Tag: Konstantin Grcic

Furniture For Thought | BD Barcelona


A giant in the world of design, BD Barcelona combines Spanish flair with an artistic sensibility.

Barcelona is one of our favourite places to hang out. Why? Lots of reasons; for a start it was founded as a Roman city in the Middle Ages and merged with the Kingdom of Aragon, which we think sounds kind of like something from Game of Thrones.

We also love the fact that the city is home to so many of Gaudi’s bizarre ‘melting’ buildings. His greatest of all is the Sagrada Familia, which has been under construction since 1882. Obviously Gaudi wasn’t a bloke who liked to hurry things along. As a child he once took three weeks to make a Plasticine snake.

In 1929 Barcelona became the home to Mies Van der Rohe’s German Pavilion for the International Exposition. The pavilion featured one of the most iconic – not to mention hellishly uncomfortable – chairs in the history of furniture: The Barcelona Chair (we suspect Mies was moonlighting as a chiropractor).

Barcelona was finally recognised for its amazing built environment in 1999, winning the RIBA Gold Medal. This is the first and only time the award has gone to a city and not an individual architect.

But what we love most of all about Barcelona is the little company started there in 1972 by five quirky architects: Pep Bonet, Lluis Cloteet, Cristian Cirici, Mireia Riera and Oscar Tusquets. Their design philosophy was summed up by the juxtaposition of the Catalan traits of rauxa (unconventionality) with seny (common sense).

BD Barcelona’s first shop attracted media attention through its wacky window displays and products that were unlike anything the world had ever seen. Accompanied with artisanal processes instead of mass production, the new products (often in limited editions) were closer to art than industrial design.

This appreciation of art was further emphasised when the company edited Gaudi’s furniture for his buildings in the early 80s, and a decade later introduced a series of furniture and lamps designed by Dali. More recently BD has collaborated with the likes of Ross Lovegrove, Jaime Hayon and Doshi Levien.

“BD = ART = BD,” says KE-ZU’s Caron Grunschlag. “The company has represented the great Spanish artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. “You need to look at the objects from BD as functional sculptures. They are investments, and just as you would invest in a painting of Salvador Dali, so you would invest in one of his pieces of furniture.”

Next time you pop into the KE-ZU showroom, check out BD’s new Shanty Credenza by Doshi Levien. It’s a patchwork of corrugated surfaces that references improvised dwellings from Cape Town to Alice Springs. One look at it and you’ll see why we think BD is one of the world’s most exciting manufacturers.

“It is company owned and run by architects; they are truly the forward thinkers and trend setters for the market,” Caron says. “You know that if BD starts to work with someone new, that person is about to become the next big thing.”


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At Home with Table B …


Straight from the horses mouth!  In this case the horse is our Director Mark.

Living the KE-ZU dream and filling his dining room with staff favourite Table B by Konstantin Grcic for Spanish manufacturer bd Barcelona, it also becomes apparent that he’s a bit of a stylist-come-photographer!

Each day taking photos of his flowers blooming against the extruded aluminum of Table B, we thought them too great to keep just for us staff.



Winning favours and taking top honours at the 2011 Red Dot awards, the Table B top is made of extruded aluminum in silver or matt black.  From one side appearing to float seamlessly and from the other, dipping to expose its hollow length. Offering three options of bases; natural timber, concrete and stainless steel, Table B becomes a marriage of materials, all of which striking and bearing different visually weights, the latter two having the ability to live outdoors.


Table B – Timber Base


Table B – Steel Base


Table B – Concrete Base

Table B with timber base forms part of the KE-ZU stock program and is available for immediate dispatch, doing away with lead times entirely!

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Exciting Going Ons …

Clockwise from top left: Andreu World Manfred, Andreu World Sail, Hive Waf, Andreu World Agora, Sancal Menu, bd Barcelona Side Table B

It’s delivery time at the Zu!

The showroom was alive this week with new product being unloaded by our warehouse lads and unpacked by staff under the careful eye of Lidia our showroom manager (who, it must be said, was a gun on coffee duty).

The entire staff pool get so excited when new furniture arrives at the showroom.  These are pieces we’ve spoken about, seen photos of, learnt about and we finally get a chance to experience them, understand their scale and dimensions and see their materiality composition close up.   We debate their features as we welcome them to our daily lives.   These pieces from our trusted suppliers form a fresh KE-ZU catalogue and will shortly tour the country visiting the showrooms which comprise our national distribution network.

Check out some new products below.

Andreu World – Manfred by Lievore, Altherr & Molina

The Lievore, Altherr & Molina studio for AW is back with their new design Manfred, a modular sofa program comprising individual lounge chair, two and three seater sofas, all with the same super comfortable rounded profile.  Available with or without arms (timber arms born from reforestation and complying with FSC guidelines).   Meeting the highest grade endurance tests, Manfred is well-suited for any application.

