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Carl Hansen & Son - Passionate Craftsmanship - Aram Store

In February 2013, I visited the Carl Hansen & Søn factory in Aarup, outside Odense in Denmark. It was a very important time for the manufacturer, as they had just bought Rud. Rasmussen – another cabinetmaking business famous for its craftsmanship – and I wrote about the visit for our blog: ‘The Evolution of Craftsmanship’.

Evolution doesn’t stand still and it was fascinating to visit Carl Hansen & Søn once again last week. The remarkable growth of the company can be attributed to the current CEO, Knud Erik Hansen – the third generation of the family to take the helm, after buying out his older brother Jørgen. I remember that when Aram Store first opened, the lead time for Hans Wegner’s renowned ‘Wishbone’ chair was more than a year; this was because Jørgen took a very cautious approach and maintained the same production methods his grandfather had put in place in the original factory in Kochsgade, Odense in 1933, despite rising global demand.

Carl Hansen factory 1933 Odense - Aram Store

The factory at Kochsgade, Odense, opened in 1933

Knud Erik brought with him a wealth of business acumen and recognised the improvements that could be made by investing massively in the most technologically up-to-date machinery. This also meant that production could be kept in Denmark, crucially safeguarding the skill and experience of the company’s master craftsmen. But within two years of my 2013 visit, production had already outgrown the 6,000 sq m Aarup factory that Knud Erik built in 2003. So, with a great deal of planning and care, everything was moved to a new campus of 12 buildings ten minutes down the road at Gelsted.

A new purpose-built factory at Aarup opened in 2003

Carl Hansen Factory Gelsted - Aram Store

Having reached capacity after 12 years, production moved to a new campus at Gelsted in 2016

Whilst the machinery – which runs almost 24/7 – speeds up immensely the manufacturing of components, craftsmanship is still absolutely integral to the process. Once machined, each piece is finished by hand – appraised for quality at each stage – and assembled by hand, the skill evident in the ease and confidence with which minor adjustments are made, for example, to ensure that a Wishbone chair sits straight and flat.

CH26 Chair Hans Wegner Carl Hansen Aram Store

CH26 chair frames ready to have their papercord seats woven

CH07 Shell chair Hans Wegner Carl Hansen Aram Store

CH07 Shell chair frames stacked up awaiting their seats and backs

CH20 Elbow chair Hans Wegner Carl Hansen Aram Store

Stacks of CH20 ‘Elbow’ chairs showing off the unusual 11-ply underframe

CH24 Wishbone chair lacquered colours Hans Wegner Carl Hansen Aram Store

The CH24 ‘Wishbone’ chair lacquered in a rainbow panoply of colours ready for their papercord seats to be woven

“Carl Hansen & Søn is built with lots of emotion and love involved. And that can be challenging too. We are still a family – it is our choices, our decisions that influence the direction and future of our designers, both new and from our heritage. The designers we produce and the stories we tell – there are humans at the heart. Real people who are part of our wider family and an authentic Danish design network. We have a very strong sense of belonging: I want to bring the next generation, my sons, into Carl Hansen & Søn – it is the most important thing. We are a Danish company, but we are sustained by our exports, and capturing the minds and hearts of a global audience. We have to develop fast and consider what is happening elsewhere and in new markets. It has always been the way, ever since my grandfather. Everything since has been a natural, genuine evolution.” – Knud Erik Hansen

CH445 chair Hans Wegner Carl Hansen Aram Store

The CH445 chair, CH446 footstool and CH008 coffee table in the Spring sunshine at the Carl Hansen & Søn Copenhagen showroom on Bredgade

True to the company’s founding values, it is Carl Hansen & Søn’s ambition to make furniture of the highest quality, maintaining beauty and value with respect for sustainable design, materials and more than 100 years of traditions of craftsmanship.

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Marble is a highly desirable material ubiquitous throughout the fields of sculpture, architecture and design. It is a natural stone available in numerous colours and styles with connotations to antiquity and luxury. Here we explore its history both geologically and within the arts. We shed light on the famous region of Carrara, its quarries and workforce, and highlight exemplary uses within 20th century and contemporary design.

