! d e s ! g n !
Hello to all • this is an open letter, not to our regular readers as it is assumed you all know these points, facts. It is in a way an introduction to the new crop of readers who are regularly signing up these days.
So, the following statement is not essential but rather probably much appreciated. MM
This is all about : : d e s ! g n >
And the fact that design, of all things, is a language that speaks to all of us, and that we all, on various levels, understand. One doesn't have to be trained in design to feel it, to appreciate it - to be moved by it. Design, good or bad, talks to us. We are moved by the dynamics of colour, of form - we become excited by the new and different lines of a Lexus or a Tesla - or a truck. Or, the beautiful mahogany desk shown in this issue. We respond to great graphics on workout hoodies - we are moved by striking photography whether it is capturing beauty or exposing pain.
The old hackneyed expression, 'whatever floats your boat' is appropriate.
DesignReview•International is a designBlog, now entering its 5th year of publication. Recently we moved from a monthly issuance to twice monthly. We seek out current, new and old, examples of design.
That may be a camping trailer, a hammock - a computer gizmo - whatever. The standards we use to evaluate elements of design are fixed in historical pathways of design development. We admire the works of le Corbusier, the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright - we love the playful forms and finishes of great lighting design - for example, in the this issue, the cool/clever fusion of old/new in the WickLamp.
Clever - we love clever. And we work very hard to seek it out.
An important point - we do not, nor have we ever, had advertising in our publications. It is our plan to continue that policy.
Moreover, if you look at our Board of Contributors you should know that each and every one is either a graduate designer or graduate architect. Take for example Leonardo Bechini, Milan. Leo has a Master's degree in Photography. His day job is as head of design for one of the most admired fashion design magazines in Europe. His photography is edgy, jaw-dropping - be it rooted in the world of fashion or from then streets he travels. (www.leomore.net)
Hana, in Amman Jordan, is a graduate architect with a Master's degree in Digital Architecture. Along with that she is also a graduate interior designer. Her architectural partnership is well established in the middle east. (www.dimension-7.com)
Steven Hu and Vanessa Bertran, as is the case with all of the Contributor Board members, have been my design students. They are equally passionate about design. Frequent contributions by both of them are provided for publication in either mandarin or spanish, as Steven, now a Toronto resident, was born and grew up in Guangzhou while Vanessa, originally from Venezuela is a resident Montréaler.
For myself, I have spent 50+ years in the role of interior designer having been employed by Marriott Hotels International, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, architectural firms such as Gresham, Smith Partners - and numerous other enterprises. As a multi award-winning designer my work has included airports design, corporate/commercial premises, retail design, residential projects (both modest and high end luxury homes). Moreover as a Certified Graphic Designer for 25+ years the kind of projects I worked on ranged from ID/logo design, print programmes, wayfinding and web-site design.
And so, we are introducing our selves to you here in the hopes that you will enjoy our offerings. We would particularly love it if you submit comments, questions, critiques. More importantly, everyone is, and can be a design ambassador - send us in photographs or product recommendations. If we find a place for it in an issue you will be given full credit - promise.
Thank you for spending some time with us to read/review this description of DR•I.
Michael Moore M.A., DGC,
(ret: : ASID, APDIQ, IDC) CGD
First one to correctly identify this wins $10.00 (CAD)
Answers must be sent to inbox@DesignReviewInternational.com
Subject : : Answer
Elegance • we're talking élegance here
In a way this beautiful design and craftsmanship subscribes to the old saw about editing:
'Good editing is know what to leave out rather than what to put in'
Resonates with me
Pierre Writing Desk
This elegant writing desk is shown in East Indian Rosewood with a black leather or granite top insert. It has one pencil drawer plus two file drawers. Black legs and edge detailing.
Dimensions: 30"h x 73-1/2" w x 36"d
Like all Weitzman Furniture pieces, it can be customized to customer needs.
A very classy piece of furniture • could you not see a series of these in a high-class executive workroom?
Brings back the comforting aura of a warm enveloping embrace - in days gone by this might be seen in law firms or bank headquarters.
However, it would be equally wonderful in your home office - one would need to select carefully all the accoutrements that would graciously complement it. Perhaps a table lamp off on a console, like the following piece?
A portable lamp inspired by traditional candle holders.
A portable lamp inspired by traditional candle holders.
Since the dawn of humanity, light has been the force that not only chases away the darkness but also brings people together. This concept, along with the belief that light is meant to be shared, provided the inspiration for Graypants’ latest lighting design. Named Wick, this portable lamp reinterprets a traditional candle holder in a creative design. The base has a rounded shape and features a minimalist take on the classic handle; here, a metal circle rests on the edge of the base and provides a perfect grip. Rising tall, the candle-like top ends with a circular “flame” that always stays still and bright. Wick represents the idea of community and togetherness. As a result, it has a completely portable design.
Apart from the convenient handle that makes carrying Wick around easy, the lamp also comes with a rechargeable lithium battery with an USB-C cord. The user can easily make sure that Wick has plenty of juice to stay lit for hours at the heart of a family gathering, get-together with friends, a solitary reading session on a terrace, or even on a busy restaurant patio. Plus, the 1W LED has a color temperature of 2600K. This means that Wick illuminates with a warm and cozy light.
The lamp has four modes: high, medium, low, and pulse. Depending on the mode, a fully charged battery lasts for 12.8 hours on high and 115 hours on pulse. Like other Graypants lighting, Wick is designed in Seattle, Washington. It features a plated aluminum build with a golden color and an acrylic diffuser. Made for use in dry locations and dry weather conditions, Wick suits both indoor and outdoor use. Available now for pre-order, the Graypants Wick lamp will ship from October 2020 in limited quantities. Photographs© Graypants.
This, is a concept. . . . . however there is one fact that might just propel it to reality.
The design development has been carried out by one of the world' sbest know auto stylists - KYOCERA.
Oh! You don't know them? Well, they actually are in the business of designing and manufacturing printers.
And that has exactly what relevance to a veryCool retro style automobile?
Some might yell, 'plagiarism!'- but IMHO, I don't agree. If there is nothing new in design (as one hears all too often) then where is the crime in extracting some of the essence of previously great cars like the Citroen, or the Jaguar 150K class. You do recognize those lines in this don't you?
The Kyoto-based technology company have shown off their vision of an autonomous vehicle. Features include making a part of the cockpit “transparent” using optical camouflage technology that transforms the entire 1.2-metre wide screen and the A-pillars into see-through objects by displaying footage captured by outside cameras. The car’s retro-style exterior is a complete contrast to its futuristic interior because the Moeye’s design theme is ‘time’, offering an experience that runs through the history of cars, from the past to the future of automobiles envisioned by Kyocera.
WOW! Now that is wayCool, no?
From the publication NASCAR COLLECTIONS comes this review:
Alex KiersteinAuthorOct 15, 2020
Today in sentences we thought we'd never type, this Kyocera concept car features both a see-through dashboard, vibration speakers embedded in the headrests, and a lab-grown opal embedded in the center console. That's the Moeye Concept in a nutshell: a deeply, delightfully weird conceptualization of futuristic personal transportation from a Japanese company associated with electronics, but not so much cars. But instead of adopting futuristic lines and sci-fi styling tropes, the Moeye's profile recalls postwar French cars like the Citroen DS and 2CV, with a hint of Jaguar XK around the front fenders and maybe even a little Bugatti Atlantic somewhere in there. There are even knock-off style hubs laid over some very intricate and interesting wire-spoke-esque wheels.
Kyocera's not trying to break into car design, but the move is savvy—this Moeye concept stands out much more than the phone-booth-like mobility pods that are by now a cliche in this space. The mashup of timeless—or at least not of our time—design and moonshot user interface tech seems like something out of a Studio Ghibli anime, but some of the less whimsical elements look useful.
The Moeye's virtually transparent dash—Kyocera calls it "optical camouflage"—is the sort of thing companies like Jaguar Land Rover have been playing around with for a while now, in which projected camera imagery enhances outward visibility by "eliminating" blind spots created by the car itself. And it's a good idea. Meanwhile, the lab-grown opal embedded in various places in the cabin is less likely to catch on, but endearing nonetheless.
How does it go? One if by land, two if by sea? So, it would three if by land and sea?
'Cause see - this is a houseboat!
In the living area, Sky-Frame window walls capture vistas of Copenhagen harbor. The sofas are by Kibisi, the Danish brand cofounded by Ingels; the suspended fireplace is by focus, the floors are lined in Marokk concrete tile, and the artwork (far right) is by Katja Schenker.
Bjarke Ingels, founder of international architecture firm BIG–Bjarke Ingels Group, smiles through a skylight on the houseboat that he shares with his young family, Spanish architect Rut Otero and their son, Darwin.
From a recent issue of Architectural Digest is this stunning transformation of a car ferry.
By Sam Cochran
Photography by Pernille Loof and Thomas Loof Styled by Julie Lysbo October 7, 2020
The converted Norwegian ferry ship, originally named Bukken-Bruse, or “billy goat gruff,” is docked in Copenhagen’s historic harbor; bench by Hay.
For the Danish starchitect, home is a radically transformed ferryboat in Copenhagen’s harbor
Below deck, new porthole windows capture slivers of sky. The patchwork beanbags and pillows are by Ashanti Design, the puzzle-piece carpeting is by MVRDV for CSrugs, the cone pendant lights are by Louis Poulsen, and the Artemide lamps are BIG's designs.
