Tag Archives: Arper

Philharmonic Szczecin


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.


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.


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.


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.

Arper_EditionBardisBowlChair_03Photo courtesy – Instituto Lina Bo e P.M. Bardi

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.

lina_bo_bardi_portrait_1978Photo courtesy – Instituto Lina Bo e P.M. Bardi

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.

LBB_biography_singleimagePhoto courtesy – Instituto Lina Bo e P.M. Bardi

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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The Science of School


Within educational environments, learning spaces are as important as the lessons themselves. Dynamic, functional environments, aid and instigate new discoveries through various styles of learning.


In 2014 our friends at Arper investigated this concept in their LIFE Brief No 4, Vol. 1. Masters in the art of interpretation, Arper’s job is to design furniture for specific activities. Furniture which allows people to do that activity faultlessly within a designated zone. Much of Arper’s furniture is designed for contract spaces; offices, universities, and hospitality environments. Places where the furniture must do its job, otherwise everything from performance to comfort and productivity suffers.


In designing these environments, hours of consideration has gone into figuring out how humans work, learn and relax. For example, from primary schools to universities, there is a science to creating spaces that support the endeavor of education.

When a student walks into a building or a classroom and feels (albeit unconsciously) that care has gone into creating an inviting and stimulating space, students are more open to being actively involved in learning.


A classroom should be a place where a person is intellectually challenged but simultaneously feels emotional security. Support for academic, creative, sporting and social pursuits, must all be catered for. Whether studying for exams or completing an assignment, the environment should provide for the quest for knowledge if there to be any purpose to its existence.


Whatever subject an education embodies, the right equipment, furniture, and learning materials need to be condensed in a specialised space; from ABW, break-out spaces, quiet spaces, learning labs, one-on-one talks, group interactions and full class discussions. In dining areas, chairs and tables can be arranged for small gatherings of students to larger groups for communal meals. These spaces form a foundation for each student — not only as physical support structure, but also as a mental sanctuary that paves the way to a student’s future.


And it’s not only the student’s requirements that must be considered. How a learning environment functions is of equal importance to the teachers, staff and parents who make up an educational community. In order for teachers to do their job effectively, a classroom must operate as a space for instruction, reflection and discussion with students and colleagues. Space helps shape a scalable society of thinkers, where students learn a range of skills from collaboration to creativity, innovation, risk management, presentation skills and perseverance. These factors confer to create a setting ideally crafted for raising the people of tomorrow.


As Arper’s exclusive distributors in New Zealand, UFL are proud to embody Arper’s ethos down under. Think of it as future-proofing, or creating indemnity as we send our upcoming generations out to shape a brave new world.

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Sounding Board


Yet another feather has been placed in Arper’s already brimming cap.

Parentesit, the acoustic, modular wall panel system designed by Lievore Altherr Molina, has been awarded a coveted Iconic Award, in the Wall, Floor and Ceiling category for 2015.

The Iconic Awards which are in their third season, are organised by the German Design Council. The competition recognizes visionary architecture and products across architectural and manufacturing industries, and winners are selected from a number of outstanding international submissions.


As functional as it is modern, Parentesit speaks the same slick, minimal language that defines Arper’s entire collection. The bold design is deceptively simple, yet Parentesit significantly reduces peripheral noise, and by proxy creates calm zones in busy environments. Optimally suited for commercial environments where privacy and quiet spaces for concentration are vital, the panels can also be tailored to conceal speakers and lighting on clients’ request.


Available in three elemental shapes; circular, square and oval with a horizontal or diagonal split, the geometric forms can stand-alone or be paired for greater impact, and are available in single colour or dual colour versions.


Parentesit is being finalized, and will be in production and available from UFL from late 2015.



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Home Away From Office


Hotel Bella Sky in Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, offers outstanding architecture designed by 3XN Architects. One of Scandinavia’s largest hotels with 23 floors, 812 rooms, the Bella Sky symbolizes the identity of the modern Ørestad area and marks the city’s increasing importance on the international convention and congress scene. The sculptural profile and visibility of the hotel from the various corners of Copenhagen, make it an important landmark within the city.


Offering an abundance of new accommodation, two towers reach up 77m, and lean out at a staggering 15 degrees in each direction. 3XN also designed a large portion of the hotel’s interior, and in that regard have aimed to set the Bella Sky apart from other hotels. Where most international convention hotels have a formal and impersonal style, 3XN wanted to address this by designing the interior in a style reminiscent of a Scandinavian home with warmth, light and a connection to nature.


Located within the hotel are work spaces that provide all the resources of an office away from home. Group seating areas, white boards and long work-tables are ideally situated for brainstorming or company-wide briefing sessions. In-house catering eliminates the need to leave the site for lunch, and hotel amenities make it easy for a diverse group to come together and focus on work related projects. As 3XN explain, ‘When we travel, we all need a space where we can work and meet with clients. With a group of people and all of our computers, it can be a challenge to find a space that is large enough to accommodate a group and that has all of the amenities of an office when you’re abroad.’


