Opposite the art association „Die Brücke“, a piece of building tradition is being restored: The bed manufacturer Fennobed has moved into the listed Hahnenstraße 31 after a careful deconstruction and opened its bed gallery there at the beginning of March.
After a good year of preparation, the family business Fennobed reopened a store in Cologne at the beginning of March. In doing so, the bed manufacturer is working with the landlord to restore a piece of Cologne’s post-war architecture. The sales pavilions in the southern Hahnenstrasse – like the building of the „Die Brücke“ art association on the other side of the street – were designed by the formative Cologne master builder Wilhelm Riphahn. The listed Bauhaus-style buildings were constructed between 1945 and 1950. The Wendland family, which still owns the property at Hahnenstraße 31 today, operated a traditional leather goods store there for several decades. After a change of users, among other things, a voluminous facing was built around the canopy of the pavilion. The overall appearance of the street was significantly impaired as a result. Now, in coordination with Fennobed, the Wendland family has removed this facing and largely restored the building to its original architectural state. Fennobed founder Elli Lehnhoff is very happy about this new location: „We like to create things of lasting beauty. That’s why it’s particularly fitting that we can use the high-quality building in Hahnenstraße, which has been restored to its former glory, for our new business. After all, the ideas of Bauhaus are not only in this building, but also in our beds.“
A connection for life
The store in Cologne is also getting new management with the move from Mediapark, where it was based until last year. But it still remains in the Fennobed family. The new managing director, Marcel Meyer, who is also largely responsible for the redesign of the building, is already in charge of Fennobed in Switzerland. He thus represents the consistency that characterizes the bed manufacturer. For despite its now international presence, Fennobed remains true to its family tradition. Its two founders met and fell in love during their studies. Elli Lehtonen grew up on the southwest coast of Finland, where her parents designed and produced high-quality furniture in their own workshop. Her furniture design studies took her to Schwäbisch Gmünd for an Erasmus semester, where she met Andreas Lehnhoff. The son of an engineer, he wanted to become an industrial designer. The two decided to go their separate ways, not only privately but also professionally.
In 2004, they founded the company Fennobed, for which they still design the beds themselves. They brought Elli’s brother Kalle Lehtonen on board and, with his help, were able to manufacture entirely in the family’s own factory. In this enduring structure, the partners are also a living part of the company. „I am happy to be part of the Fennobed community and to be able to grow gently with the company,“ Meyer emphasizes. The first point of contact for customers in the Cologne store will be showroom manager Jörg Ungerer.
Symbiosis of bed and room in the Bauhaus spirit
In the historic location in Hahnenstraße, various influences come together and yet unite in one style. At the center, of course, is the bed. It has an outstanding significance in the Finnish way of life and is clearly more than just a place to sleep. It’s where the kids romp, it’s where they read, and it’s where they relax after a sauna session. The bed is a center of activity throughout the day. For such a central place, expectations are naturally high. Sleeping comfort and the feeling of lying down should be very good. At the same time, you want to feel good in a natural way and the bed should remain consistently attractive. Therefore, Fennobed beds can be designed from a very high quality modular system with durable basic elements. These can be perfected with different fabrics, covers, feet and a wide range of matching headboards. This makes the beds changeable and adaptable to different phases of life or changing tastes.
Elli and Andreas Lehnhoff developed the concept themselves. They combined Finnish naturalness and a love of good design with German precision and well thought-out design perfection. Influenced by the Ulm School of Design, they have internalized the functionalism of the Bauhaus idea without losing their sense of comfort. And so the circle closes in Cologne. In the new Fennobed store, architecture and furniture are combined in the Bauhaus tradition, and together they stand for timeless quality and aesthetics. This also pleases the owner of the store: „I am very pleased that my sales and showroom is being continued by a family business in such an appealing way. This does justice to this tradition-rich location, as this store has been in our family for several generations and was already run by my grandmother as a leather goods store,“ explains J. Wendland. Mr. Wendland and his daughter, attorney Anja Bischopink, are in close contact with Fennobed. „Ms. Bischopink and the law firm Junge, Schüngeler, Wendland, where both she and her mother work, advised and supported us in the redesign. For that, and for the opportunity to use this historic location for our new Fennobed business, I am grateful to Mr. Wendland, his daughter and the law firm of Junge, Schüngeler Wendland. We share an appreciation for the tradition of a family business,“ emphasizes Mr. Meyer.