Simple, yet beautifully detailed, this wood-framed standard sofa is one of 12 tailormade furniture pieces that were initially designed for the renovation of Tokyo's '80s-era, courtyard-facing Kinuta Terrace apartments. In collaboration with Copenhagen's Norm Architects, Karimoku's seating emphasizes the connection with nature outside. With its warm oak structure, the sofa's low height plays up the surrounding space and the armrest can also be used as a pillow, making it a daybed.
- 27" h x 82.7" w x 38.2" d (68.5x210x97cm)
- Seat height: 16.1" (41cm)
Smoked, pure oak
Inspired by the postwar program that birthed modernist masterpieces from the likes of Richard Neutra and Charles and Ray Eames, Japanese furniture manufacturer Karimoku launched a sister brand in 2019 with a similarly architect-designed objective. Karimoku beckons creative partners from across the globe to turn out furnishings based on a chosen structure’s interior. Guided by study at Karimoku’s base in Aichi, Japan, the collaborating designers have an opportunity to acquaint themselves with the company’s extensive heritage and unparalleled expertise as that country’s leading producer of wood furniture.
In the same way the original Case Study Houses established in the 1940s by Arts & Architecture magazine defined a new era, so Karimoku takes a holistic approach, with each architect or designer’s collection imbued with coherent style suggested by the intended setting, rather than merely the aesthetics of an individual piece of furniture or accessory. Made entirely from natural materials, the initial grouping referenced the Kinuta Terrace apartments in Tokyo with its large outdoor courtyard, where frequent collaborators Norm Architects and Keiji Ashizawa Design added to an existing set of furniture the architects had recently designed for the brand. Then, and in the collections that have followed, the richness of the materials, mindful production and a timeless appeal foresee that Karimoku is bringing about the icons of tomorrow.
“Norms aren’t boring,” Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen of Norm Architects says, reflecting on the name of his Copenhagen-based design studio, formed with fellow architect Kasper Rønn. “On the contrary, the firm wants to make use of all that centuries-old wisdom that we now know as design.” Norm encompasses furniture, dinner service, kitchenware and lighting fixtures as well as architecture projects with third partner Linda Korndal.
“There’s something in our design culture that’s born out of our connection to the Nordic climate, to the crafts and the natural materials that surround us, and that 'something' makes us stand out,” Jonas says. Norm Architects has garnered numerous prestigious awards such as Red Dot, IF Design Award and Design Plus Award. Jonas focuses on aesthetics and Kasper concentrates on technology but the lines are often blurred on any offering, says Jonas. “You should be able to look at it in 10, 20 years’ time and still find it useful and beautiful.”