Our Wellesley St Showroom has closed. We will be re-locating to new premises in Parnell in March.
Our Warehouse in Henderson is still operational, so any furniture samples can be viewed there by appointment or we can deliver them to you.
Most samples can also be viewed at our temporary office in Parnell, please contact us for further details.
Our phone number, fax number and postal address all remain the same.
Mail can be sent to: PO Box 91671, Victoria Street West, Auckland 1142.
Invoices and Statements can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Samples can be viewed by appointment at: Unit 3B, 43 The Concourse, Henderson, Auckland or contact to arrange delivery.
Courier parcels can be sent to: Apartment 3D Judges Building, 154 St Stephens Avenue, Parnell, Auckland 1052.
Sam Haughton (Director, Sales, Production): email@example.com / 021 654 786
Hannah Brodie (Manager, Admin, Accounts): firstname.lastname@example.org / 0274 988 918
Louise Franklin (Sales): email@example.com / 021 373 100
Campbell Dear (Production): firstname.lastname@example.org / 021 022 76155
Sign up to our email newsletter by clicking the Join Mailing List button at the top of our website home page and go in the draw to win an Alvar Aalto Vase from Iittala.
We send out a newsletter every 6-8 weeks with information on new products, events and specials.
We include an unsubscribe link in every email we send you, so you can easily leave our list at any time.
IMO will not disclose your email address to any third parties without your consent.
The central role of eating and dining has changed as our hectic lifestyles dictate less time for the preparation and enjoyment of food. Whilst we require our kitchen to perform more efficiently, we also want it to be an adaptable space that works on both a functional and aesthetic level.
Wallpaper talks to the Austrian based designer Norbert Wangen about his revolutionary kitchen designs for Boffi… “Norbert is something of a maverick when it comes to problem solving. To say he revolutionised kitchen design with his K2 monoblock is no understatement and not something we say lightly.”
Do you think your architectural training is at the heart of your ability to create such a revolutionary kitchen design as the K2?
I also trained as a carpenter and later studied philosophy and did set designs for theatres so in the end it’s a wide range of influences that come together to provide solutions – a synthesis of all these aspects.
When did kitchens first become the focus of your attention?
It was through an architecture project I was doing in Munich in 1994 for an actor friend of mine. It was a complicated project – it was a studio with a small living room and a mini kitchen – so we decided to put the whole kitchen into a block close to the corridor. We then took catalogue photos of the kitchen in the loft and the effect was completely different; it looked like it had been designed so specifically for the loft. It just worked on so many levels.
So it was an element of luck really that you discovered a talent in this field?
In 1994 the kitchen industry was only interested in new handles. Everybody was happy with wooden boxes and all the designers had to play with were the handles. We were lucky in many ways to have the opportunity to create an entirely new concept. Wallpaper* was young then too.
How did people react to what was a very radical kitchen design given how little kitchens had changed in the previous few decades?
People were slow to accept in 1998 that the sliding top of the K2 was anything more than a gimmick. Then in 2001 we came out with some good photographs and a more professional presentation and gradually things started to grow.
And when did Boffi enter the equation?
Well as they say in Britain, if you can’t beat them join them. Boffi is the finest kitchen and bathroom manufacturer with a history and a global reach that a new company like mine could never touch. I wanted to return to the creative side and step away from the business elements of establishing my own company. Joining Boffi allowed me to do this. They are true professionals in their handling and also their wonderful spaces provide a perfect backdrop to frame the products. I love Piero Lissoni as well, he’s a truly gifted Creative Director – look around here – it’s like being in a theatre.
Do people want different things from their kitchens today or are people just more open-minded about experimenting with domestic fittings?
Today the kitchen is a social place where people meet. I find often when women cook they don’t like you to see what’s being done, they want to hide the mess and the dirt straight away. Men are very much about performance in cooking. So I think the kitchen has to be a stage and somewhere where everything can be hidden and cleaned almost instantly. But also I think people don’t like their kitchens to look like a kitchen nowadays. If you look at the K16, from the other side it looks like a piece of furniture. It must be professional functionally but also incredibly simple. I think in our design language we could call it minimalism.
Where can kitchen design go from here? How difficult would it be to revolutionise kitchen design again?
I think the kitchen hood will disappear – they’re the last thing that really makes a kitchen look like a kitchen. In one hand we’re living in a fast time but at the same time everything is also getting slow. Communication and technology are of course moving very rapidly but there’s a lot of industry and manufacturing that is very slow. I think with kitchens the next decade will be slow. We’ve found solutions that make sense, there’s very little more we can do.
