THE HISTORY OF PASTOE
In 1913, entrepreneur Frits Loeb (1889-1959) decided to produce the chairs for his shop on the Ganzenmarkt in Utrecht himself in a small traditional carpentry factory. This Utrechtse Machinale Chair and Furniture Factory (UMS) quickly grew into a large factory by Dutch standards with furniture production for various points of sale. In 1918 the factory moves to the Rotsoord in Utrecht, where pastoe is located until 2015.
UMS mainly targets the general public with its collection. However, manager and designer DL Braakman (1885-1966) is looking in the drawing office of UMS for a public-friendly variant of the sober but elegant designs of the Amsterdam School. Without much commercial success, by the way - the corporate design style is not yet appreciated by the general public. Nevertheless, UMS continues to flirt with innovative design. Influences of Art Deco and Scandinavian furniture can be seen in rounded shapes and lighter woods.
Despite the difficult sales, UMS remains optimistic about the opportunities of a decidedly modern design. However, the market is not yet ready for furniture with radically sober shapes. This is evident from the failure of a project involving a series of add-on furniture by the Amsterdam interior designer AK Grimmon; that goes no further than one prototype - a modest, strict geometric chest of drawers. Equally daring and original are the demountable tubular steel chairs designed by the architect HF Mertens (1885 - 1960). But this also failed to achieve commercial success.
After the Second World War, in which the factory was completely dismantled, UMS makes a new start. Initially, the old course - the production of an accessible collection - is continued. The management quickly makes a definitive and radical choice for contemporary design. The furniture is given a calm and restrained appearance. The clear collection must be suitable for a variety of living situations. This 'passe partout' principle is incorporated in the new brand name PasToe, with which the company has gained a great reputation as a producer of contemporary furniture at home and abroad.
In 1948 Cees Braakman (1917-1995) followed in the footsteps of his father as a manager and designer. During a study tour of the United States, he is introduced to Charles & Ray Eames' pioneering curved plywood furniture. The young manager convinces the management to use these innovative production methods. Braakman is also influenced by the clear design of designers such as the Finnish Alvar Aalto. In their own country, affiliation is sought with the Stichting Goed Wonen (1946-1968), which advocates cheap, user-friendly and flexible furniture that fits in with the small Dutch homes. The oak series (1948) and the birch series (1950) are based on geometric cupboard elements that the consumer can switch to create a cupboard of any size.
In the collection, the emphasis is increasingly on storage furniture. In doing so, all attention is focused on the development of flexible cabinet systems that the consumer can assemble themselves. This innovative concept was radically elaborated in 1955 in the Furniture-made-to-measure series. This system is based on a corner molding on which shelves and other parts can be mounted in four directions. The consumer can use this to build his own cupboard and expand it later if necessary.
The custom furniture cabinet system is very successful at home and abroad. The teak version was awarded a silver medal at the 11th Triennial in Milan in 1957. The same year also followed the award with Le Signe d'Or in Belgium.
In addition to the flexible cabinet system that can be adapted to the individual wishes of the consumer, conventional cabinets are also produced, such as the U + N from 1958. This cabinet series also has a modest and sober design, which has now become the trademark of pastoe.
Pastoe not only seeks connection with the changing zeitgeist in the design of the collection, the presentation of the collection is also constantly being innovated. For example, new graphic disciplines are used for promotional material. Posters, brochures and other communication are provided with the progressive illustrations of well-known graphic artists such as Dick Bruna, Otto Treuman, Theo Stradman and Harry Sierman.
Of course, progressive photography, which developed enormously during that time, was also used for communication in the 1960s. The collection is captured by internationally renowned photographers such as Cas Oorthuys, Eddy Posthuma de Boer, Ed van der Elsken, Paul Huf and Jan Versnel.
Braakman refines the principle of cabinets made up of separate, stackable elements with the pastoe cube (1967) and the K 369 series (1971). Technological innovations are at the basis of these clear geometric cabinet systems: a PVC-covered chipboard is milled transversely, after which these boards can easily be folded into a cube. For this inventiveness and daring, Braakman and the UMS pastoe were awarded the BKI prize in 1968 and an exhibition at the Center for Industrial Design in the Beurs van Berlage.
At the beginning of the eighties, a new management carries out radical changes to the collection. Furniture is no longer seen exclusively as utensils, but must also be able to function as autonomous objects in an interior. The design style is understated and powerful - the pastoe collection stands out for its simplicity. To this end, collaboration is sought with internationally leading architects and artists. Flexibility and ease of use remain the starting point.
Nowadays, pastoe no longer only profiles itself with storage furniture, but seating furniture is also produced. The pure design, the traditional production quality and the pursuit of technical innovation remain unchanged.
In a rapidly changing interior world, pastoe survives through continuous innovation. In design, in service, in production, in materials, in quality and in colors. Today's world is nothing like that of 1913 and Pastoe has new challenges.
Pastoe has completely focused on cabinets, under the motto; "The Storage Of Your Life". Special cabinets with all the possibilities to add your own taste. The closet is yours and a bit of pastoe. In this way, all our cabinets are unique. Styling and quality are the distinguishing features of pastoe furniture. Service is no longer an afterthought, but one of our most important core values. Product development, marketing and manufacturing are all in the light of sustainability. Something good lasts longer. This certainly applies to the long-term relationship that we have with a close group of pastoe lovers. A relationship that we cherish, because we know that the special commitment to the brand is our greatest added value.