Cologne – International furniture and interiors fair IMM Cologne takes place every year in January, when the average temperature in the German city is a high of 5°C and a low of one. But the fair offers a promise of warmer weather: outdoor furniture.
Read to discover the best furniture – some actually equipped to handle all four seasons – that we saw in Cologne this month.
Philippe Starck and Cassina are on a mission to revolutionize the way in which the classic sofa is conceived. This continues with Fenc-e Nature – a ‘lifestyle collection’ in Starck’s terms – that is a ‘celebration of harmony and osmosis with nature’. Each of the outdoor pieces in the collection – an armchair, generously cushioned sofas and a coffee table – are made of high-quality, natural materials, such as solid teak and willow.
A table base inspired by the king of all bases – the tree trunk – Frasca has a painted aluminium, four-footed central leg. A versatile support for laminated table tops, the flexible, easily stackable Nardi product was designed by Raffaello Galiotto. Its clear-cut lines and details are a perfect visual fit with the chairs in Nardi’s Net and Trill collections, which have the same thickness and bending radius of Frasca’s four feet.
Almost 50 years ago, Verner Panton introduced his now-classic modular wire seating system Pantonova. Today, Danish furniture company Montana ushers in an outdoor version. Three distinct seating modules – the Linear, Concave and Convex Pantonova – can be used individually as sculptural chairs, or combined into wavy, organic formations. The stainless-steel, all-weather wire construction means the furnishings blend in rather than dominate, allowing the surrounding greenery to thrive.
A curved structure forged from extruded aluminium, Flexform’s Alison Outdoor sofa is lightweight and easily configurable. The Flexform design joins the previously released Alison outdoor armchairs, and is available in a two-seater and three-seater. Its backrest cushions and seat can be upholstered in any fabric from the Italian company’s outdoor textile collection, and its frame comes in white, khaki green or wine red, or in a burnished or satin finish.
Combining the functionality of aluminium with the warm and enveloping nature of wood, Fast’s Orizon collection is both extremely versatile and welcoming. Design studio Lievore Altherr’s aim was to recall traditional wooden garden furniture by specially treating the entirely aluminium design. The designers emulated the textures and finishes of natural materials, but by selecting aluminium they ensured that the dining and coffee tables, benches, sofas and lounge seating would be lightweight, practical, sun resistant and suitable for all seasons.
Spanish company iSiMAR is a manufacturer of outdoor furniture for domestic and contract spaces alike. The success of its Arena table in 2019 led to the creation of a family of furniture inspired by the Mediterranean landscape and nature. Perforations on the structure of the new Arena two-seater sofa, chair and high table are a simulation of the undulations that sand leaves on beaches.
IMM Cologne took place from 13 to 19 January at the Koelnmesse exhibition centre.