I like the Original
by Martina Metzner | Jan 31, 2014
Together on the run at imm cologne: architect Marc Bailly from New York with Stylepark-MD Robert Volhard. All photos © Leyla Basaran, Stylepark
Marc Bailly is a interior architect whose services are in great demand in New York. For many years he shared a studio with his colleague Mark Gage until the two went their separate ways last year. Since then Marc Clemenceau Bailly has teamed up with his wife Nicolette to form the Bailly & Bailly studio, headquartered in New York and with a branch in Seattle. Bailly’s specialty are luxury apartments and beach houses, hotels and even retail outlets. His trademark: elegant, high-grade interiors. At the imm cologne Marc Bailly sought inspiration; it’s his first time in Germany and he headed first to the Domotex in Hanover and then moved on to Cologne. Did he find stuff for his penthouses and beach houses in Cologne? And what designs, brands and themes appealed to him most?

Marc Bailly and Robert Volhard, Stylepark MD, started their tour in Hall 3.2., at the Thonet booth. The family-owned company has for over 150 years now been selling its café classic, the “214”, and this year has devoted itself to a re-edition of Mart Stam’s “S43”. The cantilever chair with the tubular-steel frame now comes in seven new colors: red, mustard yellow, black, white, chocolate brown, graygreen and warmgray. Marc Bailly is not that impressed with the new editions, which stand in somewhat subdued light. What do you think of classics in new colors? “Difficult,” he answers.

Vivie Thonet with Marc Bailly. Image right: Table „S 1200“ and armchair „S411“ by Thonet in new colors.
Opposite, at the e15 booth, we are greeted by CEO and designer Philipp Mainzer. “This is Stefan,” he says briefly, and point to the “This” chair by Stefan Diez. The new “SH06 Profil” wall shelf by Jörg Schellmann introduces a different ambiance, and we stumble as it were over the “Backenzahn” stool with which e15 first began life 18 years ago. “Now I’ve seen this chainsaw stool at my furniture dealer Karkula in Brooklyn/Williamsburg,” Bailly says.
Marc Bailly at the booth of e15 with founder Philipp Mainzer – at the wall the new shelf „SH06 Profil“ by Jörg Schellmann.
Bailly also has a deja-vu at the Vitra stand. Of course he is familiar with Vitra products and comments that he uses them, too. At the entrance we encounter the “Eames Lounge Chair” in a black special edition. Does he have this or a similar Lounge Chair back home? “No time to lounge around,” quips Bailly. “I only have two weeks’ vacation a year.” But psychologists in New York often own the chair, he comments.
„No time for lounging“ – at the Vitra booth. „Lounge chair“ by Charles & Ray Eames.
We pass the carousel by Lorenz*Kaz for Zeitraum that is part of the special “Featured Editions” show Stylepark curated. Bailly is delighted: “My daughter would love it.” The first few imm meters and booths behind us, we ask how Bailly sees the Cologne fair compared to the New York furniture show, the ICFF? “A whole lot better.”

At VS we again bump into the past, and into design with a US style: Vereinigten Spezialmöbelfabriken have relaunched Richard Neutra’s “Boomerang Chair”, which he first made in 1942. Volhard and Bailly take a seat. “What do you think of re-issuing design classics?” Robert asks his companion. “Depends on the design,” Bailly replies. “I think it’s very successful in the case of the Boomerang Chair, as it fits in with contemporary and current design.”

