Florence Knoll – 101

We have been celebrating the life of Florence Marguerite Knoll Bassett over here at the Frost House, and we couldn’t think of a better way to do so than to FINALLY purchase the outdoor furniture we have always wanted for the pool deck. With a house filled room-to-room with Knoll furniture it was an easy decision really. So coming soon we will be adding a few pieces designed by Richard Schultz from his 1966 Collection [see below].

They will be going on the right had side of the pool deck to provide more seating for cocktail hour. Now that this purchase has drained our garden budget for 2019, it is back to saving our pennies in the hopes to replace the lounge chairs in 2020. We are keeping our eye on the prize, to make it all knoll #knollfordays.

We have been on the hunt for vintage pieces, and we have 4 lounges that we found on our back patio, off the guest bedrooms – but we could never find a large enough collection in matching colors to fit our pool. Bring on the delivery, and bring on summer so we can get out there and cocktail again – this time in comfort – and to toast a few to the legend – Florence Knoll.

For more on Florence, and to get the 101: on her connection to the Frost House head over here, & over here; to learn about her life – Knoll has a lovely tribute to ‘Shu’ that you can read here.

No. 1: Dwell’s Top 10 PreFabs of 2017

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Well it just goes to show that these Alside prefabricated homes, of which there were 22 models to select from, and were granted a patent in 1962 have stood the test of time. Dwell have started to compile their ‘Top Ten’ lists for 2017, and we were blown away to see our little house listed as #1. See the whole article here.

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The Design Files – Australia

Thank-you ‘The Design Files’ for breaking your own rules to feature our little house [a non-Australian home] on your ever stylish pages. We often refer to our house as the IKEA version of the Farnsworth House. Our prefabricated home was meant to be affordable design for everyday living. It is not meant to be the fanciest house, just good design that made living simple and easy, and in a eye-pleasing package. Every-time the Frost House is featured we are so humbled to be gracing the line-up of incredible homes that are insane eye-candy, with equally creative residents. So thank-you for sharing our story, and our home, and most importantly for thinking it was worthy of putting it in front of your design conscious readers.

To view the complete story click here.

Knoll Inspiration

Humbled doesn’t even begin to describe how we feel about our little house being featured on the inspiration pages of the Knoll Inc. website. Look at us featured along side Richard Wright – that alone is amazing.

Through instagram and our #knollfordays / #myknoll tags we managed to grab Knoll’s attention. Curious, Knoll did some digging into their archives – and they too had reference to Knoll’s involvement in the Alside Homes. When they asked if they could do a story we agreed without hesitation. And then they wrote such a beautiful piece on the house – check it out via Frost House | Knoll InspirationThank-you for the fun experience Knoll Inc., and for the love you have given ‘The Frost House’. 

The Knoll connection

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We are working on doing some research to find out more about the house. The seller’s realtor provided us with a ‘sales brochure’ on the home and we discovered a few things that are requiring us to dig deeper. The brochure references the following clues:

  • Alside Home Corporation  built the prefabricated home
  • Emil Tessin was the Engineer / Architect
  • Knoll & Paul McCobb designed the interiors

This information got us poking around online, and as it turns out we have learned that there is a ‘6 degrees of separation from Florence Knoll Bassett’. You see – Emil Tessin Senior [a Banker], and father to Emil Tessin the Engineer / Architect, was the legal guardian to Florence ‘Shu’ Knoll Bassett according to the Archives of American Art:

Florence Knoll Bassett was born Florence Schust in 1917 and was affectionately known as Shu by her colleagues and friends. She was orphaned at age 12 and then cared for by Emile Tessin, a friend of the family whom her mother had appointed as Florence’s legal guardian in the event of her death. When arrangements were being made for Florence to attend boarding school she was given the opportunity to make the selection. Kingswood School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, held a strong aesthetic appeal for her and she “made an immediate decision that it was the right place for me,” beginning her architectural studies under the school’s art director, Rachel de Wolfe Raseman.

We did some reading of the extensive collection of archives that Florence herself put together and donated in 2000. There was only one reference in the entire collection that we found making a reference to Emil Tessin. It was in the form of a letter from the Saarinen family stating that they were taking Florence to Europe and she was in good hands:

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Emil Tessin Senior was a graduate of Michigan Law School – Class of 1914

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The search continues … but we are still excited about the Knoll connection.

This post was updated in Jan 2019.