The history of the Flötotto brand begins in 1906.
Heinrich Flötotto establishes furniture joinery business Flötotto in Gütersloh (Avenwedde).
To start with, he focuses on interiors, then moves on to mass production early on and expands the business.
From 1946 onwards, Heinrich’s sons Fritz and Franz continue his work.
They now have a sawmill, as well as a home furniture and school furniture factory.
In 1951, Flötotto expands to include a chipboard plant in Arnsberg in Germany’s Sauerland region.
Between 1969 and 1991, the third-generation descendants of the founder take over at the helm of the company they have inherited.
Husband-and-wife teams Elmar and Anna Flötotto, Reinhard and Barbara Flötotto, and Hubertus and Ingrid Flötotto develop various business fields independently of one another, raising awareness for the brand.
By 1990 every third person in Germany has heard of Flötotto.
The first campaign
Double-page advertisements in magazines Brigitte, Freundin and Stern made the furniture company a popular brand in the 1980s. They were cheeky, striking and entertaining.
In its corporate communication, Flötotto brokered no compromises in 1949 with its first full-page advertisement.
The shaped seat, patented on a global scale in 1952, is the best-known Flötotto product and 20 million have already been sold around the world. The seat shells made from PAGHOLZ® incorporate ergonomic and orthopaedic findings that are still valid today.
In 1956, Flötotto develops exemplary school furnishings in cooperation with educators and architects that correspond to contemporary school and teaching concepts. Starting with chairs and tables, furnishing for staffrooms and school offices to cupboard ranges, conference tables and seminar desks, seating units and large-capacity seating.
The"Optimal" pupil workspace
Flötotto, previously a manufacturer of school furniture, taps into a new customer group of private homeowners with children in 1969 with Optimal, the height-adjustable student workspace. Flötotto makes a virtue of necessity in terms of not having a retailer network: it is the first company to sell its furniture via a catalogue.
At 246 cm, Flötotto is the first manufacturer to overcome production limitations in terms of the maximum height of wall units. In 1966 it was 2.25 metres. The staff showed their admiration by honouring this achievement.
With the modular Profilsystem made from beechwood, Flötotto sets benchmarks in apartments in Germany from 1975 onwards. The furniture is only available directly from the company and the demand for catalogues is so high that they sell like magazines at kiosks. The company wins coveted design prizes for advertising and communication.
Having succumbed to the virtues of simplicity, Flötotto develops the shelf system 355 in cooperation with designer duo Hertel & Klarhoefer. With shelves in just two sizes, shelving systems can be built in almost unlimited combinations. Since 2009, it has been delivered directly to customers.
Quaro started life as a square. Using this basic shape, Flötotto developed a furniture system in cooperation with Hertel & Klarhoefer that can be combined to suit individual tastes. Since 2010, this has helped to create furniture for living, working and storage.
PRO tables and chairs
Flötotto begins producing school furniture once again. The PRO collection, designed by Konstantin Grcic, is presented at the international furniture trade fair in Cologne at the beginning of 2012. Right from the start, PRO wins numerous design prizes, and is still winning awards to this day
40 years of Profilsystem
A way of life becomes an icon: the Flötotto Profilsystem celebrates its 40th birthday. Today, the Profilsystem is a classic that has outlasted trends from every decade and been produced to great effect in eastern Westphalia for over 40 years.
In 2007, the brand and product rights for Flötotto are transferred to Elmar Flötotto Service Holding GmbH. Elmar and his son Frederik Flötotto establish Flötotto Systemmöbel GmbH. Frederik stays true to his great-grandfather’s roots and opens a new production facility in Westenholz, thus embarking on the next chapter in the successful history of the brand.
ADD furniture system
In 2013, Flötotto develops the modular system ADD with designer Werner Aisslinger; it features an innovative connection element. The wall elements can be clipped in and unclipped at the push of a button. ADD functions like a building block – all elements can be built in and repositioned time and again. ADD is an individual furniture unit and a system in one – and wins three design prizes in 2013, including the iF design award – GOLD.
The PRO collection grows to include a chair range and is supplemented by a PRO ARMCHAIR in 2014. A host of tables made from wood and metal make it versatile in the way it is used in the commercial property segment. The export quota of PRO is considerable and numerous schools abroad have already opted for it.
Flötotto presents a new PRO STOOL collection 2016. Staying true to a passion for superb seating: at the Milan furniture fair, the Salone del Mobile, Flötotto will be celebrating the PRO with a hall of fame at the company’s exhibition stand, designed by Konstantin Grcic. The exhibition will feature the new PRO STOOL line, a collection of six different stools, also designed by Grcic.
PRO HIGH TABLE
Simple, Intuitive, Appealing: The PRO Family Remains True to Itself and Grows Yet Again
After consistently refining and extending the successful PRO chair collection, at Orgatec 2016, Flötotto will be showing three new tables to complement the range, which were designed by Konstantin Grcic: a communicative HIGH TABLE, a beautifully shaped MEETING TABLE and a stackable workstation, as well as a practical writing board and fully upholstered versions of all PRO chair designs. With its many new members for office applications, the PRO family once again demonstrates its versatility.
Breaking new ground, Flötotto launches 2017 its first upholstered furniture: OTTO, designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune. The versatile sofa system comprises different seating furniture and features a reduced visual language that lends the pieces a classic and timeless look. With its quilted backrest, OTTO will be an eye-catcher in every room. Known for their minimalist design, Claesson Koivisto Rune have developed upholstered elements for Flötotto’s typical system furniture, which allow the creation of individual seating areas.