For seven days in January every year, an international renowned designer or design team is asked to build a residential space, Das Haus, that embodies their personal vision of what contemporary living is. The layout and the furnishing of the space, which is located in the middle of the Pure Editions area and measure approximately 180 sqm, change every year in line with the plans of the new designer nominated by the fair organization.
As the Guest of Honour of the ninth edition of Das Haus, MUT Design, the team headed by Alberto Sánchez and Eduardo Villalón, has created a visionary living concept based on the idea of living “in-between” - between architecture and nature, indoors and outdoors.
As promised by the title "A la fresca!" – “Step out into the fresh air” -, Das Haus 2020 is entirely open to its surroundings and equipped with furniture that dissolve the usual line between interior and exterior spaces.
Das Haus “A la fresca”: a subtle approach to geometry
In MUT Design’s interpretation of Das Haus for imm cologne 2020 the canon of geometric forms, which is so typical of their work, plays an important role yet the interplay of architectural volumes is anything but simple. The circular general outline is framed by a flat square of reflective metal that evokes the Albufera, the lagoon located just outside Valencia.
Four circular cut-outs, which taper conically downwards and are topped by a rectangular roof, host the main living zones – the Active, Cleanness and Resting Areas and the Kitchen.
Outdoor living as an interior design concept: design for a community-oriented, active lifestyle
At the same time, the Valencian-born designers Alberto Sánchez and Eduardo Villalón offer a different, playful version of the traditional patio, the inner courtyard which is so typical of the Mediterranean area and that forms the organizational and social centre of Spanish architecture. In their concept for Das Haus, MUT Design has turned this structure around by moving the patio outside and reinterpreting it as veranda-like, covered living areas totally opened to their surroundings.
In return, the Patio turns into a hideaway; it is not public anymore, but intimate and secluded. It remains the core of the house, but its functionality is completely new.
This inversion of the spatial structure aims not only at eliminating the boundaries between indoors and outside but also at introducing an open interior concept in which functions like communication, relaxation and activity are more important than prestige.
Architecture & furnishing: a perfect blend of modernity and tradition
As people are facing growing challenges in terms of work commitments, overstimulation and mobility, relaxation is turning into one of the main functions of the home. That’s why architecture and design should incorporate links with nature as well – by paying deliberate attention to the transitions. According to MUT Design, opening up the facades and creating outdoor furniture that satisfies the same high standards of design and cosiness as products for the living room are aspects that are worthy of closer consideration.
Tradition plays here a crucial role in creating a sense of home and reinforcing the link with the surrounding environment. While the forms of the “A la fresca” house are inspired by minimalism, the materials are as a matter of fact more traditional – they include both terracotta and ceramic tiles as well as white plaster that resembles the “encalado”, so typical of whitewashed houses in southern Spanish villages. The warm colour palette too recalls the typical Mediterranean landscape varying from the terracotta, cream and white to different tones of blues and greens.
In interpreting the Cleanness Area as a hammam the designers cite the Moorish influence on Spanish culture. The ceramic wall tiles evoke classic roof tiles seen in Spanish towns, but they are concave rather than convex, giving interior walls and facades and expansive, modern but nevertheless familiar look.
GAN rugs: protagonist of the lounge and resting areas
The successful PLY collection, designed by MUT for GAN in 2019, is one of the protagonists in the lounging areas of this visionary house. The popular handmade rug was shown in a special colour edition, specifically created for Das Haus. Its powerful pattern resembles that of plywood and generates lines that bend over themselves in closely intertwined loops.
On the other hand, the life open to nature was the inspiration behind the ZIG ZAG rug and hammock prototypes, which are made of artificial fibres suitable for outdoor use.
Their open weave incorporates the surroundings into the design by casting shadows and allowing the floor to peek through.
The GRILL chair for DIABLA, perfect for using in the kitchen and outdoor
Along with the latest from GAN, Das Haus hosts a selection of minimalist designs that fit perfectly with the Mediterranean essence of the space. This is the case of the first prototypes of the GRILL chairs for DIABLA which furnished the kitchen space.
These 100% aluminum chairs, which are inspired by iron grills for roasting meat, features a robust design that contrasts with the lightness of the material.
For the Kitchen Area, DIABLA has also supplied its charming LA SIESTA botijos, traditional earthenware pitchers that are used as a container for keeping water and as a water jug. An iconic object that conveys the spirit of the Mediterranean, humorously reconsidered by its creators: Raky Martínez, Alberto Martínez and Héctor Serrano.
SANCAL: creativity and minimalist inspirations for active lifestyles
A session at the gym sparked the idea for ROLL, the contract-focused stackable chair that MUT has designed for SANCAL. Inspired to fitness equipment, ROLL avoids conventional shapes reducing the structure to two essential elements: steel tubes and two cylindrical pads for back and seat.
Its design reflects the passion for the inner charm of simple things and the rounded shapes which are the hallmarks of MUT Design’s works.
Inspired by the entomology world – with its terrifying showcases of insects-, the BEETLE sound-absorbing panels are playful yet functional objects that can be arranged in 13 different ways to decorate walls. Thanks to the range of colours available and their modularity they can be almost considered textile sculptures that add style and fun to interiors.
Like in the Resting Area of Das Haus where they have been chosen to enhance the relaxing atmosphere of the space.
EXPORMIM, paying tribute to simplicity and tradition
After the NAUTICA swing chair and the TWINS armchairs, the studio MUT Design has designed ARMADILLO, the new seat for 2020 produced by EXPORMIM and unveiled for the first time in the Das Haus space. Made of peeled and tinted natural rattan – a material typically associated with classic outdoor furniture -, ARMADILLO is a reinterpretation of the papasan bowl chairs that became so popular in the middle of the last century.
With the ARMADILLO lounge chair, EXPORMIM is back to the bent rattan which was already used for one of the most iconic design of the brand, the NAUTICA swing chair, the successful creation by MUT Design present at Das Haus in the lounge space. NAUTICA, as well as ARMADILLO, demonstrates the strong inclination of MUT design for rounded geometry and smooth curves widely used for most of their designs.
For the Kitchen Area, the designer team has created a brand-new carpet, LINK, which is also produced by EXPORMIM. Showcased in a attractive natural green colour, LINK was used to delimitate the dining zone and bring a warm, inviting feel that contrasts the metal coldness of the GRILL chair.
All the furniture was conceived as a mixture of outdoor and indoor features with some furnishings become part of the architecture – like a masonry bench or the stove. As the only completely private space in the innermost part of the house, destined to intimacy and relaxation rather than to social life, only the patio remains unfurnished. This way, and with the help of innovative lighting that ideally simulated the natural course of the sun, architecture and furnishing seemed to merge into an informal whole.
Watch the video, take a tour and get inspired!
FURNITURE FROM SPAIN brands:
DIABLA | www.diablaoutdoor.com
EXPORMIM | www.expormim.com
GAN | www.gan-rugs.com
SANCAL | www.sancal.com