I just wonder if there will be a return to times when we don’t feel the need to hide functions and aesthetically homogenise everything – so a phone will look like a phone, a kitchen like a kitchen and so on?
This is an interesting point. I think it’s an expression of our time isn’t it? We are in the beginning of an epoch really – our level of communication is still relatively recent and our attachments, needs and expectations from design are still very much informed by the developments of technology and communication. I can’t see these things changing in the next few decades. Our current environment creates a lot of problems: there’s too much information, everything is too abstract. If we take a step back then I feel everything will collapse. It’s a radical truth but it’s very interesting. These designs are an expression of our times – a synthesis of very complex realities.
So your reputation as the king of kitchen design will be safe for some time then?
I hope so. No, maybe you should ask someone else! I’m satisfied with what I’m seeing…
The World Design Capital for 2012 is Helsinki, the capital of Finland.
The World Design Capital, an initiative of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design, celebrates the accomplishments of cities that have used design as a tool to reinvent themselves and their urban spaces to improve social, cultural and economic life.
With more than half the world’s population now living in urban areas, design has become an increasingly fundamental tool to make cities more competitive, attractive, liveable and efficient. The Finnish capital is undergoing the busiest phase of development in the city’s history – whole new districts are emerging in sites vacated from harbours and other industrial uses.
“For us, openness equals transparency, global responsibility and innovation. Usability, sustainability and desirability. That is what we are looking for. We design for a better life.”
Click here to find out more.
Chris Bangle, former chief of design at BMW, reviews the Bisiluro, the legendary racing car designed by Carlo Mollino for the 1955 Le Mans 24-hour endurance race.
Looking at his creation today one sees much more pre-war heritage in the lines and details than one associates with the 1950s’ Car design scene around him. The Bisiluro fits into a category I would call “Non-Car Cars”, those purposeful objects that stir the imaginations of Car designers by allowing them to incorporate a new proportion, perspective, form, structure or detail into their concept of a “Car” without having to carry all the functional and cultural baggage of being “automobiles”.
A wonderful car made by special people for a celebrated race in a glorious Age of Car Design Innocence, what more can one ask for? Designers everywhere have been finding excuses to homage the Bisiluro and its kind in every possible project including Star Wars, and we should all be thankful that this unique example is well cared for and still here to inspire us.
Click here to read the full article on Domus.
1 World Trade Center is the first office tower to rise on the World Trade Center site. At 1,776 feet, the new tower will serve as a memorable architectural landmark in the New York City skyline.
Shortly after 9/11 developer Larry Silverstein called the architects at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and insisted that he wanted to rebuild on the site. “At the time, the press was saying high-rises were the product of a bygone era,” says Nicholas Holt, SOM’s director of technical architecture. “Even Larry was asking, ‘If I build this, will anybody be willing to rent?’ “.
SOM, which for 75 years has been the go-to architectural firm for companies wanting cutting-edge thinking in skyscraper innovation, knew the future of high-rises rested on one thing: making people feel safe working in tall towers. Everyone involved knew it would become a test case for addressing the design failings of the ill-fated towers and forging a model for how skyscrapers should be built in the future.
One of the mysteries that SOM had to address was why the towers collapsed in the first place. As we now know, the impact of the planes alone was not enough to cause the towers’ collapse. The combination of the impacts and the fires in their aftermath were what proved fatal. Not only had the planes knocked out parts of the buildings’ structural frames, they also severed and disabled the sprinkler systems’ supply pipes. As the fires continued, the remaining structure weakened to the point where the failure of one critical structural element begat the failure of the next – what architects call “progressive collapse.”
Now, Holt says, buildings have been redesigned to prevent that kind of collapse. These skyscrapers have steel connections capable of redirecting the path of the upper floors’ load downward through other structural members if one should fail. And sprinkler supply lines have been located within an impact-resistant core – a major difference from the Twin Towers. Both innovations are now part of New York City building codes. In addition, the newest SOM buildings have two interconnected standpipes, so that if one should fail, the other can compensate.
