Bang & Olufsen announced the Contrast Collection – a limited eight-piece collection created in collaboration with Danish design studio Norm Architects. Taking pleasure in difference, the Contrast Collection is an exploration of material combinations and tactile surfaces – between minimal and expressive, rough and smooth, light and dark, silence and loudness, harmony and noise – celebrating the shared curiosity and craftsmanship between the two brands using material tensions that intrigue and excite.
The color palette of the collection was determined by exploring new ways of working with aluminum, which is a material that has become an integral and ubiquitous part of the Bang & Olufsen design aesthetic. Bang & Olufsen and Norm Architects wanted to turn the mirror-like aluminum into a soft and warm spectrum of colors that could put focus on textures applied to the aluminum.
The light grey and anthracite color tones were created from the same master sample of anthracite – an earthy, nearly-black grey – completed at the anodizing treatment facility at Bang & Olufsen headquarters.
The brushed aluminum textures have been obtained after countless experiments with different surface treatments. There is a fine balance between presenting the application of a brushed effect as deliberate and controlled, and after a long process that started with hand brushing pieces of flat aluminum for added tactility, the aluminum experts of Bang & Olufsen managed to achieve giving Contrast its distinctive appearance.
For the Contrast Collection, Bang & Olufsen and Norm Architects wanted to explore a new type of textile to bring more tactility to the products and to integrate them beautifully in the home. The fabric – made of wool and viscose – originates from Kvadrat’s Hallingdal Fabric providing excellent durability, while the viscose adds brilliance and depth to the color. The original version uses thick yarns, so the structure has been loosened to deliver high acoustic performance, while maintaining its rich texture.
The Contrast Collection consists of eight of Bang & Olufsen’s most popular speakers and wireless headphones – Beoplay A1 an Ultra-portable Bluetooth speaker with a premium brushed aluminum grill and mottled tactile base; Beoplay H9 a premium wireless ANC headphones with a minimalist soft touch feel and a subtle, mottled concrete look on the housing; Beoplay A9 a wireless, iconic design speaker with an anodized dark metal frame and light fabric to integrate into any home among others.