Showcasing the latest innovations in furniture design, the imm cologne is Germany’s first trade event of the year and an important indicator of up and coming trends. The exhibition stand of Walter Knoll, a furniture company with a long and prestigious history, is a further milestone in its new brand architecture, first embodied in the redesign of its Herrenberg showroom.
The basic layout of the exhibition stand takes the visitor on a meandering journey through different spatial scenarios. Different sections of the stand are delineated by means of a black carbon-fibre curtain that was specially developed for this exhibition. This innovative material enables a transparent and flowing mise-en-scène. Its enigmatic haptic properties immediately inspire curiosity in the visitor. When standing at right angles to the folds, the curtain appears almost wholly transparent, yet from other angles the stand content is almost completely concealed. The curtain casts a play of shadows in all directions, further captivating the visitor’s attention. Specially designed lamp fixtures incorporating spy mirror film produce fascinating reflections and serve as a source of light as well as additional ceiling delineation.
In the interior of the stand the material metamorphosis of the carbon-fibre fabric is enhanced by walls painted in strong, sensual colours immediately behind the curtain. Each field of colour introduces a new spatial scenario, which provides a setting for specific product groups. Room dividers displaying different surfaces and images provide a calm background and give a context to the products, while allowing concentrated focus on the product mise-en-scène. The backgrounds appear somehow familiar without showing specific rooms. Different textures and materials relate to different cultures, thus embodying the brand’s international reputation. In contrast, individual motifs show rooms with a history and signs of occupancy.
The individual spatial scenarios present not only furniture, but also Walter Knoll’s carpet collection. The superb quality silk carpets are laid out in seating groups and positioned as a wall element in several places. They echo the series of abstract dual-colour motifs that was specially created for the stand. In an abstract hanging in front of the curtain, these images further underscore the separate zones, guide the eye and endow a cosy depth to the clear geometry of the stand.
Single-stroke chalk drawings on blackboard surfaces illustrate the core strengths of the brand. Serving as large-format caesuras in the wall design, they create a directional pull that is visible from afar. The manual dexterity of the execution echoes the craftsmanship of the products themselves.
A cafeteria is located at the centre of the stand. Enclosed within another transparent mesh curtain, it forms the communicative heart of the stand.
With its new exhibition stand for the imm cologne, Walter Knoll presents a transparent and flowing spatial architecture, which inspires curiosity about the next spatial situation from within and without. The abstract exhibition architecture furnishes a calm and tactile background for the narrative mise-en-scènes of the individual furniture groups. Expanses of curtain create an interplay of light and shadow, and provide tantalising glimpses of contrasting colour fields. Room dividers displaying different materials and themes give a simple and convincing narrative context to the products on display.