Design

Craft

From the same tree— Hiroshima

Preface

The winds of fortune had been both kind and cruel to family-run business Maruni Wood Industry over the years. Then one member of the clan reluctantly went back to his roots – only to discover he was the natural saviour of the company.

Jasper Morrison, Kazuyo Sejima, Masayuki Kurokawa, Naoto Fukasawa, Ryue Nishizawa, Showa Bentwood Factory, Takeo Yamanaka

Monocle’s five favourites

1928
Takeo Yamanaka founds Showa Bentwood Factory

1933
Becomes Maruni Mokko

1942
Production switches to wooden tails and propellers for airplanes

1946
Maruni resumes furniture production, making desks and chairs for the homes of Hiroshima’s occupation force

1950
Company begins exporting

1960
Introduces bunkbeds

1996
Begins production of bestselling Versailles series – demand for western-style furniture grows

2005
Launch of nextmaruni – 12 chairs by 12 designers

2008
Launch of Hiroshima series of tables and chairs in beech and oak by Naoto Fukasawa

2008
Takeshi Yamanaka becomes president

2009
Headquarters and factory merged on one site in Yuki

2009
Collaborates with Tokyo design firm Nendo on the Cord Chair, which, with its spindly 15mm legs, is a testament to Maruni craftsmanship

2010
Continues to release new pieces and new fabrics for the popular Hiroshima series

  • Ligne Roset, France

    Antoine Roset opened a wood-processing factory in the French town of Montagnieu in 1860, specialising in umbrellas, walking sticks and chair frames. Antoine’s grandson Jean moved the company into the contract and domestic furniture markets in the middle of the last century and his sons Pierre and Michel joined in the 1970s. Today they have 679 stockists worldwide and a fifth generation of the Roset family, Antoine and Olivier, have recently joined.
    ligne-roset.com

  • Cherner Chair Company, USA

    Norman Cherner was a pioneer of the American mid-century modern movement. With the rights to their father’s designs, brothers Benjamin and Thomas Cherner formed the Cherner Chair Company in 1999 to keep his legacy alive, adding to the collection with their own designs.
    chernerchair.com

  • Arco, The Netherlands

    In 1904 Wouter van Ast opened a shop in Winterswijk selling books, prints and handmade frames. In the 1940s the company moved into small furniture and today Arco is one of the biggest Dutch furniture manufacturers, with Willem van Ast (Wouter’s grandson) at the helm. Willem’s son Jorre, an RCA graduate, has recently joined the company.
    arco.nl

Monocle 24

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