Bernhardt Design's president was a man on a mission. Jerry Helling had become obsessed with locating Charles Pollack—George Nelson and Florence Knoll Bassett's protégé, whose signature chair for Knoll, still in production 47 years later, remains one of the most popular in contract history. When a year of Web prowling, phone calls, and public-record searches finally yielded an excellent prospect living in a New York apartment, Helling handdelivered a letter to suggest a meeting. Weeks later, he and Pollack sat face to face.
No mere meet-and-revere session, the conversation quickly veered to product development-and the C.P. lounge chairs are the result. "Designing with a continuous line leads you in one direction, toward simplicity," Pollock says of his initial drawing. 828-758-9811; bernhardtdesign.com.