Das ist ein Test

Magazine paper 01

The Tolix DNA: bulky, angular, smart.

The Tolix DNA: bulky, angular, smart.
Why is Kilian Schindler’s Naber Concept Kitchen manufactured by Tolix, the French specialists for steel furniture? And why does this team promise to deliver such a great design and longevity? On the lightness of metal, the use of authentic materials, and character formation in design.
For generations now Xavier Pauchard’s »Chaise A« has come good where most of Modernism failed: with making simple designs affordable. While the Bauhaus advocated good taste for all and then only made unaffordable small series, craftsman Pauchard opted for a different approach. In 1927 he founded the Tolix company which specialized in manufacturing chairs, armchairs, stools and metal furniture. Pauchard thought in terms of mass production and was able to wield an innovation here: He galvanized furniture made of sheet steel in order to render it more impervious to wear and tear. »Chaise A« is a child of the industrial age. Its hard-edged elegance stems from the need to bend sheet metal in a way that allow strong load-bearing structures to arise.
With the visible legs and clear embossing, Pauchard showed that industrial logic, construction techniques and symbolic image were mutually decisive. Or, as designer Kilian Schindler puts it: »›Chaise A‹ is so successful because it manages by the stringent use of technical details in the metalworking to give the product such a strongly authentic feel that the viewer inevitably regards the technical details as a striking stylistic touch.« Tellingly, the design was not the child of a drawing board, but arose direct on Pauchard’s work bench—he was nothing if not practical. Down through the years, an entire product family emerged of robust and stacking metal furniture, destined for a life in cafés and on the terraces under France’s blazing sun.
The Tolix DNA: bulky, angular, smartPauchard’s furniture even saw service on board the luxury »Normandie« liner. As ambassadors of France as a proud industrial nation they crossed the Atlantic to New York. When Pauchard was then commissioned to supply the Paris World Exhibition of 1937 with 12,000 chairs his breakthrough as a self-made man was as good as guaranteed. Suddenly the inquisitive engineer was being mentioned in the same breath as the greats of Modernism, such as Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier. Today, the Tolix company is an outstanding representative of a movement in industrial furniture that consciously deploys the coarse charm of indestructible objects as a foil to perfectly staged contemporary interiors.
If Kilian Schindler’s Concept Kitchen can be seen in the lineage of those metal work benches, lockers and tool cupboards that are the epitome of the functional design that so shaped the face of the past industrial age, then this is deliberate. The Francophile designer from Karlsruhe explains it quite simply: »Tolix’ DNA simply fits the Concept Kitchen DNA best. Both speak a wiry formal language emphatically emphasized by industry.«

Understanding each
other perfectly


So how did the Concept Kitchen project come about? Hans-Joachim Naber tells of one of those coincidences that are the stuff of novels. At the Koelnmesse 2010 trade fair he saw pieces designed by Kilian Schindler, who was not on the booth at the time. The entrepreneur followed up, as he liked the wire wardrobe Schindler had presented. »Mr. Naber rang me after the fair and offered to collaborate on the Concept Kitchen,« Schindler remembers. The actual briefing took place in Milan, at the world’s key furniture fair.
The Tolix DNA: bulky, angular, smartJunior MD Lasse Naber and Marketing Director /product developer Martin Staaks developed the terms for what had been outlined on the phone, namely the »development of a mobile kitchen system in an allotment style«. All that was now lacking was a specialist like Tolix who had the requisite know-how and sensitivity to manufacture a purist kitchen shelving system. The French firm proved to be an ideal partner, joined Naber in refining the concept and readying it for market. »They respected the designers’ creative process just like I really appreciated their craftsmanship. While designers and engineers don’t always speak the same language, in this instance they understood each other perfectly,« recalls Kilian Schindler. Evidently this functions on all sorts of levels. »We tried out different suppliers, but only Tolix fulfilled all our requirements,« adds Hans-Joachim Naber.
»Chaise A«, steel and galvanized, is long since included in the MoMA and Centre Pompidou design collections. It has become a real classic and a design statement. A good basis for the Concept Kitchen created by Hans-Joachim Naber and Kilian Schindler, which has from the word go won any number of awards and design prizes.


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