Its showroom in Belgium, where the Spanish firm’s latest collections are displayed.Last March, contemporary furniture firm Sancal opened La Nave, a showroom in the shop of Sancal’s agent Alovan International in Belgium. Here opinion formers and distributors can see and admire the Spanish company’s latest collections.La Nave adheres to the same simple, understated aesthetic as that of Sancal’s showroom El Garage in Madrid, which opened in 2013. La Nave’s interior has exposed brick walls which are combined with subtle accents of fluorescent green and Sancal’s upholstered pieces in the brand’s signature colours.The word ‘Nave’ was chosen because it relates well to the space — a transparent design which can be used as a warehouse or factory, and brings to mind a sailing boat and church’s nave. These associations are apt, given the location: for over a century, this building housed an old yarn factory. By changing its use, Sancal aims to renovate this space which it’s owned for 20 years in Belgium and transform it into a destination shop for contemporary design fans.
On June 27 this year, designer furniture firm Sancal, which is based in Murcia, southeastern Spain, opened its first showroom, called El Garaje, in Madrid. The opening party was attended by clients, the press and friends and associates of the company. The showroom’s rather original name refers to its location since it’s situated in a former multi-storey car park. The building also once housed many of Madrid’s printing presses. For Sancal, the unexpected nature of encountering chic designer furniture in this edgy, labyrinthine venue is one of its main attractions. In fact, the company takes the view that unusual spaces make life that bit more exciting. The main goal of the Spanish firm’s new showroom is to make its upholstered, cutting-edge furniture available to all members of the architecture and interior design sectors – and provide an inspiring, comfortable space for them while they carry out their research for their projects.
in MOs Design Manila and Red Star Macalline Home BeijingContemporary furniture company Sancal has started its Asian expansion drive with two new shops in Manila and Beijing.In February 2017, the Spanish upholsterer opened its first retail space in Bonifacio Global City, the edgiest, most cosmopolitan neighbourhood of the Philippine capital. In recent years, Manila has become a nerve centre of southeast Asian growth offering excellent development opportunities to brands with high value-added products and cutting-edge designs like Sancal.The new Sancal shop is in MOs Design, a leading Philippine art and design emporium. In just a decade, this retail gallery, built on what used to be a rice paddy, has become synonymous with international design in Manila. For its tenth anniversary, owner Marlene Ong wanted to introduce a new brand to add some excitement for customers and give them chance to celebrate in style. For Guillermo Marqueño, Sancal’s Area Manager for Asia, it was love at first sight from the second he met up with MOs. A mutual understanding and a shared taste for good design brought about the new partnership and they opted for a joint occasion to mark Sancal’s debut and MOs’ tenth birthday. Guests were treated to hot chocolate and churros – for which both Filipinos and Spaniards have a weakness – and had chance to see the Futura, Majestic and Grafica collections set to go on sale in the store. A few months earlier, in November 2016, Sancal opened its first mono-brand showroom in Beijing in Red Star Macalline Home, one of the Chinese capital’s chicest malls. For the grand opening, they turned to the geometric patterns of the Grafica Collection for their main theme, but peppered with the brand’s signature playful detail and the style medley contributed by their Majestic and Futura collections. Walls in brick-red, khaki, cement, wood, glass, polycarbonate and red metal mesh featured alongside a wide range of fabrics in a space that perfectly mirrors the brand’s eclectic, irreverent character and seeks to draw a younger, less conventional customer from Beijing and elsewhere in China
