OMA, the collaborative practice co-founded by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, has launched a new collection of kinetic furniture for Knoll called Tools for Life at Salone del Mobile 2013 in Milan.
To help mark its 75th anniversary Knoll tapped Koolhaas to create the residential/work collection. "Tools for Life offers a contemporary interface between furniture and people, supporting the ebb and flow of work and social life, while adjusting to the different needs of both." says Knoll.
The works are kinetic, they slide and rotate, as best illustrated by the 04 Counter signature piece, a horizontal stack of three blocks that can be transformed from a monolithic block to cantilevered benches that swing around a central axis. Rigorous engineering and a system of internal bearings and rails facilitate 360 degrees of movement.
03 Coffee Table
At the core of the collection is Koolhaas's belief that furniture should be understood as a high-performance tool rather than a design statement. "I want to talk about work and not the office - the distinction being that today people work everywhere," adds Benjamin Pardo, Knoll design director. "With that in mind, the OMA pieces are more kinetic than static: many are easily adjustable so that with changes in height, adjacency and degree of privacy, almost any space can be transformed to a place of work."
03 Coffee Table
A no-nonsense palette makes the furniture compatible with a range of residential and workplace interiors. Clear acrylic is juxtaposed with concrete; glass with leather; travertine with steel - beguiling and engaging contrasts that draw attention to individual pieces. The 03 Coffee Table, a stack of three transparent boxes constructed of clear acrylic, has internal slides that allow the individual elements to be rotated and cantilevered, giving users the ability to adjust its overall shape depending on changing needs.
01 Arm Chair
Comfort and privacy are explored in the collection's two primary seating pieces: 01 Arm Chair and 02 Arm Chair with high back. The 01 Arm Chair is a height-adjustable, swivel lounge chair with a clear acrylic exterior frame and leather interior upholstery.
01 Arm Chair
A mechanical column base with a signature red band provides height adjustment at the touch of a button. A concrete base plate grounds the chair. The 02 Arm Chair with high back has the same features, while offering flexible interior cushioning that when unfolded provides an enveloping privacy.
05 Round Table
For individual focused or group collaborative work, the 05 Round Table and 06 Table integrate mechanical sophistication with seemingly effortless effect. Both can be adjusted to accommodate lounge seating or even standing. The 05 Round Table features a travertine top with a travertine base or an acrylic top with an aluminum base. An exposed mechanism, powered by an electric motor, elevates or lowers the table.
06 Rectangular Desk
Conceived as an executive desk, the 06 Table has a two-piece laminated glass top. The two horizontal surfaces, one a work surface and the other intended for storage, are separated by four round, glass columns.
The collection will be on view during the 2013 Salone Internazionale del Mobile at Prada's Milan exhibition space at via Fogazzaro, 36, where the pieces were first previewed during the Fall Men's Show earlier this year.