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Job Lounge for Groninger Museum

Job Lounge for Groninger Museum

Studio Job
Groningen, Netherlands | View Map
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Studio Job

Fritz Hansen
Robert Kot

Job Lounge for Groninger Museum

Studio Job as Designers

The lounge created by Studio Job for the Groninger Museum is a showpiece in itself. The design duo of Job Smeets (1970) and Nynke Tynagel (1977) was inspired by 19th-century private clubs full of smoking gentlemen in top hats. These were once sophisticated bastions with thick-pile carpets on creaking wooden floors; chandeliers were suspended from richly decorated ceilings supported by solid pillars. The muffled silence was only broken by the calming spatter of the fountain at the entrance. It was an ivory tower for the elite – just as it was on the Titanic. It is not without reason that this world has vanished.

This gaudy gentility has been re-endorsed by Studio Job, with the use of iconic interior elements made of refined materials and produced by the best craftspeople. But this time, the use is ironic. In this creative process, Studio Job is not reticent about quoting from its own work. The fountain is made of cast bronze. The polychrome leaded-glass windows display stained glass representations. The bar is equipped with wooden marquetry. The glass wall lamps and ceiling lights were manufactured by the famous Venini glass company in Murano. It is an excessive luxury that is seldom seen these days. A relic from a bygone age.

But, as always, things are not quite what they seem in the realm of Job. The glass lamps have the form of a pert female breast. The fountain consists of a dripping tap above a large bucket. The gothic castle chairs, manufactured by Moooi, are casted of plastic and the thick curtains, manufactured by Exposize, are nothing more than a print upon photographic material. This clash between old, new, high, low – good and bad, if you like –has been taken by Studio Job to the limit. The pillar is made of rusty iron and the rosettes in the mirror room are engraved with hip hop smileys. The tablecloths are equipped with archetypical representations of prisons and camps. Anyone examining the leaded-glass window in Coco-the-Clown colours will see oil drilling rigs, fuming factory chimneys and other industrial excesses. The exclusive parquet floor is a confusing labyrinth.

Between the walls of the museum – of all places – mundane symbolism has been elevated to art, and beauty has been contaminated by banality. The neo-classicist interior forms a fremkörper even in Alessandro Mendini’s post-modernist building. Studio Job has created a gesammtkunstwerk in which fantasy and functionality mingle in a dream landscape that flouts all museological rules of good taste.

- Jeroen Junte, design and art critic, October 2010

Groninger Museum

Fritz Hansen as Publishers

A brave choice at Groninger Museum When set in the right context, a piece of furniture can have the ability to reinforce the architectural expression. At Groninger Museum in the Netherlands, 150 gold and pink Series 7 chairs have breathed new life and added a sense of cohesion to the building. At the same time, the museum has discovered new opportunities for optimising the building's potential - just by finding the right chair for exactly the right context.

The story was really quite simple. The museum lacked chairs. The striking art museum already has a highly expressive appearance with its three independent buildings designed by Philippe Starck, AlesandroMendini and Coop Himmelb(l)au. The inside of the museum's newly renovated space possesses an equally intense variation of expressions. They each speak loudly and clearly in distinctive conceptual adaptations. Nothing has beenleft to chance.

The chair releases a potential A discreet, white and elegant Series 7 chair was a safe choice. But the limited anniversary edition in pink with gold legs released a potential that no one had considered until it was presented for the first time to a closed circle of the Groninger Museum management.

With its organic forms and fine craftwork, it creates a feminine contrast to the otherwise slightly hard museum architecture. The expressive design means it is able to stand in any room - almost like a statement, a little work of art. It is in this context that the chair activates the perception of the room further. The impact may not have been so striking in some random hotel room.

Picture of ourchairs The acquisition of 150 Series 7 chairs meant the museum was able to add a new and clear expressive edge to the building. The chairs can be moved, stacked and placed in an infinite number of formations for innumerable purposes in the building. This also led to the release of new business potential. "The fantastic thing is not that it's a limited edition. It's not about the chair, even though it's wonderful when you look at it in isolation. It's the fact that it's the right chair for the right place. Being able to help find the right solution is a gift," says Mélanie Veenman from Fritz Hansen.

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