Berkovich, Elmar

(1897 - 1968)

Elmar Berkovich was a Hungarian-born interior architect and furniture designer, who fled to the Netherlands in 1921. Before WWII he worked for the Metz & Co department store as a designer.
Early in his career he worked with Gerrit Rietveld on the furnishing of some projects, like the ‘model houses’ in Utrecht (1931) and the Bergpolderflat, Rotterdam (1934). In his designs for Metz he was inspired by the Functionalism of, for instance, the Bauhaus, but combined this with comfort and more traditional forms. Metz & Co was a prestigious store, which worked with and sold products of many avant garde designers of the international Modernism of the period. Apart from working with De Stijl designers Rietveld and Bart van der Leck, the store sold work by Mart Stam, Marcel Breuer, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Alvar Aalto and others. After the War, Berkovich started working for Philips. As the aesthetic consultant, he worked on the furnishing and color schemes for all Phillips buildings in Europe.