Hampton Down’s Members Lounge

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photos by Jeremy Toth

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Figueras International Seating

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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.

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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.

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Sublime New Collections by Mobles114

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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Neri&Hu

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Salone del Mobile 2016

Nani_lattice_2As 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:

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Goodness Gracious

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Guillermo Santoma’s Casa Magnificent

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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.

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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’.

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Ovolo Hotel Woolloomooloo

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No future trip to Sydney will be complete without a night or two spent at the new Ovolo Hotel in Woolloomooloo. Recently refurbished by HASSELL, the hotel which stretches along the longest timber-piled wharf in the world, is situated on the striking Sydney Harbour, a stone’s throw from the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Sydney Opera House.

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HASSELL have carefully renovated the original building, introducing plenty of modern luxuries whilst staying true to the historic roots of the structure. The interior design is bold and playful, the lobby features Sancal’s Nido lounge chairs in pastel pink upholstery and their REW sofa in pink or pastel blue combination upholstery.

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The hotel boldly bridges the gap between history and contemporary design. The furnishings complement the original fixtures of the property, with seamless integration of the Ovolo touch – all the little things that make effortless living a reality for the modern traveller.

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HASSELL is a leading international design practice with studios in Australia, China, South East Asia and the United Kingdom.

 

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Rock the Church

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The Rock Church or Temppeliaukio, located in the heart of Helsinki, is one the world’s most revered pieces of architecture and is a favourite haunt for tourists and design aficionados alike.

Despite its mass appeal today, the building began its life in a series of fits and starts, with no small amount of opposition by members of the public who saw the avant-garde design as blasphemous. The citizens of Helsinki wanted a traditional cathedral instead.

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Temppeliaukio, completed in 1969 is hewn straight into the bedrock below and can be entered from street level. The free-form, oval church hall bathes in daylight, which enters through the row of glass skylights between the rock wall and the dome. Reinforced concrete beams of different lengths support the dome, and the dome and gallery are lined with copper. The floor is polished concrete, and the pulpit is reinforced concrete, as is the base structure of the gallery. Water trickles from cracks in the rock and is conducted away along special ducts. An ice-age crevice in the rock serves as an altarpiece and the altar is of evenly sawn granite.

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Temppeliaukio’s origins go back to 1906 when the rocky area in the suburb of Fredrikinkatu was reserved for a church in the first city plans. It wasn’t until 1932 that a design strategy for Temppeliaukio was instigated by holding an architectural competition, however the project ground to a halt as the overseeing committee were unhappy with the results. A second contest was held in 1936 but the project was terminated by the onset of the Winter War. In 1961 a third contest was carried out and was won by architect brothers, Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen.

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The Suomalainen brothers also designed the interior of Temppeliaukio, whose colour scheme is inspired by shades of granite in red, mauve and grey. The benches are made of birch and the crucifix, candelabra and font were hand-forged by artist, Kauko Moisio. The textiles were designed by artist Tellervo Strömmer and the organ, built by Urkurakentamo Veikko Virtanen, was also designed by the architects. The building costs of the church, considered expensive at the time, were a moderate four million marks in the end.

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The 750-seat church now regularly boasts full services and is a celebrated location for concerts due to its excellent acoustics. There is a split-level platform for the choir and floor space is reserved for an orchestra. Interestingly Temppeliaukio has no bells, rather recorded bell tunes composed by Professor Taneli Kuusisto chime through the speakers on the exterior stone wall.

In 2004 Temppeliaukio became a protected building.

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Divine In The Details

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The Raglan modular sofa system designed by Piergiorgio Cazzaniga for Andreu World, is a new sofa in their superb range of soft seating.

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Designed for collaboration areas in corporate, public and private spaces, the Raglan collection comprises of a lounge chair, a two and three seater sofa and combinable modular pieces. An occasional table completes the range and is particularly suitable when used as a corner or middle unit if the Raglan is installed as a modular system.

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The defining feature of this collection is the beautiful piping detail on the seams around the arms, legs and back of each piece. The seat and back are made from flexible foam and the robust injected aluminium frame is available lacquered in white or black or a polished aluminium finish.

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Raglan is characterised by its elegance, simplicity and comfort. The meticulous upholstery and overall sophistication of the Raglan collection foretells of an illustrious future in elegant projects worldwide.

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