Content - References: Custom-made, media technology
Multimedia terraced seating area (Media-Koje) based on functional and design specifications
Baufritz, Erkheim, Germany. Alfredo Häberli designed a rotatable multimedia terraced seating area for the “Haussichtˮ concept house constructed by the prefabricated house manufacturer Baufritz. Girsberger engineered and produced the almost ceiling-high piece of furniture, which consists of four layers of step-style seats mounted on top of each other and a backrest. The individual elements can be assembled without tools using specialized fittings, which requires great precision. The piece of furniture weighs two tonnes, yet can be easily rotated by hand. To achieve this, the Girsberger design engineers developed a type of turntable mounted on ball- and roller-bearings which is concealed beneath the structure.
VIP Pavillon, Geneva Airport. The VIP pavilion at Geneva Airport provides an environment for the arrival and departure of high-ranking guests from international organizations in the fields of politics, diplomacy and religion.
Frédéric Dedelley was commissioned to define the interiors concept:
The new pavilion, which has two distinct seating areas and is run via a central facilities module, was designed to evoke the feeling of a members’ club, meeting the expectations of VIP passengers, while at the same time respecting diplomatic or royal protocol.
The motto “Act global, sit local” was used as inspiration in the design process with a view not only to offering an immediate sense of comfort, but also acting as a brand ambassador for Switzerland. Here, the materials, colours and textures chosen and the reference to Switzerland’s natural and alpine landscape are key elements of this visual calling card.
Based on the designer’s specifications, Girsberger created a selection of solid oak lounge furniture to be positioned in a range of different groups. A family of sofas, armchairs, side tables and standing tables mirrors the diplomatic world, allowing space for the most important person within a party, for example, to occupy a three-seater sofa on their own. A special structure was developed for the seat padding in order to ensure maximum comfort. What is more, the two distinct seating areas allow for complete separation and privacy, should cultural, political or diplomatic sensitivities require two groups of passengers to be kept fully apart.
Hotel Beau Séjour,
Hotel Beau Séjour. Hotel Beau Séjour, which first opened in 1875 and has seen several changes of ownership, was renovated and refitted. Lucerne’s Hotel Beau Séjour reopened in spring 2008 with the tagline “Le Petit Grand Hotel”, a witty reference to the establishment's larger-scale neighbours. As a boutique hotel, Beau Séjour shows its strength on a more subtle scale – through the many fine details that can be seen and felt thought the building, and through its fantastic lakeside location.
With a view to adding a stylish complement to the hotel’s historical charm, the designer Daniel Hunziker was commissioned to create a furniture collection for the rooms and public areas. The result was a collection that is not only contemporary but also succeeds in skilfully reflecting the design language of the building itself. Hunziker takes up the style of the late 19th century by presenting a modern interpretation of wrought iron – the basic forms of his lounge furniture, lamps, tables and cupboard modules are made of metal. His solution is a sleek and elegant approach that uses the three materials of black steel, textiles and laminated wood. With different wallpaper or flooring in each room, the modern collection fits gracefully into its surroundings.
The furniture line was manufactured by Girsberger and comprises armchairs, sofas, suitcase stands, dining tables, side tables, desks, bistro tables and bedside tables with integrated lamps, and standard lamps. The frames were produced using solid square black steel bars, and the upholstery using extremely durable textiles. Girsberger’s goal was to create an economically attractive furniture line.
CoLab, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne),
Holzer Kobler Architekten; iart AG
CoLab, EPFL. The CoLab is a multifunctional facility created on the basis of designs by Holzer Kobler Architekturen. The space is divided up into various areas with different functions. In its basic set-up, it provides a comfortable, everyday student lounge. In just a few steps, the space is transformed into a location for a range of different event formats.
The entire space is surrounded by a freely positionable wall-curtain system developed especially for the project, which can be fully closed if required. A geometric pattern cut into the stiff felt fabric gives a three-dimensional structure to the curtain and allows a certain optical permeability when closed.
An additional workshop room, which is separated by a glass wall from the public area, provides space for private meetings. Here, eight individually controllable LEDs are integrated into a felt wall. This allows the textile area of the 3 x 11-metre partition to be used for atmospheric and informative moving images that can be freely programmed. Girsberger was tasked with developing the felt-covered panels with the required perforation. At the centre of the felt wall, two motorized sliding doors can be opened to reveal a large LED monitor.
In collaboration with highly specialized partners, a solution was found for integrating the LED boards in the textile wall and for the software and hardware necessary to control the over 100,000 LEDs.