Ingels and Otero pose on the stairs, which were painted a traditional nautical orange; the calligraphic work is by Tomoko Kawao, and the Jamen Percy photograph shows The Orb, BIG’s 2018 installation at Burning Man.
In the living area, a suspended fireplace echoes the curves of a hanging rattan “egg” chair and the semicircular floor lamp, which is made up of a modular lighting system that BIG designed for Artemide.
Ingels and Darwin below deck, seated on a patchwork beanbag by Ashanti Design.
The only thing missing from the picture above is a few of these woolly critters.
B A A A A A A A A A A !
r e p e a t
P O P !
'SHIELDED' 36" x 36"
Just goes to show ya!
One can never know where they may be 10 - 15 years in the future.
This painting is by a friend, an old client of 30+ years, Del Foxton.
Del spent the bulk of her career with Sara Lee Corporation in their TANA shoe products division, the last number of years as Vice-President, Public Relations. Del was the public face of TANA - and she was great at it. Wasn't a week that passed when she wasn't a guest on one daytime talk she or another.
What is showcased here is a small part of her studio galleries - One in Orangeville, Ontario and the other on Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas.
Interestingly, Del, who started this second career being interested, being fascinated by the history of paper-making, has evolved - is evolving still - a whole new platform of the arts, that of a paper sculptor.
It is a term which is not yet so well known in north america....but watch for it - it is certain to become more prominent as a different media expression.
Understand that the sole content, material-wise, in these pieces is only paper.
So, in taking a second look at the piece shielded, one sees:
— the three dimensionality of the piece. So it is not solely a painting, per se - it is a wall sculpture.
As are the following:
Del is an effervescent, full-of-life, woman — one who has set and met her own challenges in the world of corporate competitiveness and in the world of artistic expression. Her work has won numerous wards.
Visit her site at www.DelFoxton.com
As is the case for most all of us, Del is extremely upset by this global pandemic. Her beachfront home some 30 miles outside of Freeport is in a tiny community which has suffered extreme hardships in the last year or so. The utter and complete devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian last fall, followed closely by the Coronavirus has destroyed a great swath of the Bahamas, including Grand Bahama Island.
It has been in her own families journey through this cataclysmic time and in her unflagging assistance and help to the community and neighbours that she was inspired to create a 'strength message'.
In the adoption and total need for all to wear protective face masks she was constantly moved by the strength of her community and one day simply felt able to see the indomitable smiles, telegraphed through their face masks. In a tribute to that unbending human spirit she found a way to get into a studio and create an artistic expression in support of such human spirit. It is called, 'Read My Lips - It's Cool to be Kind' and the following are two pieces from that series. It is her hope that the creation of these pieces, out of chaos, will help to contribute much needed financial support to friends, neighbours and community in general. Bravo Del.
Both pieces are app 18" x 24" and are done on the handmade paper she creates in her studio.
Lac Lugano . . . . .
P o u r q u o i ?
I like to awake to the crisp cool fall air, the sounds of waves
lapping gently outside my window —
an early morning on the deck with a fresh-brewed
french press espresso. . . .
Why do you ask?
My time here is longingly
I crave a continuity of continuation
of sensory massage and comforts
A certainty cements my soul
knowing that, when that day comes,
that I return thus
that I shall forever remain
comforted and comfortable
wrapped in white goose down covers,
bare feet, painted toes, flirting with the water's insolence
I am here
come find me
I await thee
We have together - ensemble, completed another journey. We will pause it here — time to absorb, digest — ready yourselves for the next chapter.
In the next issue • • • • •
Comments may be added at the beginning of the post,
looking and feeling, like fall.
That's okay - it's my favourite season of the year. I actually don't mind the cooler weather - find it invigorating, stimulating - kinda like an effervescence for the soul. And I don't mind at all the shorter sunshine hours - dusk, 6:30-ish — gentle jazz whispering in the background • the smell of chicken soup on the stovetop || all good, no?
Fall! Sortof like this but with the flicker of a fireplace seen through the mist covered windows.....
Do you not simply LOVE this?
This is the future drawn from the past. Lines of the iconic Jaguar XKE • the spirit of racing wind, of heart-pounding raw power!
This is JAGUAR • and nothing less than this should we expect from Jaguar.
Jaguar is a brand synonym with style, masculinity and class that is definitive in the automotive realms. The luxury and performance combo of the Jaguar sports cars, the new F-Type in particular is exemplary. Taking design cues from 2020 F-Type, to shape the future of Jaguar sports cars that’ll be eco-conscious, the Jaguar Consul is a glimpse of things to come. Seasoned automotive designers Gregoire Mory and Hanchang Liu have pondered over the design of a Jaguar coupe thirty years down the line, and this is what it looks like.
Consul has the aerodynamic flowing lines, ever sharper than the current generation of Jaguar cars. In particular, the rear which flows from the front and seems to be stretched right up to the taillights. The rear end is so sharp you can virtually cut a slice with it! There is some semblance of the E-Type in the exterior design as well, and why not, it is one of the most iconic sets of wheels that Jaguar has envisioned. The autonomous coupe looks bold and intimidating up-front with sharply designed squinting LED headlights. From the sides, the car bears a very toned character with the wheel arches giving it a definitive road presence. Consul is made to go at high speeds with the encapsulated windshield design that gives the riders the sensation of whizzing through on the highway. To match the sporty look overall, there are gull-winged doors that open up to the back.
The interior of the Consul has an equally distinct setup with a four-person sitting configuration. Two at either side of one seating position which extends further back. The extreme left position is equipped with a steering wheel, just in case you feel the urge to drive the car. The fourth position is right where the dashboard would be, facing the other three passengers. All the sitting configurations have a laid-back setup for the ultimate comfort. The car design is quite practical and with a bit of more inputs could see daylight in the coming years.
Designers: Gregoire Mory and Hanchang Liu
The future • it's coming
I dunno! Just had to include these. . . . . I mean, have you ever seen a manufactured product that so effectively shouts out its brand? Even without seeing the name LEGO, discreetly at the top of the tongue, you just know - THIS, is LEGO! CrazyKool for sure......heck, I'd wear a pair!
Adidas teams up with Lego to release new colourful trainers
Comment Laura AbernethyThursday 24 Sep 2020 7:43 am
Adidas and Lego have come together to create amazing colourful trainers. The sportswear experts and toy brand revealed the new design for the classic ZX 8000 sneaker, which features sections to look like the classic bricks and interchangeable pieces around the shoelaces. The tongues also feature the classic Lego red logo and you can choose from different coloured laces. The shoes will go on sale through a worldwide lottery, which is open until this Friday at 8.30am, and will cost £99.95.
They’ll launch exclusively through the Adidas app, so you’ll need to download that if you want to get your hands on a pair.
The Adidas website says: ‘It’s up to us to build the world we envision. A collaborative effort between adidas and Denmark’s iconic toy brand LEGO®, these ZX 8000 Lego Shoes are part of the A-ZX series, a global platform spanning a multitude of cultural touch points to showcase the diverse world of sneakers.
‘Bold colours and brick details reminiscent of classic LEGO® building blocks lend playful style to the throwback silhouette. Because you’re never too old to get building.’ Although the news of the collaboration was released earlier this month, fans were excited when the design was finally revealed. One person joked: ‘Now you can safely step on LEGO. While stepping IN LEGO.’ Someone else said: ‘Ok but these are actually sick.’
Play Music & Make Hands-Free Calls Safely With This Wireless Smart Mask
We’ve seen our fair share of interesting masks since the onset of COVID-19, but as the days turn into weeks, and the weeks turn into months, it’s become more difficult to find an offering that’s worth our adulation. Well, the drought has officially ended with the MASKFONE — an affordable, “hands-free” smart mask that allows wearers to take calls, listen to music, and access their virtual assistant without removing their protective barrier.
The MASKFONE is an innovative evolution of the traditional masks that we’ve seen thus far, pairing multi-layered protection and three included PM2.5 filters with a unique, built-in smart suite. An internal microphone provides access to clearer voice calls thanks to background noise isolation, while a wireless Bluetooth headset offers from eight to 12 hours of playtime/listening, whether it be to music, podcasts, audiobooks, or colleagues who need a quick opinion on an upcoming project. The mask’s sleek design is amplified by a durable, IPX5-rated twill fabric design, adjustable neoprene ear hooks, and a cable clip that can be utilized whenever you’re not interested in listening to audio. Head to MASKFONE’s website to pick up one of your own for $50, but be wary — at that price point, you shouldn’t expect genre-leading quality.
ARCHITECTURE : : By Ellie Strathaki
MVRDV’s new glass building in Detroit’s Eastern Market is a love letter to the city
MVRDV’s new glass building in Detroit’s Eastern Market is a love letter to the city
Dutch architecture studio MVRDV has been commissioned to design new office and retail building Glass Mural, which will incorporate work by artists DENIAL and Sheefy McFly
MVRDV has been commissioned to create a new office and retail building in Detroit’s Eastern Market. Titled Glass Mural, the structure is conceived as a celebration of its historic area – the largest public farmers market in the United States. The colourful scheme will also incorporate murals by artists DENIAL and Sheefy McFly.