Andreu World - Sail Wood by Piergiorgio Cazzaniga

We’re expecting big things from this adaptation.  Andreu World have expanded on the Red Dot Design Award winning Sail collection designed by Piergiorgio Cazzaniga.  Now in stock with an oak model of the same design, this stacking chair is available in different finishes – the perfect way to show off Sail’s angular aesthetic appeal.  Sail is destined for greatness in hospitality applications and dining rooms the country over.  A beautifully ‘green’ chair, Sail wood is made out from 100% recyclable wood from reforested areas, bears FSC certification and meets the chain of custody from the source of the material to the final product.

bd Barcelona – Side Table B by Konstantin Grcic

Konstantin Grcic expanded on his Extrusions Collection for bd Barcelona.  Side Table B is made of one piece of architectural concrete to aesthetically match the outdoor version of Table B (see images here).  Side Table B works with a light visual weight comparable to its appearance – rounding out a holistic collection.

hive (design by hive) – Waf by Asan Weinbroom

The Waf table lamp is geniusly simple – two sheets of veneer fastened together with a button.    Born from a fascination with movement from mechanical objects, Waf utilizes functionality with aesthetics, the top portion is adjustable to change levels of illumination changing the lighting effects throughout a room.

Sancal – Menu bench by Rafa Garcia

Another modular sofa collection arriving at the Zu is Rafa Garcia for Sancal’s Menu.  Available in six different modules, Menu is a fabulously scaled collection with various options for specification, perfect for both the home or contact applications.

Useful in small spaces as banquette seating, navigating corners in larger spaces, positioned back to back, the Menu system affords you the freedom to create the layout that best fits your space and your style.   Available as clean upholstery or pressed studs, the legs are specifiable between materials also.

Andreu World – Agora by Lievore, Altherr & Molina

Released at Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2013 by Andreu World.  The Agora collection is a new fully upholstered lounge chair that features solid wood and aluminium bases.  A chair that commands attention, Agora also provides the opposite, the perfect place for solitude, reflection and relaxation.  With specifiable leg and seat material options, Agora is suited to any space which requires a chair with a lot to offer.

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Setting a new Benchmark …

A somewhat favourite amongst (the female) KE-ZU staff and given his numerous awards and standing amongst the wider design industry a favourite elsewhere also, Konstantin Grcic again collaborated with bd Barcelona, this time to present Bench B – an addition to the wider ‘Extrusions’ Collection.   Bench B has just arrived in the country and is available for viewing in the KE-ZU Showroom!

Available in two sizes; as single bench or a 6 metre longer bench, Bench B is perfect for the contract market, conceived for public and hospitality spaces.  It is perfect for both indoor and outdoor applications and comes in many a different form by way of colour specification of its aluminum structure and upholstery and arm options.  “I think we have created a kit of parts which can be turned into very different typologies or uses of this bench”. Grcic says.

Visible references and a nod to the great Mies van der Rohe came from the initial cross-shaped leg of cast aluminium, not dissimilar to that of the famous Barcelona Chair of 1929.   Konstantin says of this reference:

What is interesting in this bench is that it makes a reference to a very famous piece of furniture, which is called the Barcelona Chair.  I think it’s interesting to make these references in design, design is not about inventing new things all the time design is an evolution of things.   So this famous chair designed by Mies van der Rohe, we pick it up so many years later and make it in a completely different way, in terms of technology but turning it into a more systematic product.

The differences come in the ergonomics of the framed structure and utilisation of aluminium extrusions, formed by a sum of its parts as noted above, Bench B comprises many pieces of the vogue metal to form the modern extruded adaptation – hence its part in the aptly named collection which incorporates a table and a side table.

Side Table B is however made of one piece of architectural concrete to aesthetically match the outdoor version of Table B.  Side Table B works with a visual weight which compliments the long strokes of Bench B, weighting the two together for an encompassing collection of furniture.

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The Spaniards have it…

The spirited furniture manufacturer bd Barcelona was founded in 1972 as “bd Ediciones de Diseño”, a collaboration of a talented group of architects, designers and art talents.  Since then bd Barcelona has had a few name changes but the mantra remains the same, merging art and design.

The 1970’s were a progressive time of art, design and art theory and the Spanish manufacturing house was born from a frustration of a lack of connection between theory and production.  The cause of this group of rebels resulted in the production of furniture, objects and accessories, the concepts of which being theorized the world over but unavailable in shops.  It became a vehicle for the experiential works, dealing with object perception and reacting to a societal change.

It’s no surprise then, the calibre of names which comprise the past and current catalogue of bd Barcelona products, famously designed or derived from creative greats of times past.  Names like surrealism great Salvador Dali, architectural genius’ Giuseppe Terragni, Spanish pioneer Antoni Gaudi and jack of all trades Charles Rennie Mackintosh all placing their personal stamp on works rolled out of the bd workshop.  Some pieces by Dali and Gaudi are still in production.

The current bd catalogue adopts the same approach, and employs the minds of contemporary designers such as Jaime Hayon, Konstantin Grcic and Ross Lovegrove, creating uniquely styled pieces, all of which tell a story of their own. We’ve recently written about Hayon’s Showtime (here), Grcic’s Table B and Chair B (here) and the bd Barcelona recent exhibitions in Milan (here).

