Design studio CuldeSac has succeeded in gathering together almost 100 objects in Spain in order to evoke the fascinating world of the circus. This exhibition, called Design Circus, jointly organised by CuldeSac and the Sociedad Estatal para el Desarrollo del Diseño y la Innovación (Society for State Development of Design and Innovation) and presented for the first time in Madrid, recreates a magical atmosphere which highlights the more emotional and familiar aspect of objects as well as innovation and improvements in contemporary Spanish design. The show includes furniture, textiles, lighting, decorative objects and even jewellery and footwear which represent different and fun circus scenes, including tightrope-walkers, wild animals, knife-throwers, the circus ring, human cannon balls and objects emitting sparks. Of particular note at Design Circus are objects which are very recognisable and which represent Spanish design on an international level, such as Jon Gasca’s Eclipse tables, made by the company Stua, Martín Azua and Gerard Moliné’s Flod seats for Mobles114, the Belloch, Paipay and Plek chairs for Santa & Cole, Amat-3 and Actiu respectively, Luis Eslava's Agatha lights for Luziferlamps and B.Lux’s Kanpazar lights, not to mention the outdoor designs of Gandía Blasco and Vondom. So Design Circus presents the perfect opportunity to admire the latest creations of the most internationally renowned Spanish designers – such as Patricia Urquiola, Jaime Hayón and Vicente García Jiménez.
Spanish company Actiu, which specialises in furniture for the office and public spaces, opened its first showroom in France in June. It’s located on the rue Denis Poisson, Paris, very near the Arc de Triomphe – an area that’s one of the city’s main business hubs. The space measures 140 m sq and has been designed according to the principles of good design, innovation and sustainability which underpin the company’s philosophy. By opening a showroom in Paris, Actiu is consolidating its commercial presence in France, where it has been doing business for over 25 years. The new showroom will give the company’s work team a space to display designs for the benefit of clients and collaborators, as well as provide all interested parties with a meeting place for seminars or workshops about architecture, design, innovation and sustainability. The new shop firms up Actiu’s strategy in France in terms of establishing associations with business partners in the area as well as a base from which to distribute its products around the whole country. Designed to display Actiu’s office and contract furniture, the showroom has been divided into multifunctional areas which showcase different products in a commercially savvy way. Its minimalist design and neutral colour scheme allow each product to be clearly showcased. A two-tier display unit shows all the company’s chairs in a cohesive way. The showroom is a new addition to the company’s impressive network of over 10 showrooms spread around the world. These include ones in London and Sydney, which opened in July 2012 and last March respectively.
Specialising in the manufacture of furniture for workplaces and public spaces, Actiu was founded 40 years ago in La Foia Castalla, in Alicante, southern Spain. Today, the company, which exports over 60 per cent of its goods and has a presence in over 65 countries, is one of Spain’s leading furniture manufacturers. Actiu’s new, London showroom – situated in Clerkenwell, an area internationally renowned for selling design suited to architecture and the contract market – boasts a 250 sq m display area. Its philosophy is closely linked to the culture of the company, whose London premises appropriately feature a large, internal garden that provides plenty of light and transparency, green areas and an energy-efficient use of natural resources. The showroom’s interior has been conceived as an environmentally friendly workspace and showcase for the brand and its products, part of a sales and promotional distribution network, a space set aside for the continuous creation and development of products and a meeting point to display design in a social, cultural context. To date, Actiu has been involved in major projects in the UK. It has supplied furniture for the offices of BAA Ltd (British Airports Authority) at London’s Heathrow airport, public areas for American Express, London’s Queen Mary University and National Army Museum and for the British subsidiaries of car companies Mazda and Ford. Actiu has also equipped the education areas and offices of the restored, expanded Whitechapel Gallery in London, an institution that’s over 100 years old and hosts art exhibitions and events. Actiu recently won a close-run bid for a contract to furnish the offices and customer care centres of Transport for London (TFL), the organisation in charge of London’s public transport system. The 5.6 million Euro contract, which will take at least three years to complete, is expected to be seen as a truly prestigious project in the highly competitive, British market. London’s Actiu showroom is part of the company’s network of stores in 10 capital cities dotted around the world – among them, Sydney, Paris, Madrid, Düsseldorf, Lisbon, Casablanca, Dubai… and now London.