‘Over the last 20 years The Eastern Market has become the epicenter of the creative community in Detroit,’ says MVRVD’s Winy Maas. ‘The gritty "industrial" neighbourhood has become filled with public murals, thanks to the annual Murals in the Market festival, which was recently named by the Smithsonian as one of the five most important public art festivals in the world.’
Responding to this, the building’s printed glass facade skin embraces the area’s vibrancy and art by taking the existing mural by DENIAL, found on the old brick building on site, and visually preserving it on this new ‘canvas’ made of glass, stretched around all four sides of the building. This has been welcomed by the artist.
‘I feel that the physical integration of the original public artwork into the glass architecture of the building is about the permanent preservation of an idea for the future to experience, as public art is more often than not, an ephemeral form of art,’ says DENIAL. ‘To incorporate the artwork and history of the building into the new imagination of the structure is a beautiful homage to a true epoch of change in the Eastern Market district and for Detroit. I really think it will serve as an inspiration to people and it really mirrors the unique characteristics of the market, which is exactly why I fell in love with that area of Detroit. I am extremely fortunate to have champions behind me who believe in the ideas my work speaks to.’
Glass Mural, sat at the intersection of Russell and Division Street, will span 3716 sq m and three floors, as a stack of three translucent glass boxes; one will showcase DENIAL’s piece, the other will feature a ‘flat façade finish’ to provide an opportunity for different artists to use it over time, and the third one will depict a newly commissioned mural by Sheefy McFly, one of the city’s emerging artists. Balancing coloured areas with clear ones will ensure the businesses inside get openings and plenty of natural light.
Ed note: : Personally and professionally I applaud this initiative. This is a fantastic example of harnessing the imagination of a cityscape, of a neighbourhood. MVRDV has seized the fingerprints of the area and translated them into a clever, colourful and hugely celebratory statement - one that does reflect its residents, occupants.
Toronto, in an effort to combat and control runaway graffiti (something that Montréal just can't seem to come to grips with) established an area in the core of downtown, Queen/Spadina - and turned a whole alleyway over to the cities graffiti artists. In fact it even has a street sign - Graffiti Alley.
And this is, perhaps, graffiti of a different ilk - controlled graffiti.
The French Museum of Fashion and Lace, Cité de la Dentelle et de la Mode, was opened in a restored 19th-century factory building to honor the lace-making tradition in the city of Calais. Recently, one of the walls of the museum was graced by the hands of the Warsaw-based artist NeSpoon, who spray-painted it with an intricate lace design.
The museum is located in the city of Calais, which is well known for its lace-making tradition
For this project, the artist chose a machine lace pattern designed in 1894 that she found in the museum archive
The artist describes all her works as being “somewhere in between street art, pottery, painting, sculpture, and jewellery.” Most of NeSpoon’s works consist of prints of traditional laces made in clay or painted on walls.
“Why laces? Because in laces there is an aesthetic code, which is deeply embedded in every culture. In every lace we find symmetry, some kind of order and harmony, isn’t that what we all seek for instinctively?” reads the artist’s Behance profile
“Calais in northern France is famous for its lace-making tradition. In the past, local factories employed 40,000 people in the lace-making industry,” reads the description of the project. “Today in the city exists a unique lace museum. It is housed in a recently restored 19th-century factory building. In addition to the great collection of lace, it holds 200-year-old, still working lace-making machines. Learning how to control this machine at the master level took up to 12 years. The weaving master controlled 11,000 threads at the same time.”
This article was researched and written by: Julija Svidraitė
She is a Bored Panda writer and photo editor who recently got her bachelor's degree in Psychology. Before Bored Panda, Julija worked as a social media specialist and content creator at a marketing agency. She also tried herself in many different fields working as an intern: from practising graphic design at a social media marketing agency to being an assistant at a psychiatric hospital.Her favorite articles to write are the ones about extraordinary everyday people. She wholeheartedly believes that each and every one of us sees life in their own unique way and it's always a pleasure to help people share their unique experiences with this beautiful community Bored Panda has managed to grow.
Julija is also a former fashion blogger and one of her biggest passions in the whole world is illustrating!
You can find her in Bored Panda Office or reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So you're thinking, probably, that this is a weird homemade attempt at a space capsule.
You can now rent this sustainable Airship in the Scottish Highlands via Airbnb
Who said staycations had to be boring?
I'm thinking, 'I could handle this for a week - or six. . . . . '
Anyone in search of a unique staycation need look no further, as this secluded Airship in Drimnin, Scotland, ticks all the right boxes — and it's available to rent via Airbnb.
With more of us opting for holidays closer to home, there's no greater time to find an off-the-beaten-track location away from the crowds.
This interesting property — known as Airship 002 — is a sustainable and insulated aluminum pod designed by architect firm, Roderick James. With wrap-around views of the Sound of Mull and unique interiors, it's quirky, comfortable and as cool as can be.
Step inside and you'll discover one bedroom with plenty of amenities to ensure you have a relaxing stay, plus a coffee maker, quaint kitchen, Wi-Fi, bathroom, small seating area and a lovely patio, too. Sitting on four acres of land, it's the ideal place for adventure seekers in need of something special.
The main pull here, however, has to be the stellar views: right in the heart of the Sound of Mull, guests will be surrounded by still waters, grazing sheep, soaring eagles and inquisitive deer popping their heads round to say hello. It's a place popular with ramblers, so don't forget your walking boots if you do book in.
One recent guest said: 'This has to be the most amazing place we've ever had the pleasure of staying. Airship 002 is quirky, unique, extremely comfortable and beautifully designed.' While another added: 'Totally magic. All the other reviews are right. Really unique and special place. Insane views. Bigger and more comfortable than expected too. If you can go, just go!'
The unique Airship has risen in popularity in recent months, with Airbnb naming it as one of UK's most wish-listed unique stays.
Original post written by: Lisa Walden
So we'll begin, and end, with superb examples of form/function/fantasy. . . . . 60 years ago this was the epitome of automotive design elegance for the regular folk. MG was an amazing innovator of style and design - when they moved from this model, the MGA - to the MGB, they lost that connection. And although the MGB was a great success in the north american market it's lines never came close to the elegant statement evident here. Pity that.
Mention an outlaw build and the first thing that comes to mind are Porsche 911s and 356s. That doesn't mean Stuttgart has a monopoly on what an outlaw is — and this MGA outlaw by the Petersen Automotive Museum proves the point. The first frame-off restoration done completely in-house by the Museum, this MGA has been totally disassembled down the last nut and bolt. The 1.6-liter dual overhead cam four has a hotter camshaft profile and larger twin carbs for better breathing. Disc brakes replace the original hydraulic drums, and all-new modern suspension components bring out the best in one of history's all-time great roadsters. A black exterior is set off by wire wheels and a stunning Oxblood leather interior add a touch of classic British class. The car is set to be auctioned off by the Petersen Automotive Museum on September 26, 2020.
The end of yet another issue. Little in the way of architecture in this post - except perhaps the architecture of thought • an exploration of design thinking, of design relevance. And of the comforts, of design.
Hopefully you've found it enjoyable.
: : NEXT ISSUE : :
• the story and work of master papermaker Del Foxton
• a mostCool portable hammock
• yet another neat small mobile camper
• a novel modular housing concept
Remember - comments and questions are always welcomed -
To enter a comment please do so at the beginning of the post
Cleaner / leaner / less stuff •
Those are the new bywords for DR•I from here on.
In that we are now publishing 2X monthly the volume in each issue will be reduced.
Thus less stories, less features. And one of the new directions will be an attempt to
profile professionals and firms that are actively engaged in the world of design.
The initial focus will be on more visuals, less descriptions - as we progress we will be looking to use QR codes more and more so that the reader can easily connect, at their option, to original sources.
THIS FOLDABLE LAPTOP CAN BE CARRIED AROUND LIKE A CLUTCH FOR THE
ULTIMATE TECH-FASHION STATEMENT
By Gaurav Sood 09/14/2020
Designer: Heesung Choi
Gadgets these days are shrinking in size owing to the technological innovations and design implementations that compliment them. There are foldable phones like Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Surface Duo that are radically changing how we perceive our mobile devices to be like. Laptops have also seen this paradigm shift – with young buyers preferring lightweight folding screen products that promise ultra-productivity on the go.
As a refreshing approach to what a laptop could be – designer Heesung Choi from Seoul has come up with the concept idea he calls “Clutop”. A laptop that has a swanky design, since it folds into itself to become a clutch bag for stylish portability. The “normcore” design adaptation means you’ll have a lightweight laptop that matches your fashion quotient. Heesung claims it to be the world’s smallest laptop which is eye-popping in its own rights. Clutop has a screen aspect ratio of 16:9, and when closed, the 1:2 body ratio makes it fairly easy to carry along. Open it up for your tasks and you get a widescreen display that looks beautiful. Then you have the keyboard with a trackpad on one side, and a secondary UI for multitasking, running on top. This UI comes handy for keeping all the widgets and controls for easy access.
The unibody lip that folds up to secure the laptop in closed configuration acts as a smooth palm rest, but it can very well be a monochrome screen to extend the multitasking aspect further. It could even house a slim battery pack to give Clutop some extra juice when the main battery runs out.
The colors proposed for Clutop by the designer are equally upbeat. Urban dwellers will fancy the bold carbon, baby lavender, subtle light grey, and cool green options. The flap can be had in leather or fabric texture depending on the user’s preferences. So, do you think this fashion-forward laptop design should make its way beyond the blueprint stage?
