A building in Brno that was covered with black chairs was awarded at domestic architectural awards and discussed abroad and quickly became the best advertisement for its investor, the furniture company MY DVA.
This is the third year of winning the prestigious Red Dot Design Award in the product design category, where they succeeded with their new line of furniture for nursery schools.
Their recent cooperation with the new studio Chybik + Kristof Architects & Urban Designers from Brno, led by the architects Ondřej Chybík and Michal Krištof, was the winner of the Grand Prix of Architects 2017 for the new showroom in the east Brno district of Vinohrady (Vincky in the Hantec dialect from Brno) and are finalists in the Czech Architecture Award 2017.
All the talk is about the furniture company MY DVA Group. The company has been developing, producing and selling office, school and metal furniture and designing interiors for more than twenty years.
Take a Seat on the Façade
The showroom and corporate office space with a total of 550 square meters have become a hit not only among architects − the reason is visible at a glance.
The furniture gallery occupies the previously unsightly spaces of a former car showroom. It was built in the 1990s in a housing estate from the 1980s, which the Architects transformed into something beyond recognition, clearly showing the customers what they can expect inside. The entire outside surface of the building was completed last year, which now creates an adaptable protruding impression comprised of chairs.
There are nine hundred of them in all. “This is the basic model of Vicenza interior chairs that the investor regularly supplies, except that the black granules for outdoor use are used as a material and it is resistant to weathering, especially UV radiation,” said the architects in the official project description for the Czech Architecture Award.
Dressing it up With Chairs
The jury then wrote about the building saying that the authors had removed all the useless things, wrapped it in polycarbonate and dressed it up from plastic shell chairs. And the jury added: “The chairs simultaneously create a brand, image and surface. One must appreciate this project for its courage and successful outcome, as proof that no program or site is so bad that it can’t be the subject of a careful architectural rendering.”
As Ondřej Chybík said for Art of Space, the architects had to stay within a restricted financial limit and they did not want to demolish it because they would rather repair old buildings and breathe new life into them. “We were thinking about the different ways to transform this building but everything was expensive. Then it occurred to us to use some of the products that the company produces itself and the price was suddenly ten percent,” said Ondřej Chybík. He added that the client discussed different design variations, whether or not the chairs would be colourful, but at the same time trusted them and did not have to persuade them as they were fans of contemporary architecture. In this way the façade serves as a functional banner, a direct advertisement of what is happening inside.
The chairs are placed in a metal structure embedded in the facade and if any of the chairs are deteriorating they can be replaced. Although one of London’s online magazines Dezeen.com has written that the façade is a paradise for spiders, official information suggests that the building is also easy to clean and maintain on a regular basis.
However, interest in the building and discussions about it has had the desired effect − they draw attention not only to its architecture but also to the company itself, which invested in it and for which the photo of the façade quickly has become an iconic visual. It shows that investing in high quality architecture pays off for businesses.