Tecta – full of tradition

Never before has tradition been as valuableasit is today. Tecta is synonymous for theBauhaus movement – but with a forward-thinking approach.

Lauenförde lies along the undulating banks of the river Weser. For over 40 years avant-garde designers have flocked to the town with a population of 3,000: be it British architects Peter & Alison Smithson, Mies vander Rohe’s architect, Sergius Ruegenberg, Jean Prouvé, Stefan Wewerka or the great Bauhaus thinkers such as the Gropius family.

Today the family business is managed by Christian Drescher in the fourth generation.  Tecta’s mission and responsibility is to preserve and review the best ideas and designs of modernism as created by the Bauhaus movement in Weimar or Dessau. In addition, we are driven by the desire to think forward, enhance and adapt them.

Once you have identified and understood a problem, you can solve and develop it further – that’s evolution. We find new approachesin innovative materials and techniques, for example. Trends are now interchangeable, while

cycles are becoming shorter and shorter. We believe that constantly replacing products is unecological and uneconomical. Our mission is to lengthen the lifespan of good designs, both from a social and ecological point of view.

Tecta unites craftsmanship, values and family tradition with the Bauhaus school of thought. This is what makes the company so unique with its cycle of developing and cherishing what the Bauhaus movement once taught and merged with traditional craftsmanship. Both today and yesterday.

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With around 30 faithful and licensed Bauhaus re-editions Tecta is the leading producer of Original Bauhaus designs.

HALLMARK:30 original designs with the Bauhaus label. The Bauhaus Archives in Berlinaward their »Original Bauhaus« label for faithful licensed re-editions only to a few products. But Tecta boasts around 30 designs – chairs, tables, armchairs and sofas – with the coveted label. This makes Tecta the leading producer of faithful and licensed Bauhaus re-editionsin this segment.

Until this very day, Tecta’s production facilities have been located in Germany, in Lauenförde on the river Weser. The main advantage of the region and this location is its close proximity to many suppliersof the furniture and crafts in-dustry. For 60 years Tecta hascommitted above all to traditional craftsmanship and adapting its products to individual customer specifications.

The TECTA Kragstuhlmuseum was created on the company’s premises in Lauenförde in 1979. On 3,000 square metres the museum features the largest collection of cantilever chair designs. The Tecta Archives include important documents on the Bauhaus and its designers.

Employees: 40

Production space: 3,000 square metres

Production: 100% made in Germany

Most important markets: Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Switzerland, ItalyAlliances: Bauhaus Archive Berlin, TU Delft

Museums and collections: Design Museum London,Bauhaus Archives Berlin,Neue Sammlung Munich,Museum of Modern Art New York, Bauhaus-MuseumWeimar, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, ETH Zurich, Marta Herford, BauhausDessau, Architekturmuseum Frankfurt

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The workshops

A walk through the production facilities is an olfactory experience. With its smells of sawdust, cut metal, leather and lacquer »you could navigate the Tecta factory blindfold,« as British architect Peter Smithson put it. The workshops are tidy and well-organised. In the centre of the sewing room and fabric warehouse dozens of possibilities lie waiting on a long counter: soft leather in a wide variety of colours, fabrics from artisanal collections. »More and more people seek

something truly special,« says Christian Drescher, »They want a piece of furniture that nobody else has.« This is another Tecta hallmark: customer specifications, personalised products – out of the question for most companies. But Tecta has the confidence to meet customer requirements that go far beyond its product range. This fits in well with its objective of carrying forward

the legacy of Bauhaus. A mission that seems to be at odds with all fundamental economic principles but is so successful precisely for this reason.

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»Our museum is devoted to all that is cantilevered,« jokes Axel Bruchhäuser, opening the glass doors of the museum hall. It emanates a sense of space that is simply breath-taking. The building was designed by architect Peter Smithson, who founded the architectural firm A&PS in London with his wife Alison in 1950. »Architecture is the ability to charge a room with energy,« was the Smithsons’ creed, and Peter made a true recreation area out of the museum, exhibition hall and archives. The halls and views of the landscape resemble those of a grand hotel. This is his last major work, which he designed after the death of his wife Alison. Unfortunately, he was no longer present for its

inauguration by Ati Gropius in 2003. In the museum they stand in rank and file – the cantilever chairs for which Tecta has become both a synonym and a laboratory: strict Stam, gentle Breuer, elegant Mies. With over 1,000 exhibits the museum documents the development of the chair without back legs from the rigid cantilever construction to the springy »Freischwinger«. The vice used by Jean Prouvé to transform round tubes into the »tube aplati« is also on display. The hall which evokes a spaceship hovering in the air, underlines the concept illuminated here: the big 1920s topic of weightlessness. Peter Smithson called these objects »flying furniture«. »The idea of bending the

rules of gravity was much discussed at the time and was firmly established in the minds of the visionaries Gropius and El Lissitzky,« reports Axel Bruchhäuser. »In the furniture sector this led to the creation of the cantilever chair, in architecture many companies such as Coop Himmelblau or Teherani were influenced by the cantilever principle.« Nevertheless, the principle was not an instant success with the entire community: »Mies van der Rohe said: I prefer four legs to two,« says Axel Bruchhäuser. For the entrepreneur the focus should not be on the aesthetic alone but also on the poetry of construction.

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