FIFA World Football Museum,
FIFA World Football Museum, Zurich, Switzerland. The Zurich-based design agency P.5 designed a series of special furniture for the Football Museum. Girsberger handled the implementation of the furniture designs, starting with a bar stool with a design reminiscent of the classic leather footballs of the 1950s. In close cooperation with the designers, Girsberger first built two prototypes to verify the unusual shape of the seats. The furniture specialists then produced a total of 54 bar stools in a high-quality vintage leather. The football style of the bar stools is unique and only possible thanks to state-of-the-art upholstery techniques. This was followed by the development and creation of other furniture with a football-oriented look.
Tibits. A new branch of the vegetarian self-service restaurant tibits was opened in the renovated former administration building of the Eidgenössische Bank on Bahnhofsplatz. The interior was designed by atelier oï using a subtle colour scheme typical of the art nouveau period, accompanied by an underlying floral theme. In addition to the restaurant in the former banking hall, the location also includes further historical rooms for seminars and private events. Based on the design specifications, Girsberger created a series of solid oak chairs with or without wickerwork seats, round tables and one regulars’ table, as well as outdoor furniture, also made of solid wood. An efficient solution was found for manually integrating the wickerwork in the seat.
Daniel Kündig and Anna Jost, Swissmade, Zurich
Musikinsel Rheinau, Switzerland. The Musikinsel is a new infrastructure which has been created for orchestras, choirs and music groups on the monastic island in Rheinau, Canton Zurich. The former Benedictine abbey, nestling in a double loop of the Rhine, offers numerous practice rooms and 63 hotel rooms for up to 120 musicians. The Musikinsel Rheinau foundation awarded Girsberger the contract to produce the furnishings following a tender procedure. At its modern manufacturing facility in Bützberg, Girsberger created tables and stools together with flexible bed and shelving elements, which enabled the best possible use of the space in the small rooms of the former abbey. The bedheads, which also provide storage space, can be rotated by 90 degrees to suit the layout of the room. During assembly, five Girsberger employees stayed more or less alone in the extensive property.
Theater Basel, Switzerland. The seats for the auditorium of Theater Basel's Grosse Bühne were custom-made. Like their predecessors, they are cantilever chairs - a rare sight in theatres anywhere in the world. As the architect Werner Hartmann explains: "Today's audience members are larger on average compared with 40 years ago. To ensure they can still sit comfortably, the seating distribution had to be adjusted." The space between the rows was increased, and the seats were widened by a few centimetres. This meant that the seating had to be completely replaced.
Designer Daniel Rindlisbacher from Breitblick AG was in charge of the concept stage. First, full-size models were built of three different designs, from which the building owners chose their preferred seating.
Girsberger Customized Furniture was awarded the contract for the detailed planning and production of the chair. The cantilever chairs had to be constructed and upholstered to high standards in terms of safety, stability, durability and fire prevention. Further prototypes were then developed, including twelve dummies that underwent additional acoustic tests at EMPA.
Museum für Gestaltung,
Museum für Gestaltung. The design collection held by the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich is of international importance. In the over 150 years since the museum was opened, the number of objects from the disciplines of art and craft, graphic and textile design and furniture and product design has risen to above half a million. Around 2,000 selected exhibits are now on display for visitors in the permanent exhibition on Museumsstrasse, a place to enjoy beautiful, useful and/or curious everyday objects. A steel filing cabinet designed by Alfredo Häberli and manufactured by Girsberger has 130 drawers that pull out in all directions, together with a selection of glass viewing panels. These provide the ideal opportunity for visitors to experience the items on display according to their own individual interests. A raised platform with a seamless coating to match the filing cabinet stands in a central location, and can be used to display larger exhibits such as the SBB station clock.
F. Hoffmann-La Roche Basel,
Nissen & Wentzlaff
Architectes BSA SIA AG,
F. Hoffmann-La Roche Basel, Switzerland. The staff restaurant in Building 67, a striking early 1970s building on the Roche site, has recently undergone visual, technological and energy-related renovations. To enable flexible use of the two extensive dining rooms, the architectural office Nissen & Wentzlaff came up with a design featuring modular benches. These were intended to divide the large room into different zones, be easy to rearrange, and also lessen the acoustics.
The order for the detailed construction and manufacture of the benches went to Girsberger Customized Furniture. The architects' visualizations resulted in a standardized piece of furniture in different sizes, with wheels for easy handling. The benches absorb sound thanks to their hollow-body construction made from robust, highly porous foam covered with finely perforated leather. Miniature models were built for illustration purposes, followed by a 1:1 prototype for production approval, before the 149 seats were made. This allowed the designer and building owners to verify aesthetic and functional aspects such as the proportions and comfort before the start of production.
Swiss lounges Dock E,
Greutmann Bolzern Designstudio,
Swiss lounges, Dock E, Zurich Airport, Switzerland. Greutmann Bolzern designed an innovative multi-zone concept with special furniture for the SWISS lounges in Dock E at Zurich Airport. As well as a range of benches, the collaboration with Girsberger also produced 19 lounges which can be reclined from an upright position for reading to a horizontal position. The key design challenge involved developing a smooth pivot mechanism that would stop gently in both positions. With the aid of prototypes, the reclining process was optimized multiple times and perfected. The U-shaped partitions which enclose each reclining lounger offer privacy and a buffer from any surrounding noise, but also feature integrated electric cabling with a reading light and power sockets to charge batteries.
