Influential Interior Architect Florence Knoll Bassett Dies at 101

New York, NY, January 29, 2019--Florence Knoll Bassett, 101, architect and designer who redefined the concept of the corporate office through open floor plans and spare furnishings and former leader of Knoll International, died January 25 at her home in Coral Gables, Florida.

The Washington Post reports that Knoll Bassett “studied with several leading architects of the 20th century, including Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, whose emphasis on straight lines and a lack of ornament became a hallmark of her designs, as well.

“Although she designed some buildings, Ms. Knoll Bassett was best known for her reimagining of interior space as she cleared away old ways of thinking along with the heavy desks and draperies that had cluttered offices for years.

“’I am not a decorator,’ she repeatedly said. Rather, her aim was to apply architectural principles to the part of buildings where people spend most of their time: the inside.

“For more than 20 years, Ms. Knoll Bassett was the design director of Knoll Associates, a company she formed in the mid-1940s with her first husband, Hans Knoll.

“Her daring use of materials, texture, color and space--corresponding with the international style of architecture prevalent at the time--was considered revolutionary and came to embody what is now called mid-century modern design.”