As we've heard, they are inevitable. The impact of change is different for most people. Lifestyle change, relationship change - job change, health change. The one inalienable human fact is that everyone, regardless of age, station in life - strengths, weaknesses, whatever - we have all experienced change.
Change is not quantitative. One never hears a comment such as, 'Well, I had 6 more changes than you did last week!'. Or, 'My change, yesterday, was much bigger (or smaller) than yours....'
No - change is life - it is the one constant. Some of us are better able to adapt to it, to rise above it - to incorporate and/or seize its moment - and harness either the positive, or negative fallout of change.
Most of you have by now received and read the change about to take place in the structure of DesignReview•International.
Sorry - not quite true. DRI, in and of itself, is not about to change. How you, the reading audience, engage with it is likely to change. Simply because, as previously stated, after three years of dedicated effort we are moving DRI to being a 'value-added' publication. Or, not - as you individually choose.
To reiterate, and for the last time, come September that month's issue will contain a subscription sign-up form. What means that? Means that this : : for those of you who continually enjoy the content, the insights - the 'value-added' features of DRI distribution and delivery of same will continue, monthly, uninterrupted following receipt of a paid subscription fee. For those of you who read the issuance this week of our email about this, you will recall that the survey feedback identified a per issue value of either $1.00 or $2.00......well, that actually hasn't beed finally decided on yet. You will receive a respectable advance notice in that regard.
However, moi - I felt guilty. Pourquoi? Well, I suppose I didn't give anyone a 'heads up' that this would ultimately be the direction that DRI would take - and now we've imposed this condition. On the other hand, we didn't know ourselves.....honestly. But out of respect for those of you who prefer not to pay for such content, and/or really just want 'flash' news items without the research, the backbone - I decided to provide, as a free service, a design bulletin, if you will. Just the basics of a story, the highlights.
A preview rather than a review. This week just such an effort was emailed to all recipients....it had the odd sounding moniker of 'datapoints'. Surely some of you wondered where, and when, I had lost my mind. I must apologize, explain and announce. As it was already a few days beyond month's end I felt it important to stick, as closely as possible, to the self-imposed discipline of always publishing on-time.
It slipped this issue - many reasons why - most beyond our control -but in the urgency to not let it slip any further the general announcement email was sent out and followed by the link to dr-datapoints.
If you observed the logo I designed for the design bulletin you will notice the letters, 'd' and 'p'.
I can now announce a successful negotiation to obtain the domain, www.DesignPreview.International.
Now it makes more sense, no? There is a delightful symmetry, to my mind, between DesignPreview and DesignReview......don't think it requires explaining.
www.DesignPreview.International provides me with freedom - a different kind of freedom than what is embraced in www.DesignReviewInternational - and it will permit me to, as I see fit, issue bulletins, blasts - 'hot off the press' kind issuances - and these will be free of charge. They will serve as a preview, naturally, to what will be contained in the more formal DesignReview issuance for that month. But, bear in mind - they will be just as described - news blasts - mostly a title with any compelling images associated with the information - there will be no depth. Sorry - that you get with a subscription.
And so, for this issue, 3•6, elements/stories as contained in the 'datapoints' issue will be further expanded. This will be the norm for this issue, and the following two.
It is my sincere hope that those of you who have been vocal about how you feel about DRI will continue to be readers. I have greater plans than this - this is a stepping stone to where I'd like to see DRI get to.
Thank you for your patience, your indulgence and your support. BTW - I want to make a personal/professional announcement here also. Last week I was informed that I was successful in my pursuit of a Master's degree from University of Gloucestershire, UK. I have earned an M.A., Creative and Critical Writing with the added distinction of, 'With Merit'. Hey - at 75 (middle age to me), being a freshly minted university graduate certainly tickles my fancy.
On a final note, henceforth, DR•I will restrict itself only to concerns regarding the world of design. No longer will there appear any personal comments or opinions.
Efficiency, versatility - adaptability, have become the watchwords of out digital daily survival.
In my daily professional experience, if I expect to be working off-site (in a library, a client's office - a train, plane) I spend way too much time setting aside this power cord, that USB connector type (are you all aware that there are three different types of connector ends for USBs? You must be....) I organize the connectors I need for my iPhone, iPad, bluetooth headset, earbuds, etc.....you get the picture. Oh yes, there's also my hard rives and/or a variety of data USBs.....it gets tiresome, wearying. And it actually all gets heavy. I love the minimalist ads we see that show the most elegant curved video screen with a wireless keyboard, a wireless mouse - a sleek laptop - and nothing else in sight. Come on! That is not real life.....if you saw my desktop you'd shudder. Not because it's messy or disorganized. Because I have 10 different external hard drives, a music system, mouse, digital drawing tablet, old iPhone 4 that serves as a really cool earthView clock, this connector, that connector.....if I dropped eead it would take a tech guy at least a day to unravel all that is there. And so it is with joyous abandon that I greet announcements such as the one following. It didn't take a rocket scientist (maybe it actually did....) to think clever and create this newest device. Quite simply it is a combination external hard drive and multi-port USB bus......
aw c'mon! Why has it taken all this years for such an obvious need to ben realized in an actual, honest-to-goodness, efficiency product?
Okay - enough! No more yattering - this product deserves full-tilt boogie in terms of announcement - please read, and enjoy.
Minix’s amazing USB-C hub is also a 240GB hard drive [Review]BY ED HARDY • 4:45 PM, JULY 7, 2019
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of MacThe Minix Neo Storage is one of those inventions so clever they make you ask, “Why didn’t someone think of this before?” It combines into one small package two accessories many people carry around: an external hard drive with up to 240GB of capacity and a 4-port USB hub.
We tested it with both a MacBook Pro and an iPad Pro. We’re sharing our real-world experience.
Minix Neo Storage review: USB-C hub and SSD in one
At first glance, the Neo Storage appears to be a slightly bulky USB hub. Along one edge are a pair of USB-A ports, an HDMI port, and a single USB-C port. On one end is a short cable with a USB-C connector.
The exterior is machined aluminum, with sharp edges but curved corners. It comes in either silver or space grey, and there’s a white LED bar that glows when this accessory is getting power. The overall look matches Apple’s design esthetic fairly well.
The central unit is 4.5 inches by 1.7 in. by 0.4 in. and 2.3 ounces (0.14 pounds). As mentioned, it’s larger than a typical USB hub, but smaller than most external hard drives. It fits easily into a gear bag, and Minix includes a black drawstring pouch so it won’t get scratched up. Or scratch up anything else, which is more likely.
Minix Neo Storage has a USB-C port, HDMI port, and dual USB Type-A ports.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of MacThe two USB ports are 0.3 inches apart. This is fine for cables and average-size thumbdrives, but is a bit tight for anything even slightly oversized. The HDMI port is equally close.
The built-in cable is 4.9-inch long, a reasonable length whether the Neo Storage is used with a MacBook or an iPad Pro. It seems durable enough to stand up to regular use.
Buried on the inside is an Intel SSD, either 120GB or 240GB. This is non-removable — it’s not possible to replace it with something larger.
Minix Neo Storage performanceThe SSD inside this accessory acts like any other USB drive. Just plug this peripheral in and a drive called NEO Storage will mount. We tested it with an iPad Pro running iOS 13 and it performs equally well. The drive appears in the Files app exactly as it’s supposed to.
Minix Neo Storage appears in the Drive app like any other removable drive.
Screen cap: Ed Hardy/Cult of MacMinix says the 240GB version offers up to 400MB/s read and write speed, while the 120GB one is slightly slower: 350MB/s.
Tests with multiple peripherals show that the dual USB-A ports perform exactly as expected, whether it’s a keyboard, mouse, or a thumbdrive inserted. That goes for the iPad Pro, too.
The HDMI port is up to 4K video at 30Hz. Our tests found no problems with this. It does what it’s supposed to: let you connect your computer to a TV or projector.
No device has as many USB-C ports as we’d like, and this accessory doesn’t have to monopolize one. It has a USB-C port so power can keep flowing to the iPad or MacBook while the accessory is in use. But that’s all it can do. It’s not possible to daisy chain on another USB-C accessory.
And just so there’s no confusion, the Neo Storage doesn’t have to be plugged in to an external power source for all its functions to work. All that’s required is the power coming from your Mac or iPad.
The aluminum casing serves as radiator so expect it to get warm. Not hot, but definitely a way to warm your fingers on a cold morning.
Minix Neo Storage final thoughtsAnyone who’s already planning on carrying a USB-C hub to connect to USB-A accessories and HDMI TVs can now add some built-in storage. True, this accessory is a bit more bulky than the average USB hub but that’s not much of a drawback.
Pricing:Minix’s official price for the 240GB version of the Neo Storage is $99.90 (€99.90). It’s available on Amazon at that price, and here’s the cost in Canada and the UK.
Taking into account that this is both a USB-C hub and an SSD, these prices are quite reasonable. Take the Satechi Slim Aluminum Type-C hub. It’s $69.99, and while it offers more ports it doesn’t include any storage. Now look at the OWC Envoy Pro Ex whose 250GB version is $129. It’s much, much faster, but also pricier. Compared to those two, the Minix Neo Storage starts to look like a deal.
Introducing the Light of Life- a single, uniquely shaped and astounding art piece that functions more than just a mere lamp. It's sleek and exhibits a thin, cherry wood shade, and brightness that can be smoothly adjusted via touch controls on the base.
It features a "Sleep Mode" setting that turns the light off automatically after 30 minutes so that you can sleep soundly and comfortably.
4In addition, the base of the lamp also has an integrated wireless charging pad, so you can charge any phone wirelessly!
This stunning lamp even comes with a built-in neodymium Bluetooth speaker. Just pair your device to the lamp, and play your favourite music wirelessly. You can even use the touch controls on the lamp to skip songs and adjust the volume.
Say good bye to dull and unpleasing desk lamps. Good bye to switches, chaotic tangled cords, electrical extensions and mess.
From the very innovative company, Articture.
Located just off the coast of Manhattan in the Long Island Sound, Columbia Island is a remote retreat just 30 minutes from the city. The private island comes with a 5,625-square-foot residence with four bedrooms and two bathrooms. Its industrial-style interior features a spacious living area and kitchen with polished concrete floors and exposed brick walls. Expansive glazing and multiple terraces offer exceptional views while the rooftop deck affords sweeping panoramas of the New York skyline and nearby New Rochelle. Powered by solar panels and a desalination machine, the entire property is completely self-sustaining. Also included in the sale is the 3-acre Pea Island.
Photos: Sotheby's International Realty
$13,000,000.00 U S D • maybe a pretty cool BnB?
BOWLUS ROAD CHIEF ENDLESS HIGHWAYS CAMPER
Making its debut in 1934, the Bowlus Road Chief was the original silver bullet. Now, 85 years later, the travel trailer returns with some modern upgrades in the Endless Highway model. Its 26-foot exterior looks almost unchanged, sporting a similar aluminum shell that was created by aircraft engineer Hawley Bowlus. The interior is finished with wood walls and ceilings and features a master bedroom with king-size bed, an ensuite teak and chrome bathroom, dining for four, kitchen, and a sofa and armchair that convert into two twin beds. For added comfort while on the road, the camper also comes with heated floors, a cellular booster, a private wifi network, continuous hot water, and charging stations. It's all powered by a lithium iron phosphate systems, allowing you to stay off-grid for a full week adventure.
$185,000.00 - or attractive financing options - go here.
True portability and convenience : :
POURIGAMI COFFEE MAKER$30
Available on Kickstarter now, MiiR’s Pourigami pour-over system is a carry-able coffee maker that doesn’t succumb to the constraints of instant coffee alternatives or clunky camping presses. Three sleek slats of stainless steel (in black, stainless steel or white) interlock and form a nest for coffee filters. The system weighs just four ounces and, when unassembled, packs flat. Testing it out at this year’s Outdoor Retailer, we observed that it outperforms presses and clears a significant amount of space in your backpack.
HISPANO SUIZA CARMEN ELECTRIC HYPERCAR
Hispano Suiza introduced its first production car in over 70 years at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show. The Carmen is an all-electric hypercar that extensively uses carbon fiber for the monocoque chassis, eleven body panels, and nearly everything else, where at all possible. This helps the Carmen weigh in at 3,726 pounds — a relative lightweight in the electric car world. A 700 cell lithium-ion battery pack powers each rear wheel for a total of 1,019 horsepower, a 0-62 time of less than three seconds, and a limited top speed of 155 MPH. The interior is handcrafted at Hispano Suiza's Barcelona factory, using leather and Alcantara for the seating surfaces and aluminum and carbon fiber trim. Each of the 19 buyers can even choose their own perfume for the interior if that new car smell isn't enough. Hispano Suiza has designed the Carmen to be upgradeable as technology improves, keeping the Carmen relevant even after its production run ends.
In the words of someone, famous, 'HOOWAH!'
A TINY RETREAT RESTING ON A LARGE BOULDER IN THE CZECH COUNTRYSIDE
Prague-based firm Uhlik Architekti were asked by a private commission to create ‘Forest Retreat’: a compact and multifunctional timber hideaway that balances atop a natural boulder.The client requested a private space in the countryside where he could escape for quiet contemplation, given his demanding work back in Prague. Speaking of the site location, the architects explain that the client took them to a spot in the midst of fields, woods and meadows, “Full of strange boulders, to a remote and somewhat forgotten place”. The rich landscape together with the client’s aim won the architects over instantly. The exterior of the tiny home is charred timber and when closed it resembles an unassuming storage container. Two side walls act as moveable shutters that open to reveal large glass windows, allowing forest views from inside. All materials are local; either from a neighboring forest or from other nearby sources. The interior is made from plywood and features a set of ascending steps that differentiate the space, with each step doubling as a storage unit. The client can sit, work, lounge, or sleep as he pleases—the top level can be flipped upside down, turning into a double bed.
Virginia Tech’s FutureHAUS brings tomorrow’s home into today’s world
Nina Zafar • The Washington Post
July 2In recent years, innovation in digital technologies transformed the way we live. Advances in smartphones, robotics and computers revolutionized every aspect of our lives leaving it almost impossible to imagine life without them, yet these types of technologies remain object focused vs. concept focused. At Virginia Tech, an interdisciplinary team of 25 students and faculty is taking existing technology that work independently of each other and asking the question, why can’t these components work together? Their FutureHAUS project is about creating an interface that is completely connected within one smart-home system.
Virginia Tech placed first in Dubai’s Solar Decathlon Middle East competition that challenged 15 universities from around the world to design, build and operate energy positive solar homes. While the baseline for the competition revolved around energy efficiency within a 900-square-foot space, what differentiated FutureHAUS from its competitors was the smart technologies.
“We didn’t enter the competition for the competition’s sake. We used the competition to test out an idea of how to build a future house,” says Joe Wheeler, an architecture professor and leading member of the FutureHAUS team.
The future house Wheeler refers to is composed of several cutting-edge concepts. The prefabrication concept proposes that homes be built like cars or planes, utilizing an efficient and sustainable factory. The system is different from modular or double-wide concepts which ship an entire build in one piece. Instead, the FutureHAUS comprises 18 prebuilt “Lego style” modules that are plug and play once they arrive on-site from the factory. This allowed the team to put the house together in two days.
Not only are the modules easily transportable, but they are loaded with state-of-the-art technologies that revolve around the idea of aging in place. The research team submitted their request for participation in the competition in 2016, giving them two years to come up with their plan.
“We did a lot of user group studies. The university is a perfect test fit for that, not only because you have the student body but also you have the researchers doing their own research,” says Bobby Vance, a professor and program manager at Virginia Tech’s Center for Design Research.
Technologies that support aging in place include rooms designed to accommodate users of any height, age or disability. For example, the bathroom includes a touch control smart mirror that controls bathroom functions and features, making the vanity and toilet height adjustable. The toilet will raise and lower based on who is about to use it. The kitchen counters detect height and automatically adjust to each user, too.
“Say you buy this home when you’re 25 years old and you want to live in it until you’re 85 years old. There’s a lot that happens in that time,” Vance said. “You could have small kids, you’ve got in-laws who come over, or maybe mom’s in a wheelchair now. The home should be able to accommodate every change and every person.”
Another central concept is that of flex space. The walls of the home can be repositioned based on different configurations that are stored in a central touch-screen interface. Users can adjust the size of the office/living/bedroom space with the touch of a button, allowing for maximum usage of a house with a smaller footprint. In fact, every aspect of the home can be changed and controlled through this interface.
“I think that’s why we won the competition. Anyone can make an energy-positive home, but is it relevant? Is it a place that someone actually wants to live? This is about integrating technology in a seamless way,” Vance said.
Skeptics may be hesitant to live in a home with as much innovative technology as FutureHAUS has, but Vance is confident that smart homes are close to being mainstream.
“You don’t have to go all-in in the beginning. One thing we say is does anyone miss crank windows in their car? But does your Murphy bed need to have a smart mirror on the back? No. Does your shower need to be automated? No. Is the infrastructure all there for when you’re ready to do that? Absolutely.”
The FutureHAUS team also spent much of the two years leading up to the Dubai competition finding funding for the project. Sponsors include large companies such as Kohler, DuPont and Dominion Energy.
“We’re committed to driving these types of projects, new opportunities for lower-carbon-footprint ecosystems, and this was a great chance for us to get involved,” says Emil Avram, vice president of innovation at Dominion.
“We want our customers to look for carbon-friendly solutions the same way we are as an energy provider, and we’ll help to provide them with those solutions,” Avram said.
Matthew Boys, a recent graduate of Virginia Tech who worked on the FutureHAUS project as part of his capstone, interned with Dominion Energy for three summers before connecting his management with the FutureHAUS team. The 23-year-old industrial and systems engineering major managed much of the logistics for getting the house to Dubai.
“It was a heck of an experience,” Boys said. “Being in a different environment, seeing the fruits of our tireless labor come together was amazing. At one point, this was just on drawings so to see it actually happening and watching people go into the house and seeing their reactions, their jaws were dropping.”
Although members of the FutureHAUS team are still thriving off the excitement of sweeping the competition in Dubai, they are already looking toward the future of smart homes. They have developed a VR model that lets users interact with their potential home in real time. This allows them to preview the finishes in the home, from the floors to the walls. The Dubai FutureHAUS is a very stark white, modern style, but the home can be customized to a more homey design.
“We’re taking this to scale. We’re going to find the investors and come up with a couple of model homes that aren’t necessarily so futuristic like this, something that would meet market demand and propose what I like to call the Sears home of the future. We’re going to revitalize it and bring it back in a modern iHome,” Wheeler said.
The team has already begun researching what it would take to scale up production in a factory setting with a new team of engineering students. For a house named after the future, the technology is very much current. It may be just a matter of time before the FutureHAUS concept becomes a new normal.
FutureHAUS will be open to the public until Aug. 16 at Virginia Tech’s new Innovation Campus, 2602 Main Line Blvd., Alexandria. Tours are offered on Thursdays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The house will be closed for private events throughout the summer and visitors should check the website for updated information at www.futurehaus.tech.
In much the same way that Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, Marc Newson and many other distinctive designers/architects created an instantly recognizable style signature, so did Haha Hadid.
Her work was, and is, instantly recognizable. Its message is always consistent, never wavering - and her legacy carries on in the work of her firm.
This unique dwelling located at 520 West 28th Street, NYC, is typically representative of her signature.
Just now on the market at $48,750,000.00 there is no other quite like it.
Oh! But, one last thing!
I received, very recently, an enquiry from a company not even on our mail-out list....how they became aware of DR•I I have not as yet determined. But, given that they are in Rotterdam, the Netherlands I find it fascinating that our modest little journal came to their attention.
