150 years of VARIO
It was his love of wood that drove VARIO founder Wilhelm Dichmann to set up his own business in 1872, against all financial odds, and devote himself entirely to the 'craft with wood'. A root brush was his first product. Because it could be made without a big investment. Made of wood, of course, and of high quality. 150 years and many development steps later, the former 'root brush maker from Kelkheim' has become the renowned, experienced office furniture manufacturer VARIO, which is active beyond the borders of Germany. What remains from the founding years carries the company into the future: the love for its own products, the care and quality in product development, design and production, the emphasis on service and, last but not least, the smell of wood.
Today, the 100-strong company based in Liederbach am Taunus celebrates its 150th anniversary this year.
VARIO BüroEinrichtungen GmbH & Co. KG
VARIO BüroEinrichtungen GmbH & Co. KG stands for high-quality desk systems, meeting and conference tables, cabinets, containers, caddies and movable wall systems. The medium-sized company was founded in 1872 in the Taunus region and currently employs 100 people. The furniture is developed and manufactured at the company headquarters in Liederbach am Taunus. All products are characterised by clarity and reduction in form with the highest demands on quality and functionality, are manufactured in an environmentally friendly manner and offer a high degree of customisation options.
Founding years - from sawmill to industrial company
In 1872 Wilhelm Dichmann set up his own business as a brush maker and acquired a sawmill in Kelkheim am Taunus. Dichmann becomes a sought-after supplier for carpenters and cabinet makers. He produces furniture feet, attachments for cupboards and cornices. His speciality is the production of high-quality veneers from oak, walnut and beech, among others. In 1911, Gebrüder Dichmann AG produces office furniture for the first time in addition to veneers. Thanks to high quality standards and a clear market orientation, the company survives two world wars, two inflationary periods and three currency reforms.
1950s - Office furniture with a system
The VARIO range of organisational furniture introduced in 1954 also gave birth to the current company name, which the company adopted in 1972. VARIO Werke Dichmann AG introduces its first modular furniture system in 1958, thus laying the foundation for the system furniture concept that is still characteristic of the company today.
1980s - an eventful decade
The veneer factory of VARIO Werke Dichmann AG is closed due to a fire and falling demand. In 1982, the Dichmann family sells the family business to Skandinavisk Holding, under whose umbrella brands such as Fritz Hansen are managed. The Danish group invests in VARIO and maintains the brand for 22 years.
2000s - back to the family business
In 2003, the company headquarters are moved to neighbouring Liederbach to improve productivity. 2005 Dr Hellmut Kachel and Agnes Tistler-Kachel take over the company in the course of a management buy-out - VARIO BüroEinrichtungen becomes a family business again. The furniture manufacturer continues to produce in Germany and attaches great importance to sustainability. 2003 sees the launch of the ICON workstation system designed by designer Klaus Michel - a milestone in the company's product developmentand the basis for future product design.
VARIO today - innovative office furniture with the highest design standards
In 2014, VARIO BüroEinrichtungen gets a new top management. After the death of the two owners Agnes Tistler-Kachel and Dr Hellmut Kachel, the company is handed over to the management and Matthias Kurreck and Anton Flechtner form the new management. The tradition-rich company owes its success in recent years in particular to the commitment and determination of the former owners. Creating products that are timeless in design, correspond to the highest quality and are manufactured according to environmentally friendly and resource-saving criteria - with this legacy, VARIO looks to the future with optimism. Successes such as the awarding of the Red Dot Design Award to numerous VARIO systems prove that VARIO has taken the right path. These include the ICON workstation system, the CONCLUSION table/wall system, the height-adjustable CHANGE office table and the very extensive M1 storage system.
2018 We modernise our production facilities with high investments. The new machining centre, cabinet press and edging line, the heart of production, go into operation and enable flexible production that responds to changing demand and special designs.
2020 to today
With the introduction of parameterised production and process digitalisation, modularisation and individualisation, special designs take on new dimensions for us. VARIO system furniture is continuously developed and optimised. As storage and room-dividing furniture, they fulfil several functions while meeting the highest aesthetic demands. STAY, HAIMISH, M1 Rahmen are new products that support the changing office space planning.
We are responsible for one hundred employees and are trainers for four professions. We currently employ twelve young people under thirty who are given the freedom to help shape the company. And we will announce the VARIO Design Competition for the fifth time in 2022 to promote young student designers.
More about the history of VARIO
Pictures partly Kelkheim City Archive