“I saw FENIX NTM for the first time last year when a friend of mine refurbished his kitchen. I was impressed by the extremely matt surface and depth of the “Nero Ingo” colour, said Antti Tuomi, the Finnish designer of “Combines”.
We interviewed Antti Tuomi about his project and his decision to use FENIX NTM in the design process.
“The idea of using straps for the table came out a few years ago while I was assembling rubber bands into the metal frame of my AT1 easy chair. I started to wonder if those kinds of belts or straps could work as the main constructional element of a piece of furniture, rather than just as a visual or ergonomic element. I drew the first sketches and renderings at the end of 2016, but I started to work on the project more intensively when I made the decision to exhibit at Salone Satellite,” said Antti Tuomi. Another key element for the success of the project was the support of Huonekalusäätiö (Finnish Furniture Foundation) and Askon Säätiö (Asko Foundation).
In order to choose the right materials for his project, quality and functionality were the first things on the designer’s mind. As such, he chose ash and polyester ratchet straps for the structure, and FENIX NTM applied to MDF boards. After that, the focus was on details of the piece’s construction, as straps running around the legs - with the combination of orange straps and blue surfaces - perfectly matched the whole exhibition layout. Antti Tuomi is now working on a new colour and material range and finding new stunning combinations.
No special tools are needed for the production of the Combines Series, which is made entirely in Finland. The wooden parts are cut, planed, and milled. FENIX was glued and edged on MDF boards.
Explaining why he chose FENIX for his design project, Antti Tuomi said: “I saw the FENIX NTM surface for the first time last year, when some friends were renovating their kitchen. They decided to cover their new cupboard doors with FENIX. During the same period, I saw a nice seating solution covered with FENIX NTM in “Nero Ingo”. What piqued my interest was the low light reflectivity of the surface. I also very much liked the character and hue of FENIX in “Nero Ingo”. Of course, when I later started to consider using FENIX for the Combines series, I became familiar with the other main features, namely that it is anti-fingerprint and easy to clean.
“I strongly believe that all design pieces need to be thoroughly tested. That is the reason why I have one of the Combines dining table prototypes at home. What I very much like is how the table also fits nicely in a small studio flat. I also think that the blue colour goes well with different place settings. Of course, the material’s functionality combined with its quality is another important feature. The prototype I showed at Salone del Mobile earlier this year has already travelled across Europe more than once, and the surface of the table made of FENIX still looks brand new. This is a very important aspect, especially when we are talking about a flat-pack object. Of course, ease of maintenance is another important aspect; when you are having dinner, you don’t want to have to worry about how the table is going to look afterwards,” concluded Antti Tuomi.
FENIX for COMBINES
FENIX NTM® Blu Fes edged on MDF boards, combined with natural ash, varnished clear.