This is a purely fabulous innovation that all of you should want to be aware of......some may take exception to the core principle, others may outright applaud the ingenuity, cleverness and future benefits that may accrue from this forward-thinking initiative.
For me, I'm of the latter camp - I believe it may well have rich and productive rewards for a global society, down the road.
What is it? Simply stated it is a water-based, flooring animal farm....check it out:
Floating Farm Dairy
Through the process of scale enlargement, and the automation of activities, the harbour of Rotterdam shifts to the west of the city, and the border between harbour and city shifts accordingly. Consequently, the decline of traditional trade activities make room for residential- and other urban developments. The harbour economy with its corresponding trading dynamics is disappearing from the basins; the original contrast between the relatively calm residential landscape and the lively centre point for trade is revolving 180 degrees; the basins of the Merwehaven threaten to become open and empty spaces in a densifying urban landscape of the Merwe-Vierhaven (M4H) area. With the Floating Farm Dairy these beautiful, but slowly orphaned spaces, find meaning in a rapidly changing environment through the introduction of urban farming.
The Farm produces, processes and distributes dairy products in the city, close to its consumers. It brings producer and consumer closer together, adds to shorter supply chains and awareness of city residents. Urban waste flows are upgraded from residual product to valuable ingredients cow feed. Brewers grains, potato scraps and grass clippings from the Feyenoord football stadium are all part of the menu. This adds to urban recycling and constitutes a fairly efficient form of food production. The Floating Farm Dairy is the first step to subsequently planned ‘Foodstrip’ in which a wider range of food production will be represented.
The design is, in essence, an agricultural building based on nautical principles. Organization, structural principles and use of materials are used to enhance the buoyancy and stability. The result is a stacked organization that places all heavy structural- and technical components in the submerged part of the building. All significant and transparent functions are situated on in a lightweight structure on top. The result is a 3-layered façade ranging from concrete to translucent polycarbonate to entirely open.
The Floating Farm Dairy is a compact and logically stacked structure that merges technical installations, storage, processing and production in a singular entity. Three connected concrete pontoons house the production of fruits (ingredients for yogurt), rain- and wastewater recycling and additional installations. On the upper factory floor combines milk and yogurt processing, feeding system, manure handling and retail. The covered cow garden will house 40 cows that will be supported by a manure cleaning robot and a milking robot along with various elements regarding animal welfare like the centrally placed ‘green columns’ that ensure cooling. The cantilevering floors and roof address the multi-level agricultural hub, and articulate its architecture.
The two galleries around the cow garden - vertically connected via two steel bridges - string together various evocative spaces to make an educational route. Along this route visitors gain insight on all activities in the Farm without disturbing the business process. Feeding fences around the cow garden and glass walls around the dairy processing facilitate the sensory experience of visitors and underline the transparent character of the company. Feeding-, dairy-, and manure processing are all organized to a compact and efficient logistic system that make this unique multi-level program possible.
Client/Initiator: Floating Farm Holding BV
Completion Year: 2019
Gross Built Area: 2000m2
Project location: Merwehaven, Rotterdam
Photo credits: Ruben Dario Kleimeer http://www.rubendariokleimeer.com/
Think about it. Almost all great cities in the world are adjacent to water - either a river (London, Montréal), an ocean (New York City), a lake (Chicago), etc. And as urban sprawl continues too, sprawl, farming communities are more threatened, more encroached upon. The reality is, there will always be, animal-based farming communities. Might it not make sense to bring them back to the core of our cities?
This is an easy, efficient and mobile method to make local stuff, local again.
In Montréal we benefit from the wisdom and convenience of Lufa Farms (https://montreal.lufa.com/en/marketplace) - an amazingly clever rooftop gardening initiative, enterprise.
Check it out - this is advanced, and clever thinking at its best.
One last word, for this issue.....the survey also threw back one other interesting commentary.
Actually two - the first was that everyone preferred the distribution to remain at once-a-month - the other was, for many, DR•I is simply too big - too much to get through. Para mi, I see that as the bonus I deliver - by design - aside from hyperlinks to source web-sites, you are never confronted with the dreaded,
'read more...' cop-out. What you see, is truly, what you get. It's honest, accurate, timely and always,
we believe, on topic.
• • • from the beginning of June. Why then is it feeling like Hallowe'en is just around the corner.
Here in Montréal - as in most of the north-east - it is freaking cold. Sorry, wrong - Cold and NASTY!
Weather forecast for next few days is, it's gonna me March! And in 3 weeks it's the first day of Summer....wahoo! We'll see. . . . .
So - what's new? What's new in the world of all things design?
Ah! There's this -
I LOVE this! Another great photograph by Adriana Garcia, Ottawa. Adriana is a professional interior designer and an amateur photographer.....think ya need to lose the 'amateur' part dearLady! Here's another of hers:
B E A U T I F U L work Adriana!
Mexico! We have, over the last months, brought you some fabulous examples of fine architecture in Mexico and throughout Latin and South America. Maybe it's just me, but I find a sense of the chest cavity expanding outwards when I see many of those projects for the first time. And now this....
There's a magic to the space/place that we find this in. Almost feels other-worldly. Personally I feel the warmth from the interior lighting flowing outwards, the damp coolness ofthe forest canopy closing inwards together with a sense of levitation almost! Purity, simplicity.
Yeah! That's what I'm talking' about!
It's a treehouse, man!
Suspended in a Mexican forest, the Floating Treehouse takes inspiration from the neighboring trees. The wooden retreat is anchored to the forest floor by nine stilts, similar to tree roots. Its trunk-like exterior rises vertically three stories. The lowest level is raised off the ground and sits on a large platform. A kitchen, workspace, and drum studio make up the sheltered portion while a large living area is located on the outdoor terrace. A spiral staircase wraps around the exterior, leading to a bathroom and then a bedroom on the top floor. A strong connection between the interior and the landscape is maintained through large windows and openings throughout the interior. At night, the glazing illuminates transforming the dwelling into a glowing timber tower.
Photos: Studio Chirika / Talleresque
It's just special. . . . . .
From ArchDaily.com : : CIMC Headquarter Office Building / CCDI Dongxiying Studio
The most striking aspect of this exciting new building is what happens on the roof. There are many reasons why we in North America do not encourage rooftop access - could be, might be dangerous / could be/might become a hang-out / could be/might be any number of paranoid concerns.
But to my mind, it's a genius design that promotes this kind of engagement between workers and the environment. Access to solitude, to serenity in a stressful workplace has been shown to have very positive effects on personnel. This is a lovely and inventive approach to responsive design.
OTTOSTUMM's mission is to support architects and designers with modern thermal barrier steel fenestration systems, which not only preserve the character of national heritage buildings, but also offer the possibility to use windows and doors with highest visual qualities in contemporary architecture.
Their products have a very narrow focus and are ideal for renovating steel windows in historic buildings of the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as for indoor and outdoor use in highly design-oriented villas, boutique commercial and institutional buildings. Windows and doors crafted with OTTOSTUMM's profiles are often the most noticeable feature of prestigious properties.
Also from ArchDaily.com is this product line from OTTOSTUMM. Great window designs.
Speaking of photography : :
Peter M. Cook, a British architectural photographer has dedicated 20 years to photographing outstanding buildings in Tokyo. His new book, e d o, contains that work. Published by Hatje Cantz Verlag, following is the description on the publisher's web-site:
How Tokyo's architecture changed over 20 years
British architectural photographer Peter M. Cook (*1967) started travelling to Tokyo in 1992, settling there in 1998. Peter has devoted himself to photographing buildings across Japan. Edo, which is the old name for Tokyo, is the culmination of twenty years tirelessly documenting Tokyo and its buildings, recording an architectural evolution of the city. For his photo book, Peter M. Cook has selected 100 images of Tokyo, paying homage to the visual language of Hiroshige’s 100 Views of Edo: Mount Fuji makes an appearance, ghostlike in the background, its powerful iconic presence a reminder of a constant in nature, in contrast to the urban landscape at its base. At the same time, Cook’s abstract aesthetics are reminiscent of the pioneering silent film Metropolis from 1927, which has set the scene for the futuristic city. The book furthermore includes a haiku by the renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma whose buildings Cook started to document for a new project.
Priced at £58.00 it is currently out of stock. Going on my Christmas wishlist!
• s t u n n i n g •
Why are we promoting Memphis?
Are we, promoting Memphis?
What caught my eye is this fabulous mural - trying to find more information about it. This, is what
g r a f f i t t i , if I might call it such, should be. Of course, it is not, by current definition, graffitti - it is, art - public art. Commisioned by, sanctioned by - paid for by, a committee of some sort. But it is powerfully expressive, directly communicative. It sums up, it contains, history - the resonace to those who made substantive contributions to Memphis, to the south, is palpable.
On the note regarding graffitti, I will take this opportunity to rant (just a little) - I HATE GRAFFITTI!
Graffitti in the free-for-all nonsensical, private encrypted obtuse and meaningless language of those who have convinced themselves that their irresponsible graphic messaging - akin to some alien pictograms - has a value, or makes sense - any sense - to the general public upon which it is imposed. To say nothing of the cost to the public purse to remove, cleanse, sanitize this visual dairrhea. It is in the most part a disgusting and self-delusional indulgence by those who mistakenly think they have a voice by which they should communicate to those of us who are ignorant of their values. That, pre-supposes, of course - that the practitioners of graffitti actually have any comprehension of, value. If I were Mayor I would make it an almost-top priority to set up a task force to eradicate/eliminate these transgressions. Simple question that needs to be asked, 'What gives them the right? Simple answer is - they are not, given the right - they, in the folds of darkness, highjack the right to abuse, inflict and babble graphically - it is d i s g u s t i n g and should be made to stop....or consequences would come into play!
From CoolHunting comes this:
In Memphis, Tennessee, the faded hues of yesteryear mingle delightfully with the invigorating aura of a burgeoning renaissance and prideful restoration of the city’s most historic locales. Beale Street, the city’s most famous stretch, is home to a handful of the nation’s most acclaimed music venues and once set the stage for some of America’s most inspired movements—everyone from B.B. King and Martin Luther King Jr. to Louis Armstrong and Elvis frequented here in its heyday. And, while music is certainly a primary draw for the nearly 200-year-old city, it’s working hard to attract more than just concert-goers and BBQ-eaters. Where sister city Nashville built itself to suit the expectations of its visitors, Memphis has stayed true to its locals—it’s soulful, resourceful and, best of all, rich with gems both old and new. These are a few of our favorite spots in the city by the Mississippi.
This newly opened airy spot in Memphis’ Pinch District is infusing southern, slow-moving hospitality into their chic, high-end coffee concept. Hayes and Amy McPherson, the couple behind Comeback Coffee, want to be a stopping place for all locals and visitors alike—and their expansive menu of delicious drinks and made-in-house treats certainly encourages this. Made by chef Cole Jeanes, the shop’s pastries are fresh and delightful and a rotating “market special” features local produce that isn’t used in the menu’s existing dishes. The interior is sparse but welcoming, and an adjacent back patio has enough room for dozens more. We recommend getting yourself a coffee soda—flash-chilled coffee infused with strawberries and lime, then put on tap—and a Mississippi Mud Pie (pictured here).
And then there's this : : HU•Hotel Memphis
Inside the Hu. Hotel Memphis—in walking distance to Beale Street and more of the city’s popular venues—open space abounds. From the lobby’s double-height ceilings to the building’s renovated rooftop space (the city installed a light show on its two longest bridges that can be seen from here starting at 7PM) the charming nooks and corners are endless. The lobby also feels much larger given that there’s no front desk: you check in at a coffeeshop-like counter just inside the front doors. There’s a consistent mid-century modern theme throughout, from the faded browns of the lobby to the pinkish hues of the hotel’s 110 guest rooms.
The Old Dominick Distillery is hard to miss. Not only is it situated across the street from Gus’s Famous Fried Chicken—a Memphis staple known for their fiery fried poultry—but its barrel storage room can just be seen peeking out of the second story window, which is frequently propped open to ease aging. The newly opened distillery is operating on a demand basis, meaning that if you stop in for a tasting or a tour you might not see much action. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t spirits to taste. The distillery makes a surprisingly nice suite of vodkas and gins and offers a preview of their one-year-old whiskey. The rest, which they plan to release at four years, is yet to come—though there’s plenty to be excited for.
Situated inside the old Fred P. Gattas department store building—where Elvis famously frequented as deliveryman before becoming an international star—is Stock and Belle. Opened in 2015, the shop stocks local and national goods from a well-curated list of similarly-aligned brands. There’s also an eclectic collection of local art—most of which is produced in-house in the shop’s artist studios (pictured here in the rear of the store). From local fragrances to handmade art and furniture, there’s a vast selection of made-in-Memphis goods that aren’t kitschy or touristy.
Inside Crosstown Concourse, a 1.5 million-square-foot mixed-use building, there are over a dozen floors of office, school, living, retail and restaurant space. Perhaps most impressive is the building’s art gallery: Crosstown Arts. Featuring a vibrant red staircase that leads you into its heart and a vast mural to welcome guests, the gallery features rotating shows and a quirky, not-for-profit venue called the Art Bar. On exhibition right now is Stitched: Celebrating the Art of Quilting, which showcases the work of local quilters of all ages.
Pièce de Résistance
I am not shy - nor does it embarrass me - to be boldly unequivocal, to be boldly vocal when it comes to what, IMHO, is the representation of design mastery. . . . . and so it is with this m a s t e r p i e c e : :
You'd think I make a commission. . . . . not! But, once again the fine, fine work done by ArchDaily (www.ArchDaily.com) allows me to present this here - ArchDaily has done an exemplary job of curating this work.
From the architects [saavvedra arquitectos] as contained in the article by ArchDaily:
Text description provided by the architects. Casa Luzia is the second country house of a master plan of three houses in Avándaro, Mexico. (the first one is M House). This second land lot has a considerable downslope from the front to the back of the terrain. It rains with intensity most of the year and the lot is located in the natural pad of the rainwater. The big forest trees of Avandaro open to the center of the lot. The architectural program had to contemplate two different scenarios: a young couple with children or two young couples.
Casa Luzia was designed under these circumstances, taking as keys, the downslope of the terrain and the two bedrooms of the program. The rectangular volume rises from underground to float over the gradient. The bedrooms are located on the opposite extremes of the plan, giving privacy and autonomy and creating a tension that it`s solve by the complete openness of the public space.
Casa Luzia was designed under these circumstances, taking as keys, the downslope of the terrain and the two bedrooms of the program. The rectangular volume rises from underground to float over the gradient. The bedrooms are located on the opposite extremes of the plan, giving privacy and autonomy and creating a tension that it`s solve by the complete openness of the public space.
If in the Mies exercises of the Three Courtyards House aloud the subject (the super-human of Zarathustra) to inhabit the totality of space from anywhere. This house multiplies the subject to co-habit the totality of public space and only found privacy on the bedrooms. This central space is defined by furniture; the chimney and the kitchen bar are elements that hint the limits of the interior areas
There is something schizophrenic in mirroring modern architecture. Two spaces of similar proportions on opposite arista, that they see them in each other with different definitions, recognizing them in the other but not in themselves. It seems that even though they are identical they will never become homogeneous; summited to the fate of their distance, they create a force that could disrupt the space of architecture. And; as in construction is better to “direct the fissures” the volume of Casa Luzia is broken by stone tower with double height, a heavy and brutal element that “directs the fissure” of space.
Most of the volume skin is made of wood. It is sustained by a metallic structure that liberates the down part of the house, giving place to a courtyard/terrace that continuous the topography and the vegetation of the terrain.
The wooden skin opens for windows where the orientation and views requires. Two concrete slabs rest over the structure along the volume, only being interrupted by the double height stone tower, which solves the space balance, the material contrasts and the proportion of the house.
To a casual observer, looking at the horizontal planking shown here, it may appear to be simply a random emplacement of the pieces . . . . not so! You can be assured that the architect(s) individually selected each and every plank that is seen on these walls.....such important contributive character elements are not left to chance. The réalisation of such a result is truly very deliberate.
The sum of its parts is the totality of the work : : ethic
Montréal, a world class city - a renowned World Heritage site (le vieux port) - is replete with the most fabulous legacy architecture dating from the 1700's, 1800's. Many, many streets in and around the downtown core are graced by elegant greystone buildings - what were originally stately single residences. And, many still are - stately, singular residences. But, although Montréal has distinguished itself on the international achitectural stage with unique design and buildings [i.e., Place Ville Marie by I.M.Pei, Westmount Square by Mies van der Rohe, IBM tower by KPF Architects], our own local rockStar architects, such as Eric Huot (Geiger Huot) have deveoped and perfected the retention of heritage architecture into exciting, innovative and unique developments such as this one, in progress, Enticy Condominiums:
Note the integration of the four classic greystone buildings as apart of the general site......one of the floor plans offered in these buildings is:
For additional details, sales information, go to the Enticy Condominiums site.
Okay - so sit on this - or this - or maybe this
Given that Father's Day is soon upon us, here's a little something most all father's would need - and probably even enjoy - depending on what you filled it with.....
....or if you're really flush, this : :
ROLLS-ROYCE WRAITH EAGLE VIII COUPECaptain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Brown made the first nonstop flight across the Atlantic ocean in 1919, piloting a Vickers Vimy biplane powered by two Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engines. The 20.3-liter V12s made 350 horsepower, helping Alcock and Brown average 115 MPH for the flight — and performed flawlessly the entire time. The journey was fraught with trouble from the beginning, with the pilots becoming lost in a freezing cloud bank before breaking through and navigating by the stars to Ireland and safety. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the heroic feat, Rolls-Royce is building 50 Wraith Eagle VIII special edition coupes, loaded with special features recalling the flight. Gunmetal and Selby Grey two-tone paint mark the night skies, and interior paneling of smoked eucalyptus vacuum metalized in gold with copper and brass that recall nighttime images of Earth from above. The starlight headliner is a map of the stars on the day of the flight in 1919, with red fiber optics marking the moment the pilots broke through the clouds, and constellations and the flight path embroidered in brass thread — a fitting tribute to Rolls-Royce's illustrious history.
You know the old saying - 'If you have to ask you can't afford it'- so, don't ask!
. . . . . . . and then again, there's this : :
But of course, it then begs the question, 'If one, why not both?'
VELA CONCEPT YACHTThe latest concept by award-winning Italian designer Gianmarco Cardia, the Vela combines the romance of sail-powered travel with a practical hybrid propulsion system. DynaRig masts hold the 1,850 square meters of sails, with one section doubling as an outdoor movie theater. The 80-foot vessel also has a spacious owners suite, four guest cabins, a spa, a water-level beach club with bar, and a gym. The hull has yet to be engineered, but a top speed of 21 knots is likely possible with the sails and hybrid system working together.
From my friend in Milan, Leonardo Bechini, another master photographer : : :these just have to be shown : :
: : :
1973 PORSCHE 911 TARGA 2.4S1973 was the last year for the desirable long hood/narrow bumper 911. Safety regulations would force a design change the following year, but the bodywork isn't the only thing that makes 1973 a special year — it was also the first year for the famous 915 five-speed gearbox. While this particular 911 Targa remains mechanically stock, it sports a very special custom interior by ultra-premium French leather goods maker Berluti. Featuring Berluti's beautifully burnished Venizia leather, the company's master colorists and upholsterers covered every inch of the car's seats, dash, and panels in hide. What isn't leather is covered in Bouclé wool, including the seat backs, floor mats, and carpeting. A pair of driving shoes and day bag are also included. The workmanship is second-to-none and tones and colors match the silver exterior perfectly. A truly one-of-a-kind 911, this car will be auctioned off by Sotheby's in Paris, April 24-May 7, 2019. • Will probably fetch $200,000.00
So - you know what happens here : : end of the chapter. And it's also the mid-point in the journey.
