Some images of my latest interior & furniture design project for the new offices of the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law located in the Weicker Building in Luxembourg-city.
The building itself was designed by Richard Meier & Partners Architects, a building with a very specific formal identity. The challenge was to find a suitable visual language that fits the architecture and, at the same time, cover all the functionalities and representative needs required by this prestigious client – all of this within a framework of a EU wide open tender procedure. The result is a mix of products from high-end furniture manufacturers and a range of custom-designed objects to ensure a coherent visual language and quality throughout the building.
Developed in collaboration with Teisen-Giesler Architectes
Client: Max Planck Insitute Luxembourg
Office & library surface: 4500m2
Photos © Christian Mosar
Designed for outdoor spaces like nature reserves, parks & forests, this seating range is composed of large & chunky shapes with very simple profiles. The large – single piece – wood parts are made from locally sourced oak trunks with a simply sawn finish to resist weathering and vandalism. Due to its thickness, the wood can be sanded down if damaged but can also happily live with the added texture.
The wood profiles and tubular powder coated steel tubes are both an integral part of the structure and form objects with a strong visual contrast between natural and man made materials. The simple & sculptural shapes should integrate well in natural environments, yet stand out enough to be noticed for its quality.
In collaboration with furniture maker Norbert Brakonier S.A. we finalised the first working prototype of the ‘plywood table’, a product that aims to be good value and equally good quality. Manufactured from a single thickness of standard factory made plywood with white melamine surfaces, the angled legs with its chamfered corners give the table structural stability and character. Additionally, custom-made large aluminium screws in a brightly anodised colour connect the table top to the legs, all visible and obvious!
The Concorde might have been a fuel guzzling, noisy and elitist plane representing the excesses of the ‘trente glorieuses’, but it also embodies a great believe, excitement and optimism in the future. Not something you can say about today…
Also great is to see a really good quality and stylish souvenir that was handed out to every person flying with the Concorde. The pen looks as fast as the the Concorde flies and even has a bit of a nose like the real thing. Try and find a pen in your drawers that you got for free that is of any quality…
It is well known that the bistro culture in Paris is a league on its own, sitting tightly packed on street corners, coffee & cigarettes, waiters that don’t care, gazing at the people passing by …
The typical Paris bistro table with a single foot and an oversized thin metal edging embodies this way of life quite well for me. Every bash and knock the metal edging gets adds character & texture to the table, making it age gracefully without aspiring to be perfect.
Embossing leather is another one of these crafts that are very difficult to still find but have a great creative potential. This very old, worn and grotty leather embossed folder almost blends in with the wooden desk and is getting more beautiful by the day.
Beautifully crafted natural materials have this quality of ageing well and are able to take the wear and tear of life. Something that many more contemporary materials and finishes simply can’t take.
Another fine example of upholstery craft – by the artist Yannick Pouliot in his work Régence: monomaniaque.
Good craftsmanship is key to produce fine quality objects. Unfortunately, outside the luxury industry, they are hard to find. With labour costs going constantly up are we loosing all the fine techniques that made objects special? It seems a shame, but it motivates me even more to collaborate with skilled craftsmen on the next projects!