In an occasional series of blog posts to mark our 50th Anniversary, we are highlighting some of the iconic masterpieces of 20th Century design that were first introduced to the UK market by Aram Designs.

Arco Floor Lamp Achille Pier Giacomo Castiglioni

Arco Floor Lamp

Designed by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni in 1962

Introduced to the UK market by Aram Designs in 1965

In 1962, Achille (1918–2002) and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni (1913–1968) produced what has probably come to be their best known design: the Arco Floor Lamp.  The idea came to them through the challenge of a practical problem – how to provide a ceiling lamp that would not require the drilling of a hole in the ceiling?  Achille’s motto, “design demands observation” proved accurate, for it was a street lamp that gave the brothers their inspiration.

Arco Floor Lamp 1962 Flos

In adapting their design for domestic use, the Castiglioni brothers were able to illuminate objects eight feet away from the lamp’s base – far enough to light the centre of a dining table – by inserting a steel arch into the solid marble base.  The overall span of the arch is formed to provide enough space for one person carrying a tray to pass behind someone sitting at the table.  They also ensured that the heavy (64kg) base could be more easily moved by placing a hole in the marble through which a broom handle could be inserted and carried by two people.

Arco Floor Lamp - LED light source Flos

Since its inception, the genuine Arco has been made in Italy by Flos. The only change to its original design has been the introduction of an LED light source to bring the lamp in line with new energy use norms. This version and the original are both available from Aram.

ARAM STORE

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In an occasional series of blog posts to mark our 50th Anniversary, we are highlighting some of the iconic masterpieces of 20th Century design that were first introduced to the UK market by Aram Designs.

The Wassily or B3 Chair

Wassily Chair

Designed by Marcel Breuer in 1925

Introduced to the UK market by Aram Designs in 1964

Marcel Breuer (1902-1981) is best known as one of the early 20th century’s most influential furniture designers.  In 1925, when Walter Gropius invited him to run the furniture workshop at the new Bauhaus in Weimar, one of his first projects was the B3 ‘Steel Club Chair’ (later re-named the ‘Wassily’ after his colleague at the Bauhaus, Wassily Kandinsky) made from extruded, nickel -plated tubular steel.  Unusually light and easy to assemble from ready-made steel tubes; the chair was the result of Breuer’s years of experiments with bending steel and was immediately hailed as an important breakthrough in furniture design. “I thought that this out of all my work would earn me the most criticism,” he noted, “but the opposite of what I expected came true.”

The Wassily Chair made by Knoll International

Today, the genuine authorised Wassily Chair is made by Knoll International. The steel frame of each chair is stamped with Breuer’s signature and the KnollStudio logo. The slings are available in natural canvas, haired hide or belting leather in a variety of colours.

ARAM STORE

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Conseta is 50

Aram Designs Ltd is 50 years old this year and so is the Conseta sofa from COR Sitzmöbel of Germany. To celebrate, we are offering any configuration of the versatile, modular sofa at special prices: leather upholstery for the price of fabric, and fabric upholstery at a reduced price. This offer applies to a number of leather types from COR’s ‘Semi’ or ‘Dura’ ranges and to COR’s standard range of fabrics and lasts throughout 2014.

Conseta at IMM Cologne

When Conseta was presented at IMM Cologne in 1964, it was ahead of its time

Designed by Friedrich-Wilhelm Möller, Conseta has become a symbol of the manufacturer’s pioneering spirit and its creator’s foresight. When launched at IMM Cologne in 1964 only two orders were placed. Possibly the multi-combinable elements of the sofa were ahead of their time. Stools, easy chairs or corner elements can be combined to create two, three or multi-seaters. The result is always an entire system which is both aesthetic and functional.

The Conseta in Leather

Over the decades, COR has developed this principle into a best-seller. New elements have now been added to the design classic – flat armrests and storage tables which are reminiscent of the initial design. The building block principle has remained unchanged, but further blocks have been added in the form of a low element that can be used as a solo or corner stool and a comfortable sofa bed. Elegant metal skid bases are available in a chrome-plated or lacquered finish.