Featured within the activity based working spaces is Arper’s Catifa 53, the Nuur Table, Pix Table, Pix Ottomans and the Catifa 60



Photo Credits – Salva Lopez

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Social Butterfly


Cafes have long existed at the heart of human interactions as a place where our private, social and business lives cohabit and our love of caffeine unites us.

The Saya chair by Italy’s Arper, inspires inclusion in such spaces with its warm timber form and striking silhouette. Perfectly at home among the throng of voices and activity, where work and life coexist.


Designed by Lievore, Altherr, Molina and made for both residential and contract use, Saya is available in a variety of timber stains including white, black, ochre and three shades of red. The 4-leg base is available in wood or chrome.


Photo Credits: Adrià Cañameras

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Lounging With Giants


The Renaissance setting of Palazzo Te in Mantua, Italy, played location to Arper’s photo shoot of their Leaf Lounge Chair.
This piece de resistance of Mannerist architecture, Palazzo Te was built 1525- 1535 by Giulio Romano, a pupil of Raphael, and today hosts a museum of modern and contemporary arts.
As the story goes, a team of plasterers, carvers and fresco painters laboured for 10 years to cover every surface of the loggias and salons under Romano’s direction. Local decorative artists Benedetto Pagni and Rinaldo Mantovano worked extensively on the frescos which remain today and are the most remarkable feature of the Palazzo. The subjects range from Olympian banquets in the Sala di Psiche and stylised horses in the Sala dei Cavalli to the most unusual of all — giants and grotesques wreaking havoc, fury and ruin around the walls of the Sala dei Giganti or the Room of Giants.


What better backdrop for the Leaf collection, inspired by nature and produced in steel. Suitable for indoor or outdoor use, the collection is powder coated in earthy tones such as white, mocha or green. The range features a chair, stackable chair, lounge chair, chaise lounge and tables.
Discover the Leaf collection by Lievore, Altherr, Molina at UFL here – http://www.ufl.co.nz/search.html?q=leaf&x=34&y=12



Photo credits – Federica Bottoli

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Kinesit Sets A New Frontier

Introducing Kinesit, Arper’s first foray into task seating, by designer powerhouse Lievore Altherr Molina. The first of its kind, Kinesit is one hundred-percent compliant with the regulatory requirements of its sector.

Superbly intuitive, the Kinesit has a built-in Self-Tensioning Weight Response Mechanism, meaning the chair automatically responds to the weight of its user and conforms to an individual’s body for optimal comfort. An invisible, adjustable lumbar support is concealed within the backrest’s thin frame to give additional flexibility, support and comfort.

Of minimalist design, Kinesit sports none of the unsightly levers that are de rigour in task seating. The height adjustment buttons are discreetly hidden under the seat, ensuring that nothing breaks the elegance and simplicity of its silhouette.
Available in three backrest heights, a range of bases, and with or without armrests. Kinesit can be upholstered in a wide selection of fabrics and leathers, offering great scope for customisation, making Kinesit an extremely versatile chair that is suitable for a variety of tasks and interiors.

Recently Kinesit won the prestigious IF Gold Award. The jury, made up of 52 design experts, explained their enthusiastic reception of Kinesit as follows, “This office chair has a thoroughly original design. In the sector of office furniture, design also aims to create a sense of motivation and enjoyment in performing one’s tasks at work. This chair, with its modern and sleek silhouette, meets this requirement in a completely original way. All commands are hidden inside the chair thus lending unprecedented lightweight and clean aesthetics to the product.”

See Kinesit in action here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-Mgz5QJzvo

Available soon at UFL


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Hard Rock Hotel, Ibiza


Interior designer Jose Manuel Ferrero, was the obvious choice when Ibiza’s Hard Rock Hotel opened tapas restaurant Estado Puro in 2014. The resulting environment is both bold design statement, yet warm and comfortable, and is perfect for long evening meals or quick bites.

Much of the furniture was sourced from Spanish manufacturer Sancal, and attention to detail abounds in the Tea barstool, which has the Estado Puro logo embroidered onto the back pad. Also by Sancal are the Casta chairs, based on the castanet, and the Pion tables which are modelled on chess pieces. Arper supplied the Saya chairs designed by Lievore Altherr Molina. Here traditional elements have been given a modern twist in this quirky yet down-to-earth establishment, where Ferrero’s characteristic play on elegance, drama and history contrasts perfectly with his tongue-in-cheek take on design.

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Inspired Sustainable Spaces

Working in the field of sustainable energy Eneco believes that our choices as individuals can impact our greater quality of life. Eneco’s office is a manifestation of their values, giving employees the freedom to work independently and the opportunity to come together. A central atrium floods the space with bright, natural sunlight, while living walls oxygenate the air and richly hued meeting areas punctuate the large, white, open floor plan.
Arper’s Catifa, Masai and Pix ottomans, have assisted in the creation of distinctive spaces which accommodate the diversity of working styles. The different environments flow effortlessly between the public and the reserved, the individual and the collective. Long tables and chairs are gathered for group meetings while enclosed spaces are suited for concentrated work. Clusters of plush chairs and coffee tables create zones for impromptu meetings and a fluid arrangement of the public and private allows for employees to select the environment that best suits their needs and working style.
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