24 hours in Cologne during imm 2020

During Cologne furniture fair, the action takes place in the 11 exhibition halls of the fairground and throughout the city. Imm’s director Claire Steinbrück tells Domus what you should not miss.

Pentagon, MAKK, Cologne

9 AM: DesignFest by couch, Koelnmesse

Young, colourful, creative and fresh! The DesignFest presents itself as the new festival for design, creativity and lifestyle and will take place for the first time at the imm cologne from 17 to 19 January 2020 on the visitor weekend. Only here do around 200 young but also international favourite brands from the interior, fashion, beauty and food sectors come together to create the imm cologne's biggest concept store with festival character for hip products on the visitors' weekend.
Photo: Koelnmesse

12 PM: Passagen, Cologne

In 2020, the design festival Passagen will take place for the 31st time. Founded and organized by Office Sabine Voggenreiter as a forum, particularly for designers and manufacturers, and as a trend show of top-notch international interior design, Passagen has grown steadily over the past years. Up to 200 exhibitors present themselves at Passagen. In addition to furniture, the program is shaped by accessories, lighting and a festival structure of openings and special events which focus on and provide a discussion forum for new interior-design themes. About 150,000 visitors – including international design professionals – meander through the salons, furniture stores, showrooms and galleries which are primarily located in Cologne’s inner-city. Here’s where the design-interested public, the pros, the press, and the entire international design scene mingle. The Passagen exhibitions are widely considered to be trendy, superbly-staged presentations. The passages will take place during the imm cologne 2020 (13-19.01.2020) throughout the city of Cologne. (Photo: Passagen, design parcours ehrenfeld)

2 PM: Craftbeer Corner, Martinstraße 32

Need a time-out? Then, please do it with a beer. But not any old beer! Cologne has had its first Taphouse since November 2016, Craftbeer Corner Coeln in Martinstraße 32. The friends Marc Robens, Andi Smmolen, Heri Ruyange, Michael Kligge and Lukas Damm demonstrated courage when they opened their beer pub – because who would dare open up a craftbeer pub in the hometown of Kölsch? But it worked. Alternating barrels of beer continually flow out of 15 taps in Gürzenich. And for those, for whom this doesn't suffice, there is also a choice between around 70 different bottled beer. Including Kölsch of course.

3 PM: Gruppe Pentagon, MAKK Museum

In the 1980s, New German Design revolutionised the functional idea of design and created a bridge between design, art and music. One of the protagonists was the Cologne-based Pentagon design group, founded in 1985 by Gerd Arens, Wolfgang Laubersheimer, Reinhard Müller, Ralph Sommer and Meyer Voggenreiter. Thirty-five years later, the Cologne Museum of Applied Arts (MAKK) will be showing a first retrospective of the collective’s work, parallel to imm cologne and Passagen 2020. The Pentagon members worked with steel and Perspex, combining these two materials with stone, rubber or leather, and also with everyday objects, while lending their designs a postmodern kick. In 1987, the collective was part of documenta 8 with its Café Container. The exhibition at the MAKK will be showing products, sketches and drawings by Pentagon in the context of the cultural environment from the 1980s to the 1990s. (Photo: Bernhard Schaub; Gruppe Pentagon, Café Casino, documenta 8, 1987.)

4 PM: Iconic Awards, Kölnischer Kunstverein

The Iconic Awards: Innovative Interior honour only the best of the best in the furniture and interior design industries. The competition creates a unique platform for networking architects, product designers and property developers with the furniture and interior design industries. The goal of the Iconic Awards: Innovative Interior is to discover and distinguish the best creations in all areas of interior design. The competition is open to all companies in the furnishing industries and their partners in interior design. The prizes will be awarded during imm cologne 2020. The winners of the Iconic Awards 2020: Innovative Interior will be exhibit at the Kölnischer Kunstverein from 12 to 19 January 2020. (Photo: Daniel Banner)

5 PM: Mill, Eifelwall 44

Lovers of the mid-century modern style will find what they are looking for in the south of Cologne. In the Mill on Eifelwall 44, there is a large selection of vintage furniture in the salesroom of the two sisters Mari and Lena Müller - mainly from the 50s and 60s. What is immediately noticeable when one enters the former workshop: A lot of time and loving care has been invested into the design of the shop and the selection of the pieces of furniture. The selected pieces of furniture are arranged with a good eye for detail and if one doesn't find something suitable on one's first visit, one still at least goes home with plenty of ideas for one's own four walls.

5:30 PM: Où j’ai grandi, Rathenauplatz 7

Où j'ai grandi (English: Where I grew up) is a studio for flower design in the style of the traditional Paris l'art du bouquet and Flemish flower painting from the XVI  Century. The owner Isabelle Niehsen has been running the small, affectionately furnished flower shop for six years already and is famous for her birthday, wedding and celebration decorations well beyond the borders of her quarter. Plaited, dried garlands that are for sale in a variety of designs are her speciality. The shop smells different every day and every day new pieces of artwork are created, because according to Isabelle Niehsen's claim, each plant and flower is arranged into an individual collage. So, not only a selection of fresh and not quite so popular flowers awaits the visitor, but always a new collage of flowers.

6 PM: Kiss the Inuit, Schillingstraße 11

Things are particularly fair in Schillingstrasse 11, because this is where Kiss the Inuit, a hotspot for sustainable fashion, is at home. With her shop concept the owner, Katharina Partyka, shows how green outfits for men and women really can be. Whether T-shirts, trousers, dresses or coats; whether made in Germany, Europe or Asia: All of the garments are produced under fair and eco-friendly conditions and are also affordable too.

7 PM: The Circle, 25 hours Hotel

Originally the Gerling Insurance Group’s administration building, this spectacular circular construction in Cologne’s Friesen district now accommodates the guests of the 25hours Hotel Köln The Circle. Spread across floors one to seven, 207 rooms are available in a range of inspired themes. The renovation and comprehensive redesign were the work of the Cologne-based architecture firm O&O Baukunst. The historic building inspired the hotel’s developers to engage intensively with the era of Germany’s economic miracle in the fifties and sixties and with the technological utopias conceived during that period. The restaurant and bar located on the 8th floor push the retro-futuristic look of The Circle to the extreme, with a penthouse level added to the historic building to accommodate the design. Among hanging plants, the celebrated Rhineland way of life is reinterpreted by the Molcho family. At NENI Cologne, they serve eclectic cuisine from the eastern Mediterranean. (Photo: 25hours Hotel)

Claire Steinbrück is director of imm cologne since 2018. Prior to this, she worked for more than two years at Koelnmesse as team leader for international trade fairs in the International business division.

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