Six chapters to go
See you next month.
BTW - you can always contact me at michael@DesignReview.International
Is that not a t r u t h for many/most of us?
Sure feels that way. Took off for 9 days to sunny Florida - and it was that - sunny......Florida is best in Spring and in Fall....IMHO. As I lived (endured it) there for almost four years I do have somewhat of an informed opinion. Last week the days were clear, sunny - and blessedly dry!
This issue might be considered the harbinger of spring. You will find there is a preponderance of fine residences in this one. Not by design - purely coincidental. And two are by Québec architects....again, not by design - just happened that way. Plus we have a third Canadian contribution by the very talented Rita Edwards (Victoria, B.C.) - a follow-up to the legacy home renovation project from a couple of issues ago.
What be this? Sortof one part of a paperclip, no?
I have said this many times : : 'I love clever!' And this is, clever. Who'd a thunk it?
The pure geometry, alone - is tantalizing.....
And so, by extrapolation, one can see how this same approach might produce an interesting design for corner shelves.......
Ugao is a clothes rack placed in the corner of a room to save up space, and since it’s fixed to a wall it can be positioned at any desired height. In a form of a continuous steel loop, Ugao is an unusual rack with a wooden rod as the only element that is reminiscent of typology and suggests the use. It is diagonally fixed to the wall on two sides facing at a 90 degree angle, making it a solid and trustful structure. Ugao is a dismountable object, shipped flat-pack, intended to meet contemporary nomadic lifestyle habits.
B R A V O ! For good, ,cool, simple - c l e v e r design / design-thinking!
There are times : : not many, mind you - when words are completely unnecessary
This is one such time
Anne Carrier • architecte
This, I daresay, is another
And yet, another. . . . albeit, this 1953 Jaguar 150 is an astonishing embodiment of the gospel according to M le Bauhaus : :
Form, ever, follows function
Memories, fond - this was my own Jaguar - in 1973 I was the proud owner of a 1954 Jaguar Mark IV sedan - manual transmission with overdrive.
Was a thrill, a treat - to drive it anywhere - evenaround the block....it was,as is shown here,
in British Racing Green
Think! Think about what you are seeing here. . . . . a singular continuous sweep of glossy white material.
Could only be man-made - is most likely one custom ordered sheet of Kerlite....there are no seams to interrupt the purity of the statement.
That kind of thinking can only come from an architect/designer whose vision is rooted in the determination to adhere to an unviolable principle.
Another stunning example of québecois architecture!
PAVILLON DU LAC
Surrounded by dense forest in Canada, the Pavillon du Lac reflects the lakefront setting with a glazed facade. The guest house sits on a gentle slope, laying lightly on the terrain with an elevated foundation that appears to float above the ground. Its exterior is made entirely out of floor-to-ceiling windows. During the day, the home mirrors the landscape but becomes completely transparent after the sun goes down. Internally, two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen, and living area all enjoy uninterrupted views of the lake and wooded scenery.
Photos: Adrien Williams / Daoust Lestage
3573 boulevard saint-laurent
As form, does ever, follow function we have here the most recent advance in lighting technology.
From their web-site, this accounting:
'After weeks of fruitless internet searching, we discovered it wasn’t possible to buy cordless table lamps for your home! Unless you are looking for cheap entry level, novelty or garden varieties.
A gap in the market? We thought so. Speaking to retailers and interior designers it quickly became apparent the obstacle to creating cordless table lamps had always been; battery life and desirability.
With a background in developing new products, we realised we could create something unique, and do it well. It became obvious that demand for high end lamps to suit more discerning customers would work best.
Our range of decorative cordless table lamps has been designed by some of the UKs finest artists and product designers.
The ceramic and glass bodies are all hand made by master craftsmen in small workshops.
All components come from UK suppliers known to us, with finishing and assembly undertaken by Alexander Joseph. We are very proud to claim our products are 100% British.
We have designed our own battery cells and electronics, solving battery life issues found in all other cordless lamps. We use the very latest in high density lithium ion batteries with a specially made vintage style LED bulbs. The technology is deliberately discrete but delivers unparalleled endurance of over 52 hours before recharging is needed.
In addition to our permanent range of cordless lamps, from time to time we produce spectacular ‘one off’ designs and commissions.'
True cordless lighting technology. WOW!
BRUCE WILLIS' PARROT CAY ESTATE
The pristine beachfront of Turks and Caicos would be enough for most vacationers but not for one of America's biggest action stars. When you're someone like Bruce Willis, a Caribbean estate isn't complete without guest houses, a beachfront yoga pavilion, a playground with a pirate ship, and a movie theater to watch his latest release. The 8-acre, sunset-facing compound comes with three beachfront homes that total 35,000 square-feet of living space. An additional17,000 square feet of outdoor terraces feature four pools protected by rows of coconut, banana, and papaya trees. Go beyond the lush vegetation and you'll find 1,000 feet of sugary white sand running into a bay of turquoise water. As part of Parrot Cay's Private Estates, the property includes estate management, housekeeping, provisioning, a chef, and butler services.
Photos: Sotheby's International Real Estate
Rita Edwards DID, ASID
We continue with e p i s o d e #2 of the Herel project in Victoria, B.C.
In Rita's own words : :
So, it has been a busy couple of months at Walmsley Cottage. Last time you were here, we were demolishing walls.
. . . and discovering the unexpected along the way. . . .
but, things have progressed, as you can see here:
With careful adherence to my plans and specifications, the new space is beginning to blossom!
All the work, of course, in in accordance with and governed by the new B.C. Building Code in conjunction with the standards and stipulations as per the Heritage Foundation of Oak Bay.
New walls/partitions, new windows in new places, a transformation in progress!
But let’s not keep you waiting any longer! Let’s show you a few before and after shots! We are not yet done, due to a setback with the cabinet maker, but I do believe you will start to get as excited as I!
The floors have been installed and finished to match those in the rest of the house.
As problem-solving designers we continuously grow, in part, by trusting our creative instincts.
The intuitive processes that are our constant companions, serve us, and our clients, well.
Initially I had a concen that that the upper kitchen cabinets might feel too much of a spatial intrusion, enclosing, rather than expanding the space. However, given that they are all interior lit with glass doors they provide a wonderful sense of mystique and expansiveness. Check it out!
(If you actually shorten the perspective in a space, it makes the space seem larger. I will be eternally grateful to her for this tip.) A designer/colleague/friend of mine that I visited in England recently taught me this trick. She uses it in her garden. It has served us well here!
And I couldn’t wait for the cabinet fronts as it was important to keep the counter installation on schedule due to a production lead time of three weeks.Both the client and I think the counters are fabulous!
And, just wait until you see the light fixtures we have chosen for above the island! Hint: the Victorians loved the Moroccan influence.
In regards to the re-birth of the Family Room we painted the walls a soft grey and VOILA! A place you are drawn to. The openness beckons you to the garden in the back. Please note, rest of Canada, Victoria has been drenched in sunshine for a few months now.
Also, the renaissance of the herringbone pattern provides a classic grounding of pattern and texture.....so well suited for this iconic legacy home!
Until my next installment!
We are going to be 2 weeks behind schedule, but we did add a gas fireplace insert and more updates to the electrical panel. I am excited for the rest of the cabinetry to come together. We have planned a mudroom area and laundry room storage, as well as cabinetry to finish off our sunroom.
Next time we meet, I should have it all finished up! Can’t wait for you to see!
For the techie in all of us - and this is an astonishing technological marvel by Intel!
This tiny device that looks like a flash drive turns any screen into a Windows 10 PC
Forget desktop computers and forget laptops, because there’s an even more compact PC that you should definitely check out. In fact, it’s barely bigger than a flash drive. The Intel Compute Stick CS125 Computer plugs into an HDMI port on any monitor or TV and you’ll instantly transform it into a Windows 10 PC. It features quad-core Intel Atom x5-Z8300 processor, 3GB of DDR3 RAM, Wi-Fi AC, Bluetooth 4, two USB ports, and more, and it costs less than $130 right now on Amazon.
Here’s what you need to know from the product page:
For under $200.00 CAD one has a perfectly functioning WIN10 PC - will connect to any hotel room HDMI TV.....so very cool!
This In-Ear Translator Can Interpret
A Bilingual Conversation On The Fly
The recent news of German start-up Bragi leaving the consumer hardware business -- which likely meant an end to its ambitious true wireless earbuds, the Dash -- was unfortunate. I admired the company's ambitious vision of trying to make the Dash more than just earbuds for music listening; Bragi wanted to turn them into full-fledged assistants that can offer real-time translations of different languages.
The Bragi Dash has likely reached the end of the line as a consumer product, without fully realizing its digital translator dream, but a Shenzhen-based start-up named Timekettle has created its own device that strives for that same goal. Named the WT2, the earphones are true wireless earpieces that are meant to be worn by two people who do not share a common language.
There are no shortage of apps that can translate spoken words into another language -- including Google's excellent Translate app -- but where the WT2 stand out is each earpiece can automatically identify and interpret a specific language in real time, without getting confused by other languages or sounds, and without needing the user to prompt the listening/translation process with, for example, a button tap.
. . . . more
Original article written for Forbes by: Ben Sin
Safdie Architects Design a Fourth Tower
for Marina Bay Sands in Singapore
Safdie Architects have announced an expansion to the Marina Bay Sands Resort in Singapore. Linking to the existing resort and waterfront development, the project takes cues from the original three hotel towers completed in 2011. Safdie Architects will expand the existing resort with a new stand-alone hotel tower with about 1,000 suites and its own sky roof and swimming pool, as well as a 15,000-seat music arena.
Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry announced that a fourth tower will be constructed next to MBS as part of a larger SG$9 billion project. The existing Marina Bay Sands is a 121,000 square meter mixed-use Integrated Resort located on a 16 hectare site of reclaimed land in Singapore. The complex includes a 55 storey hotel with 2560 rooms in total; a 1.2-hectare garden Skypark capping the towers; the ArtScience Museum on the waterfront promontory; two state-of-the-art theaters; a Casino; a Convention Center and Exhibition Halls; shopping and dining outlets; as well as an outdoor event plaza. Known for its famous 150 meter-high infinity swimming pool, the resort has become an icon for Singapore
‘Do you play?’
The voice, soft - regal, as only a proper British accent can be, commanded
me to turn on my barstool to look.
Raising an eyebrow I looked at her.
‘Play? At what?’
‘That’, she said pointing downwards towards the floor ‘That….fiddle, violin - whatever…’
‘Uh no - actually not’, I replied.
‘Oh’ she said her mouth forming the word like a zero framed in crimson icing.
Her eyes, liquid pools of emeraldShine, bored into me.
‘Then why do you have it? Is there something else in in there? Is it like a carry box or a carry-all?’
I took a long pull from my Bloody Caesar all the while taking in the beauty and porcelain luminosity of her face.
It’s actually a ‘Tommy’’ I said
‘A Tommy - Tommy Gun - cut down from a full Thompson sub-machine gun’
‘You ARE kidding me?'
I just looked at her - said nothing.
'So’, she asked again, with a wicked crooked smile, leaning back with her left elbow on the bar, and then uncurling towards me,
’Do you play?’
©michael moore 2017
I took this shot at about 4:45 AM in August, 2008 - just off the coast of Santorini......it was a spectacular sunrise followed by a magical day of wandering the streets of Santorini, an exotic and tranquil lunch on the rooftop of a taverna off the beaten track of the hustle/bustle of scrambling tourists......it is truly, a most magical place.
Santorini : : definitely a place of the gods. . . . unique is a word that does not come close to being honestly descriptive. . . . . . and yet, it is exactly that - unique.
Perhaps this was the reciprocal view at a later time that day. . . . .
VORA VILLAS SOPHISTICATED
LUXURY IN SANTORINIOverlooking the volcano with stunning views of the island’s celebrated sunsets, Vora is a handcrafted new property of private villas carved into caves, cliffs and suspended high above the sea. Here, in one of the most beautiful spots on Earth sublimely private villas accommodations inspired by the volcanic environment and boasting minimalistic Cycladic design with custom-made furniture and a soothing palette of beiges and grays augmented by dark brown wood. A private infinitive spa tub with each villa completes a picture that seems as impossible to create as it is perfect to experience.
About Vora Villas: A sharp-edged channel of grey volcanic rock paves the way down from the entrance and reception point at the top of the site, twisting you and ricocheting you from angled wall to angled wall, slicing a soft white mass into 3 separate and unique villas.
The villas are neat, compact and dynamic, taking on a sculpted form when juxtaposed against the straight edge of the volcanic rock path and retaining walls.
The driving forces behind Vora concept were the volcanic rock and the traditional local
Known for inspired designs that produce unique and fully immersive experiences, the Athens-based K-Studio took a stunning but seemingly inhospitable vertical landscape and carved luxurious one-and two-story dwellings into its steep cliff face.
White cement and a dappling of dark stone lead you to heaven. Hard angles, strategic stairwells, and private terraces with equally sequestered spa tub set the scene, while the showstopper is the deep blue colors of the glorious Aegean Sea.
Vora Villas follows the local architecture with charming details such as arches while including all the luxuries of a contemporary lifestyle. A mix of custom-made furniture by local craftspeople and K-Studio as well as local materials such as black volcanic rocks and Vasaltis marble, give the spaces its unique character. The luxurious bathrooms feature blue Gascoigne double sinks with Pierre Boon faucets and generous walk-in showers. No detail here has been overlooked, including Tempur superior mattresses for a great night’s rest. For further information, the web-site is here: https://voravillas.com/architecture-design.
I guarantee it - there is not one of you that has not, at some time, immersed themselves in the fantasy of a treehouse. It's akin to having that lazy old rope swing under an 80 year old oak tree. Don't tell me it isn't so.
I know I have....the delicious fantasy of a secluded refuge - private to all except the invitées......a place to go, curl up - read a stack of comics - munch happily on peanut butter and jam sandwiches. And the only thing that got you down was an irrpressible need to pee, or, you were summoned for lunch....or dinner.
It was a fuzzy, coccoon - yours to maintain dominion over - yours to defend against the oncoming horde of attacking marauders..... yours, to be - lost in!
The following 'treehouse', is one for us, as grown-ups.....and I'll bet here is not one amongst you that isn't thiking, right now, 'Hmmmm....wonder how much it might cost to do something like this....'
I dunno - but it again falls under the overhang of, 'If/when I win the lottery.....'
Yeah - okay...I agree - it doesn't quite qualify as a treehouse from this persepective, b u t
Doesn't this resonate some of those same feeling?
This wonderful exposé originally appeared in dwell.com / written by Lucy Wang
These are some of her observations and comments:
Armed with an intimate knowledge of their one-acre property atop a bluff in Washington's Puget Sound, a pair of artists tapped Seattle–based DeForest Architects for a custom residence that's far more than just a place to call home.
Set on a one-acre wooded bluff overlooking Puget Sound, the Tree House is clad in low-maintenance materials including Cor-Ten steel, stained cedar shiplap, and painted HardiePlank.
An oversized entrance door leads to an angled hallway that obscures views to create an element of surprise. The Vollen bench in Custom Red Lacquer is from Chadhaus.
"The clients asked us to design a home for their family of four that was by turns tranquil and surprising, [and] so connected to the trees and the hillside that it would feel like a virtual walk in the woods," explain the architects. They worked closely with the clients to tease out a contemporary design aimed at deepening the family’s relationship with the landscape.
Enclosed in glass and elevated in the tree canopy, the living room is furnished with midcentury modern classics including a Case Kelston sofa from DWR and a Knoll Womb chair and ottoman. The custom red wool rug is from Driscoll Robbins.
Conceived as a "vehicle for experiencing the site in different ways," the 3,886-square-foot house winds along the steeply sloped terrain and culminates in a dramatic cantilever on the west side. The resulting spaces range from intimate bedrooms nestled into the hillside to a dramatic glass-enclosed great room cantilevered into the canopy for a treehouse-like feel.
The open kitchen features Pental Quartz countertops, walnut plywood cabinetry by Kerf Design, and a ceramic tile backsplash from Ann Sacks Savoy Collection. The Muuto Nerd counter stools are from DWR.
The two-story home's entrance faces east, and the primary living areas lie on the main floor. The master bedroom and two additional bedrooms are located on the upper floor. The layout follows an open-plan concept to achieve the client’s desire for "good flow" and to preserve sight lines with the outdoors.
The outdoor patio features St. Kitts lounge chairs from Frontgate and a black and white bone inlay coffee table. The full article can be seen here:
Design - interesting and unusual design leads us many places. Oklahoma, for example. Who'd a thunk it?
OKLAHOMA? Design? In the same breath? Peraps all the HGTV shows have propelled a movement towards sensitivity and understanding that we had not given them credit for?
I feel it is our responsibility to seek out good, unusual, unique - sometimes quirky - instances of design.
And this listing caught our eye......I think the conventional architectural term for this styl eof house is saltbox....forgive me if I'm wrong. But this style signature can be found in Toronto, Regina, Chicago and - Oklahoma. But what's particularly cool about this listing/property is tha there are actually TWO dwellings on the site. The main house, if you will - and the 'coachhouse'......and know what? At he listed price, this IS a deal! Anyways, take a look - it is, c h a r m i n g .......
And the Coachhouse: :
Comments: It's a clean, focused view and interpretation of simple, evocative interior design. There is nothing 'too much' - there is constancy and continuity - from house to house......actually quite rare unless in the hands of a professional. Bravo, Oklahoma!
The listing details are to be found here.
Listing price : : $349,000.00 (2 houses)
We, LIKE this!
Fine spirits deserve to reside in a space crafted as thoughtfully as they are. This handmade Club bar cabinet from Armani/Casa is the perfect gift for the cocktail lover; and with a limited edition of only 50 pieces, it may be just as rare as the distillations chosen to dwell within it.
Perched atop a stand of Canaletto walnut, the cabinet is fronted with doors that are hand lacquered in a swirl of blue, gold, and gray, meant to invoke Hokusai’s iconic woodblock print The Great Wave and designed to hold glasses in their interior pockets. Inside, a shelf with a fold-out tempered-glass top provides a surface for libations to be prepared and presented. Three bronze drawers house an ice bucket, mixology utensils, and bottles of your treasured spirits. The cabinet may be placed against a wall or, as it is accessible from both sides, hold its own at the center of a room.
More information can be found at their web-site: www.buffetsandcabinets.com
Flat Eleven Is a 50 sqm Flat in the Heart of Florence
We love to fantasize.......is that not what propels us as creative professionals to spawn ideas, concepts....outrageous thinking? I believe it is . . . . . we are, inescapably bound to new and innovative ideas, interpretations - creations. So, here, now - we travel to Florence - that most soulful of all Italian cities....and we find there, this:
And your question may well be, 'What's the big deal with this?
Perhaps not such a big deal - perhaps a clever concept for a small idea/space, to create the magic that allows one to think, it's a big deal - or a bigger deal than one might expect. I have oft-times told both students and clients, 'It is not how much space you have - it's how much space you feel, you have.'
Such is the case here : :
Studio Pierattelli Architetture reimagined an apartment in the heart of Florence, Italy, as a contemporary 50-square-meter flat full of comfort and functionality. Despite its compact size, Flat Eleven feels open and lacks for nothing as the reconfiguration splits the interior into two levels making it feel more spacious.
