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Azure's July/August 2019 Issue cover
Current Issue

July/August 2019

#273
July/August 2019

From a groundbreaking seaside museum in China to an elegant new sofa by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Azure’s July/August issue unveils the 20 winners of the ninth annual AZ Awards!

After a nearly five-decade residency in Chicago’s art deco behemoth The Mart, Knoll opened the door to its lavish new showroom in June, in the city’s historic Fulton Market, a burgeoning design and innovation district. 

The nearly 2,230-square-metre space (designed in collaboration with Gensler) occupies four floors of a seven-storey warehouse-style new build that reflects the area’s past as a centre of food wholesaling and meat packing. It brings together all the Knoll brands under one roof – notably, its most recent acquisition: the Scandinavian design house Muuto

Situated on the fifth floor, the Copenhagen company’s new command post is also its first flagship in North America. Fittingly, the space makes a memorable impression – it’s resplendent. Expansive industrial-style windows line the entire perimeter, its concrete flooring is polished to gleam and its exposed overhead lighting and ductwork feel appropriately industrial. While the effect could have been roughed-in and unwelcoming, though, the space presents as warm, inviting and soothing thanks to the modern-cool palette and shapely furnishings, lighting and accessories that fill it. 

From the terrazzo-topped bar lined up with oak-veneer Nerd stools to the clusters of formal meeting zones and flexible lounge-like spaces, the showroom is an expression of the constantly evolving modern-day workplace. Anchoring the view that greets visitors is a back-lit and translucent polycarbonate screen standing as a backdrop for a grouping of the popular Oslo sofa by long-time collaborators Andersson & Voll under a canopy of E27 pendant lamps by Mattias Ståhlbom, the exposed bulbs suspended from thin cables forming a perfectly aligned grid.

Throughout, favourites like Iskos-Berlin’s Fiber seating collection, David Geckeler’s Nerd chair and MSDS’s Halves side table comingle with debut pieces including the Relate side table by Swiss studio Big-Game (a first-time collaboration) and Andersson & Voll’s lastest addition to the Outline sofa series, the Outline Highback Work. The elegant piece offers both acoustic and visual shelter along with a built-in desk and handy storage and power access. 

The displays are minimal, well-choreographed and easy to explore, which is the point. Muuto’s showroom embraces an organized and elegantly Scandinavian perspective on the expectations of today’s working world.

Inside Knoll’s New Chicago Showroom, Muuto’s North American Flagship is a Study in Scandi-Serenity

From its terrazzo-topped bar to its furniture vignettes – from formal meeting zones to cafe-style lounges – the showroom is an expression of today’s constantly evolving workplace.

AZURE is an independent magazine working to bring you the best in design, architecture and interiors. We rely on advertising revenue to support the creative content on our site. Please consider whitelisting our site in your settings, or pausing your adblocker while stopping by.