Conseta Corner and Chaise Configuration

Conseta units including a corner and a chaise with an open base and cylinder legs

Conseta Divan Base

Conseta units with a ‘divan’ style base incorporating an ottoman as the corner unit

Conseta Wide Angled Corner

Conseta units including a wide angled corner

Visit the store to see all of the module variations, leathers and fabrics and to design your perfect Conseta sofa configuration.

ARAM STORE

 

 

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USM Haller Modular Storage System

We are able to provide a varied selection of modular storage solutions here at Aram Store.  So, we thought it may be helpful to provide a little insight and focus on one of these systems that you may already be familiar with, by either browsing in-store or online, but yet not fully appreciated its capabilities – the USM Haller Storage System.

The company was originally founded over a hundred years ago by Ulrich Schärer in Münsingen, Switzerland -  a small municipality located just south-east of the capital city, Bern.  Throughout the early years, they were predominantly known as an ironworks and locksmiths but then, in 1961, Paul Schärer (3rd generation) joined the family business and made the decision to build a new factory and office pavilion whilst also making plans to push the company’s output in a new direction.

USM - Factory

In 1963, after collaborating with the Swiss architect, Fritz Haller, to realise his new factory buildings, they also began to develop an idea for a flexible furniture system that could be used in the new office pavilion.  This idea endured and went on to become the USM Haller Storage System that we sell today.

Eventually, in 1965, Paul Schärer applied to patent the USM ball joint that, as well as being a crucial component in making the system flexible, also became a key feature in the overall appearance of the system.

USM - patented ball joint

Full scale production began in 1969 and one of the first, large contracts they secured was to fit out the Rothschild Bank in Paris, France.

USM - Rothschild Bank Paris

Throughout the 1970’s and 80’s, they began to expand as a business and also started to produce new lines of products such as the USM Display range and the USM Kitos desk system before opening new subsidiaries and showrooms across the globe in France, Germany, USA and the Far East with a showroom opening in Tokyo, Japan in 2009.

In 2001, the USM Haller System was accepted into the permanent collection of MoMA, New York.

We hope that brief summary of the history of the USM brand explains a little about the heritage that lies behind the company.  But, to really understand the philosophy of the design of the Haller System, there are three key features of the system that need to be considered:

Form and Function:
The ‘form’ of a piece of furniture must always fall in line with its ‘function’ and the USM Haller System perfectly demonstrates this hierarchy. The function can clearly be seen in every aspect of the design and with their avoidance of fashionable trends, they have also created an enduring and timeless product.

USM -At home - FormModularity:
Flexibility should also be an important consideration when buying furniture and the USM modular furniture range can be used to create a complete office landscape or essential storage solutions within living areas for the home. Any of the tailor-made solutions that the system provides can also be added to, or altered to suit new requirements, at any time – the quintessence of any, fully functioning modular furniture system.

USM - At home - ModularityEcology and Sustainability:
At USM, there is a constant search into providing furniture solutions against an ever-increasing background of economic needs and ecological concerns. Therefore, the question of how to deal responsibly with energy emissions, raw materials and production methods has always played a central role in the development of their system. The shelf-life of a product must be of the utmost importance when it comes to ecological considerations – the longer a product can be used, the less it adversely impacts the environment. In their use of high-quality, durable materials, they are guaranteeing a long and dependable service life alongside a hope that their furniture will become ‘generational’ and handed down through the family for future use.

USM - At home - SustainabilityJust as Aram Designs is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, the design of USM Haller Furniture System will reach the very same landmark next year in 2015. For any enquiries regarding the USM System, please feel free to speak to any of our USM experts in-store on Drury Lane or contact us by email or phone.

