02 Feb Made In Salt River: Frank Böhm Studio
We recently visited the Frank Böhm Studio to take some pictures and quizz them about their creative space. Take a look:
Between 10and5: Where is your space?
Frank Böhm Studio: We run our studio in an awesome, light and spacious studio space at the back of the iconic Rex Trueform building – we are on the g-floor with an inspirational view over the harbour.
10and5: What about the area appeals to you?
FB Studio: Salt River and Woodstock seems to be the hub of the furniture design industry in Cape Town – you are right in the midst of manufacturing, with high end designers and smaller scale operators working side by side.
10and5: What is the Frank Böhm aesthetic?
FB Studio: To be true and honest to the creative process and in our dealings with suppliers and clients alike – and to enjoy what we do and constantly explore new avenues in design.
10and5: How is the brand and the Rex Trueform building a good match?
FB Studio: The Rex Trueform building is an icon in the manufacturing industry in Cape Town. You will not come across too many people in Cape Town who have not been through these doors at some point in their lives. We were lucky to get access to rent space in the otherwise empty, “retired” manufacturing space. The worlds of fashion, architecture and furniture design are not too far removed. Rex Trueform played such a large part in the development of the community and industry in this area. We hope to build on this in the future – it is also a privelage to be the practice handling the current refurbishment of this heritage building.
10and5: Please walk us through your space.
FB Studio: We have the most awesome “rock seat” on the pavement at the entrance to our studio – hopefully this gives the visitor a first glimpse of the processes of Frank Böhm Studio. Then there is a little lobby space where we sometimes leave some items on display – take the old lift – and hope it does not break down – (no, seriously, this has only happened once and I suspect the guy pressed the wrong button). Have a seat on one of our cones – especially there for you to sit on and admire if the trip takes too long.
Up on G level the lift opens up into our light and spacious space with a high arched concrete roof with lots of air to breathe! We display some of our items in this space and also operate the architectural and design studio from the “dark” end of the space where all sorts of intereting things evolve.
We have some timber stock on hand as well which spills over into an adjacent, similar room where we do final finishing work to some our items. There is also access to the rooftop where we can move larger items down the parking ramp and Edgar our right hand man can often be found sanding something or painting out there.
10and5: What’s your favourite part of the building?
FB Studio: Frank – the fire escape staircase with the inspiring view over the harbour. Lisa – Mine I guess would be the lift, oddly enough. It is the “dark tunnel” that leads you to the awakening upstairs!
10and5: And your favourite Frank Böhm piece currently on show?
FB Studio: Lisa – I have always had a personal affection for the Jan, Vicky and latest Julia side table – this is a family of side tables developed to be used as twins ie. 2 girls or 2 boys or as siblings – boy and girl.
10and5: Please tell us about the beams stacked in the showroom.
FB Studio: We have a large selection of beams in the studio that we bought over the years of moslty invasive species. These beams are air dried and treated while waiting to be used. -We either sell them as they are or we can turn them into either very simple items ie. A slab as a coffee table on block legs at around R3500 or a beautiful bespoke designed piece, depending on your budget and taste.
10and5: Who is welcome in your space?
FB Studio: Anyone is welcome to our studio – this is not a showroom but a working space, but we will gladly stop what we are doing and show you around – you may even score a cup of coffee!
10and5: What music is playing, if any?
FB Studio: We always have something playing, either a radio station – mostly 5fm but the dial has been known to shift to some very strange stations! Or CD’s from alternative to classic.
10and5: What will the showroom never see?
FB Studio: A “typical trendy designer” item! We believe in design that is timeless.
10and5: Any exciting projects in the pipeline?
FB Studio: The Rex Trueform refurb is an exciting venture in that it is a heritage building and Frank’s motto of “creating objects that have a vision of already existing beauty” comes to mind!