All marble is a type of limestone, however the term is somewhat broad and describes a group of rocks with varying petrographic aspects. In its most refined form – the famous white statuary marble of Carrara – it contains 98% calcite. This type was created over 200 million years ago from the skeletal remains of tiny calciferous sea creatures, which formed a deep sediment on the ocean bed. As the earth’s tectonic plates shifted this sediment was subjected to enormous heat and pressure causing the calcium carbonate to crystallise. Over millions more years this was slowly pushed to the surface and now forms the area we know as the Apuan Alps in Tuscany, Italy.

 

Carrara Bianco marble

On the opposite end of the spectrum to Carrara Bianco there are marbles which display a riot of rich colours and patterns. These are also sedimentary limestones but are usually from detrital (formed of other rocks) or chemical (formed from precipitation of calcium carbonate from sea water) origin and are coloured by a variety of minerals such as graphite and iron oxide. When speaking commercially, classification becomes even broader to include rocks with silicate minerals* from a magmatic beginning, such as types of quartzite. Although these have a different composition they have similar workability characteristics and sometimes appearance.

*rock forming minerals containing varying ratios of silicon and oxygen

 

Marble samples Brèche De Vendome Azul Imperial

Left: Brèche de Vendôme marble of detrital origin. Right: Azul Imperial quartzite

Evidence of marble sculpture and stonework within Europe goes back to the Neolithic era around 5000 – 4500 BC. Small carved figures of people and animals have been found from this time on Crete and the Cycladic islands. It is believed they used marble pebbles washed up on beaches complete with smooth edges courtesy of the undulating waves. During the succeeding Bronze Age – which roughly spans from 3200 to 600 BC – newly invented tools improved sculpting techniques and made working with larger, half eroded or partially freed marble possible. The ancient Romans began stonemasonry this way and used a much simpler system of categorisation than we do today. They had two categories; stones which could be polished were called ‘marmora’ and stones which couldn’t were called ‘lapis’. Interestingly, the word ‘marmora’ comes from the Greek ‘marmarios’, which means ‘shining’.

 

Marble female figure from the Cycladic culture, final Neolithic 4500–4000 BC. © Metropolitan Museum of Art

After designing implements for extracting and transporting large marble blocks, the Romans developed the first designated quarry sites. Luni or ‘Luna’ as it was then known, in the Italian vicinity of Carrara is a small port town founded around 177 BC. It was there and in the surrounding hills that the Carrara quarries were opened and the marble trade began. Augusto Danesi a sculptor and Carrara museum curator said in 2004 when speaking to Martin Gani a journalist writing for The World & I, “it’s not hard to tell how the Romans quarried, the hammers and iron pickaxes found here as well as grooved uneven surfaces clearly point at the Romans.”¹ They began by using wet wooden wedges that were inserted into natural cracks – the wood expands and the marble slab breaks away. Implements were then developed to make cracks and handsaws designed to improve cutting techniques. An improvement, yes, but a small one as it would take two workers a whole day just to cut seven or eight cm. The Carrara quarries were excavated using these rudimentary tools for hundreds of years and all the while the output grew in popularity. Marble was considered a luxury because it was expensive, imported from other regions and unnecessary because most cities would have had adequate stone resources nearby. Using such a luxurious material was a public display of wealth and wealth equated to power. Nevertheless in spite of its favour as the empire declined, so did Luni and the quarries of Carrara. The harbour gradually filled with silt until it became a mosquito-infested swamp and by the 5th century AD extraction had ceased entirely. In the years that followed those who wanted to enjoy the grandeur of marble would – after first receiving Papal consent – reuse or recycle columns, capitals and other features from Roman buildings. Until the 10th century AD when the bishops of Luni, who then dominated the Carrara region, reopen the quarries and gradually an export trade was re-established.

 

Apuan Alps, Tuscany, Italy

During the Renaissance Carrara and particularly its near-flawless 98% calcite Statuario marble received international recognition. It became the stone of choice for Michelangelo and many other artists for a number of reasons. Firstly, calcite is a soft mineral and is relatively easy to cut and shape. In addition the uniform fine grain allows for precise detail. Its purity means it boasts a luminous whiteness, enhanced by the fact calcite allows light to penetrate an inch or two deep. And in slight contrast, the surface itself has a waxy quality akin to human skin. These qualities make it the ideal material for those who want their image of man to transcend into a godlike figure.

