colombo design: roboquattro by alexander hoffart in NYC
colombo design: roboquattro by alexander hoffart in NYC colombo design: roboquattro by alexander hoffart in NYC
jun 01, 2012

colombo design: roboquattro by alexander hoffart in NYC

‘roboquattro’ by alexander hoffart for colombo design image © designboom

the concept of a door handle extends far beyond than solely the opening and closing of doors. this fixture is symbolic moving past a boundary line; the door-as-obstacle motif is representative of a limit between two worlds, the handle being the necessary tool to be able to cross into a new plane of being. the colombo design door handles embody two points of significance: one visionary and the other tactile. when the latter interpretation takes precedent over the first, it leaves off to exist setting free its own being which is the hidden ‘esprit’ of all things. the designboom still-life series celebrates both the dynamic quality of the door handle in the foreground in combination with the beauty observed just beyond the piece in what is ultimately a surrealistic visualization of a traveling artifact. the atmosphere is captured so authentically that one can practically touch it.

‘roboquattro’ by german designer alexander hoffart for colombo design is a sleek, modern handle with particularly straightened lines. the precise form of the ergonomic piece boasts slightly beveled corners, offering the smooth door pull an unusual quality. hoffart’s fixture is a winning entry of designboom’s recent competition ‘hands on door handles’ in collaboration with colombo design, italy, and is now in production.

‘roboquattro’ begins to get a feel for the big apple image © designboom

neon lights of the city streets dance upon the smoothed surface of the beveled handle image © designboom

the ‘roboquattro’ door handle by alexander hoffart for colombo speaks to two actualizations of designboom’s reflection upon the concept of space; both here and there, inside and outside. the images included in this installation of the colombo design series were taken by designboom on our recent trip to NYC, for the ICFF international contemporary furniture fair, in may of 2012. the timeless fixture blends in quite readily with the ideal mix of old and new world that is new york city. we were greeted with several sunny days and captured the unique interaction of ‘roboquattro’ with this natural light as the polished and beveled lever reflected the light and surroundings of this bustling metropolis. 

‘roboquattro’ takes a break from shopping the streets of 5th avenue to admire some of the historic sites of lower manhattan such as the flatiron building image © designboom

rather than photoshopping the door handle into each frame, we ventured into the vibrant streets of the united states’ financial capitol in order to introduce hoffart’s design to the environment.  the still-life series is comprised of images both picturing the stick stand and those in which the object has been removed in post-production, further combining the real ‘roboquattro’ handle into the true landscape. the environmental reflections and gleam from the fixture’s surface are authentic and instantaneous– produced by the piece’s surroundings in the moment the image was captured.

‘roboquattro’ contemplates a piece of philosophical and simplistic street artwork image © designboom

‘whaaat?! you look like you’ve never seen a door handle before’ image © designboom

we have captured ‘roboquattro’, the doorhandle by alexander hoffart in the urban jungle of NYC. the juxtaposition of the minimalistic tool with the bustling and colorful streets of the celebrated city is an authentic result. each image has a tactile essence, as if the viewer were able to turn the handle and enter into the bright exterior environment.

just passing time waiting for a faithful bus of the NYC public transit fleet to arrive, carrying him on to new NYC adventures image © designboom

the front view the flat band seems as if it is a thin stripe which flows out of a cylinder from the center of rotation image © designboom

colombo design employs a finishing process similar to tool manufacturing as physical and mechanic features are evaluated to guarantee a very high performance in terms of mechanic wear, decay due to environmental and chemical agents, bright sunshine, and drastic/rapid changes in temperature are concerned. the strength of the finish and low rate of surface friction ensure an enduring resistance to scratches from jewelry or keys, for example. the durability of the handle’s finish is especially important in marine areas with high-salinity or regions subject to acid rains.

relaxing on the high line by james corner field operations and diller scofidio + renfro with a flower or two image © designboom

‘roboquattro’ is paused directly above the viewer, ready to be pulled, opening a passage to the top of the city’s skyline image © designboom

protecting the world from the steady depletion of resources has become more and more important in a global economy. one point is particularly emphasized in these efforts — the attention paid to manufacturing and production upon the environment. colombo design production processes are the result of a total attention to environmental protection. through the accurate management of these processes, the company has obtained the elite UNI EN ISO 14001 certification ‘certified environmental management system’, ensuring clients that colombo design production is completed with the environmental wellness in mind.

‘any vacancies?’ image © designboom

the designer says his work, ‘doesn’t need to be loud. the main goal of [roboquattro] is to be ergonomic, pleasant, modest and timeless. the door, the handle, the room and everything around it should be seen as a composition‘. image © designboom

material: brass / finish: oroplus, gold, chrome, mat chrome

dimensions: handle: 141mm overall / projection: 62.5mm image © designboom

left: rendering of the designboom ‘hands on door handles‘ competition entry – right: the ‘roboquattro’ door handle is now in production, here seen in front of a skyscraper in new york

image © designboom

‘roboquattro’ is the fourth proposal in the ‘robot’ family of colombo design. the designer says of his work, ‘when you see [roboquattro] at the first time, you immediately and instinctively should know how to use it. on top it’s slightly flattened so you can push it down easily and rest your thumb on the flat band which flows around the door handle. from the front view the flat band looks like a thin stripe and it flows out of a cylinder which is the center of rotation. so, every part of [roboquattro] is formed as it is needed‘.

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