Pierattelli Architetture custom made the furnishings so they would be size appropriate and not take up unnecessary space. A lacquered wooden bench covered in denim cushions extends down and forms a planter box for added greenery.
A rounded arch helps define the living room and kitchen spaces while acting as a focal point in both. French herringbone parquet floors unify the entire interior and brighten up the space with its light color.
Originally showcased in DesignMilk: https://design-milk.com/flat-eleven-is-a-50-sqm-flat-in-the-heart-of-florence/
In my travels - both virtual and real - I frequently discover astonishing treasures, from the work of artists, be it raku pottery, fabulous photography, graphic design, ,interiors, architecture. The riches of our world in terms of creative achievements, brilliant work can be overwhelming.......kids and candy stores. In the last few issues it seems I have featured at least one outstanding architectural achievenment somewhere in latin america. To my eye there seems to be a continuity of conversation in terms of the visual language chosen by those architects. At the risk of offendoing perhaps someone, I find a more refreshing tone of honesty in the manner in which they have chosen to articulate their forms, and most particularly in the materials selected to encase and emphasize their bold, yet quietly tranquil formshape, architecture.
Thus, I present to you this recent discovery - it lives (take a look - I sense it actually breates, lives....) in San Sebastian Teitipac, Mexico. Conceived by the firm of LAMZ Architecture it is a stunning ...... what's the best word for it? D e s t i n a t i o n ? Yes, destination - a place that one finds themselves simply wanting to go to, to be there and then, to return there.
Vanessa Bertran - our irrepressible firecracker designer/editor, herself from Venezuela - has provided the spanish translation which is viewable on our page, espagnol.
Take a look - and tell me if you agree with me.....enjoy!
The Guanecaste Highlands of western Costa Rica look, and feel much like this. The rattlesnake dry heat, the constant taste of the sun-baked dust on your tongue - the blindingly azulean heat that leaves both breathless and exhilarated at the same time - this is a place like that!
There is a spirit of Frank Lloyd Wright at work in this place, this space.......the rhythm of the stone set against the lustre of the leathery woods.....
Originally published in ArchDaily[.com], The text description provided by the architects. Located on a hill, the project is displaced through two volumes, impacting the smallest possible surface and almost without altering the terrain, the existing vegetation of oaks and copal trees is respected. The compositional scheme of the volumes responds to different levels, burying itself to the south and flying towards the north, so the project gets a direct dialogue with nature.
So? Who does not agree with my opinion? Aw......it's okay. I still think is vibrant, refreshing -soul restorative.....it's a therapy living in Mexican desert foothils.
Photography by: Lorena Darquea
Lead architect: Luis Alberto Martinez Zuniga
For some many months, as I am a casual Facebook alumnus, I would come across either wonderful watercolours or stunningly gorgeous interiors by Marina Starunova. She resides in Kiev, Ukraine - and creates beautiful, whimsical paintings, OR mesmerizing interior designs.
She is elusive - and difficult to find much information on.....but for some months Ihave wanted to feature her wok - and so here it is...... I apologise that I cannot provide tangible contact information. But, BRAVO Marina! Une artiste, vraiment!
She can be found on LinkedIn (https://ua.linkedin.com/in/marina-starunova-90326964) or on Behance.....what a talent!
I am, upset • • • Why? Because I have run out of room - and I have so much more I want to bring to you......it will have to wait until next month. My apologies
All photographs : : ©michael:moore 2007
Publisher's Note: Due to unexpected interruptions in travel itineraries in the last week, Part II of the Rita Edwards project, along with the Moise Safdie mega-project in China will appear in our next issue. Thank you for your understanding.
Month #2 : : February
It's been a rough and a hard, bitter winter. And we still have a ways to go. Seemingly there is snow in the forecast up to and including the Ides of March.
This issue is trés riche. . . . full of some wonderful trésoirs trouvé - found treasures. Goodies.....I hope you react to them in much the same way I have - with wonderment both in regards to brilliant technology advances, or to wondrous beauty. So, sit back, enjoy.
Over the five decades of my professional career I have been ever so fortunate to have made some great friends, worked with some fantastic clients and am still now, proud of their accomplishments and of our successes in projects in which we've worked together.
One such person is a now retired Montreal interior designer, Suzan Carsley. Her family, and her, operated a fabulous interior design firm, Jean Carsley Interiors. Suzan now lives in New Brunswick, where over the last many years she has followed her other creative passion, painting in watercolours. Some of her work is shown here.
The title of this piece is 'Bullwinkle's Beat'• I LOVE Bullwinkle!
Along the St. John
These are only three of her delightful paintings. A large selection of her work can be seen at:
Suzan can be contacted as follows:
BIO: Suzan Carsley, interior designer by profession, fell in love with the medium of watercolour after seeing work by Ming Ma in Montreal in 1992 and then studied with him from 1993 - 1997.
“The vibrancy of his work was incredible- something I had never seen before withwatercolour.”
Suzan moved to Woodstock New Brunswick from Montreal in 2011 and retired from the interior design profession.
“I am passionate about watercolour and revel in using bold colour saturation and strong forms in landscape and architecture. I like to travel different paths, exploring linocuts and other techniques, often incorporating them into my watercolours.”
Above all, I try to stay true to myself. I challenge myself with every painting.”
A member of the Woodstock Art Club, Suzan’s work can be seen
at the Creek Village Gallery & Café in Woodstock Galerie Acanthus in Grand Sault
or by appointment at her studio in Bedell.
Suzan and I re-connected a couple of years ago through this DesignBlog. I wish her continued success and more exciting works to come.
Which brings me to the next greatFriend/Client, Del Foxton.
Del and I have worked together for almost 40 years, as designer/client - even as recently as last year.
Upon retiring as VP, Public Relations for Tana Canada about 15 years ago, she, and her wonderful husband Bill, decided to buy beachfront property in Freeport, Bahamas (actually about 20 miles outside of Freeport). Together we worked on the design and building of a dreamHouse beach house......
It is a fabulous retreat where I have been lucky to spend many wonderful hours. Upon retirement Del began pursuit and study of paper-making. Over these past years she has become a master in custom paper making and in the development of her own career as an outstanding artist, highly regarded throughout the Bahamas. Here are a few of her pieces - she made all the paper, and created the artwork.
Del in her studio
Del Foxton is an International Artist and Hand Made Paper Artisan. This passionate artist is truly obsessed with every part of hand paper making which was inspired by an ancient Chinese art form. Artists and art lovers around the world are captivated by the boundless creativity captured within each piece. Her artistry is diversifying the world of fine art. Her pieces have graced the walls of Art Exhibitions in The Bahamas, Canada and the United States.
She is a fine art practitioner, teacher, and an inspiration for everyone with a passion for art. The emergence of this fine art medium is welcomed by art galleries all over the world. Del designs with you in mind, no two pieces are alike. Size, shape, thickness, color, and texture of canvases are handmade to your liking.
Foxton’s work is currently in galleries in Canada, Florida, The Bahamas and Adagio Art Gallery & Studio on Grand Bahama Island.
Del is an active member of Headwaters Arts, Orangeville Art Group, Grand Bahama Artists Association, American Papermaking Association, Friends of Dard Hunter, International Paper Makers and Artists.
She invites like-minded people to contact her to share in her journey and to learn how her artistry can transform their home or office space.
As a matter of course, and as long held business principle, I have routinely attempted to put people together to see if there may be a mutual benefit or experience. Thus, recently, I introduced Suzan to Del.....who knows - perhaps Suzan's future watercolours may be found on some of Del's great handmade papers. Yay!
And while speaking of friends, to my mind, time/distance - in terms of true friendship - matters little in terms of how much time may pass throughout the course of one's life - if the core of a friendship is well forged, years, decades, may pass. Such is the case with a fabulously talented lady, Nina Keogh. Nina and I have not actually seen each other for over 40 years! We re-connected, via Facebook, about 4 years ago when she was living on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in Twillingate, Newfoundland.
eShe was the puppeteer for Mr. Dressup, Polkadot Door, Friendly Giant, Today's Special along with many other shows. Her IMDB profile is here.
In 1999 Nina retired from the world of entertainment to focus on her evolution as a professional painter/artist. Her recent show at a gallery in Toronto had the following piece as a standout canvas.
Nina's work - and visual language - is much like Nina herself - exuberant, effervescent and completely alive! Her artistic vision is so refreshing.
Nina Keogh is a graduate of Central Technical School Art Department Toronto.
As a third generation artist and puppeteer, she was involved in many iconic award winning television series, both creating puppets and operating them. Her teaching ranged from Haliburton School of the Arts to Ryerson , CBC workshops and more.
Artist, performer, lecturer
While on the subject of artistic vision and creativity, please check this work.
Cecilia Paredes is a Peruvian-born, Philadelphia-based artist who incredibly merges artistic photography with human painting. The contemporary artist is always the main focus of her artwork, even when it is not noticeable at first, she remains the center of it all. You just got to look close to it! Kind of like a way of self portraits, these paintings/photographs are a unique form of art.
Her artwork is patterned with beautiful floral prints and Paredes is centered right in the middle of her self portraits work, aesthetically merging with the background. Her body is her canvas. She paints directly onto her own skin. Paint and clothing are what she uses for her modern art, the artist recreates the same pattern used for the background, on her body and on the fabric used.
Paredes is like a chameleon, perfectly blending with everything and making herself unnoticeable. Sometimes she leaves her hair exposed, making her presence visible for who lays eyes on it.
Frame after frame, her body remains present. Her body, as a blank canvas later on fully covered in art, serves as an empty vessel to reflect both her surroundings and feelings.
Her art is completely outstanding and very inspiring and I Lobo You is head over heels with it, it’s truly a beautiful and lyrical form of modern art.
More information on Cecilia Paredes can be found here.
WOW! How are y'all holding up? We're just getting started here.
We have at least 4 more projects to feature - all from our editorial and advisory board : :
Vanessa Bertan / Hana Elayan / Rita Edwards / Steven Hu. And I promise, there's more after that.
Then there is this wonderful architectural achievement - El Topo - please take a look.
Vanessa Bertran of our editorial staff did the research and the translation
(this is also available on our spanish page).
THE MOLE HOUSE
This project was conceived with the premise of minimizing its impact on the environment, looking for the house to seem to be smaller than it really is. For this the architect Martin Dulanto Sangalli and his team of collaborators, semi-buried the lower level of the house (which contains the social and service areas) giving a treatment of rustic and organic character, because this was the level that would be directly related to nature; while, in contrast, the upper level, (which contains the dorms), was raised as a pure block and completely clad in wood, which would appear to be simply resting on the ground.
The first level is the entrance to the project and contains the bedrooms. This was designed as a large wooden box that would be supported on the ground to take advantage of its height and provide the bedrooms with a panoramic view of both the lagoon and the Quebrada in its landscape.
While in the first level the dorm area is located, the lower level contains the following areas: social interior, social exterior the terrace and the service area.
This project not only takes into account the requirements of its inhabitants for the daily life, but its interest to preserve the beauty of its surroundings and the protection of the environment, really a project worthy of admiration.
Below, the description of the environments corresponding to each level:
Terrace, swimming pool, living room, dining room, kitchen, hallway, staircase that goes up to the second level, visiting bathroom, service hall, patio, canopy laundry, service bedroom with closet and bathroom.
Staircase that comes from the lower level, master bedroom with closet and main bathroom 1 and main bathroom 2 Incorporated, bedroom 2 with closet and bathroom 2 Incorporated, bedroom 3 with closet and Bathroom 3 incorporated. A guest bedroom with closet and bathroom 4 built-in, living room and deposit.
Architect: Martín Dulanto Sangalli
Collaborators: Raúl Montesinos, Jose Cepero, Gabriel Tanaka & Dora González
Location: Condo La Quebrada, Cieneguilla. LIMA-PERÚ
Terrain Area: 1871.34m²
Structural Engineer: Jorge Avendaño
Design year: 2017
WHAT? A Kleenex box? Nope . . . . it's a wonderful new Bluetooth speaker....
Brighton-based design studio Gomi has created a portable bluetooth speaker using plastic waste that is deemed non-recyclable by local councils in the UK.
Each Gomi speaker features a rectangular body formed from colourful marble-effect plastic. The equivalent of 100 plastic bags in non-recyclable – or flexible – plastic go into the body of each speaker.
Flexible plastic includes materials such as plastic bags and bubble wrap made of low-density polyethylene, and is not accepted by UK councils for recycling.
The speaker consists of three modular components that can be easily separated and melted down into new parts for future products without losing any material value.
Each speaker is hand-marbled, which means that every product has its own individual aesthetic and colour pattern, depending on the particular plastic waste that has gone into it.
The studio worked with local food wholesalers who typically use a large amount of packaging that is usually thrown away.
"With our bluetooth speakers, we want to intercept a waste stream that would otherwise be landfilled or incinerated," said Meades.
It was important that the speaker was "not only aesthetically desirable, but also sounds great". To achieve this, the studio worked with electronic engineers and audio professionals to hone the sound of the speaker.
The studio embarked on the project after its research found that plastic waste makes up 85 per cent of the pollution on beaches across the world, and that the UK throws away 300 million kilos of flexible plastic each year.
"We were inspired by the cradle-to-cradle design process, thinking about our products full life-cycle right from the beginning of our design process," said Gomi co-founder Tom Meades.
"Flexible plastics are widely regarded as non-recyclable by UK councils, and so we thought this would be the perfect material to harness and show that through innovative design this can be valuable, and does not have to end up as waste polluting our environment. Instead, we can craft this material into desirable objects," he explained.
In a bid to move towards a circular economy, the design studio is aiming to offer free repairs for their products and a system where customers can return the products to be recycled.
Gomi are one of many studios looking at alternative ways to use plastic waste. In Thessaloniki, The New Raw design studio has set up a laboratory called
Rita Edwards, Interior Designer, Victoria, British Columbia
Rita, is - a friend.....a very special friend who I met when she was one of my students in the Interior Design programme at the International Academy of Design, Montreal, 2002.
She is ultra-talented with great insight and sensitivity. We will have regular updates to this project over the next few issues.
The view from the property
By Marguerita Edwards : :
Victoria British Columbia, is known for its picturesque charm. Situated alongside the waterfront, with calm bays and sandy beaches, on the one side, and Garry Oak meadows, granite hills and knolls, on the other, its inhabitants choose to settle here for its quality of life.
I am no different. I moved here in 2013 to make a home for my family. However, I also wanted to embrace the potential of the design in the area. Many of the older homes were being torn down and replaced with monolithic structures with very little consideration for the historical value of surrounding neighborhood. I promised myself to salvage these houses, one at a time, from a world of homogenization and standardization.
One such home has captured my heart. The Hertel’s Victorian cottage, which dates back to 1896, sits in the pristine neighbourhood of Oak Bay.
Its charm captures you in an instant. Walking up to its wrap-around porch, with gingerbread cut-outs and spindle work, I knew I wanted to bring the lustre back to this faded gem.
One day, last fall, I walked up the path to the door of Walmsley Cottage and was welcomed by Philipp, Emmanuelle and Jacob Hertel. I was delighted to hear that they too wanted to restore the original beauty of their heritage house, and to reinstate some of the elements that had been lost through renovations executed by previous owners.
Emmanuelle loved her home for its quirks and cozy corners, but Philipp wanted it to be done sustainably and with a low carbon imprint. He wanted it to function better for his growing family. My challenge was two-fold: how to transform the space to provide a more efficient way of living, while still keeping the integrity and charm of the home. I also had to put considerable consideration into the use of materials.
I knew this was the project for me! After months of research and planning with the city council, we had permits in hand and began demolition. As the project unfolds, we are met with surprises hiding within the walls!
One never knows what treasures may be found hidden within old walls
The original wood plank sub-floor installed on the bias • Current kitchen
It is a labour of love, but one that is ultimately gratifying. The house speaks to us every day and lets us know what transformations are necessary. I work hand and hand with my trusted trades, and with them, I can make all the subtle changes that will make all the difference!
Stay with me over the next few months and see the transformation!
This looks like a wonderful project - one of continuing surprises and an evolving delight in an exciting transformation. We will provide regular updates throughout the course of this project. Thank you Rita.
Following is the thoughts and reflections written by Emmanuelle : :
Dreams for My Dream House
Just before my fifth birthday my family moved into our first house on Island Road. By the time I was twelve, our family had grown by another three children (five kids total) and we were compelled to move into a larger house, incredibly on the same block. In the middle of this block sat the two oldest houses on the street, a set of almost identical white cottages built in the 1890s. Since I can remember, I’d dreamed of one day living in one of those houses. Infatuated with all things “old fashioned” as a child, these heritage houses epitomized the quaint, simple beauty I’ve always cherished.
For a while I babysat for the girl (my younger sister’s best friend) who lived in one of the cottages, and became familiar with - and enchanted by - the interior as well. From the dark fir floors to the wainscoting to the old brass door knobs to the rooms situated under eaves cut in with dormer windows...I was in love.
Roughly fifteen years later I was standing in the kitchen of the San Francisco apartment I shared with my husband when my mom called to let me know that the owner was selling the house. My husband and I were fortunate enough to have been in a position to discuss buying the house for when we were ready to move back to Victoria (we were obligated to stay in the States for a few more years), and we were even more fortunate to have been friends with the owner, who, after hearing from us, canceled her plans to list the house internationally and arranged to sell to us privately - I think she knew it was really our house.
We’d long planned some of the changes we would make to the house once we lived in it, and when that much-anticipated time finally came, we were referred by lifelong friends to Design One Stevens, and did not hesitate to entrust designer Rita Edwards with our little gem.
Built in 1896, our house is heritage designated, which meant there was some hold up on the progress of our renovation while we applied to make some of the changes and waited for council’s approval. Thankfully we received it!
The interior of the house was awkwardly laid out in some respects, having already been through a few renovations and expansions, and aspects of it had become dated (the paint choices, for starters) or had simply lost (and in some cases never had) functionality. We’d always known we wanted to open up the kitchen - remove a wall to allow in more light and create a bigger footprint, add an island for gathering and food prep, update the 1970s MDF cupboards (whose doors were literally falling off the hinges, and most of the knobs missing) for a classic style of cabinetry in solid wood, incorporating the same attention to detail that makes the house so special. The kitchen also only had one very small window, so we wanted to enlarge that; Rita suggested we add another on the other side of the new oven range for symmetry. We were sold.
Enlarging the front windows was also at the top of our list, as they were stunted and had clearly been changed during some previous renovation, leaving the low-ceilinged living room with a rather cave-like feel. The cottage next to ours, which has barely (if at all) been updated since it was built, has much larger multi-paned windows in the front, and we wanted to do something similar to those, attempting to restore the original feel of the windows.
The main floor bathroom next to the living room was a bit of an odd use of space, and rendered the other set of front windows unusable if one wanted privacy while using it! The washer and dryer were also just sort of crammed into the bathroom, and I knew I wanted a proper laundry area with room for a drying rack, shelving, etc.
The previous owners had been using the side door as the main entrance, with the coat closet situated in a dark hallway on that side, and we wanted to change that and use the front as the main entry again, but didn’t really have a proper mudroom - one just sort of fell into the living room.
Rita’s brilliant design for the front area addressed and fixed all those problems. We loved her idea to make the footprint of the bathroom smaller but far more functional, and then create a proper entrance in front of the previously unusable windows, with space for shoes, a bench, coat closet and hooks, and designate the back hallway for the new laundry room.