 

Michelangelo’s statue of David

Thanks in part to the Renaissance sculptors the quarries of Carrara have had no rest to this day. Supply and demand is now greater than ever due to technological advances and globalisation. However in the run-up to the 20th century boom, the slow and arduous quarrying process was only occasionally relieved by new inventions. In the mid-1800s three-strand wire saws made abrasive with sand and lubricated by water were introduced. Quarrymen were finally able to put down their handsaws, but the huge problem of wastage remained. Excavated blocks would be rolled down the mountain and during this 85% would be lost to rubble. Oxen and carts would transport what remained to port. Sometime sleds, or ‘lizza’, would be used for extra heavy pieces of twenty-five to thirty tons. Charles Dickens visited and poetically described this process as “a stream meandering down to the bottom of the valley over a bed of stones of all forms and sizes…rudimentary carts of five-hundred years ago or so are still in use. Two, four, ten, twenty pairs of oxen per block, depending on size, are used.”² Another Brit, the industrialist William Walton took an interest in Carrara and invested in building railroads. By 1910 80% of marble left the region this way. At this point quarrying became electrified and pneumatic hammers were introduced. By the 1950s and 60s diamond-toothed wire saws had arrived and the railways were abandoned in favour of trucks – both of which are still used today.

 

Despite these new technologies quarrying still requires a huge amount of intrinsic knowledge, something which quarrymen learn only through experience. They feel a deep connection to the area – many families go back generations – and talk of marble as a living entity. It contains ‘anima’ or soul, it ‘sings’ and its ‘nerves’ make it strong. The groans and movements which come from the mountains show that it is ‘awake’. It is unsurprising that such rich terminology has developed as the quarries are otherworldly places. The translucency and patterning of the stone, the vibrant bright white light it reflects and the sheer scale. Vast excavations which cut deep into mountains millions of years old speak of human endeavour in all its beauty and brutality.

 


Il Capo by Yuri Ancarani

 

In the 1970s the Tuscan regional government introduced mining regulations and turned the Apuan Alps into a national park. Since then there has been a sizeable reduction in the number of quarries, from 501 in 1956 to 211 in 1987. Records show that 138 of these were in Carrara and by 2003 this had reduced to 83. To protect the surface environment much quarrying has gone underground. However this impacts upon the human workforce as the noise of jackhammers, bulldozers, excavators etc. echoing through the chambers becomes literally deafening. What’s more despite the reduced number of quarries production remains at an all-time high. Speaking in Martin Gani’s article for The World & I, geologist Antonio Criscuolo said “it is calculated that thanks to technological development, in the last fifty years more has been mined than in the whole of one thousand nine hundred and fifty years that preceded that. Today around 1.1 million tons are being quarried a year. There is no shortage in sight in the foreseeable future, and the rate of production will depend on demand and environmental issues.”³

 

Underground marble mine, Carrara, Italy

Wastage has been dramatically reduced with new extraction methods but not eliminated. A regional waste industry has been established and now marble unfit for traditional use is repurposed in a variety of ways. Some rubble is kept within the quarries and used to cushion the fall when large blocks are excavated. Some is powdered and sold as architectural render known as ‘stucco’. Refined marble powder compromising mainly of calcium carbonate has a PH value of 9.91 meaning it is neutral to slightly alkaline and is suitable for acid neutralisation purposes. It is added to lakes and rivers to help restore a healthy habitat for aquatic life. Powder which has been further distilled is known as ‘whiting’ and is used in many over-the-counter acid reflux medicines. These are just a few examples, usage goes as far as ceramics, glue, paper, dyes and paints. However dealing with waste marble is just one of many complimentary industries. Augusto Danesi estimates that “for each quarryman there are probably no fewer than a thousand others who work in the transportation, transformation and commercialisation of Carrara marble.”⁴ The region even processes marble mined elsewhere. There are countless workshops that deal with the cutting, sculpting, polishing and finishing of all types of marble. Artists will submit designs and have a Carraresi craftsperson sculpt it for them. Studios produce windowsills, tiles, gravestones, columns – all types of architectural embellishments exported prêt-à-porter style.

 

Carrara workshop

Like most natural materials the supply and value of marble is based on demand and availability. White varieties have essentially remained fashionable since the Renaissance though the taste for colourful marbles – in the broader sense of the term – has fluctuated. Between the 17th and 18th centuries unusual and rare types were very popular, but Neoclassicism pulled the focus firmly to white. The flavour for chromatic types was re-established by Modernist architects such as Gio Ponti, Adolf Loos and Mies van der Rohe. Notably the latter two were both sons of stonemasons. Rather than creating patterned inlays or intricate stonework as was tradition, this new wave emphasised the stone’s inherent beauty by using large slabs in the form of tiles, panels and table tops. Whilst this approach was different the connotations of marble being precious, luxurious and sophisticated remained.

