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Yearly Archives: 2016
UFL has a history of producing our own in-house furniture based on the latest market trends and requirements. One of our largest pieces was instigated by the need for a modular soft-seating system that could be produced within a short lead time and could be customised for a range of projects and situations.
Enter Panama, designed in 2012 and manufactured in New Zealand. Panama comprises of curved and straight ottomans, and low and high-back sofa units which may be grouped together in endless combinations. The ideal solution for both public and private commercial environments, Panama can be used for dining, working or relaxing, and redefines and recharges spaces both large and small.
Available upholstered in a range of fabric, leather or vinyl, Panama may be configured as a single-sided piece or a double-sided system, which means it can be placed within open spaces to divide them and can be approached and utilized from all directions. Power may be integrated for added convenience and usability.
Privacy screens are available between the units, and tables may be attached to the back of sofa units for pulling stools or chairs up to for a drink or a meal. The tables come in a range of finishes like Melteca, timber veneer or high pressure laminate.
Panama was designed specifically for high density zones like airport lounges, office breakout areas, member’s lounges and universities, where a number of people engaged in different activities are gathered concurrently.
In April 2016 we completed a fit-out alongside Stack Interiors for shipping company Maersk Line’s new Auckland premises. Having completed Maersk’s original fit-out some 10 years ago, it was a pleasure to be invited back to the drawing board.
Stack created sleek, well-appointed headquarters, specifying a range of furniture including Enea’s Lottus Conference chair, Office chair, Lounge chair and AL table. German manufacturer Wilde and Spieth’s Typus table, the Dual table by Andreu World, Arper’s Colina lounge chair and Catifa 46 chairs. Horm’s Albino occasional table, our own Panama modular seating and a custom built 6.5m boardroom table.
Maersk Line’s latest refurbishment is timeless, comfortable and sophisticated, and is sure to remain on-point for another decade.
Photos by Rebecca Swan
Some of UFL’s most esteemed projects have seen our furniture installed into airport passenger lounges and check-in terminals both globally and within New Zealand. Our on-going and established presence in such a specialised sector of the contract market presented a unique opportunity for UFL to develop our own beam seat which we aptly named Flight.
Flight has been placed into numerous airports, hospital waiting areas, and the Jurisdiction and High Courts in Auckland, since its inauguration some 10 years ago. Ideally suited to interiors where form and function are critical elements, Flight’s dominant feature is its beautiful timber mono-shell which is sustainably grown and FSC certified European Beech. The seats may be finished in a variety of elegant stains, timber laminate, frontal or fully upholstered in customer specified fabric, vinyl or leather.
Versatility is among Flight’s main virtues; any seat along the span may be replaced with metal or High Pressure Laminate tables. Flight is available as a two, three, four and five seater unit and may be floor fixed for added security.
Power can be integrated, allowing passengers to work whilst sitting on Flight and charge their electronic devices. Back-to-back linking options can lock units together and Flight is available with end or intermediate arms.
Flight provides a warm and natural aesthetic to waiting rooms and passenger lounges. Elegant and strong, the legs and arms are manufactured in pressure die-cast aluminium combined with a mild steel beam. The entire frame may be finished in chrome or double powder-coated in a large range of colours.
One of our most exciting and creative fit-outs of late, is the members lounge at Hampton Downs Raceway in Meremere. The owners approached UFL in late 2015 with an exclusive design and fit-out brief for the new lounge which was still under construction. The raceway was enjoying bumper seasons and wanted to provide a smart yet relaxed lounge for private memberships.
The brief was not dissimilar to a high-end airport lounge, a place where people could socialise, work, or just get away from it all and relax. The space occupies a large second storey which is surrounded by decks with premium views overlooking the racetrack.
The lounge was divided into zones through the choice of furniture which includes Oh! lounge chairs and Chat ottomans by Sancal, UFL’s Pacific Series high-back sofas for privacy and J-Series barleaners, tables and Arper’s Juno chairs for dining. The piece de resistance is our own Panama modular sofa which runs like a spine through the middle of the space.
For the outdoor area we chose Vondom Stones lounge chairs and occasional tables, and Vases barstools paired with Andreu World Reverse leaners. This all-weather area needed elegant yet tough furniture which could withstand a variety of conditions.
An on-point selection of furniture has created a fun yet sophisticated lounge, drawing race car enthusiasts to enjoy Hampton Downs in style.
