Category

News

Columbus Continuum: Anima d’acciaio

By News

Dear Friend,
we are very proud to invite you to the opening of Anima d’Acciaio: Columbus and the bicycle design, the second chapter of ‘Columbus continuum: 100 years of a steel manufactory in Milan’, Wednesday, November the 20th from 6.30 pm to 9 pm at Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea gallery.

The exhibition will be open to the public from November 21st to January 18Th 2020.

Anima d’Acciaio: Columbus and the bicycle design
Wednesday 20th November
from 6.30 pm to 9 pm
Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea
Via Solferino 44, Milan

Columbus and Wohnbedarf license

By News

In the early months of 1933 Milanese entrepreneur Angelo Luigi Colombo decided to meet the architect Marcel Breuer to discuss his tubular steel furniture. In the metal laboratories at the Bauhaus, starting from the mid-twenties, the architect first experimented with the Wassily armchair (1925) and more importantly with the cantilever chair (1926).


On a business card, Breuer notes for Colombo the name of the newly formed Zurich based company Wohnbedarf, which was founded by the historian and critic Sigfried Giedion along with the architect Werner Moser, that held the rights for the industrial production of his furniture.


A company without a factory – an “editor” so to speak – one which relies on specialized and competent manufacturers, like the Swiss based company Embru in Rüti. Following Breuer’s suggestion, Angelo Luigi Colombo signs an agreement to realize exclusively and to produce under licence, with its Columbus brand, the furniture for Breuer and other architects of the Bauhaus and of the Swiss-German school, such as Flora Steiger and Werner Moser.

    
In 1933 Wohnbedarf, whose visual identity was designed by Max Bill, opened a shop in Zurich, also designed by Breuer, that became an important reference for the industry distribution and remained such for many years, well after the Second World War. In the same period, he had also started producing furniture by Alvar Aalto, Alfred Roth and by Giedion himself.

The exhibition Flessibili splendori. Columbus and the tubular steel furniture in on show until November, 9th 2019.
From Tuesday to Friday 10am – 1pm, Saturday 3pm – 7pm.

Columbus Continuum: Flessibili Splendori opening video

By News

Flessibili Splendori: Columbus and the tubular furniture
curated by Alessandra Bassi
Opening Wednesday 25 September, 6.30 pm
From 26.09 to 9.11.2019

Columbus continuum: 100 years of a steel manufactory in Milan, is the title of a series of exhibitions and activities, which will develop over the course of one year, displaying one hundred years of Columbus, an Italian metallurgical company specialized in the production and processing of metal tubing in its various applications. The 4 exhibitions will take place at Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea gallery, a 20-years-point of reference in Milan for contemporary figurative art, founded by Antonio Colombo in 1998.
Over the course of a hundred year, the company – founded by Angelo Luigi Colombo in 1919 in Lambrate – has developed various processes related to metallurgy and produced finished products in many different fields, from transport vehicles to furniture.
In order to narrate the many stories composing this unique entrepreneurial scenario, related to the founder himself and the son Antonio Colombo, four exhibitions have been planned, to set and show the company from four different perspectives and industries: tubular furniture; steel series for bicycle frames; the great innovation and research content of the company that lead it to collaborate to amazing goals and achievements (from airplanes to cars and riding machines); the constant focus on art and design.
Today Antonio Colombo’s activity continues in the world of cycling, with the brands Columbus, which produces steel tubes and carbon forks for bicycles, and Cinelli, manufacturer of high-end frames and components for bicycles.

