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Dick Spierenburg: “We want to improve hall 11 with Pure Atmospheres and offer visitors added value.”

Foto: Koelnmesse, Dick Spierenburg

In the course of the continuing further development of the trade fair, on the occasion of imm cologne 2019, the structuring of the Pure design segment with the reformulation of hall 11 will be perfected to provide an architecturally looser, but atmospherically even more condensed hall of “Pure Atmospheres”. Dick Spierenburg is the architect of the redesigned hall 11 and explains the motifs for the trade fair update in an interview.

What do you understand an interiors trade fair to be, and how has imm cologne changed in recent years?
I still hear the almost reflexive sentence from buyers and entrepreneurs, as well as from creatives and journalists, that “The furniture trade fair is in January”. And of course furniture remains a core theme of imm cologne, and this won’t change. However, living has changed a great deal in the last 50 years. The typical “kitchen, hallway, bathroom” constellation, which for decades meant little more than purely functional supplements to the “inhabited” rooms of an apartment or a house, has become the “living kitchen, media room, balcony or apartment”. Or even something completely different. There are hardly any rooms anymore without any kind of living function and aesthetic aspirations, and their functions are very individualised, just like the stylistic expression. Our society is changing, and thus also our requirements of modern interior design. The offering of a trade fair is also changing accordingly. At imm cologne we increasingly reflect the entire interiors industry.

What is behind this development at imm cologne?
The offering itself, for one thing. However, the type of presentation is also changing, and there are different needs. Many of our exhibitors have recognised that holistic interiors worlds or pointed stagings are received better than pure product or furniture presentations. We therefore also offer differentiated trade fair formats in the Pure design segment in which our exhibitors can present their character accordingly.

Illustration: Koelnmesse, Spierenburg studio

And how do you define “holistic interiors”?
The bandwidth extends from products and collections for all rooms in private apartments and homes, from the fitted kitchen at LivingKitchen through classic furniture to home textiles and decorative accessories. The theme of “light” is also increasingly important for holistic interior design. For imm cologne 2018 we have very successfully dedicated ourselves to the bathroom, because the bathroom is also getting cosier. With the Smart Home, technical products are also influencing living, and with LivingKitchen we once again present current kitchen trends in a double-pack at imm cologne 2019.

How important are furnishing trends for you?
Very. We don’t simply observe the trends at the product or colour levels. At imm cologne we reflect societal developments in interior design and transform these into solid trade fair formats. And we are also proud to be an important platform for international interiors trends, and that many interior design trends find their way out into the world from Cologne – like the trend of “German Gemütlichkeit”.

Photo: Koelnmesse, Lutz Sternstein

And now the “heart” of imm cologne is being updated – hall 11. Why? And how should the name Pure Atmospheres be understood?
Don’t worry, we aren’t placing the traditional Pure section in the three levels of hall 11 in question – on the contrary, we want to further improve the hall with Pure Atmospheres and offer visitors added value. Here is where many high-end brands that offer holistic interiors concepts with complete collections are at home. Their trade fair presentations therefore often consist of atmospherically dense, cohesive stagings. We want to encourage exhibitors to open up a little, because our experience has shown that a more open stand architecture refines the trade air presentation and makes it more attractive. Of course they will also continue to be able to present their own take on living culture, their personal signature, their interpretation of good design in Pure Atmospheres. Here the focus is not on the individual product, but on the interaction of all elements. We even want to intensify the positive atmosphere and are planning combined event food service with the staging of current interior design developments for imm cologne 2019. We want to improve the quality of stay for visitors even further. The passages will also be designed to be airier, and the halls will on the whole be streamlined, spacious and brighter.

Photo: Koelnmesse, Lutz Sternstein

What is the difference between Pure Editions and Pure Atmospheres?
A few years ago Pure Editions was something entirely new and unusual. The open stand architecture and the compact stand layout practically invited design editors to stage their products like a statement: emphasised by a sparse context, iconic, in place of a brand and a particular style. Pure Editions has revolutionised the presentation of brands in the interiors industry. We are grateful that so many home furnishings brands have responded to our call for greater innovation in trade fair design. In 2019 we will once again expand Pure Editions with the entire hall 3.1. In Pure Atmospheres we merely emphasise the strengths of the exhibitors who have in any case already been looking for bigger dimensions with a slightly revised hall layout and a new creative concept: spacious stand areas for big brand worlds. Here the visitor can submerge completely into a consistent brand world that can reflect entire living areas with the help of complete connections.

You emphasise the event character of imm cologne. How would you describe the impact on visitors?
In Pure Editions, exhibitors can tell an entire story with very little, and in Pure Atmospheres one can completely lose oneself in the story without even being conscious of the teller. One has an aspect of theatre – Pure Editions seems like a gallery, like a stage for design pieces and living ideas. Pure Atmospheres is more like going to see a movie: you sink into a chair and enjoy. In that we partially open the facades of the primarily closed trade fair stands, one can always have a look into these brand worlds when strolling – like a trailer before the feature film, if you please.

Further information about Pure Atmospheres you will find here.