Wilkhahn Forum New York
601 West 26th Street
New York, NY 10001 Tel. + 1 212 229 9455
Fax + 1 212 229 4772
Wilkhahn - Company
International success driven by consistency and continuity
Unlike virtually any other manufacturer in the office furniture industry, Wilkhahn stands worldwide for design made in Germany. It offers high-quality office and dynamic conference furniture which are benchmarks for the entire industry. Some 60 years ago, the company made better utility value, long-lasting design and durability its goals. Milestones like classic office chair FS-Line (1980), Confair folding conference table (1994), office chair Modus (1994) or the skid-base chair range 230 (2004) have shaped the way offices have evolved. The latest examples of pioneering innovations are the multi-purpose chair Chassis, the conference range Graph, or three-dimensional ON, IN and AT which leading experts currently consider the world’s best office chairs. Wilkhahn also sets new standards in terms of its socio-ecological approach. As winner of the German Environmental Prize, the company has worked with architects Frei Otto and Thomas Herzog and has actively been practising environmental responsibility for over 20 years. In addition to a number of international accolades, office chair ON has also received the Federal Ecodesign Award.
See things in perspective. Be attentive. Keep an inquiring mind. We have never believed in the idea of pure form: whoever designs furniture and interiors, does, in fact, design his or her environment and human relations. Aesthetics have always had an ethical dimension for us. For years we have consistently pursued new paths in design; for years we have been practising fair, responsible partnership. With nature, with our staff and with the technology which we employ.
History of Wilkhahn
In 1907 Friedrich Hahne and Christian Wilkening founded a chair-making factory in Eimbeckhausen near Hanover. The name of the two founders was later used to create the company name of Wilk-hahn. High-quality, solid beech chairs were made from wood from nearby forests.
The manufacturing plant did not differ greatly from the other 100 or so small and medium-sized chair manufacturers in the area.
In the 1950s the company succeeded in retaining excellent designers such as Herbert Hirche, Georg Leowald, Roland Rainer, Jupp Ernst and Helmut Lohmeier. Wilkhahn became a pioneer of German industrial design, experimented with new materials and evolved its own distinct design language. This resulted in purist furniture, the form of which was developed in strict adherence to function. Some of them were to go down in design history.
In the 1960’s truly revolutionary products were developed in close collaboration with the Ulmer Hochschule für Gestaltung (Ulm Academy of Design). The avant-gardists of industrial design plumbed the depths of the political dimensions of design. Consumerism and the "ad libitum" attitude to design was set against the social responsibility of designers and the "moral of things". Wilkhahn adopted one of the maxims from the founding manifesto of the Ulm designers: "Our aim is to develop sustainable products, to increase their utility value and to reduce waste."
The 1970s were characterized by professionalism, especially in terms of design management. The 232 office chair range by Wilhelm Ritz became the basis of success in the office chair segment. This design classic with the two-section seat shell and distinctive swivel joint – a design icon that is still in great demand today – took administrations and cashier workplaces, especially in financial institutions and insurance offices, by storm at a time when such businesses were keen on adopting a modern corporate image. And Wilkhahn became the talk of the town when it introduced profit-sharing for employees in line with the guiding principle of “social justice”.
In the 1980’s Klaus Frank and Werner Sauer developed a new office swivel chair following intensive ergonomic studies and series of tests. The FS-Line marked the consistent implementation of the principle of dynamic sitting long before its great significance had come to be realized. Instead of complicated "sitting machines" with an array of levers, dials and adjustment knobs, there was now a chair with a high degree of flexibility in terms of adjustment to individual posture, and which even encouraged movement. More than 2 million of these chairs have been sold to date and still feature in our current product portfolio.
Wilkhahn did justice to its trailblazing status in the environmental field too: the production halls designed by Thomas Herzog, completed in 1993, are regarded throughout the world as a model of excellence of both aesthetic and environmentally compatible building construction. In 1995 the "Picto" swivel chair - made from pure, coded and completely dismountable individual components - was the first office chair in the world to be awarded the environmental label of the Dutch Milieukeur Foundation.
The company started to use alternative sources of energy back in 1992 with the first photovoltaic roof on the new factory facilities. A combined heat and power plant operated with vegetable oil is added in 2008. Solar power is now also used and connection to the district heating grid from a neighbouring biogas plant follows. As a result, over 50 per cent of total energy requirements are covered by sustainable sources. The German Federal Ecodesign Award is presented for office chair ON and underscores the company’s ecological approach.
Latest Products - AT Office Chair
Wilkhahn’s free-2-move concept powered by Trimension® is a global benchmark in healthy three-dimensional sitting. The AT family with its integrative, coordinated design, variety of models and customisable features is the smart all-rounder among the free-2-move ranges. The self-centring suspension of the seat shell ensures your body maintains its centre of gravity – whatever the posture adopted or movement made. And the backrest bearer with its tilt capability comes with automatic weight adjustment. As a result, using AT’s healthy range of motion is child’s play. Just sit down, adjust the seating height and you’re done! The chair and your body will do the rest by themselves …
Willkahn Products - Seating
Wilkhahn Products - Flexible Tables, Conference Tables and Accessories
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