The first exhibition Flessibili splendori: Columbus and the tubular furniture, curated by Alessandra Bassi, with an exhibition set-up by Franco Raggi, is dedicated to the creation of metal tube furniture started by A.L. Colombo’s company in 1933 and ended in the immediate post-war period.
This production begins with the acquisition of the exclusive license for the Italian manufacturing of the tubular furniture made by the Zurich company Wohnbedarf, which had developed models with many architects, such as Alvar Aalto, Sigfried Giedion, Werner Moser, Alfred Roth or Flora Steiger, but above all with Marcel Breuer who from the mid-twenties had designed with tubular steel at the Bauhaus.
Columbus creates, on license, “original” furniture with the specialized quality competence in the manufacturing of the steel tube, which is the result of a mechanical process that requires a deep handcraft expertise and ability.
Therefore it’s not by chance that the architect Giuseppe Terragni – and before him Giuseppe Pagano, for the design of a popular umbrella stand – turned to Columbus for metallic tube furniture of the Como buildings of the second half of the Thirties, such as the Casa del Fascio or the Sant’Elia nursery school. Armchair and chair, with the characteristic springy cantilevered frame, adopted in both architectures, were produced in small “industrial” series.
Among the Italian designers, another prestigious Columbus collaboration was the one with Piero Bottoni, during the VI Triennale di Milano in 1936, where for the waiting room of a dental practice different solutions for armchairs based on an original elastic crossing are tested.

Columbus’ is an important story in the history of Italian design, well preserved and re-built thanks to the meritorious will of Antonio Colombo, son of Angelo Luigi, who wanted to create the Columbus Archive, encouraging studies, publications (the volume Flessibili splendori. Il mobile in tubolare metallico. Il caso Columbus, Electa, 1998), initiatives and exhibitions. Such as those ones occurring this year, 2019, in the occasion of the centennial of the foundation of his father’s company.
The Columbus Archive represents a unicum in the world: a well safeguarded heritage, made up of hundreds of original furnishings, designs and drawings, catalogues and advertisement – both from the company and competitors, revealing a universal curiosity towards the world as a whole – wooden molds for production and dozens of thousands of documents. A business archive, active since the mid-Nineties, which testifies of the vitality of certain advanced entrepreneurship in Italy, the merge of capabilities of R&D, dialogue with the project, and an appropriate and visionary cultural substance.

Following, starting in November, three other exhibitions: the first aims to highlight the crucial contribution of Columbus to the evolution of professional cycling, result of the manufacturing of special steel tubes devoted to the production of excellent bicycles for champions such as Coppi, Anquetil, Gimondi, Ritter, Merckx, Moser… alongside with the role that Columbus plays in the contemporary international renaissance of steel and new makers, apprentices of the historic frame builders, who are giving a brand new life to steel frames.
The second sets Columbus within the wider scenario of the history of Italian entrepreneurship: the life of the company retraced through the key stages of its production, such as the in-depth studies on metallurgy, as shown by products, patents and technical solutions.
The third and last exhibition investigates the deep relationship among Columbus, Cinelli, bicycles and art.

Columbus Continuum: Flessibili Splendori

By News

Dear friends,
we are very proud to invite to the opening of ‘Flessibili Splendori. Columbus and the tubular furniture.’, the first exhibition of ‘Columbus continuum: 100 years of a steel manufactory in Milan’, a series of shows and activities displaying one hundred years of Columbus, an Italian metallurgical company specialized in the production and processing of metal tubing in its various applications. In order to narrate the many stories composing this unique entrepreneurial scenario, related to the founder himself and the son Antonio Colombo, four exhibitions have been planned, to set and show the company from four different perspectives and industries.

This first exhibition narrates about the exceptional production season of rationalist metal tubular furniture created by the company A. L. Colombo, during the 1930s and 1940s. All the exhibitions will take place at Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea gallery, a 20-years-point of reference in Milan for contemporary figurative art. The exhibition will be open to public from September 26th to October 26Th 2019.

For further information you can download the press release here.

Flessibili Splendori. Columbus and the tubular furniture
Wednesday 25th September
from 6.30 pm to 9 pm
Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea
Via Solferino 44, Milan

Columbus Continuum 100 Years Celebrations

By News

In the second half of the year Columbus (1919 – 2019) is celebrating its 100th Anniversary with a series of exhibitions in order to narrate the many stories composing this unique entrepreneurial scenario.