The Santa & Cole Group has been up and running for 23 years, and in this time has become a global point of reference in the world of design.The Santa & Cole brand encompasses various groups of products: indoor lighting and furniture, urban lighting and furniture, books and elements for urban reforestation projects. The Group has teams of professionals (interior designers, architects and gardeners) working in these different fields, all striving towards a single goal: the achievement of excellence in design.Santa & Cole has been operating in California, Florida, France, Holland and Germany since 1988, but its most significant push in the international market came in 2004 when it opened its first subsidiary in Italy.In 2007, Santa & Cole exported approximately 26% of its total sales, to over 30 different countries. In line with its international expansion plan, on the 4th July 2008, the company opened its first showroom in Frankfurt.The Santa & Cole showroom in Germany is located right in the centre of the city, on the Schäfergasse, nestled between one of the most emblematic designer stores in the city (Leptien 3) and the Bärbel Grässlin gallery. It is an expansive luminous space covering an area of 250 m2 with views of a pretty internal courtyard, where Santa & Cole displays not only its interior decoration collections but also part of its urban furniture collection.Since it was founded in Barcelona in 1985, Santa & Cole has held by the same philosophy: “We only produce objects we identify with. They are objects with warmth and light, comfortable and homely. We focus on putting together a catalogue of products and we entrust the design and production to other companies”The firm has worked with a total of 88 designers from all over the world, some illustrious figures, other younger designers and even total unknowns. These collaborations include eminent international designers such as Vico Magistretti, Arne Jacobsen and Philllipe Starck, together with Spanish designers such as Miguel Milá and Antoni Arola.The Santa & Cole catalogue includes a number of products that have won prestigious design awards, for example the ADI-FAD Gold Delta Award 1966 for the American Lighting Series, designed by Miguel Milá; the IDEA 2007 and the Red Dot Award 2008 for the Key bicycle stand designed by Lagranja.Santa & Cole’s business ventures have also received the National Design Award (1999), the Prince Felipe Prize for Business Excellence (2006) and the Design Management Europe Award (2007).
Founded by Francisco Luján y Jaime Sicilia, Luján+Sicilia was set up in 2001 as a company specialising in decorative lighting. Even though neither of its founders had backgrounds in lighting, they were drawn to lighting design as something which – besides being everyday – they saw as mysterious. ‘In Spain, we have been attracted to consumer goods ever since they became a major feature of our lives in the 1960s and 70s,’ say Luján and Sicilia. ‘Our own creations retain the style of these decades.’ Since 2005, Luján+Sicilia has had a showroom in Madrid where the company’s vibrant lamps are hung strikingly against a black wall. These cast an intriguing play of light and shade which makes them look more like sculptures than lights. Designs include the very original Rut lamp created by Swedish designer Ola Wihlborg, the Paiste pendant light dreamt up by Finnish designer Sami Laine and Spanish designer Martí Guixé’s unusual Booklamp as well as other lights created in-house. Thanks to the originality of its designs, in a short period of time Luján + Sicilia has gained a strong commercial foothold in all of Europe, the US and Japan. Its founders’ business philosophy is unusual. As they put it, ‘To appreciate the ritualistic aspect of objects, to rediscover and recuperate old values are all starting points for creating something new. We like experimenting with lighting using new materials and investigating the contrasts of light and shade produced by geometric objects. We want to make functional lights – that is to say lamps which are characterful, enigmatic, charming and also a little nostalgic and humorous, as well as lights which, by the by, also provide light.’
This year has seen the opening of ‘Sidi Spot’ in the great German city of Cologne. It is Sidi Group’s first showroom in the country for Spanish contemporary design products and it will provide an environment in which to display furniture, lighting and accessories such as rugs.The 1,700 sqm showroom is in a former printing works that has been converted into an airy loft-style space with bare brick walls and white-painted columns. It is on the Marzellenstrasse in the city centre, behind the main cathedral square. Sidi director Carmen Llopis says Cologne was chosen over Paris as the host city for the showroom ‘because of its multicultural mix and its location’.The exhibition space won’t be static; rather products on display will be changed twice a year. Initially the showroom will be open only to design professionals but it may open to the public later on. Companies providing products to the venue include: Perobell, Marset, Stua, Vilagrasa, Amat, Martínez Otero, Sellex, Andreu World, Joquer, Carpyen. Nani Marquina, Cabanes and Estoli.
