03/06/2012 § 3 Comments
Okay, so I’ve been magnetically attracted to the Mediterranean lately (but then again, who doesn’t love it?). While happily browsing the internet I came across images of the Spanish firm, A Cero’s, exquisite Marbella house.
On the exterior, linear planes clad in horizontal bands of stone fly over reflective ponds filled with river stones. Large irregular black-tinted windows appear like the openings to sacred tombs. And, both by night and by day, the entire place is strategically lit to accentuate the architecture.
On the interiors the minimalism continues with neutral tones and finishes accentuated by statement pieces like the amazing kitchen chandelier. In the rock garden, there are 3 spectacular root sculptures from Luminaire.
08/03/2011 § 3 Comments
Designer Feature vol. 5
I love the work of Siza. His projects arise as natural reactions to the physical, cultural, and, I could almost say, spiritual environment which they inhabit. He masterfully blends *vernacular architecture with minimalism to create poetic references to place while exploring issues of form and space. When I think of Siza’s work I always imagine these large spans of white-washed walls or these intricate plans where every turn and edge has been thought out. That’s part of his genius – being able to work from the largest scale of the site plan to the minute details of where the concrete meets the wood.
The following are some of my favorites of his many projects…
*vernacular architecture uses methods of construction which use locally available resources and traditions to address local needs.
07/26/2011 § Leave a comment
I’ve always been in love with new architecture that interjects with old architecture to create another being. In these buildings the charm and history of the past still remain while the appearances of modern design make the old relevant and fresh through it’s new interpretation.
Barcelona based architect, Anna Noguera converted this 16th century house in Girona into two holiday apartments. In the dining seen in the photo above the thin steel casing framing the opening and the contemporary furniture beyond is a perfect example of this harmonious marriage. Below, the beauty of the placid rectilinear pond next to the ancient stone wall is so simple but elegant. The project is an exercise of balance between time and materiality.
Photos from Article @ Dezeen Mag
Thanks for tuning in!
06/29/2011 § Leave a comment
Project Feature vol. 1
This 387.5 squared ft getaway on the shores of Sao Paulo was designed by Brazilian architects Alan Chu and Cristiano Kato as a maid’s quarter . The petite treasure of a building was featured in the 8th Brazilian Architecture Biennale in 2009.
This often forgotten programmatic space was given a new importance in the Casa Box. The upper bedroom juts out from the large boulder adjacent to it as the kitchen grows organically below. The structure is at once modern and contextual with the use of linear forms and natural materials such as stone and wood. In this not-so-humble abode the simplicity of the design establishes its elegance and beauty. Oh, and did I mention the view?
(Photography by Djan Chu from ArchDaily)
06/25/2011 § Leave a comment
In post-war Southern California the residential housing boom inspired a group of prominent architects sponsored by Arts and Architecture Magazine to tackle what they saw as the current issues in the typical American home. Each architect was to deal with one of these problems and resolve it in the best way they saw fit using materials and methods that would be readily available and easily duplicated. The program that was to be known as the Case Study Houses ran from 1945 up until 1966.
The group of architects included many of the big names of Mid-Century Modern design. These included Richard Neutra, Pierre Koenig, Charles Eames, Eero Saarinen, Rodney Walker, and JR Davidson. Many of the Houses (such as #22 on the left) were shot for the magazine by the now infamous photographer, Julias Shulman.
The Case Study Homes changed the way Americans lived and built their homes. These West Coast models were soon transported throughout the country. The Stahl residence (#22), probably the most well-known of the Case Study homes, became an icon of American design and the new optimistic “Modern” way of life.
The homes generally sought to blur the lines between inside and outside by using innovative curtain wall building technologies that would allow for wide spans of glass. By placing load-bearing steel columns on a grid on the interior of the home, the facades would be free of structural responsibilities. The floor plan of the American home was Modernized by opening up walls and blending functions into large spaces; thus the marriage of the living, dining and kitchen to create the Great Room. The architects also extended the living space to the exterior by incorporating elements such as pools, large overhangs and paved decks that would further encourage the use of the outdoor room.
