Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, 2010/2021
The Alcove Work Lowback model shields the user slightly less and therefore invites communicative interaction with the surroundings. By grouping several Alcove Work Lowback together, the individual workstations are transformed into a meeting configuration, without any need for a conference table.
- Structural frame: tubular steel with chrome-plated finish or powder-coated (smooth), metal frame with MDF base board.
- Body: back and side panels with organic fibreboard core, connected with zip fasteners. Quilted cover with polyester-fibre padding.
- Seat/back cushions: polyurethane foam and polyester fibre.
- Seat height: 480 mm (385 mm with applied load, measured in accordance with EN 1335-1:2000).
- Box: wooden carcass covered in polyurethane foam.
- Tablet desk: thickness 25 mm, high-density three-ply fine particle board with melamine coating and 3-mm ABS edge; or MDF board, powder-coated (textured finish); or in oak veneer (sourced in Europe) with straight veneered edge 2.5-3.0 mm.
- Covers: removable.
- Legs: steel, chrome-plated or powder-coated (smooth). Felt glides. Optionally equipped with lockable castors, in black plastic, soft version for protection of hard floors (only for units without electrification).
The 'room in a room' is a concept that Vitra has intensively pursued over many years in collaboration with the designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. In 2006, the idea of mobile micro-architectural elements led to the development of the Alcove family, which has been continuously expanded with new models ever since. Nearly one-and-a-half metres high, the side and back panels of the Alcove Highback Sofa are padded and covered with fabric to offer effective sound absorption, a casual appearance and inviting comfort. With these characteristics, Alcove was perfectly timed for contemporary offices concepts, when Apple changed human communication habits forever with the launch of the first iPhone in 2007. What was just an intuition at that time has now become a reality: the physical decoupling of communication and personal work. Over the past years, this development has transformed the office into a social hub. Personal work can be performed anywhere – at home, in a café, in a coworking space or at the pool. Consequently, the office must offer new options for users and provide a flexible overall concept for companies. Alcove’s product features extend beyond the properties of a simple piece of furniture: with side and back panels in various heights, Alcove units form rooms within a room, creating ideal spaces for concentrated work or for small meetings. The models in the Alcove family comprise two groups: Alcove and Alcove Plus. The various products in the Alcove group feature a visible frame with ample floor clearance, lending them a sense of airiness, flexibility and lightness. Depending on the model, variants are available with low side and back panels to facilitate communication, with castors for added agility, or with upholstery in a choice of firmness. Alcove Plus elements differ from Alcove as a result of their panels, which extend to the floor and also conceal the frame, and optional mobile partition screens that can be attached to the high side panels with zip fasteners. This serves, for example, to increase privacy, establish traffic patterns within the office, create additional niches or form larger structures. Alcove and Alcove Plus are also ideal for mixed configurations that bring structure to open layouts and their work processes. And thanks to the flexible design of these structures, they can be quickly and easily adapted to new requirements. The quilted fabric-covered panels create a feeling of casual comfort and security, while effectively absorbing ambient noise.
Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec
The brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec live and work in Paris. Their oeuvre ranges from small everyday objects to architectural projects. They have worked with Vitra since 2000 and have contributed numerous designs to both the office and home collections.