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Tag Archives: Inspired Spaces
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
HASSELL is a leading international design practice with studios in Australia, China, South East Asia and the United Kingdom.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.