Neue Aargauer Bank,
Bureau Hindermann GmbH,
Neue Aargauer Bank, Aarau, Switzerland. The corporate interior design specialist Bureau Hindermann designed a unique set of furniture for the Neue Aargauer Bank, comprising benches, armchairs and side tables. The distinctive button-tufted upholstery was designed directly in the Girsberger upholstery studio along with the designer and helps to create a particularly comfortable atmosphere. High, sound-absorbing backrests on the benches offer the privacy that is needed for appointments with advisers.
Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich, Switzerland. For Fritz Glarner's Rockefeller Dining Room at Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Alfredo Häberli designed special furniture comprising a table, twenty wire chairs and a matching LED ceiling light made from steel sections. Girsberger then developed and manufactured the items on the basis of the designer's specifications. Prototypes were used to calculate the precise bend radii and ergonomic proportions of the chairs. For the 4.8 m-long table, a special screw fitting had to be developed to attach the clear-glass plates to the frame.
Starbucks on rails,
Starbucks Coffee Company and milani design & consulting AG, Thalwil
Starbucks on rails, Switzerland. In a pilot project, SBB joined forces with Starbucks to convert two restaurant cars into a mobile Starbucks Coffee House. To ensure that the design of the double-deck restaurant car was as authentic as possible, SBB’s engineers and the designers at Starbucks worked closely together. The biggest challenge was to reconcile SBB’s stringent safety standards with Starbucks’ exacting design requirements and create an authentic atmosphere. Working to a concept by Dutch designer Frank Paulus of 24SIXANDSUNDAYS, Girsberger developed and produced a chair which, despite the space constraints, provides very comfortable seating.
Catholic church, Versoix, Switzerland
Frei & Stefani SA, Thônex
Catholic church, Versoix, Switzerland. The Catholic church in the small town of Versoix on the shores of Lake Geneva was in poor condition, both inside and out, before being extensively renovated and reconfigured in 2013. The architects Frei & Stefani chose Girsberger as their partner for the wooden interior, as they had already worked together on a number of previous projects. Girsberger's tasks included the manufacture of 150 running metres of rounded pews, a 5-metre crucifix, the altar, the choir stalls and various smaller pieces of furniture from solid core ash and fumed oak. The tight deadlines posed a challenge: the work had to be completed in just three months.
Tegia da vaut Plong Vaschnaus in the citizens' community of Domat/Ems, Switzerland
Gion A. Caminada, Vrin
Tegia da vaut Plong Vaschnaus, Domat/Ems, Switzerland. For the Tegia da vaut (forest lodge) in Domat/Ems, built on behalf of the citizens' community of Ems, architect and ETH professor Gion A. Caminada from Vrin had the idea for some extra-special, unique furniture designed to complement the lodge and its surroundings. On the basis of a rough prototype and numerous conversations and trials, we created a completely new chair with a matching bench and table within just three months. It was important that the white fir trees for the furniture were cut during the same moon phase as that used to build the lodge. The waste timber was to be shaped to make the seats and backrests. As the white fir does not really bend well, Girsberger's timber buyer carefully selected the planks on site at the sawmill and coordinated the demanding process with the woodworker. In the meantime, the frames had been formed from raw iron tubes, bent in the company's own metal workshop, welded and then fixed to the sawed wooden parts. On the day the lodge was inaugurated, the wood was back where it belonged.
Central Library in Zurich, Switzerland
gasser, derungs innenarchitekturen gmbh, Zurich
Central Library in Zurich, Switzerland. The task at the Central Library in Zurich was to use the new furniture to create a bridge between old and modern. The individual pieces of furniture can be linked together and flexibly arranged. A uniform look runs through every detail, right down to the covering caps and connections. The new study cubicles are very popular among the students and are always the first to be occupied every morning.
Center Bar, Unique Airport, Zurich, Switzerland
Detail Design GmbH, Zurich
Center Bar, Unique Airport, Zurich, Switzerland. “In the design and realization of the Center Bar, not only was the modern, timeless architecture the main focus, but also the attention to detail. Each element of the interior decoration should complement the others both visually and functionally. Thanks to Girsberger’s ability to produce detailed, high quality prototypes according to our vision, we very quickly had a sample on-hand that provided the basis for efficient realization of the furnishing. I am very pleased with the project - last but not least due to the above-average commitment of Girsberger.”
R. COPELAND, MANAGING DIRECTOR, DETAIL DESIGN GMBH, ZURICH