 

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona pavilion. © Fundació Mies van der Rohe Barcelona

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed his famous Barcelona Pavilion for German’s contribution to the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition. He used North African golden onyx, vert antique and green marble from the Greek island of Tinos. The building was originally designed to be temporary and was dismantled within a year. However over the following years the design was consistently referenced and in the mid-1980s a group of Catalan architects reconstructed it to the original specifications. Nowadays Mies van der Rohe’s pavilion is widely regarded as a benchmark of 20th century modernist architecture.

 

Franz Füeg, St Pius, Meggen, 1964

Franz Füeg, St Pius, Meggen, Switzerland

In 1964 the architect Franz Füeg used large, thin slices of Greek Penthelian Dionyssos marble to great effect for his St Pius church in Meggen, Switzerland. Each panel measures 1.5 by 1.02 meters and only 28 millimeters thick. From the building’s exterior the marble appears a soft grey-white, but inside with sunlight streaming through the marble becomes a rich ochre.

 

From Entryways of Milan by Karl Kolbitz, published by Taschen. Photograph by Delfino Sisto Legnani

Gio Ponti, Antonio Fornaroli and Alberto Rosselli created this entrance to a Milanese residential building in 1952-56.

 

Adolf Loos Austrian mahogany and breccia marble table, circa 1920

Adolf Loos Austrian mahogany and breccia marble table, circa 1920

From the modernist era onwards numerous architects and designers have and continue to incorporate marble into their furniture and lighting designs. It remains extremely popular with many classic 20th century pieces still in production, as well as being a go-to material for contemporary designers and manufacturers. Highlighted here are some key examples from the mid-twentieth century onwards.

 

Biagio table lamp by Tobia Scarpa, produced by Flos

Biagio table lamp by Tobia Scarpa, produced by Flos

Tobia Scarpa, son of the Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa, designed his Biagio table lamp in 1968. The body of the design, which is produced by Flos, is carved from one piece of Carrara marble. This video shows the skill and precision which goes into the making of each lamp:

 

 

Eero Saarinen’s pedestal based collection is arguably one of the most famous marble tables still in production today. Designed in 1957, Knoll offer a range of marbles for the table top. Pictured is the new option – rosso rubino with a high-shine polish. This finish is preferable as colours appear more saturated and the marble is less porous.

Saarinen dining table in rosso rubino marble by Eero Saarinen for Knoll

Saarinen dining table in rosso rubino marble by Eero Saarinen for Knoll

 

Guilio Cappellini kept the form of his angular Vendôme table minimal in pleasing contrast to the fabulous Brèche de Vendôme marble. Designed in 2015 for Cappellini, this statement piece comes in square or rectangular form.

 

Vendôme table by Giulio Cappellini for Cappellini

Vendôme table by Giulio Cappellini for Cappellini

 

Piero Lissoni’s Materic table was launched by Porro in 2017. The black stained ash base supports a marble top available with or without a central ‘lazy Susan’ turning table. Porro offer six marble finishes: calacatta oro, Carrara, covelano fantastic, grey valentine, verde rameggiato and Sahara noir (pictured).

Materic table by Piero Lissoni for Porro

Materic table by Piero Lissoni for Porro

 

These are only a few of the many classic and modern designs featuring marble available to order here. The brands we work with are consistently using the stone in new ways as technology advances. New releases are added to our catalogue and the knowledgeable Aram Store sales team are always ready to discuss any queries.

 

 

References:

¹ ² ³ ⁴ Marble is Life: The Quarries of Carrara, Tuscany by Martin Gani. Published in The World & I. Vol 19: Part 5. 2004.

Classical marble: geochemistry, technology, trade: Advanced research workshop on marble in Ancient Greece and Rome: geology, quarries, commerce, artifacts: Papers. Published by Kluwer, 1988.

Carrara: The Marble Quarries of Tuscany by Joel Leivick. Published by Stanford University Press, 1999.

