Tag Archives: UFL Group

Here Comes The Sun

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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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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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Something Wicked This Way Comes

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Something of an auspicious occasion, we’ve been involved in some seriously fruitful R & D sessions with Derlot’s Alexander Lotersztain at our Auckland showroom this week.

Alex and the product development team at UFL got together to brainstorm pipeline projects and put the finishing touches on collaborative pieces which will be launched to market in the coming months.

With the development of new product comes the bonds that grow from partnership and creative cooperation. The outcome is next-level design; something that wildly exceeds expectations and hurls new product into the market where before there was just the same old.

Alex has been named top 10 most influential designers by Scene Design Quarterly, and one of 100 most influential designers worldwide in &fork by Phaidon. He is the design adviser in a number of government and private projects, regularly presents at design events and conferences, and judges on design panels throughout Australia.

Watch this space…

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Barstool Roundup

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How elusive is the perfect barstool? Very. That’s according to our client’s when they discover the variety offered by UFL.

Sourced from Italy, Spain and the USA, our range finds favour with a diverse scope of interior and exterior, commercial and residential projects. With most stools available in two heights, usability is extended across barleaners and counter tops. Materials and finishes include everything from natural timbers, to polypropylene in a range of colours or illuminated, upholstered, powder-coated and electroplated.

The sheer extent of designs and concepts means there is something for everyone and everything. See below for a round-up of our best picks and latest offerings: 02p05

1. Enea’s Coma Wood is a contemporary modernisation of the popular Coma stool. Produced in accordance with eco-design parameters using fully certified wood sourced from sustainable forests, and with seats available in a range of polypropylene colours or upholstered to your liking.

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2. Stackable Brooklyn by Vondom is inspired by the New York City Bridge and is based on straight lines and curves found in industrial urban design. Available in a range of stunning colours, Brooklyn is manufactured in polypropylene injected with fiberglass.

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3. Lucy by California’s Bend Goods, is made of solid steel rod and hot-dip galvanized. Lucy may be powdercoated for outdoor use, or metal electroplated in Gold, Copper and Gem tones for indoor use.

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4. Mobles 114’s  Luco barstool, combines the traditional craft of wood-turning with modern technology. Luco is designed for spaces which demand the use of authentic materials such as timber and steel.

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5. Vondom’s Wing represents extreme curves and angles, characterized in a bold form that brings visual force to both indoor and outdoor environments. May be illuminated for added Wow.

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6. Timeless design meets modern comfort with Andreu World’s Lineal Comfort. The solid Beech timber frame can be stained in a range of house colours and the shell can be upholstered in a plethora of fabrics and leathers.

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7. Spritz by Vondom is inspired by white wooden fences which line the beaches in Spain. Spritz adapts well into hospitality and residential environments, and finds the balance between European style and Mediterranean lifestyle.

 

 

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Panama

UFL has a history of producing our own in-house furniture based on the latest market trends and requirements. One of our largest pieces was instigated by the need for a modular soft-seating system that could be produced within a short lead time and could be customised for a range of projects and situations.

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Enter Panama, designed in 2012 and manufactured in New Zealand. Panama comprises of curved and straight ottomans, and low and high-back sofa units which may be grouped together in endless combinations. The ideal solution for both public and private commercial environments, Panama can be used for dining, working or relaxing, and redefines and recharges spaces both large and small.

Available upholstered in a range of fabric, leather or vinyl, Panama may be configured as a single-sided piece or a double-sided system, which means it can be placed within open spaces to divide them and can be approached and utilized from all directions. Power may be integrated for added convenience and usability.

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Privacy screens are available between the units, and tables may be attached to the back of sofa units for pulling stools or chairs up to for a drink or a meal. The tables come in a range of finishes like Melteca, timber veneer or high pressure laminate.

Panama was designed specifically for high density zones like airport lounges, office breakout areas, member’s lounges and universities, where a number of people engaged in different activities are gathered concurrently.

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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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Flight Flies Right

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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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