The office furniture company chooses Miami to start its American rolloutOffice furniture company Actiu, a leader in Europe and the Spanish market, has just opened its first brand store in the Americas. Located in Miami, the aim is to boost its US position and serve as a marketing instrument for the whole of Latin America.The new 400-square-metre premises are a stone’s throw from Miami International Airport, to allow quick, efficient service for any customer travelling from other parts of the continent. The building has the “LEED Gold” certification for its responsible use of energy and natural resources, and makes careful use of natural light and green areas. The facility will exhibit all the solutions Actiu has to offer for the workplace and contract spaces. The inauguration of the new showroom was attended by Actiu president and founder, Vicent Berbegal, who recently became European Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 at the European Business Awards. He was accompanied by his son, Vicente Berbegal. American retailers and opinion leaders were invited to the launch party to become acquainted with the new space, where they were able to sample a wide selection of Spanish delicacies.In his address, Vicent Berbegal stated that the company’s initial aim was “to tackle space design projects that provide solutions for the needs of each company. The idea is for this showroom to generate trust with companies, architects, interior designers and opinion leaders looking for tailor-made solutions.”Miami is Actiu’s first strategic stop in the USA where it will seek to promote office furniture of higher quality and European design, an aspect highlighted by company CEO Joaquín Berbegal: “This step undoubtedly represents a firm commitment to the US market, which is highly competitive and difficult, but offers great opportunities for European design and know-how”.The space will also serve as a point of connection and communication for all distributors in Latin America, an issue referred to by showroom manager Julián Duque, “We want to encourage our distributors in Latin America to come to this space, meet up with architects looking to invest or do business all over the continent who can clinch deals for Colombia, the Dominican Republic or any other market in the Americas.”Actiu also has its own showrooms in other cities such as London, Paris, Sidney, Barcelona and Madrid and is present in more than 90 countries worldwide. Product quality, design and innovation are the factors in its success.
Actiu, the Spanish manufacturer of furniture for workspaces and public areas, opened a new showroom in Sydney, Australia, last March. By opening this showroom, Actiu has shown a major commitment to expanding into Asia. As Vicente Berbegal, its founder and president explains, ‘When we decided a few years ago against manufacturing in China, but in our own country instead, we also made it clear we wanted to sell our products in that Far Eastern region.’ Located in Pyrmont, Sydney, the new, 290sq m showroom means that Actiu has made a major inroad into a country with huge economic potential. The move also consolidates the company’s business expansion strategy into the rest of the Asia-Pacific region. What’s more, Actiu’s new shop offers its clients a space where its products can be displayed, and serves as a link with European countries keen to forge new business relationships in the Asian-Pacific region. Actiu therefore creates a new networking venue that acts as a valuable meeting point for other firms, which can hold their own promotional events and business meetings here. Actiu’s Sydney showroom is one of over 10 shops it has dotted all over the world, including one it opened in London in July, 2010. Actiu’s many achievements – from its commitment to protecting the environment, via its integration of sustainable manufacturing policies and initiatives to receiving the LEED® Gold certificate (a rating system for green buildings) and winning various international awards, such as a Red Dot prize last year in the best product design category for its TNK A500 office chair designed by Alegre Industrial – have meant the Australian market has enthusiastically embraced the company’s products. The most notable ones in the new showroom are its Mobility desks, Informa customer service counter, Audit seating and Mit and Uka chairs for use in training rooms.
In autumn 2012, Andreu World opened its first showroom in the Big Apple. The new shop is located in the iconic New York Design Center building, one of the city’s most high-profile centres devoted to interior design. This houses 100 showrooms of leading, international interior design and decoration companies, which range from providing domestic and contract furniture to such products as home fabrics, flooring and kitchen and bathroom fittings. The showroom is a lively venue dedicated to communicating Andreu World’s brand image, while offering a space where visitors can familiarise themselves with new products and designs by such well-known creatives as Patricia Urquiola, Piergiorgio Cazzaniga and Lievore Altherr Molina. New seating and table collections for the home as well for offices, the contract market and outdoor spaces can all be admired in the showroom. The store is divided into display areas with different arrangements of objects for which backlit boxes have been used to indicate the different kinds of environment each type of piece is suited to. Andreu World’s New York store is this Spanish firm’s second showroom in the US. It joins another that opened in Chicago’s iconic Merchandise Mart building in 2006. What’s more, the company has two other, permanent mono-brand shops in Cologne and Valencia and a concession in a flagship store in Toronto, which also opened in 2012. Andreu World currently exports 60 per cent of its goods and boasts a distribution network spread across the entire world. New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Japan, Mexico, Argentina and the US are just some of the countries where Andreu World has a strong presence.
