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Celebrating 30 years under the sign of comfort.

Ares Line, Italian leading company producer of office chairs and contract seatings, celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2017.
A substantial history of continued success and strategies to react to market changes.
So far the focus was on ergonomic aspects and seating comfort, now the scope has been extended to environmental comfort through Fonology based on acoustic technological solutions. Ares Line could combine passion for handicraft and the power of an economic structure, focusing on finding next-generation materials and innovative applications.

Environment-friendliness, internationalization and lean thinking are three basic driving forces behind its growth, as explained in our interview by Nicola Franceschi, CEO and founding partner of Ares Line e di Fonology, and creator of Contract Design Network.

Which are the main steps in the increasing growing of Ares Line?

“In 2017 we celebrated our 30 years and, together with my partner Roberto Zuccato, I can proudly say that, starting from scratch, we are now a top-level organization!
In short, four major milestones:
In 1995, when we realized that the chair was underestimated in workplaces, together with the designer Giovanni Baccolini, we expanded our supply to seating systems for universities, auditorium, conference rooms and theaters. This choice led to the success of our brand worldwide.
At the same time we were the first manufacturers of office chairs in Italy to certify the company (standard ISO 9001).
The collaboration with Pininfarina, in 2002, led to the creation of several successful models, among them Xten chair, the chair system for auditorium Premier and the cool waiting sofa PF3.
Finally, Contract Design Network (CDN) was established in 2011, it is a network of companies that work together, to combine their research in order to offer ergonomic environments and cutting-edge design.

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At first seating comfort, now environmental comfort…Being a manufacturer of chair, why did Ares Line extend its applications to the field of acoustics? 

Seating systems for community have always been an integral part of an acoustic project, and we aimed to the supply of an increasingly complete and qualified service, so we have now Fonology, a division specifically dealing with architectural acoustics and with a new design approach based on several materials. Our team is steadily looking for innovative and refined acoustic materials.

Which iconic products are representative of Ares Line identity to the fullest? 

Xten Chair is our iconic product by definition.
However, the best-seller is the desk system Omnia with the following new model named Evolution, both designed by Giovanni Baccolini.
Finally, Papillon, acknowledged as the best folding chair for theaters with several attempts to imitate the product.

 

Captions
1, Xten Chair by Pininfarina for Ares Line.
2, Evolution desk system by Ares Line and acoustic panels Listen by Fonology at Auditorium della Pontificia Università Gregoriana in Rome.
3, 4 Different fit out equipped with Evolution in the multimedia rooms of Future Learning Space: UPO Campus Perrone in Novara.


5, Papillon Chair inside the multifunction hall Crosà Neira
6, Rossini arm chair: customized solution for Teatro Comunale di Bologna.
7, Customized chairs inside the concert hall of Carmen Würth Forum designed by Chipperfield.
8, Customized solution at BNP Paribas in Luxembourg.

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Eco-sustainability and design for resilient flooring.

After creating countless styles of modular carpet, distinguished by high performances and sustainability, Interface launches a luxury modular vinyl flooring featured by the same green vision and based on biophilic design approach.

Level Set is the first Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) collection by Interface. It is environmental friendly and is inspired by natural elements like wood and stone, according to biophilic design approach.
It offers options that evoke distressed, reclaimed and exposed natural materials. The textures, colours and patterns available provide more light reflection to maximising the benefits of daylight.
Available in 28 variations of Natural and Textured Woodgrains & Stones, it comes in Interface’s standard (25 cm x 1 m and 50 x 50 cm squares) and is complementary to carpet tile collections.
Since it is fully compatible in size and height, you can combine existing carpet and new LVT for a unique space of varied textures and designs.

 

We’re seeing an increased focus on cohesive design throughout the built environment, as well as a rise in demand for soft and hard flooring that blends well and functions as part of a modular design system– said Mandy Leeming, Design and Development Manager for Interface EMEALevel Set embraces our customers’ interest in flooring that has the look of natural materials with the functionality, durability and affordability of LVT, while ensuring they can select a mix of hard and soft flooring from a single partner to create a unified look and feel.”

