Architonic Newsletter 12.2013

Dear Readers

At the end of November Architonic used the occasion of 'neue räume 13' in Zurich to present the new Best Swiss Design Brands app and to throw a major party in celebration of the climax of our tenth anniversary year. In this spirit we hope that you have had an equally eventful and fulfilled year and wish you a successful 2014!

Here's what you'll find in our December Newsletter:

  • Architecture in Ascendance: innovative staircase design
  • To the Power of Two: the Kartell by Laufen bathroom programme
  • Changing Rooms: Samsung’s ‘Endless Hospitality’ programme
  • Review of neue räume 13: Architonic Photo Tour and Anniversary Disco in Zurich
  • Inspiring Search Results N° 24: Railings / Balustrades
  • Inspiring Spaces N° 16: Ramps


Get inspired!

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Architecture in Ascendance: innovative staircase design

Staircases are overdetermined things. A highly functional element in the internal circulation of a building, they are also laden with cultural and psychological symbolism. We may live in the age of the lift and escalator, but this hasn’t stopped architects using the staircase as a means of adding value to spaces, be it through their aesthetic or engineering virtuosity. It’s not the destination that counts but the getting there.


The eye-catching, high-gloss staircase at UN City, the UN’s new regional HQ in Copenhagen, inspires employees to use the stairs and have informal meetings; photo Adam Mørk courtesy of 3XN

Freighted with symbolism and mythological references, staircases have long fascinated artists, architects, film directors, and even psychoanalysts. Yet they have been viewed with ambivalence. In The Book of Genesis, the Tower of Babel symbolises hubris resulting from the human arrogance of attempting to reach heaven, yet Jacob’s Ladder represents a glorious pathway to it. ‘Steps that lead down towards death… have given rise to striking images, a baby in a perambulator hurtling down the Odessa Steps in Battleship Potemkin… the dizzying staircase in Hitchock’s Vertigo,’ writes architect Oscar Tusquets Blanca in the introduction to a new book ‘The Staircase – The Architecture of Ascent’ (Thames & Hudson), a history of staircases culminating in 21st-century examples by architects IM Pei and Mario Botta.

The show for all creative energies

- 3,000 exhibitors including 45% international brands.
- More than 130,000 m² (net) of stand space.
- 85,000 visitors, including 50% from outside France.

A leading event in home styles, MAISON&OBJET offers an international, 360° panorama of the market. Decorative items, furniture, accessories, textiles, fragrances, children's world, tableware, etc.

This lifestyle platform merging business and creativity is THE meeting place for buyers and specifiers the world over. A facilitator of encounters, business booster and strategy scout all rolled into one, this must-see trade exhibition draws its inspiration from Paris.
Luxury, know-how, design, avant-garde…

MAISON&OBJET and the City of Lights: a unique DNA!


To the Power of Two: the Kartell by Laufen bathroom programme

Collaboration isn't for everyone. If you're to make it work, it involves serious time and resources, not to mention a genuine willingness to go beyond your usual MO to achieve a creative result with added value. Celebrated Italian design brand Kartell and leading Swiss sanitaryware specialists Laufen, however, show just how great the reward can be.


'1 plus 1 can equal more than 2', says Laufen's Director of Marketing and Products, Marc Viardot. The new Laufen by Kartell collection, the result of an intensive collaboration, is a space-defining, added-value total concept for the bathroom

When two heavyweights come together, there are often sparks. Think of Kennedy and Nixon. Federer and Nadal. Alien vs Predator.

But when leaders in their fields unite with collaboration in mind, it’s a whole different story.

That pioneer of industrial design Henry Ford understood that bringing together the talents and uniting his various teams under a clear creative vision was a sure means to delivering the best, most innovative products when he said ‘If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.’ And so too have two of most respected manufacturers in the design industry – Kartell and Laufen. Kartell, the iconic Italian brand that has single-handedly transformed plastic into an aspirational design material, has partnered up with leading Swiss sanitaryware specialists Laufen, renowned for their innovation in high-end ceramic products for the bathroom, to create a completely new bathroom collection that mines the key competences of both companies. 


Changing Rooms: Samsung’s ‘Endless Hospitality’ programme

Post-crisis it’s all about winning customer loyalty through value for money and memorable service. As an hotelier, taking your guests for granted can mean the difference between repeat business and damaging online reviews. Against this backdrop, Samsung Chemical Europe have launched an innovative new interiors programme for the hospitality sector, which, integrating cutting-edge design and materials with state-of-the-art digital technology, promises to reduce operating costs while guaranteeing a top-drawer experience for customers. Welcome to the future of hotel design.

The material flexibility of Staron in evidence in the furniture pieces for both public and private spaces within the hotel

Economic growth has returned. Economic growth is sluggish. Signs of economic growth are few and far between.

Depending on which part of the world you’re reading this in, you’ll identify more (or less) with one of the statements above. But even if you’re fortunate enough to be working in an industry and in a region where things are looking up, the last few, highly volatile years have had a major effect on consumer confidence and on how we view the monetary value of products and services. Perhaps rightly, the days of profligate spending by everyone seem to be over.


Architonic Photo Tour neue räume 13



At the end of November neue räume, the international furnishing and design fair, took place in Zurich for the seventh time. Because the Zurich exhibition has the same quality ideals as Architonic we were involved on your behalf not only as exhibitors and media partners but also as visitors. As was the case with previous fairs, neue räume 13 was exceptionally well curated. It once more made an impact on the basis of the decisive design concept established by its founder Stefan Zwicky, which focusses on the products rather than on the brands. Taking place for what is probably the last time in ABB-Eventhalle 550, neue räume 13 provided a platform for prestigious contributors such as Tom Dixon, a sensuous installation by atelier oï and a wide range of special exhibitions on topics such as the chronology of light.

As always Architonic has captured everything for you in a photo tour. Enjoy!

Architonic Anniversary Disco in Zurich



There's nothing like playing on your home turf for that extra kick. We want to say thank you to the over 400 friends who joined us in our native city of Zurich for a highly enjoyable, dancefloor-fantastic party with Animal Trainer (Hive Audio, Zurich) at city's coolest nightspot, Hive. Held to coincide with Zurich's high-quality biennial design fair neue räume, the festivities were the culmination of a series of Architonic Events throughout 2013 at the most important design destinations internationally, where the goal was to thank you, the Architonic community, for your valued support and to connect you with your fellow Architonic fans.

By the looks of some of the dance moves being thrown, aided in no small part by Hendrick's Gin and Gents Tonic Water, we dare say a good time was had by all.

Inspiring Search Results N° 24


Railings / Balustrades

Inspiring Spaces N° 16



Architecture and Design Projects on Architonic



UN CITY | Copenhagen | Denmark | Completed 2013
photographer: Eric Laignel

Peter Stasek Architects

ajando Next Level CRM | Mannheim | Germany | Completed 2013
photographer: Claus Morgenstern Photodesign

Zieta Prozessdesign

3+ TECHNOLOGY | Poland | 2013

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