CO33 Founding story and birth of OPUS PRIMO
CO33 Founding story and birth of OPUS PRIMO
In 2014 my friend Ralf had the following request, which was as easy as it was tricky: "Gregor, can you build me a bench for our golf course?"
"Just a bench," as it was called back then, but of course not just any. It should be made of concrete to replace the wooden predecessors.
Because: wooden benches usually have a short life span and if you want to keep them on golf courses in the long term, you must store them in a dry place over the winter. This of course means a lot of effort at the beginning of the year and at the end of the year, which you would not have with a concrete bench. In addition, concrete lasts so much longer. You only buy it once!
Disadvantages were also found quickly: concrete is heavy, thick and not very chic. The shapes are usually angular due to the simplicity in the formwork.
Therefore, I formulated completely new expectations for MY bench:
Light enough to be transported with two people and not to damage the grass and subsoil.
Heavy enough to protect from simple theft or shifting around.
Thin enough that it does not interfere and visually blend into your environment.
Round in shape to match the soft contours of nature and golf.
For me, these were all points that were atypical for furniture made of concrete.
So I had the theory. The next step was the practice. The design was immediately in my head and then pretty fast on paper. For the implementation, I needed a perfect mold and an equally perfect concrete recipe, which together would allow a first-class concrete surface. A special challenge was the stability.
The reinforcement should serve to accommodate the flexural tension, which retains the shape when putting weight on the bench. However, with a concrete thickness of only 3cm for my bench, this was a problem. The ratio of concrete covering to iron would be much too low.
So stainless steel reinforcement? This would have been done, but since I wanted to fill up my forms upright, the reinforcement would not be able to keep their intended position. The iron would have been everywhere except where it should be!
Another idea was a recipe with fibers, which would have been the obvious solution, but far from it. The fibers affect the flowability of the concrete enormously and would have only reluctantly covered the wide filling path. So all the work was in the concrete; the material that withstands a lot of pressure but does not flex.
So before my project Concrete Bench failed because of a lack of reinforcement, I developed a recipe that enabled us to realize the bench in its final form and to create thinner yet resistant components. The result was UHPC-ultra high performance concrete - without fibers!
After overcoming this hurdle, the bench only had to be cast successfully; which was eventually achieved masterfully after a number of attempts. That was the birth of OPUS PRIMO – Latin for FIRST WORK. This is how the OPUS collection came to be in 2015 - a series of elegant furniture that can be easily transformed and combined. So OPUS PRIMO in combination with wood and steel became a table, a shelf, a cupboard, a wood storage, a TV cabinet and in its smaller version, a chic bedside table.
Other concrete furniture in classic design and exceptional accessories made of concrete followed. All of these can now be purchased in our brand new online shop along with great interior design ideas and information about the material concrete.
In the meantime, we continue to work on new designs and comprehensive service for our very critical customers, and we are always happy to assist and advise them.
If you would like to experience the concrete furniture of CO33 live and touch it and would like your personal consultation on site, we cordially invite you to our factory showroom in Rudolstadt. We look forward to your visit!
THE CO33 BRAND - THE LOGO
What is behind CO33? What do the letters and numbers and especially the plus stand for? Let's start from scratch: My brand should match the product and was planned at the beginning as "COBE +" - "COncrete BEnch and more". Because today "and more" is our strength behind the brand name. The concrete bench should just be the beginning; a large number of exclusive concrete products was my dream.
The logo and the font were clear and then... things turned out differently than planned. During the trade mark application and the survey to check if the registration is possible throughout Europe, a rejection came from France. There was already a registered trademark with our desired name. Of course, there was much disappointment. What now? Overturn all of our plans? My passion, my perfect brand name should be self-explanatory...
I was in a tight spot... and it starts all over again. New name, new logo...
it was clear that CO stands for concrete, the 33 requires a bit more explanation. It is derived from the name of my concrete plant "OBB" which I acquired in 2011. When the new logo was created, it was always read as O33. So why not simply place the C before O33. This idea was perfect and was a better fit than the original name "CoBe".
The idea to make the heart of our company part of the logo came my friend Jan, the son of my beloved lady. And so the attentive observer recognizes the shape of my first piece of concrete furniture in the "O" of the brand name: the concrete bench. The logo in this way always reminds us - and now you – of the beginning of the CO33 concrete furniture story, a thin concrete bench in an exclusive design from the year 2012...