A heavyweight of the Spanish design industry, BD Barcelona Design has always cultivated beauty in its artisanal creations, exploring luxury’s many different facets instead of embracing mass production. Exuberant and experimental, their products have more to do with art than with industrial design. In most cases, they prioritize beauty over function, showing an impressive combination of architectonic composition, genius and invention, cultural and historic references, and technological innovation. If you wonder about their style, it is good to know that their style “is not having one”, as they put it.
Founded in 1972 in Barcelona by a group of young and energetic architects and designers with the aim of producing and marketing furniture and other objects for their projects, BD has turned since its inception into a pioneer of avant-garde design in Spain, striving to provide the market with something new, unique pieces that show now, as then, an untypical vision of design and style: a new sensibility, a new perception of everyday objects.
The need to look beyond, to explore new possibilities in materials and techniques, led soon to an increasing number of collaborations with great figures in contemporary design such as Ettore Sottsass, Ross Lovegrove, Javier Mariscal, Oscar Tusquets, and Alfredo Häberli, and many others, who have boosted the prestige of the brand. A real breakthrough came in 2006, however, when a young Spanish talent from Madrid joined the roster of collaborators: Jaime Hayon. His SHOWTIME collection was bold and unexpected, placing outdoor techniques inside while mixing the industrial with the handmade. Since then, work with Konstantin Grcic, Doshi Levien, Martí Guixé, Neri & Hu has been crucial to strengthen the emotional and artistic components of products.
In the ‘80s and the ‘90s, the brand reached several milestones: BD not only won the Premio Nacional de Diseño (1989) – Spain’s National Design Award - and the Best European Design Company Awards (1990), it also pleasantly surprised by editing Antoni Gaudí’s furniture for his famous buildings and by launching an exclusive first collection of furniture and lamps designed by Dalí. These exclusive 20th century pieces - together with new iconic objects from contemporary artists, such as Jaime Hayon and Alessandro Mendini - have been included in the Art Editions collection and are produced in limited editions under the BD Art Editions label.
Now, on the verge of celebrating 50-year anniversary, memory, tradition, innovation, talent and a lot of imagination and sense of humor are still fueling their designs aimed at becoming true icons of the contemporary era…
GAULINO chair. By Oscar Tusquets Blanca
An icon of Spain’s design, GAULINO is an improved re-edition of historic Gaulino chair, designed in 1987 by Spanish architect and designer Oscar Tusquets Blanca. Since then, it has always been included in the retrospective shows of Spanish Design, in both exhibitions and publications, and has turned into a reference product of Spain’s twentieth century design.
Its aesthetic was inspired by the work of Antoni Gaudí and Carlo Mollino, that’s why the chair has been named GAULINO – from the initials of the two surnames.
Although it seems totally handmade, GAULINO was Tusquets’s first true industrial project in wood. Structure and backrest are made of solid ash wood, available either in a natural varnished version or a lacquered open pore black finish. Plywood seat upholstered in a natural coloured or black leather.
SHOWTIME NUDE chair. By Jaime Hayon
Maintaining all the features of the original version launched in 2006, the firm launches a new version which does not make the original design obsolete, but rather compliments it. Hayon has worked on a more fluid, organic design, improving the ergonomic of the backrest.
With a powder coated steel or aluminium structure, the SHOWTIME NUDE chair has legs, seat and backrest in plywood with exteriors in lacquered MDF, natural ash, walnut or ash wood stained black. It comes with five optional types of legs - wooden, metal, sled, swivel, and wheels – and with different seat shell: wooden shell with or without seat cushion, or with seat and backerest upholstered with fabrics and leathers.
Metallic decorative buttons add appeal and a touch of contemporaneity to its look.
TABLE B. By Konstantin Grcic
Konstantin Grcic had been longing to work with aluminium extrusions for many years, when finally the opportunity came and he didn’t miss the chance. In 2009, he created the TABLE B for BD Barcelona Design, a table that combines perfectly superior structural properties with an elegant, sleek aesthetic. Inspired by BD’s classic designs, such as the Hypostila shelving system – in production sine 1979 -, TABLE B can reach up to 5 metres using a simple profile of extruded aluminium. Its apparent simplicity hides complex technical developments in which specialized engineers have been involved.
The table is offered in various finishes and with three different bases: in architectural concrete, grey or black, with stainless steel rods or in natural oak. Tabletops are in extruded aluminum with scotch anodized polished in silver or matt black. A laminate of 0.9 mm in oak colour, with a white or black finish, can be applied on the upper surface of the slats.
Rather than dating, this piece has always looked to the future. Now it has turned into a series of tables for all types of use, for indoor and outdoor, with two new widths of 70 and 90 cm. The 70-centimetre tabletop model can be used as a desk and is ideal for working from home.
A version with cable management system is also available for highly functional workspaces.
GRASSO armchair. By Stephen Burks
“Grasso is not fat. Grasso is more than fat. It’s overflowing.” This is how Stephen Burks sums up his new collection for BD. GRASSO is a “plump” armchair that pursues a visual “ultra-comfort” and invites you to sit and relax. The leather upholstery oozes over the bare iron structure to contrast with the most luxurious touch of the leather and Bolon fabrics.
It is available in various structure and upholstery colours. The armchair is complemented by a footstool and a stool.
BENCH B. By Konstantin Grcic
Made of solid extruded aluminium lineal slats with cast aluminium legs, the BENCH B is a multifunctional bench for indoor and outdoor use that can reach a length of up to 4.8 metres in length. The upholstered version is also available.
BD Barcelona Design currently exports 75% of its production to over 60 countries, among which are mainly the United States, China, South Korea, Italy and Germany. The BD's Contract Division works in collaboration with the most demanding architects and interior designer in furnishing and decorating exclusive public and private spaces, from hotel and restaurants to corporate offices and private residences.
For more information, visit: www.bdbarcelona.com