Warren Platner (1919-2006)
American architect and interior designer Warren Platner was born Joseph Warren Platner in Baltimore, Maryland in 1919.
Platner attended Cornell University and graduated in 1941 with a degree in architecture. Upon leaving Cornell, Platner found work with some of the most prominent and highly regarded architectural practices in the country, including those of Raymond Loewy, I.M. Pei and Kevin Roche.
In 1960, Platner joined the firm of fellow architect and designer Eero Saarinen. There he participated in the design of several high profile properties including Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., the John Deere corporate headquarters, the Repository Theatre at Lincoln Center and a series of dormitories for Yale University.
In 1966, while still working with Saarinen, Platner produced his seminal line of tables, chairs and ottomans for Knoll International. These iconic designs are instantly identifiable by their sculptural bases made of ‘spoked’ nickel-plated steel rods that, as the Knoll catalog describes them, resemble a “shiny sheaf of wheat.” The complex construction of these bases - some requiring hundreds of steel rods and over 1,000 welds - create a unique interplay between interior and exterior space. Well received from its inception, this design collection has remained in constant production since, a favorite of interior designers world over.
In 1967, Platner opened his own architecture firm, Warren Platner Associates. The New York showroom of Georg Jensen and the Windows of the World restaurant that topped the North Tower of the World Trade Center are among its best known commissions.
Warren Platner stayed active in his firm until falling ill in early 2006. He died later that year at 86.