Explore Float

CBS Building 1965

by Eero Saarinen, Florence Knoll, Lou Dorfsman

The CBS Building, often called “Blackrock” because of its black granite exterior, was designed by Eero Saarinen with Warren Platner. It was not Saarinen’s first building in the New York area – he also designed the TWA terminal at JFK Airport. Unfortunately, Saarinen died before the tower opened in 1966. Interior designer Florence Knoll, president of Knoll Associates, Inc., had complete control over the interiors. Rules were enacted by CBS discouraging employees from rearranging furniture or adding their personal items or furniture to their offices in order to preserve the design aesthetic. Lou Dorfsman, Design Director at CBS, created a 35×8.5 feet mural, with names of foods milled in various typefaces and interspersed with sculptures of food.


1965 1965 CBS Building constructed
1966 1966 Gastrotypographicalassemblage installed
1989 1989 Gastrotypographicalassemblage removed
2007 2007 Gastrotypographicalassemblage restored and installed at Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY

Reference Links

article The Atlantic: The Death and Resurrection of the Gastrotypographicalassemblage
article Design Observer: Skating on the Edge of Taste with Warren Platner, by Alexandra Lange
link DoCoMoMo: CBS Building
article American Women Tastemakers: Florence Knoll Bassett
article Life: How it feels to live in Total Design, by Chris Welles, April 29 1966
article Lou Dorfsman's Gastrotypographicalassemblage Brings New 'Culinary Art' to The Culinary Institute of America
link The Center for Design Study: Lou Dorfsman
article New York Times: Lou Dorfsman, Design Chief at CBS, Dies at 90
internal gDoc