Tag Archives: Arper

Served Chill

Cool tranquility is served on ice and in spades at Campari’s 24th international office. It’s one of the best HQ we’ve seen in a while, and is totally becoming of the Italian beverage company.

Opened in Toronto in November 2015, local design firm I-V spent eight months renovating the Liberty Village building, which has had many past lives including that of film studio and a foundry. Campari’s brief was simple – ‘create a space which captures the spirit of the company and inspires the people who use it’.

Fun Fact: Campari was traditionally dyed its famed red colour by the cochineal insect. The insect is found on the pads of prickly pear cacti in Central America, they’re brushed off, dried and crushed. True story.

The biggest challenge I-V faced was a complete shortage of natural light as there was not a single window to the outside world, (maybe one of the past lives included vampire’s lair). Four ginormous skylights were installed to flood the space – which boasts 40-foot high ceilings – with light.

The interior was then hit with a huge dose of fresh white paint and pastel pink accents (for which no beetles were harmed), by way of Tea sofas by Sancal on the mezzanine, and sleek Kinesit chairs by Arper around the 16-person boardroom table. Several multipurpose breakout areas are located off the mezzanine and provide public spaces away from the primary work zone where employees sit together in a shared office.

Campari Toronto boasts one truly spectacular bar which is used for cocktail seminars, hosting clients and family-style staff lunches. Its most eye-catching feature, which continues in the theme of creepy crawlies, is the counter which is covered in a pink speckled pattern called Bacterio, created by Italian designer Ettore Sottsass in 1978.

The overall effect is a nothing short of a marvel. I-V have created a magnificently beautiful and convivial office befitting of a brand that’s been bringing people together for over 150 years.

Cin cin!

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Zen and the Art of Antii Kotilainen

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Last week we blogged about Arper’s intrinsic understanding of colour, and the sublime tones that they apply to their product. That led us to consider other collections where Arper have displayed complete assurance when creating colourways that identify the design as much as its form does.

The Catifa collection is case in point of inspirational use of colour, but as Arper have a variety of furniture ranges each with their own unique colourway, we thought we’d walk you through another stunner.

Aava by Finnish designer Antti Kotilainen, was once upon a time available in timber only. However the chair has recently been released with a polypropylene shell, in you guessed it, a combination of colours that take the design to a whole new level and in a wildly different direction than its timber counterpart.

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I would describe them as colours that are not very obvious if you like. Almost like you wouldn’t think of using or even really liking them unless you take the time to consider them appropriately. And then they smack you over the head with their gorgeousness. Aava whispers of a longing for natural surroundings, the ocean, pebbles, forests and sunlight.
That’s my description anyway but what do I know. Why not take the concept behind Aava from the man himself;

1. What is your approach to design?
Design work is based–quite inherently–on observation. A designer observes his environment, his own emotions and life-experiences, and also the work at hand. Only by observing closely the world around him–culture and nature alike–can a designer come up with products that he knows will enhance one’s surroundings and to be of use to many.

2. What is your philosophy on furniture design?
All pieces of furniture take their size and their basic gestalt from the human body. Furniture design is communication: it mediates human emotions, meddles in with them, and functions as their atmospheric seedbed. Much like music does.

3. What is your design ethic?
I believe that a soft-tone can make a more convincing argument than shouting out loud. When a designer has the patience to give his products temperate and soft-spoken expression, he can expect people to respond to them better and more willingly all over the world.

4. How do you evaluate good design?
Good design usually manifests in organic, effortless and indisputable appearance, combined with practicability and convenience. When the manufacturing process and the use of the product become one with the perfected form one gets an impression of something inevitable and absolute. Absolute as a paper clip.

*Interview is courtesy of Arper Stories – Interview with Antii Kotilainen

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The Cool Charm of Catifa’s New Colours

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Arper have taken their famous Catifa 46 and Catifa 53 chair collections up a notch (as if that were possible) through the release of two brand new colour ranges for the celebrated chairs.

The legendary Italian manufacturer has many distinguished attributes and their use of colour is one of their finest as the new Catifas will attest. The colourways differ between the 46 and 53 designs, with each boasting tones that hold their own as striking standalone pieces whilst perfectly coexisting in any combination.

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Catifa 46 is available in a playful, on-trend range with pretty 1950’s tones and cool pastels reigning supreme. These include Old Pink, Petroleum Blue, Yellow, Ivory, Smoke, Green, Black, Anthracite, Red, White and Moka. The palette applies to the polypropylene shell as well as powdercoat options for 4-leg and sled bases. Catifa 46 is still available with a single colour or bi-colour shell option which combines your choice of colour in a gloss finish on the back of the shell, whilst the interior has a matte white finish.

