BRUSSELS Balthazar Award
The Balthazar Awards are a well-established part of the Brussels Furniture Fair.
This year, we’ve made minimal updates to the name and the jury.
In order to increase international support, the Balthazar Award has been renamed the BRUSSELS Balthazar Award. This single additional word specifies the origin of the Awards.
There are still four jury members, including two newcomers. This has introduced a good generational mix. The jury members have been selected on the basis of their expertise and reputation in the interior design world.
Veerle Windels has many years’ experience as a journalist and inspirational keynote speaker. She is passionate about fashion, design and architecture, but most of all enjoys looking behind the scenes. In recent years, she has been doing this as a creative consultant for the Belgian trade magazine Meubihome.
Hans Le Compte is an architect and completes projects in a huge variety of contexts and scales. His work includes the restoration, extension, redesign and interpretation of the Mechelen city museum Hof van Busleyden (in collaboration with dmvA architects). Since 1988 he has been a tutor at University College Mechelen (now Thomas More) and in 1999 he started up the advanced furniture design course (aka VOMO) as Head of Training.
Lennart Van Uffelen is a designer/maker at studio PART, an Antwerp design studio and active workshop. With their designs, they are acutely aware that every object is part of a bigger whole. A celebration of craftsmanship, their sustainable products have won numerous prizes. Van Uffelen also teaches at LUCA School of Arts within the hands-on Realisation learning pathway. He enjoys deploying materials as colour, and construction details as aesthetic components.
Dieter Van Den Storm has many years’ experience as a freelance design journalist, a press agent for the furniture brands Artek and Vitra, and a communications and project manager for Kortrijk’s Biennale Interieur. In 2021 he became Creative Director of MAD Brussels, the centre for fashion and design.
THE WINNERS ARE…
The jury chose the following winners and laureates of the BRUSSELS Balthazar Awards 2023!
BEST OF BELGIUM – WINNER
Saunaco – Ron
The jury’s verdict was unanimous.
Ron is 100% Belgium made by Saunaco and designed by Studio Segers. This naming of the designers is quite unusual. The collection is modular, so can be personalised in numerous ways for modern interiors in both small and large spaces. The design is characterised by a consistent interplay of lines. This extends through from the fronts, across the rounded corners, and into the structured glass. Only the practised eye could discern that the fronts are not veneered. The ribbed profiles are milled in MDF and finished with a powder coating. Ron represents Saunaco’s DNA.
BEST OF BELGIUM
Robu – Taku
Passe Partout – Bahia
INNOVATION – WINNER
Theuns – Sento
The entire Sento collection puts Innovation in a totally new perspective.
This is innovation that harks back to the past, to furniture craftsmanship par excellence, and distances itself from the high-tech race. Sento upholds the value of craftsmanship in an innovative design with a strong focus on details. Where do the limits of carpentry lie? With the Sento cabinets, the answer lies in a magical, budding flower in the solid wood fronts. And with the tables, in the masterful extension mechanism, because that too is crafted from 100% solid wood. The only technical concessions are the metal reinforcement profile and the screws. Solid wood? It is surprisingly easy for one person to expand, or rather widen, the table. A wider table ensures a more intimate, cosy experience than a longer table.
Herleven – Wave
Ecolife – Eco Agave
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT – WINNER
Max Divani – Abbracci
Amore a prima vista! Fantastico! Abbracci strides into the room and leaves no one unmoved.
The design triggers your curiosity: what’s going on here? Here the ‘opposites attract’ dynamic applies. A symbiosis of symmetry and asymmetry. Will you sit separately, or together? Together they form a stylish sofa or a communicative tête-à-tête whole. The solitaire arrangement exerts a magnetic pull. What is the other half – the mirror image – doing? Abbracci invites playfulness. How would you like to sit in your element? In which configuration would you like to sit together? Nothing is fixed; anything is possible.
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
Dienne – Petra
De Toekomst – Kelp
BEST INTERNATIONAL – WINNER
Innovation Living – Nolis
Nolis is a timeless and legible design. What you see is what you get.
It makes no secret of its multifunctionality; on the contrary. The day bed is a strong stand-alone presence in the room, serving as an autonomous piece on which to sit, relax, chill, and lounge. The sleep function is not in-your-face, but is there. The mechanism is aesthetically designed and visibly integrated into the sofa. This speaks for itself. Both day and night configurations offer equally harmonious comfort. Nolis has all the hallmarks of a design classic.
Himolla – Modell 1462
Poldem – Dixon
Caroline Van Hoeck – Vlak
Above all, Vlak is playful: creating a fascinating graphic play of planes, lines, shadows, and colours.
The name alludes to geometric shapes and furniture panels. But also to the colour-blocking. Every block is different. The chair is a balanced mix-and-match of a diamond, a hexagon and a rectangle. This configuration invites more playful sitting positions, ranging from slightly right to left-oriented. The shape of the table is equally liberating. This too invites playfulness. All the shapes come from a single, flat panel. Vlak is a statement: this is just the beginning. Vlak and its planes will be continued….