Dark matter: Antwerp’s Klein Agency conjures handsome industrial wares

Dark matter: Antwerp’s Klein Agency conjures handsome industrial wares

Los Angelino-Slovenian couple Jon and Maša Kleinhample founded design studio Klein Agency in Antwerp early last year. Talking about their debut furniture range, ’Klein Home Collection 01’, the heavily pregnant Maša says, with no lack of irony, ‘It’s our first baby and we wanted to bring it to life.’ The furniture combines the tactility of locally sourced leather and oak with black steel frames, industrially tooled and assembled in nearby Essen.

The result is a functional aesthetic applied to chairs, tables, magazine racks and even a home bar that chimes handsomely with their studio-home in the shadow of the MAS museum. The process blends computer-enhanced techniques and handcrafted finishing, while the beautifully proportioned radii come from the geometrical dexterity of former architect Jon. ‘I am a bit of a precision nut,’ he says.

In fact, his hand routing of each wooden piece gives such a perfect fit to the frame that the use of glue is minimal. To give an even more seamless appearance next to the steel frame, Maša uses the shou sugi ban torching technique, a Japanese method of preservation, to gradually darken the oak.

As originally featured in the April 2016 issue of Wallpaper* (W*206)

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