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Catifa 53 is available in a sophisticated, masculine palette of earthy shades like Yellow-Gold, Anthracite, Ivory, Sand, Caramel, White, Black and Moka. The Catifa 53 is now available with a single colour polypropylene shell only.

Arper do it again with refined, effortless cool that is totally hot.

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Taking it Outside

Summer is hot on our heels, and with that it’s time to shout out to all our favourite outdoor chairs. Life is just better when your furniture looks the part (after all what is function without serious form?). So wherever you use your chairs, be it alfresco dining or poolside, the following designs will be coveted by your friends and regarded jealously by your foes.

Complete versatility is the name of the game when it comes to parking your posterior; think strength (fibreglass injected polypropylene or metal rod is ideal), stacking (they’re easy to store when not in use), and UV stabilised.

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1. Antonio Gaudi’s famous building La Pedrera in Barcelona, is all curves and flair, so why shouldn’t its namesake follow suit. Light, strong and full of character, Pedrera stacks and comes in seven gorgeous hues.

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2. Typically Mariscalesque, Sabinas embodies a form all its own. Inspired by sand dunes and unfurling blooms, this stacking chair envelopes with comfort and style.

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3. Spritz is pure Hamptons (or Ibiza). Think white wooden fences and boxwood hedges, the clean lines and stunning colour range have us wanting to book a one-way passage. Stacking goodness which comes in an armchair version too.

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4. Wall Street designed by Eugene Quitllet (he’s so hot right now), couldn’t be further from the convention and stuffiness of the world’s most famous financial district. A bold statement, Wall Street has clinched its place as one of the year’s best designs.

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5. Ethel is carefully crafted to ensure structural strength, while the angles of the back, the curves of the seat, and the closeness of the wires are designed for comfort and utility. Simplicity and style combine in this contemporary take on modernist roots.

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6. Leaf reflects Arper’s design aesthetic; chic, beautifully resolved and so usable. Among other attributes, Arper without fail collate the most elegant colourways for their collections and Leaf is no exception, available in the colours of nature; leaf green, mocha and white.

 

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Maersk Crosses the Line

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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.

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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.

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Photos by Rebecca Swan

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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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Performance Tested

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This is not the first time we’ve blogged about Kinesit, the super smart ergonomic chair by Lievore Altherr Molina for Arper. But as it’s our favourite new product on the task-seating market, we can’t stop raving every time it makes headlines.

Recently Kinesit gained significant European accreditation at Ergocert, at the University of Udine. The Ergocert centre was established to assess the ergonomic characteristics of work environments using strict parameters. Kinesit undertook rigorous testing to ascertain its features (for a product to be ergonomically certified it must maximize the user’s productivity while improving their well-being).

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The assessment consists of scientific criteria alongside practical tests. There are a variety of areas that are tested, including the seat comfort (which is measured by taking into account the user’s physical characteristics) and functionality such as stability, sturdiness, and proportions. A number of product users are also surveyed, enabling Ergocert to combine scientific results with personal subjective evaluations.

Kinesit assures the end user an optimum example of Arper’s ‘soft tech’ approach: technology in the service of beauty and human interaction. The different versions of the chair, with high, medium, low backrest, with and without armrests, have proved compliant with all the assessed criteria.

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Designing The Designers

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Following on from the blog last week about Sancal who’ve recently completed a stunning renovation of their office, we thought the timing perfect to share our own refurbishment here at UFL headquarters on Rosebank Rd. Hark back to May 2014 and enter designers John Lenihan and Ceili Murphy from Auckland based architectural firm, RCG.

Several reasons incited our need for a change; the current office was an awkward size and we required a larger, more efficient space for our expanding team which was almost doubling in size. A contemporary environment that functioned well was vital, as was a beautiful space which aptly represented not only our own established brand but also that of the agencies we exclusively represent here in New Zealand, all of whom are Italian and Spanish furniture manufacturers and purveyors of cutting-edge design.

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We wanted to showcase our own J-Series workstation. The system originated as a table, then a barleaner. The design has proved so popular that we decided to rework it as a workstation. The J-Series can be customised in terms of size, finishes and cable management to suit even the most discerning of clients.

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Key designer pieces that feature in the space include the piece-de-resistance, Link Chain lamp, a customised light that our friends at LZF made especially for our project. We get constant admiration for this piece, and it is the first thing that visitors see as they enter the showroom.

