Dutch furniture manufacturer Arco launched its Close Bench during imm cologne 2017 in the Design Post exhibition space. The fully upholstered bench is the newest member of the Close product family by designer Gudmundur Ludvik and is every bit as comfortable as it looks. Available as a two-, three- or four-seater, the bench is comfortable to sit on and features a minimalist, streamlined design. The outer contours of the seat and backrest, which were consciously designed as two distinct shapes, consist of clean, geometric lines. Yet these lines still feel like they wrap around anyone who sits on the bench, suggesting an organically sculpted nest. The minimalist shape of the frame, which comes in wood or steel, reinforces the dynamic elements of the design. Although especially suitable for the dining area, the Close Bench can serve in a range of settings from residential to restaurants and lounges to offices with equal ease.
Icelandic designer and sculptor Ludvik also designed the chair from the Close collection that was exhibited in 2016. His brief was to create a comfortable chair of the highest quality. The result was the harmonious blend of hard and soft lines that constitutes the designer's signature style. "As well as ensuring comfort and good postural support we also provided enough room to move so that you can easily shift your sitting position," says Ludvik of the rationale behind his design concept. The lines between the consumer and contract markets are becoming
increasingly blurred, and Ludvik therefore believes that the designs from the Close collection are so versatile that they will fit perfectly into either setting. The designer shares his passion for elegance and functionality with the family-run company from Winterswijk in the Netherlands. "I admire their aesthetic profile, the simplicity of their designs, the logical thinking behind it...It is something I can relate to." says Ludvik.
The frame of the Close Bench comes in beech with an oak veneer or in steel with a fine-grained epoxy coating in diverse colours from the Arco collection. It can be upholstered in various shades of fabric or in leather. The bench is available as a 130 x 58 x 82 cm two-seater, a 185 x 58 x 82 cm three-seater or a 240 x 58 x 82 cm four-seater.
The family-run company is located in Winterswijk, in the Achterhoek region of the Netherlands, near the German border. Since as far back as 1904, the company has been designing, developing and producing tables, chairs, cabinets, small items of furniture and accessories in-house, mainly from locally sourced materials. The company's core values are genuine craftsmanship, sustainability and innovation. Using the latest technology and working with renowned designers from the Netherlands and further afield, Arco produces furniture that is synonymous with ingenious detail and a high-quality feel. The company's destiny is now being guided by the fourth generation of the van Ast family: Jorre van Ast, trained designer and Arco's current Creative Director, is able to build on a solid foundation with the support of his team of more than 60 dedicated staff.