Kvadrat Maharam supports Helen Kontouris for NGV Great Hall

Kvadrat Maharam Australia are proud to be supporting leading Australian furniture designer Helen Kontouris and the National Gallery of Victoria to provide upholstery textiles for seating in the Great Hall. 

NGV's Great Hall is a vast and expansive space with a stained glass ceiling measuring 60m in length (the largest in the Southern Hemisphere) created by Leonard French in 1968. This stunning space combined with a simple childs toy would form the inspiration for Kontouris' Bauhaus Seating System. 

"After receiving the commission, I recall laying down on the floor in the Great Hall, which is a common sight with visitors, to absorb the entirety of the stained glass ceiling. I laid there thinking about the intricacies of the stained glass and how beautiful the rich colours of red, blue, purple, and yellow were against the thick black linework traversing across the glass ceiling, as well as the simple square, circle, and triangular forms".

"When I returned to the office, I opened a box set of timber blocks I would spend hours playing with as a child," recalls Kontouris. "They were painted in gorgeous tones of green, orange, red, yellow, and blue, and I would sit and create small wooden buildings and furniture with them for hours at a time. As I grew older, this set of wooden blocks would go with me wherever I moved, never letting them go or understanding why they meant so much to me and why I wouldn't part with them.

"Then I discovered that these simple timber blocks were the creation of Alma Seidhoff-Buscher, a graduate of the Bauhaus movement, and created for children to explore."

"Inspired by the thick line work in the NGV's Great Hall stained glass ceiling and the simplicity of form from Seidhoff-Buscher's Bauhaus building blocks, I imagined somewhat mirroring the ceiling and bringing the Bauhaus graphic line work and shapes to life within the space.

All the elements of the Bauhaus collection are characterised by their compact, gently curved, visually bold, and soft quilted forms, creating a sophisticated variety of configurations. The diverse palette of seating includes the addition of intersections of lines expressing a graphic dimension to the collection to suit a flexible and inviting range, ideally suited to small or vast open-plan interior spaces.

Slow and careful consideration of every design detail brings together the masterfully stitched detailing and plump, luxurious foam densities, creating a refined and richly textured dimension to the collection.

Representing dedication and patience with a strong return to skilled craftsmanship, each seating element comes together cohesively and fluidly.

Bauhaus sees creativity at its foundation with the freedom to explore singular or multiple compositions, creating asymmetrical, irregular forms, linear arrangements, or curved formations, encouraging reconfiguration of seating elements defining the needs of a space. Each seating model has been carefully designed to blend contrasting and complementary combinations to support either private or social areas within a shared space.

Helen Kontouris partnered with Kvadrat Maharam to select a range of textiles from their Febrik Husk, Maharam Messenger, Kvadrat Steelcut Trio, Kvadrat Canvas and Kvadrat Rime collections.

Speaking of the Kvadrat Maharam Collection Kontouris added "We selected Kvadrat Maharam textiles for this project because of the diversity within the collection's vibrant colour palettes and richness in varying textures. It enabled us to bring together a cohesive textile selection, referencing the colours of the Bauhaus movement and the brilliant saturation of stained glass colours in the ceiling of the Great Hall."

The Bauhaus collection is manufactured in Australia by Len www.lenfurniture.com