04/06/2011 - Reference report: “Jaarbeurs Utrecht, Mediaplaza auditorium, the Netherlands”

“Perillo” lounge chair puts in an impressive performance in the auditorium of the Mediaplaza at the Jaarbeurs Utrecht.

Offenhausen – April 2011. The Jaarbeurs Utrecht is one of the most modern congress and conference centres in Europe. Innovative and futuristic, it offers event organisers, exhibitors and visitors a unique backdrop for trade fairs, congresses, incentives, concerts, galas or award ceremonies. Each year, twelve multifunctional exhibition halls covering a total of 100,000 square metres attract around 2.65 million visitors from around the world.

For conferences, there are four large halls with up to 450 places. There are also 37 seminar rooms, four ballrooms, a multifunctional hall for meetings and banquets and the 40,000 square metre Mediaplaza with an integrated theatre.


In keeping with the “form follows identity” principle, architect Liong Lie and his team from “123DV architectuur & consult bv” turned the existing Mediaplaza into a modern and extravagant high-tech location. “We begin each process with an open mind,” said the Dutch architect whose distinctive work has made him famous outside the Netherlands too.

In the Mediaplaza, this open mind is reflected in various features including the 100 percent transparent membrane roof in the conference rooms. “Anyone attending a meeting or congress can feel like they are working under a blue sky.” Liong Lie and team came up with a bold, highly emotional design for the theatre auditorium too. Instead of austere linearity, the “open mind” principle has resulted in an irresistibly cheerful, dynamic atmosphere which instantly has visitors under its spell. In the middle of all this is “Perillo”, the award-winning lounge chair from Züco, whose organic styling and distinctive looks fit perfectly into the decor of the auditorium.

With fresh, powerful colours such as yellow, lemon, rosé, pink, purple light blue or dark blue on the outside and white leather upholstery inside, “Perillo” enhances the design of the large room and emphasises the extraordinary radiance of the colourful scene.


In the eyes of the architects, the “Perillo” chairs from Züco are like “cheery butterflies”, creating a bright, fresh impression in the room.

This seemingly casual arrangement was painstakingly planned behind the scenes first. Before the final decision to use the sculpted Züco chair was made, over 200 people were asked to give their opinion on the appearance and comfort of the “Perillo” model. The unanimous verdict: an attractive chair which remains very comfortable even after sitting for hours.

The extravagant lounge chair which was designed and developed for Züco by Martin Ballendat really is a public favourite and has already won numerous international design awards including the AIT Public Prize 2008, the red dot design award 2009, Design Plus 2009, the Benelux Office Product Award 2010 and a nomination for the German Design Prize 2010 to name just a few. “Martin Ballendat’s emotional design and Züco’s high-quality workmanship come together to produce a radiance which captures the spirit of the time exactly,” said Roland Jagt, sales manager at the DHDG’s Dutch branch. “The response to the converted theatre auditorium has been very positive indeed. In the last six months alone, many national and international companies have used the venue, making Züco very famous in the Netherlands.”

A great deal of hard work went into making the project a success. In just eight weeks which coincided exactly with the summer break, the 200 Perillos in numerous special colours had to be manufactured in Switzerland and assembled on location in Utrecht. The soft seat cushion in white leather is a special feature developed in close consultation with the architects and the operating company, which according to Ronald Jagt is more than satisfied: “Perillo is the best decision we have made in years.”


Building: Auditorium of the theatre in the Mediaplaza in the Jaarbeurs, Utrecht, NL
Architect: Liong Lie, 123DV architectuur & consult bv, Rotterdam, NL
Seating: 200 x “Perillo” from Züco
Manufacturer: Züco Rebstein, CH, a brand of the Dauphin HumanDesign® Group, Offenhausen, D
Approved distributors: DHDG Netherlands branch and Kleyn in Bruchem, NL