Another issue the Twin Towers’ disaster exposed was the difficulty of evacuating lots of people from very high floors. “The survival rate below the planes’ impact was very high,” Holt says. “Above it was very low. That was entirely linked to the damage to the core; the inability to navigate the stairs; and the heat, flames, and smoke not being mitigated by a sprinkler system.” Designers knew that if tenants were going to be attracted to the upper reaches of these buildings, they needed to feel that they could get out safely. Now, the best American high-rise designs borrow from existing international thinking on safety. In addition to designing wider staircases and building separate stairs for firefighters (a strategy borrowed from the British, who have long practiced this), SOM is pioneering an elevator-assisted exit system that would help people on the highest floors get out faster.
SOM is inventing an elevator assisted exit system. Currently proposed for a 108-story tower in South Korea, the system reduces evacuation time by more than 20%. The Burj Kalifa, the 168-floor tower in Dubai that currently holds the record as the world’s tallest building, uses a similar system. The idea is that a building’s occupants can take the stairs to designated protected refuge areas on specific floors, at which point they can take elevators called “lifeboats” down to exits on the ground floor. The approach directly contradicts the conventional wisdom that you should never take an elevator in a burning building because its electronics could be compromised by the water used to fight the fire. The World Trade Center made clear that this approach needed modification.
The SOM-designed 102-story skyscraper, will open in the first quarter of 2014. Holt says he was surprised at how quickly the post 9/11 conversation became so forward-looking. “It wasn’t about hunkering down,” he says. “It was more about quality of life and responsible development. It was like the phoenix rising from the ashes.”
Click here to read the full article by Linda Tischler at Fast Company Design.
Michael Smythe’s comprehensive new book New Zealand by Design: A History of New Zealand Product Design, surveys the history of our “manufactured artefacts” from early Maori carving to current era innovations.
Smythe examines not only how designers have shaped New Zealand, but also how New Zealand has influenced our design. “Is it yet possible to distinguish the essence of New Zealand product design?” He looks at our design history to identify ways in which New Zealand product design might be characterised and identifies the inescapable fact of New Zealand’s isolation as a key point of difference.
With its stories about the quintessentially Kiwi solutions to the needs of daily life, an impressive array of product and a generous amount of illustrations, New Zealand by Design is an invaluable source book.
Unlike most painters, artist Simon Ingram takes up a position distanced from the direct act of painting.
His latest solo exhibition held at Gow Langsford Gallery earlier this year was entitled ‘Radio Painting’. The exhibition comprises of a series of works made by a self-painting apparatus. A paint brushed is attached to a machine constructed from parts such as lego blocks, aluminium rods and clamps, then wired to a radio telescope device built to receive low frequency radio signals. The Radio Painting works render the changes in signals across the VLF (Very Low Frequency) radio spectrum as painting.
His machines use artificial life systems as a method to govern composition, resulting in painterly, monochromatic works that explore the notion of machine as artist. “Working with a model of painting as a machine allowed me to construct an alternative painting history and made it possible to open painting up to new conversations and new sets of knowledge,” says Simon.
Click here to see the machine in action.
Simon has exhibited locally and internationally for over ten years and is represented in Auckland by Gow Langsford Gallery. He currently Lives and works in Auckland and is a Senior Lecturer at the Elam School of Fine Art.
The ‘Ang House’ is located on a busy road within a conservation area on the north shore of Sydney. The clients required an economical renovation to the original semi-detached dwelling to provide light open plan living spaces, new bathrooms and a kitchen.
The low budget for the project was addressed in three ways; by retaining and re-cycling as much of the existing building fabric as possible; by using an economical structural system; and by using off-the-shelf, low cost building materials.
A simple steel truss has been inserted on each of the existing sandstone and brick sidewalls. The trusses are structurally efficient, providing lateral bracing to the existing walls, and allowing the external deck to cantilever above the garden without support from below.
A monochromatic colour palette was chosen so that the texture, rather than the opulence, of the materials was paramount. Corrugated steel ceilings, radiata pine flooring, satin-finish cabinetry, adjustable metal louvres and the expressed steel truss structure are all coloured the same off-white.
The corrugations of the Mini Orb ceiling, the shadows cast by the louvres and the lines of the decking all contribute to the experience of texture, light and space.
Click here to visit their website.
This mobile cabin designed by the Hangar Group was prefabricated in a factory and shipped to site. The overlapping tile cladding (zinc, steel and titanium) is designed to camouflage the home in its rocky mountain environment. Vertical timber cladding at either end provides contrast and punctuates the entry points. The roof can also be extended to include a patio.
Click here to read more.