And so the obvious question is, when will there be a version for men?
Dutch architecture studio Waterstudio.NL has created a solar-powered electric yacht-cum-villa with retractable stilts that allow it to be raised fully out of the water to become an off-grid home.
Named Arkup 75, the craft was designed for yacht company Arkup with a hybrid foundation that allows it to float when moving, be semi-supported when alongside a dock or fully raised up from the water.
"The design was inspired by the way flamingos stand in the water," Waterstudio.NL founder Koen Olthuis told Dezeen. "Only a leg in the water and the body untouchable above the surface."
The yacht villa can be raised entirely out of the water on stilts
When it's not travelling, the 22-metre long vessel can be anchored by four 12-metre steel spuds, which lower to the bottom at depths of up to 7.6 metres to keep it stable.
"As the Arkup is floating it can handle normal waves, but when the stilts are activated the house pushes itself out of the water," Olthuis added.
Bonus! A pretty cool roof deck!
"Now the waves can only hit the stilts, which makes it a hurricane-proof building."
The villa can also sail like a regular yacht Along with the hybrid foundation, a solar-powered electric system, and a rain-harvesting and purification system make it capable of operating off-grid.
A solar array covers the entire roof to provide electricity for air conditioning, appliances, lighting, propulsion and all other operating systems on board.
When raised on stilts it is described as a "hurricane-proof building"
Arkup 75, was designed to resemble a smooth, white frame that presents the ocean view as a picture, with glass-fibre walls, a retractable terrace and large sliding-glass windows.
It has a total living space of 404 square metres, is self-propelled and can, in theory, stay in open water indefinitely as long as there is enough solar power to provide energy.
Olthuis believe the yacht's off-grid system will come in useful in the future, as he thinks sea-level rise and urban growth will lead coastal cities to develop on the water.
"Not just yachts but especially floating structures will take advantage of the space on water around our cities. These buildings are portable and can react to known and unknown changes in the demands of near future society," he said.
"Covid is such an unknown change that has suddenly raised the popularity of off-grid, off-shore independent living."
The architect added that Arkup is aiming to use the craft to demonstrate features that can also be applied to larger, high-density floating housing that could be built in the future.
According to Olthuis this is something that Waterstudio.NL has been advocating for almost two decades.
"The water is being paved for water-based, high-density developments in cities threatened by sea-level rise and urbanisation," he said.
Ed Comment: Numerous drastic and unanticipated changes are occurring in our world.
The pandemic has affected us, and will continue to affect us, in the most unexpected ways. Education, work environments, mass movement (by car, train, airplane) have all undergone revolutionary change.
The hardest part in most of this is that we, as a society — regardless of where you live on this planet —
were totally unprepared. There was no canary in the coal mine. There was no DEW (Distant Early Warning) system in place. Some countries reacted better, faster and more responsibly than others.
Certainly there is a high degree of irresponsible criminality that will need to be addressed in the aftermath of these events. Nonetheless, the elders and the little children - and all in between - need to find a way to harmonize as we have never done before. Teamwork, collaboration — mutual care, kindness and concern must be the headlights and the searchlights as we seek to find new levels, new ways of doing things - new ways to cope. It is partly for this reason that this particular article is much more meaningful to me -
of course, most all of us cannot run out and make the kind of investment this vessel would require.
That's not the point - it's greatest feature is its ability to 'take root', in a bay, a river bed, and self-elevate itself above the water level thereby taking possession of a much more self-reliant ecosystem.
And such locales are generally free to 'squatters'. More research, more funding - more Elon Musk type of innovative thinking is necessary to equip our society for the forthcoming sea changes -
both figuratively and literally.
Unashamedly I am an Apple booster. There are many, many Apple haters - yes......there are. And many who sneer at the unique position they hold in the world of technology and consumer confidence. Are they perfect? Of course not. But, have they ever claimed to be? No.
Apple is beyond being an incubator — of its own design and making — it is a leader. Why? Because it's simply in their DNA. Perhaps going back to Steve Jobs - maybe further. Matters not. They do, really, put their money where their mouth is. Is that so wrong?
I watched the Apple event yesterday - on Apple TV it was a slick 60 minute presentation of numerous technological change, improvement, advancement. So tell me - when was the last time anyone watched Microsoft produce a similar event? Or Google? Or any of the other tech leaders. Short answer is, you haven't. But, is that why Apple feels compelled to sponsor these events? Think about something - not all that long ago — less than 5 years I think — Apple made the corporate decision to provide free upgrades, always, to their OS. At the time Microsft was still charging for upgrades - and they were never cheap - never. Hundreds of dollars to move from one OS version to the newest one. And, Apple also initiated free tech support — again, if you needed to contact Microsoft tech support it was a painful journey to finally reach someone and you had to have your credit card handy. I haven't kept a record (I should have) of all the times I've availed myself of Apple Tech Support. Each and every time I simply access the system, indicate I'd like to speak to a techie, I provide my serial number (from any Apple product I own) and indicate l'd like a phone call - and provide the specific time/day window. The call comes in like clockwork. These guys are good! No, they're beyond good - there has not been one time when my problem has not been solved. Remarkable.
So, I'm nattering on here — but if you examine the mind-boggling healthcare advances they have incorporated into the latest Apple Watch, well that alone makes one sit up and take notice.
So it is with respect and reverence — and a huge 'BRAVO!' that I include their latest architectural achievement - the stunning new Apple store in Singapore. Take a look, enjoy what you see. Have an apple.
Apple's new retail store in Singapore is very different from every other Apple store in the world. It's an orb that floats on water in front of the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel, adding flavor to Singapore's impressive skyline (well, waterline).
Apple has a webpage devoted to the new store, where it's described as "a space for you to explore, connect and create something new." On the same page, Apple has a short teaser video for the store, as well as a couple of wallpapers.
9to5Mac has a few other visuals and some copy related to the store. Among other details, it says that "an elevated boardwalk and underwater passage connect the pavilion to the shore and The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands," which sounds very cool.
The Apple Marina Bay Sands store will be Apple's third store in Singapore, the other two are located at Orchard Road and Jewel Changi Airport. Apple says the new floating store will be opening "soon."
Design of a different nature - still design
To my way of thinking, the design of thinking is relevant and important.
One must never stop searching for better ways of doing things. Many, if not most, of the really successful corporations subscribe to one ever-present mantra or philosophy — continuous improvement.
So, Whole Foods has developed an interesting and potentially extremely helpful technology - would that it appears in the future as a standard for all shopping carts. Of course it's costly - of course such carts would be more prone to being cart-napped. But as is the case with all innovations - they are initially expensive but over time and with additional innovations, those costs come down. Remember the GPS? We all needed one - all of us had to have one. There it sat, proudly on our dashboards - and every street thief that came along couldn't resist the temptation to bust into your car — not to steal the car but to rip off the GPS. Until — until they became redundant. Mine has lived in my centre console for years now.
Amazon Opens Grocery Store With Smart Carts That Keep Track Of Your Purchases
By Thanussha Priyah, 28 Aug 2020
Amazon has opened its first-ever Fresh grocery store in Los Angeles for in-person shopping.
The store, which opened this week, is currently starting off on an invite-only basis, but it will soon be ready for the public in the following weeks.
The Fresh store is stocked with groceries from national and local brands, as well as ready-made food like pizza.
The location is decked with Amazon’s Dash Carts which come with cameras and sensors. The smart shopping carts can instantly identify items and bill shoppers when they log in through the Amazon app.
This means that customers will not need to line up to make payments as they can automatically do so via the app. As an additional checkout option, though, there are cash counters available for customers who wish to pay the traditional way.
NO WORDS NECESSARY : : isn't that the point?
Some of the astonishing architecture by Fran Silvestre
The first thing one might notice about the houses and other projects of Fran Silvestre and his studio of architects in Spain is their particular atmosphere of extravagantly understated elegance and luxury, which is as recognizable in its own right as the work of, say, John Lautner or John Pawson. While this first impression may seem rather superficial, it points us towards a difficult-to-define quality in the works, what we might call an overall “geist” or “gestalt”, that runs very deep, and that is far more complex and interesting than a mere question of “style” or “branding”.
One approach to this depth and complexity begins with the evident tension in these works between formal and practical questions. Silvestre’s designs are not simply solutions to given design problems, though he tends to present them as such. They absorb and distill the myriad issues of program, site and context, structure, building technologies and so on, subsuming them into the play of space and form that could be understood as the true subject of his architecture.
The designs transform the particulars of each building into simple schemes of expansive spatial relations, using a formal vocabulary of abstract lines, planes and, in certain cases, simple curves, in a rather Miesian idealization of Modernism. Silvestre’s works comprise a series of repetitions and variations on these spatial themes, which in their chronological development trace his growth as an architect, the expanding reach of his formal investigations, and the impact of adapting this formal repertoire to new problems and larger programs.
Inspired by Andreu Alfaro’s “The door of the Universe” from 1983 as well as “In Praise of the Horizon” by Eduardo Chillida made in 1989, the team of Fran Silvestre Arquitectos designed a circular house on a plot of great slope in the city of Marbella, Spain. With its fantastic views, the architectural concept is open to the sky and the horizon while simultaneously protected from the gaze of others and the strong winds of this region. Below you can see a few images of this outstanding architecture project. For more, please visit the website of Fran Silvestre Arquitectos.
