Conde House founder Minoru Nagahara started his career in the industry at age 15 in Asahikawa, Hokkaido. One of the five major furniture producing areas in Japan, Asahikawa is surrounded by rolling hills and mountains. With ample and sustainable wood resources, the city is the ideal setting for its robust furniture design and manufacturing industry.
In 1963, Nagahara was sent to West Germany to study furniture making and design as a technical trainee in a program sponsored by Asahikawa City. Over the course of three-and-a-half years he, with three furniture manufacturers, studied at the national technical university in Rosenheim, and became determined to share high-quality Hokkaido wood with the world. Five years later, on September 14, 1968, he, with several other furniture enthusiasts, founded the company that would become Conde House Co., Ltd.
For the last five decades, Conde House has provided beautifully designed, skillfully crafted furniture that is contemporary, yet timeless. With classic lines that withstand passing trends, Conde House furniture will look elegant for generations. With nearly 300 employees, Conde House now sells wooden furniture in more than 19 countries and has branches throughout Japan and in America and Europe.
Today, Conde House, which blends traditional Japanese craftsmanship with 21st-century advanced technology, is noted worldwide for exceptional design and manufacturing quality as expressed in its line of high-end contemporary furnishings catering for both residential and business use.
This year the company celebrates its 50th anniversary with a Dining Fair at its Minami-Aoyama store. Conde House Tokyo reopened last year after an extensive renewal process. At the time of the reopening, the designs of all the products were redefined into three lines, and their displays were modified accordingly to convey the peaceful comfort of daily life.
Imagine walking barefoot across the hardwood floor with the Simple & Natural line, while the clean and elegant North Noble line gives your home a bold European atmosphere. For those with more modern tastes, desiring specific aesthetics, the Advanced Classic series creates beautiful surroundings.
Collaborations with International Innovators
When Nagahara founded Conde House, he did something exceptional for that time in Japan and began partnering with designers, mostly Europeans, forming a unique relationship that continues to this day. This approach, coupled with traditional Japanese craftsmanship, has resulted in furnishings that combine an Asian-inspired Zen-like simplicity with European-inspired clean lines and organic curves.
One of latest offerings is the Kina Lux line launched in June. The light filtering through the eye-catching and groundbreaking furniture designed by New Zealander David Trubridge produces a beautiful nuance of shades in the room with its distinctive geometrical patterns. The furnishings are also multi-functional, as they can be used as either an ottoman or a center table.
Excellent designs come from the creator’s hard work and willingness to accept challenges. One of the earliest collaborations was with Swedish furniture designer Sture Eng. Eng’s simple but stylish Runt Om chair and stools – made from native Japanese ash, oak and walnut – was the first in a long line of collaborations with an impressive stable of designers.
Most recently, German designer Michael Schneider unveiled the new TEN collection. Derived from aeronautical engineering principles of a sturdy skeleton and a lightweight skin, TEN tables are made from ash wood harvested in Hokkaido. The Korento line of sturdy, stylish armchairs was developed by Finnish designer Mikko Halonen, a finalist at the International Furniture Design Competition in Japan.
Creations That Are One with Nature
The innovation of Conde House, however, remains influenced by Nippon no monozukuri, or Japanese craftsmanship. As much as Conde House strives to find contemporary and innovative work, no matter which country the designers are based in, the underlying essence of monozukuri creates a symbiotic relationship between the factory and each designer. This concept is centered in the effective use of natural materials, sophisticated yet minimal design, and precise structures.
Respect for nature and consideration for people is the most important value, and Conde House has applied it to its manufacturing throughout their five decades in business. The beautiful forests of Hokkaido are the starting point of every piece of furniture made by Conde House craftsmen, and as such, every last piece of wood is used to create items that will be a part of its owner’s daily life. Once a year, the entire factory team plants new trees in the forests surrounding the Asahikawa factory.
Conde House is dedicated to crafting furniture that will be loved and used for a lifetime. Since its establishment in 1968, Conde House has strived to globally disseminate knowledge on the art of Japanese craft-making from the mountains of Asahikawa, Hokkaido.
CONDE HOUSE DINING FAIR: SEP 15-OCT 28, 2018
A showcase of Conde House’s latest and most popular models plus a special offer for in-store customers. September 15–October 28, Conde House Tokyo Shop, 5-4-46 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
For more information, visit condehouse.com