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14/09/2012

Artek opens its new European headquarters

A Mondial Home in Berlin

Artek Deutschland GmbH has found a new home in the German capital of Berlin. Nestled in the heart of Europe, the impressive Mondial Home sends a clear signal that Artek is headed in the direction of the broader European market. Mirkku Kullberg, the CEO of Artek, comments: “Artek is ready for international expansion, viewing the brand from a wider perspective and communicating with a new generation. The cultural, intellectual ambiance is inspiring, and Artek feels at home with the talents of the architectural, art and design scene. Berlin is a great city, and there is a genuine dialogue with our northern free spirit. For us it is an inspiring metropolis for Europe.”

The Artek spirit in Berlin

Spanning across an impressive penthouse on the 10th and 11th floors of Potsdamer Strasse 85C, Artek’s new headquarters reside in the building previously home to Der Tagesspiegel, an architectural landmark in Berlin perfectly meeting all the criteria that Artek has for a cosmopolitan location. Artek is positioned to create the right kind of Artek community in the Mondial Home. Recruiting Reiner Heublein as the new Sales Director of Artek Deutschland GmbH also falls in line with this train of thought of the visionary Finnish company having an expanded presence in Europe. “Now is the right time for Artek to come to Berlin. At the same time that Artek understands the value of great classic collections from Aalto and Tapiovaara, the company invests in young, contemporary designers for fresh looks and designs. Anyone in search of an individual, nonconformist solution for private or public spaces can feel right at home with Artek’s collections,” says Heublein.

The opening of the Mondial Home in Berlin in the context of the abc art berlin contemporary (running from September 13th to 16th, 2012) is an inspiring approach, and at the same time a logical action as the synthesis of art and culture lies deeply in the roots of the company.

Classics with a contemporary twist

The exhibit “Stool 60 Turns Art” will top off the presentation in the gallery of Andreas Murkudis. As a way of honoring the 80th birthday of Alvar Aalto’s design icon, Mike Meiré puts together a minimal yet playful installation. The exhibition features Meiré’s multicolored ideas about Stool 60, true to the creative claim, “classics with a contemporary twist”. His six hand-painted stools receive a unique and charming appearance through this gentle gesture.

In times of perfection, it demonstrates personality rather than style. "It's an expression of believe in pure beauty. Every edge of the stool gets a different layer from a palette of matte and glossy colors. Beige, blue, turquoise, orange, gray, green, rose, black, salmon and yellow create different faces with every turn. As our everyday life moves on in waves of changing feelings, every angle reveals a different mood, a different story. A simple action leads to a new perspective on something we thought we were familiar with. Suddenly you look again at something you may have given less attention over time because we are so busy with the new," says Meiré.

Together with garishly painted bicycle forks with rotating wheels in front of the store and kinesthetic design installations inside, the exhibition has been assembled as a cheerful homage to the simple idea that evolved into a design classic. “A charming celebration of the everyday object. Nothing overpowering,” as Meiré himself puts it. The Cologne-based designer, artist and curator and Artek got in touch a while ago, and their first collaboration started earlier this year. At the Milan furniture fair Salone Internazionale del Mobile in April 2012, the Artek stand showcased the hallmarks of Mike Meiré, whose variations of Stool 60 left strong impressions on viewers. Now the successful liaison is going to introduce its latest coup – Artek’s new magazine called Annex. The monothematic paper designed by Mike Meiré and his team at Meiré und Meiré in Cologne pushes the limits of topics from outside and within the spheres of design, art and architecture to new dimensions and beyond. The design language takes on the pure play that Artek’s geometric shapes are known for. Annex’s first issue "Science and Technology” marks the beginning of a visual dialogue between clean modernism and its elegant editorial character. Annex is available by September 14.

Artek in the heart of the art arcade

On site at the abc art berlin contemporary, Artek will be showcasing a statement edition of an icon of Finnish design, the “Stool 60 Pure” by Alvar Aalto, thus providing all 129 participating galleries across 18 countries with seating facilities. The managing directors of abc art berlin contemporary, Guido W. Baudach and Alexander Schröder, comment on their cooperation with Artek, “We were immediately taken by Artek’s in-depth understanding of our creative approach, and we are looking forward to seeing the ‘Artek 60 Pure’ integrated into the overall architecture of this year’s abc art berlin contemporary.”

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