Taking its name from the postcode of its very first workshop in East London, E15 was founded in 1995. Bringing together high-grade materials and handcrafted production methods, the Frankfurt-based brand offers a diverse yet distinct collection of objects for the home. Led by co-founder and architect Philipp Mainzer, and designer and art director Farah Ebrahimi, E15 is renowned for its collaborations with designers, architects and artists to produce furniture, lighting and accessories.
E15 is a modern and global brand, with a strong foundation in architecture and design. The name originates from the postal code of the very first workshop in East London, founded in 1995 by architect Philipp Mainzer and designer and art director Farah Ebrahimi. Original furniture, lighting and accessories are produced in collaboration with well-known designers, architects and artists. Designs in essential forms, baring natural markings and characteristics have established E15 as a pioneer in the use of solid wood in its purest form.
With any new partnership, whether it be commercial, residential or cultural, E15 hopes to extend the boundaries of traditional architecture by inspiring the dynamic interaction of diverse cultures and disciplines. A high level of quality and authenticity is therefore a must in order to develop concepts with refined aesthetics as well as functionality.
Philipp Mainzer is creative and managing director of E15, having previously studied product design at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design and architecture at the Architectural Association, both in London. Consequently, many of his designs have become icons for E15 and are part of several permanent exhibitions in museums. There are now 25 collaborative designers on the brand website, including Philipp.
Housing E15’s headquarters is the inspiring and spacious showroom in Frankfurt. The world of E15 in one space, offering a closer look at how products are developed and the stories behind each piece. Whether it’s a collaboration between parties, or individuals, clients can explore the entire range of products and possibilities. By contrast, the showroom in Milan’s Zona Tortona that opened in 2006, is an internationally representative show space. A great capacity for different exhibitions or events featuring E15’s latest collaborations and new releases.
E15 currently produces designs around the world for hospitality, office, retail, public spaces, and residential spaces, for example in Sidney, Naples, Dusseldorf, New York, Amsterdam, Taipei in Taiwan, London and Hyvinkää in Finland. Since its establishment E15 has won numerous awards for various collections. To name just a few; the Interior Innovation Award Cologne in 2006 for the E15 Office Collection, the Wallpaper* Design Award 2013 for “Best Re-issue” of its coffee table Calvert in 2013 and in 2018 the Product family Elbe received the Iconic Award: Innovation Interiors 2018.
Most iconic products
Bigfoot: designed by Mainzer in 1994 in celebration of the brand’s 20th year, the solid wood table is a modern design and an E15 icon. The centre of a tree was used for the signature corner detail and legs. The legs form their characteristic cracks during the seasoning of the solid wood, making every table unique.
Backenzahn: designed by Mainzer in 1996, the oiled oak stool is another iconic E15 piece. It is distinctive for its various surface cracks resulting from the seasoning of the wood. The concave seat makes it extremely comfortable to sit on, despite the robust material it is carved from.
Houdini Armchair: designed as part of the Houdini family in 2009 by Stefan Diez, this armchair impresses with its distinctive design. A timeless wooden chair, featuring a curved backrest and generously proportional seat, making it ideal for the office as well as the dining room. Made from lacquered oak or walnut-veneered plywood the chair has been designed to perfectly complement the Houdini tables. In 2010 the Houdini chair was awarded with the Red Dot Award Best of the Best and in the same year it was nominated for the Design Award 2010 of the Federal Republic of Germany and for the London Design Museum’s Brit Insurance Design of the Year Award.
Arie Shelf: this ideal storage solution was designed in 2008 by Arik Levy. The Arie Shelf has no visual connections or repetitions, instead inside and outside corners are solved with a multitude of seamless combinations. The ideal solution for private and public interiors and it even works well as a room divider. In 2009 the design was nominated for the prestigious Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany 2010. In the same year it received the Red Dot Design Award and the Interior Innovation Award Cologne.
E15 Production Methods
According to E15’s green statement, since 1995 they have been using specially selected materials at the highest manufacturing quality. By using traditional manufacturing methods in specialised workshops the brand guarantees the longevity of its products. Company politics consciously focus on the principles of sustainability and sensible environmental protection. The production cycle of E15 furniture, from design to delivery is carried out in line with environmentally relevant laws and standards. By combining deliveries, E15 achieves an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient transportation of its furniture to clients. Production of individually made pieces takes place in Germany and Austria and for extensive furniture collections E15 works with specialised workshops. Great importance is placed on energy efficient machines and the use of sustainable energy sources. EU rules for air and water filtering and cleaning are obeyed and the use and emission of poisonous chemicals is avoided. The brand uses natural and environmentally friendly agents for the treatment of all furniture surfaces.
All the materials used to make E15 furniture are recyclable. Materials are chosen based on their sustainability, human and environmental tolerance as well as degradability (wood, MDF, plywood, foam, leather, fabric, steel, high grade metals and glass). Only PEFC certified European oak and walnut wood from sustainable forestry is used. Fabrics and leather are obtained from selected suppliers, who can verify sustainable and environmentally friendly production.
E15 uses wood in its purest form, this means cracks, knotholes, or colour variations stay intact to emphasise the beauty of the original material. Imperfections represent authenticity and the uniqueness of the material, which can be emphasised with black wood filler. Using traditional production methods E15 ensures it provides timeless furniture of lasting value.
As an example, oak veneered plywood was used for the production of the Houdini family. Thin 2D plywood slabs are bent by hand around a complexly milled 3D solid wood ring and then glued into shape, a technique taken from airplane model making.
The Salina stoneware series was inspired by traditional pottery from the Frankfurt region, where the stone takes on a unique texture and colour through a treatment with salt. Salina is handmade in a small workshop in the Southwest of Germany, where the richest and most high-grade deposits of clay in Europe can be found and it is also well known for its salt-glazed, sand grey stoneware. The potter signs each piece and embosses the E15 logo at the bottom, marking it as an original, before baking the stoneware in kilns at temperatures of up to 1300° C.
For upholstered furniture collections, such as Shiraz, Bess, Bessy, only fabrics made by leading manufacturers are used. Fabrics on offer range from wool to cotton to linen. The majority of E15’s fabrics comply with the EU eco label “The Flower”.
Steel and stainless steel is used for the high quality substructures of sideboards and chest of drawers such as Farah, Shahnaz and Mahnaz, bed Lita and for the substructure of bar stool Grace. Using precise handwork the steel is welded and depending on the product it is brushed or powder-coated.
Most of E15’s office furniture, lighting, as well as parts of the accessory collection are made from powder-coated aluminium. Using the latest machines, the high-grade sheet aluminium is folded and then powder-coated.
The Habibi trays are produced in precious metals, stainless steel, copper and brass. Using traditional craft knowledge and intricate techniques each individual piece is spun and polished by hand.
E15 products such as, Enoki side tables, the Hiroki table, the cutting board Cut and bookend Stop are made from high quality marble. The processing of the marble types Dark Emperador and Nero Marquina come from Spain, Verde Vaneeka is an Indian marble and Bianco Carrara and Grey Bardiglio come from Carrara in Italy, where centuries-old Italian craftsmanship as well as state-of-the-art technology come together. Each product is distinct thanks to the natural, unique grain of marble. The natural beauty of the marble is preserved by barely being honed.
Glass plates are cut manually and then glued together using precision work and delicate exactness. For the production of Drei and Vier side tables, 10 mm thick solid slabs of coloured glass are used.
You can shop the E15’s products under the following categories:
- Furniture: you can find tables, seating, storage, sleeping
- Accessories: in particular kitchen, dining, living, working, storing
- Lighting: table lights, wall lights, floor lights, pendant lights