All images © by Fran Silvestre Arquitectos.
Mayhaps. . . . . . perhaps.
Why? Readers of the recent posts, both here and through other media, have been hearing about changes — an evolution. A progressive, positive development in the ongoing growth of DR•I.
First however, let's review the word, 'moment'. The most familiar definition is such as:
'I'll be with you in a moment'— an indefinitely short period of time. Along with other related usages of the word.
However, 'moment' also means, importance or consequence — as in, 'a decision of great moment.'
So, in the case today, perhaps the word 'great' may be left out - but, a decision of moment in our case carries the meaning, or suggestion, that something fundamental is changing - or is about to change.
Yes. . . . . .it's been in the works for a time, and now that time is nigh. And in keeping with the change,
our issues numbering will also change. This is Issue #5.0. It defines this fundamental shift in the way DR•I will flow from now on.
In the last issue we featured a product called CUBE — a digital colour scanner. Sortof magical 'tis.If you need to replicate, exactly, a colour one simply holds the CUBE up to the surface of the object, does a scan, and the device, along with the attendant software, produces the code for the colour. Output is available for most paint companies, or for Pantone. It's a real efficiency tool.
Three years ago, a Canadian company —NixSensors — brought to market this same product. Called the NIX Sensor it does exactly that (update: current version will also allow one to capture colour of a liquid).
Ar about the same time I was in the midst of the design of a really high-end kitchen in Montreal. The client had a very discerning taste — and many elements involved in the design were non-negotiable.
One such was the cabinetry colour. Client had a vision as to what they wanted it to be — he could explain it to me — he couldn't show it to me. Kinda leaves one 'dancing in the dark' in that situation. In any event,
design development was proceeding well — we all figured we'd pin down the colour 'one of these days.'
And one of those days occurred on a Sunday afternoon when the client called and announced, 'We found it! The exact colour we want!' When I queried 'where, what', he said, 'We found this antique salad bowl in a shop - of course we bought it. . . . .and that's the exact colour we want. So, what next?', he asked.
I said, 'Sit tight - I'm on my way — bringing my trusty scanner and we'll nail it down.'
Well, I did, and we did. As per the following.
The next steps involved sourcing the pigment to a paint producer who could provide that colour in the type of paint necessary for use in cabinetry applications. But, I was also able to do that. From the millwork manufacturer (Ebenisterie Nostra, Montréal) we obtained a finish sample — which we reviewed and approved.
The nature and style of this kitchen design was simplicity personified - very z e n , if I may be so presumptuous. But the following photographs certainly emphasize that point. For example - there is no visible hardware, no knobs, no pulls, no handles. The base cabinets, of a beautiful walnut, have continuous finger grooves from one end of the kitchen to the other. All upper cabinets are touch-latch doors. Also, there are no appliances, save for a small scale espresso machine, on the counter. Even the microwave is hidden away behind one of the upper cabinet doors.
The overall effect is utter simplicity — the blue colour is unique in a kitchen, but more importantly, it is exactly 'what the doctor ordered.'
So — I strongly suggest that all of you - architects, interior designers, graphic designers - invest in this amazing tool. You will not regret it. Following are some photographs of the kitchen.
Yeah It's c o l d ! Brrrr! But, also, it's cool - no?
There are SO many things I want to do when I win the SUPER lottery......this is but one of them.
I've written of this before - the fantasy is to buy (not rent) a super class expedition craft like this and set sail - 'round the world. Yes? Anybody wanna sign up for crew?
It would be kinda like having your very own, veddy b r i t i s h private club. No — there's nothing wrong with that — if'n you can afford it.
RAGNAR is not just a charter yacht. RAGNAR is a powerful portal into a world of adventure and excitement, an ice breaking vortex that transports the brave and the bold into a world of bears and orca, of midnight fire in the sky and glistening, untouched pistes of snow and ice. RAGNAR grants the willing the ability to fly with eagles, to dive with whales, to carve through the waves with the power of 800 horses and to race across snowy valleys at the twist of a wrist.
At the end of another day of living as few will ever live and seeing what few will ever see, RAGNAR's 12 guests will retire to two elevated B deck master suites, four main deck double suites, a twin suite for staff and an office that converts into another twin suite.
RAGNAR has Arctic explorer capability, the power to handle all weathers with full ice breaking functionality, 6,000nm range and zero speed stabilisers for peaceful nights. Guests will need at least a week to experience all of her toys, including an Airbus EC145 helicopter for heliskiing and a three-passenger submarine to explore the depths, both available by request.
Add to that the 8.9m Marell ice condition tender with 800hp engines and power
heating and two 7.5m Castoldi jet tenders, four jetskis,four snowmobiles,
four quadbikes and you understandthe unbreakable
spirit of adventure that flows through
RAGNAR and her guests.
So - here we have yet — just another house — in the hills — in the woods • • •
not too shabby.
But, as I have been doing more lately, I examine, closely, the design, the content — the design intent, in fact. . . . . .always asking myself, 'Was this successful? As a design — as a place to be - is it successful?'
And, 'Do I like it? What might be, should be, improved?'
Yes, I know - it's presumptuous to even suggest that I - or someone else - knows better. But — knowing better is not really the point. Knowing ALL the options - all the choices that make sense — THAT, is the point. As a design professional I have never been shy to tell a Client exactly what my thoughts, opinions are.
I did that one day, many years ago, with a high-powered President of an international oil/gas company . . .
He has asked me, 'So son - what would you do to make this place better maybe?' And I told him - lucidly, intelligently. He looked at me, kinda pissed off and then said, in a very peremptory, challenging tone,
'Oh! So THAT'S what you would do huh?'and he waited my response. I calmly looked at him, took a deep breath and replied, 'Well, Sir - that IS what you asked me.' He looked hard at me, slapped his thigh and said, 'You're damned right I did - and thank you for not chickening out on me!" We enjoyed a long-running professional and personal relationship from then on.
So - here goes - this, the Ledge House - is kinda cool. Perhaps to my mind a little overly brittle but it could be warmed up. But I have one objection. . . . . the black and the white, in general, albeit a very slick rhythm for a city dwelling, is somewhat misplaced in the beautiful woods. But, it CAN be made to be workable - except - except the damn chimney-pipe throws everything out of balance, IMHO.
So - read on - at the very end you will see one photograph taken as it was built. It is followed by the same photograph but wherein I 'removed' the chimney-pipe, via Photoshop. Who amongst you thinks it's an improvement or should it have been left well enough alone? And, oh - BTW - don't attempt to use the rationale that the chimney-pipe had to be there, in only that location......I'm not convinced of that. But even if 'there so, could it not be white?
Desai Chia Architecture : Ledge House
Text description provided by the architects. The Ledge House clients asked us to design a new home that would resonate with the history of the Connecticut Valley, include a material palette that is environmentally friendly, and works with the challenging site on a large rock ledge. We removed an existing cabin that had been expanded in unsuccessful ways over time by a previous owner; we were able to reuse the cabin’s foundation (which saved money and reduced construction waste) & add to it to simplify the footprint of the building while amplifying the program. The new footprint moved the house closer to an existing boulder- a prehistoric “glacial erratic” that was deposited along with the ledge hundreds of thousands of years ago when the glaciers formed the Appalachian Mountains.
The boulder is a rugged companion to the house and acts as a muse for the uphill forest views. The form of the house was inspired by indigenous barns of the area as well as the nearby, historic West Cornwall Covered Bridge. A clever structural system utilized balloon framing techniques— the beams, walls, sheathing, and a carefully calibrated nailing pattern allows the structure to perform as a unified diaphragm, eliminating the need for exposed cross bracing. The interior vaulted ceilings are open volumes of space accentuated by clean planar surfaces.
The living room, dining room, and kitchen form the nucleus of a large breezeway through the house; the breezeway was strategically positioned to take advantage of the views to the valley, the uphill cross-ventilating breezes, and an existing boulder that becomes a rugged companion to the house and the views of the landscape. The exterior of the house is clad in Shou Sugi Ban siding which offers a rot-resistant and bug-resistant finish that also articulates the iconic form of the building. The interior finishes are light and airy.
Et finalement : : les deux versions : :
So here's an odd looking house.
Wait a minute - do you think it's house? Kinda weird - the façade backed up against the cliff face like that
If it's a house it sure doesn't have much room in it - you think?
. . . and who are all those strange looking guys out front? They look like - firefighters. . . . . maybe there's
Ahhhh! Making a little more sense now - the façade is exactly just that - a façade — it backs up to the cliff face and tunnels like this lead off the front. But - why?
Margreid Fire Department
A cliff face is the setting for the new Magreid Fire Department station: three caves digged in the mountain are connected by a horizontal gallery. The first two caves are reserved for vehicles and machinery, whereas administration areas are located in the third one. a black concrete wall is placed with a one meter offset from the slanted mountain wall, replicating its geometry. the wall becomes a defining element of the project and works also as a shield against falling rocks. concrete was selected as the main material because of its durability, resistance and strength. The dark color recalls that of burnt wood and it was obtained with beech coal dust.
Client: Margreid an der Weinstraße Municipality
Location: Margreid an der Weinstraße,Italy
Time of completion : : 2010
Photography : : Günter Richard Wett, Jürgen Eheim, Ulrich Egger, Gustav Willeit
EulJiDaRag / Limtaehee Interior Design Studio
Text description provided by the architects.
