For many design manufacturers a cooperation with prestigious artists and designers now represents an effective marketing tool. Long before this trend Vorwerk was already defining its brand by using collections and special editions which were developed in cooperation with well-known architects, designers and artists. This commitment to innovation and individual solutions makes Vorwerk one of the manufacturers preferred by architects internationally. Accordingly Vorwerk has an impressive library of styles and patterns, consisting both of re-editions of earlier designs such as those by Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney, Jeff Koons and Robert Wilson which never lose their currency, and of the latest designs by Ulf Moritz and Hadi Teherani.
FreeSCALE "Mesh" line by Vorwerk developed with Hadi Teherani
Ecology and design go hand-in-hand at Vorwerk, as the FreeSCALE "Mesh" line developed with Hadi Teherani shows. "Mesh" can be laid in an open pattern in that the contours of the textile flooring are freely adaptable. As a result it is an ideal match for modern office building architecture. Vorwerk FreeSCALE is one of the first tile collections which has been developed on the basis of the new Vorwerk TEXtiles technology. TEXtiles is an especially sustainable coating process which can replace the usual PVC or bitumen coating on tiles and makes the resulting carpeting, which is already in made to a level of 60% from recycled material, fully recyclable in its turn. In addition the products generated by this process enjoy the seal of approval of TÜV-Nord as being suitable for those suffering from allergies. And because of their proven particulate-reducing qualities they are also recommended by Germany's association of allergy and asthma sufferers.
Vorwerk Sonder-Editionen von David Hockney (links) und Zaha Hadid (rechts)
Within the context of the sustainability debate TOUCAN-T Carpet Manufacture from Krefeld presented a solution which goes an especially long way in complying with standards of ecological sustainability. The ECOLOGICS brand of office carpeting is made of recycled yarn, and the basis of these new products is the ECONYL by Aquafil yarn. On the one hand this is manufactured from recycled polyamide materials and on the other the manufacture of ECONYL provides an overall improvement in carbon footprint. Compared with conventional polyamide water use is 15% lower, production of organic waste is 80% lower and there is an 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. There is an equally significant reduction in crude oil requirements (one tonne less per tonne of polyamide) and CO2 emissions (two tonnes less per tonne of polyamide). In addition the backing material for ECOLOGICS carpeting is made of fully recycled PET plastics derived from PET bottles.
Carpets equipped with T-SONIC offer a 50% improvement in acoustic properties
T-SONIC, the design carpeting made by TOUCAN-T and featuring acoustic felt, has been developed specially for use in open-plan offices and makes a significant improvement to ambient acoustics. It is especially effective in the frequency range of the human voice, because conversations among colleagues and telephone calls are the main sources of noise in this environment. Compared with conventional carpeting T-SONIC offers a 50% improvement in acoustic properties.
"Aeras" object carperting by TOUCAN-T
At BAU Admonter put its own products to the test in every sense of the word, and in spite of the large numbers of visitors who crowded the Admonter stand the parquet floor of the newly-launched 'Antico Chiaro' range looked absolutely fresh even after days of heavy use. A number of design features such as prominent graining and irregular edges artificially provide the boards in the collection with an antique finish. This enables 'Antico' to merge harmoniously with venerable environments, while at the same time providing unusual and striking contrasts within the context of modern architecture. 'Antico' natural flooring consists of three layers of recycled wood and is produced in Austria.
'Antico' by Admonter merges harmoniously with venerable environments, while at the same time providing unusual and striking contrasts within the context of modern architecture
'Artisan', the latest collection by Bolon, is made of new, specially designed yarn which changes its appearance, giving this flooring a textile look and a great deal of vitality. The colour spectrum ranges from terra cotta via a deep ultramarine to calm red wax. The collection also includes two expressive striped versions. Developed specially for extensive areas with a high level of wear Artisan is available as standard in large rolls or individual squares. However, thanks to Bolon StudioTM, specific combinations of patterns are also available.
'Artisan', the latest collection by Bolon, is made of new, specially designed yarn which changes its appearance, giving this flooring a textile look and a great deal of vitality
The know-how provided by Bolon is illustrated by an art project shown on film – a photo of a dancing ballerina is abstracted into individual colour fields which represent the eight different products in the new Bolon collection. Finally the image is enlarged to form a gigantic jigsaw puzzle with around 300 parts and cut into sections on the new cutting machine. With the aid of six carpetlayers the flooring is then laid out in a deserted factory building to form a mosaic artwork sized 20 x 16 metres.
Mosaic artwork sized 20 x 16 metres made of Bolon's new product "Artisan"
"Mekan" collection by Defne Koz for VitrA Bad
In addition VitrA Bad presented an impressive collection of tiles by the designer Defne Koz at BAU. With its pentangular designs in dark blue and turquoise colour tones the series pays tribute to classical Ottoman Iznik tiles. Shaded areas reinforce visual depth while stylistic contours offer a modern interpretation of the traditional Iznik style. While paying homage to traditional elements Defne Koz has created a highly modern and artistically valuable series here.
