Design: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, approx. 1928, re-seen by Studio Besau Marguerre, 2019
The rediscovery of a versatile classic: at the occasion of the 100 years of Bauhaus anniversary, Thonet has re-issued the round side table MR 515 by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. At imm cologne 2019, the original version from the Thonet tubular steel furniture catalogue from 1935 is presented as a re-edition with a tubular steel frame and transparent glass tabletop. This table was presumably created around 1928 in the context of the Esters and Lange Houses in Krefeld designed by Mies van der Rohe. With a fresh look at his original, Thonet also presents more new interpretations of the MR 515 which the company entrusted to the Hamburg-based designers Eva Marguerre and Marcel Besau, resulting in adaptations that present sensitive embellishments to this furniture classic’s elegance. It combines modern ideas of use and technical details with a contemporary touch. These interpretations of the original are available in two sizes and three colour combinations: chrome/safety glass, all black/matte, and champagne/bronze. The champaign/bronze version was exclusively developed for the “Café Thonet”, which Thonet will open at its trade fair booth at imm cologne 2019.
The design by Studio Besau Marguerre – classic elegance paired with zeitgeist
It is a special story that connects Marcel Besau with Mies van der Rohe. Born and raised in Krefeld, Besau grew up with van der Rohe’s work – the Esters and Lange Houses were always in sight. His and Eva Marguerre’s perspective on the table series remains close to the original design, but the details make the difference. Their interventions are both subtle and technical. The central crossing point of the table legs beneath the glass panel is especially elegant. Based on the research of original versions of the table, the idea of an optional shelf, which adds extra functionality and cosiness to the table series, is also brought back to life.
The colour concept was also designed by Besau Marguerre. The classic version with a chrome-plated tubular steel frame and tabletop made of safety glass is closest to Mies van der Rohe’s original design. They added an entirely black version to this colour concept: the frame is powder-coated in deep black, and the grey glass panel is almost opaque. The intervention and signature of Studio Besau Marguerre are most obvious in the third colour version: a bronze glass panel complements a champagne-coloured frame. The warm shades of this version make the reference to history especially evident and interpret it in a modern, contemporary way – reminiscent of the originally nickel-plated tubular steel, the patina developed through use, and sepia-coloured black-and-white photos. This version will be shown only at the Café Thonet in Cologne.
Norbert Ruf, Managing Director of Thonet and responsible for product development, explains: “The first cooperation between Thonet and Studio Besau Marguerre, which dealt with a new colour concept for Mies’ cantilever chair S 533 F, was already very constructive and successful. It was obvious for us to turn to them again with a project such as the side table series of Mies van der Rohe. Their colour concept and attentive handling of the design and details once more resulted in an aesthetically convincing product, which respects the original and also does justice to it.”
The versions in detail
The original side table MR 515 by Mies van der Rohe is 60 cm high, the glass panel has a diameter of 70 cm. The round table is available in two sizes in the interpretation by Studio Besau Marguerre: a larger, lower version (diameter 70 cm, height 38 cm), and a smaller, higher version (diameter 50 cm, height 46 cm). Upon request, both models are also available with an additional shelf. More versions, by the way, are possible: historic photos and vintage portals document other sizes and entirely different materials for the tabletops. Norbert Ruf: “The table series is very universal and versatile – therefore, we want to expand it in the future.”
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