The German furniture manufacturer, ClassiCon, have in their notable collection a coat stand designed by Otto Blümel in 1908. ClassiCon owner, Oliver Holy, asked Barber & Osgerby to design a contemporary coat stand to coincide with its centenary.

  • Year / 2007
  • Manufacturer / ClassiCon

Coat stands spend much of their time empty, sitting in the corner of a room, particularly in the summer months. It was felt that the design should not only function well but also work as a sculptural piece that does not look redundant when not in use. The design was based on the idea of using long, steam-bent, wooden shapes to give a generous top for coats, but also provide a space to put hangers inside the open areas. Six identical wooden segments are assembled to form the piece. The concept was straightforward but having it manufactured was less so. With the help of Ben Steenackers at ClassiCon, 14 manufacturers across Europe were contacted including a toboggan maker in Switzerland. None could make the complex, twisted, geometric shape that was designed. Looking at simplifying the form, it immediately lost its character. Ultimately, Barber & Osgerby decided that rather than change the shape, they would machine the stand from solid beech sections in order to retain every design detail.