Myles Brown

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The Art of Looking Sideways - Aram 50th Anniversary Library

The Art of Looking Sideways by Alan Fletcher for Phaidon Press, chosen by Henrietta Thompson, Editor at Large, Wallpaper*

2014 marks a significant year for Aram Designs. On 9 April 1964 Zeev Aram opened his very first showroom on London’s King’s Road, Chelsea. 50 years on and now relocated to a lofty former fruit and vegetable warehouse in Covent Garden, Aram is celebrating this momentous milestone with a series of exhibitions and events. These events will pay attention to the history of the company, rejoice in the clients and friends who have contributed to its success, and importantly, look to the future as the company continues to grow.

The first event to be announced is the Aram 50th Anniversary Library, which will launch on 1 May 2014. Friends and colleagues of Aram Designs have been invited to nominate a book that has inspired them or had a particular impact on their life/career. The assembled library, including quotes on why each nominator selected their particular book, will be available for members of the public to come and browse at their leisure in the store until the end of 2014. At the end of year the entire collection will be donated to a college or school of design/architecture that would benefit from such a resource.

The library will be a superb start to what promises to be a wonderful year for Aram.

Press enquiries, image and interview requests:
Sarah McCauley +44 (0) 20 7557 7565 smccauley@aram.co.uk

ARAM STORE

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Aram Store Winter Sale

The Aram Store Winter Sale will start online on Boxing Day, 26 December, with a 15% discount off all new orders – excluding products from Foscarini. The store in Drury Lane will be closed from 6pm on Monday 23 December until 10am on Thursday 2 January – online orders will be processed when we return after the festive season.

Starts online 26 Dec

In store from Saturday 4 January there will be up to 70% off selected ex-display and discontinued items. As always, these are sold as seen on a first-come-first-served basis and so are only available in store initially.

Dining Chair Offer

We also have an exclusive dining chair offer available in store: buy 6 chairs for the price of 5 or buy 8 chairs for the price of 6, or buy 10 chairs for the price of 7. This offer is not available online so please contact the store to place your order. All chairs must be the same model and finish and, as usual, this offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other sale offer or discount.

Here is a small selection of ex-display items – there will be many more in store from 4 January:

Quant Table

Quant Table 220cm x 90cm by COR – natural oak veneer top with white lacquered legs – was £2,288 - sale price: SOLD

Essay Table

Essay Table 225cm x 100cm by Fritz Hansen – natural walnut top and legs – was £5,829 sale price £2,914.50

Egg chair and footstool

Egg Chair and Footstool by Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen – in grey blue ‘Magic’ fabric – was £5,285 sale price £2,642.50

Series 7 and Tre Pezzi

Series 7 Chair by Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen – seat height 44cm – in dark red lacquer and chrome base – was £435 sale price: SOLD. Tre Pezzi Chair by Franco Albini for Cassina – in red ‘Charlot’ wool and matt black base – was £2,790 sale price £1,953

ARAM STORE

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Eames Lounge Chair Ottoman and Stool

This Winter, purchasing an Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman gives you the opportunity to choose any one of the four models of turned wood Eames Stools for free. Models A, B and C in solid Walnut are joined by a limited edition of the model D in solid black lacquered Ash. This offer is available until 31 January 2014.

Designed in 1956, the Lounge Chair & Ottoman set is perhaps one of the most famous designs by Charles and Ray Eames. Combining extraordinary comfort with superior materials and meticulous craftsmanship, it has become a true classic in the history of modern furniture. There are many options to choose from: a veneered shell in Cherrywood, Santos Palisander or white pigmented Walnut; aluminium base and linkage in a chromed, polished or black lacquered finish and a choice of premium leathers.

Lounge Chair Cherrywood

Lounge Chair Santos Palisander

Lounge Chair White Walnut

The design is also now available in a new black version. With black Ash shells, black leather, aluminium components with a pitch black finish and other carefully matched details, the Lounge Chair exudes an aura of distinguished elegance. All versions are available in classic or large dimensions.

The Eames Stools were created in 1960 in conjunction with a commission from Time Inc to outfit the interiors of three lobbies in the New York’s Rockerfeller Centre. In contrast to the first three models, model D is made of black lacquered Ash. With its stable base, it is not only suited for use as a stool, but also makes an ideal occasional table. Model D is only available for a limited time.

