During an unseasonably warm German January, furniture al fresco fittingly took centre stage at the 2020 mounting of the annual furniture and design fair IMM Cologne. From streetscapes to backyards, terraces to piazzas, the great outdoors can expect to welcome a striking array of products. Here are 10 of our favourites.
For Italian brand Cassina, outdoor furniture was central to its impressive offering at this year’s showcase. Of the four new lines launched (the first complete outdoor collection from the brand) by such heavyweight design stars as Patricia Urquiola, it was Fenc-e Nature by equally renowned designer Philippe Starck that was the undisputed star. Featuring an armchair, a two- and three-seater sofa and a coffee table – available in two heights and defined by interlocking teak braces – the collection was replete with what the designer described as a “laid-back elegance.”
Borrowing its name from the Italian city of Cortina, which, together with Milan, will co-host the 2026 Winter Olympics, Basaglia + Rota Nodari‘s Cortina.026 collection for Diemmebi‘s UrbanTime line includes both a long bench and arm chair in a range of vibrant hues (classic blue and ocra yellow shown). From the street to the backyard, they’re suitable for any outdoor situation and are even stackable.
Noticing that a distinct typology had been missing from their product lines, iSiMAR unveiled a striking update to their Olivio collection at IMM Cologne: a plush daybed. Designed for both outdoor and indoor uses, its large proportions and soft upholstery perfectly pair with expansive outdoor spaces.
With a tactile acrylic weave and plush cushions, the Kodo Collection by studio segers for Belgian brand Vincent Sheppard is ready for patio season. Consisting of a dining chair, armchair, side and coffee table, sofa and high-back lounger, the range is available in a number of refined colourways to ensure your terrace is just as tailored as your living room.
An art deco flair reigns in the indoor/outdoor Strong collection by Eugeni Quitllet for Desalto. The line – featuring a bar stool and tables of varying heights as well as a long dining table, all with a shared tubular steel base available in a wide range of colours – received the Stylepark Selected Award at the 2020 edition of the fair. Additional options for tops or seats include marble, wood and shaped steel sheet.
Ria – a light-weight and stackable outdoor armchair – was a standout from Fast‘s latest additions to their line of quality outdoor furnishings. Designed by Alberto Lievore and borrowing its gentle silhouette from the shapes of narrow coves along the Galician coast, the die cast aluminium seat is offered in 14 finish options suitable for both commercial and residential use.
Bavaria’s Oberhaching-based brand Solpuri is no stranger to adorning the great outdoors. Take their inviting Caro Lounge collection (a line of armchairs, loungers and various sofa modules), which is defined by its rounded anthracite-coated aluminium frames with woven String Flex outdoor rope within. It’s a subtle nod to the visual language of the Mediterranean that is best suited (and most at home) poolside.
While classic blue may be the colour of the year, a major trend in Cologne saw crimson hues adorn a number of outdoor products. Case in point: Copenhagen-based Thomas Alken‘s mindo 104 for mindo. The aluminum tray table with a removable top – available in red, blue and white – is both light-weight and durable. The perfect addition to any patio.
When Flexform unveiled Antonio Citterio‘s Grandemare Sofa in 2011, it was an instant classic. Just shy of a decade later, the Italian brand now provides the same quality and comfort for the outdoors. The polyurethane foam and polyester fibre cushions are wrapped in water-repellent laminated fabric, making the sofa every bit as enjoyable as its indoor counterpart.
For their outdoor-inspired iteration of Das Haus, Valencia-based MUT Design collaborated with a number of manufacturers – from Sancal to La Cividina – to unveil a host of new furnishings that populated their vision of the perennial future home, which drew from the architecture language of their locale. In reinterpreting the papasan, the rattan Armadillo lounge chair – produced by Expormim – encapsulated the studio’s celebration of the Spanish vernacular.
At the annual German design fair, designers, manufactures and brands embraced the great outdoors – with spectacular results.