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Cowabunga: Herman Miller's new L.A. showroom

October 19, 2009 | 10:57 am

Hmcow
The manufacturer of midcentury classics by Charles and Ray Eames and George Nelson, including his famed 1956 Marshmallow sofa, shown here in cowhide upholstery, has opened a new showroom in Los Angeles. Formerly housed in a downtown high-rise, Herman Miller now occupies 18,500 square feet of former warehouse space renovated by the architecture firm Lynch/Eisinger/Design with interiors by TVS Design.

"There are people who are so passionate about the brand and its design," says Lori Gee, Herman Miller's director of Workplace Solutions. "This showroom will give them an opportunity to see the legacy of the company and where it is heading."

It is not a cash-and-carry operation, however. Nothing is actually sold at the new showroom, though the on-site staff can arrange orders through a network of authorized dealers. Much of the space is dedicated to office furniture, which represents about 90% of the firm's sales. Many of those stylish pieces--including pieces from the European division and the Herman Miller American subsidiary Geiger that are not shown by authorized dealers-- can easily make the leap from office reception area to home den. 

See more of the showroom and furniture after the jump.


The architecture firm Lynch/Eisinger/Design accented the exterior of the showroom building, below left, with Cor-Ten steel and Douglas fir slatted walls. TVS Design's enormous lighting fixtures, which hang from the bow truss ceiling inside, are inspired by the work of Minimalist sculptor Richard Serra.
Building
The handsome designs of Ward Bennett are part of the Geiger collection on display at the new Herman Miller showroom. On the left, a Scissor chair, commonly produced with chrome legs, is shown with a wooden frame and pungent orange leather upholstery. The green Tato upholstered stool is from the Herman Miller International Collection. The marble topped H-Frame table designed by Bennett, right, keeps company with two Capri chairs by Studio Hannes Wettstein for the Herman Miller International Collection. Hermanm The Goetz sofa employs a molded wood shell as the visible frame for the upholstered cushions. Though it is sold for high-end office suites, its clean profile (which bears a resemblance to the sofa in the office of "Mad Men's" Don Draper) makes it a candidate for the contemporary living room. In keeping with its tradition of using craft pieces to accessorize furniture, the showroom prominently displays the elegant bottles of Emeryville, Calif., potter Sara Paloma.

Herm

-- David A. Keeps

Photo credits: Jay L. Clendenin / For The Times

RECENT AND RELATED:

Alexander Girard show you the way to the facilities at Herman Miller's new L.A. showroom

CORRECTION:

The original version of this post did not credit the building renovation and exterior design to Lynch/Eisinger/Design. It also misstated the size of the Herman Miller showroom. The building is 28,000 square feet, but Herman Miller occupies only 18,500 square feet of that. These corrections were made to the text Nov. 4.

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