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Das Haus – Interior on Stage Installation by Sebastian Herkner

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The “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” installation simulates a residential house at the international furnishing show imm Cologne. The trade fair erects an open stage measuring approximately 240 sq.m in the middle of Hall 2.2 (Pure Editions) for this. Its layout and furnishings change each year in line with the plans of a new designer nominated by imm cologne. As the guest of honour, he or she decides on the architectural elements and also the interior and outdoor decor.

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The project looks at contemporary furnishing trends but also the aspirations of the public and social change. Ultimately, everyone has their own idea of the perfect home. But how does it look? How can the dual function of the four walls that surround us – presentable living and intimate place of retreat – be resolved on an individual basis? How can the aspects of on-trend, timelessly classic and individual living to be married? And what does our home say about our character? “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” offers the ideal platform for such questions, giving a designer an experimental space in which to craft a creative statement for a modern living culture using the latest products.

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Guest of Honour Sebastian Herkner is designing a round, transparent version of “Das Haus” for the international interior show imm Cologne that is open on all sides. Wall elements are replaced by movable curtains of residential textiles, PVC and industrial textiles in the soft architecture of “Das Haus” 2016.

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The German designer sees a statement for more openness and freer living in his “house”. This is also the intention of the designer from Offenbach, who, with his vision of open, freer living, also wants to make a statement: a message against the tendency toward isolation. “The transparency of ‘Das Haus’ is an expression of the necessity of facing changes with more openness”. he comments on his concept against the background of the flow of refugees currently presenting a serious societal challenge in Germany.

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A house with many curtains but no drapes Sebastian Herkner has designed a soft, flowing architecture that plays with light and perspectives, addressing all the senses in the process. An aperture in the suggested the new edition of “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage”- stands in bold contrast with not only the compact installation from Neri&Hu at the last imm Cologne, but in fact also with all living conventions. It is circular, more or less transparent and has almost no solid wall elements. Nonetheless, Sebastian Herkner’s house promises to be a sensual experience – a house that is soft and aromatic, colourful and communicative, and which is able to change its form like a chameleon.

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The design is vaguely reminiscent of tent-like yurts or traditional ring architecture in rural China, except that such traditional forms do not consist of transparent, colourfully opaque or perforated foils, industrial textiles and luxurious curtains, but are instead designed to provide more substantial protection against wind and weather, the sun and curious glances. This is not the case for “Das Haus” 2016, which will be erected and furnished in January in the middle of hall 2.2 of the Koelnmesse. Here, in contrast, everyone is invited to look, enter, feel, communicate with others, gather impressions and insights.

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A house that locks nobody out Panorama views of the surrounding landscape open up from any position on the various levels of the round living space. If “Das Haus” stood as a glass structure in a park, associations with Japanese pavilion architecture would come to mind. However, in Cologne, the visitor won’t have a view of hills, but instead of the “platforms”: a newly designed, fair open landscape with presentations of furniture and living accessories.

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The roof at the centre, which should act as a kind of inner courtyard and garden plays an important conceptual role: it is the lively meeting point of the house and represents the core of the onion-like architecture revealed from the Inside out. A circumferential, narrow walkway forms the outer layer, the exterior of which is formed by a decorative facade of curtains, specially produced by the exclusive German textiles manufacturer Nya Nordiska, which Herkner and Koelnmesse were able to recruit as a sponsor for this project.

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The interior of the house is dominated by textiles and patterns, lighting and light. The furniture selected by Sebastian Herkner for the interior design, in some cases designed by himself, in some cases favourite pieces designed by other designers, stand around freely in the room like on a stage. Bedrooms and bathroom break out of the round theme as the only intimately styled, semi-transparent spatial cube. Many prototypes, exclusive designs and new products presented by Herkner’s industry partners for the first time, including an outdoor collection from Dedon, a room divider from Rosenthal, a chair from Linteloo and lighting from Pulpo, will comfortably and attractively realise his idea of freer living.

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“It is important to me that ‘Das Haus’ is really open to all”, the young designer explains his decision in favour of a round and accessible house in which the wall elements are replaced by movable curtains. “There are no boundaries, no barriers, no corners on which one can bump into or hide behind. The result is an uncompromising round and open house in which the various levels are accessed by way of a gallery. That was the approach: a (nearly) endless house.”

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