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Our meeting table and chairs are both by Andreu World, the table is the Reverse, and the chairs are Smart. We are in love with our sleek Arper Catifa 46 chairs, which sport black shells on black swivel bases, a style which never fades. The two framed artworks are Losanges Rug by Nanimarquina, and an Anna Kidman photograph.

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Photos by Anna Kidman

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Philharmonic Szczecin

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It’s not surprizing the ethereal Philharmonic Szczecin in Poland, stole the show at the Eurobuild Awards 2014, where it was named Architectural Design of the Year. Rising like a feather-light iceberg from the utilitarian port town it occupies, the Philharmonic appears to almost float, whilst surrounded by the heavy nature of the neo-gothic buildings which make-up Szczecin. By day the edifice is ghostly pale, almost austere, in its multi-gabled beauty.

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Designed by Estudio Barozzi Veiga from Barcelona, the building is a remarkably unique piece of architecture. The iconic façade is constructed of profiled white anodised aluminium which can be lit with an array of coloured lights and in a myriad of compositions.

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The interior spans four storeys, which includes a huge spiral staircase, a symphonic hall, a chamber hall, rehearsal halls, music shop, cafe, spacious foyer, artists’ dressing rooms, storage rooms for instruments and offices. The hall boasts superb acoustics, as you’d expect, due to the special geometry of the walls and ceiling, and the grand opening of the new hall took place at the inauguration of the 2014/2015 artistic season.

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Italian furniture manufacturer Arper, have placed furniture into the project, mainly seating upholstered in rich plum tones which work beautifully against the white interior. Lighting is subtle and pretty, in rose hues, illuminating and pulling forth what could otherwise be dark recesses in the space like the stairwell and the bar area.
For lovers of architecture and acoustics, the Philharmonic is an absolute must-do for anyone who happens to finds themselves in Szczecin.

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Bo Bardi’s Bowl Makes The Cut

In 2011 Arper launched a public relations initiative to encourage brand awareness. Arper wanted to focus their attention not only on products but also on concepts or cultural ventures that mirror the same values as the Italian furniture manufacturer; the preciousness of a sober style, and the ability to innovate and place people at the centre of every project. The initiative originated with Arper’s belief that design and creativity are a voice for universal discourse.

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Their first undertaking began by shining a bright light on the life and times of Italian-Brazilian Modernist architect Lina Bo Bardi. Described by British architecture critic Rowan Moore as “the most underrated architect of the 20th century”, Bo Bardi’s work went somewhat unnoticed during her lifetime.

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Arper worked closely alongside The Instituto Lina Bo e P.M. Bardi, a foundation which was established in 1990 to promote Brazilian culture and architecture through exhibitions, publications and lectures to an international stage, to bring Bo Bardi the posthumous recognition she deserves. The Sao Paulo Institute is located within the Casa de Vidro (The Glass house), which Bo Bardi designed in 1950 as a home for her and her art-critic husband Pietro Maria. After Lina’s death in 1992, Pietro donated the house to the Institute.

16_54_24_658_BARDI_S_BOWL_CHAIR__sketch_02Photo courtesy – Instituto Lina Bo e P.M. Bardi

Due to similarities in their approach to design, Arper responded to Bardi’s vision expressed through her work; the pursuit of the essential and authentic, by making the decision to manufacture her 1951 Bowl chair.  The Bowl chair is a hollowed-out half-moon form that rests on a metal ring with four legs. The chair is stylistic, adjustable and incredibly innovative. At the time of its design the piece was never produced and only two versions of the Bowl chair existed; one in black leather, the other in clear plastic. By carefully studying what limited drawings the artist had made of her design, Arper’s in-house artisans were able to exemplify Lina’s Modernist classic using 21st Century technology and materials.

domus-lina-bo-bardi-023ARQd0113_Francisco-Albuquerque-dec-1950Photo courtesy – Instituto Lina Bo e P.M. Bardi

A limited series of 500 Bowl chairs produced by Arper is running in conjunction with a world-wide exhibition “Lina Bo Bardi: Together”. Arper’s version of the chair is available in black leather and a fabric version in seven different colourways, each with solid or patterned options for cushions.

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Profits from the sale of the chairs will go to the Instituto Lina Bo e P.M. Bardi of São Paulo, the custodian and promoter of her valuable work. This pioneering project represents Arper’s commitment to creative endeavours that have a profound impact on the culture of design.

988562_925803527442981_3984867808859862842_nmodern-relaunch-of-colorful-bowl-chair-designed-in-1951-1Photo credits – Marco Covi 

 

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