Fine Marble in Architecture by Studio Marmo, text by Frederick Bradley. Published by W.W. Norton & Co. 2001.

New Stone Architecture by David Dernie. Published by Laurence King, 2003.

Fundació Mies van der Rohe Barcelona

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USM Haller Storage System Dark Grey Aram Store

The Haller storage system from USM has long been a favourite here for its range of use, adaptability over time and ever-modern looks.

Devised in 1963 when Swiss manufacturer USM produced architectural fittings, and intended only for in-house use at their factory, it received such strong interest from visiting clients as to become the company’s main product within a few years.

USM Haller Low Media Unit Orange ARAM Store

USM Happer Storage System Detail universal ball joint Aram Store

The system is built around a patented ball-joint connecting tubular framing which is then clad and equipped from a wide array of parts. Solid and perforated flat panels made of powder-coated sheet steel in 14 colours are options for shelves, doors, drawers and walls. Glass too can be used with the exception of drawers. Plastic glides or castors support the overall structures. Parts are almost all recyclable.

This video shows how the parts are joined:

USM Haller Bookshelves and Doors beige Aram Store

USM Haller Storage System - Large White Aram Store

The versatile storage system can create anything from a room-sized library to a media unit to a drinks trolley to a wardrobe. This modularity allows a USM piece to be extended, split into smaller units, or reconfigured to something entirely new as needs evolve.

USM’s simple to use configurator programme allows customers to design their own storage system.  The steel tubing can be selected in varying lengths, panels can be added and colours changed.

Configure your own USM Haller storage solution by clicking here.

USM Haller Storage System for the dining room Aram Store

The Haller storage system is complimented with a range of desks and tables boasting similar levels of choice. Along with numerous sizes, tops are available in various materials from simple laminates to coloured glass, and an array of accessories allow customisation for home-office use.

Our substantial USM display now includes several pieces using the new Haller-E elements. This clever evolution of the Haller system turns the distinctive chrome structure of the furniture into cable-free conduits and housing for hidden LED lighting, and USB power-points for your various devices. The lamps can be configured for such uses as task-lighting in a bureau unit, accent lighting in a living-room setup, or a fully illuminated display cabinet.

USM Haller Storage with integrated LED lighting ARAM Store

For help in creating your own USM Haller system visit us in-store to browse the range of material samples and display products as well as getting expert advice from our sales team.

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Montana TV & Sound - Free B&O Beoplay M3 - Aram Store

Montana TV & Sound. Get a free Bang & Olufsen BEOPLAY M3 wireless speaker worth £279 when you buy a medium or large TV & Sound module. Choose between a range of models, sizes and Montana’s palette of 42 colours.

Free B&O Beoplay M3 speaker with Montana TV & Sound - Aram Store

Enjoy your high resolution TV and crisp surround sound without the clutter of cables, remote controls and other electronic devices and accessories. Store it all away in a classic and beautiful storage solution, designed to suit your needs.

Montana TV & Sound VJ19 - Aram Store

Candy Floss or coffee? Choose between a multitude of different models, colours, sizes and doors – perforated and retractable, suspended on the wall, on castors, a plinth or legs.

Montana TV & Sound VL13-2 Candy Floss Pink - Aram Store

Montana TV & Sound VJ16 - Free Beoplay M3 - Aram Store

The retractable doors discreetly hide the electronic equipment. The door has a perforated steel front lacquered in Montana’s colours – to open: push lightly at the bottom and slide it up under the top of the unit. The perforations make it possible to operate infrared controls through the closed door, and provides better circulation around the enclosed devices.

The back panel is fitted with a round slot for a cable grommet to connect the unit to a power socket and the shelf has a slot for cabling between equipment and the unit.

Montana TV & Sound SI15 - Aram Store

Montana TV & Sound SI15 - Aram Store

The free BEOPLAY M3 offer runs until 30 April 2018. We will order your free gift for you and Montana will contact you directly to arrange its delivery.

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PH 5 lights Poul Henningsen Louis Poulsen Aram Store

Poul Henningsen’s classic PH 5 pendant lamp is now 60 years old and a new colour range has been introduced by its Danish manufacturer Louis Poulsen. Released on 1 February, it follows the success of the smaller sized version the PH 5 Mini which was introduced in November 2017 in the same colours.

