Charles Pfister (1939 to 1990) was an American interior and furniture designer and architect. He was professionally active in San Francisco. 

After earning a B.A. in Architecture from the University of California, Charles Pfister worked as an interior designer at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill for 15 years. It was during this period that he created the Pfister Lounge Collection for Knoll, with production beginning in 1971.

Education

He studied architecture and design, University of California at Berkeley. 

Biography

Between 1965-81, Pfister was a designer of corporate interiors in the San Francisco branch of architects Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Here, he became active in mass production design and was an associate partner and interior design department, director. He was known for interiors of elegant simplicity. In 1981, Pfister, James Leal, and Pamela Babey established Charles Pfister Associates in San Francisco. His extensive list of clients included Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt and Citicorp.

He produced the interiors for;

  • the 21 Club restaurant, New York
  • Square One restaurant, San Francisco
  • Grand Hotel, Washington
  • Shell central headquarters, The Hague
  • United Overseas Bank, Singapore
  • a hotel 13th-century monastery in Milan. 
Lobby, Grand Hotel, Washington DC 1987 by Charles Pfister
Lobby, Grand Hotel, Washington DC 1987 by Charles Pfister. Interior Architecture

He designed rugs for V’Soske, seating for Metropolitan and Bernhardt, and lighting for Boyd and Casella. His office furniture and accessories for Knoll included the 1975 range of clear glass ashtrays and bowls produced by Vistosi in Murano.

His 40-piece 1990 Premier Collection of residential furniture made by Baker was said· by him to owe its design to various sources, including the work of Terence RobsJohn-Gibbings ( to whom the range was dedicated), 19th-century Russia, 18th-century Sweden and ‘steamship moderne.’

He also designed case-goods, seating, and tables for Baker Execu Office. In 1988, Pfister’s firm was renamed The Pfister Partnership, with offices in San Francisco and London. 

Knoll

Charles Pfister designed his beautifully proportioned lounge collection in 1971. The timeless appeal and superb craftsmanship reflect his interest in “useful, sculptural, wonderfully constructed objects.”

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

Kurtick, J., & Eakin, G. (1996). Interior architecture. Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Charles Burchfield his early watercolours – Encyclopedia of Design

Charles Burchfield his early watercolours Based on the Museum of Modern Art New York Exhibition April 11 to April 26, 1930 One question always kept coming back to haunt American artist, Charles Burchfield. “He had this constant question, ‘Am I doing something valid?’

Ray Eames an American Designer – Encyclopedia of Design

Ray Eames (b. Bernice Alexandra Kaiser 1912-88) was an American designer. She was born in Sacramento, California. She was the wife of Charles Eames. In creative partnership with her spouse Charles Eames and the Eames Office, she was responsible for groundbreaking contributions in the field of architecture, furniture design, industrial design, manufacturing and the photographic arts.

Knoll

After earning a B.A. in Architecture from the University of California, Charles Pfister worked on the staff of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s interior design department for 15 years. It was during this period that he created the Pfister Lounge Collection for Knoll, with production beginning in 1971.

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