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An eco-sustainable design aimed at environmental comfort.
To install Level Set is simple and clean thanks to glue-free TacTiles. It emits virtually zero VOCs and allows for an environmental footprint over 90% lower than installation with traditional glue adhesives.
Engineered to compatible height (4.5mm total thickness) with Interface’s carpet tiles, providing the ability to effortlessly move from hard to soft flooring without transition strips, eliminating an unnecessary trip hazard and reducing the number of materials for specification and purchase.
To improve acoustic comfort the sound absorbing “Sound Choice” is available for LVT collections.

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Audio-visual integration: Snowsound Lux.​

Caimi Brevetti is continuing the research it began smore than five years ago in the field of acoustic design. Following the development of the patented technologies Snowsound and Snowsound Fiber, a new important step is Snowsound Lux, a new breakthrough both in acoustic design and in multifunctional fixtures. The new products of the collection –Oversize Lux and Giotto Lux– are respectively designed by Marc Sadler e Sezgin Aksu and integrate lighting and acoustic performances.

Focused on the holistic vision of environmental comfort, the Snowsound Lux project aims to develop sound-absorbing panels that not only screen out the unpleasant noise of many public and private spaces, but also embed a lighting source.
Caimi Brevetti’s entire line of production is predicated on a design concept that focuses on the wellness and comfort of its users, and the Snowsound Lux has now added the element of light into the existing element of sound to create an integrated audio-visual fixture.

Oversize Lux design by Marc Sadler 

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Oversize Lux aims to turn sound-absorbing panels made with Snowsound technology from purely functional fixtures into real pieces of furniture, suspended from the ceiling. The panels resolve three design challenges: how to provide ambient lighting, how to lower the ceiling and how to achieve acoustic comfort. A joined-up approach to dealing with these three challenges led to the creation of what are effectively architectural solutions consisting of sound-absorbing panels punctuated with recessed bays containing LED lighting points.
The panels are available in different colours and come in two sizes: 119cm x 119cm, and 119cm x 159cm. Likewise, the LED lighting is available either as an individual square spotlight or as a rectangular lamp. The ceiling suspension cables are adjustable.

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Giotto Lux design by Sezgin Aksu

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Giotto Lux is a sound-absorbing room fixture that uses Snowsound technology. It has a pure geometric form consisting of a circular panel 119 cm in diameter, at the centre of which is a 28W LED light covered by a satin-finished polyethylene diffuser. The result is a sculptural lighting element that fulfils two requirements: illumination and acoustic comfort.
It is available in different colours, and can be coordinated with Giotto Ceiling and Giotto Wall panels, which do not include inbuilt lighting.

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Joyful and inspiring offices for a multinational.

A multinational that gave a free hand to e45 creative and professional designers who, relying on a twenty-year experience, hand-picked reliable partners -the dealer Cardex and some of the best suppliers company like Dieffebi, Interface, Armstrong, Arper, a.s.o.- to carry out a functional workplace, really amazing, bright and versatile.

Pitney Bowes is a US multinational that employs 15.000 people in the world and works in supplies and delivery services. The Italian branch has just decided to move its office, in order to match the new needs resulting from its development.
The design of the new office was entrusted to e45 (Bruno De Rivo e Pietro Morandi), supported by Cardex for furniture and settings.
The headquarters include administrative offices, a demo room for presentation to the clients, the online assistance service for management softwares and a workshop.
The rooms mirrors the “technical” trait of the company, yet they are bright and attractive at the same time.

Respectful of ergonomics and environmental comfort – especially as lighting and acoustics are concerned – they  follow the contemporary dictates of an active, lively workplace pleasant to live in.

The design is a balanced mix of open plan and offices and closed rooms, individual and collective areas: open space offices with “writeable walls” are furnished with bench desks and useful storages (Primo System by Dieffebi); meetings rooms in several sizes, huddle rooms for video conferences, and also a kitchenette are closed by transparent and sound insulating glass partition walls by Gecopar facing on the open plan offices.

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As regards look and finishing touches, the company gave carte blanche to the designers.
Moderately used corporate colours for the visible technical equipment, the wall graphics in the reception area and ornamental details that make these offices exceptionally fascinating: corporate colours in the round sound-absorbing panels (Canopy by Armstrong) “twined” with the round hanging lamps; blue thick, domestic-looking curtains and the irregular chromatic pattern of the flooring by Interface.

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Photo by Matteo Zanardi.

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Models and factors of development for the workplace.

