Almost a hundred years ago painter and photographer Heinrich Zille pronounced that “it’s as easy to kill a person with a home as with an axe”. Since 1964, the German firm Rolf Benz has been doing its bit to reduce death by bad home furnishing. Because Rolf Benz has been producing sofas for exactly 50 years. Some say they are the most desirable sofas made since humans discovered the sheer physical pleasure of sitting back and relaxing but not quite lying down. They may have conquered the world, but these highly prized zones of relaxation originate from a tiny, peaceful spot on the edge of the Black Forest by the name of Nagold.
Here, fifty years ago, a young designer realized that while everything relating to furnishing may impact temporarily on our reason, it remains permanently embedded in our emotions. This is why with every individual sofa, the familiarity and popularity of the Rolf Benz brand – now a household name in over fifty countries – is helping create that uniquely personal spot we spend a lifetime longing for. The spot in which we feel we have finally come home.
"A sofa from Rolf Benz – for the past 50 years “the” place we all long for, the place we all belong."
For 50 years, Rolf Benz has been enticing people to dream, to dose, to relax, put their feet up, stretch out, collect their thoughts, relax, chill out, ruminate, snuggle, take time out, order their thoughts, or simply take a nap... However you want to put it: It is only on our sofa that we shed the stress of the day, feel at home with ourselves and really slow down.
Making time stand still, letting the world pass you by – nowhere else can you achieve this but on a sofa. In the words of the poet Theodor Fontane, “there is nothing to beat calmness, quiet, a sofa and a cup of tea”. He was so right. The sofa does not fulfil a practically necessary function in our home, instead it is a place, an oasis of calm in our lives. It is encourages contemplation, tranquillity, self discovery. It is the one haven where we can step away from the everyday practical thoughts and worldly worries that pursue us as we sit at tables and chairs and even as we go to bed. A sofa can set us free. It was precisely this realization that moved the freshly qualified young upholster Rolf Benz from Nagold in the Black Forest to found the company Rolf Benz back in 1964.