wentieth century design, from the most famous names to extraordinary unidentified pieces, with a predilection for the still little-known pioneers of Swiss design, this is Buma, a warehouse, showroom and restoration workshop in northern Switzerland, more or less sixty miles from Zurich, Basel and Lucerne. Started in 2002 by Pascal Bucheli and Michael Fischer, Buma has made the most of its peripheral location by taking over an area of 1000 sqm in an old industrial building, once home to a factory of kitchen furniture.
Twentieth century design, from the twenties to the beginning of the new millennium; this is Buma in Niedergösgen, Switzerland.
In the foreground, the armchairs designed in 1955 by Dux Tabergs for Yllefabriks and the bench designed in 1965 by Martin Visser for Spektrum. On the right, the bookcase designed in 1950 by Benedikt Rohner for Girsberger.
Sitting at old school desks, Buma’s founding partners, Michael Fischer and Pascal Bucheli, joke with Domenika Rast, who joined the team in 2014 as an apprentice upholsterer. Both master carpenters, Michael and Pascal discovered the charm of the world of furniture working in a carpenter's workshop. Their passion for twentieth century design grew gradually as they went searching for vintage pieces to sell in their store. Although, as Pascal informs us, at the beginning their approach was slightly ingenuous, over the years they have become real design experts.
Buma has taken over an area of 1000 sqm in an old factory that manufactured kitchen furniture.
In the background, Le Bambole, a sofa designed in 1972 by Mario Bellini for B&B and the Palm lamp, Maison Jansen 1970. In the foreground, Dreirundtisch, a side table designed in 1949 by Max Bill for Horgen Glarus.
The showroom’s industrial structure is the perfect setting for Buma’s large collection of vintage furniture. Right-hand side image, several rare finds: Panama, the colourful lamps designed in 1955 by Wim Rietveld for Gipsen and the Tatzelwurm sofa, DS 600, designed by Ueli Berger, Eleonore Peduzzi- Riva, Heinz Ulrich and Klaus Vogt, manufactured by De Sede in 1972.
Pascal Bucheli has been attracted to architecture since childhood and dreamt of becoming a professional model maker. Training as a carpenter’s apprentice was a necessary compromise and a fortunate one at that in hindsight, as he couldn’t find a an apprenticeship as a model maker. When he and Michael began restoring furniture, he realized that they would need an upholsterer as well, someone who also knew how to work leather. So, as Michael was strolling around the flea markets looking for pieces, Pascal re-trained as an upholsterer. In the meantime, they have become great experts in using the internet at their advantage, in fact most of their customer base arrives via their incredibly smart website.
The fact that passion often becomes a profession is a well trodden path, especially in the field of vintage furniture. You often begin by casually buying a piece, you then want to learn more about the designer’s history, the style, the way in which it’s made and before you know it, your home is full of great flea-market finds and you’re longing for more. Basically, most of our esteemed vintage stores are started by people who casually become collectors.
Buma’s story is an exception, as its founding partners Pascal Bucheli and Michael Fischer are real craftsmen. They discovered design by paying attention to the quality of the materials and the functionality of the furniture, before appreciating its aesthetic value. Basically, their journey is exactly the same method supported by the Bauhaus movement, the abc of modern design: form follows function. So, if they deem a piece of furniture to be worthy of their services, this in itself is an assurance of quality.
5013 Niedergösgen, Switzerland
Tel: 0041 (0)79 280 35 29
Sat 10.00 - 16.00
Mon - Fri by appointment only
Courtesy Buma Design