DESIGN MILESTONE: The who’s who in international design circles descended at The Intermark last week for the launch of its latest showroom, confirming its star status as the showroom for fine furniture in Kuala Lumpur
The official opening of Space Kuala Lumpur at The Intermark attracted the company of no less than Europe’s best designers feted by owners and principals of the world’s leading fine furniture brands that saw guests mingling and celebrating the occasion over prosecco and tempting servings of hors d’oeuvres.
The event was especially significant as it was attended by chairman of Space Group, Katie Page. Space Asia’s general manager, Syddal Wee and key Space staff were also present at the official launch. Multi-award winning Italian designer Carlo Colombo of the Poliform fame who has been designing for the brand for 18 years was also seen at the event. Products designed by him including the Park sofa, Clipper dining table and Sintesi wall system were fittingly displayed at the KL showroom.
Poliform was also represented by its export manager Franco Galli and corporate manager Marta Anzani, daughter of Giovanni Anzani who started the legendary company with cousins Alberto Spinelli and Aldo Spinelli. Roberta Giorgetti, daughter of Carlo Giorgetti (third generation owner of Giorgetti) was also present with the company’s export division manager Arianna Borgonovo. Others seen mingling in the crowd were B&B Italia’s export manager Paolo Ravelli, Flexform’s export manager Tien Loi, Louis Poulsen’s sales director for Asia, Jonathan Lee and Vitra’s sales director for Asia, Richard Killip.
Setting the benchmark for a new standard of retail excellence in KL, the new and larger Space showroom at The Intermark forms an extension of Space Asia Hub in Singapore. Judging from the official opening of the showroom that represents more than double the size of its previous showroom in Bangsar Baru, it is obvious that the business has grown exponentially, by leaps and bounds and beyond expectations.
Poised to set a new retail benchmark in KL, the 13,000 sq ft showroom showcases Europe and North America’s leading furniture brands in lifestyle-led settings with a designer feel.
“As you come in, there’s B&B Italia, Maxalto, Poliform, Flexform, Giorgetti, Moooi and Vitra (furniture presented in different settings). There are also Scandinavian brands represented here including Fritz Hansen, Carl Hansen & Son and Louis Poulsen,” shares Syddal Wee, general manager of Space Asia on the occasion of the official launch of the swanky showroom.
“This is a story of growth in tandem with the economic growth and the rising affluence in Asia. Affluence denotes certain things not only in economic terms – it denotes a lot of things in life including choice of fine furniture,” reflects Wee.
As fate would have it, although an “anticipatory approach” was employed from the very beginning of the operations of Space Furniture in Singapore, the spurt in the economy resulted in the company not experiencing small incremental
growth but rather one that was exponential.
“Possibly the feeling then was to grow the business to the size of Space in Melbourne but over a period of five years, we have overtaken Melbourne and are now ahead of Sydney itself. But now, by combining the performance of Space in Malaysia with Singapore, we are matching up and will soon overtake the turnover of all of Space Australia.
“I think it’s also due to the fact that economies are growing and if it’s possible to establish some sort of good design corridor between Singapore and Malaysia, these two countries could form a design corridor,” reflects Wee.
Already, the synergy seems to be working, with the same brand partners lending full support to Space KL by flying in their latest products for its official launch. For the first time in Asia, Fritz Hansen showcased the Paul Smith upholstery called Point made up of a fusion of construction and patterns resulting in an eye-catching array of textiles that was first launched during London Fashion Week in February 2012 and is now introduced in Asia.
Giorgetti proved it was ahead of the competition with its innovative introduction of the FA‘I’ mahjong set designed by Chi Wing Lo. With its artistically re-interpreted motifs, FA‘I’is a fitting tribute to Asian tradition presented in a unique design for the collector who appreciates the finest craftsmanship. Other new Giorgetti designs include Dhow sofa by Andrei Munteanu, Soi sofa and Ino bar cabinet by Chi Wing Lo, Barry armchair by Antonello Mosca and Denny armchair by Laura Silvestrini.
Other products showcased for the first time in Malaysia included the Acerbis New Concept media case by Lodovico Acerbis, B&B Italia Husk chair by Patricia Urquiola (the first eco product under the B&B Italia range which has received tremendous media coverage internationally), Carl Hansen & Son TK8 daybed by Thomas Kastholm, Emeco Sezz chair by Christophe Pillet, Flexform Grande Mare sofa by Antonio Citterio and Kartell Masters chair by Philippe Starck and Eugeni Quitllet.
Masters chairs which are on track to become the best-selling chair with 100,000 pieces sold in just six months of its launch were also displayed. Other eye-catching pieces included the Moooi Gothic chair by Studio Job available in a myriad of eye-catching candy colours, not forgetting key pieces from the Vitra Prouvé RAW collection designed by Jean Prouvé and re-interpreted by G-Star RAW.
It was also an amazing show of solidarity with brands like Louis Poulsen occupying an expanded shop-in-shop display to showcase its extensive collection. Other lifestyle brands which Space will partner with include appliance brands Gaggenau and Miele, audio visual brand Bang & Olufsen and luxury perfumer brand Diptyque.
A brand new display concept – Poliform Home was also displayed for the first time ever featuring a cohesive monobrand showcase enabling clients to envisage an entire home with Poliform- designed settings. The enhanced Poliform display reflects the thriving demand for wardrobe and kitchen system fit-out that has been highlighted in Space’s premium residential projects including Amarin Wickham, Platinum Suites and Zephyr Point. Incidentally, the latest kitchen system, Artex, showcased at the Eurocucina Fair this year is also displayed within the Poliform Home area.