The upstairs of the house holds the master bedroom, our son’s bedroom, and a workspace under the eaves. The latter space has always been my favourite of the house, and it was the first area we tackled, modifying it to make better use of the very deep closet by turning it into a cabinet with deep drawers and cubbies to hold bolts of fabric. We heightened and expanded the desk that was already there to create a proper space for me to lay out and cut fabric, adding a new bank of drawers underneath and a layer of cork on top (perfect for pins!), while on the other side we joined the tops of the two desk-height bookshelves and expanded its width to accommodate my sewing machines. I loved it before, but now it is truly my dream workspace.
The master bedroom, situated right under the low-angled eaves, is a strangely designed area, as you have to pass through the doorless ensuite bathroom in order to access the bedroom. We would love to add a shower (and a door!) to this bathroom, but the angles of the eaves along with the non-standard joists in the floor below have proven to be a real challenge. However, I have every faith that Rita will be able to come up with a beautiful solution for when we are ready to get started on that space!
My dream for the house is simply to do it justice. We want to update certain aspects for modern times and functionality while simultaneously respecting, restoring and replicating the delicate charm that has drawn me to it since childhood.
O R G A N I C a r c h i t e c t u r e
The new Montreal campus of the multinational company Ericsson has been designed to provide a stimulating and innovative work environment. This large-scale project by Menkès Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux Architects has won an award of excellence during the National Design and Architecture Exhibition in Toronto for its layout that «embodies a corporate culture of openness and innovation» and its open spaces favourable for creativity. Photo credits: Stéphane Brügger.
Blossom Stool – A Piece Designed by Louis Vuitton and Tokujin Yoshioka
The Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka has collaborated with Louis Vuitton, one of the most famous and recognized luxury brands, to create a four-petal Blossom stool, a modern furniture piece with a contemporary design. The elegant and luxury furniture piece reinterprets the designer brand’s iconic monogram of petals, by reshaping the silhouette to form a delicate overlapping structure.
French fashion company Louis Vuitton started their ‘objets nomades collection’, with the idea of keeping alive their long tradition of traveling objects. In order to create the set comprised of 25 pieces with an exclusive design, they have collaborated with renowned designers from around the world, bringing together the company’s artisans with the ideas of the creatives, mixing their know-how with experimentation.
Made of noble materials such as metal, brass, leather or wood, the purpose of this creative work with a unique design is to generate a universal and timeless object in line with the luxury brand’s philosophy. This stool also pays homage to the luxury aesthetic and high level of craftsmanship associated with Louis Vuitton.
Original article written by: : FÁBIO OLIVEIRA
The structure is made of four golden petals that interlace in the shape of a seating, conveying the brand’s long craftsmanship history and techniques. The seat of the Blossom Stool is an articulation of the brand’s iconic four-petal monogram. The folding structure ensures absolute functionality, and the organic form makes for an indispensable accessory.
Foldable and luxury furniture, mobile lamps and travel accessories are at the heart of
Louis Vuitton’s unique collection of nomad objects. To complete this list, new objects have been presented, including the Blossom stool by Tokujin Yoshioka.
Here we go again : : another great project by our staff member, Hana Elayan. METAPHORM is the name of her architectural firm in Amman, Jordan. Hana is one of the founders and is the Managing Partner and this project was directed by her partner, Ghazwa Tayeb.......great work!
Coincidentally, she was one of my design students in the same class that Rita Edwards was in - a while ago.....how time does fly! Hana has contributed other articles/submissions to DRI over the last 3 - 4 years. This one can also be found on our arabic page.
This is wonderful architectural design - pure, simple - restful. Beautiful work Hana!
In a green location in Um Al Basateen (Mother of Orchards), an area characterised by its quiet yet vivid atmosphere in Amman Jordan, an area of 740.51 m2 was chosen for our creatively designed project, the K residence.
In harmony with the beautiful nature of the area, raw concrete was selected for exterior façades. Enhancing the identity of the building with its rigid natural look, which was further augmented by the contrast formed between raw concrete and glass. Allowing an abundance of natural light to penetrate the 2-story building, the walls were designed to as exaggerated proportions of transparent glass. Light is also celebrated in the posterior surface of the house where transparency enables the residents to enjoy the mesmerising view of the natural terrains around the house from the roof.
The view from the ground floor is no less fascinating, were the residents can enjoy the scenery of the outdoor pool and the surrounding landscape, which was expanded on the expense of possible extra built areas only to guarantee a unique outdoor experience in the residence of a lifetime
As one of the very few architectural offices uses BIM technology in Jordan, K residence was modelled using Autodesk Revit as a LOD350 model, therefor all the following stages including; the working drawings, the 3 Dimensional shots and the tables of quantities were generated using the same software
There has been much talk and frenetic attention of late focused on the seeming 'next step' evolution of the cel-phone. Samsung was first with its introduction of the Samsung 'Fold'. Huawei, however, was immediately behind Samsung with their new offering, the Huawei MATE. Check it out. It is achingly expensive ($2000USD) - but as we all have come to know, introductory prices do not last for long......my own feeling is that, on the one hand, any product that successfully combines two products to become one, is ultimately of benefit to us all. Would I ever consider paying such a price of $2000.00+ - n o p e .
My! Aren't we gettingGlobal? From Victoria, B.C. to Amman, Jordan - to Beijing, China
I can promise you, the readers, one sure thing - there is no regularly published Design Blog like DRI.
Our staff associates are all working professionals - architects, interior designers, photographers, graphic designers - DesignReviewInternational is certainly unique - and certainly international.
Grandma’s House Renovation : : Village Huangshandian, Beijing China
The following submission is number 3 in a series researched, edited and organized by Steven Hu of our staff. This is the final article about the reclamation of derelict Chinese farms that have been resuscitated and restored, re-purposed to continue life as soothing, yet stunning, design retreats.
This is also viewable in mandarin here:
The property prior to restoration
The project is situated in Beijing China.
The design changed a collapsed house to a gazebo for outdoor dining, enriching the layers of
the courtyard. During the renovation process, the designer carried out the repair of the
damaged inner roof of the farmhouse with local traditional slate roofing process. It preserves
not only the appearance of the original farmhouse and courtyard enclosure, but also their
spatial relationship. As a result, this renovated farmhouse could be harmoniously integrated
into the village veins and retain the rural memory.
The design team converted the original appentice at the entrance of the farmhouse into a separate kitchen and private theater, which helps the owner to operate their future Inn, and improves
the functions of this courtyard. These public spaces of the courtyard are arranged in the middle
of the area, such as the dining room and the living room, being individual and yet connected to
Since most of these villages are located in remote mountainous areas without convenient
transportation, the agricultural products in the village are difficult to export, further
exacerbating the local poverty. On the other hand, contemporary urban residents in China are
also plagued by factors such as life pressure and air pollution. They would love to relax in the
suburbs at weekends, but it is hard to find a quality one.
The overall plan is to find vacant homes in those villages, and transform them to meet the
urban residents’ criteria with the shortest time and lowest cost. The house owner will train
local farmers to do room service, hire a professional team to develop catering menus based on
local crops, and rent them on an online platform. 75% of the revenue will go to the local
farmers and 25% to pay the platform.
The work was completed on the renovation of nearly forty courtyards in one year, the cost was
controlled at approximately USD 60/sq ft (including cleaning, building renovation, interior
design, furniture, lighting, electromechanical, sewage treatment, etc.), and the total time
spent per renovation was less than two months.
The use of local building materials and labor has greatly reduced the cost of their inn operation.
That they allocate most of the income to local farmers has stabilized the business model,
attracting more and more farmers willing to provide us the houses that are not in use.
The booking of the available courtyards is booming, and the income of farmhouse owners far
exceeds the income of their work in the city. Many young people have returned to the village
and joined this industry, solving many social and family problems indirectly.
originally published by EVOLUTIONDESIGN from www.zhuxuncn.com
Yet another great photograph by Leonardo Bechini
Apple has carved out an enviable leadership position over the past five or so years, as being the technological innovator, primarily in the universe of cel-phones, tablets, laptops. It used to be Microsoft that owned that mantle - and it seems hat perhaps, with some of their recent outstanding technical innovations, they could well re-claim the numero 1 position. Their development of the HoloLens is both exciting and insightful. Check this out as it describes the application of this product to the world of construction : :
Microsoft is really hoping to get down to business with the next version of the HoloLens. In fact, the software giant announced a new customization program for the HoloLens 2.
How, precisely, such customized versions of the XR headset will look remains to be seen, but the company’s first partner, construction hardware company Trimble, is offering a pretty interesting glimpse. The company joined Microsoft onstage at Mobile World Conference in Barcelona to debut a new collaboration.
The XR10 is a customized hard hat with a swiveling HoloLens 2 built in, so construction works can get a heads-up display on site. This first partnership is a clear sign of where Microsoft hopes to go with this second generation of its headset, taking the technology beyond the confines of the office and into real-world sites.
Pricing is still TBD, but the headset will be available at the same time as the regular HoloLens 2.
. . . . and so here we are again - end of another issue and I still didn't get half of what I had reserved for it into this release. Oh well - next month. A part of next month's release will be a stunning new project in China by Montreal's most famous architect, Moishe Safdie - it will astound you. And we will go back in time to explore some of the last days of another genius designer, architect, artist, and scientist....Leonardo da Vinci.
Plus a feature on the great design work of Marina Starunova, Ukraine - here's a preview:
And lastly, yet again, the inclusion of some of my work. This issue showcases some of my graphic design projects. As a Certified Graphic Designer, my chosen specialty was logo design and identity graphics.
I got great joy and satisfaction from the process of seeking a form shape that was reflective of the company for whom it was designed. Hope you like them.
This is my most recent logo design/development • for a student of mine who graduated a year ago and is in the process of developing her own freelance clientele.
That's it for now - there are a number of other logos and graphic design projects that could be shown here.....these are fairly representative of the principal philosophy by which I have conducted my design work over 50 years.
Signing off with this thought....graphically and philosophically......
There are 9 months left in the lifespan of DesignReviewInternational - unless we settle on a plan to keep it sustainable. Current surveys of our readership thus far indicate the support for DRI becoming a paid subscription publication. What might the price point be? Still working on that - if any of you have an opinion as to whether DRI has a value - that you enjoy and appreciate - please feel free to write us. At this juncture such a value price-point is ranging between $2.00 and $5.00 an issue.......thoughts? Ideas?
Thank you all for your enthusiastic comments and support so far.
That's the plan, right? are we working on/with/towards resolutions? Pas moi.......at least not in any formal sense. Making resolutions (of the New Year's resolutions ilk) are mostly a distraction - you're either gonna do something, or you're not. Angsting about it changes nothing. Surprise yourself! You'll feel a whole lot better!
Okay! So here's some current thinking. The last blog issue spilled a lot of passionate conviction and opinion into a venue where it probably had no right to be - except, in that passion is/was the conviction that a light needed to be shone - however narrow its beam may have been. But, DRI is not the stage from which to shine it. So, what was said, was said. And I make no apologies for it. We have witnessed a month plus of agonizing unwarranted illegal hardships in the US. It is far from over. But in the future any voice I care to speak with will be restricted to a new forthcoming blog to be found at www.TheGeneralIdea.net.
I will advise when that is operational .
It's January 2019 - an d what is January synonymous with? CES of course. For those of you who do not know about it, CES is Consumer Electronics Show, held every year las Vegas. It is the industry showcase of all the upcoming, soon-to-be-coming, maybe coming electronic wizardry from TVs to computers, cel-phone technologies, sound systems, AR, VR and soup and nuts and lots of stuff in between. It's a wet dream for techno junkies. This year was little different from years past, generally. Personally I enjoy watching it from afar. It provides intelligent insights and realistic forecasts. For instance LG Electronics unveiled their new LG Signature roll-up TV. That's right, just like a roller shade it disappears into a box - it's just that box is at the base. It's pretty cool. It will be very expensive, initially. But CES is also the forum that provides all the competitors to LG, or any other manufacturer with a reality roadmap. And what is stupid expensive today will, in 3 years or 5 years become de rigour in terms of cost.
Take look at the video - it's pretty astonishing. And even at the speculative price of $8000.US, I actually have clients - quite a few - who could easily afford it.
The old saying, 'Now you see it, now you don't' has special meaning to this product.
Cool, right? At a rough guess it looks to be about 4' wide, by maybe 48"high and, hard to tell from this image, but maybe 36" wide.
Aha! A little more is revealed . . . . .
Well, lookee here - that's pretty neat- a compact working deskStation.
I think the dimensions I guessed at are probably pretty close. It's neat though, eh?
These photographs are the work of the outstanding photographer, who I am proud to call my friend, my colleague. Leonardo Bechini, Milan - is an artiste extraordinaire.. You should - you all should, look at his portfolio at www.leomore.net
This haunting shot was taken of the McGill campus in a winter much like this one. Look at the subtlety of the reddish/pink tone of the McGill banners.......
OMG! OMGx2! Where am I? It looks like a mad, crazed builder figured out how to Xerox completed houses and he plunked them down, like a virus, in this valley.
What IS it? Where IS it?
I think the only positive thing one might say about this is that the municipality wouldn't have to spend money on street signs - just give a sequential number to each house!
I don't know about any of you - actually, strike that - I do. I do NOT think any one of my readers would agree to live there even if they could buy a place for a dollar. There is no rational argument that can be made that excuses such a flagrant disregard for design, elegance - or normalcy. Sheesh!
Just plain and simple - a very cool chair
To many, or most of us, an unknown entity. Certainly the perception is, now, and for the last many years, that Taiwan is kind a 'phantom' state. Long respected as a highly sophisticated producer of technological innovations and manufacturing, Taiwan is - and always has been - a major thorn in the side of China. My question is, 'So what?' Taiwan is not going to go away, Taiwan is not going be absorbed by China - in 50 years, Taiwan will be exactly where it is now.....not gonna change.
However, Taiwan is an amazingly sophisticated nation - one that has pioneered technological innovation. One that has driven style, design and awareness thereto. So this feature should come as no surprise to those with any familiarity with Taiwan and its design values. This is a really good design example, running the gamut from classical traditionalism to industrial chic. Kudos! But, be your own judge.
As you will see, this house renovation, might be defined as schizophrenic.......
The following slideshow contains photographs of the principal living areas, predominantly attuned to a more traditional yet modern design
This photo array shows the top floor and space - with an industrial design signature.
and finally a section drawing of the building
. . . . and the garage.
it's just purty darned cool - and, I'll take the Porsche, thank you!
. . . .and while on the subject of photography, Adriana Garcia, whose work has also been featured here has submitted these recent pieces:
Some of the readership of this publication, are sailors - I know that. Some are friends/colleagues from my days at Royal Caribbean Cruises (Rita, Perla, Michael, Mayte) - and still very much engaged/consumed by the nautical world. Were things different in my career I would most likely be still immersed in that world. It's a special breed of designer who devotes their professional efforts to the design of ships, watercraft.
So, I have to say - here and now, when I win the lottery (a respectably big one), an early acquisition will be a ship such as this - what is referred to adventure expedition class ships - constructed to withstand ice floes, rough waters and able to circumnavigate the world, endlessly.
However, if I, for some bizarre reason, do not win that mega lottery, well I've decided that my next novel will be set on just such a craft......stay tuned, We'll take a journey together, soon.
VRIPACK : : their web-site
An explorer yacht like no other, M/Y ROCK is the SUV of the seas. Inspired by the durability of marble and Land Rover, yet softened by the warmth of a tactile interior, 24m ROCK, designed by Dutch studio Vripack, is built for comfortable adventure.
Launched - and sold to her current owner - at the 2018 Cannes Boat Show where she made her international debut, ROCK is defined by her voluminous open plan layout and uninterrupted sight lines; the yachting world's first pocket rocket.
Dutch studio Vripack's design philosophy is informed by a creative, holistic and collaborative approach. When paired with Turkish yard Evadne and project managers Tufan and Brothers, the result is robust and spacious; ROCK boasts 44 per cent more interior space and 49 per cent more exterior space than an average or similar-sized yacht.
Characterised by an enticing interior design, where textured fabrics and soft furnishings contrast with maple wood finishes and angular 3D shapes, ROCK truly serves as an inviting home from home. The owner intends on spending many weeks living on board, cruising the intimate ports of the Mediterranean.
Continuous connection to the sea
In addition to an interior that is akin to a contemporary loft apartment, ROCK possesses a high straight bow to intercept rough seas and a low aft for easy access to the water. This masterfully-designed continuous connection to the sea is a design detail that is carried throughout, explains Vripack designer, Robin de Vries.
"We added a lot of glass on board, with full height windows that deliver uninterrupted views wherever you are on board. The dining area features one of the largest glass panels found on board a 24m yacht, providing panoramic vistas, while in the owner's cabin a private terrace is complemented by a sweeping 180-degree view."
A rapid top speed
Featuring a Fast Displacement steel hull and aluminium superstructure, ROCK reaches a rapid top speed of 16 knots and a respectable cruising speed of 12 knots. Powered by two CAT C12 engines at 1000hp, she boasts a Transatlantic range of 3000 Nm.
. . . .another brick in the wall Listen to it then read on!
F O L O G R A M :
A team of three in Melbourne Australia have created a unique new tool for use in architecture and construction. Their software is designed to integrate with Rhino 3D. Watch the video to see how two bricklayers in Tasmania, built this amazingly complex curved brick wall in one day! It is an astonishing example of AR (augmented reality). Video here
Fologram is used globally by architects, engineers, designers, manufacturers, educators and creatives to easily begin working in augmented and mixed reality. At a basic level we allow users to visualise, interact and manipulate their models from Rhino 3D (a CAD and modeling program) on the Microsoft HoloLens (an augmented reality headset). Featuring multi headset support, users can collaborate with fellow colleagues in the same model. Our toolkit empowers our users to create their own customised interactions within the augmented reality environment, in effect easily and quickly innovating their own applications. Our clients have used this tool for a wide range of uses, such as: - Taught design studios and fabricated pavilions without any 2D documentation; - Overlaid digital information and guides onto analogue tools, increasing productivity and efficiency; - Visualised projects for clients and contractors in the real world in 3D, removing ambiguity that paper 2D plans commonly create; For various projects and uses of Fologram visit: https://vimeo.com/fologram. Further information can be found at www.fologram.com
Cameron Newnham leads our engineering teamCam is enthralled by the optimization of systems and fluid user experiences. Excited by seeing clients find new uses for technology.
Gwyllim Jahn is product, partner and design lead.
Gwyll is incrementally working to redefine the limits of design and construction. Passionate about helping clients realise incredible projects.
Nick van den Berg leads operations, clients and sales.
Nick is fascinated by how technology democratises knowledge and enhances skills. Loves building products that delight users around the world.
This tool - and others like it on the horizon - will dramatically change how construction carries forward - and how much easier it will be to undertake complex structures.
The following article is written by Devon Thursday, the Real Estate editor at U.S. News & World Report, where she writes consumer-focused articles about the homebuying and selling process, home improvement, tenant rights and the state of the housing market.
These are 4 out of the 9 in the article. Click on the link to read the article and attain access to the liveLinks for each tool listed.
As promised in our last issue, following is the second of three great articles submitted by Steven Hu : : Chaange Village Farmhouse Renovation Project, Daxing, Beijing, China
The project is situated in ChangGe Village, Daxing County, in Beijing’s southwestern suburb.
