History

2009
Nowadays

Nowadays, Pastoe is represented not only by storage units but also seating. The pure design, the traditional production quality and the striving for technical innovation remain unchanged.


Pastoe - History: 1982 - A new course Image 1

1982
A new course

In the early eighties, a new board brought drastic changes to the collection. Furniture was no longer seen exclusively as purely functional objects but had to also function as autonomous objects within an interior. The design style was restrained and powerful – the Pastoe collection was conspicuous by its simplicity. The company sought to work with leading international architects and artists. Flexibility and ease of use remained the points of departure.


Pastoe - History: 1967 - The search for the perfect cube Image 1

1967
The search for the perfect cube

Braakman refined the principle of cabinets assembled from separate, stackable elements with the Pastoe cube (1967) and the K 369 series (1971). These sharp, geometric cabinet systems were based on technological innovations: PVC-coated chipboard was milled crosswise enabling it to be bent into a cube. This inventiveness and daring earned Braakman and UMS-Pastoe the BKI Award and an exhibition in the Centre for Industrial Design in the Beurs van Berlage in 1968.


Pastoe - History: 1964 - Famous photographers Image 1
Pastoe - History: 1964 - Famous photographers Image 2
Pastoe - History: 1964 - Famous photographers Image 3

1964
Famous photographers

Of course, during the sixties, progressive photography, which saw huge developments at the time, was also used in communications. The collection was immortalised by internationally-renowned photographers such as Cas Oorthuys, Eddy Posthuma de Boer, Ed van der Elsken, Paul Huf and Jan Versnel.


Pastoe - History: 1960 - Progressive illustrations  Image 1
Pastoe - History: 1960 - Progressive illustrations  Image 2

1960
Progressive illustrations

Not only did Pastoe connect with the changing zeitgeist through the design of its collection, the presentation of the collection also underwent ongoing innovation. For example, promotional materials used new graphic disciplines. Posters, brochures and other communications contained the progressive illustrations of famous graphic artists such as Dick Bruna, Otto Treuman, Theo Stradman and Harry Sierman.


Pastoe - History: 1958 - U+N Image 1

1958
U+N

Apart from the flexible cabinet system which could be adapted to individual needs, conventional cabinets were also manufactured, like the U+N from 1958. The design of this cabinet series was also restrained and simple, characteristics that became the hallmark of Pastoe.


Pastoe - History: 1957 - International recognition Image 1

1957
International recognition

The ’Made-to-measure furniture’ system was highly successful at home and abroad. The teak version was awarded a silver medal at the 11th Trienniale in Milan in 1957. The same year it was also crowned with Le Signe d’Or in Belgium.


Pastoe - History: 1955 - ’Made-to-measure furniture’ Image 1

1955
’Made-to-measure furniture’

The collection became more oriented towards storage furniture. The company focused completely on developing flexible cabinet systems which could be assembled by the consumer himself. This innovative concept came to radical fruition in 1955 in the Made-to-measure furniture series. This system was based on an angled frame in which shelves and other components could be fitted in four directions. This enabled the consumer to construct his own cabinet and expand it at a later stage.

‘’Made-to-measure furniture’

The collection became more oriented towards storage furniture. The company focused completely on developing flexible cabinet systems which could be assembled by the consumer himself. This innovative concept came to radical fruition in 1955 in the Made-to-measure furniture series. This system was based on an angled frame in which shelves and other components could be fitted in four directions. This enabled the consumer to construct his own cabinet and expand it at a later stage.


Pastoe - History: 1948 - A new era Image 1

1948
A new era

In 1948, Cees Braakman (1917-1995) followed in his father’s footsteps as director and designer. On a study trip around the United States he became familiar with the pioneering furniture made of curved multiplex by Charles & Ray Eames. The young director convinced the board to take on this innovative production method. Braakman was also influenced by the sharp designs of such designers as the Finnish Alvar Aalto. In his own country, he sought to connect to the Stichting Goed Wonen (1946-1968), which argued for cheap, user-friendly and flexible furniture which suited the small homes of the Dutch. The oak series (1948) and the birch series (1950) were based on geometric cabinet elements, which the consumer could link together to create a cabinet of any desired size.


Pastoe - History: 1947 - A radical choice  Image 1

1947
A radical choice

Following the Second World War, during which the factory was completely dismantled, UMS made a new start. Initially, the old course – the production of an accessible collection – was continued. The management quickly came to the definitive and radical decision for contemporary design. The furniture took on a calm and restrained appearance. The clear collection was suited for a range of home situations. This ‘passe partout' principle was worked into the new brand name, PasToe, with which the company acquired a great reputation at home and abroad as a manufacturer of modern furniture.


Pastoe - History: 1932 - Daring optimism Image 1
Pastoe - History: 1932 - Daring optimism Image 2
Pastoe - History: 1932 - Daring optimism Image 3

1932
Daring optimism

Despite slow sales, UMS remained optimistic about the opportunities for distinctly modern designs. However, the market was not yet ready for furniture with radical and restrained shapes. This was demonstrated by the failure of a project concerning a series of modular furniture by the Amsterdam interior architect A.K. Grimmon; this got no further than a single prototype – a modern, strict geometrical chest of drawers. Equally daring and original were the easy-to-dismantle steel tubular seats designed by the architect H.F. Mertens (1885 - 1960). However, commercial success remained out of reach.


1921
Modern design

UMS’ collection targeted mainly the general public. However, in the UMS drawing office, manager and designer D.L. Braakman (1885-1966) sought a public-friendly variant of the restrained but decorative designs of the Amsterdam School. Without a great deal of commercial success, though: the business design style had not yet found favour with the general public. Nevertheless, UMS continued to flirt with innovative design. The influences of art deco and Scandinavian furniture could be found in the rounded shapes and lighter woods.


1913
The beginning

In 1913, businessman Frits Loeb (1889-1959) decided to manufacture the chairs for his own shop on Ganzenmarkt in Utrecht himself in a small, traditional joinery shop. This, the Utrechtsche Machinale Stoel- en Meubelfabriek (UMS) grew quickly into a large factory by Dutch standards, manufacturing furniture for a range of sales outlets. In 1918, the factory was moved to Rotsoord in Utrecht, where it is still situated to this day.