The four exhibitions, reunited under the name Columbus continuum. 100 years of a steel manufactory in Milan, have been planned to set and show the company from four different perspectives and industries: tubular furniture; steel series for bicycle frames; the great innovation and research content of the company that lead it to collaborate to amazing goals and achievements (from airplanes to cars and riding machines); the constant focus on art and design.

The whole series is hosted in Milan by Antonio Colombo Art Gallery, a landmark in figurative avant-garde for more than 20 years.

Here the exhibitions details:
1. Flessibili splendori: Columbus and the tubular furniture.
September 25th 2019 – October 26th 2019

2. Anima d’acciaio: Columbus and the bicycle design
November 7th 2019 – December 5th 2019

3. Dentro il tubo: Columbus and technological innovation in special tubing production
January 16th 2020 – February 15th 2020

4. Traguardo volante: Columbus and Cinelli, crossing the line between art and bicycle
February 27 2020 – March 28th 2020

We wish you all the best for these summer holidays!
Our offices will be closed from August 5th to 23rd

Columbus Team

Columbus steel back at the Tour!

By News

Columbus & Merckx riding Pro-Tour steel!

This Sunday in Paris the grand-finish of the Tour de France will host
a historical event in the event.

For the very first time ever a modern-steel bike will race on the avenues of the Champs-Élysées, thanks to the special synergy between Columbus and Eddy Merckx.

Inspired by the great “Cannibale” the Belgian brand now supporting the AG2R Team, managed to have its rider Oliver Naesen, #37, riding on its very new “Corsa” model, completely made with Columbus steel.

This special frame is made out of a finely tuned selection of Spirit HSS and XCr (stainless) steel-tubes, which represent the most cutting-edge performing specifications, made in Italy for the hi-end tailor made framesets of new-generation.

Adding further pathos and glory, this unique synergy is taking place in the year of the 100 anniversary of Columbus brand and of the iconic Yellow Jersey too!

See you on Sunday at the finish line!
#steelisreal

Columbus Team

Columbus CENTO Limited Tubeset!

By News

Dear Friend
We’re happy to provide you the final catalogue and details, related to the all-new Columbus CENTO limited-edition tubing set!

This celebrative set pays a special tribute to the origins of the company, providing three length-options for an improved lightness,
plus prestigious parts, details and finishing, all matched with the most updated materials and technologies.

According to its limited-edition nature, to celebrate the 100 years anniversary, CENTO orders will be only accepted from today until December 31th 2019.

CENTO is provided only as a complete-set, including all the main-tubes, the rear stays, the BB, the steerer, plus some special fittings and metal parts.

To better optimize the lightness and the performances of the frame, framebuilders will have the possibility to select the length and reinforces of CENTO: Top-Tube, Down-Tube, Seat-Stays (3 sizes available: A – B – C).

The entire Columbus Team is very excited about this special launch,
and we thank you very much for your support on this unique project!

For more technical details, you can consult here the complete Columbus CENTO catalogue.

All bests from Milan
Columbus Team

Happy Easter!

By News

Dear Friend
Columbus Team would like to wish you a good Easter,
nice festive days & great spring-time cycling!

Thank you for the extended trust in our brand.
We’re already looking forward for the road ahead,
eager to share many more new projects and adventures together!

Please note our HQs will be closed from April the 20th to the 27th
for the holiday and annual maintenance.
Our Team will get back to you as soon as possible once back at the office.

Moreover, if you’re planning to visit the upcoming hand-made shows
our Italian Team and local partners will be happy to shake hands!
The upcoming shows Columbus is going to attend are:
_HBSA Australia, Melbourne, April 26th – 28th
_Bespoked UK, Bristol, May 3rd – 5th

See you soon, on the road!
Columbus Team