Olma Messen St. Gallen

St. Gallen, Switzerland, 2015

Endurance Test Passed – With Flying Colours

Olma Messen St. Gallen trade fair grounds was looking for a new, resilient chair for large venues which was to live up to the most discerning design claims – and found it in the A-Chair.

Admittedly: the design awards which this chair has won to date have also played their part in the decision.

Andreas Hotz, Head of the Design and Operations department, Olma Messen St. Gallen

St Gallen has been the economic centre of Eastern Switzerland since the 15th century. But only since the 1940s has this city been hosting trade fairs in today’s sense of the word – for that’s when OLMA, the Ostschweizerische Land- und Milchwirtschaftliche Ausstellung (agricultural and dairy farming exhibition) was founded there. This was the beginning of what was later to become today’s trade fair grounds cooperative Genossenschaft Olma Messen St. Gallen. In its halls are hosted not only the traditional trade fair for agriculture and nutrition (taking place in October) but also some 130 trade shows, congresses and concerts annually.

In 2015, 1,300 A-Chair stacking chairs were purchased for multi-purpose deployment throughout several halls. Interior designer Andreas Hotz, Head of the Design and Operations department at Olma Messen, took the decision for the A-Chair primarily because of its particular resilience which he had checked out beforehand by having it undergo an endurance test. For in a trade fair hall, a chair is never just standing in a row in its fixed place. Rather, it is continually moved about, stacked, transported from one hall to the next, and re-positioned there. Hence, being robust and thus showing a long service life is one of the most important requirements in trade fair operations. Another A-Chair plus: it can be stacked vertically and thus in a space-saving manner.

But the A-Chair is not only a practical piece of universal seating furniture, sophisticated to the last detail, but it is equally convincing in terms of design. Its glass fibre reinforced frame always appears as if made all of a piece. A major design characteristic are its slim legs with their appealingly discreet appearance and calming overall effect. This makes the A-Chair perfectly suited for large venues. And equipped with a seat liner, it is also particularly comfortable.

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