EulJiDaRag is located in the middle of Seoul, which is famous for the Korean Industrial zone for several decades. Now many of the industries including industries of apparel, fabric, dyeing and finishing, machinery, parts, and accessories, have moved to a suburb area or far away from Seoul. However, we still can see many small factories remained in Seoul.
The meaning of time in these locations is one of the most important considerations in terms of design. The industrial area is shrinking in size, but it still is a historic place that has supported Seoul's industry. To reflect the history of these areas, we sought to minimize the possible deformations of existing buildings and preserve their historic imprints even from the old signs and graffiti. Another important concept was the meaning of the process.
Each step has its design and aesthetics. As a result of the completion, we hoped that the previous steps would blend in the space so visitors can see them in slow motion. To implement the above concepts concretely, we decided to create a space only with the materials including metals, acrylics, glass, mirrors, and profiles processed in the area where most factories were located. We created the details using fabrics, threads, and sewing machines that historically empowered the fashion industry. Especially the fabric, which is the raw material of fashion, was the most important source of inspiration because it was a space run by the fashion company, KOLON.
So - some of you may be wondering why I included this design example. For a couple of reasons -
one, I love the carefully calculated contrast, the contrast in mood and tactility that is found in this space.
Seems that is something that is not easily taught. Why not? Because it's impossible to quantify, right?
One can't simply say, 'Okay - take 8 yards of funkyWall/old plaster and combine it with 125 sq ft of aniline dyed leather - and then add a dozen really sharp LED lights.' It's not a recipe - or it's simply not
'recipe-able'. And yes - I know that's not really a word. But perhaps you understand what I'm saying.
Instinct, intuitiveness - a 'feel' for textures and tone - these are some of the 'invisibles' that form the chemistry in mood spaces. So - there's that.
Plus, we seem to see so very little in the way of design coming out of South Korea. What I have seen is usually innovative, unique and has its own kind of edge to it. Maybe being in such intense proximity to its neighbour promotes a different sense of what's important - even in things design.
And finally - and I've never done this before - but a few years ago I had a South Korean student - Minjee.
In her former life in Korea she had been a high school algebra teacher. In settling in Canada she turned to Interior Design as a new place to start a new life. And she is, and was, extremely talented - and one of the hardest working students I've ever encountered. So - I know not where she is now, except last I heard she had found a position with a design firm in Toronto. I wish her well - the very best — and in a way this inclusion is a little bit of an acknowledgement of her special attributes as a student of interior design.
Bet you all know the answer to this question : : "What is selling?"
Of course you do — you yourself are either constantly selling or being sold to - right?
Do you like it? Either way, do you like it? I suppose it depends on many factors - only natural.
But if you stop and think about the times you've been sold to - been the customer, the buyer — do you remember the best experiences you had at those times? I know you remember the worst - we all do.
But the best memories, I'm sure, are when the money has passed hands, you are in receipt of the goods, and you are excited both about your future experience with the whatever but also you're excited because you actually enjoyed the experience. I'm right, right?
Do you know there are generally considered to be three distinctive kinds of selling? Yes - there are.
And I'm gonna tell you -
Value Added selling.
And can you guess which one is the one you'll probably like the best? You're possibly wrong!
Why? Because the very best kind of selling experience to have is when all three are a part of the process.
Yes, of course - any one will do. Transactional selling is like when you pop into buy a newspaper.
Relationship selling is when you pop into by the newspaper but you have nice quick chat with
Mr Proprietor as he hands you the paper, makes change - makes small talk - asks how your kids are - right? And Value Added Selling is when he does all those things and offers you a morning coffee - gratis - at the same time.
And so you're wondering, 'What on earth is this guy going on about? Just give me my paper and let me get on my way!'
Okay - but when one has the 3-in-1 selling (buying) experience he remembers that - and he remembers that the salesperson went the extra distance to assist - to help out, to solve problems. And next time you'll go back to that same person or business in order to repeat the pleasant and rewarding experience.
And so it is with guys like Fred Black and Ronnie Usheroff. They have been the mainstays of TRAS Office Systems for 20+ years. And although I knew and worked with Fred way back then, it had been quite a while since I was undertaking any office furniture assignments. And when recently I realized I needed the help of someone I could trust, I called Fred. And although it's been many years it was as if there hadn't been - we picked up where we left off. Fred was insightful, experienced, wise and experienced, helpful and - did I say, experienced? He was all that — and I found exactly what I needed, and more importantly exactly what I wanted, with his help and guidance.
The whole crew at TRAS - from Fred and Ronnie to Lawrence Stein and Gajan Veermaraha - are all consummate professionals with over a 100 man-years of experience between them. And they know their products. See, TRAS may have started out selling used office furniture but the major manufacturers soon realized these guys were special - and they started being wooed to take on lines such as Global, Logiflex, Humanscale, Ambienti Moderne, Nightingale, GArdex, Lincora and others.
So - a word to the wise - a word to my architect and designer friends and colleagues - when you need the best service, the best k n o w l e d g e about product and performance, go see TRAS.....let them,
TRASforme you. You'll be all the better for it.
My bag of goodies is still overflowing - shame. Just so much great stuff. . . . . not enough hours, not enough space.
So - we're off on a new/improved track - hopefully. As noted this format will continue for the next while.
Most of your names/addresses have been removed from the substack mailer — those that haven't all begin to receive DR•I in it's sectional format - soon.
Again - please comment (you do that at the BEGINNING of the blog - okay?) and ask questions - or even scream and yell. It's all okay
DR•I has followed a pretty clear path these past 4 years. It has been a pretty simple path with a very clear focus : : to seek out new, novel and interesting examples of design - be they architectural, industrial, graphic interior or otherwise.
In years past (2010 - 2012) I published a weekly design blog
[https://designplan.wordpress.com/2011/01/02/1-1/] — and yes, you can still access many of the posts from that time. The link shown will take you to the post dated January 2011. After a couple of years I moved the blog over to my own server and renamed it DesignPlanOnline. Those posts were lost as a result of a hard drive crash, unfortunately. Must confess, doing a weekly issue was very, very demanding - and again, I stuck to the policy, NO ADS - ever.
to seek out new, novel and interesting examples of design - be they architectural, industrial, graphic interior or otherwise
'Tis mid-August, believe it or not. Nights are already cooler, sunrises a little later. As we fade toward the fall, personally I look forward to it. I love the bracing chill, the hint of change coming. And yet we're showing you this little gem. A BBQ.
But for sure it ain't your reg'lar run-o-the-mill BBQ, no it ain't.It's special and a large part of its specialness is its simplicity. And you know - all of you know - that my credo is 'the greatest faux pas in design is irrelevance.'
There for sure be no i r r e l e v a n c e in this puppy! Clean, pure, functional - just a lil' marvel it be.
Whaddaya think? As I have looked at it, closely - thought about it, I realized it has one serious flaw.....it should be sold in pairs. I mean, how cool, no? That way you can have chicken or sausage or duck - or a big ole pot of chicken stew cookin' away on one, and the strip loins and baked potatoes on the other.
So, being as I'm a curious cat, I drug out my trusty Photoshop and gave it a go -
Whaddaya think? I'm right, right? Sure I am — two of these babies ('cause they sure don't take up no room) is for sure better than one.
On another note, if you're at all handy — or you are willing to pay someone else to be handy for you, it would be no big deal to retrofit one of these babies to run on propane. Drill a hole in the backplate, run the gas line through the wall (as would be the case here) and down the backside where the propane tank is not showing itself all ugly.
From their web-site, SIGMAFOCUS : : This steel wall barbecue folds up, so that when closed it takes up limited space.
Attractive in both open and closed positions, the Sigmafocus offers a range of cooking heights. It is easy to attach to any wall (there are only two fixation points).
The generous ash pan allows the barbecue to be used a number of times without having to empty it out. The disc that attaches to the wall protects the wall from smoke.
And this video sure shows it off best.
This does have a meaning — read on
THIS BATTERY GRIP TURNS ANY SMARTPHONE INTO A FULL-FLEDGED PROFESSIONAL DSLR CAMERA
By Takashi Yamada
This may be the most well-designed smartphone grip we’ve seen in quite a while…
They say (and I’ve repeated this multiple times) that the best camera isn’t the one with the biggest sensor or the highest megapixel value, it’s the one that’s closest to you. Photography is so much about capturing the right moment that it really is about accessibility more than it is about technology… because what good is a camera if it isn’t around when you need it the most?
Smartphone cameras have gotten pretty good over the past few years. I just bought a new one myself and get this… 30x zoom on a device that slides into my pocket. Incredible, isn’t it? The only thing that’s missing from the smartphone photography experience is, however, the actual experience. Smartphones are dictated by their need to be thin, not by their need to be comfortable, which is why DSLRs have a very tangible edge over them. You could shoot for hours with a DSLR without your hand cramping, but try taking a selfie with your smartphone and you sprain like 5 muscles in your thumb alone just trying to reach the shutter button. I’ve seen my share of camera grips for smartphones that give it an ergonomic upgrade, but the ProGrip just stands out for a bunch of reasons.
