A conversation with Peter Klick

Since basements usually have only a few windows, if any, they are great spaces to design.
As if to design in a shoe box…"

- Peter Klick of Klick Interiors

a drawing for the H51 residence in Zurich, by Peter Klick

Decoration can be a state of mind,
an unusual perception, a ritual whisper. - Ettore Sottsass

Why can't we be ourselves like we were yesterday? - New Order

Peter Klick's H51 project in the Zurich suburbs, which started about 34 years ago, and completed in 1990, continues to push design boundaries 35 years later. Recently, we are witnessing a strong resurgence of Postmodernism. Recent exhibitions of PostModernism at the V of A, Style and Subversion 1970-1990, and a new generation of designers discovering the works of Sottsass, Pesce, etc, brings a new light and shadow to projects such as Klick's H51 project. Sottsass' design has gained strength and validation from the auction market in the last years, as his prices have soared to all time highs, as in the recent LAMA Auction last year.

For Klick, he notes Gaetano Pesce, Ettore Sottsass, and Jaime Hayon, a contemporary Spanish designer, as some of his greatest influences. Klick's interiors utilize a complex color palette with confident sculptural forms to tell a distinct narrative of design, that references Italian/ French design, while also telling his own personal story of design.

When I asked Peter Klick to name a few of his favorite designers, he gave me a long list of inspired designers that included: Bram Boo, Maarten Baas, Mario Gamper, Jaime Hayon, Matteo Thun, Ettore Sottsas, Gaetano Pesce, Alessandro Mendini, Gae Aulenti, Arne Quinze, Marten Baas, Patricia Urquiola, Hans Wegner, Paola Lenti, Annet van Egmond, Achille Castiglioni, Michele De Lucchi, Andrea Branzi, Verner Panton, Hella Jongerius, Gam/Fratesi ...

Are you ready to tour H51?

Welcome to H51: The Pink Guest Room

Peter: Oh yes,…it was for a young family with 2 children. They had a nice house in the Zurich suburbs, Switzerland. It had a view to the mountains, and on a clear day you could see the Alps. The house had 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, an indoor pool, a home theater / play room, and a large unused basement. It lacked a proper guestroom, or room for the nanny who would be watching the children.

I already worked on some rooms in the house, so they simply asked me:
Can you do something interesting with this space?

"Sure I can," I replied.

Since basements usually have a few windows, if any, they are great spaces to design. As if to design in a shoe box. But how to design a space for their daughter, a girl in a basement, that she likes, and feels safe.

That was the challenge!

In the basement we did not have a view to the mountains; so the idea was to try to replace it with the forms of the walls, roofs, tables and the back of the bed. Also a roof over the bed feels safe and cozy. From inside, the illuminated, pink, translucent painted Plexiglas columns are holding the roof with is also holding 50watt halogen spots. The colors pink and grey have a low contrast which makes the space feel larger.

Peter: The master bedroom is located behind the kitchen. The remodeling of the kitchen, dining and living area, as well as the master bedroom became a major project because we eliminated some structural walls. The master bathroom is between the Bedroom and Kitchen, with dark blue tiles from floor to ceiling, walk in shower and whirlpool bathtub. The bedroom has a dark blue carpet, a walnut dresser and a large closet with mirrored sliding doors.

Illuminated by Standing lamps from Salvador Dali: Cajones and Black label from BD Barcelona. The family has a lot of guests with sit down dinners, so, the concept was to avoid a large living room area with sofas and TV, and to upgrade the dining room area with a larger table which provided more comfortable seating. The kitchen with a bar for aperitifs, and breakfast for the kids, and in the basement, a home theater with a pool table.

Office: Andrea Branzi's Amnesia shelf from Design Gallery, Milan,
Gaetano Pesce's Green Street Chair for Vitra, Alessndro Mendini's Chair,
and a custom designed desk by Peter Klick

Ron Arad's custom bar for H51

Peter: After completion of the project, they did not like my walnut bar very much. At the time we went to Salone in Milan and discovered the organically shaped bar with bays to sit in from Ron Arad. He did this beautiful bar for the Strato showroom in Milan, so I contacted Ron Arad and asked him if he would design and produce a bar like this for us.

I took the dimensions in Zurich, he designed it in London and Marzorati Ronchetti procured it in Cantu, Italy and they installed it in Zurich.

Indoor Pool: "the stones and boulders to give the pool a more outdoor feeling."

"It is important to realize that whatever we do or design has iconographic references, it comes from somewhere; any form is always metaphorical, never totally metaphysical; it is never a 'destiny' but always a fact with some kind of historical reference.

- Ettore Sottsass

Bedroom: Peter Kick custom designed the flowers for the headboard,
curtains and night stand, as well as the table.

Peter Klick received his Bachelor of Science in Classical Furniture and Fine Work Working at the Allgemeine Gewerbeschule in Basel, Switzerland after a four year hands-on apprenticeship. He continued his education at the legendary Staatlichen Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart, Germany where he received a Master of Arts in Interior Architecture. For the next five years, Klick worked as an Interior Architect for Venzin AG where he designed, constructed and remodeled more than 200 boutique and retail stores, offices, homes and restaurants in Switzerland. Klick’s extensive experience led him to establish his own firm, Klick Interiors, which launched in 1985.

Since its launch, Klick Interiors has enjoyed a wide range of international projects ranging from an innovative classroom design for a prestigious Catholic School in Chicago to the complete interior redesign and construction of a historic 100 year old villa in Switzerland. Klick Interiors clients have included Interhome, Utoring, Hotlelplan, UBS, Swatch, Seipp and many others.

Now based in Chicago, Illinois, Klick works as a Program Coordinator and instructor of Interior Design at the renowned Harrington College of Design. Passionate about passing along his experience to senior-level Bachelor of Science students in Interior Design, Klick remains very active in the Interior Design industry, and continuously travels throughout the year to the latest Interior Design exhibits, shows, conferences and experimental design studios. Klick Interiors specializes in residential and commercial projects throughout Europe and USA.

Please visit Klick Interiors here