Joseph Warren Platner was born in Baltimore, Maryland on June 18, 1919. Studied architecture at Cornell University, where he graduated in 1941. In 1955, Platner received the Rome Prize in architecture and he was inducted into Interior Design magazine’s hall of fame in 1985. Over the years, Platner worked with legendary designers Raymond Loewy, Eero Saarinen, Kevin Roche and I.M. Pei.
He was immersed in the creation of steel wire furniture, devising the method and tooling needed to produce the lounge chair in his line of furniture. He first introduced his collection of chairs, ottomans and tables in 1966. Each piece of his line of modern furniture was designed on a sculptural base of nickel-plated steel.
Platner worked as head of interior design at Kevin Roche’s firm, creating office spaces that were flexible, efficient and understated. He created a warm environment with rich colors. Offices designed by Platner featured ergonomic desks with built-in telephones and special compartments for files and computers (and other office machines).
In 1965, while working on the Ford Foundation project, Planter opened his own design firm in Connecticut, the Warren Platner Associates. His first solo project was the Georg Jenson Design Center in New York City, which opened in 1968. Georg Jenson sold high-end Scandinavian furniture and lighting.
He designed Windows on the World, a restaurant atop the World Trade Center, to resemble the interior of an ocean liner. The terraced dining room was designed so that every table would have a view. The restaurant’s design featured pastel colors and fabric-covered walls. Windows on the World opened in 1976.
Platner also completed the interior design of Water Tower Place, a vertical shopping mall that opened in Chicago in 1976 as well as the 1986 redesign of the Pan Am Building lobby for MetLife.
Platner was married to Joan Payne Platner, and had four children, 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren at the time of his death in 2006 at the age of 86.
He is most known for his modern design, adopted by Knoll and featured in the Platner Dining and Low Tables Collection, the Platner Lounge Collection, and other pieces.