It’s the Spanish furniture company’s second monobrand store in IndiaResidential and contract furniture firm Andreu World opened its first monobrand showroom in New Delhi last February. It’s the Spanish company’s second store in India, the first having opened in Pune in 2014. The new shop in India’s capital represents a very significant step forward in the brand’s positioning in the Indian market.Andreu World’s steady growth in India has necessitated the opening of a new space in which Indian architects and designers have access to large display and office areas where they’ll find the firm’s different collections and environments.The shop showcases Andreu World’s entire furniture range as well as the latest collections by such internationally renowned designers as Patricia Urquiola, Lievore Altherr Molina, Jasper Morrison and Piergiorgio Cazzaniga, all of whom have created pieces for the Spanish brand.The showroom’s display area has been designed so visitors can find any type of furniture to meet their exact needs. As such, the space has been divided into lounge, meeting and public areas featuring a selection of sofas, armchairs, chairs, multifunctional tables, all for use in workplaces, homes, public spaces, hotels, restaurants and outdoor areas.Pieces in the showroom include the Flex chair, designed by Piergiorgo Cazzaniga, which received a Red Dot and NeoCon gold award, and several designs from the Ronda, Lineal, Sail, Carola, Smile, Pillow and Manila collections. The Alya armchairs and Raglan sofa (which won a Best of NeoCon gold award) grace the lounge areas. The standout tables are Reverse Conference and low tables Dual and Raglan. In the outdoor furniture section are the Sand sofas and Trenza collection, created by Lievore Altherr Molina.
From Valencia to Chicago passing through 65 countries over the course of 50 years of history. The figures do not lie and less still the deep wrinkles that line the hands of the carpenter who has been creating chairs for half a century. With his farsightedness, Andreu Martí, the founder of Andreu World, always aimed high, but it would have been difficult for him to imagine half a century ago that his small factory would reach such heights. Specifically, as high as the tenth floor of the Merchandise Mart Plaza, a colossal building that can claim to be the largest commercial building in the world, housing the great international furniture brands. Moreover, it is the headquarters of NEOCON, the most important furniture trade fair in the United States. The journey has been long but worthwhile. Andreu World America currently occupies 250 m2 where it exhibits its work together with that of the giants of the sector, such as Vitra, Steelcase, Haworth, Herman Miller, B&B Italia and Knoll, to mention just a few. Chairs have always been the raison d’être of Andreu World. Its commitment to design and innovation have done the rest. Now, any of the three million visitors received by the Merchandise Mart Plaza every year can enjoy Andreu World’s latest collections. Noteworthy amongst these are the Smile, Radical and Lineal Confort designs, created by Lievore, Altherr & Molina. Shining next to them are the Valeria chairs by Estudio Andreu, Zarina, designed by William Sawaya, and Wok by Javier Mariscal. The company’s management has been focused for some time on the North American market. Andreu World has been working here for five years under its own label. Just by looking at the number of projects completed by Andreu World America in the USA, it is clear to see that all the effort made has not been in vain. The latest projects to be completed are the Bronx Criminal Court Complex in New York, Tryg’s restaurant in Minneapolis, the Myth restaurant in San Francisco, the HYATT hotel in Chicago and the Finnegan Henderson law firm in Washington DC. Andreu World has recently been awarded the National Design Prize, awarded annually by the Spanish Ministry of Industry. Some believe that they have reached the top of the world but Andreu World continues to look straight ahead, focused on the brand’s worldwide growth.
Last May, Andreu World opened its new showroom in San Francisco. This is the company’s third showroom to open in the US, following the opening of its shops in Chicago (in 2007) and New York (2012), and it consolidates the brand’s presence in the country. The new store’s main aim is to boost the firm’s profile among design professionals and suppliers on America’s West Coast. The showroom is situated on 2nd Street, in the heart of the Financial District, where some of San Francisco’s most iconic buildings can be found. The space has various display areas which demonstrate the versatility of Andreu World’s products. It showcases a broad range of chairs, armchairs, bar stools with fixed or swivel bases and meeting and occasional tables. A selection of multifunctional sofas and armchairs as well as highly flexible occasional tables take up the remaining space.What’s more, Andreu World has other shops around the world — in Valencia, Dubai and one run by its distributor in Pune, India, which opened in 2014. The Dubai showroom opened last March, and represents an important step in widening the company’s distribution network in the Middle East. The shop, which occupies a spacious, 200-sq m loft, is situated on the 33rd floor of the iconic Jumeirah Business Center 3, which boasts spectacular, panoramic views of Dubai’s skyscrapers.
