JP C. Calimbas
May 15, 2020    |    

Form Follows Function

The Connection between an Iconic Lamp and Sportscar Explained

Back in 1990, Ulf Möller was a 21-year old architecture and urban planning student who also held a part time job working for an architectural office. It’s also the setting where his love affair with Porsche began. One day, his boss handed him the keys to his brand-new Porsche and asked him to fill it up with gas. With the keys to a 964 in hand, he went off to do his boss’ bidding which he described as follows: “It felt like an odyssey at first. I drove through half the city without finding a gas station. When I finally found one, the attendant was closing up and going home. It took some persuading to finally get some gas. But the sensation of driving it was marvelous.”

Since then, Möller had become an established designer and joined an architect’s office which he eventually would own. At the start of the new millennium, he was contacted by leading modern furniture maker Thonet for which he would become their architect of choice. One of his latest projects for the furniture maker is located at the firm’s production hall and that’s where we pick up Ulf Möller’s love affair with Porsche.


Today, Möller is a successful furniture designer aside from being a respected architect, having created the iconic Lum Light in 2010. He’s allowed himself to indulge in acquiring Porsches which seems to have influenced his designs since that fateful experience in 1990 thanks to the success of his lamp design. It would also explain why there is a white Porsche 964 Carrera 2 roadster in the middle of his furniture factory. He says that he bought the car with the money he got for his Lum Light as his reward. “Birds of the same feather flock together” he quips as he points to where the Lum Lights are made, pointing to the factory hall just after where the special model 911 America Roadster sits.

“I think the 964 is one of the most beautiful 911s,” he says, and proceeds to praise the classic front with its characteristic upright headlights, the wide eighteen-inch tires, and the “strapping yet sinewy” overall impression. “I love sitting at the wheel and gazing into the rearview mirror—you’re looking at a lot of car.”

“It’s twenty-eight years old now but still feels almost as fresh and agile as a new car,” says Möller. He knows what he’s talking about, because he now has a fleet of Porsches. In his garage the rare Roadster stands next to a yellow Porsche Boxster Spyder (981 generation). “My extra dose of vitamin C,” he says with a smile. There’s also a somewhat more aggressively configured red Porsche Boxster Spyder (987 generation, built in 2011). And his everyday Porsche, a black Macan. The obvious question for this car-loving designer is what an automobile that he himself designed would look like. “I’d make an aerodynamically flawless station wagon,” he replies. It would be purist and technologically innovative, of course.”


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