design journal

ALKI, which means 'chair' in Basque, began in 1981 in a small village in the northern Basque Country, in Itsasu. In a time of economic difficulties, a group of five friends founded a small chair factory that they named ALKI with the aim of creating jobs in a weakly industrialised region. The co-operative status was the most suitable to their values, which are an essential part of their day-to-day existence. Combining ancestral tradition and modern technology, ALKI offers an exciting furniture collection that is fun and practical with a contemporary style.

The Principles of Alki
Alki’s values represent the very core of their identity, which have guided them since the co-operative was founded. Their values, carved in wood, form the foundation of the company, which helps them stay the course, even in tumultuous times...

Memory - “Because they were, we are, because we are, they will be"  
Alki uses the memory of the past, which forms their identity, as a catalyst for creativity and innovation. In this way, the future takes on meaning for them as the continuation of this narrative. The company continues to evolve along these lines, using their knowhow to craft products that are imbued with sentimental value.

Co-operative Culture - "Working together, trusting each other"
The men and women who have chosen to work at Alki believe passionately in the co-operative economic model. They have built a company with a solid economic and human foundation, one that does justice to the idea of a collective. Another factor that contributes to this success is the company’s careful selection of local partners that provide us with the highest quality services.

Wood - “Being sustainable is not an option, it is the only way forward" 
At Alki, oak, the most noble of woods, is more than a raw material. It is a symbol of our deep commitment to guiding the company towards rational and sustainable development.

Design - “There is something special in the essential” 
Our approach to design is a simple one. For Alki, design isn’t a disguise, but rather the continuous pursuit of purification. The relationship between a person and an object, the resonance of a piece, the pleasure that one gets from using it... that’s what matters to them.

Engagement - “Made in the Basque country”
Alki grew out of a strong desire to live and work in the French Basque region. More than a furniture company, this is a genuine economic and cultural endeavour. The goal of the co-operative is to contribute to the development of the Basque Country by generating jobs and wealth.

The Workshop
Upon opening the workshop doors, your senses are overwhelmed by the smell of wood. The principle raw material, oak, comes from sustainably managed French forest. The drying process is slow and delicate, requiring between four and seven years to attain a material suitable for their purposes. The manufacturing process involves various trades; carpenters, joiners, builders, finishers and, of course, master upholsterers. Craftsmen’s skills are combined with the latest technology.

Using CAD CAM, the designers’ mockups are rendered in three dimensions for each piece to later be precisely machined. This allows precise assembly that precedes sanding, staining and varnishing by hand.

Key Alki furniture collections include:
Heldu - Jantzi - Kea - Koila - Kuskoa - Kuskoa Bi - Laia - Landa - Lasai - Makil - Saski

Click here for more information on the Alki furniture range.

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