The end of the year (third WOW!’s anniversary) is the time to take an inventory and forecast the near future, and the articles of this last number of 2015 briefly express some of the chief factors of the ongoing change, that are more clearly marking the development of the next ways of working as well as the configuration of the workplace for our children or grandchildren.

They are already considering the Generation Z, whose needs are after all very similar to those of the more individualist grandparents, the Baby Boomers. Yet with a big difference: the Gen Z expects to find work environments meeting those requirements and wants to share them with other people; they regard it as a right and don’t tolerate to be disappointed.
Gensler’s Design Forecast sums up which are the key factors to design the workplace in a world broken into fragments, where technologies are dominant and information is pervasive. Digital supremacy leads to the reconsider the real values, the actual needs.
Some of the chief key factors?
To work everywhere. Under the name of  Smart Working or Agile Working a philosophy is taking shape, that doesn’t change thoroughly the concept of work and place of work only, but even the life styles, the use of buildings and the development itself of Real Estate, because smart working is synonymous with hybridization and flexibility (as quoted Paolo Gencarelli of Unicredit at RE-Start conference).
And coworking definitely includes these elements and confirms its growth and the strong Community value, thus becoming a point of reference also for large-sized companies.
Desire for nature and respect for nature are also influencing planning on scalar quantity, from the product to interior design, architectural to urban design. Headquarters are more and more similar to Olivetti’s model of campus and integrated into nature and the territory. Even for smaller offices, a park or a terrace to work surrounded by nature is almost a must. Sustainability and wellbeing are the keywords of a new design thinking able to produce happiness (Francesco Schianchi calls it Anthropodesign).
The pursuit of wellbeing is also expressed in a planning increasingly conscious of the user’s experience, and environmental comfort (including acoustic interior design) which changes the very meaning of Beauty.
Perhaps it’s not necessary to aim high, it’s enough to focus on these themes to outline the near future, but we expect great stimuli from the next Milan International triennial exhibition “21st Century, Design after Design”, that will expound what to expect “after”.
Editorial by Renata Sias, editor WOW! Webmagazine

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Ares Line: acoustic comfort even in “glazed” spaces.

Shared stand for Ares Line that participate at Orgatec to 2014, within the space of Vetroin (Hall 6 -A68), offering products for the global environmental comfort: seats along with specific solutions for the acoustics of the new brand Fonology, sound architecture.

Glass is a fascinating material, which is essential to create bright and transparent environments, the acoustic reverberation is the only drawback.
In a smart  twinning Ares Line concretely illustrates how to optimize the acoustics of any room, even the most “difficult”.

WOW! Giacobone, Progetto CMR.

During Milano Design Week, WOW! mets Giovanni Giacobone (Progetto CMR) at Artemide Showroom, he explained the main concepts of Eggboard, the new hybrid product designed for Artemide to solve lighting and acoustic problems and improve environmental comfort.


“EggBoard was born from a simple idea: combining acoustic comfort and visual comfort in a single device, efficient and charming, which can help to create a 360 °comfortable environment.
Giacobone e Roj – Progetto CMR “The shape of Egg reminds of egg cartons used by generations of mu­sicians as soundproof material for the walls of their domestic practice rooms. While the shape is similar to the egg cartons’, the material used is much more durable and soundproofing.
The frequency range of this fitting is also much broader than the egg car­tons’, as it is installed at a certain distance from the ceiling.
Ideally the fitting should be installed approximately one meter above the user’s head. This allows the fitting to operate within a limited space, while achieving a soundproofing effect only in that portion of space.” Ing.Nicolao, Sound Engineering Consulting Services

Suspension appliance available with colour temperatures of 3000K or 4000K. The high acoustic efficiency is obtained through a careful design of the device. The suspended installation allows the presence of two active faces in terms of sound absorption, while the particular design of the low­er surface, in combination with the sound-absorbing material, minimizes sound reflections, which are responsible for noise.
The aesthetic reminds to a domestic, do-it-yourself, room soundproof­ing technique, obtained through a wall coating made of re-used eggs packaging. The sinusoid section, a curve shared both by sound and light diffusion principles, encloses a board with a high number of low-voltage LEDs, adjusted with roto-symmetrical reflectors that allow to control the emission ensuring utmost lighting comfort with a soft down light and a controlled dark light, in compliance with rules for offices equipped with video terminals (UGR<19).
EggBoard combines acoustic and luminous efficiency a systemic philoso­phy: the arrangement of several units, suspended at different heights and in different colors, allows to not only adjust the performance according to the characteristics of the destination space, but also to create effective fluctuating compositions, with spectacular architectural and lighting.