The Spanish furniture firm Baltus Collection opened its first showroom in the US bang in the middle of the Miami Design District at the end of last year. The space, which measures over 500 sq m, houses its most characteristic furniture, which ranges from chairs to tables, bookshelves and wardrobes, all of which bear the company’s unmistakeable stamp of quality and good design. Baltus Collection, which is based in Marbella, in southern Spain, is a brand which typically reinterprets classical furniture and transforms it into pieces which look more contemporary and on-trend. Its high quality, generously sized products are highly regarded by architects and interior designers who use it as furniture for both public spaces (hotels, restaurants, and so on) and private residences. According to Roxana Matticoli, the firm’s director general, ‘Baltus Collection epitomises an elegant lifestyle. Baltus’s typically architectural pieces with their exquisite details adapt perfectly to the ultra-glam, deluxe lifestyle we associate with Miami.’
Located in Clerkenwell, the city's celebrated design districtYet another design brand has taken over territory in London’s design friendly Clerkenwell. This time, shipping in from Spain is BD Barcelona. Opening its first UK showroom during Clerkenwell Design Week, the brand brings an artistic aesthetic to a gallery setting on Berry Street.The space is stocked with avant-garde and occasionally eccentric pieces from a long list of collaborations with Ross Lovegrove, Doshi Levien and Neri & Hu. All follow BD Barcelona's brand credo 'Design meets art'. Among the many pieces on view are designs fresh from Salone del Mobile, such as Swedish duo Färg Blanche’s patterned and sewed wooden armchair, and the Campana Brothers's aquarium-inspired ‘Aquário' cabinet.The opening coincides with the launch of a Salvador Dalí-inspired chair titled ‘Invisible Personage’, which takes centre stage in the space. Drawing on Dalí's eerie 1935–36 work Singularities, Oscar Tusquets Blanca, an architect and BD Barcelona's co-founder, designed the armchair with the image's texture in mind, realised in a powder pink hue. The brand began showing Dalí’s works back in 1974 with his famous Mae West lips armchair; and it has since continued to reproduce his experimental designs, many of which – like the conceptual brass ‘Leda’ armchairs – are on display in the new space.The rest of BD Barcelona’s works maintain a similar surrealist synergy – as seen in Jaime Hayon's whimsical ‘King Kong’ mirrors, suspended above Cristian Zuzunaga’s vibrant pixilated sideboard from 2015, ‘Dreams'. The showroom interiors have been given a simple monochrome palette, allowing the fanciful pieces to express themselves.
Barcelona Showroom NYC sells and distributes Spanish bathroom-related products: bathroom fittings, tiles, chromotherapy and ecological air-conditioning. This showroom in New York represents four leading Spanish brands which have put down roots in the US: Roca, Laufen, Climastar and Hidrocrom (Ramón Soler.) Roca is a world leader in the bathroom sector and has a presence in over 135 countries. In addition, part of the company (Roca Ceramica) is devoted to producing and marketing ceramic flooring and surfaces. The group has production plants in four continents and directly employs over 20,000 staff. Roca is acutely aware of the importance of protecting the environment and conducts its business in a way that proactively develops initiatives with the aim of minimising damage to the environment in compliance with its own scheme, Green Tiles. The latest of these initiatives is the launch of two new, state-of-the-art porcelain tile ranges made of 80 per cent pre-recycled materials (created from waste from Roca’s factory rather than from porcelain already used by consumers). The tiles are integrally eco products yet boast the same technical and aesthetic features that the best Roca products all have. Most Roca products are for sale in the US and those which aren’t are available to order with a waiting period of six to eight weeks. Laufen is one of Roca’s brands, and specialises in bathroom furniture. With its impressive range of baths, sinks and showers – designed in collaboration with qualified architecture and design studios – it offers a complete bathroom design service. Climastar, a Spanish company with headquarters in the north of Spain, is a leading company in energy-efficient, eco air-conditioning in up-to-the-minute designs and boasting state-of-the-art technology. It’s a high-profile domestic air-conditioning firm which distributes its products in over 20 countries. Firmly commited to innovation, Climastar has developed and taken out a worldwide patent for a new product called Dual Kherr. It’s an exclusive heating system which allows the user to optimise the accumulation and radiation of heat, thanks to the use of materials such as silicon and aluminium oxide. Ramón Soler is a pioneering, Barcelona-based bathroom company which specialises in making taps. One of its new products is a shower range which combines water, light, colour and sound (you can listen to music and radio at the same time), allowing users to enjoy all the benefits of hidrochromotherapy simultaneously while showering. The system, called Hidrocrom, is an eco shower with three chromotherapy settings devised by specialists – Wellness, Anti-ageing and Playbath – which give those who use it feelings of wellbeing, harmony and equilibrium.