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Early in the morning, when the last traces of mist still lie over the Nagold, it looks like something from another planet: the Häfele Functionality Cube. And that’s true: you can swivel, fold and slide inside it – and afterwards, there's nothing more than there was before: the desk turns into a bed, the sideboard becomes a home cinema and the kitchen disappears into thin air – whenever you want. The glass cube floats gracefully over the Nagold: on the one hand it interprets furnishing ideas that are not just for small spaces, and on the other hand it interprets the motto of the regional horticultural show, “green Urbanity” in a way that makes people stop and stare. This is where aesthetics, the future and multifunctionality become one. In 39 square metres.
Furniture and space have to interact in a way that results in usable added value. The furniture fittings and the architectural hardware should flow into a project which makes people enthusiastic with surprising effects and aesthetics. The specific challenge was to create something truly great in just 39 square metres: a fully-fledged living space in an extremely small area. The briefing at the beginning of the project could have been something like this – at the end of the project the result was the Häfele Functionality Cube, with clever furnishing ideas for small and large rooms. The 2012 regional horticultural show in Nagold provided the ideal platform.
In other words: Häfele placed the Functionality Cube on the Nagold and equipped it with a fully functional apartment where you could cook, eat, work, sleep, and above all feel at home. The company got experienced partners on board: Berlin-based designer Werner Aisslinger, who had already created a stir with similar designs in Milan and Beirut, and business partners from the joinery and cabinet making trade. One thing was clear to everyone: it wasn’t just about putting fittings on show, but also about the sensible use thereof in everyday furniture. Häfele specifically to create a platform for cabinet makers and joiners with the cube. The intention was to put the spotlight on the joiners and cabinet makers with whom Häfele has always maintained a close relationship. Because ultimately they are the ones who show what is possible with Häfele fittings. And so, the team designed furniture with amazing functionality – comfortable living in an extremely small space, and inspirational to furniture makers, interior designers, planners and end consumers at the same time.
With support from Studio Aisslinger, Häfele created the concept and design of the cube. The result, the Functionality Cube, is a futuristic glass cube. The design is as elegant as it is functional: the perfect framework for the artistic furniture. The Functionality Cube demonstrates the company philosophy of Häfele: the functional fusion of space and furniture. Smart furnishing ideas are in the centre, such as “Tavoletto”. It combines two of the biggest space consumers: the bed and the desk. An intelligently functioning Häfele furniture fitting ensures that the bed converts into a desk and back again with a simple manual operation. Even the computer, the coffee cup and anything else up to 40 centimetres high can stay on the table – the entire desk surface moves horizontally beneath the bed so as not to ruin the creative chaos. The shelves around the multi-purpose furniture can accommodate books, clothing and shoes. Space was even found for a minibar in the cube.
Space and furniture become one in the Functionality Cube.
Now, the cube needed to learn to swim. This step proved to be difficult and endangered the project. How would the Functionality Cube get onto the water, and above all: how will it stay there, where it is, and not damage the valuable flora and fauna of the Nagold? Real engineering skill was needed here. The solution was a floating pontoon in combination with a land anchor, which would withstand a proverbial “hundred year flood”. The buoyancy of the pontoon is created by 24 plastic buoys which are mounted beneath a specially manufactured steel support system, so that the loads are spread evenly. And at 32 tonnes for the cube and pontoon, it's nothing to be sneezed at!
Häfele hit the nail of the regional horticultural show’s motto on the head with the Functionality Cube and created a real visitor magnet. The project also meets another important condition: to preserve the flora and fauna in the conservation area. The evaporation cooling of the river kept the temperature down on hot summer days – meaning that air conditioning was not required for the duration of the exhibition.
A fascinating and surprising living concept with furnishing ideas for more than just small rooms was created. When the evening sun reflects off the water of the Nagold and the desk has changed into a bed for the last time, you hear the gentle murmurs of the Nagold for the first time since the morning. When you are alone in the Functionality Cube, you feel surrounded by protected of nature and at the same time. Green Urbanity. It doesn't get better than this.
The living concept of the Functionality Cube impressed the visitors to the regional horticultural show.