Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the Spanish outdoor furniture firm Point. Few firms in the sector can boast of being around for 100 years and being pioneers in design, innovation and...
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One of Spain’s most prestigious contemporary furniture companies marks its 60th birthday this year. To congratulate it, we want to draw attention to its most recent projects undertaken in the US — the office equipment of Bayer HealthCare in New Jersey, the new corporate HQ of law firm Goulston & Storrs in Boston, IBM’s design studio in New York and the HQ of financial advisers LPL Financial in San Diego. Andreu World supplied Bayer HealthCare’s office with Smile, a stackable chair with an upholstered seat and beech frame and backrest, Moody, a stool with an ash frame and upholstered backrest and seat, Extra, a table with an aluminium top and legs, and Closed, a table with an oak top and legs. The first three pieces were designed by Lievore Altherr Molina, and the second table was developed by the company’s in-house design team.Andreu World’s Sit chairs and benches, also by Lievore Altherr Molina, and Closed grace the renovated office of Goulston & Storrs, while its Lineal Comfort chairs with an upholstered frame and sled base, again by Lievore Altherr Molina, are found at IBM’s New York studio. Finally, LPL Financial’s HQ boasts the company’s Anna collection of chairs and stool, created by its in-house design team.Throughout its 60-year history, Andreu World hasn’t just aimed to supply spaces with furniture but to boost people’s wellbeing. It makes spaces that are less cluttered, sustainable, salutary and habitable. The secret of its success is its enthusiasm, energy, technological innovation and good design — all key hallmarks of the company that has evolved from being a small cabinetmaking workshop, founded by Francisco Andreu Marti, to a modern, competitive business that employs over 230 employees and has a commercial network in 70 countries all over the world.
In conjunction with architecture practice Ateliers Jean Nouvel, renowned Spanish firm Figueras International Seating has co-created the chairs that grace Philharmonie de Paris, a unique architectural project in the French capital’s Parc de la Villette. A total of 2,400 chairs with exceptional acoustic qualities, designed in various versions, can be adapted for use in all parts of Paris’s new cathedral to music.The seating installed in this spectacular concert hall has been specifically designed for this venue, and is named after it. High-profile French architect Jean Nouvel was commissioned to create this unique space which is adjustable to the needs of spectators, who, seated in cascading balconies, experience the sensation of being suspended in mid-air and surrounded by music. Nouvel and the hall’s main acoustic engineer, Sir Harold Marshall of Marshall Day Acoustics, has created a setting that perfectly fuses architecture, acoustics and stage design.Figueras has worked with acoustic engineers and set designers to ensure the seating fulfilled the room’s exacting acoustic requirements. This project’s main challenge lay in creating seating with very low acoustic absorption which would allow for maximum reverberation and so compensate for the room’s vast scale. The construction of the seating needed to be revised many times, and involved up to 10 acoustic tests in laboratories in Paris and Barcelona to achieve the desired design. Another challenge was to create custom-made seating which would fit into all areas of the undulating room. The space’s 1,800 Philharmonie seats feature a synchronised backrest and seat mechanism so that, when folded up, they take up very little space. The room also has 282 similar chairs with fixed backrests, suitable for more shallow tiers. The seats are upholstered in fabrics in five shades and come in four wood tones and five widths. The wood was treated to make it as glossy as a piano. The differently coloured seating demarcates different areas in the space, according to the architect’s criteria.Nouvel conceived Philharmonie as an adjustable, versatile concert hall, which can be adapted to any kind of concert or show. This needed two types of moveable seating systems and the Figueras seats had to adapt to this requirement. The choir, behind the orchestra, has a telescopic platform for 319 people, and Figueras has placed one of its most compact, comfortable chairs in that area. The second moveable system is in the stalls in front of the orchestra and allows Figueras’s 476 chairs to be concealed under the floor. Thus equipped, the stage moves back, allowing standing room for around 1,000 people for concerts of other types of music. Finally, Figueras’s Oxymore seat, designed by Nouvel, was chosen to increase capacity, if needed — 300 chairs can be used or stowed away, depending on the occasion. Thanks to this adapatibility, the concert hall can host classical, pop, jazz and rock concerts as well as all kinds of shows.
Cutting-edge Spanish company Vondom’s indoor/outdoor furniture continues to be a huge hit all over the world. Last year, its pieces were installed in the exclusive Matisse Beach Club in Perth, Australia, while this year they have contributed to creating the unique atmosphere at the cosmpolitan Skytree tower in Tokyo.Skytree is one of Tokyo’s latest attractions. This 634m-high building is the tallest tower in Asia, a fact officially recorded by the Guinness Book of Records. Tokyo’s new urban icon aims to fuse futuristic design with traditional Japanese architecture. Inside, people can go to its shopping centre, its glass observation tower, which creates the sensation of walking in the sky, and dine at its deluxe restaurant where, in addition to sampling its superb food, visitors can enjoy amazing views of Tokyo. Vondom’s collections Adan, Fiesta, Faz, Wing, Moma and Vela — which imbue the space with elegance and style — were chosen to decorate the restaurant’s terraces.Situated on Perth’s spectacular Scarborough Beach, the exclusive Matisse Beach Club combines an ultra-glamorous setting with cutting edge design. Guests can enjoy its interiors equipped with state-of-the-art technology, elegant beach huts, beach-facing lounges, informal dining, crystal-clear swimming pool and breathtaking view of the Indian Ocean. The club was designed by Jenlin Chia and her team at Oldfield Knott architects, who chose Vondom’s sculptural furniture to create a very special atmosphere. This includes Vondom’s Adan tables and stools, designed by Teresa Sapey, Vertex chairs by Karim Rashid and Frame and Faz sun loungers, lamps and stools by Ramón Esteve.Vondom is a leading firm specialising in the design, production and marketing of cutting-edge furniture, planters, lighting and rugs for indoor and outdoor spaces. Its products grace iconic public interiors and outdoor areas worldwide. It currently has two flagship stores, two mono-brand showrooms and countless concessions in stores all over the globe.