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Eva Tower: pay-per-use sustainable offices in Venice.

Today was lauched in Mestre (close to Venice) Torre Eva, the first eco-sustainable business centre in Triveneto that proposes the US formula of sharing space and pay-per use.
A progressive building (Energy Class A), designed by Giovanna Mar (Studio Architetto Mar) which make use of multiple technologies to guarantee the minimum impact on the environment to reduce electricity costs, heating and air-conditioning.
Torre Eva (11.000 sqm surfaces) is based on a cluster of buildings facing on a Piazza, that privileges the concept of sharing space and takes value to a quite and nice public space for relaxing.
“Heating and electrical energy traditionally represent the highest costs for any office – explains Luca Pasqualotto, Manager for the Offices Section of Halldis- For the Torre Eva building, which is owned by Life of Mirano, choices were made to guarantee much lower costs, taking into account the importance of the environment. A prime example of this is reflected through the photovoltaic panels, which generate enough electricity for all offices, as well as the heat pumps, which use the aquifers to air-condition the spaces as best as possible. Another system put to good use, in order to substantially lower consumption and energy costs and to improve the level of comfort is cross ventilation: the central atrium vertically connects the whole building, and an electronic control system within the double-sided glass-wall facade allows constant air re-circulation with beneficial effects on the environmental comfort and the wellbeing of the occupants. It is therefore not necessary to depend on automatic aeration because of this very advanced yet simple and natural functionality, with instant benefits in terms of reduction of consumption and particularly for the environment.”
The ever-growing importance and focus in productivity also demands having to take economically viable decisions in the short and long term which include the optimization of operational costs and the externalization of non- core activities, in order to focus primarily on the company’s own main business priorities.
For this purpose the business centre proves to be the ideal choice to help companies and professionals, thanks to the formula of space sharing and pay-per-use, both already successfully implemented in the US: this innovative function of perceiving spaces allows to use the offices and meeting rooms one needs with flexible contracts.
The offices come ready equipped with furniture and cables, ready to move into and start working.

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Diamond Tower: sustainability in the office.

The office tower Diamond Tower is located in the very heart of the Business District Varesine in Milan and it is included in the Porta Nuova project: a redevelopment project of 290,000 sqm. total area, finally connecting three historial districts. Among its keys features there is the prestigious international sustainability pre-certification LEED Gold.

The architect Eugene Kohn, partner at KPF (Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates), says: <<Today architecture turns often into sculpture, as designers who search for the beautiful work ended to itself. In this project the form arises from the need of efficiency, although we considered that the area, also before the huge redevelopment of Garibaldi, Isola and Varesine, has already a strong office calling, with historical buildings such as the skyscraper in Piazza della Repubblica, the Torre Galfa, Pirelli building”. The focus on efficiency develops in studying the ideal orientation in order to irradiate the building more and more and reduce consumptions for heating and cooling, selecting sustainable materials and efficient technologies allowing to realize Class A office buildings.

Space planning and Interior Design.
At the 15th floor Coima Image presented a contemporary space planning realized with some partner companies ((Knoll, LG, Liuni, Omnitex, Universal Selecta, USM, COM Varese). A whole floor designed and furnished for meeting the needs belonging to office life different moments, guaranteeing the greatest flexibility in the reconfiguration  of design solutions and the highest environmental comfort.

Main key features of the building.
137metres height; 30 floors above ground; 35,000 sqm. total.
Prestigious international sustainability pre-certification LEED Gold (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
Modern lines, harmonious structures and powerful glass surfaces feature the tower building design reaching a strong visual impact.
The three metres high ceilings, with no lowered sections, the penetration of natural light and the continual air circulation contribute to a comfortable microclimate in all spaces.
The spaces have been designed with the highest attention to efficiency, design and finishing.

In the picture some of the work environments at 15th floor showing the partition walls by Universal Selecta. (ph Beppe Raso) and the furniture by USM.