VitrA Bad pays homage to traditional Iznik-tiles
The thematic stringency and versatility of the products presented by HEWI were also impressive: for HEWI 'design for all' is not just a phrase but is implemented in a way which is decisive and shows perfection in form. Without ignoring good design HEWI succeeds in offering bathroom furnishings which are not just suitable for disabled people but also transcend the generations. This manufacturer manages to demonstrate that the design stigma attached to barrier-free bathroom furnishings is entirely without justification. The company's functional versatility, which is demonstrated for example by fold-away mirrors or integrated handles which can also be used as towel rails are equally useful to children, older people and the disabled, while proving both utilitarian and attractive at the same time. As a result such design which is free from barriers and transcends the generations also makes a contribution to sustainability, because even where requirements change there is no need to replace existing furnishings.
Functional versatility, which is demonstrated for example by integrated handles which can also be used as towel rails are equally useful to children, older people and the disabled, while proving both utilitarian and attractive at the same time
However, HEWI succeeds not just in bridging the gap between generations but also that between residential and office buildings. The 800 K system of sanitary furnishings, which has been supplemented by a version made of colourful materials, has received a number of awards. 800 K is suitable both for private bathrooms and kindergartens as well as institutions such as retirement homes and hospitals. Because the products are modular it is possible for sanitary areas of all kinds to be fitted out individually.
The 800 K system of sanitary furnishings, has received a number of awards. 800 K is suitable both for private bathrooms and kindergartens as well as institutions
DORMA places special emphasis on the subject of safety and sustainability, with its new products complying among other criteria with the high requirements of the EnEV energy-saving directive and the energy management system specified by DIN EN 16001, as well as the environmental product declaration (EPD) covered by DIN ISO 14025. One example of this is the ST FLEX Green automatic sliding door. This door system applies the extremely narrow DORMA FLEX profile system in a thermally insulated version. Its special structure enables an especially narrow profile and accordingly provides a high degree of insulation between interior and exterior. The automatic door system has a maximum width of 6,250 mm and a maximum height of 3,300 mm.
'AGILE 150 DORMOTION' sliding door system can be fitted to glass or wooden doors and can also be integrated into installations which are entirely made of glass; photo: DORMA
For the interior DORMA presented, in addition to a range of other new products, the 'AGILE 150 DORMOTION' sliding door system, which features an effective cushioning mechanism that prevents the sliding door from closing with a crash. The system can be fitted to glass or wooden doors and can also be integrated into installations which are entirely made of glass. All the functional elements such as the rollers and spring damper which slides the door into its final position are discreetly hidden in the guide rail.
Apart from its sophisticated design solutions Dorma also presented highly innovative electronic door-control systems such as assist mechanisms which identify obstacles or programmable locking mechanisms which always return swing doors with precision to the required closed position.
"ST FLEX Green" automatic door by DORMA
At the WÖHR stand the new 'Combiparker 555' with its innovative Kamm technology was to be seen live. This operates at favourable cost without closed pallets and can manage up to 31 parking spaces with only one empty space per level at up to 8 levels one above the other, and up to 5 grids next to each other.
Altogether Wöhr presented four new parking-system products under the 'Green Parking' slogan, because parking which conserves both surface area and space reduces the area that needs to be sealed, saves on material and accordingly benefits the environment.
At the WÖHR stand the new 'Combiparker 555' with its innovative Kamm technology was to be seen live
Detail of Combiparker 555
'Ökoskin' is the latest product made by Rieder from its tried and tested 'fibreC' fibre-glass reinforced concrete. The 13-mm thin concrete panels sized 1800 x 147 mm are available in 10 different standard colours. These panels, which are coloured with UV-resistant pigments, have a demonstrable the long-term durability of 50 years. They can be cut to size directly on-site and can be fastened with screws in matching colours or rivets, or fitted in a masked version.
'Ökoskin', the latest product made by Rieder from its tried and tested 'fibreC' fibre-glass reinforced concrete
As one of Europe's leading processors of Corian® Hasenkopf plays a pioneering role at the interface between design, craftsmanship and industry. In addition Hasenkopf is known as a specialist supplier of all-round solutions in the field of wood and high-quality mineral and acrylic production materials. With its outstanding expertise in the mechanical and thermic processing of these materials the company has made a name for itself as a skilled partner both to craft manufacturers and internationally known brands, architects and designers.
Exhibition at the CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) visitor centre in Geneva, implemented by Hasenkopf
Among other projects Hasenkopf has implemented the exhibition at the CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) visitor centre in Geneva.
At the trade fair in Munich the company showed interesting material samples and the »Hydra_XXL«, a sophisticated, multifunctional item of bathroom furnishing which once more demonstrates the Hasenkopf skill in creating complex forms.
»Hydra_XXL«, a multifunctional bathroom furnishing made by Hasenkopf; Designer: Stuart A. Veech, Veech Media Architecture
After this first compilation of our impressions we should like to draw your attention to our reports on the imm furniture fair taking place at the same time in Cologne. In addition further new products and discoveries at BAU will be described in the second part of our look back at BAU München 2011.
Bolon's "making of video" of the carpet mosaic artwork
Articles and reviews on the imm 2011 in Cologne:
When We Were Young: [D3] Design Contest at IMM Cologne
The Bearable Lightness of Being: Architonic meets Tokujin Yoshioka at IMM Cologne
Links to manufacturers & products
ACO on architonic
Admonter on Architonic
Bolon on Architonic
Dorma on Architonic
HEWI on Architonic
TOUCAN-T carpet manufacture
VitrA Bad on Architonic
Wöhr on Architonic