Photos by Jeremy Toth
UFL are delighted to welcome Figueras International Seating into our fold of European suppliers. World leaders in the design and manufacture of seating systems for theaters, auditoriums, and concert halls, Figueras have recently fitted out the magnificent Len Lye Gallery in New Plymouth with their Flex 6036 armchair. Designed by Patterson Architecture, the gallery which was purpose built to house the works of kinetic sculptor Len Lye, makes a profound statement and demanded furniture which was on par with its architecture.
In 2014 Figueras was awarded the Spanish National Design Award for its work to date. This is the highest award in the field of design and innovation bestowed to companies in Spain. Figueras’s attention to creating quality designs which incorporate the latest technological advances, leverages their specialized engineering and design capabilities to produce innovative solutions like fixed and mobile seating systems, platforms, telescopic tribunes and mobile floors. Despite humble beginnings as a small carpentry workshop in Barcelona, the company have now completed over 40,000 projects worldwide and installed 10 million seats into such high-end projects as the White House Press Room, The United Nations in Geneva, and the Philharmonic of Paris. The product is now available for projects within New Zealand exclusively from UFL.
With the creation of new division Figueras Engineering & Consulting in 2006, the parent company consolidated its course of carrying out custom-design projects by offering comprehensive engineering solutions particular to the individual client. Each new seating system or model is developed to meet the needs of the project, with particular emphasis on making the most of available space. Figueras are experts in optimizing space and enhancing profitability through movable seating systems that allow a single space to accommodate a range of different uses.
Mobles114 unveiled two breathtaking collections at Salone del Mobile this year. With wire furniture currently so on-trend, the Spanish manufacturer delivered undeniable crowd-pleasers.
Martin Azua is the creative genius behind Rambla. Delicate to behold, Rambla’s tough, its namesake is the famous promenade in Barcelona which runs from the heart of the city to the port. Historically one could hire tables and chairs on the street, for a rest and a drink with a friend.
Azua works in Barcelona and combines teaching and product design, with interior design and temporary installations. Highly committed to the environment and society, his work is based on abstraction and experimentation. Among his more famous projects is the Basic House which has formed part of the permanent collection at the MOMA in New York since 2007.
Rambla is available in crisp green, yellow, charcoal and white. Manufactured from steel rod, its contemporary shape reinterprets tradition and the most cosmopolitan Mediterranean lifestyle. The chairs are roomy and comfortable, with relaxing arms and an optional polyurethane foam cushion.
Stackable Tube boasts a distinctive, well-resolved design. Gentle curves defy the industrial origins of the collection which is manufactured from continual steel tube. Available in a sophisticated colour palette of white, blue grey, black, chestnut brown, olive grey and anthracite, Tube is simple and smart, perfect for hospitality projects or residential interiors.
Tube is the brainchild of Eugeni Quitllet, a designer who is making a huge name for himself in Europe designing for the likes of Vondom, Kartell, and Lexon. With an international career that started with Philippe Stark, Quitllet now runs his own studio in Barcelona. Expressive and unique, Quitllet resists trends, he has been described as a tireless seeker and a lover of technology, defining himself as a ‘dreamsigner’, a designer and dreamer, following his own instinctual process.
Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu, are founding partners of Neri&Hu, a Shanghai based architectural design practice, with offices in London and New York.
Neri&Hu’s fundamental approach to design is research. This is epitomised throughout their projects which are steeped with a sense of place and history. The site and function of each plays a part in the aesthetic, largely industrial and minimalist, where only the essentials make the cut.
Foundered in 2004, Neri&Hu employs a multi-cultural staff who collectively speak over 30 languages. This diversity enables the central vision of the practice; to respond to a global world-view by combining various design disciplines for a new architectural standard.
With clients based all over the world Neri&Hu’s work has paid off, and their services include architecture, interior design, master planning, graphic and product design.
The firm recently designed a rug for contemporary Spanish rug manufacturer, Nanimarquina. The Jie rug made its debut at the 2016 Salone del Mobile in Milan. Inspired by ceramic tiles and patterns on the streets of Shanghai, Jie is named after the Chinese character ‘Jie’, which represents the essence of a city; constant movement, dynamism, and a place which brims with life. Jie is available in blue and jade green, both popular colours for ceramic glazes in China.