To mark the release we have collaborated with Louis Poulsen to present an exhibition which showcases the lamps and looks at the work of the celebrated designer. The exhibition runs from 9 to 24 March. A private view takes place on Thursday 8 March between 6pm and 8pm and in keeping with all things Danish, refreshments from ScandiKitchen will be served.

PH 5 lights Poul Henningsen Louis Poulsen Aram Store

PH 5 and PH 5 Mini are downward and lateral reflecting lamps. Made up of five spun aluminium shades, they come in eight colours. Classic white remains in the collection and a new Modern white will join these colours which come in tonal combinations – orange, rose, red, green, blue and grey. Different tones feature on each of the lamp’s five shades starting with the darkest at the top and then softening at the bottom with the palest colour. Contrasting coloured anti-glare reflectors sit under the shades providing a warm light tone. Bronze rolled aluminium struts hold the five shades together except for the Classic white model where the struts are purple.

In addition to the private view and exhibition we are holding two fantastic competitions in partnership with Warehouse Home. Details of which will soon be announced via Twitter and Instagram.

Private view Thursday 8 March 6pm-8pm
Exhibition runs 9 to 24 March

PH 5 lights Poul Henningsen Louis Poulsen Aram Store

Also in our building on 8 March is the opening of the Designers Select Designers exhibition in The Aram Gallery. The show will celebrate the 15 year anniversary of the gallery presenting work by past exhibitors as well as emerging designers who they have nominated.

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Montana was founded in 1982 by Peter J. Lassen, based on his philosophy of people having a need for freedom and a desire to create their own personal spaces. His modular storage design offers a world of possibilities, so that you can create your own system from a vast catalogue of modules, colours and accessories. Appreciative of the design and ethos behind it, Zeev Aram built a long-standing business relationship and friendship with Lassen. Nowadays, just like here, the second generation are on board with Joakim Lassen having taken the helm. Despite these changes the design is much the same, only being improved as technology advances. It is because of this that we continue to guide countless customers in building Montana configurations that are bespoke to their homes. Its functionality, adaptability and timeless style mean it remains hugely popular for both domestic interiors and offices.

Alongside the modular system, Montana recently introduced a number of off-the-peg designs such as dressers, cabinets, nightstands and side tables. Also available is a collection designed by Verner Panton, the most distinctive of which are his Wire Cubes – storage units to be wall mounted, used as occasional tables or space dividers.

Montana Furniture Denmark Modular Storage Aram StorePanton Wire cubes and Keep dresser

Montana Furniture Denmark Modular Storage Aram StorePanton One chairs and JW table

We recently installed a new display on our second floor showcasing the breadth of the range. Here you can see examples of various configurations, components and finishes. Also on show are swatches of the full forty-two colour palette – created using environment-friendly, water-based lacquers. Plus the team are on-hand to offer help and advice should you need it.

 

Montana Furniture Denmark Modular Storage Aram StoreBespoke cabinet, Panton Wire double cubes, Wave wall unit and Dream nightstand

 

Montana Furniture Denmark Modular Storage Aram StoreMirrors, wall-mounted shoe storage and wall-mounted wardrobe

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Designer: Ole Wanscher - Aram Store

Ole Wanscher shaped Danish furniture, both as an active designer and as a master teacher. His furniture designs are now considered to be modern classics – sophisticated and functional with an exquisite attention to detail.

To celebrate Ole Wanscher’s work, we are offering a special promotion: buy two Colonial chairs and receive a free Colonial side table, in any finish of your choice. Place two Colonial chairs and a Colonial side table into the shopping basket and the value of the table will be deducted.

Colonial Series - Ole Wanscher - Carl Hansen and Son - Aram Store

Born in Copenhagen in 1903, Ole Wanscher was an architect and professor of architecture with furniture designs as his specialty. Construction and form was of the utmost importance to him, treating furniture design as if it was a branch of architecture. He studied under Kaare Klint at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and also worked for the master himself from 1924-1927, before becoming an independent achitect specializing in furniture. He later followed in Kaare Klint’s footsteps as a professor at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts with a master in furniture design.

OW2000 Egyptian stool - Ole Wanscher - Carl Hansen - Aram Store

Ole Wanscher created his best known products primarily in the period between the late forties and early sixties. He took great interest in industrially produced high quality furniture and designed serveral pieces with this particular aspect in mind. It was the familiar philosophy of ‘design for everyone’. However, his finest work was made in close collaboration with reowned master cabinetmakers.