The ShiftCam ProGrip comes with a universal gripping mechanism that allows you to clip any smartphone onto it and turn it into a pro-shooter. It features a Bluetooth shutter button that’s perfectly positioned so that you can click images with your index finger, and a grip that’s so inviting, you’re more likely to focus on photography rather than accidentally dropping your phone (it’s a real concern, believe me). The grip comes with a swivel joint that allows you to flip the phone over into portrait mode while you’re holding it in landscape, giving you varying degrees of freedom and the ability to shoot in a way that’s comfortable to you. Now that we’ve covered the basic stuff, let’s get to why the ShiftCam ProGrip stands out from brands like Pictar or Moment when it comes to providing the best DSLR-like experience.
Within the ProGrip’s voluminous gripping area is space for 2 x 18650 Li-ion rechargeable batteries. These batteries hook directly to a Qi charging coil within the ProGrip that wirelessly charges your phone while you’re in the middle of a shoot. Built with fast-charging, the ProGrip extends your smartphone’s camera experience by actually prolonging it, so you could go on shoots for the entire day without worrying about battery depletion… or you could grab long time-lapses without worrying about having a power-bank handy, because the ProGrip is, in fact, a power bank! The grip even comes with a flat surface that allows you to rest the ProGrip on its side, turning it into a tripod of sorts. Perhaps the first (and only) smartphone camera grip to wirelessly charge and dock your device, the ProGrip’s nifty design detail allows you to rest your phone on a surface, using it as not just a tripod to film content, but even your own multimedia device that lets you do everything from attending to hands-free video calls, or watching recipes as you cook along in the kitchen… and in case you really want to go professional and use a tripod, the ProGrip has a 1/4″ tripod mount built in, along with a cold shoe mount for various accessories like lighting setups or external microphones. Up until now, the smartphone camera was the most convenient option available… with the ProGrip, it’s also the most advanced camera experience available!
Designer: ShiftCam Design Team $119.00
From ArchDaily : :
Text description provided by the architects.
Immersed in Costa Rica’s mythic elements, Origins Lodge captures the wild opulence of nature along with Costa Rica’s pre-Columbian history.
Tucked up high on a mountainside with a 250° panoramic view of the valley, volcanoes and Lake Nicaragua, Origins is influenced by Costa Rica’s pre-Colombian circular architecture. With the passionate support of Origins’ owner, designers Patrick Rey and Hugues Blanchère modernized the honored antique philosophies and natural building techniques to create a place shaped by nature and tamed by low-impact luxury.
The buildings’ exteriors were designed to meld with their natural surroundings, giving them their own identity and personality. Even the vegetation on the living roofs was selected after careful consideration of the neighboring trees, colors and sightline of each particular area. The interiors, on the other hand, were designed to enhance Origins’ overarching energys by defining each space through natural lighting, organic textures and artistic craftsmanship.
The curves of the six private bungalows echo the serpentine curves of the jungle. The bungalows include private hot plunge pools heated by wood fire on each terrace. Much attention was put into synergising the flow of nature in each bungalow: from using an operculum in the ceilings, to positioning each bungalow in a way that allows rainforest clouds to literally fill the room on certain days. Suspended amongst the treetops higher up on the mountainside, the 3-bedroom Villa Vertigo is the essence of raw luxury, exhibiting the use of aggregated raw materials handcrafted by local artisans exclusively for Villa Vertigo.
The design team implemented several traditional and indigenous techniques that are pillars of low-impact construction, thus making Origins an exceptional venue , where one can admire the fusion of creative engineering, sustainability and ingenuity.
You've heard this from me before : : beyond the core responsibilities a designer has to his client --
the responsible delivery of a shared vision, management and control of costs and timeframes —
an unfailing dedication to interpretation of purpose — there is, like tactility is, one more subliminal responsibility. . . . that is to create m o o d . Mood is chemistry that captures one's soul, that imbues one with a sense of peace, serenity, tranquility - and a sense of well-being. The designers/architects of this spectacular retreat have done that. In fact, IMHO, they started with that and then shaped, formed the architecture, the envelope about it. Bravo! Really, really well done.
It's a what?
The Geberit wall drain permits floor-even showering in pure form. Integrated behind the wall, it is outstanding not only for its elegance but also for its clear added value in terms of planning, installation and maintenance.
Features / Benefits:
Clear separation of trades thanks to pipeline placement in the wall
Optional collector profile for efficient and precise formation of the slope in the floor
Integrated comb insert which can be removed and washed out in no time at all
Now - THAT'S what I'm talkin' about : : clean, elegant - super cool
Something fishy going on here!
Yes! There is : : these fabulous paintings are from : :
In the early 18th century, publisher, bookseller, and apparent fish enthusiast Louis Renard compiled the seminal compendium of color-illustrated ichthyological studies. The volume contains more than 450 species rendered in vibrant hues that, while somewhat anatomically accurate, feature embellishments in color and characteristics. From beak-like mouths to extraordinarily patterned skins, the vast illustrations of marine life are unusual, bizarre, and sometimes psychedelic.
A digital copy of Renard’s work—which officially is titled Fishes, crayfish and crabs, of various colors and extraordinary figures, which one finds around the Moluccas islands and on the coasts of the Austral lands—is available in the Biodiversity Heritage Library, an incredible open-access digital archive. Overall, the library estimates that about 9 percent of the illustrations are fabricated, a detail that’s unsurprising considering the Dutch publisher never traveled to the East Indies to complete his studies. Instead, he copied 460 hand-colored copper engravings from other artists, many of which were contributed by soldier and painter Samuel Fallours who was based in Ambon, Indonesia. In a similarly duplicitous manner, the library also believes that Renard identified himself as a secret agent to the British crown as a way to sell more copies of his work.
I was so taken by the surreal beauty of these renderings that I just had to extrapolate this one, and placed it on a black background in Photoshop.
It's a show-stopper methinks.
The tome was published in three editions, and only 16 of the initial printing, which happened between 1718 and 1719, are known to exist. Thirty-four copies of the second version from 1754 remain, which is also the iteration shown here. There are just six books left from the third printing in 1782.
Page through the entire compendium in the digital library. To enjoy the vivid illustrations off-screen, Maria Popova, of Brain Pickings, is selling masks and prints of the enhanced creatures.
It's interesting to see - it's interesting to feel, well - validated, sort of. The great web-site Dezeen, just published their 2020 Architectural Long List _ from which a winner will be chosen. The interesting part for DR•I is that in previous issues we have featured a few of these designs in our issues. We may be, on the right track here. Next issue we will delve into some of those specifics.
For now, enjoy the Dezeen issue here.
Who amongst you all, are convinced you have an infallible 'eye' — an eye for colour. Who of you, or who do you know that possesses that kinda black magic voodoo ability to 'carry colour'? What do I mean, 'carry colour'? That one can look at a colour - say of a room or a sweater, and can then, some time later, be able to pick out the paint chip or colour swatch that is if not an exact match, pretty darned close?
If it's not a part of your DNA you can train yourself. Fortunately for me, it came pretty natural. But even with that ability, that skill, it's still only a 'best guess', right? Well, about 5 years ago a new company, a Canadian company - Hamilton based - came on the scene. They introduced their product, the NIX ColourSensor. And it was cool. I bought one immediately. I have used it reliably a few times - especially when a client for whom I was designing a new kitchen, insisted that the upper cabinets were to be lacquer painted to exactly match an antique blue/white salad bowl. I scanned the blue, determined the Pantone equivalent and then had the cabinet-maker order that exact colour — it was a huge success!
Following here is a product that copied NixSensor - the CUBE. It is also pretty awesome — judge for your self. Next issue we will do an in-depth review of NIX.
CUBE by Palette : : https://palette.com
With a single tap, Cube removes the guess-work from color-matching and makes it easy to save and work with the colors that surround you. An essential for designers of any kind, Cube integrates with smartphones and desktops to put you in colorful, creative control. Cube is the perfect creative companion for graphic designers, photographers, fashion designers, interior designers, trade painters, and any other creative minds that love color.
Capture color from just about anything. Store, favorite and share your colors with the free Cube Companion App. Reveal RGB, HEX and CMYK values, match to paint libraries or match straight to Photoshop's built-in libraries—such as Pantone—and artist palettes, spray paint palettes and more.
Take the guesswork out of color matching and instantly find the perfect shade from thousands of built in paint and art colors including:
· Behr · Benjamin Moore · CIL · COPIC · Crown Trade · Dunn Edwards · ECOS Organic · Farrow & Ball · Glidden · Holbein · Interpon RAL · Kelly Moore · Montana Acrylic · Montana Gold · Montana MTN94 · Molotow · Sherwin-Williams · RAL Classic · RAL Design · Royal Horticultural Society
Just think — you could scan and import the exact colour match of an ink colour, a paint chip - whatever, directly into Photoshop.
The NIX ColourSensor has advanced to the point where you can now scan a glass of scotch or a fine
deep ruby Cabernet-Sauvignon — and use that colour in whichever way you need to.
A SOBERING NOTE
Honestly? I struggled with my decision as to include this in DR•I. Why? Because it is not an example of design, or innovation - it does not celebrate clever solutions to client problems — it is - well, it's a sobering moment.
It has gone on long enough - far, far too long, most would agree. Our current international paralysis occasioned by the pandemic. You don't need — and you don't want, to hear it said again, here.
DR•I is intended to provide welcome distraction, right? To provoke contemplation and curiosity about design and its values.
'But", I argued with myself, 'One is doing oneself a disservice if one sticks head in sand and says, 'Hmmm...nothing new here!'
So the prudent half won out and I decided it be better to be aware, to be, or become, prepared.
