Cologne – Mies is more. As the Bauhaus turns 100 this year, several companies showcased homages to the German architect during the most recent edition of the IMM Cologne fair. Some, like Thonet, are issuing reinterpretations of iconic furniture; others, like Walter Knoll, used his architectural projects as inspiration. Others paid tribute to Gropius in the same manner.
But beyond Bauhaus, we also saw some adaptations of classics featuring textile applications much more in line with the wear-and-tear needs – and the preferred palettes – of today.
Here are some of the best furniture re-editions we saw this year.
WHAT: The S 533 F chair
WHO: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1927) reinterpreted by Besau Marguerre (2018) for Thonet
HOW: Thonet is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus with a limited edition of the S 533 F cantilever chair by Mies van der Rohe, as seen by German duo Besau Marguerre. The two new versions, with leather in sensual colours – anthracite and soft rose – combine the Bauhaus ethos with some very contemporary haptic touches.
WHAT: The F51 armchair
WHO: Walter Gropius (1922/23) reinterpreted by Katrin Greiling (2018) for Tecta
HOW: ‘Should one separate the wooden and padded surfaces with contrasts or combine them harmoniously?’ wondered Greiling when working on this project. That’s why she went for colour. ‘Colour allows you to draw attention, emphasise proportions, and then also highlight or restrain shapes.’
WHAT: The Farns
WHO: A tribute to Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House by EOOS (2019) for Walter Knoll
HOW: The Farnsworth House was, at the time, the prototype for many glass buildings and an example of how residential architecture could experiment with integrating light and shade into façade. That’s why Walter Knoll decided to produce a sideboard, ‘more architecture than furniture’ to honour the iconic dwelling.
WHAT: Eames Plastic Armchair RAR, fully upholstered
WHO: Charles and Ray Eames (1950) at Vitra
HOW: This spring, Vitra is releasing two special editions of the Eames’ rocking chair, this time with full upholstery instead of the fabric cover. Buyers can choose from two shades of Credo fabric: Pale rose cognac and mother of pearl/black.
WHAT: The MR Collection
WHO: Mies van Der Rohe (1927-28) at Knoll
HOW: The MR10, the MR20 and their ilk were first presented in 1927 in Stuttgart. Today, Knoll is also honouring the Bauhausversary with a revised version of the full collection, with new fabrics and leather coverings. ‘We’re attempting to recover the meaning of furniture created by its designer not so much as a response to a practical function of inhabitability of space, but as the fulfillment of a complex architectural vision,’ the company explained.
WHAT: The DHS 10
WHO: Herbert Hische (1954) at Richard Lampert
HOW: Holzäpfel KG initially produced this shelving system in the 1950s, and Richard Lampert is taking the baton starting in 2019. The DHS 10 features metal parts, shelves and wooden boxes up for individual combination.