Designer Profile: Gunilla Allard
One of the leading Scandinavian designers of the past 30 years (and counting), Gunilla Allard always brings a sense of exactitude and precision. As the committee recognizing her for the 1996 George Jensen prize said, "strict, minimalistic and elegant design... the proportions and details of her furniture reveal a genuine sense of quality."
Allard has collaborated with Lammhults for nearly 30 years, a propitious relationship begun in 1988 when she was selected as one of five students in a student workshop. Thus, she became the firm's first female designer, and she remains at the helm, though to her talents Lammhults has now added an additional four (and counting) women designers.
Comet Sport Stool
No discussion of Miss Allard would be complete without mentioning the Cinema Armchair. This piece, debuting in 1994, deceives in its elegant simplicity. Made of classic materials-tubular steel, wood, and fabric or leather upholstery-Cinema necessitated a three-year-long process of trial and error: Says Allard, "It's all in the details. I tested innumerable different stitchings, developed a technique to have the leather fit snugly round the armrests, struggled to make the fastening in the backrest invisible... always slimming back, reducing without compromising the character of the piece."
Another of Allard's pieces that's uncompromising in its integrity is the Comet XL Lounge Chair (with accompanying ottoman). A versatile piece that can go anywhere in both open workspaces and private offices, Comet features a high, narrow back and deep seat. The proportions render it aesthetically striking while reducing its footprint and maintaining favorable ergonomics.
Comet XL Lounge Chair
Let's stick with seating for just another moment. Cajal is a cool collection of chairs and sofas with a clever conceit: the frame is exposed. This formal coup d'©tat deeds a couple of advantages: the aesthetic one of pairing the tubular frame with the vivid upholstery and the pragmatic one of minimizing materials. The result is a comfortable, supportive, and stylish piece that's easy to re-locate should the need arise.
The Cooper Table is equally alluring. A tubular steel base (one imagines Allard has a surpassing admiration for this material) sets the stage for a natural walnut veneer or white laminate top. Inset edge options include black or walnut. And powder coat finishes (22 different colors) are available as well.
Allard's oeuvre extends to the versatile table-come-mobile cart known as the Chicago Trolley. A multi-functional piece that can be used for everything from an impromptu bar to document storage, Chicago is essentially three tables in one. Lammhults offers the tabletop in leather, laminate, and glass. Different heights and diameters are available as well, including a double height incarnation with no less than six shelves.
Allard's Carousel Chair joins the Comet Lounge as a pragmatic workplace piece that "sits big." With an eco-wise shell of recycled paper board and foam, and full padding and upholstery in fabric or leather, Carousel offers simplicity and style. This is a good-looking, utilitarian piece: "the perfect chair for small scale conference/huddle rooms and offices."
Together Gunilla Allard and Lammhults have carved out a definitive niche in Modern Scandinavian design. Designer and manufacturer have collaborated for more than 30 years, producing piece after piece that embody the ethos of both designer and manufacturer: "clarity of design, truth to materials, and industrial production... the essence of the Modern Movement and principles we have shared and promoted throughout our history." Gunilla Alllard has been the recipient of the Excellent Swedish Design Award (Cinema, 1995), the George Jensen Prize (1996), and Blueprint's 100% Design Award (Cosmos, 2000).
ICF is the exclusive North American distributor of Lammhults. To read more about Gunilla Allard and Lammhults, visit ICF.
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