient history all its own. From the time of first collection to now Knoll has expanded its reach into the quarry by utilizing a larger range of stone. What hasn’t changed is the company’s commitment to using only the finest AA Grade marble.
Using only the highest classification in the Marble Institute of America’s assessment of soundness, they ensure that the marble they use is of the finest AA grade. Everything from grain, veins, flaws and voids is taken into consideration when distinguishing the grade. While Grade A marble is considers to be “uniform [with] favorable working qualities: containing few geological flaws or voids,” Grade AA certification is near perfection.
In order to become a Knoll table top, a slab of marble must first pass a rigorous inspection. Only marble in the top three to ten perfect is selected. Even after the initial selection the marble is reinspected after three weeks of acclamation by a highly qualified stone master who ensures that each slab is cut in such a way that the highest quality portions of the slab are being used.
Once the marble is given the go ahead it is then cut using computerized, numerically controlled, water-cooled, polycrystalline diamond blades and cutters. After the initial cut, the marble is then smoothed by hand by skilled craftsmen who soften any imperfections around the table’s edges. The marble tops are dried, finished with multiple coats of Knoll’s transparent polyester coating, and are then shipped to various locations around the world where they take their final form as some of our favorite pieces of marble modern furniture from Knoll.
The most prominent Knoll piece to utilize marble, the Saarinen Tables remain a classic collection of iconic Mid-Century Modern designs. A smooth, beveled edged top is fixed onto a mod pedestal, creating a sleek and elegant table that has proven to be versatile and timeless.
A marble top finishes off the classic Florence Knoll Four Cabinet Credenza. The cool grace of marble compliments the credenza’s sever angles, creating a perfect piece with timeless appeal.
Though we may know the Platner Tables for their signature look of cool clear glass, when topped in marble they become as elegant and graceful as can be.
Rachel is one of the Merchandise Managers for YLiving with a long career in merchandising and is thrilled to finally be working through a channel that supports her passion for modern design. As a mother of two toddlers, she is practical, design driven in her decisions with furnishing her home and tempted daily with the endless options of home upgrades.