Subject of the renovation is a worn-out farm house built in the early 1970’s, with its original wood-brick
structure commonly seen in north China’s country side. Before the remodel, inside the dim and
shabby house (or a shack to be more exact), walls were dark, covered by more than 40
years of hard cooking smoke lamps, ash and soot. There was no water supply nor restroom – its
residents, a senior farm couple, needed to walk about 100m around the house to get to the
closest outhouse in the neighborhood. The long but narrow courtyard facing south functioned
as a pathway for the family’s only transport vehicle, a three-wheeler, which was inconveniently
parked in a dead end. Even worse, interior floor elevation of the house was almost 20 cm lower
than the courtyard, turning the house into a flooding pond whenever it rained, a safety threat
to the entire building structure. Ironically, the area was troubled by water shortage – water gets
cut off almost daily, sometimes during peak evening hours.
The following shows the Before plan and the Current plan.
The renovation project was one episode of BTV’s live television show series called “Our Warm
New Houses”. The show producer set up specific but stringent requirements on cost and
construction speed. Design and construction need to be completed in 45 days. All-inclusive
budget was capped at 300,000 RMB (about 45,000 USD), including labor and materials, on-site
work, site remodeling, interior construction, lights and fixtures, furniture and interior
decorations, even purchasing new home electronics.
To solve the core water issue, the design process thoroughly considered the
challenges of both water shortage and flood control. First, they elevated the interior floor,
adjusted exterior courtyard ground level and installed new sewers and gutter systems. In addition,
a new water tank with a capacity over 2-cubic-meters was built at one end of the courtyard, to
harvest and recycle rain water collected from the rooftops. In the evenings when water gets
occasionally cut off, collected rain water could be used as a supplementary water source for
toilet flushing or to satisfy other essential needs, for up to a year. At the same time, with water
drainage now in place, the building structure stands strong even in pouring rain.
Mucho gracias Steven! Wonderful effort, great job! The original article was published by: EVOLUTIONDESIGN from www.gooood.cn. Our mandarin version can be viewed on our mandarin page.
All libraries should be designed this way, with this feature - except there should be two per bookcase.
Clap if you agree!
So - end of another issue. . . . almost. In keeping with my promise/threat, to include in each issue, one of my past projects, this month it is a very special place. My client, Bruce, for whom I had already designed 3 residences prior to this project, bought this spectacular estate in Hudson Quebec, 33 years ago. Situated on 30 acres of land it is far set back from the roadway behind iron gates with large carved stone lions. Cannot be seen from the road. When he bought it there were two families living there. The grandparents occupied one half of the house, their children and the grandchildren, the other half.
This marvellous edifice was designed by Edward Maxwell, famous Montreal architect. It was built in 1916 for Dr. Lafleur whose family lived there for the next 55 years.
There were many challenges involved in this undertaking - the two families had created two back to back kitchens on one side of the house. The second floor, consisted of only 4 bedrooms, each, when Bruce acquired it, with en suite bathrooms - in extremely poor and outdated condition. The Master Bedroom was immense - situated directly above the Living Room it ran the full depth of the house - approximately 50 feet in length by 30 feet in with. It also had an adjacent east-facing sunroom.
This project was a labour of love - for myself and my client. Although his principal residence is in Barbados, and has been for 20+ years (which I also designed) he has a special place in his heart for this, Forest Manor, and makes a point of visiting Montreal 3 -4 times a year to enjoy the majesty of this fine home. In the 33 years since I finished the project (which incidentally had to be complete within a crippling timeframe - I had promised completion and delivery in time for the Christmas celebration extravaganza!) - only a very few things have been changed or modified. Certain upholstery fabrics needed replacement as wear factors take their toll. Some wallpapers were changed. In 2011 we removed all the marble kitchen counters and replaced them with granite. Other incidental changes/improvements were carried out also.
My role in this project was 'man of many hats'- I developed all design, construction details and drawings...supervised all the restoration work (we had a fabulous swiss wood craftsman, Fritz, working for 6 months steady, hand stripping all the oak panelling in the Great Hall and single-handedly re-staining, burnishing, and finishing all of it. If you look closely at the framed panelling you will see how the centre of each panel is the lightest tone and it becomes progressively darker and richer in tone the closer it gets to the actual panel frame. Electrical work was a nightmare......all walls were original lath and plaster - fishing wiring through such walls was outrageously difficult - but we managed to do it. The result is evidenced in all the recessed halogen spots scattered throughout. Our contractor extraordinaire, was Jemlor Construction, under the sure hand and guidance of Amir Anders, provided peerless expertise and management throughout the entire undertaking.
The Powder Room did not exist - there was no bathroom on the main floor. Where the Powder Room is is was an exit corridor running from the Great Hall to the rear terrace. That corridor doubled as a floral prep space. All doors and frames are original. In designing the Powder Room the placement of the sink was critical given that there was no 'wiggle room' between the edge of the door when it was half open and the edge of where the sink had to be located. There is ⅛" clearance! And that has held steady, with no problems, over 33 years.
My other responsibility aside from general design and planning was as interior decorator. I selected, recommended - searched and found, all persian carpets, wallpapers, upholstered furniture pieces, dining room furniture (the Chippendale dining chairs, although not original, are magnificent reproductions which we acquired at auction). I designed and had the dining table custom made by Patella Industries, one of the finest millwork companies ever. The satinwood banding on the table top is as good as any Sheraton museum quality table.
In the Master Bathroom, the sink vanity legs are turned solid brass - they are virtual replicas of the mahogany columns found in the fireplace in the Master Bedroom. We carefully de-constructed a column and had the brass legs custom-tooled to be used as the vanity legs!
It was a wonderful experience. Although I was at the same time, managing my design firm of a staff of 12 , this was the project that really touched my heart. As I recall I had 2 or 3 designers on this team, full-time through completion.
And now, it is, for sale. Sotheby is the listing agent and the video you will see here was commissioned by them. It really tells the tale most effectively as to the wonderful seclusion and serenity in this estate - and yet it is a mere 25 minute drive from Fairview Pointe Claire.
I hope you enjoy this journey. When it sells, as it will eventually ($4,395,000.00) it will be a sad end to a most wonderful experience in both my professional, and personal life, as Bruce and I have remained good friends over the last 40 years.
View from rear
Note the gradated tonal change in the wood panelling.
I have many other project photos in my files....these are the highlights. This property has been featured in many movies, TV shows (CBC 'Scoop') and the subject of numerous magazine articles.
I think you'll agree - this is a s p e c i a l p l a c e.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
What? Me worry?
So, on a more positive note, following is a very uplifting and interesting example of sensitive, intelligent and respectful design.
Steven Hu, our key contributor, has sought out three wonderful projects in China wherein derelict ancestral properties, beyond decay and almost beyond salvation, have in fact - with vision, investment and determination - been re-born. A true renaissance that retained the core architectural and heritage values and yet transformed them into inviting, comforting and gratifying spaces.
Steven sourced three such projects. Because they are so highly detailed we will feature one this month with the following ones in subsequent issues.
These are also contained in mandarin, on our Mandarin pages.
The project is situated in Beijing China.
This design preserves not only the appearance of the original farmhouse and courtyard enclosure but also their spatial relationship. Because of that, the farmhouse could be harmoniously integrated into the village veins and retain the rural memory. The designer planned a bamboo forest at the south side to ensure the privacy of the courtyard, which also provided a space for outdoor activities.
The original structural columns were designed as interior decorations. To solve the problem of small traditional building sloping roof, the new steel structure awning forms a space under the armpit of eaves and a wooden platform extending from inside so that the indoor activities can be naturally extended to the outdoors.
Because the house is long and narrow, the middle part of the house is designed as a public open area, including a living room, an open kitchen and a dining room. The two bedrooms are each placed on one side of the house to avoid interference with each other. The space of one of the bedrooms is separated to form a living space. The daybed in the living space can be used as a children's bed after the coffee table is removed. This courtyard can satisfy the live requirement of three generations at the same time.
The designer removed all the suspended ceilings in the public area to expose the texture of the wooden structure and the straw paving. They kept them at the original places after simple cleaning and maintenance. The bedrooms on both sides of the house are completely enclosed by a suspended ceiling. On one hand, it keeps the warmth in the bedroom during winter; on the other hand, it prevents insects from entering the house. The designer has chosen a modern and minimalist style for most furniture to incorporate both modernity and comfort.
These images show the project prior to the renovation:
This slideshow is the finished result.
The mandarin version is found here.
Wonderful job Steven!
8170 SQ FT : : 9 JAY STREET, NEW YORK : : 1 BEDROOM $35,000,000.00
Bring your imagination, architect or designer and explore the opportunity to purchase a peerless, distinctive piece of Tribeca History. The property is comprised of a 4-level corner loft building, 9 Jay Street, the connecting footbridge to an open floor plan condominium loft at 67 Hudson Street. Hidden from view and masked behind white washed tilt-and-turn windows is a magical open canvas waiting for a new creative vision. Once inside this canvas, the open windows reveal quintessential cobblestoned Tribeca with brilliant exposures south, west, north and east. The views include iconic streetscape of old New York to Duane Park and the new World Trade Center. The private residence begins when the elevator opens on the 3rd floor in 67 Hudson, a condominium building circa 1894, the former New York Hospital Building and crosses into 9 Jay Street, circa 1907, a/k/a as the ambulance annex for NYH, through the renowned Staple Street footbridge. 9 Jay Street is a 25’X53’ 4-level brick building with 2 curb cuts and air-rights possibilities. 67 Hudson is approx. 2300 SF corner loft. It boasts a large bedroom with en-suite bath, walk-in closet, open living/dining room and large eat-in kitchen. A door from the kitchen of 67 Hudson opens into a hallway that leads to the 3-story high historic Staple Street Skybridge with its French door glass-paneled windows and striking vantage point views of old Staple Street. The views from the bridge are enchanting. Purchase and enjoy as a palatial residence, colossal work space or develop and convert into your Tribeca dream mansion. The property presents enormous potential with ceilings that span over 11 feet, radiant light, views, 50 windows, garage, approx. 1,175 of outdoor living.
Located in the heart of TriBeCa and convenient to Whole Foods, Farmer’s Market, the Hudson River Park, Tribeca Film Center, Washington Market Park, Duane Park and transportation hubs. A piece of old New York City can be yours.
Is there anything, really - that needs to be said?
With the HP Sprocket Photo Printer, print photos from your smartphone or tablet as easily as you post them. Make time with friends more memorable with instantly sharable 2 x 3-inch (5 x 7.6 cm) snapshots or stickers of every fun-filled moment.
MG12 wants you to know about their electric low energy consumption (135 watt) towel warmer shelf.
It has multiple functions and is suitable for multiple needs.
It dries heats and hides until three shower towels or bathrobes, leaving the bathroom tider. Its shelves don't heat so are perfects to keep in order your personal belongings.
They are made by powder-coated aluminum and are available in matt white and black finishes.
The coordinated towel bar, roll holder, waste bin and hooks complete the collection.
Customizations can be made upon request.
Restaurant Lago Bellagio • Las Vegas • 7300 sq ft - overlooks Fountains of Belaggio X Julian Serrano
Personally I have been to Las Vegas only once - was being considered for a Senior Design position with the ownership of Bellagio......not being an aficionado, or even the slightest bit knowledgeable of the restaurant scene in Las Vegas, allows me to study and react, to this amazing work of art....like living, or being, inside a sculpture.
Glitzy? Yes, sort of - alive - most definitely - vibrant? Beyond words....simply from this exposé, to my critical eye, it would be like being inside an art piece......what crashes to the surface of one's consciousness here is the explosion of colour, texture, form and shape.
Designed by Studio Munge, the design firm of Italian designer Alessandro Munge, this is one example of the lat 20 years of his prolific output in interior design.
Fueled by a singular vision to create unforgettable design experiences, we have cultivated award-winning projects based on partnerships with the world’s preeminent hotel and restaurant groups, development companies, and top chefs.
“I built a studio where disciplines are free to think for themselves, driven by curiosity and passion.” ALESSANDRO MUNGE
With an ever-expanding scope of work which now includes hospitality programming, design architecture, FF&E design and procurement, Studio Munge is simultaneously defining a new era of luxury interiors while keeping a spirit grounded by the unending desire to tell authentic design stories. Our firm is perfectly situated at the intersection of maturity and evolution, and the long-lasting partnerships that we have established with a growing portfolio of iconic brands are founded on our unparalleled ability to bring business to life through emotive and exciting spaces.
Design may be what we do, but our real success comes from a passion to inspire—our clients, anyone who walks into one of our spaces, and our own team. We believe in empowering our people to explore, to push the envelope, and to have fun with design. Our practice is hospitality and residential –design driven, where success relies on a profound desire to craft how people feel in our spaces—not just simply what they see. That emotion and connection is what we chase, and by integrating talent from all over the world, we achieve it together
His principal North American studio is located in Toronto, Canada
This will be, in the not too distant future, the f u t u r e ......
You will drive home, to or from work - and you will park your vehicle beneath these solar capture shelters....sunlight will be routed through the system to provide 'always-on' sustainable and renewable energy to power your case, trucks, motorcycles. By Exxon.
Over the course of the last number of issues we have featured some pretty cool contemporary architecture.....particularly homes/houses. But, we are also sensitive to the traditional forms/shapes/styles of homes from around the world. What today is grew out of these kinds of yesterdays. This house, currently on the market in Kansas City for $250,000.00 caught our eye.....it is, unique in it's provenance. Check it out : :
And while we're on a traditional bent, either of these tables would be suitable for that house, don't you think?
An early Christmas present - to me!
Santa! You paying attention here?
: : C O N T E ST : :
Huge prizes....okay, maybe not so huge.....
Grand total of $20.00 in prize money......$10.00 if you identify where this is:
. . . .and another $10.00 if you identify where is this train going? From where to where? A further $1000.00 if you can identify who the train driver was.....lol! Well, the first two are legit - you must provide your proof with your submission. Fact is, it's just a right cool photograph....yes?
A recent photograph from Leonardo Bechini
. . . . .and this wonderful image from Adriana Garcia, Ottawa
As reflected n the opening commentary, in these frightening, unsure and uncertain times, we are again at a crossroads perhaps, not visited since the mid 1950's - when talk of fallout shelters, hiding under desks - atomic attack, was more commonplace. But, here we are - 2018-2019.......at least one generation onward - and we find ourselves concerned with, once again, s h e l t e r . In fact, 1n 2010 I undertook a significant renovation/addition to a lovely house here in Montreal (NDG area) - the client, a rather youngish family, retained me to design and oversee a 2 story + basement addition to the rear of the house. At a certain point, very early on, he announced that he needed the plans modified....that we needed to add an additional floor. We pointed out to him that by-laws precluded any greater height to the structure. He replied, 'No - we go down one more level.' 'Whaaaaa?', was our response. 'Why?'
'Because', he replied, 'I, and my family, are extremely concerned about the fragility of the state of the world and we have decided to create a blast-proof subterranean shelter - complete with the appropriate air filtration systems, blast door protection, independent power source. I can afford it - get it done.'
'Wow!', was our reaction. Back to the drawing board - back to the City for approval of revised plans.....they had never seen such a thing - but there was no law that said it couldn't be done. And so, it was done.....for me, for my team - it was an interesting and sobering exercise. There is no evidence from ground level that such a survival capsule rests there, 12 feet below grade.
And so, the company that designs/manufactures the following 'products' is, maybe at the right place, at the right time, now. As much as the thought is terrifying. Take a look - think about whether you could 'manage' living in such a manner.
VIVOS : : XPOINT Survival Bunker $35,000.00USD
Located in the Black Hills of South Dakota — a location chosen for the fact that it’s a non-seismic area, far from major metropolitan areas, and outside the range of tsunami submersion zones — this 18-square-mile plot of land is one of the safest places in North America. And while that’s the primary selling point, the prospect is not without its creature comforts, as each unit boasts 2,200 square feet of space, arched ceilings, customizable floor plans, and LED simulations of natural outdoor lighting. There are even amenities similar to normal gated communities, including onsite 24/7 security, a members-only restaurant and bar, a gym — there’s even a medical center. Units start at $35,000 — but there is a stringent application process. For more information, and to order your very own, go here.
There are videos - I've watched the - they are, s o b e r i n g . And, frightening......and not at all, Christmassy......but neither are the current events taking place in Washington.
This, then, is the antidote : :
This, then - is how we counteract and promote that which is so badly needed, now.
Click on the text to hear Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson sing 'O Holy Night' - and pass the courage.
Originally launched in 1922 as Fruit, Garden & Home, Better Homes & Garden magazine became one of - if not the - 'go to' magazine of homestyle and shelter - for decades. Certainly in the western world it was a beacon of good taste, how-to's, classy elegance.
Just this week it has released '2019 Interior Design Forecast: 8 Decorating Trends Predicted to be Huge'
Generally, I always wonder how it is that such forecasts are taken seriously......especially in today's world wherein individuality, as a life force and lifestyle, is so much more the focus. But, hey - why not.....
so some of those 8 are shown here.
The original publication was written by Julianne Holmes Bartlett and the article in full can be found here.
While we're at it - attempting to 'light up your life', here's something that will help in the most elegant of manner: :
From Roman & Williams GUILD, New York - this lustrous retro style desk lamp.
From their web-site:
Meant to last for generations, LAB DESK LAMP is our version of a library light, like what would have been used by scientists at an early MIT laboratory. Shade is directional, and swivels. Construction is bent and folded – no welding – and the base is cast.
Pictured here in brass, which darkens beautifully with age. LAB DESK LAMP is available in all of our metals – from gilded rose gold to burnished nickel, pewter and silver.
Also available as a standing floor lamp.
. . . .and lastly, keeping true to my plan in regards to a continuing retrospective, following are a series of freehand renderings I completed over the course of my career.....many/most done in pen and ink and most done 'by feel'- in other words without the use of perspective grids, aids. Clearly, hours - and hours and hours - were spent on many of these.....clients then wouldn't - nor would they today - underwrite the kind of time/effort that went into producing these works. And frankly, I never thought they were particularly terrific - good, yes.......outstanding? Not a chance - they did their job, fulfilled the function - but, I loved doing every last one of them. The first series are 'quick sketches' for a series of Model Homes - visualizations to assist the client in 'seeing' the idea
Today, of course, all is done digitally - AutoCAD 3d, Sketchup, VRAY, Podium, 3D MAX. Some of that work will be featured in a future issue.
And so - there you have it. There is always so much more - I 'stockpile' hundreds of articles, extracts, finds - to be used in our issues. There's never enough room, never enough time. I sincerely hope you enjoy this issue - given that it is holiday season I figured you all probably had more time to browse, to read, to discover.
One last word : : I thought long and hard about including/excluding the thoughts I expressed at the beginning of this issue. But, it is my heartfelt feeling that focus must be drawn to the wrongs, the misdeeds - the abuses of our diplomatic world - our survival as a people, as human people, depend on the collective opposition to those things, those principles that would chip away at those principles, for which blood has been spilled - for which people of all races, all colours - all backgrounds have invested of themselves, of their futures and their children's future. Thank you for your indulgence.
Happy Holiday Season to all.
Ce quoi ça?
It is, my birthday - and that will see me entering my 75th year as of Friday November 23rd.
Moreover it tells me - and you - that for the last 57 years I have worked in the world of design, construction, graphics for my first job was a junior draftsman/trainee/apprentice with Webb Zerafa Menkes, Architects, Toronto. Known for the last few decades simply as WZMH Architects they have become an internationally renowned pioneer in design. When I was working there, the principals (Peter Webb, Boris Zerafa) had adjacent offices. Brian Brooks was the Design Studio lead, Boris Lebedinsky the Chief Draftsman and Allison Hymus was one of the first interior design Associates in high profile architectural firms. She mentored me, guided me as I moved from the world of architectural technology drafting into the domain of interior design. It was a small, vital, cosy firm - maybe a maximum of 25 staff with René Menkes heading up the Montréal studio. It was a seminal time for me as I ricocheted between being a goFer, the printBoy, junior draftsman, courier - whatever. Hanging around the small Design Studio unit I was a fly on the wall. The guys all knew of my passion and they kindly indulged my lurking background presence.