Eames Stools

Buy any version of the Lounge Chair & Ottoman and get any one of the four models of Eames Stool for free – until 31 January 2014.

ARAM STORE

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The 2014 Stendig Calendar

Originally commissioned in 1966 for the American furniture importer Charles Stendig – a contemporary and competitor of Knoll Associates – Massimo Vignelli’s oversized wall calendar has been in production ever since. It is the only calendar in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and is beloved of architects and designers – and font fans – across the globe.

The Stendig Calendar is in the MOMA collection

Measuring 48 inches by 36 inches and printed on heavyweight matt paper, the format is in the European style with Monday as the start of the week. The typface is Helvetica with each month alternating between black on white or white on black. The sheets are perforated along the top edge, just under the binding which holds three eyelets for easy level hanging on the wall. After the month has passed, the sheet also makes excellent gift-wrapping paper once torn off the calendar.

Black and White Helvetica

Because it is made by a small family owned printing press in Nashville, Tennessee, each year the calendar is available in only very limited numbers – especially in the UK where trans-atlantic shipping is a significant and restrictive cost factor. But for the cognoscenti, buying their calendar each year is somewhat of a ritual and we love it when our customers return time and again for theirs. Stock has arrived in early October and we always sell out by January so it is worth placing your order in good time – especially bearing Christmas gifts in mind!

The 2014 Stendig Calendar

ARAM STORE

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CH445 Wing Chair

“A chair is only finished when someone sits in it”
- Hans Wegner

The ‘Wing’ Chair is an interesting example of Hans J Wegner’s skill and design aesthetics. The easy chair is fully upholstered and built upon a solid beech frame that rests on hand-finished steel legs. It’s a very sculptural piece of furniture to look at but its true beauty lies beneath the surface. What you don’t see is how the design of the backrest and the seat enables a variety of positions, always providing excellent support for the back, shoulders, neck and head. At the same time, the thin legs give the chair an ideal pitch because the front legs are slightly higher than the back legs.

It was designed in 1960 and originally produced in very limited numbers. Carl Hansen & Son re-launched the chair in 2006 based on Wegner’s original 1:1 drawings.

CH468 Oculus Chair

The ‘Oculus’ Chair was also designed by Wegner in 1960 but it was not put into production until Carl Hansen & Son launched it in 2010 based on Wegner’s original design. The curve of the back embraces the sitter and the sloping armrests provide great comfort for reading and relaxing.

This Autumn, Aram Store and Carl Hansen & Son are offering both of these lounge chairs at a very special price of £2,295 each. They are both available in a selection of six fabrics in warm, neutral tones. The offer runs until 31 December 2013.

ARAM STORE

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Ro Chair at Decorex 2013

Aram returns to Decorex with highlights from this year’s best furniture fairs – IMM Cologne and Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan.  New products from international suppliers including Carl Hansen, Fritz Hansen and Walter Knoll will be seen with updated favourites in new finishes from ClassiCon and Knoll.  The rich palette of colours and textures selected for our stand this year includes precious green Verdi Alpi marble, copper, bronze, mouth-blown jewel coloured glass and lacquered metal.

Decorex runs from 22 to 25 September and this year is in Perks Field and the Orangery at Kensington Palace. Visit us on stand C15. www.decorex.com

New products on show will include the Ro chair by Jaime Hayon for Fritz Hansen; the Bell coffee table and Bell side table by Sebastian Herkner in a new copper and quartz grey glass finish; the Oota side table and Oota coffee table by EOOS for Walter Knoll:

Bell Tables and Oota Tables

Plus the Cuoio lounge chair, also by EOOS, and new Kyo chairs by British design duo Pearson Lloyd, for Walter Knoll:

Cuoio Lounge Chair

Kyo Chairs

We will also be showing the beautiful Inlay storage cabinet by Front and Ex Libris shelving system for Porro:

Inlay and Ex Libris

ARAM STORE

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