We’re happening a manufacturing facility tour right now. Approach again within the mists of time (earlier than the pandemic – henceforth to be often known as BP, however really 2019) I began working with USM, the corporate that makes modular adaptable furnishings from its manufacturing facility in Switzerland. The family-founded agency had practically completed renovating the household home which sits near the manufacturing facility and a tour, mentioned the UK representatives, was imminent.
We lastly made it to Muensingen, close to Bern, earlier this 12 months to take a look round. It was that week in July the place the temperatures have been breaking all information and as we arrived in Bern (having taken the practice from Zurich the place I extremely advocate the recent buttered pretzels accessible on the station) to see the river full of individuals.
Apparently, the customized is to place your garments in dry baggage and float house from work – the present is simply too sturdy for swimming. That have to be the best commute I’ve ever come throughout. I additionally discovered that Einstein fashioned his principle of relativity whereas taking a tram throughout town and seeing a clock on the facet of a constructing. So Bern is nicely value a go to for those who’re pondering metropolis breaks.
However we have been heading to the USM manufacturing facility, a modernist pavilion constructed within the Sixties. The Schaerer household began out making window fittings in a conventional constructing within the metropolis however the third era wished to replace and modernise as youthful generations will, and a brand new constructing was commissioned and designed by Fritz Haller.
Nonetheless, the household’s conventional Swiss furnishings didn’t work on this new glass and metal construction. So in 1963, Fritz Haller and Paul Schaerer developed new furnishings to match their new constructing’s modularity and flexibility. The furnishings, just like the buildings, was constructed not round particular person items however a system of metal modules that may very well be tailored and reconfigured to satisfy the wants of the corporate’s manufacturing facility and places of work. The cornerstone of the system was the ingenious ball joint, for which they sought a patent in 1965.
And from this easy begin a furnishings firm was born. The ball bearings slot into steel tubes of various lengths and you may create furnishings to suit the area you’ve. Ought to that area change you should purchase extra tubes and panels and reconfigure the unique piece to be taller or wider or maybe have cabinets as an alternative of cabinets. You may flip it into seating or create a media unit with a desk. Latest additions imply you possibly can add a particular high to make a plant stand.
The phrase furnishings for all times is usually bandied round however this really is. The powder coated metal panels are available the identical 14 colors they’ve at all times been made in and this implies for those who purchased a bit of USM furnishings within the Sixties and wished to vary it within the 80s and once more within the 2020s you can see the identical colors and may create an ideal match.
Nonetheless, 2022 noticed the launch of a really restricted version pink vary designed specifically for the return of the Milan Furnishings Truthful, Salone. There’s nonetheless some about however not a lot. In case you prefer it, seize it and remember that you’ll have to add a special color to it if you wish to develop sooner or later. It should, nonetheless, love all the opposite colors in order that shouldn’t be a problem. It’s not on-line so if you’d like some you have to to contact USM straight and ask.
The supplies are all sourced regionally and any off-cuts are recycled. And if, in any case that, you resolve you now not need your piece of USM, the second-hand market holds its worth too.
Sure, the look may be very trendy however that works nicely in each up to date and interval properties so that you want haven’t any worry that it received’t work in your Victorian terrace. It’s additionally beloved by followers of vinyl to retailer their report collections. My 19yo has his eye on it and I’ve informed him to start out scouring eBay as a result of, as I mentioned above, he can begin now with a single field and nonetheless be including to it in 20. 30, 40 years time.
Sitting a small discipline away from the principle manufacturing facility is the Buchli home, additionally constructed by Fritz Haller for the household to reside in. It has been absolutely restored and is now open for company of the corporate to remain in.
The Buchli home was the primary residential constructing to make use of the USM Haller midi metal development system, and one among its most hanging options is the shortage of division between residing and sleeping areas. As an alternative, there are sliding doorways and shifting partitions which suggests, very similar to the furnishings, you possibly can reconfigure the home to go well with the variety of company at anybody time.
And that, it appears to me, is the essence of USM, furnishings and homes tailored to go well with the way in which we reside.
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