Furnishing Cologne – part 4: New product armchair Bao by Walter Knoll

Bao by Walter Knoll (Photo: Mirjam Fruscella / koelnmesse)

Form goes freestyle on a slippery surface: An opulent sculpture with a delightful derrière: rather like a leather ball, the slightly convex back of Walter Knoll’s Bao armchair consists of three cleverly cut strips of leather. The flowing lines thus created map out the lounge chair’s spirited and elegant design. The swivel armchair is equipped with a heavy but invisible metal plate and features a combination of different materials: leather on the back, fabric on the seat. Everything has its place. In the office, several Baos can be combined to create a seating scenario that permits collaboration and communication on an equal, non-hierarchical basis.

Design: EOOS
Booth: Hall 11.2 Booth H011

Furnishing Cologne – part 3: New product sofa avec plaisir by Brühl

avec plaisir by Brühl (Photo: Mirjam Fruscella / koelnmesse)

Sultry sights in Rheinau Harbour: The name says it all: avec plaisir, the new two-seater sofa from Brühl, doesn’t just have charisma and the flair to become a classic, it’s exceedingly comfortable as well. The sculptural, organic shape conveys a sense of security even before you take a seat. Whilst you could be forgiven for thinking that every conceivable sofa shape has already been produced, the experimental design of avec plaisir nevertheless manages to blend form and function into a veritable feel-good factor. The trendy sofa was created by young designer Kati Meyer-Brühl. It is available in a choice of different fabrics and features the kind of top-quality craftsmanship its unusual shape requires.

Design: Kati Meyer-Brühl
Booth: Hall 11.2 Booth N041

Furnishing Cologne – part 2: New product barstool Kya by Frei Frau

(Foto: Mirjam Fruscella / koelnmesse)

High noon at Päffgen: The Kya barstool from young furniture brand Frei Frau is more than just an innovative solution for a typical pub stool. According to its designers Eva Paster and Michael Geldmacher (Neuland), it looks just as much at home in the leather-dominated setting of a swish historic hotel bar as it does in the understated clarity of an urban bar or even a modern private interior. You can either sit on it the traditional way or as if it were a saddle. It invites the user to change position and play with the different possibilities. A hefty double seam holds the individual pieces of leather together. Kya is designed to age with dignity, acquiring a patina as the years pass. With increasing age, the stool is meant to tell of the thousands of miles its various riders have spent astride it at the bars of this world – hopefully in line with the motto: change your horse, not your saddle!

Design: Neuland Paster & Geldmacher
Booth: Hall 3.2 Booth D029

Furnishing Cologne – Part 1: New product outdoor sofa Tropez by Gandia Blasco

Sofa from Gandia Blasco (Photo: Mirjam Fruscella)

Dialogue between design and architecture: The outdoor sofa Tropez by Spanish furniture manufacturer Gandia Blasco takes the comfort of living room furniture out into the open. Tropez attracts attention precisely because of its unpretentious appearance and lightness – rather like a quietly exhilarated butterfly landing in the garden. Designer Stefan Diez looked to the world of sport in the 20s and 30s for ideas, citing the language of elegant sailing boats and hand-crafted tennis racquets. The sofa is based on an aluminium frame structure and can be equipped with various leg elements. The informal character of this outdoor furniture aims to impart a special identity to architectural and non-architectural landscapes alike.

Design: Stefan Diez
Booth: Hall 3.2 Booth C033

Countdown to the imm cologne: 11 new products

(Photo: FAR Consulting)

With Christmas only just over, it’s time to start opening little doors again in Cologne. For several weeks now, 11 selected new products for the imm cologne have been awaiting the pubic spotlight in this warehouse. We’ll be presenting one of them every day starting today. Watch this space!

What is the beautiful new Gandia Blasco sofa by Stefan Diez doing on the street outside Cologne’s Kolumba Museum? Are the people walking along the promenade of the Rheinau Harbour really allowed to settle down and make themselves comfortable on the latest upholstered furniture from Brühl? Have the little leaf-shaped tables on the riverbank always been there? And when did designer furniture like the FreiFrau barstools start hanging out in a Kölsch pub?

Das Haus – new design highlight takes concrete shape

Nipa Doshi und Jonathan Levien gestalten eine große Wohn-Installation auf der imm cologne 2012.
Nipa Doshi und Jonathan Levien gestalten eine große Wohn-Installation auf der imm cologne 2012.

Who says modern everyday life and sensuousness have to be at odds with one another? The “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” installation by Doshi Levien at the imm cologne 2012 aims to furnish evidence to the contrary. In an installation that is visionary not just at architectural level but in creative terms as well, the design experiment is developing into a fascinating study on modern ways of living.

