History of the Ahrend brand

For over 125 years now, we have been converting the ordinary office into a place full of life – vitalising spaces 

It all started in 1896, when still under the age of 18, Jacobus Ahrend Jacobus Ahrend discovered his entrepreneurial calling and with the help of his mother he started to sell home accessories directly from their living room. The history of the company bearing his name serves to this day as inspiration and encouragement in facing the challenges of the day and in the development of new approaches to designing the workplace environment of the future. 

Discover the rich company history and get to know some of the remarkable projects and designs that we have delivered and created over the years.

For 125 years now we have been building a strong legacy that continues to inspire us to take new approaches to the future of work and workplace environments.


Company founded

The young Jacobus Ahrend founds Ahrend with the help of his mother. He sells the first products from the living room of their apartment in Amsterdam.


Office furniture

The Ahrend product portfolio includes furniture for the first time.


Own production

Ahrend acquires metal furniture manufacturer De Cirkel and starts producing furniture under his own brand.


Revolutionary chair 

The Revolt chair by designer Friso Kramer is launched. It represents a breakthrough in industrial design and mass production.


The Resolut chair

The chair designed by Friso Kramer and Wim Rietveld has successfully found its way into school classrooms and living rooms and has become a favourite subject for graphic designers and photographers. It was awarded the prestigious Signe d'Or.


Companies merge

Merger of Ahrend and metal furniture producers, ODA and De Circel. 


Mehes system

Friso Kramer creates a new furniture design system, Mehes (Mobility, Efficiency, Humanisation, Environment, Standardisation), responding to the growing popularity of open-plan offices.


Global success

Ahrend wins the largest international order – furnishing the headquarters of HSBC in Hong Kong with 6500 Mehes work stations.


TECHO established

Jiří Kejval and Martin Kulík established TECHO in Prague. IKEA was among its first major clients. Initially we supplied them with table lamps, but soon extended this to include a very successful range of office accessories that sold around the world.


Production of TECHO office furniture

TECHO commenced production of office furniture – initially in cooperation with German firm Gesika. The following year production moved to a new premises, the site of the former “Dřevozpracující podnik Praha”. With this move we continued the tradition of furniture production on the Prague Hostivař site dating back to the 1950s. 

In response to the division of Czechoslovakia the company established its first foreign branch in Slovakia.


Responsible design

Launch of the first product to follow the principles of sustainable design - the Ahrend 220 task chair, which would later become the top selling office chair in the Netherlands.


Royal Ahrend

Ahrend celebrates its hundredth anniversary and is granted the right to use the title “Royal”.


TECHO part of Ahrend

After many years of successful cooperation with the Dutch group, Royal Ahrend becomes the sole owner of TECHO, which has already achieved success in several countries – Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, and the United Kingdom. This acquisition enhances Ahrend’s position as a leading player in the European market for commercial interiors. 


Leader in sustainability

Ahrend becomes the first holder of Cradle-to-Cradle certification in the field of office furnishings. 


TECHO in 90 countries

TECHO wins an order for National Microfinance Bank in Tanzania, thus bringing the tally of export countries to 90.


Gispen and Innovation LAB

Gispen and Preskihaaf School Furniture become part of the Royal Ahrend group. The Innovation LA Bis launched, which is a development section for new product groups that should contribute to enhanced ergonomics and increased workplace productivity.


Ahrend expansion

Ahrend successfully expands to other countries and opens local offices in Dubai, Shenzhen and Shanghai.


Opening of Circular hub

In our 12,000 m² Circularity Centre in the Netherlands, we have concentrated all our expertise and production facilities in the field of circular production.


Techo becomes fully integrated within Ahrend

From January 1, 2021, and after 30 years as TECHO, the company takes on the name of its owner and continues under the common brand Ahrend. One of the most modern furniture factories in Central and Eastern Europe is being built in Prague Hostivař.

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