In reviewing their current web-site I have selected one recent project that I believe best expresses the core commitment to human scale, to humanity - to good, solid, responsible and accessible architecture.
It is the Quinte Consolidated Courthouse in Belleville, Ontario.
From the WZMH web page:
The winner of a Design-Build-Finance-Maintain (DBFM) competition, this court facility is located on the Moira River in central Belleville. WZMH’s design develops a strong connection between the courthouse and the city’s other main civic facility: City Hall, located across the river. WZMH oriented the building on an east-west axis, slightly off the main city grid, to ensure that its significant exterior and interior public spaces have a view of City Hall. This orientation emphasizes the civic importance of the courthouse and also creates optimal conditions for sustainability strategies, including passive solar heating and daylight harvesting.
A minimalist, modern design using local Ontario limestone gives a sense of gravitas to the courthouse exterior, its stature further underlined by a dignified entrance forecourt and public square facing the downtown core. The functional organization of the facility creates a zone of public space on one side and more secure spaces on the other. Functions are vertically stratified within the six-storey structure according to the need for public access: large courtrooms, ceremonial spaces, and jury selection rooms are located on the ground floor, while less-used and more secure spaces are on higher floors.
Client: PCL Constructors Canada
Size: 16,075 m2 | 173,000 ft2
Sustainability: LEED Gold
Scope of Service:
Full Architectural ServicesAwards:P3 Awards Finalist, Best Designed Project: Partnerships Bulletin/P3 Bulletin, 2015Canadian Design-Build Institute, Award of Excellence Honourable Mention, 2014
To my mind there is a simple, elegant purity to this project. Is it earth-shaking, ground-breaking design?
Probably not by most standards - especially with the current obsession with twistyTurny pretzelArchitectiure. But, it does, deliver.
And I believe one of the core principles of professional practise that was ingrained in me, in that firm, all those years ago, was simply - always deliver!
It is my belief, that I have done so. And thankfully it is a believe shared by all my clients over almost 6 decades of dedication, devotion to design
• • You may well be asking, 'Whoever is he droning one thus?' It is simple, my answer : :
On November 22, 2019 DesignReview•International will move to a monthly paid subscription model.
Fair notice, yes? How much? Not much - but I'm giving 12 months notice....should we not attain the necessary subscription target we will discontinue publication. Stay tuned - as we establish the price schedule we will publish it here.
But, in the event that DRI gets put out to pasture, in the next 12 issues, starting in December, I will, selfishly, showcase one selected project that is part of my portfolio. It will be the last entry of any given blog so that it does not become a self-serving distraction. In this issue you will find my design development work on the world's first electronic kiosks. Yup -'twas me....as you will see.
Stunning! What a vista! As if in the prow of a ship, one looks outwards to the frozen lake and beyond.
This is an amazing home designed by Alain Carle, Architect, Montréal.
Built on the shores of the St. Lawrence River, in Cornwall, Ontario, it is a refuge from the world, a place of serenity and solitude....disciplined in its choice of materials the visual language expresses a purity of principle. In my opinion. . . .
Photographs : : Adrien Williams
Based in Montreal, this up-and-coming photographer has worked across North America – including Detroit, Chicago, New York, Toronto, and Vancouver – as well as in Portugal. His work has garnered numerous accolades and awards.
For the tinkerer in most all of us, check this out : :
But now, look closer -
Here it is, in action
What fun! For young, old.....
Tinkineer’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) kits introduce children and adults to engineering principles and physics concepts through dynamic model kits that are made of wood in America. Each “marble machine” kit is an engaging lesson that is told through the eyes of a cast of characters (the “Tinkineers”) in graphic novella format. The principles introduced in the comic are then reinforced through the construction of the kit and, finally, brought full circle with real-world examples and applications.
Sailing, sailing - over the bounding main -
A spectacular new luxury yacht is soon to be delivered, launched.
P U R A
is her name
ROYAL HUISMAN PURA SAILING YACHTThink about the Pura as more of a platform and less of a finished product. Centuries-old Dutch shipbuilder Royal Huisman has teamed with architect Mani Frers to let each buyer customize their yacht. Much of the engineering for the 130-foot vessel will be completed beforehand, but the shape of the hull, deck, and superstructure will be created via a collaboration between the owner and Frers, who will provide drawings along the way. The interior will be similarly customizable but should offer room for up to eight guests and six crew members and a wide range of high-end creature comforts.
Occasionally I will come across items of astonishing beauty. . . and I have an irrepressible urge simply to share them with you. Being as they are, unique, it is my opinion they do not require explanation or provenance.....they are simply to be enjoyed, as are these following photographs. I came across them some years ago, in a library book - was so taken by them I scanned them....and sadly, I do not now know from which book they came - thus I cannot provide honourable attribution. In a text reference I could see the name Alicia Goñi........she may have been the photographer. We will do further research....
Now this is a view I would love to look at every evening.
The summit of the Swiss mountain Titlis measures in at 3,000 meters above sea level. Its peak draws in over a million tourists every year and its former mountain outpost could no longer meet the demands. Architects Herzog & de Meuron plan to replace the dated 1967 summit station with the Titlis 3020 Mountain Outpost. The project calls for a new alpine station with a bar and restaurant as well as an updated antenna tower and underground tunnel. Its innovative design aims to transform Alpine architecture while showcasing Switzerland's surreal landscapes.
Titlis 3020 Design Unveiling
ENGELBERG, SWITZERLAND, 5 November 2018 – The TITLIS 3020 project was unveiled to the public today.
At 3000 meters above sea level, the Swiss mountain Titlis is one of Switzerland’s most renowned international tourist attractions.
The summit station was built in 1967, and despite several modifications and expansions over the last 50 years, it no longer fulfills current and future requirements. As a further modification would not optimize the situation in a sustainable manner, the summit station will be entirely replaced by a new construction.
Herzog & de Meuron developed a master plan for the entire summit that entails the new construction of the summit station, the redevelopment and extension of an old beam antenna tower, and an upgrade of the underground tunnel.
Photographs by: Herzog de Neuron
And if you do, do you also know what day it is?
Well, if you're not sure here's a really cooool iOs calendar app for you.......minimalCal
Of course CHICAGO is musically asking that question....but this is a really beautifully designed calendar app. To me it's a throwback to the 60's, when Helvetica ruled supreme. The crisp clean graphics - what we, as designers then referred to as 'Swiss style'. Heck, I love the look of it so much I sprung for the $4.00 and installed it on may phone......you too can get it here.
If I died, and went to heaven - and came back and wanted to describe it to you, this is what I would want you to see.....
American studio MW Works has designed a compact cabin in a Washington forest with exterior walls clad in weathered cedar and blackened cement. The cabin called Little House is located in Seabeck, a waterfront village and former mill town in Washington. It sits within a forest on a bluff overlooking Hood Canal, a natural waterway that is part of the Puget Sound.
Seattle-based studio MW Works built the holiday home for clients from Houston who have spent many summers in the area, visiting family members on a nearby property.
"They loved the wildness of the southern canal and imagined a small retreat here of their own," said MW Works in a statement.
Rectangular in plan, the cabin was built atop an existing foundation that measured 20 by 20 feet (six by six metres). The team sought to create a compact dwelling that was efficient and relatively easy to build.
Envisioned as "a simple box with large carved openings", the cabin rises two levels and encompasses 1,140 square feet (106 square metres). Exterior walls are wrapped in cedar – which has been oxidised to speed up the material's aging and turn it black – and blackened cement panels.
This is a fine house - a very fine house....it is the work of a newly evolving architect, Ray Dinh. He refers to this project as his 'First lessons House'. And to my mind, he got it right the first time.
To be specific - and to state a bothersome observation that I have wrestled with for some time - too long probably, and that is, although we see wonderful architecture on a daily basis - for example the first article in this blog's issue - I am intensely bothered by a seeming determination by far too many architects to stress the lean purity of a designed envelope forsaking almost all aspects of comfort. It really, really, bothers me. When you observe, review - look at - many of the beautifully spawned architectural designs, do you ever think to yourself, 'Yes! It's wonderful - but how am I going to sit in that corner over there and read my book, sip my tea? And where actually, will I put my tea cup?, for there is rarely even the basics of simple human comfort provided with something as rudimentary as a side table. Or a reading lamp. Absurd......
However, In Mr Dinh's efforts here not only do we see great taste, great design and balance, wonderful material mixes/combinations, we see - and feel - an inviting comfort.And does that not make sense to you?
It does to me. I have often tried to explain to my design students that an unspoken rule of a good interior designer is to create a mood in a space - to weave a feeling in a room. To provide that subliminal cloak of comfort, like a shmooshy quilt, that embraces you and your spirit. Mood architecture, to my mind, is created by many various contributors. Lighting is a primary one. And good, or great lighting must be conceived at the time of the design journey.....'cause all your drawings need to incorporate that special hidden LED behind a bookshelf, or a gentle uplight in the floor over there in that corner.
So I take my hat of to Ray Dinh - this is a place that I would like to call home......
For architect Ray Dinh, the First Lessons House is just that. The home is his debut project after going solo and is a practice in mastering the basics. Part of that was creating a design that responds to its landscape along with the owner's needs which included an abundance of exterior space to take advantage of views of Australias's Portsea lagoon and wildlife reserve. The result is a charred blackbutt, concrete, and corrugated iron structure with seamless indoor/outdoor living. Large sliding glass doors aid in this transition, allowing for unobstructed views of the garden when closed and direct access to the central terrace when open. Acting as more of an extension of the interior rather than a separate space, the deck features its own dining table and BBQ for summer dinners and a sitting area organized around the double-sided fireplace.
Photos: Peter Bennetts / Ray Dinh Architecture
Ray Dinh Architecture is a one man practice, working weekends with family and friends.
Ray is a registered architect living in Melbourne, currently working at Austin Maynard Architects.
Ray studied architecture at University College Dublin & Ecole Nationale Supérieure d' Architecture de Nantes, graduating in 2012 with First Class Honours. Ray’s final year thesis was featured in The Architect’s Journal and his dissertation on social housing was published in the Irish Archizine 2ha. Ray has since worked in Dublin and New York and is now based in Melbourne, completing his professional registration in Victoria in 2016.
2017 marked the completion of First Lessons House, Ray's first solo project
This article first appeared in: https://uncrate.com/first-lessons-house/ .
. . . . and, 'tis the season, fast approaching.
Books! Love books - here are a couple of timely offerings....have been a student of Rothko forever.....actually bought a book of Rothko paintings, scanned them all - use them a screensavers.....
Though he rejected the label, Mark Rothko is known as one of the most influential artists in the Abstract Expressionism movement that began in the late 1940s. This hardbound book provides a detailed chronological summary of Rothko's life including his role in the first American art movement to have a worldwide influence. Part of Taschen's Basic Art series, Rothko includes 96 full-color pages filled with the artist's iconic canvases of bold color blocks that were meant to create an active relationship between the observer and each painting.
Hardcover / 8.3" x 10.2" / 96 pages https://uncrate.com/rothko/
Available from Amazon.com $14.00
So now, to kiosk design.
A little history first. In the late 80's Royal Bank of Canada was a primary client of mine. The nature of the design assignments varied from branch design to Special Projects. And in the course of meetings one day I was asked if I knew anything about electronic kiosk design. Of course, I replied honestly, 'No.'
Their response was, 'Do you want to learn? And help us figure out a problem in the process?'
Naturally I was enthusiastic. The challenge? To develop the design for an information services kiosk that would be installed in some of the larger branches across Canada. The intent was to provide a non-threatening passive 'sidekick' where a customer could key in requests for information about financial services and see the replies/answers on overhead screens. They knew what they wanted to aspire to - just not how to get there. Here is an early concept sketch.
Clearly it is quite large. Big, bulky - intrusive. Of course it had to be shop produced and transported to a branch. And once in place it would not be moved about. As can be seen, the upper arm, being cantilevered as shown, would require a very robust structural support column. The following drawings and details tell the story......and bear in mind - this was in 1988 - almost 30 years ago.
I retained the services of a structural engineer and we worked in concert to deliver this, at the time, completely unique 'modern' service kiosk. I wonder whatever became of it. It should be living in a tech museum of some kind.
In any event following the success of this undertaking I became involved with a couple of colleagues to explore the viability of what we saw as the next, new wave, of tech. Bear in mind, 1994, 1995 - Netscape Navigator (the first web browser) was just creating big waves on the WorldWideWeb. There were no web-sites selling products or merchandise. Our collective concept was to design a service kiosk with two screens, the lower screen being a touchscreen (yes, believe it or not HP actually had developed touchscreens way back then) and the upper screen, being a large TV, would showcase the requested information to the user. The Panasonic GAAO TV was the state-of-the-art television then - and of course, it was certainly not a flat screen - these this were huge, bulky, crazy expensive. The touchscreen interface would be conned to a laserdisc player within the structure. When the customer tapped on an icon (let's say a travel destination like Club Med) it would trigger the laserdisc to play a video clip - like a commercial - on the upper screen. My role was the design of all aesthetics - the form factor, graphics, all the visual aspects of the unit. My partners, being engineers, handled the electronics and the programming. The following photograph shows our Model II unit installed in a shopping centre in l'Estrie, Québec.
In fact we installed three units throughout the shopping centre and they were linked, wirelessly, believe it or not. Talk about 'ahead-of-its-time' innovation! And they worked! But the superhuman effort to convey/convince the corporate world of their value was an endless uphill battle. As we were in intense negotiation with some of Quebec's premier tech giants we were also transporting our monstrously huge prototype to places like Germany (Hanover Fair), Ottawa, Toronto - in order to showcase its value. Concurrently, the WorldWideWeb was growing - rapidly. Netscape went through various rapid iterations as it worked to induce corporate America to use the internet to market and sell. And ultimately, the forces of Microsoft, IBM, Netscape combined to bypass our technology, then. It was deemed that using a computer monitor to convey marketing messages via internet was a more cost-effective way to reach target markets. Ultimately, our enterprise failed. Sadly, it died. Just one more of 'sounds like a good idea but' kinda stories, right? True dat.......
The following images are the original design drawings and details I developed (and saved all these years)
Some many months following the closure of our enterprise, the first public use financial kiosks started showing up.
It is quite obvious that he curvilinear form factor was 'borrowed' from my very early design concepts. And why exactly was that formShape selected as being the best one? In a day when the world was just starting to be seduced by consumer tech, my thinking was that the consumer, when faced with such a new-fangled apparatus, or interface - be it in a shopping mall, a hospital, a library - needed to feel a gentle visual greeting -- that the interaction between man and machine would be seen as a collaboration not a confrontation - that there would be no sense of intimidation in the dance with the interface......and so the gentle curving form evolved as the natural embodiment of that design. And know what? That principle has proven awesomely successful for kiosks designed and manufactured today tend to mimic that form factor.......who knew?
Am I bitter? Bitter that my 'thunder' was mis-appropriated? Nah......would been nice to cash in maybe.....but, life goes on.
Until it doesn't.
Next month's issue is already in development - target date for release? December 22nd.....watch for it.
Remember - write me with questions, comments, complaints - whatever : :
and it is always nice to be, wanted. . . . . .
That’s what this week is……the time of winding.
How so? Well, today is Hallowe’en…..and what is Hallowe‘en?
The day of Hallow. A day to honor and celebrate, remember the dead.
Those that have gone before. Winding back the clock to earlier times in later lives.
And this week-end, here in most of North America, we literally wind back the clock.
To save, not time, but daylight.
And in that spirit this issue is also about winding – or more precisely, re-winding.
In a recent effort to houseclean the thousands of files I maintain across my main system and 4 or 5 external hard drives, I took the time in the last two weeks to review, re-visit, older blog issues (going back to 2010), older files/projects – older ideas.
And I experienced a delightful re-nourishment in much of what I reviewed.
And so in this issue there will be a number of ‘refreshes’ of previous features. Many/most of which are technologically still relevant and meaningful for our lives today. When you see this image,
it indicates something that was either published previously, or work tat was done quite some time ago.
Ghosts and goblins, ghouls and gloopy gloppy eyeballs – you probably won’t find those things here.
Tonight you can all venture forth to seek out such delights……good hunting to all of you!
Spot quiz....what is it?
It's tiny, that's for sure. . . . . big things? Small packages? Yup.....
The Cinemood will project to 10'-0" and more. Watch the video.
$399.00 USD. Sold out for the moment but taking orders with the promise of Christmas delivery.
BIG things......small packages....you'll figure it out.
First person to reply/respond with info and details about this building will win $25.00.Need to identify what it is, where it is, why it is and who done it.......as in architect, designer - whatever.....
Responses can only be entered in the Comments section at the end of the blog.
M O R E small things.
Know what this is?
It's the world's smallest cel-phone
Just introduced by Kyocera it measures almost the same size as a business card, 2" x 3 ½".......
e e n s y t e e n s y
s m a l l - as in smallish. . . . . . . go here to see it in operation on YouTube
about $300.00 when it hits the street
So who's looking?
For a job, I mean....you? You looking?
How? What tools are you using? Do you have a CV? Well, of course you have a CV.....or resumé.....oui?
Did you write/design/composite it yourself? Or did you pay bigBuckz to a pro to fashion/craft it for you?
Hey! Are you a member of LinkedIn? Who isn't these days. Me, I signed on in their infancy - up to 750 connections = that and $3.00 will get me a coffee....maybe.
But, LinkedIn is good.......not perfect, but Microsoft bought it a year or so ago, then they bought Lynda.com - the online courseware company.....looks like they're gonna segué one to the other....
But now, these new guys have come along......www.ceev.com. They saw a need and they developed this really cool feature that will take all your LinkedIn data and format it into a CV for you.....
yeah, check it out.....
Who does what?
Who LOVES New York?
We all do?
I think. . . . .
So here's yet another reason to love the really, very cool
essence of New York...
The skinniest residential building of all
is now open for business - and living.....in
Man! Jaw dropping, eye watering, breathtaking! What a gorgeous building!
Check this out. . . . . .
The world's skinniest skyscraper will soon open up in New York City.
Rising more than 1,400 feet above the ground, 111 W. 57th St. features a facade made from bronze and terra cotta. Its height-to-width ratio, 24:1, makes it the skinniest tower in the world.
The new structure stands on top of the historic Steinway Hall, which has been called a "timeless monument to classical music and architecture" by New York City's Landmarks Preservation Commission. It is being developed by JDS Development Group, Property Markets Group, and Spruce Capital Partners.
Kevin Maloney, the founder of Property Markets Group, praised the building in a statement for "its unrivaled location, genuine architectural pedigree and perfect symmetry over Central Park."
Listings for the property went live recently. They feature a variety of full-floor and duplex residences.
Expected completion date is January 2019.
Residences will cost anywhere from $18 million for 4,491 square feet to about $56 million for 7,128 square feet. Apartments have three or four bedrooms.
The building's interior features Great Rooms with 14-foot-tall ceilings, solid-oak floors, and entrance galleries with white-macauba stone floors.
The amenities include a two-lane lap pool, a spa with sauna, steam and treatment rooms, and a lounge with an outdoor terrace.
Residents can also access a private dining room, a fitness center, and several meeting rooms.
In addition to being near Central Park, 111 W. 57th St. is close to Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Museum of Modern Art.
