An eye on the future from the very beginning
"The past on file, the future in our sights"; Helmut Lübke's motto characterises the company's development as a whole. Here is a run-down of the most important milestones over the last decades
1937 With their small furniture factory, carpenter Leo Lübke and businessman Hans Lübke laid the foundations for an international company. Gebr. Lübke KG manufactured polished bedroom furniture out of birch, mahogany and rosewood. To begin with, there was a staff of six; by 1938 the company already employed seventy people.
1939-45 Production had to be adapted to other commodities: furniture for crews and officers, aircraft parts, furnishings for temporary homes and railway carriages. At the end of the war the plant was commandeered by the Americans for a short period.
With the resurgence of the economy, living standards rose. From 1950, high-quality beds, wardrobes and cabinets were produced as a result. The central theme: form follows function. Quality furniture must be long-lasting and straightforward. Leo Lübke sr.: "Something is only perfect if nothing more can be left out." The company also produced increasingly for foreign markets.
In 1953, when co-founder Hans Lübke died, Gebr. Lübke KG had attained international prestige. Its products made it into the palace of the Ethiopian Emperor, and during a visit to the British troops in Germany, Princess Margaret spent the night in a Lübke interior.
Starting in 1955, interior designer Michael Bayer was responsible for the uniform brand presence: trade fair stands, advertising, sales exhibitions – and the first photographed furniture catalogue. The modular programme "127" launched in 1956 was the first element furniture programme from which a room could be furnished in its entirety
The name "interlübke" was used for the time 1962. To begin with, it denoted the successor programme of the "127", but soon established itself as the brand name for the whole company. Michael Bayer designed the work mark and logo, still valid to this day, as a combination of the family name and the terms interior and internationality.
1963 saw the appearance of the absolute interlübke classic. The concept of the new endless wardrobe was revolutionary – using just a few elements, endless configurations could be created, providing spacious storage space and multiple functions (Büro Müller, later team form ag). An asset which has retained its validity to the present day: the furniture programme established itself with its exemplary finish and lacquer quality.
In April 1965, the new company headquarters in the award-winning design by architect J.G. Hanke were opened at Ringstraße 145 in Rheda-Wiedenbrück. With their reduced design, simple shapes and colours, the furniture programme for living rooms, bedrooms and dining rooms became the epitome of the progressive modern. 'interlübke white' established a furnishing style which has remained valid to this day.
Following the death of Leo Lübke in 1975, his wife Christine and Horst Lübke, the son of Hans Lübke, assumed the management of the company. In 1976, the highly variable modular shelving classic "studimo" designed by team form ag was born. It is still part of the programme today.
At the end of 70s and in the mid-90s Peter Maly and Rolf Heide joined the circle of designers working with interlübke, introducing progressive, colour and material-orientated programmes such as "duo" and "mutaro" (Peter Maly). In 1998, Rolf Heide designed "travo" and, alone to begin with, then jointly with Peter Kräling from 2004, further developed the wardrobe programmes S07 and 40S, which are also still available.
In 1996, Helmut Lübke took over the helm and together with his son Leo purchased all the company shares. Under his management in turbulent economic times the business concentrated on the basic values clarity, consistency and quality. Earlier than expected, due to the death of his father, Leo Lübke jr. rose to the top of the company as Managing Partner in October 2006.
In 2001, the East Westphalian premium manufacturer launched the first illuminated furniture: "eo" by Wulf Schneider, the winner of the German Design Award. With "cube" (designed by Werner Aisslinger) one of the most successful furniture programmes to date was launched in the same year.
Not quite a decade later in 2010, the revolutionary cabinet system "reef" (Neuland Industriedesign) with cascading front elements appeared.
In its 75th year, interlübke has once again taken the market by surprise with innovative wall unit concepts by Rolf Heide & Peter Kräling. The "bookless" programme, on the other hand, is a gallery system for living, developed by Gino Carollo and René Chyba for the e-book age. By way of an anniversary gift to the public, a representative research study on living (working title: Germany in private) will be presented in May 2012.
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