Tag Archives: Arper

Milan Round-up Part 2

The Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan is the showcase if you’re in the design world.  And as always UFL were there to meet the designers and ensure we bought home to New Zealand the latest trends and best of show.

We are always excited to see new ideas and how they play out, and this year’s fair had an array of new colours, textures and shapes.  The use of jewel colours and rich dark tones mixed with contrasting soft pinks and pastels was accentuated by interesting shapes and finishes.

A more casual feel was heightened by curves, ovals and soft lines.  Oversized pieces were given a softness with light pastels and comforting shapes giving a new feel to these statement pieces.  Huge deep sofas and high backed winged chairs also added to the larger dimensions that were on offer.

Strong hard materials such as stone and marble were mixed with warm metals, copper and brass again providing a softer feel.  And there were lots of power coated finishes which enabled more mixing of colours to give unexpected but appealing colour combinations.

It’s safe to say that this year’s show lived up to its reputation of bringing cutting edge design and trends to the market place. And as always UFL has selected the best of the best for New Zealand and we are very pleased to share some of these with you.

Nuez, designed by the luminary Patricia Urquiola, incorporates a range of textures making this a truly beautiful creation.  From the rippled plastic shell to the beautiful soft coloured fabric used, the shapes and folds are appealing and easy on the eye.  The shape is reminiscent of folded paper, folding at the end of the seat back and with a seam across the backrest providing a quilted soft feel.

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La Isla by Sancal was designed in collaboration with Note Design Studio and is a great example of the trend in oversized pieces given a soft feel with the use of colour and curves.  This design is welcoming and warm and has been designed with the weary traveller in mind who’s looking for a comforting moment. Its size provides space for several people while the comfortable back rests also give privacy.

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Piergiorgio Cazzaniga’s Reverse Table for Andreu World is a fabulous example of a strong dominant shape, and we are loving this new cement finish.  This industrial look can be applied to the top, base or both, emphasising its powerful stance.

Through the clever use of materials this cement looking table is actually surprisingly light due to the polyethylene material used in the base and we look forward to the cement finish being available for outside use. And don’t forget this finish can be used across the extensive Reverse Table range.

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The Dos à Dos Louvre is a work of art in its own right, originally designed by Pierre Paulin in 1967 and reworked by LaCividina this year.  Here you can see the use of burnt orange that gives this design a new lease of life. The soft curves of this seat hide the strong functional metal core that is softened with memory foam.  We love that this chair can be used alone as a statement piece or lined up to form benches of any length.

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Cila has been designed by Lievore Altherr in their Barcelona-based studio and has wonderfully rounded curves and silhouette. The plastic shell in muted colours, including a fabulous millennial pink, is lightweight and can be fully upholstered with a range of textures, colours or styles continuing the option of giving contrasting layers.

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We’re really excited about the new pieces we have picked up from the show and have lots more to share with you.  So if you’d like to see more then why not visit us at our showrooms, just 10 minutes from Auckland CBD, or give us a call and talk to one of our consultants.

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Milan Round-up Part 1

April saw the opening of the 56th Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, the epicentre of all things design.  And once again the team from UFL made our pilgrimage there to explore the best of the best and discover the latest trends. And of course this year’s show, as always, delivered.

We return from Milan with a suite of new products handpicked for you. We spent time speaking and meeting with manufacturers and artisans from across Europe to find products which are functional, innovative and timeless. And we are excited to say we have signed on a couple of new agencies who show the best of European design and innovation, we’ll share more on this in the coming months.

Colour was everywhere.  Black is still the new black, but now jewel colours and rich dark tones are mixed with contrasting soft pinks and pastels, a strong trend that was echoed across the fair.  Burgundy attracted attention as did forest green, mustard yellow and burnt orange. And colour combinations weren’t restricted just to fabrics but also bought into matt powder coated finishes for bases and other detailing.

The departure from a very formal corporate look continues as a softer more homely look moves into the office space. The blur included the use of textures to give a relaxed and informal vibe.  Rich velvets, chunky knits and leather gave a chic but slouchy feel.  And homely touches such as cushions were used to further relax traditional work spaces.

Complementing the new colour trends in play, were interesting new shapes and finishes, but more on that in next week’s email.  For now here are a few of the new products we’ll be bringing into New Zealand in the coming months:

We loved Sancal’s new luxurious Magnum soft seating. The designer José Manuel Ferrero might be Spanish, but his approach to design is akin to the bespoke tailoring of Mayfair. His new range of soft seating pays homage to this very British elegance. The gentleman designer has drawn inspiration from the glasses of cognac members of exclusive London clubs cradle in their hands as they debate politics.

Whatever the background, it’s just calling out for us to be quaffing champagne while lounging in its compact curves.  Gold and brass detailing were still some of the biggest trends at the fair and Magnum hit this years trends straight on featuring elegant tailoring, textured fabrics and gold detailing.

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We couldn’t resist Arper’s new art deco inspired range Arcos by Lievore Altherr Molina.  It provides a striking silhouette with its graphic presence due to its signature cast aluminum armrests that form twin curves evoking the elegant rhythm of archways in the corridors and walkways of classical architecture.

Special care was dedicated to the colour palette featuring forest green, burnt orange, navy and black, with the possibility to create a monochrome of velvet-like, inky hues in both upholstery and matte lacquer metal for an expression that signals understated expression.

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With thanks to Estudi Manuel Molina, Enea have a new outdoor offering in the form of LTS Street that’s giving the outdoors a splash of colour while seamlessly fitting with the rest of the Lottus family.

What’s even better are the new colours soon to be on offer from Enea – autumn wine, rough ocean, magical green, bilbao blue and mountain shadow. These wine and forest green colours mixed effortless with pastel blues were ever so present, everywhere.

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The striking rich deep and emerald green, perfect.  We are most excited about this sofa and LaCividina, exclusive to UFL, and soon to be launched in New Zealand.

Velour, designed by Antonio Rodriguez, provides a modular seating range that looks inviting and luxurious.  The high back gives an oversized feel while maximising comfort and privacy.  Perfectly proportioned and available in 57 modules including chairs, armchairs and sofas which may be combined in countless ways to suit absolutely any space.

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Continuing the colour trend of subtle pinks is LZF’s Escape suspension lamp, featured in La Monella Jewellers in Valencia, Spain.  These handmade wood veneer lamps in Millennial Pink were part of a colour range of lighting that LZF launched at the show, but we feel this soft colour is the most exciting.

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We’re really excited about the new pieces we have picked up from the show and have lots more to share with you.  So if you’d like to see more then why not visit us at our showrooms, just 10 minutes from Auckland CBD, or give us a call and talk to one of our consultants.

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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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