As his impressive ‘Das Haus’ home opened to visitors at Cologne’s IMM International furniture exhibition, German designer remarked that design should take responsibility and try to help with cultural integration. In his choice of materials and objects for ‘Das Haus’ Herkner had the German ‘Wilkommenskultur’ in mind. The result is an open concept interior, full of international influences, that succeeds in drawing visitors in to it’s green centrepoint to relax and connect. Shumatsu Distortion went to explore the house to see what ideas could influence your next home or room design project…
Das Haus simulates a residential abode of over 200 sqm, and is erected as a centrepiece of the International furniture exhibition. Every year this project reflects contemporary furnishing trends, and aspirations to social change. A visit to Das Haus allows us to see a portrait of the designer, and to experience a blueprint for creating our own interior as an expression of our personality.
Sebastian Herkner has become a new face for German design, he worked in London with Stella McCartney while a student and has since designed products for companies such as , , and , winning numerous awards for his work.
Herkner’s Haus is a circular structure, with almost no solid walls, allowing flexible living within adaptable spaces. Panoramic views open up from any position inside, and similarly to many houses in Holland, the living spaces can be viewed through large windows from the outside. The designer felt „It was important for me that Das Haus is really open to everyone“ A wheelchair accessible ramp brings you up to the Kitchen area to enter. Here dangle Herkner’s dynamic lights for .
Openness is a challenge, Herkner recalls his grandparents home „the neighbours just knocked and came in, now we have five locks and CCTV cameras“, while not so practical, openness is certainly an admirable quality to aspire to. In this way the home references the circular yurts of Mongolian travellers, reknowned for their warm welcome to visitors.
The green centre draws you in, like an oasis of tropical plants around the two Mbrace armchairs. The Voie Light add a modern glow to the greenery. Cushions stacked at the edge turn shallow steps into extra guest seating. A separate more traditional looking lounge area features a h aquamarine velvet Arflex sofa, and Herkner’s Bell Table designed for Classicon.
At the edge of the living area, a discreet Orcus sideboard doubles as workstation, topped with the fuzzy ‘Felt Two’ clock from Leff Amsterdam.
The stainless steel and solid wood kitchen is wrapped by a huge bright yellow plastic hanging divider, joining the zone of food production to that of food enjoyment, demarcated by the substantial TA18 Solid wood dining table by at .
Past a shiny metallic curtain made of recycled materials, you enter the stunning bathroom and bedroom complex. Don’t worry there are curtains for privacy here! The wall is made from bricks of soap bars, giving the bathroom a light perfume. provide the freestanding bathtub, round sink and folding mirror. On the wooden Vitra bench, a casual arrangement of white fluffy towels and accessories like Herkner’s Pulpo container create a welcoming atmosphere. Perhaps guests like to drop in for a chat with whoever’s bathing?
wallpaper accents the bedroom, where a comfy padded headboard wraps around the bed. Again plenty more plants filter the air and add to the cosy atmosphere.
On the way out, the very wood Unam rocking chair tries to entice us to stay. But there’s so much to see in the acres of exhibition hall at Cologne IMM that we must politely refuse in order to bring Shumatsu Distortion readers more of the show’s highlights. We head out past a curving row of grey crystal pendant lights and off into the row upon row of gleaming new design.