From Business Insider and written originally by Peter Kotecki
Get the 'skinny' on the skinniest building, here.
Frank Lloyd Wright designed this one-of-a-kind small masterpiece in 1938 for a northern Wisconsin schoolteacher, but it was never built.
Forty years later, the design was purchased from Wright's widow by a University of Michigan professor, Frederick Haddock. The firm Wright founded to manage his legacy, Taliesin Associated Architects, chose the site10 acres of lawn and woods sloping to Honey Creek, the placement and the design itself, in accordance with Wright's vision.
Haddock House is one of Wright's Usonian homes, designed for efficient living and built to blend in with the natural surroundings. The home is a small gem1300 square feet, with slanting layers of wood, glass, and ceilings that reach 25 feet high.
The two bedrooms and two baths are warm and comfortable. It has been meticulously maintained and enhanced with a beautiful garden that nods to Japanese landscape design. Drawings and blueprints from the Wright Foundation and the Taliesen Fellows are included in the sale of the home, as is the original letter from Taliesen Associated Architects, confirming the house is certainly an authentic Frank Lloyd Wright design well-executed and maintained. It is also a unique design for Wright, a one-of-a-kind small masterpiece. This first appeared in DWELL (www.dwell.com)
M E M O R Y L A N E
Like I said at the outset, we're gonna be doing some memory tripping here.
All the photographs by Leo Bechini were taken when he lived here in Montreal as a student in 2000.
My brief was to create a calendar for Pantone, the world-renowned authority on colour. The main aim for me was to make this calendar relevant on a global scale. With the colour wheel being universally recognised, I used this and combined it with a mosaic made up of 1440 different images to create my main graphic. Sticking with the whole worldwide idea, I have included many visual references to a host of different countries within the mosaic, and highlighted many of the main religious and cultural holidays throughout the year.
To answer a question I have been asked a few times, no 'special software' was used to produce this. The grid was build in Illustrator and I placed all 1440 images by hand in (as close to as possible) some sort of colour order.
"Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of." - Charles Richards
I dunno - to me, this was ultra cool in 2011, it's still ultra cool today - anybody agree with me?
Hola! A Mexican retreat . . . . IMHO one of the more elegant examples of the marriage of great woods, the natural quilt of sand, rock, foliage - that unique chemistry that one finds only in central and south america. It has a resonance of Costa Rica to my travel experience.
Scan across the rocky coastline and you might miss the SJAIII House. The home is almost entirely embedded into the San Juan de Alim, Mexico landscape. Hanging vines and native vegetation cascade over the front elevation, making the exterior become a part of the scenery. Its interior is wrapped in rich woods, a warm contrast to the hillside's exposed stone. Retractable walls turn the inside into an open-air pavilion with extensive views over the Pacific Ocean. The living spaces now spill out onto an outdoor terrace covered by the oversized roof. A stone walkway leads down to a swimming pool. Like the rest of the residence, the water feature is integrated into the natural environment using the existing rock formations as a basin.
Photos: Rory Gardiner and Javier Dueñas / Casas de Mexico
For more information
Happy HobGoblins to y'all......
Remember - 25 bucks to the first one who submits the correct answer to our architectural quiz.....
Next issue we are going to continue in this vein of remembrance......hope you are enjoying it.
Here we are - again.....and it's Fall.
In the northeast (Vermont, New England, Canada East) we never fail to be amazed at the riot of colour, texture and tone as the heat and season of summer segués into Autumn. Glorious!
Some see this season as an ending time....for myself, I feel it always as a time of encouragement......a time of re-growth. Not as in renaissance, per se - not as in Spring - but as in a gathering of goods, the remarkable harvest - a re-visitation to values and things we hold important....reflection, rather than renaissance.
Does anyone else feel the same?
If you know me, you know I am cursed with being an early (very) riser......not by choice, quite honestly.
It's a hereditary thing passed down to me by grandfather.......he was always up at 4:00, 4:30 AM.......and it's not like he had anything to do......he was retired - had no responsibilities other than stoking the wood-burning furnace in colder weather. And at some point in my life, maybe about 25 years or so ago, my internal clock switched over to the same heartbeat. I don't resent it......although it is always the same, be it a Tuesday or a Saturday......vacation times, holidays, have no meaning to me in the sense that, 'Wheee! I get to sleep in....' Never happens. But, in early June, when our east facing windows first see the crack of the sunrise at about 4:15......it is a most glorious window onto the world. Knowing that I am probably about 1% of the population up and about at that time, provides an odd sense of ownership over the new day........anybody else so afflicted/blessed? In terms of productivity, it's an awesome advantage.....typically by 7:00 AM I have already put in half a day's work......and now, as it's end of September, those morning sun rays do not break the horizon until 6:15-ish. And I know, of course, as we wind down into November, Christmas and beyond, the depth of darkness will continue its rhythms as time immemorial. And, but - that's, okay......okay by me.
Here is a photograph published on Facebook by a former interior design student of mine.....Adriana Garcia, who lives and works in Ottawa. To me, albeit this does not conform to the typical fall foliage photographs one sees, this evokes the mood and feeling of a changing season.
As her teacher, back about 10 years ago, I didn't know her well - except I do recall her work was always meticulous, detailed, determined....at some point she began to study/pursue photography......this, is, to me, an awesome contribution
©adriana garcia 2018
Brava Adriana........incroyable! I hope you don't mind that I have just up and posted this - but your work is fantastic and it deserves to be seen.
And on the topic of time, I want to bring to your attention, one of the best tools (apps, programs - whatever you choose to call them) for the recording of professional time that I have ever seen or worked with. Way back in the mid-80's, when I was managing my design firm, Marshall/Moore/Goyette Design, with a staff go 12 full-time designers, the need to efficiently and accurately track our time spent in projects, with clients, was the lifeblood of our business. This was back before Windows had become the de facto standard....back when we worked in DOS (MS-DOS). We experimented with and skinned our knees on numerous productivity tools....our firm was the first in Quebec to be completely automated as a design firm......we were networked, we had multiple copies of AutoCAD, network-linked, we used a very cool general administration software called Open Access (spreadsheets, word processing, database) and, we used a fantastic product for its time, Timesheets.....also networked. Timesheets is still in existence - but in recently checking into see that it is more cumbersome than it needs to be, but still effective......and, expensive. One of the great features of Timesheets was the ability it provided for me to do a sort by designer, by project, by timelines - of work done, unbilled, reports - you name it - it was a powerful tool. Over the years I have tried literally dozens of different management time-tracking tools......some did some things great, but not all things.....I kept searching, particularly for an app that would run on my main system (MAC Pro) along with my iPad, iPhone and AppleWatch ........ and be dynamically linked so that an entry/edit on one device was immediately viewable on all the others.
I found that tool.......and it is fantastic.
The thing is, you enter/create TASKS one time only.....can do it on your iPad and they will show up on your iPhone simultaneously - so, if you've been lackadaisical about doing your timesheet (who hasn't?), now there is no excuse.....even do them on your Apple Watch......the same applies for Clients, task abbreviations, expense codes, etc.
To top it all of it has a built-in invoicing system - and you can run an invoicing issue and sort by whatever fields/terms you wish.....it creates really cool graphs - will export to RTF, DOC, PDF.....
And it's less than $100.CAD - why wait? It's a time-SAVER and $$$$-maker. For MAC and PC......oh yeah - they're Canadians these guys....no wonder it's so good!
So - here's challenge for you.......what if, you wanted to create a graphic image....say, of a partially open cardboard box. Simple enough, eh?
But you want it to appear as if there is light flowing out from within - like there's a lightbulb and you see the glow.....sortof like this:
However, it's easy to see that this is fake - it is an illustration of what light mght look like......I'm talking REAL light here.....
'But why?', you ask.
Well, see - I have this client assignment - to re-design/re-vitalize a logo......and as I've been pondering it, rolling it around in my brain, I began to play with the constituent letter - V and R . I reviewed the current logo - that has been in service for quite some years.....
....and really - there's nothing wrong with it - it's just kinda flat and lifeless.
All of a sudden the lightbulb went off in my own head.......asking myself the question, in separating the 'V, what form shapes is that perhaps derivative from? I began to see a curl - a curling page corner.....YIKES!
Yes! Why not? And while I'm at it, why not use the analogy of 'turning pages' as the verbal hook to introduce the concept.......hey! Cool.....
But - how the heck am I going to make it look real? Looking fake is not going to cut it......
Fortunately, being a better-than-average 3D visualizer/modeler, I realized, I had to 'make' a box......make a form, a three dimensional form, and simply insert light sources beyond, or within the form.
Okay - so in AutoCAD I traced the existing logo, and even extended the 'R' with a swoopy kinda tail......
then I imported it into SketchUp........then I extruded it, so I had, my box...... finally, using Podium Light Tool I inserted a number of light source points behind - within - the box.......changed my camera view to parallel, plan view, and rendered it out......
Well the first result was pretty good
Not great - but I felt I was on the right track......the diffused light did look realistic. However, the overall form shape looked flat - had no 3D characteristics to it........hmmmmmm!
Further experimentation (adding more light points, 'painting' the interior box surface with different colours, metallic materials...) resulted in this:
It was getting closer - still didn't have the realistic curl I was searching for.
.....next brainTwister was to try to figure out, geometrically, how do I build, digitally, a form that is an accurate representation of a page, curling. Clearly, I had to actually 'build' that geometry.....how the heck to I do that? I spent hours scouring the web - bring over this way and that....asking questions - mostly never getting answers. Trying to physically reproduce the issue....
So, I took a piece of paper, and curled it - actually as it would be in real-time....
Analyzing this form shape, what doe we have? If you draw a line straight across, and cut, you would be left with a cone shape......not what I was looking for....
Following is paper partially folded. . . . .
And this is the shape of the paper, as it was cut. . . .
Hmmmmm, again - what to do? Clearly the spiral line that creates the desired endShape, is not a random line......it has to follow a very precise geometry.
I went back to the internet - started to scour SketchUp instructional videos until. . . . .
I came across this dude.....
Justin Geis - and his muchCool SketchUp tutorial site, www.sketchupessentials.com.
In reviewing a number of his online videos I finally figure, 'What the heck - you never know, right?......and so I e-mailed him -provided a short description of the problem/challenge and - he replied! Not only did he reply he provided a link for a SketchUp utility that showed me how to achieve what I was looking for....
Curviloft is a specialty tool/add-in for SketchUp modelers.
The following images are progressions that he so kindly provided to illustrate the process : :
Cool! Very cool......and i was off......took a few kicks, but each time I got closer.....until
Somewhat crude but I could see - could see where I was going....and then these flowed from that
Am I finished? Not quite......the following was what was presented to the client following their response/reaction to the idea of a 'page curl'.......not where i thought it should go, but - hey! Who signs the cheques here, eh?
The jury is still 'out' in terms of final acceptance - we may still tweak colours, materials and other aspects - but, my point is, quite simply, a) never give up, and b) trust your gut......if you have a vision, do your very best to either prove, or disprove, it's validity. Did I get paid for all the time invested in this....of course not. I wouldn't think of billing for it - but, I now have mastered a most unusual tool - the very idea of creating an effect wherein light flows from behind a constructed object - well......another tool in my toolbox.
AS an example, I recently completed this quick design study fro a client - idea is to install a slab of granite with the top edge serrated, at an angle from the back wall of the shower, install an LED light strip behind it, et, voila!
Of course, experimenting with the lighting intensity becomes a part of the final decision....could probably tone this one down a touch.
It's TravelTime once again....this time to northern Germany - Göttingen.
A little research tells us that Göttingen is famous for its old university (Georgia Augusta, or
"Georg-August-Universität"), which was founded in 1734 (first classes in 1737) and became the most visited university of Europe. In 1837, seven professors protested against the absolute sovereignty of the kings of Hanover; they lost their offices, but became known as the "Göttingen Seven". Its alumni include some well-known historical figures: the Brothers Grimm, Heinrich Ewald, Wilhelm Eduard Weber and Georg Gervinus. Also, German Chancellors Otto von Bismarck and Gerhard Schröderattended law school at the Göttingen University. Karl Barth held his first professorship here. Some of the most famous mathematicians in history, Carl Friedrich Gauss, Bernhard Riemann and David Hilbert, were professors at Göttingen.
Like other university towns, Göttingen has developed its own quaint traditions. On the day they are awarded their doctorate degrees, students are drawn in handcarts from the Great Hall to the Gänseliesel-Fountain in front of the Old Town Hall. There they have to climb the fountain and kiss the statue of the Gänseliesel (goose girl). This practice is actually forbidden, but the law is not enforced. She is considered the most kissed girl in the world. [from Wikipedia]
This, to me, is a visual treat....a cornucopia (harvest time, right?) - a feast of great design balance, a mastery of much - - clearly, the architects/designers have evolved professionally to be fluent in the practise of eclecticism in design.....not an easy skill to come by.
This feature was showcased by DesignMilk (https://design-milk.com/hotel-freigeist-gottingen-hotel-rooted-academics-design/) - by staff writerVy Yang.
Somehow, this wonderful hotel - its rooms, common areas - speak to me of fall, Octoberfest - fires and fireplaces.....warmth and comfort. Isn't that what any good hotel should say to you?
Walk along with me on this visual journey.....
Of course, this is photographer's trick - see how the light is cat vertically and horizontally, as in a grid des lumières.........but it's such a c o o l effect, no?
And the rooms are delicious - note the almost full-height disappearing pocket doors between the sleeping area and the lounge area......attention to detail. Someone was thinking....
From the DesignMilk article, the following:
Hotel Freigeist Göttingen, the latest member added to the Design Hotels portfolio, doesn’t look like a hotel that belongs in a college town. With its princely interiors that exude a quiet sophistication, the modern hotel looks like it should be located on the outskirts of town in a quiet meadow versus at the center of the city. It’s not until you take in the surroundings that you realize the Göttingen, Germany hotel is linked to a number of academic landmarks (including the university, the museum, and the university’s Knowledge Forum opening 2020) and the calming interiors were designed for intellectual stimulation.
Designed by Hannover-based architecture firm Ahrens & Grabenhorst Architekten, the Hotel Freigeist Göttingen’s façade is made of bricks laid in a wild pattern, a reflection of the contemporary nature of the building and the creativity that lies within it. Interior designer Frank Kassner took inspiration from American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and gave the interiors a gritty vibe by adding graffiti street art by Patrik Wolters (aka BeNeR1) to balance out the luxe effect from the ash wood paneling, plush velvet, and modern furnishings.
The Intuu restaurant serves up Japanese-South American cuisine by head chef Alexander Zinke, so guests can experience a flavorful palette of sushi, sashimi, ceviche, and grilled meats in the restaurant’s open concept style kitchen.
Public lounge areas are lined with custom-designed carpets by Nani Marquina, colored Moroccan cement stone tiles, oversized arm chairs, plush velvet sofas, and contemporary fixtures – all elements conducive for conversation and collaboration.
Modern amenities include a spa, fitness rooms, yoga facilities, a “Fatboy” relaxation lounge, and a rooftop terrance.
What: The Hotel Freigeist Göttingen
Where: Berliner Straße 30, Innenstadt, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
How much? Rooms start at approximately $156 per night
Highlights: The hotel has all the signifiers of a member of the Design Hotels portfolio: luxe interiors, gastronomic offerings, modern amenities, and more.
Design draw: The street style graffiti art adds a playful element to the sophisticated hotel.
Book it: Visit the Hotel Freigeist Göttingen
Photos by Sebastian Böttcher.
Steven Hu, our ace contributor/colleague, has come up with a fascinating story and we are including it here.......the mandarin version will be found under 'mandarin' from the MainPage.
From Shabby House to Gorgeous Inn
Nowadays in China, with the rapid promotion growth of urbanization, traditional dwellingsarebecomeingincreasingly decadentand declining. They are being destroyed. They are disappearing.
Langzhong is one of the four mostintact ancient cities in China. ComparedtowithPingyao in Shanxi, Lijiang in Yunnan and She county in Anhui province, traditional residential buildings in Langzhong have a very different uniquestyle. These dwellingsIthave a blendedstyle of iscompatible with the northernand style and the southerninChina, including the quadrangle courtyard in the north, the garden style in the south, and the peculiar hui style from Anhui.
To synthesize Based on the respect for the traditional historyand focus on the contemporary humanities, the renovation of Langzhong floralwerhall has retained the original folk dwellings in northern Sichuan, such as the mortise, tenon structure and the roof form of sSmall green tile double slope suspended mountain.
The complexity of de-constructing something ancient and preserving the integrity of its core, its soul, is a daunting, a challenging responsibility......following images show some of the careful dance that had to be done in order to gently move the old to the new - without losing, the old.....
The care and the caring, brought it to this point:
Thank you Steven.....This article was published by Taoyuanjun on www.zhihu.com.
Beyond ridiculous....you've all heard the expression, no? Like, it is SO dap......it's ridiculous and beyond....
such is the case in they spectacular residence, that cares not a whit about the conventional envelope - it surges, pushes - way beyond........its spirit challenges our conventional perceptions of scale, glory, passion - yes! All in this....see for yourselves: (published by archDaily - https://www.archdaily.com/902791/artery-residence-hufft-projects?ad_medium=gallery)
Text description provided by the architects. This home we named the Artery residence. The couple has been repeatedly named by ARTnews in the top 200 contemporary art collectors globally. The focus of this home is the art collection and how it flows and is pumped throughout the home, by way of a main ‘artery’.
Art is at the heart of this home. Hufft designed a custom residence for two prominent contemporary art collectors and philanthropists. The design of the home centered on a sub-grade gallery space that houses paintings, photography, and sculpture spanning 20 years of collecting with specific lighting and climate control for the preservation and display of such works.
Just look at that cantilever, that overhang.....shades of Frank Lloyd Wright!
I have little else to say - in regards to this e p i c example of one unique example of architecture....enjoy!
one last thing....(as Steve Jobs would say....) - and he, a lover of Porsches (come moi...) might just have one of these in his home office:
Quoi ça? What is it? It's a small home desk, called a Porsche Desk - it's the rear deck of a 911.....check it out:
Want/need one? You gotta write me and ask - real pretty now......
Okay - so THIS is c o o l . . . . . this system is outrageous......
Curious? Write me.....I'm here to help
Hey! Can you lend a hand here? These things are heavy - takes two of us to manhandle a sheet of drywall off the stack and over to the studs.....
Thanks Floyd.......wasn't sure I could handle it by myself.....can you sock that puppy into place or do you need me to help you......you can? Cool....I'll just be over here - give me a shout if you need me.....
Oh....you got that? You're good....'k....well, I'm gonna go grab a coffee......want anything?
Yeah - I know.....not today, maybe - but tomorrow? For sure.....these guys are gonna re-write the world of construction. Wonder if they have a union?
I'm thinking. . . . . I like this:
Okay - wrapTime. . . . . never fails. I have SO much stuff.....that I want to include. But there's a practical limit......IF, this were a paying proposition, I could easily be convinced to make it a twice a month publication...... but, not.
So - here's a preview of what we'll be showing next issue:
Thank you for your support - this month marks the second full year of DesignReview•International.
It is my sincere hope that we will be able to continue into the next few years, bringing you interesting, scintillating + challenging examples of what is, in our opinion, good, responsible, innovative design.
As a professional interior designer (45+ years) and as a Certified Graphic Designer (25 years) I have devoted my life to the pursuit of design excellence. Winner of numerous design awards I have also spent 25+ years teaching Interior Design.....the greatest quote regarding design is: the greatest faux pas in design is irrelevance