Winding its way from floor to ceiling in a series of elaborate loops that stretch right across the three storey showroom, Spanish Light plays on the theme of continuity, as the path transports us from the outside in, and allows us to connect with the lights by walking amongst the display.The show includes a mix of commercially produced and experimental designs by: Martí Guixé, Herme Ciscar & Mónica Garcia, Wis Design, Burkhard Dämmer, Bang Design, Ray Power, Christophe Mathieu, Admir Jukanovic, Jordi Canudas, Alfonso Fontal, Martín Azúa, El Ultimo Grito, Jonathan Daifuku, Jon Santacolma, JBA Design, Antonio Minervini and Luis Eslava.Products are from: LZF, Marset, Lampister, Noonbarcelona, Almerich, Leds-C4, Modiss, Fambuena, Lujan + Sicilia, Arturo Alvarez, Metalarte, Carpyen and B.Lux.Luis Eslava is the designer of this extravagant installation at the new Kettal showroom. Letting his imagination run wild, Eslava indulges his sense of humour by creating a path of light out of strips of coconut fibre to showcase some of the best in new lighting design from Spain.Kettal is the leading Spanish supplier of outdoor furniture to the international market. Spanish Light celebrates the opening of its first UK showroom on London’s Kings Road. A range of its latest collections including chairs, armchairs, deckchairs, tables and sofas will also be on display.
An installation of Spanish design at this year´s Decorex interiors fair in London (26-29 September) took visitors into a different realm. Commissioned by Spanish designers Herme Ciscar and Mónica García, the installation is inspired by Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, Lewis Carroll´s 1871 follow-up novel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Visitors could enter a world where all is not as it seems. For example, explanatory texts were written backwards so they could be deciphered only by looking at the reflections in giant mirrors. Rugs appeared to change colour according to where people was standing, and a secret room, visible through a peephole, revealed the unexpected by playing on a distortion of scale. The floor took the shape of a giant chessboard, with people acting as pawns in a game with inanimate objects. Fun and games aside, people had the opportunity to see the very latest and best in fabrics, furniture and lighting from Spain. Furniture companies Colección Alexandra, Tecninova, Época and Mariner all had pieces in the installation. These were upholstered exclusively for the event in textiles from Alhambra Internacional, Gancedo, Garín 1820, Rafael Catalá, Texturas Por Alexandra and Equipo DRT. Naturtex, rug company La Alpujarreña and lighting firms Lampister and Almerich also supplied products for this exciting and interactive event organised by ICEX, the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade. Herme Ciscar and Mónica García, who are based in Valencia, are rising stars of Spanish design. Their products have been commissioned by many leading manufacturers, and their furniture and lighting have been featured in prestigious design journals in Europe and Japan. For more information on this exhibition, on show during London Design Festival, visit www.spainthroughthelookingglass.com
Cologne in Germany – and more specifically the Kunstbar, a bar-cum-art gallery in a prime location very near the cathedral and main station – has been the spot chosen to showcase 33 of the most iconic examples of indoor and outdoor lighting produced in Spain in recent years. The aim of the initiative is to highlight the strengths of the best Spanish lighting: innovation, good design and great quality. Gerard Sanmartí, a founding member of Barcelona-based design studio Lagranja, organised the exhibition and selected the pieces. These are manufactured by 18 companies – all undoubtedly the most influential lighting firms in Spain: Marset, Bover, Vibia, Santa&Cole, Luzifer, Almerich, Fambuena, Metalarte, Troll, Uno Design, Vondom, Lampister, Estiluz, Dab, Carpyen, Evaluz, B.Lux and BD Barcelona Design. While some were only designed very recently, others created longer ago have since become indisputable classics of Spanish design, the most notable being Santa & Cole’s piece Trípode G5, outdoor light Boletus created by Jorge Pensi for B.Lux, Jean Nouvel’s Araña light for Troll, Carpyen’s Galilea light and, last but not least, Jaime Hayón’s elegant design Josephine for Metalarte.
