ClassiCon was founded in 1990 by Stefan Fischer von Poturzyn, who at that time had exclusive Classic
Design licenses of Otto Blümel, Eckart Muthesius, Walter Gropius and Bruno
Paul. Emerging from the traditional Vereinigten Werkstätten (United Workshops)
in Munich, ClassiCon obtained the exclusive license agreement for the classic
modern designs of Eileen Gray* worldwide which, together with the other
designers, became the cornerstone of the portfolio.
*All Eileen Gray products are authorised by The World Licence Holder Aram Designs Ltd, London. The name ClassiCon GmbH is a combination of the words Classic en Contemporary ("Classi" c
"Con" tempory), which stood for the concept sought in the beginning
of its foundation.
As Oliver Holy became CEO in 2002, he built a new office in Munich, to bring all divisions together
in one building: warehouse, showroom and administration. A unique setting
because of the clear, functional and at the same time sophisticated
architecture -the furniture collection- together with the private collection of
modern art. Design, architecture and art have found an inspiring symbiosis
together.The juxtaposition of classic with contemporary is what gives the collection its special appeal.
These design objects trace a sure and steady line from before to today.
Formal quality, functionality, timeless aesthetics and independence from short-lived trends
were the basic requirements for new designs by young designers.Respect for the individual designer and his work is a prerequisite for marketing classics. The
original design must be modified in consultation with the designer personally
or permit-holders. The same goes for the new designs.A number of famous designers have created well-known models for ClassiCon for over the years:
Herbert H. Schultes, Gioia Meller Marcowicz, Pearson Lloyd, Barber Osgerby,
Norway Says, Christoph Boninger and ForUse among others.
The designers Konstantin Grcic and Alfredo Häberli even had their solo exhibitions in Milan
in 2002 and 2003. Konstantin Grcic presented his first furniture designs at
ClassiCon 15 years ago and his name has been linked with the Company ever
since. In 2002, the first book about his work came out – the editor was
The Classic Collection is constantly evolving. Since 2005, in agreement with the licensor Aram Designs
in London, carpets of Eileen Gray have been put back into production again.
They form an important sector in the work of the designer and the modern look,
even today. This introduction was accompanied with an exhibition of the
original designs, color colorized drawings and collages by Eileen Gray.The proximity to the original design, the power of art, design and architecture shapes the
self-understanding and the attitude of the company.
A good example of a collecter’s item of The Classic Collection is another design from Eileen Gray;
the E 1027 Ajustable Table. This is one of the great masterpieces among the classics. It is ingeniously
proportioned, the distinctive form has made this height-adjustable table one of the most popular design icons of the 20th century. It is named after the summer ouse E 1027 “Maison en bord de mer” that Eileen Gray built for herself and for her collaborator, Jean Badovici. The secret code-name likewise comes from her: E is for Eileen, 10 for Jean (J is the 10th letter of the alphabet), 2 for
B(adovici) and 7 for G(ray). The frame is made of chromium-plated steel tubing.
The top is made of clear crystal glass, parsol grey or black laquered metal.
Another good example is the Bibendum chair, which was unique for its time. It is captivatingly
harmonious, despite its size and unites a majestic impressiveness with charm
and esprit like no other leather armchair. Eileen Gray underscored the
character of her endearing parior lion with sly irony; she named it after the
Michelin man, whose form this armchair calls to mind. The frame is made of
chromium-plated steel tubing. The seat has a beech frame with rubber webbing.
The upholstery consists of polyurethane with quilting cotton and the cover is
in fabric or leather.
A true modern classic is the bar stool Satish, designed by established designer Eckart Muthesius. The
Satish was designed for the palace of Maharajah Shri Yeshwant Rao Holkar
Bahadur, who Muthesius met in 1929. The palace was located in India, yet it was
equipped with the latest in modern finesse from a western lifestyle. This
included a billiard room and a bar in an avant-garde style where the walls
shimmered blue and silver and stainless steel, lacquer and leather were the
dominating materials. The frame is made of chromium-plated steel tubing.
Upholstery: Polyurethane with quilting cotton on a beech frame. Cover in
leather. The Satish is designed in 1931 and is even today, nearly 80 years
later, a fascinating and individual design and could be placed in any stylish
bar or in home interiors.
A newer design which -seen through our eyes- has already become a classic, is the floor- and table
lamp Orbis, designed by Herbert H. Schultes in 1994. The design of the Orbis
nicely follows the designs of Eileen Gray. The lamp is fully adjustable and has
wireless joints which allow a great number of lighting positions and has a
reflector which is adjustable up and down and rotates side ways. The base and
reflector have a matt black, white (new) textured finish, or is completely
chromium-plated. Rods and joints come in chrome.
A cooperation with architects led a new way for ClassiCon, for example, with the firm Sauerbruch
Hutton for the Museum Brandhorst in Munich. The museum opened in 2009, with
designed furniture by Sauerbruch Hutton, which should specifically fit this
architecture. Three different seating solutions were developed for the museum;
for the cafeteria, the foyer, the conference and lecture rooms as well as for
the lounge. During the Milan fair in 2010, this chair accompanied with the
lounge chair from this serie called Munich, were shown. Base of the Munich
chair is made of solid wood. Frame is made of steel tubing (with rubber
webbing) and the upholstery consists of polyurethane with polyester fibre and a
cover in fabric or leather.
Another new cooperation is with young designer Sebastian Herkner. His designs have received multiple
prizes, for example the 2011 German Design Award in the Newcomer category. The Bell Table, winner of a Red Dot Design Award, is Herkner’s first design to be
produced by ClassiCon. The Bell Table turns perceptual habits on their
head, using the lightweight, fragile material of glass as base for a metal top
that seems to float above it.
Hand-blown in the traditional manner using a
wooden mould, the transparent tinted glass base asserts a sculptural presence
in space, contrasting intriguingly with the solid brass frame on top while also
forming a harmonious unit recalling the elegant curving silhouette of a bell.
Each table is handmade, meaning that small bubbles or bumps in the glass are
not flaws but rather desirable characteristics marking each piece as unique.
With production, ClassiCon vouches for the highest quality. The ClassiCon signature provides a
guarantee that only high-grade materials and methods are used in production – meeting
all ecological requirements – and that every piece of furniture has passed
strict quality control. The logo offers the assurance that each limited edition
is an authentic replica of the original, made with the consent of the rights
holders. ClassiCon aims above all to produce individual pieces of great originality and formal
perfection—pieces with the potential to become classics in their own right one
Displaying the kind of value that lasts, these pieces are destined to
become coveted investments for future generations.The modern classics are collector’s items—not only the masterpieces of yesterday, but of tomorrow as well.
*All Eileen Gray products are authorised by The World Licence Holder Aram Designs Ltd, London