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Maarten van Severen installation by OMA in Milan

Samen met architectenbureau OMA bracht Lensvelt in 2014 een expositie naar Salone del Mobile te Milaan, in de wijk Ventura Lambrate. De expositie was volledig gewijd aan de eigen collectie van de Vlaamse meubelontwerper Maarten Van Severen. De in 2005 overleden ontwerper geniet een wereldwijde bekendheid en wordt steeds meer erkend als een van de grootste ontwerpers van deze tijd. In Italië was het de eerste keer dat de volledige eigen collectie van Maarten Van Severen werd gepresenteerd.  De stukken van de collectie werden getoond in een 3D-omgeving ontworpen door OMA Architecten. Ze creëerden een decor met grafische prints, 3D-objecten en metershoge foto’s waardoor de bezoeker zich waande in het voormalige atelier van Maarten van Severen. Maarten Van Severen, OMA en Lensvelt hebben in het verleden samengewerkt aan verschillende projecten zoals de Nederlandse ambassade in Berlijn en de Central Library in Seattle. In 2013 heeft Lensvelt de productie van de Maarten Van Severen collectie overgenomen.

Installation: OMA, www.oma.eu

Photographer: Jan Willem Kaldenbach (merendeel aan beelden).


Maarten Van Severen – Addicted to every possibility

“I liked Maarten very much. I had a powerful bond with him. His passion really was his work as a designer and as an artist. His approach to that work was extremely conscientious. Absolutely uncompromising. Doing something ten times over – coming up with ten alternatives – was better than settling for something that wasn’t perfect.

What makes Maarten’s collection so special is his use of materials for specific applications that no one had thought of before. And not just one material.
It could be bakelite or saddle leather or another type of leather – or aluminium or wood or steel. Whatever it was, he always managed to get out of a material all that was conceivably possible.

I’ve included the collection in our product line because I think the aesthetic quality of these designs is incredibly good. I think they’re beautiful, and my personal definition of ‘beautiful’ is ‘in proportion’. Everything in the collection is precisely proportioned.

We were real buddies. True friends. It’s good to have a chance to do something like this. He died far too young, of course. Because of that, we’re unable to see and experience the many designs that he definitely would have made had he lived longer. It’s indescribably sad.

I am grateful for the beautiful work Chris van Duijn of OMA did for the relaunch of the Maarten Van Severen Collection. It was very special to work with Chris again. He did an amazing job. I also want to thank Marij De Brabandere and the Maarten Van Severen Foundation for the friendship, the good vibes and the great support.
I hope together we can conserve some of the beauty Maarten created – and pass it on to the next generation.”

Maarten Van Severen flanked by Hans Lensvelt (right) and Chris van Duijn from OMA architects (left), working together on a shelving system for books at Seattle Central Library (March 2004).

Hans Lensvelt Amsterdam, March 2014

Download the book here: Maarten Van Severen-Addicted to every possibility.


Maarten van Severen

Lensvelt is producer of a substantial part of the collection of the Flemish designer Maarten van Severen (1956 – 2005). His pieces are renowned and appreciated all over the world because of their unique materials, quality and finish. Van Severen died in 2005. He was a personal friend of Hans Lensvelt.

The collection of Maarten van Severen has been officially launched September 2013 in Amsterdam, in the canal house of Lensvelt at Herengracht 178. The furniture was presented in a state-of-the-art 3D installation especially designed by OMA, the architectural firm of Rem Koolhaas.

Together, OMA, Maarten van Severen and Hans Lensvelt have realised the interior of the Seattle Central Library and the Dutch embassy in Berlin.Van Severen has created several interiors for OMA, such as the Lemoine house in Bordeaux and Villa Dall’ Ava in Paris.

Van Severen designed his first furniture pieces in 1986 and established an independent workshop in Gent, where he pursued the limited, semi-industrial production of his own furniture designs.

This unified process of design and production was a fundamental aspect of his work over a long period of time, in which he devoted himself to the examination of basic furniture types: chair, table, chaiselongue, shelving, cabinet. He developed primary solutions for these categories based on a comprehensive exploration of the questions of form, material and construction.

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