Stone Designs’ luminously white new studio-cum-showroom, which it recently opened in central Madrid, faithfully reflects its creators’ aims. From the start, the idea was to create a neutral, inspiring, relaxing space resembling a blank canvas so that when those working there look up from their sketchpads, they don’t see obvious references which might influence their projects. Moreover, the aim was to ceate a space which would evoke nature. Seen from the street, the building is fronted by a tall window framed in wood in front of which stand monumental steel trees painted white which beckon passers-by into the forest-like interior where flora and fauna harmoniously coexist. On entering the space, the first thing you encounter is a ramp intersected by two spaces used as meeting rooms with sofas and low-level tables. Here, there’s also a wooden chest of drawers that appears to fly over a platform behind which is the reception. From one of these platforms an unusual metal staircase rises steeply. This gives access to a mezzanine supported by white metal trees whose branches have green bud-like tips as if to suggest they’re constantly flowering. In the ‘shade’ of these trees is a huge meeting table which everyone sits around to share their experiences and voice their everyday concerns in a friendly, chilled atmosphere. At Stone Designs, the belief is that for a team to work well together it can’t limit itself to being a group of colleagues but needs to involve more personal contact so people bond and share the same concerns and goals. This in turn ensures that their projects will be successful. Lamps shaped like bent branches, crowned by white metal shades which cast a warm glow over the work areas at night, demarcate the different workstations. And to provide a focal point at the end of the room, and separate the working area from a meeting room also at the far end, stands a large cloud-shaped screen which emits a gentle blue light. This encourages the studio’s designers to give their imagination free rein – and reminds them that it’s essential to keep an open mind if ideas are to flow freely. Lining part of the walls is what the studio calls ‘by yourshelf’ – booskshelves which provide all the studio’s necessary storage space, not only for all things admin-related but also for books, catalogues and so on.
Stua, a company which won the Premio Nacional de Diseño (National Design Prize) in 2008, has now opened a shop in Madrid. The space, which has been redesigned, is very high-ceilinged – over 6m tall – and has enormous windows. It has two distinct areas: a lower floor housing a showroom and an upper one converted into an area for working and meetings. The two parts are separated by a spectacular screen – one of Stua’s own designs. The redesign of the space was undertaken by Francisco Varela and Jorge Stinus, of architects 3.14 Gestión y Arquitectura (which has offices in Granada and Madrid). Opting for simplicity, order and plenty of light, the architects approached the project in the spirit of taking advantage of the space’s many design possibilities and with the aim of making the showroom the main focus of the project. The result is an all-white space devoted to showcasing design and cutting-edge ideas, making it the ideal environment for housing Stua’s furniture. After all, the company values simplicity, timelessness and attention to detail above all else. Stua’s furniture has a very fresh feel to it: it has a Scandinavian simplicity with a hint of the Mediterranean about it. Good examples of this are the Gas chair (of 2000), Onda stool (2006) and Globus chair (1994) – all star pieces in the new Madrid showroom. Stua’s Madrid shop aims to be a mecca for architects, interior designers and members of the general public and a place for them to familarise themselves with the company’s furniture collections. Another aim is to bring together furniture and art as the shop will also hold temporary art exhibitions. Stua also has a showroom in Bilbao.
STUA presents its first retail showroom in Paris. This is the company´ s flagship store, and is located just a few metres away from the Paris town-hall in the area of Village Saint Paul, between the Marais and IIle St. Louis. The area of Saint Paul is regenerating itself to become a design area, making it an appropriate location for the STUA showroom. The retail space measuring 140 m, is located in a XVI century building with the basement case from the XIII century. The space houses the entire STUA collection in a magical and ever-changing environment. Art director for STUA Jon Gasca designed the interior. Jon designed the showroom to wrap around the furniture, incorporating the window space to its fullest, for maximum theatre and impact. The walls are screened with white fringe curtains, backlit with changing colours. The overall effect both conceals and reveals giving a mysterious life to the interior. The juxtaposition of an old building´s architectural detail with a clean contemporary interior makes a dramatic backdrop for the furniture. The most special part of the shop is the ancient cave downstairs. The shape of the walls curves to become an ancient cave now full of design and contemporary atmosphere. The natural stone is the perfect background to contract with the clean lines of the Stua furniture collection. The floor is made of grey concrete, the ceiling and most of the walls are also finished in black and white thereby heightening the effect of the lit curtains with shimmer and move as people progress through the store. A wonderful environment in which to experience the complete STUA collection. The work of STUA is conceived and executed at an extraordinarily high level of aesthetic and engineering detail. The work is innovative and original. It is suitable equally for commercial and residential applications. Stua has two other showrooms, one the city of Madrid and another in the city of Bilbao.