04/23/2011 § 1 Comment
EVERY YEAR IN MILAN THE MOST INNOVATIVE AND INFLUENTIAL PERSONALITIES of the design world gather for a week to contemplate the newest creations, trends and technologies. This year the event hosted by Baccarat and Veuve Cliquot was held April 12-17th. Baccarat displayed their new collection of crystal chandeliers amongst whimsical cloud installations (as seen above).
So what did all the big names in Italian design bring to the table this year?
Moroso displayed the Biknit Seating collection by Patricia Urquiola: “an exaggerated stitch pattern, an expanded, intense aesthetic transforms a weave into a visible, dramatic design.” They also showed her Klara collection of wooden chairs, Tokujin Yoshioka’s Memory chair and Doshi & Levien’s Impossible Wood chair among several other novelties.
Artemide showed off Karim Rashid’s newest lighting creation, the Nearco pendant, alongside Guido Matta & Enrico Girotti’s Nuboli lamp (a translucent ceiling pendant in the shape of a cloud).
Zanotta presented their 2011 Novelties at the show including the steel asymmetrical Lama Chair by Ludovica & Roberto Palomba alongside the twisted Elica 2576 Table that comes in a white or black high gloss finish.
Domitalia brought to the table some beautiful new seating options with the New Retro chair by Fabrizio Batoni Design, the Playa chair also by the same designer, and the glow-in-the-dark outdoor Baba chairs by Radice Orlandini Designs.
Philippe Starck collaborated with Eugeni Quitllet to create the entirely natural Zartan chair. Made of a new technology using “liquid wood” the chair is molded much like polycarbonate but fuses only with other natural materials such as fibers, wax and fish oil to create a “strong, non-toxic alternative to petroleum-based plastics”. The chair is envisioned in 5 varying finishes: bamboo, flax, hemp, jute and rattan.
Belgian designer Marteen de Ceulaer came up with an innovative method of creating bowls by pouring dyed plaster into a balloon then placing another balloon inside it, blowing it up and allowing the plaster to dry. The result is organic as the bowls have an array of varying color, sizes and shapes in a smooth finish and irregular edges.
Another response towards sustainability was brought by designer Tobia Juretzek with his Rememberme chair made of old garments that would otherwise have been discarded and unused.
* Photos of objects in Other Highlights are (c) of Design Boom
03/16/2011 § Leave a comment
Designer Feature, vol. 4
When you think renaissance man in the world of design Gio Ponti is your guy. This man was a painter, an industrial and furniture designer, an architect and the editor and founder of the quintessential Domus (1928) and Stile magazines.Born and raised in Milan, Ponti was an advent propagandist for the love of architecture and design which he wrote of in his 1957 collection of essays Amate l’Architettura (published in english as In Praise of Architecture).
Ponti utilized Domus to openly explore diverse topics of his concern and express his personal views all the while maintaining a clever openness that established the magazine as Europe’s most influential architecture and design magazine.
Gio Ponti was in Milan around the same time as the avant garde Futurists and Group 7 were exploring their ideas for radical change. Though he was around the key figures of these movements Ponti remained focused on finding the “finite form” in design rather than revolutionizing existing dogmas. He had his own ideals of design that bloomed from Modernism but were more particularly concerned with context, comfort, function, lightness and elegance. He was an admirer of Le Corbusier and the Bauhaus but was certainly not one of those “glass box boys”, as Frank Lloyd Wright once clarified.
His daughter summarized Ponti’s career with the following remarks, “Sixty years of work, buildings in thirteen countries, lectures in twenty-four, twenty-five years of teaching, fifty years of editing, articles in every one of the five hundred and sixty issues of his magazines, two thousand five hundred letters dictated, two thousand letters drawn, designs for a hundred and twenty enterprises, one thousand architectural sketches. It was a great deal, and all from one man”.
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