Neri&Hu has been featured widely by the press around the world and their designs have been recognized by a number of prestigious international design awards. Neri&Hu are named Maison&Objet Asia Designers of The Year 2015. UK Wallpaper* announced the Founding Partners Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu as 2014 Designer of The Year and in 2013 they were inducted into U.S. Interior Design Hall of Fame.
As a group of furniture professionals at UFL, our muse is the international circuit of furniture fairs, of which Salone del Mobile in Milan is the absolute darling. We visit every year; to seek inspiration and draw from new trends, new ideas and new products. We see our role in the milieu, as that of curators; selecting only the choicest offerings from simply thousands of new items, bringing them home to New Zealand to share with our local cliental.
Salone de Mobile is growing. It seems like the industry is adhering to its former glory and this year Milan was simply bursting out of her skin. Outstanding events and happenings were woven into the entire fabric of the city, from tiny apartments in Brera to the historical buildings within the city’s centre. Even the post-industrial warehouses of Ventura Lambrate held startling exhibitions of new products, alongside the delicious art galleries and the main Rho fairgrounds themselves. Salone 2016 truly surpassed our expectations with the vast array of superb installations, breath-taking new releases and magnificent parties.
Here are some of the highlights from Milano 2016:
Uber-cool furniture manufacturer Bend Goods from Los Angeles, are relative new kids on the block but they’ve already made their mark on the international design scene in a seriously big way.
Founded by Gaurav Nanda in 2010, Bend produces steel wire furniture for contract and residential projects worldwide. Nanda credits the inspiration behind his company to California’s red hot modernist architecture. With so many stunning examples of the style, Nanda wanted to design furniture that would look at right at home in any one of these Mid-Century masterpieces.
Bend’s galvanised goods include barstools, dining and lounge chairs, coffee tables, pendant lights and accessories, all designed for indoor and outdoor use. Each design has a moniker that makes them seem like one of the family. There’s Lucy, Betty, Ethel and Captain, there’s Bunny and Peacock too and the furniture looks so damn good, it just squeals revelry.
Maybe it’s the weather, California’s eternal sunshine, but Bend’s furniture makes one want to stop what they’re doing, and get down to the serious task of socialising over cocktails. There’s colour galore, powder-coated pastel perfection available in a veritable spectrum, there’s sparkly gem-toned headiness, or super sharp metallics in Gold, Bronze, Rose Gold and Chrome.
The manufacturing of Bend’s products engage a hand-crafted method of shaping and spot welding – a process the company calls ‘bending.’ Each ‘bend’ is carefully arranged to ensure structural strength, whilst the angles of the chair’s back, the curves of the seat and the closeness of the wires are designed to encourage relaxation and utility. Bend’s seating is remarkably comfortable, making it suitable for broad reaching applications such as corporate fit-outs, hospitality and residential environments. Bend are committed to issues of environmental impact and responsible manufacturing processes.
Exhibiting at the illustrious Salone del Mobile Milano 2016 for the very first time, Bend Goods have world domination firmly in their sights. UFL is thrilled to be in on the action recently adding Bend Goods to our exclusive portfolio of international design companies, and proudly making Bend’s good-time party pieces available to all sophisticated kiwi spaces and places.
Casa Horta, on the outskirts of Barcelona is home to interior and product designer Guillermo Santoma. The 3-storey building has recently been completely refurbished by the maestro who has wasted no time in transforming his space into a sculptural habitat.
The 1920’s building was completely gutted, revealing within its bones hidden volumes and original materials which had been covered by time and less design-oriented occupants. The interior possesses minimalist geometry that Santoma has emphasised with a transcendent colour scheme; pink for the bathroom and kitchen, bottle green for the lobby, blue for the walls and ‘skylight’, all accentuated by pure white staircases.
At first glance the interior looks like a movie set or a still-life painting by MC Esher. The designer has furnished his home very sparsely, with just the necessities making the cut; a cook top, oven and sink in the kitchen and a toilet, wash basin and shower in the bathroom. There is a sky-light but it’s a painted onto the ceiling, with static pink clouds.
Santoma shares his philosophy on interior design, ‘A place to live is always transformed depending on the needs – the purpose is to live surrounded by something that represents you. Be throughout the construction process, day-by-day, or in the play, I’m continuously rethinking the space’.