“‘Das Haus’ combines the best of some very different worlds. It could be located anywhere on the planet.” Designer Nipa Doshi is alluding to an encounter between modern architecture and a world of contemporary forms on the one hand and the traditionally colourful aesthetics of Asia, the chaotic-seeming building tradition of Indian or Far Eastern megacities and the open, inward-facing interior culture of Morocco on the other. According to the plans of London design team Doshi Levien, many of these elements will be brought together in their installation in such a way that something totally new emerges: “It combines unconditional modernity with a sensuous lifestyle,” says Jonathan Levien of the blueprint for the imm cologne’s new design format: “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage”. His wife Nipa Doshi adds: “That’s precisely why we designed ‘Das Haus’ this way – because it doesn’t exist in this form. Only parts of it do.”

imm cologne “prime”: more space dedicated to top-quality living-room and bedroom furniture

(Photo: smowblog)
Koelnmesse is reporting an extremely strong demand from exhibitors for space in the imm cologne‘s prime segment. In contrast to the 2011 event, it won’t just be halls 4.1, 5.1 and 10.1 that are dedicated to top-quality living room and bedroom furniture, mainly from the high-end segment; in 2012, Hall 5.2 will be reserved for this prime-quality furniture as well. Whether they’re looking for a modern interior, tables and chairs or dining room furniture – visitors to the prime segment will go home with a comprehensive overview of what the international market has to offer. They can also look forward to some groundbreaking world firsts in terms of multifunctionality and technology. Some exhibitors – including a great many who will be taking part in the imm cologne for the first time – are revealing a few of their trump cards in the run-up to the fair.

Alu-Style is one of the new providers who will be joining the furniture fair for the first time; accordingly, the Hungarians are coming to Cologne with high expectations. Up until now, Alu-Style has been better known as a player from the supplier industry and has been attending the furniture for many years as a visitor. Now the company wants to establish itself in the international furniture industry with its tried and tested systems for sliding doors, shelving, tables and walls. The company’s trade fair presentation will focus on its sliding doors – including the new “Albatros” line. Alu-Style cites flexibility as the crucial trend of the future: the declared basis of all Alu-Style’s products.

The German Wallpaper Institute reinterprets retro at the imm cologne

Retro is a trend – there’s nothing new about that. For some years now, the aesthetics of fashion, design and architecture have been turning to the shapes and styles of past eras. Even so, new variations on this trend are evolving all the time: wallpaper manufacturers have realised the appeal of retro motifs and are integrating them into their collections.

Big lines and circles in loud colours are typical of retro wallpapers. Several vibrant shades are often used together in one motif to create striking colour combinations. But there are also wallpapers on the market for amateur decorators who are less keen to experiment. Single-colour motifs on a light background, for instance, are a good start for retro novices.

Bordbar lifts off with Airberlin in 2011 – Airline to use light trolleys by Cologne-based company

Bordbar are deploying their products in their natural habitat – the air. 350 trolleys designed and produced by Bordbar will take off in cooperation with Germany’s second largest airline company Airberlin over the next few weeks.

Two classic Bordbar designs will be on board of the Airberlin planes, the “airports black” and the “worldmap black”. Both types will be brand-new and like all other Bordbar trolleys meet all standards and requirements for use in the sky. “Compared to other manufacturers our models are somewhat lighter and have the distinctive Bordbar design”, managing director Stephan Boltz explains. The company was founded in 2006 and already has a global network of over 220 trade partners. Boltz’s co-founder Valentin Hartmann adds: “Five years ago we started revamping disused airplane trolleys and transforming them into design objects for private use. Now we’re making a U-turn and finding our way back into the skies. Hence, we are about to reach one of our greatest business objectives.”

Exceptional design paired with high functionality and environmental friendliness: These were the criteria which convinced Airberlin to take the Bordbar trolleys on board. “The trolley as a commodity is transformed into an exceptional design object by Bordbar while conforming to our high quality standards. The trolleys are made of a very light material and therefore positively influence fuel consumption. This way we can maintain our reputation as an environmentally conscious airline”, Thomas Ney, Chief Product Officer Airberlin explains.

The Bordbar trolleys will be travelling around the planet until the end of October. After that they will touch-down in the Cologne-based Bordbar workshop where they will be given a face-lift and furnished individually before going on sale as used collector’s items just in time for Christmas.

The human factor as the measure of all things – seating comfort made by COR

Making upholstered furniture is an art form in its own right. And when it comes to seating comfort, ergonomics are an important discipline. The right seat heights and depths and the materials used play a major role. In addition, observations on human growth development are becoming increasingly important. Consequently, in light of the fact that, on average, people are getting taller, COR raised the seat height of its sofas by two centimetres several years ago.

A host of very different needs have to be considered – not only in terms of the construction but with regard to choosing the right sofa as well. Besides weight and height, the user’s personal preferences also play a key role: some like to sit close to the ground, others like to rise above things. And whilst some prefer a soft, flat surface, others like a firmer seat with a high backrest. When it comes to the upholstery, the personal feelgood factor is crucial. “Trust your instincts,” advises COR’s head of marketing Berthold Strüve, “Try out various backrests and seats. Comparing different options is the only way to find out what kind of inner workings are right for you.”