As we speak, bd Barcelona is celebrating the first year in its new showroom, naturally locally on the Barcelonan coastline where current production products are showcased and available for purchase.

In exciting news, the Spanish veteran is celebrating its 40th year and to commemorate is releasing an exclusive limited edition handful of hand-painted Jaime Hayon Showtime collection vases, painted by the collection designer guru himself, continuing to successfully marry design and art.

The bd Barcelona back catalogue of product is a fascinating object essay, each with their own purpose and story, here are some of the KE-ZU favourites, and you can see the full museum here.

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A family of B’s …

Industrial design genius Konstantin Grcic has leant his hand to bd Barcelona and now offers Table B, the first piece to drop from the ‘Extrusions Collection’, a family of furniture synthesizing industrial aesthetics and manual processing.

Drawing obvious visual inspiration from bd Barcelona’s Hypóstila shelving unit, a signature piece from the Spanish manufacturers 1970’s catalogue, Table B seems to transcend time, adopting a striking visual of lineal sophistication.

Winning favours and taking top honours at the 2011 Red Dot awards, the Table top finds itself made of extruded aluminum with scotch anodised polish in silver or matt black.  From one side appearing to float seamlessly and from the other, dipping to expose its hollow length.

Offering three options of legs; natural timber, concrete and stainless steel, Table B becomes a marriage of materials, all of which striking and bearing different visually weights, the latter two having the ability to live outdoors.

Adding a chair model to the collection, Grcic offers Chair B.  Complimenting the visual style of Table B and finding itself equally as attractively engineered, Chair B is a sleek, folding timber chair with a lightweight concealed aluminum under-seat structure available in different colours for some sneaky fun.  The fun doesn’t stop there however, with Chair B’s X-shaped legs having the ability to stack horizontally – a mean feat from the adaptable Grcic.

Bd Barcelona’s Table B with natural timber legs is currently available for viewing at the KE-ZU showroom.

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Salone Mobile 2011 kicks off in Milan in April and the buzz is already evident from all the way over here in Sydney.

We know many of you are going to be on the ground in Italy in coming weeks so we wanted to share some of the upcoming, not to be missed launches and installations.

As always manufacturers and suppliers are poised to wheel, deal and thrill their International guests throughout the frantic week in Northern Italy’s fashion and design mecca.

Mobles 114 have announced their launch of the Javier Mariscal designed 100% recycled and recyclable chair: “Green” as well as a brand new website and a sleek new re-branding.

BD Barcelona are make last minute preparations to unveil Alfredo Haberli‘s new piece: “Hyperbole”.  Working with Marti Guixe they will also present “Free Port”, Neri + Hu will display their “Narcissist” vanity that was developed directly with Swarovski and the multi-award winning designs “Gaulino Chair” by Oscar Tusquets and Konstantin Grcic’s “Table B” will also be on display for all to get up close and personal with!

Not to be outdone, the Dutch are making impressive plans.  Collaboration being their focus this year, they will present a suite of new designs that where applicable will be upholstered in Missoni Home fabrics and finished with their cushions and carpets.  Top Secret… hence no pictures (yet) is the launch of Artifort‘s new pieces “Shark” by the illustrious Rene Holten and an exciting, versatile sofa program from Toine van den Heuvel called:  “Reflex”.

Our friends at HIVE and KENNETH COBONPUE will jet across from Cebu and we are most excited about some of the lighting selections they have been busying away with for the past year.  More of this will be reveiled in due course – stay tuned!

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Seeing Red: Dot to Dot…

The Red Dot Design Awards are here!

The product design competition has existed since 1955. Its award, the “red dot”, is an internationally recognised quality seal. The best products receive the “red dot: best of the best” award.

This year Konstatin Grcic has done it again with his Table B for BD Barcelona.  This technically brilliant piece, the first from his “extrusion collection”, wowed the judging panel with its sleek aluminium table top offered with timber trellis-like legs, a bold concrete pedestal or fine steel structures.  Involving a number of engineering specialists in it’s development the Table B achieves simplicity of form through extensive material exploration and boasts lengths of up to 5m!

Other worthy winners this year were Tipo from the team at Japans’ Axona Aichi, the people that brought us the brilliant stacking Daylight Chair made from recycled car batteries.

Belgium’s Eden Design too picked up a well deserved best of best award for OnLine.  The ingenius lighting system that affords full functionality and diversity in decorative, track and exhibition lighting.  Marrying the magic of magnets with refined European design and cutting edge luminary research, this system needs to be seen to be believed.  A truly worthy winner!

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Sitting Pretty In Spain…

One of the coolest websites around: COOL HUNTING recently featured an article on the “Spanish Seating Renaissance”. We were chuffed (but not surprised) to note that accounting for over half the examples of good Spanish seating design are KE-ZU products…  Sitting pretty indeed!

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bd is not a style

When we thought on a phrase that defines what is BD, we came upon many different, but ultimately the one we chose was “BD is not a style”. We can explain why, but it would be too obvious for anyone who knows us well.

07.Bd Newsletter

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