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bouroullec brothers launch new generation of VITRA alcove sofa family for post-pandemic office

a sofa that serves as a retreat, offering peace, privacy and shelter, as well as flexibility, without isolating users from their surroundings – alcove for VITRA by ronan and erwan bouroullec has it all. what could have been a response to the pandemic has actually been around for 15 years, when the designers developed the seating concept known as alcove. the product, has subsequently become an independent and often imitated typology that has permanently transformed the office world. as people return to work, the focus is on ‘super-flexible’ working, to which the latest alcove generation responds even more effectively. with extensive adjustments and additional possibilities, alcove now meets all the requirements of a holistic solution for contemporary offices. with modular screens, paravents and easy-to-use zips, each employee adapts the setting to their needs. the product is transformed while transforming the work environment itself.  ‘an alcove sofa in the middle of an office functions like a teabag dipped in hot water; it generates a good spirit, positive energy,’ ronan bouroullec says. 

bouroullec brothers launch new generation of VITRA alcove sofa family for post-pandemic office
all images courtesy of VITRA

 

 

the story of alcove by the bouroullec brothers goes back to the early millennium years when the need for open-plan offices began to grow. along with the accelerating pace and volume of communications in office settings, the need had arisen for private niches and places to hold informal conversations – and with its sheltering panels, the alcove sofa lent itself to such applications. the decisive typological step that established alcove as a new standard in the office landscape was the massive increase in the height of the panels. corresponding prototypes revealed the potential of this idea: a sofa with extremely high side and back panels didn’t just suggest the idea of a ‘room in a room’; it became a room in a room.

 

‘a better, more home-like atmosphere in the office shows appreciation to employees, who in turn may then work better. […] I believe that alcove’s success is not simply based on its functionality and form, but just as much on the attitude it embodies. when a company shows that it is not always about performance and profit, but that it also cares about the well-being of its employees, it sends a strong signal,’ tells designer ronan bouroullec in an interview with design critic david streiff corti.

bouroullec brothers launch new generation of VITRA alcove sofa family for post-pandemic office

 

 

the alcove collection has been expanded with alcove plus, which goes one step further as the panels of the diverse models extend almost to the floor. equipped with zip fasteners, the panels can be attached to portable paravent screens, which can transform a single sofa into a small room. new situations can be created in the blink of an eye using alcove plus, without the need to reinstate those walls that had hindered work and communication flows for so long. to expand on this, new models such as alcove plus desk, a niche with an integrated desk, or alcove plus work have been developed. consequently, with these new changing settings and options, the office becomes a social hub where regardless of time or day, modified spatial configurations answer to different requests. informal discussions, workshops private or spontaneous meetings are all possible.

 

‘developing ideas together and discussing them in an informal way is simply not as easy when it is done remotely,’ says ronan. ‘it’s about providing people with the best possible spatial configurations for each work step.’

bouroullec brothers launch new generation of VITRA alcove sofa family for post-pandemic office

 

 

with work methods growing and changing, alcove’s versatility follows. taking it a step further, various models in the portfolio have been fitted with castors, making them individually mobile and simple to reposition. the compact ‘fauteuil’ can be used, for example, as a mini telephone booth, and alcove cabin and alcove work now also come in lowback versions. ‘better suited to work situations in which you are looking for a degree of privacy but still don’t want to lose eye contact with other employees,’ adds ronan bouroullec.
 

‘people come and go, sit down with others with whom they need or want to discuss something, or retreat again for a telephone conversation with a client. this type of flexibility is becoming more and more important,’ continues the designer.

bouroullec brothers launch new generation of VITRA alcove sofa family for post-pandemic office

 

 

another essential thought that went into remodeling the VITRA alcove is the sustainability perspective. the examined materials replace the synthetic resins with organic fiberboard, while in general more durable fabrics are chosen. moreover, acoustic efficiency is increased, while the color palette and upholstery are expanded and optimized.

 

to learn more information on alcove and the club office, visit the link here

bouroullec brothers launch new generation of VITRA alcove sofa family for post-pandemic office

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bouroullec brothers launch new generation of VITRA alcove sofa family for post-pandemic officebouroullec brothers launch new generation of VITRA alcove sofa family for post-pandemic office

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