Dezeen Magazine

Italian furniture company Arper opens a Manhattan showroom

Business news: Italian design brand Arper has opened a New York showroom, following in the footsteps of other European brands setting up shop in the US.

Arper – founded in 1989 in Italy – debuted its Manhattan store on 19 November in Soho, at 476 Broadway, near showrooms for Luceplan, Foscarini, Ingo Maurer and other leading design brands.

Encompassing 4,000 square feet (372 square metres), the loft-style space features a range of Arper's products for the home, office and commercial sectors.

Arper New York showroom

The new showroom, which will serve as Arper's US headquarters, will enable the company to bolster its presence in the North American market.

"North America is becoming increasingly important for our company as we continue to develop our operations here," said Claudio Feltrin, owner and CEO of Arper.

"We want the New York City space to not only show our furniture, but to also serve as a place for Arper to collaborate with designers surrounded by comfort and beauty," he added.

The American market for high-end design is "growing incredibly,"  according to European brands, who are opening showrooms and restructuring their US businesses to take advantage of booming sales.

Arper New York showroom

Dutch furniture company Moooi opened a Manhattan showroom this year, as did the Spanish tile company Porcelanosa and the British furniture designer Tom Dixon.

Carpenters Workshop Gallery, which showcases work by leading contemporary designers such as Studio Job and Robert Stadler, has also just opened a location in New York to strengthen its presence in the American market.

The surge of luxury residential developments in New York and Miami – many of them designed by big-name European architects – is helping drive the boom, with brands following architects such as Herzog & de Meuron, Foster + Partners, BIG and OMA across the Atlantic.

The New York design showrooms are largely located in Soho, Noho and Midtown Manhattan.

Arper's new store is housed on the second floor of a historic Soho building dating to 1904. Large windows enable copious amounts of sunlight to fill the space.

"Through the vast windows, one can see sides of the imposing columns that decorate the historic facade, adding a layer of texture to the otherwise minimal interior design," said the company.

Arper New York showroom

Solveig Fernlund, a New York-based architect, was responsible for the architecture and interior design.

In addition, Lievore Altherr Molina, a Barcelona-based studio and long-term Arper collaborator, served as creative director in charge of furniture displays.

In addition to the Manhattan store, the company has opened a new operational hub in High Point, North Carolina, to centralise its manufacturing and logistics for North America.

The company already has one US showroom, in Chicago's Merchandise Mart building, which it opened in June 2013.

Arper New York showroom

Arper also has showrooms in Amsterdam, Cologne, Copenhagen, Dubai, Italy, London, Oslo and Stockholm, and two in Italy, in Milan and Monastier di Treviso.

Notable pieces offered by Arper include the Steeve sofa by Jean Marie Massaud, the Cross table by Fattorini+Rizzini+Partners and the Nuur table by Simon Pengelly.

Lievore Altherr Molina collaborated with the company to produce several lines, including the Catifa chairs, Ply tables and stools, and Parentesit acoustic wall panels.

It also designed the Kinesit task chair, which features a "self-balancing" mechanism hidden within the seat cushion.

"Due to its 'soft tech' approach in product design, even Arper's most technical pieces, like Kinesit, employ an intuitive built-in technology hidden out of sight to ensure its beauty and simplicity," said the company.