Once again bump into the past: VS has relaunched Richard Neutra’s “Boomerang Chair”, which he first made in 1942.
In Hall 11.2. sounds cascade around us: Axor/Hansgrohe is exhibiting the “LampShower”, a hybrid of luminaire and shower as the name suggests, the brainchild of Japanese designers Nendo. Bailly frowns: “That sort of thing is inconceivable in the States! It looks dangerous!” Indeed, company owner Philippe Grohe says that there are problems exporting it to both the US and Japan, above all owing to the different voltages. Which is why new products tend to be launched on these markets six months later, as they first have to be adapted specially.
„Inconceivable in the States!“ – “LampShower“ by Axor/Hansgrohe.
At Walter Knoll the new “Haussmann” upholstered group is on show, along with a re-edition, tender and refined in the midst of huge upholstered chairs. “A revolution at the time, back in the Sixties,” explains Hartmut Röhrig, Knoll’s Executive Director for Sales and Marketing. As a protest against a conservative mindset, Swiss designers Robert and Trix Haussmann created the “Haussmann”, a combination of traditional club chairs and Bauhaus elements. Röhrig mentions that both designers, now over 90 years old, supported the re-edition. Marc Bailly seems to prefer the expansive seats to the fragile ones: He only spends a moment on “Haussmann” before switching and sinking into the opulent white “Grand Suite” along with the new side-box “Isanka”, stretching out his arms and relaxing.
Robert and Trix Haussmann created the “Haussmann 310”, 1962, now in re-edition for Walter Knoll.
But we’re soon back on the path, strolling past Alfredo Häberli’s new upholstered “DS-88” at de Sede, which prompts a “don’t like that” from Bailly. “Those curves, seams and folds irritate me.” He prefers the items on the stand of Czech company mm interier, which is decked out completely in dentist turquoise. And the color? “Yeah, great, but only as an accent.”
Turquoise-total at czech company mm interier.
At Ligne Roset things are more subdued. Head of Marketing Germany Sabine Böhm leads us past the Bouroullecs’ super-successful “Ploum” (“very comfy”) to a new item, “Prado” by Christian Werner. A sofa that can easily be reconfigured, the backrest cushions used individually, even as floor cushions. Böhm explains that Ligne Roset has some 150 designers on its list. And Volhard continues: “The brand has developed very favorably in recent years; they’re supporting many young designers.” Our eyes wander over the very harmonious booth design. “What you see here are sofas, cupboards, luminaires and tables, all from a single mold,” the Stylepark MD comments, and turns to Bailly: “But isn’t some personal statement lacking, a selection, preventing this being transposed one to one onto your home interior?”. “Showrooms like this, with an all-in range, help a lot when it comes to selling things. It helps my clients understand the furniture far better. But it’s the context that counts, of course,” Bailly explains. Sure, you can do things differently, which is the case at Karkula. "They have a carefully curated collection of designers showcasing accessories, furniture and lighting, that are all hand selected by the owner, so the showroom has a very comfortable, yet stylish, 'lived in' feel to it."
Extraordinary seating at Ligne Roset: “Prado“ by Christian Werner.
At COR, the main theme is environmental protection. Owner and MD Leo Lübke expounds: “All our furniture has been awarded the Blue Angel seal of eco-quality ever since 1996.”
COR-MD Leo Lübke and Marc Bailly.
We go for the obligatory test sit-down; this time Bailly sits on a “Conseta”, the COR success story since 1964. “What about sustainability in architecture? Is that as important an issue for you guys as it is here?” Volhard asks his guest. “It’s a really big deal, Stateside, too,” Bailly affirms.
An „evergreen“: “Conseta“ by COR, new colored.
By chance we come across Staron by Samsung which offers a mineral material similar to Corian. On show are white daring shaped fittings for bathrooms, and Bailly is entranced, repeatedly runs his hand over the curved flanks of the shower cabinets or tubs. They’ve even got a hybrid, a mix of tub and bed. Yes, that he could well imagine would fit the one or other of his clients, the New Yorker says.
Bed-bathtub and bathinterior made of „Staron“ by Samsung – Bailly is fascinated.
We drop by Vorwerk quickly, where Bailly again encounters the world of carpets – and even after two days at the Domotex he is still raving about them. Self-adhesive carpet tiles, now that he hadn’t seen at the Domotex, and he starts pushing the little carpet squares back and forth on a console as if playing Tetris.
Adhesive carpet tiles at Vorwerk: Marc Bailly and Georg Maurer of Claudia Neumann Communications.
Then our tour ends at the Design Post. Past “Traffic” by Konstantin Grcic for Magis (the seating test gets passed with moderate grades) and we find ourselves in the back having lunch. We’re joined by architect Amandus Sattler, and the two get chatting. Bailly wraps up his first time at the imm cologne: “A great fair, the range and variety of designs on show, and not least the artistic installations at the Featured Editions. I was impressed most by Ligne Roset, e15, Team 7, VS with its Richard-Neutra re-edition, Lampert, Vitra and designers like Stefan Diez, Konstantin Grcic and Louise Campbell. And I can only confirm that, as many say, Cologne is a place of contradictions. I saw very good contemporary design alongside reproductions of modern classics, and the contrast was very interesting.” And adds with a grin, “I like ‘das Original’.”
After Design Post they get along: Amandus Sattler and Marc Bailly.