Sellex, the Basque manufacturer of furniture for public spaces, recently supplied its designs to two public spaces in France — the Tribunal de Grande Instance in the town of Lorient and the waiting rooms of Paris’s Institut Curie. Architecture studio Mûrisserie Parent+Rachdi has chosen to equip the Tribunal de Grande Instance with the Aero bench designed by Lievore Altherr Molina. The studio has used the aluminium version in the public lounge areas and the tiered, wall-mounted version in the waiting and witness rooms, with some arranged in 15-m long rows. The benches have become focal points in the rooms. For the Institut Curie, architect Dominique Boyer Chammard has, in collaboration with the company Harmony Design, chosen the modular Suma seating, designed by Gemma Bernal. This graces the waiting rooms and corridors of this prestigious institution, one of the world’s leading medical, biological and biophysical research centres.Sellex was founded in San Sebastián in 1977 and has been manufacturing seating, tables, shelving units and occasional tables for public areas all over the world since the 1990s. Its aluminium and stainless-steel furniture is typically lightweight, comfortable and robust, qualities which have led to its products being used to furnish many iconic buildings all over the world, including Copenhagen Airport, London’s City Hall, designed by Foster + Partners, The Dubai Mall and the Scottish Parliament Building.
The Kettal group has supplied the Regent Porto hotel in the town of Tivat — on the Bay of Kotor in southwestern Montenegro — with a broad spectrum of its products. This exclusive hotel, which faces the sea in the heart of this luxurious, sporty port town on the Adriatic coast, boasts seductive rooms and residences, designed by interior decorator Tino Zervudachi of the Parisian studio MHZ. The entire hotel is inspired by palaces in the Italian Renaissance style, and pays homage to the 400 years in which this stretch of the Adriatic coast was under Venetian rule. Each room boasts an impressive view of beautiful Boka Bay and the majestic mountain ranges around it. This spectacular establishment has been embellished with pieces supplied by the Kettal group’s three brands — Kettal, Triconfort and Hugonet. These now grace the hotel’s communal areas — dining rooms, terraces, lobbies, corridors and relaxation areas. They include Kettal’s Park Life collection of chairs, sofas and tables designed by Jasper Morrison; Triconfort’s Triconfort 1950, Riba and Hardy collections, and Hugonet’s Victoria collection.Founded in 1966, the Kettal group is one of Spain’s leading outdoor furniture manufacturers. It exports 80 per cent of its goods, which grace iconic projects all over the world, to over 60 countries. Recent, notable examples of these projects include such exclusive hotels and resorts as the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Dubai, W Doha Hotel & Residences’ La Spiga restaurant, Yas Viceroy in Abu Dhabi, Paris’s Hôtel le Cinq Codet, the Velaa Private Island resort at Malé on the Maldives as well as such cruise liners as Azamara Club Cruises’ Azamara Journey.
In 2014, Ascender, which manufactures seating for big public spaces (cinemas, theatres, auditoriums and convention centres), has equipped Moscow’s prestigious International House of Music with 1,800 Petra Especial armchairs. The International House of Music’s main space has been recently renovated so that it can host more musical events. This has necessitated stalls which can be totally dismantled. Ascender not only provided this special feature — and installed its chairs in a curve, as required — but tackled the complexity of designing six widths between the axes, two backrest heights and two depths of seat. The most obvious choice for the project was Ascender’s Petra Especial armchairs, which were custom-made to meet the most exacting requirements of one of Europe’s biggest and most prestigious music institutions — ample proof of the company’s ability to provide bespoke seating for world-class concerts and operas. Ascender’s armchairs grace many public institutions all over the world. Notable, recent examples are the Institut Le Rosey, near Geneva in Switzerland, one of the country’s most prestigious and established educational institutions, the auditorium of the Szczezin Philharmonic in Poland, the Salle Gramont at Conservatoire Jean-Baptiste Lully in France, Torre Cepsa in Madrid, designed by Norman Foster and Spain’s tallest building, the auditorium of the Muscat Civil Aviation Headquarters in Oman and two conference halls in Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior. Ascender was founded in 2003 in Ezcaray in La Rioja, Spain, and quickly positioned itself as a highly respected European company in the seating sector for cinemas, theatres, auditoriums and communal spaces. Its armchairs are of a very high quality, innovative and always manufactured in an environmentally friendly way.