| ARTIFORT / MILAN INTERNATIONAL FURNITURE FAIR 2006
The beginnings of Artifort goes back to the end of the nineteenth century, when Jules Wagemans developed the activity of upholster. Afterwards Henricus Wagemans, one of the sons of Jules, converted the small shop in a factory of furniture that will become well-known to national level.
The Artifort name reflected the principal characteristic of their products: Arti, that marks a special attention to the design and aesthetic quality of the products and Fort, that indicates how is important the duration and to resist the time.
In the first years of activity, the items in the Artifort collection which had a more modern design were generally inspired by contemporary trends, such as the Amsterdam School, the Hague School, and the French Art Déco Style. In the 1930 special joint projects were regularly carried out: for the interior decoration of various hotels, restaurants and a large number of luxury liners. The development and execution of commissions of this kind resulted in the appointment of the skilled craftsman and furniture maker Theo Ruth, who is the head designer of every activity of the business.
The malt-house of the St. Servatius brewery on the Volksplein in Maastrich, was the first large dimensions store of Artifort, but not only. It was a large building that was used to house the various workshops and large exhibition areas, and with to pass some time, has come broadening. And in 1987, a number of rooms on the ground floor were opened too, bringing the showroom area up to a grand total of 4.500 square metres.
After World War II the Artifort collection became more and more modern under the impact of new ideas, materials and techniques. In the fifties the collection included not only designs by Theo Ruth but also contemporary pieces of furniture by foreign designers and by the architect Gerrit Th. Rietveld.
Artifort's own design policy got under way with the appointment of the designer Kho Liang le as aesthetic advisor. His vision and international contacts overlapped with the ambitions of the director, Harry Wagemans, and were very important for the reputation and success of the company. The design policy was orientated towards the international market because the Dutch market was not large enough for a company which wanted to specialise in contemporary design products.
Actually, Artifort continues the production of new models collaborating with designers from all over the world, and its collection has a clearly identity. And every year, Artifort presents a different collection that reflect its characteristic and internationally recognized style.
At the International Furniture Fair in Milan 2006 Artifort presents:
From the seat Boson, perfect chair for comfort and realized to optimize applied material to offer a new and plain seating system, born Boson T table, both of them on project of Patrick Norguet. The first objective in creating the chair was to optimize applied material to offer a new and plain seating system; minimizing the synthetic material to obtain an ideal balance between form and function. According to physical theories from the 60's matter is strongly connected with Higgs Boson a particle or range of particles that shape substance.
Lilla, always by Patrick Norguet, is an invitation to sit down, reduced to the most simple expression like a tree-trunk in a residential environment or where ergonomics serve the body.
Conco, design Michiel van der Kley, is a seat with a body that looks rounded, similar to a boulder being eroded for a long time in the sea before it reaches its ultimate shape. The base strengthens the lightness of the design by its shape. The knot is an aesthetical features but also a technical detail. On the one side a point where all the curved lines meet and on the other side a place where the fabric can be held together.
Kirk, designed by René Holten on 2005, is a strong arm-chair with a clear character. Ideal for Lobbies, lounges or talk-shows, Kirk is certainly an eye-catcher. A deep, comfortable seat with a surprisingly good back support. This year is available also Kirk T, an elegant table.
To the collection Mare - Mare a sleek sofa with frugal design elements and Mare Table - presented by René Holten on 2003, from this year is available also Mare Romance, a coloured sofa.
Troy, by Bert van der Aa design, is a luxurious and comfortable chair for a modern but also classical surrounding. The Troy family has different options for the base, combined with a high or low back. The chair is applicable for residential as well as for contract market. Can be upholstered in several fabrics and leathers.
Slick, a stylish and static table designed by Toine van den Heuvel. The top layer is partly absorbed in the frame, a detail which makes the table attractive. The Slick is very effective as a long dining table.
Besides the already mentioned products Artifort, we remember:
the Little Globe and Butterfly Chair seats - by Pierre Paulin -, the C 248 sofa - by Geoffrey Harcourt -, Vega armchair - by Jasper Morrison - and Nina armchair, by René Holten design.
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