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documenta Lounge 2017

Interior design: Nicole Miller

Photos: Constantin Meyer

Chair 404 F

Every five years, Kassel becomes the international hotspot for contemporary art for precisely 100 days. Documenta 14 presents a cross-section of current works from different genres – from painting, graphic design and sculpture to video, film and concept art. The art show curated by Adam Szymczyk is accompanied by an especially staged “documenta Lounge”: in an L-shaped 1950s’ building, an interior conceived in reference to the extraordinary exhibition format – processual, diversified, open and international – is presented in Friedrichsplatz, Kassel’s central inner city square. Interior designer Nicole Miller has compiled a selection of highlights of furniture design for this special location. She intentionally mixes classics with contemporary models, including several exhibits of Thonet’s armchair 404 F, with which designer Stefan Diez refers to the large bentwood heritage. 


The common denominator of all furniture in the documenta Lounge is the colour black, which is also found in the linoleum flooring and on the walls. The black monochrome environment subtly guides the perception of visitors to focus on the material, surface, processing, proportion and form. The diversity establishes a relation with the exhibited works of art. Where documenta examines different positions in art, the Lounge eclectically mixes different design styles, attitudes and trends.


In addition to the chosen colourfulness, the space is characterised by a generous window front with a balcony outside, which offers an expansive view of the Karlsaue Park, where works of the current documenta artists are exhibited in public space. The “Black Space” corresponds with the intensive green of the outside park in an impressive way: the park becomes a stage, and documenta Lounge becomes a box where meetings and conversations can take place in an inspiring calmness. Miller also picked up the idea of the processual, which is an important characteristic of documenta: all pieces of furniture can be arranged depending on need and situation, allowing for the continuous creation of new situations that meet the needs of the different groups of guests ranging from sponsors to the German President and his staff. 

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