OW124 Beak Chair - Ole Wanscher - Carl Hansen - Aram Store

Characteristic of Ole Wanscher’s design is a quest for slim dimensions and resilient forms. His chairs often employ both slender and slightly curved armrests, which rise in an elegant tip before continuing directly to the floor; as is the case with his well known Colonial chair. Classic and yet singularly modern at the same time.

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Aram Store Winter Sale 2017

The Aram Store Winter Sale will start online on Boxing Day, Tuesday 26 December 2017. As usual there will be 15% off all* new orders. The Store in Drury Lane will be closed from 4pm on Saturday 23 December until 10am on Thursday 28 December. There is more information on our Christmas opening hours here.

From Saturday 30 December there will also be big discounts off selected ex-display items of furniture in store. As always, these are sold as seen on a first-come-first-served basis and will be added to the existing items in the Clearance section of our website from this date.

Selection of ex-display chairs Aram Store

This year’s ‘star buys’ of the Sale include a wide selection of ex-display chairs that are priced to clear at just £45 each. For some items, that equates to an amazing 95% discount! These are sure to sell fast.

Here is a small selection of just some of the ex-display items in the Sale:

Conference Chairs Eero Saarinen Knoll International Aram Store

 A set of four Conference side chairs by Eero Saarinen for Knoll in red West fabric with grey ash legs, was £4,752 sale price £2,376

Munich Chair Classicon Toledo Chair Amat-3 Aram Store

Left: a Munich chair by ClassiCon in dark brown leather with walnut legs, SOLD Right: an aluminium Toledo chair designed by Jorge Pensi in 1986 for Amat-3, SOLD

Tense Material Table MDF Italia Aram Store

Tense Material three meter dining table by Piergiorgio and Michele Cazzaniga for MDF Italia in brass, SOLD

Meetingframe Chairs Alias Design Aram Store

A set of four Meetingframe+ 447 chairs by Alberto Meda for Alias in black mesh and polished aluminium with tilt mechanism, was £3,896 sale price £1,558

Kaari Desk Shelves Bouroullec Brothers Artek Aram Store

Kaari shelf unit with desk by the Bouroullec Brothers for Artek in black and oak, SOLD

Eley Kishimoto Rugs Aram Store

Rugs by Eley Kishimoto, were £850 – left: Flash in black and white, SOLD right: Ropey in mustard and cream, SOLD

Mia chair and ottoman MDF Italia Aram Store

Mia easy chair with swivel base and matching ottoman in ‘William’ green check fabric with grey profile, was £3,691 sale price £1,350

*Some exclusions apply online, such as products from Moooi, Cane-line, Gubi, Michael Anastassiades and Flexform. Please contact the store to place orders for these brands. Not in conjunction with any other offer or discount.

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Social Media Competition T&Cs

December 2017 Kitsch Kitchen Competition

1. The promoter is: Aram Designs Ltd., registered in England and Wales, company number 752667, whose registered office is at 3 Kean Street London WC2B 4AT and website name is www.aram.co.uk.

2. The competition is open to residents of the United Kingdom aged 16 years or over except employees of Aram Designs Ltd and their close relatives and anyone otherwise connected with the organisation or judging of the competition.

3. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.

4. Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are via https://www.instagram.com/aramstorelondon/

5. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified.

6. Closing date and time for entry will be Thursday 7 December 00:00. After this date no further entries to the competition will be permitted.

7. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.

8. The rules of the competition and how to enter are as follows:

To participate in this competition, Instagram users must follow @aramstorelondon, ‘like’ the specified image and tag a friend in the comments.

9. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.

10. The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.

11. The prize is as follows: a pair of decorative ceramic plates by Kitsch Kitchen with a retail value of £17.50 each.

12. The prize is as stated and no cash or other alternatives will be offered. The prize is not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.

13. A winner will be chosen at random by software.

14. The winner will be notified in the comments section of the competition Instagram post and then via Instagram’s direct messaging service.

15. If the winner cannot be contacted or does not claim the prize within 3 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.

16. The promoter will notify the winner when and where the prize can be collected / arrange delivery to a UK address.

17. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

18. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.

19. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England.

20. The winner agrees to the use of his/her name in any publicity material, as well as their entry. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.

21. The winner’s Instagram handle will remain in comments section of the competition post indefinitely.

22. Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.

23. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or any other social network. You are providing your information to Aram Designs Ltd. and not to any other party. The information provided will be used in conjunction with the following Privacy Policy found at http://www.aram.co.uk/privacy-policy.html.

24. Aram Designs Ltd. shall have the right, at its sole discretion and at any time, to change or modify these terms and conditions, such change shall be effective immediately upon posting to this webpage.

25. Aram Designs Ltd. also reserves the right to cancel the competition if circumstances arise outside of its control.

 

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Papercutoutalphabet rug Alan Fletcher Aram Designs AD40 Aram Store

Beneath all great lounge furniture lies a great rug, or at least we think there should. Chosen well the right rug will frame furniture and pull a room together. They add warmth and comfort in-part by blocking drafts and absorbing heat, but also by the rug’s ability to soften its surroundings. What’s more a new design gives an opportunity to inject colour and pattern into your home interior without having to redecorate.

With this in mind we’ve put together a selection of our favourites to inspire your winter hibernation plans.

Geometric Maggie Bunzl rug Aram Designs AD40 Aram StoreMaggie Bunzl rug by Maggie Bunzl for Aram Designs

This geometric delight is by Maggie Bunzl and was designed for our 40th anniversary collection. While discussing the inspiration behind the hand-knotted pure new wool rug, Bunzl said “for a long time I have been using natural earth pigments and vegetable dyes in my work. I find the decorative arts of the women of West Africa continuously inspiring, mud cloths from Mali, the mud-decorated compounds of Ghana and the wild and colourful interiors of Mauritania.”

Papercutoutalphabet rug Alan Fletcher Aram Designs AD40 Aram Store

Papercutoutalphabet rug by Alan Fletcher for Aram Designs

Another design from the AD40 range is Alan Fletcher’s playful and bold Papercutoutalphabet rug, a prime example of the late great designer’s work. It is woven from pure new wool in the thick, flat style of an Indian dhurry.

Eley Kishimoto Flash rug Aram Designs Aram StoreFlash rug by Eley Kishimoto for Aram Designs

Established in the early 90s Eley Kishimoto is renowned for graphic repeat prints, which are readily applied to clothing, accessories, home furnishings and art installations. Aram director Ruth Aram worked with the designers to choose a number of existing print designs which she believed could be incorporated into woven lengths. A favourite of the collaboration is this hand tufted pure new wool Flash rug.Eley Kishimoto Chains rug Aram Designs Aram StoreChains rug by Eley Kishimoto for Aram Designs

In contrast to ‘Flash’, Eley Kishimoto’s Chains rug features a calm and versatile design. It is available in four colour ways and is made from hand tufted wool.Eileen Gray St Tropez rug Aram Designs Aram StoreSt Tropez rug by Eileen Gray for Aram Designs

At one point in her career Eileen Gray’s rugs were the most popular of her designs. Over time their success waned only to be reintroduced by Aram Designs to great appeal. This abstract piece, the St Tropez rug, was inspired by the famous peninsular. Its contemporary production uses 100% pure new wool, which has been dyed using natural vegetable pigment.Blue Marine rug Eileen Gray Aram Designs Aram StoreBlue Marine rug by Eileen Gray for Aram Designs

Eileen Gray designed her Blue Marine rug especially for her E1027 home, a modernist triumph overlooking the Mediterranean at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. Its vivid colour palette of cobalt and sky blue, cream and black evokes Gray’s summers spent in the French Riviera.

Sitawi rug Walter Knoll Aram Designs Aram StoreSitawi rug by H & B Scheufele Design for Walter Knoll

The pattern of Walter Knoll’s Sitawi rug was taken from an abstracted photo of an African desert plain in bloom, taken by the company’s CEO Markus Benz. It forms part of a collection of luxurious designs all inspired by the continent’s dramatic landscapes.

Safara rug Walter Knoll Aram Designs Aram StoreSafara rug by H & B Scheufele Design for Walter Knoll

Safara is another design from Walter Knoll’s African-inspired range. As with the Sitawi rug, it has been hand-crafted in Nepal under ecologically sustainable and socially responsible conditions. The rich, dark pattern is created using 50% wool, 40% silk and 10% nettle. It is truly a work of art for your floor.

 

Most of these designs are on display in our Covent Garden store.  They are a small selection of the rugs that are available in-store and online.

 

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