Richard Neutra in Cologne
Richard Neutra designed the interior of his homes in sunny California in an effort to achieve a symbiosis – all the elements, namely the architecture, the light, nature and the furniture were to be in tune with one another to produce a harmonious overall image. Now Cologne is not California. And the neo-Gothic building that is home to the “Qvest” boutique hotel, boasts anything but Modernist architecture. Neutra’s furniture designs displayed under the ribbed vaults and pointed arches nevertheless take the limelight thanks to the feel of Michael Kaune, publisher and owner of the hotel.
Kaune has provided the 34 guest rooms of the hotel temporarily for a photoshooting of the Neutra Collection by VS. As the creative director of the project he placed the furniture with great thought in the 34 guest rooms of the former Cologne Municipal Archive built in 1897 – where they are skillfully combined with other design classics: In the foyer, the eye alights first on the “Alpha Seating Triple” sofa with a veneered body and an armrest on one side. Originally designed by Neutra as fitted furniture, the sofa also cuts a fine figure as a standalone with upholstery courtesy of Kvadrat. For the restaurant the choice was the “Tremaine Chair” with a tubular frame that Neutra created exclusively for his “Tremaine House” in California and which symbolized the timeless design of the “Martini Modernism” of early Fifties California.
In the rooms, among others his “Boomerang Chair” and “Lovell Easy Chair” encourage you to lounge about – the molded plywood “Boomerang Chair” is one of Neutra’s best-known designs and comes with a belt-strap seat. The “Lovell Easy Chair”, with a chromed tubular steel frame and solid armrests, was originally designed for the “Lovell House”, but not actually realized back then. The re-edition of the workshop-made individual items has happened at the initiative of Dion Neutra, the architect’s son. The Neutra Furniture Collection by VS thus gives us all an opportunity to experience the long neglected furniture designs by the architect of US Modernism first-hand for ourselves. (am)