BoConcept means business

Brand Story By Simon Keane-Cowell | Herning, Denmark | 21.10.20

Modern conference room with historic control panel walls and a skylight.

Think you know BoConcept? Think again. The go-to Danish furniture manufacturer is as much a project partner for contract business as it is a successful consumer brand.

Freedom! So goes the late, great George Michael’s chart-topping hit of 1990, where he implores the public at large to change their perception of him. No longer the schoolgirl heartthrob, he wants to be taken seriously as a singer-songwriter. The accompanying David Fincher-directed video, all moody-noir and dripping with big-name supermodels of the day, does a lot of the heavy lifting here. Now, I don’t know whether George Michael ever owned BoConcept products – and thank you in advance for humouring me and my tongue-in-cheek analogy. The point here is that the Danish design brand that’s built its reputation internationally as a go-to brand for premium furniture, lighting and accessories, in no small part thanks to its global network of over 300 monobrand stores, could also be described as a victim of its own success, if you will. BoConcept has long been considered by many as a consumer brand. And that it is. But certainly not only.

Originally envisaged by Kern Innovations CEO Markos Kern as a co-working space, the BoConcept-shaped interiors of their Munich HQ – with an emphasis on flexibility and comfort – are now home solely to him and his team

A growing cohort of interior architects and designers are specifying BoConcept for their projects, not only because of its extensive portfolio of flexible, contemporary – and individualised – products (making it a one-stop-shop, so to speak), but also because of its smarts as a project partner, delivering solutions-oriented planning and installation know-how. Indeed, BoConcept has been key to the success of a raft of contract-sector interiors recently, from hotels and restaurants to offices and large-occupancy residential developments. One such project is Kern Innovations in Munich, a multidisciplinary creative lab that also has offices Hong Kong and Shanghai. As a future-facing consultancy that welcomes briefs that span the fields of architecture, transport and technology, it’s little wonder that their German home should itself tell a progressive architectural story.

Customised tables were just one of the tailored solutions BoConcept brought to the table, as it were. The breadth of the brand's collection allows for a surprising degree of individualisation, including when it comes to upholstery. Housed in an adapted power station, the office celebrates the industrial aesthetic of the space’s original programme, while offering its users and visitors an ultra-flexible, ultra-comfortable environment via a design scheme that promotes creativity, interaction and, above all, a sense of well-being. ‘The idea was to feel at home,’ explains Felix Wenzel, Director Contract Sales from BoConcept’s Munich team. ‘So the office space has been developed as a kind of industrial urban jungle, where our products help articulate and organise it, supported by lush, green vegetation.’

‘It was very important to create a space where our team really wants to be, and feeling extremely well was an absolute must. And where visitors love to come. BoConcept allowed us to do this’

There’s a real feeling of the contemporary co-working destination here, with all the collaborative culture and cross-pollination of knowledge and ideas that come with it. No surprise then that Kern Innovation’s video-artist-turned-all-round-ideas-generator CEO Markos Kern originally envisaged the space for precisely that: co-working. But as his team grew, so did their need for more room. That said, their sole occupancy isn’t any less dynamic. BoConcept's over 300 monobrand stores globally are not just showrooms. They are also home to its in-house consultants for professionals, who are ready to lend their expertise and problem-solving acumen to your project.

Dynamic, too, are the products that have been installed here. When it came to the specification of the tables – for various areas, including the control room turned meeting room – a customised solution was offered, one that took the tabletop from one particular product and married it with the legs of another. ‘I always loved BoConcept’s tables,’ explains Kern, ‘but what we wanted were tables that could be adjusted in height without them looking too much like office furniture. BoConcept didn’t offer anything like that as standard, but now – I’m proud to say – we have these super-stylish custom desks and are so happy with them.’

It’s the expansiveness of BoConcept’s collection that helps facilitate such new and expressive combinations, of course. What’s also worth noting is the company is able to upholster its seating in the customer’s textile of choice, regardless of whether it’s a BoConcept fabric or not. As Wenzel puts it, when you’re in the office you should still feel at home. Kern Innovations CEO Markos Kern: ‘I’m still shocked by how many workplaces still look grey and ugly. No wonder so many people try to avoid them!’ Kern again: ‘It was very important to create a space where our team really wants to be, and feeling extremely well was an absolute must. And where visitors love to come. BoConcept allowed us to do this. I’m still shocked by how many workplaces still look grey and ugly. No wonder so many people try to avoid them!’ Absolutely. George would definitely have approved.

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