Marc Newson - Design New York Tuesday, December 16, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Osman restaurant, Komed Media Park, Cologne

  • Literature

    Alice Rawsthorn, Marc Newson, London, 1999, pp. 136-141; Conway Lloyd Morgan, Marc Newson, London, 2002, pp. 76, 137 and 187

  • Catalogue Essay

    When Newson was asked to furnish the restaurant at the Komed center in Cologne, he was given carte blanche. He had the L-shaped floor plan and the brief to create two sections with different atmospheres: one that could be used during the day as a café, and a restaurant and bar at night. Newson knew that the majority of daytime clients would be employees from the dynamic music channel VIVA housed within the building. At the time, the channel was a German version of MTV. He picked up on this feel and chose a vibrant orange fabric juxtaposed with crisp white lacquer and sleek brushed steel for the larger space. A separate dining room, for which the current lot was designed, was intended for VIVA’s meetings with high end clients and evening diners. It was furnished in more luxurious tones and materials such as bottle green and burgundy.
    The first draft for the project suggested an older chair model, the “TV” chair, but this thought was abandoned and Newson designed the “Komed” chair. It was to be one of his most popular chair designs; he later used it in other projects including the New York restaurant Canteen (1999). The success of the design lies in its elegantly organic yet contemporary form. Its construction is reminiscent of the revolutionary spirit of tubular steel chairs from the early 20th century, which defined a new approach to chair design. In the words of Gabrielle Ammann from the Designers Gallery in Cologne, “it is the reinvention of the cantilever chair for the 21st century”. The chair defines a moment in Newson’s career when the dynamic young designer entered the realms of the greatest designers of his time.


Set of eight “Komed” chairs

ca. 1996
Brushed tubular steel, leather. 
Each: 34 in. (86.4 cm.) high
Manufactured by Colber, Italy.  Four chairs with paper labels to underside “colber/ITALY” (8).

$60,000 - 80,000 


17 Dec 2008 2pm
New York