An old saying, as a teacher, springs up - 'You don't know what you don't know.'
Before continuing with some hard data allow me to state why I'm concerned. Think back - a few months ago - around April/May, when Jack Dorsey (CEO Twitter) announced to all 5,000 Twitter employees, and the world, 'Hey! Stay home - work from home. It's okay - not for just a few months - like forever. This will become Twitters' new work paradigm. ' This is para-phrasing his actual statement - but is the correct context to the statement he made.
So, I did some thinking. How does that affect everyone other than those 5,000 employees?
Let's do some arithmetic — if you agree that in a typical office environment it's not unreasonable to assume that every employee occupies 100 sq ft of space......that would include circulation space, meeting rooms, cafeterias, washrooms, whatever. Not an unreasonable amount. After all most dedicated workstations have a footprint of 35 - 50 sq ft to start with.
Okay - 5,000 X 100 = 500,000 sq ft of space. All commercial leases are based on an agreed upon amount of X dollars per sq. ft - per year. A modest commercial rental rate is say, $30.00/sq ft. That is $15 million per year that Twitter is obliged to pay to the Landlord. WOW! Double WOW!
Okay — like, so what? Well here's so what : : Twitter is going to have to negotiate their way out of their lease. Depending on where they are in a conventional 5 year term.Let's, for the sake of this exercise, allow that they are halfway through their term. Therefore with 30 months remaining on the lease the Landlord has a legal right to expect to receive $37.5 million by the end of the next 30 months. Phew!
And Twitter is going to just let that space sit empty? Some may say, 'Don't be silly. They'll sub-let it'.
And, maybe they could - at a deep, deep loss - but we won't go there. Let's continue with this model.
If Twitter, under normal circumstances, were to complete their lease obligations, but not renew the lease at the end of five years - and vacate the premises, there is one more awesomely expensive financial whack they would have to take. All commercial leases require that the Tenant, upon relinquishing a property, must foot the bill to return the space to its raw, empty condition - at their sole expense.
WOW! WOW again! Demolition and removal costs could easily run another $20.00/sq ft. OMG!
That's a further $10 million — cut that in half - a fire sale rate - still $5 million.
See where we're going here? It's not only Twitter. Twitter is a small corporate tenant. Facebook alone leases in excess of 35,000 sq ft in Manhattan. . . . and that is not their only facility in New York City.
Do that math! Everything would multiply by, a lot.......
so in light of that we are now starting to see, very tentative 'test-the-waters' corporate opinions as to what the fall-out is likely to be - globally - in the next year or so.
Last week, August 9 to be exact, CNBC published an article, opinion in respect to exactly this crisis.
To be safe, I suspect they focused on the Asian markets so as not to scare the be-Jeezus out of all of us......check it out:
Some office space could get permanently cut during the pandemic. Here’s how companies will cope
The report went on to say:
Working from home has become the norm during the coronavirus pandemic, and Morgan Stanley predicts that office tenants across Asia will permanently give up between 3% and 9% of their existing office space.
That will result in rent declining between 10% and 15% over the next three years, a recent report by the investment bank estimated.
Big tenants from the financial and IT industries, which have well established business continuity plans or work-from-home infrastructure, could give up even more office space — at 10% over the next three years, said the report.
Below is the projected rental impact from June 2020 to December 2022, according to the report which assessed the rental impact on key financial centers in Asia Pacific.
How companies will cope with less spaceAs companies cut their office space, Morgan Stanley predicted that they will do it through a combination of three strategies.
One option would embark on desk-sharing, where everyone works from home one day a week. That can save 20% of office space, the investment bank says.
“Across Asia, desk space per person has been declining for some time. We expect that to remain flat or grow if social distancing requirements are adhered to for longer. However, unless COVID-19 lingers for an extended period, we do not expect social distancing to drive office demand, as highlighted by many property consultants,” Morgan Stanley wrote.
Another strategy would identify some functions that can be permanently done from home, such as human resources or other back-office jobs. Companies could also look into relocating some roles to low-cost locations such as India or Vietnam, according to the report.
The investment bank predicted that if companies have any additional demand for office space, they would tap on flexible work spaces instead.
• This is not the complete report — go here to read the complete article.
But hear me out, please. This is not intended to be 'doom and gloom'. Its purpose is to provoke awareness. This will be the new reality. I have personally spoken to many who report that in very large corporate premises, her in Montreal, there is only a scant skeleton staff in the premises. In one case, in a 12 storey building, only 6 people!
My question - my BIG question is, since this will be the new normal - vast landscapes of unoccupied commercial office space - what will become of those empty floors?
Think about it! It would be far, far too costly - if even viable or possible, to retrofit whole floors to residential accommodation. Good lord - just the plumbing costs would be out-of-this world. Some I have discussed this with suggest those cavernous empty floors could be outfitted as classrooms. Now, that's silly! There is no shortage of classrooms - especially when many/most students will be distance educating.
And so, here's 'the rub'— who can come up with a creative idea to harvest these new moonbases?
Just to put this into perspective, Place Ville Marie is comprised of four quadrants of space entered about the tower core. Each wing is approximately 10,000 sq ft. Whatcha gonna do with multiple floors/wings with nobody in them?
Worrisome? You bet yer booties it is! Think about it.
When ya gotta go - well, ya just gotta go!
The Japanese have always been trailblazers in many, many things. Culturally, sociologically, architecturally. And now, this:
The humble and much maligned (with good reason) public toilet.
Designed by Shigeru Ban Architects, these are now a part of the Tokyo street scene.
From a CNN report:
One of Tokyo's most popular districts has recently added some unusual new attractions: transparent public toilets.
Designed by Shigeru Ban Architects, the two new sets of see-through restrooms have been installed in Shibuya, the bustling city center famous for its busy pedestrian crossing.
Though the restrooms sound risqué, they're actually part of an innovative project aimed at changing people's perceptions of public toilets.
Designed by Shigeru Ban Architects, a Pritzker Prize-winning architecture firm, the two new sets of transparent toilets have been installed in two Shibuya parks -- Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park and Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park.
"There are two things we worry about when entering a public restroom, especially those located at a park," says a statement on the project's official website, Tokyotoilet.jp. "The first is cleanliness, and the second is whether anyone is inside."
Shigeru Ban Architects' design tackles these two concerns by offering a toilet with glass walls that -- at first -- allows the public to see through from the outside. But once a user enters the toilet and locks the door, the walls turn opaque to provide privacy.
"This allows users to check the cleanliness and whether anyone is using the toilet from the outside," says the statement. "At night, the facility lights up the park like a beautiful lantern."
What's it like to use one?
During CNN Travel's visit to the Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park this week, a steady stream of visitors came to take photos of the new attraction.
The toilet facilities were impressively clean, a mix of gleaming white and chrome.
Part of the thrill is that once inside, you can't tell if the glass is frosted or not. The walls between the compartments have mirrors installed, adding to the weird feeling of being on display.
This means it's incredibly important remember to secure the door lock, which is located well below the handle.
During our visit, one person presumably did indeed forget to lock it, stirring laughter among those outside. Both park facilities include a women's toilet, a men's toilet and a multi-use toilet.
All in all, pretty cool. The use of photo-voltaic glass and its properties is not new - not really. Some very forward-thinking tech-savvy corporate premises have used such glass to enclose conference
rooms - when visual privacy is required, hit a switch and the glass becomes opaque.
'k - done! Done now. . . . .it's a lot, but not yet, enough. Well another issue in a couple of weeks.
And maybe - just maybe, a major announcement about DR•I and it's continuous improvement and development. It may well be that soon - real soon, we'll transition to a weekly publication. Can't say anymore just yet. Of course, each issue would, by necessity, be a little smaller in terms of 'volume' of content — but, you're all okay with that, right?
BTW - if anyone LOVES the fish graphic and wants a real live print, contact us. We will print - on photographic quality paper - any of the marine life shown, at 11" x 17", full colour (with a background colour of your choice from any of the colours that are present in the image - for the princely sum of $30.00 + shipping. Shipping will be in a rigid cardboard tube. Let us know.
Ever heard it? The classic Abbott & Costello baseball routine? Still funny 70+ years later • • • •
I'm not gonna repeat it here - but go read it for yourself....then watch the video on youTube.
Why? Let's just say, the times, and the tone, of these times require it . . . . . .
Where else but San Francisco? How many of our readers have been there I wonder? Whether you have, or whether you haven't — it is, the most special place. Me? I've visited SanFran either four or five times. I must confess - it's been 25 years since my last trip.
Okay - so we did things a little bit differently this time - you've seen all the exterior shots - hope it whetted your appetite.
DWELL magazine just ran this feature property for sale - $5,500,00.00 USD - once you've 'toured' it you'll agree, it's a bargain.
Housed in a former laundry and tooth powder warehouse, the Fillmore Factory House is an industrial haven in San Francisco. The 3,600 square foot residence features three bedrooms and three baths with a home office and a loft. Living spaces take advantage of the building's 17-foot ceilings while exposed ceilings, beams, and rough cut floors maintain the historic charm. At the center of the interior, a pair of stacked shipping containers hold an ensuite bedroom on the bottom and an office with a bunk above. On the rooftop, an additional 800 square feet of living space provides a custom bar with 11-foot custom teak bar top and lounge area backed by views of the city.
This truly one-of-a-kind space prominently features industrial design elements while retaining the warmth and comforts of a single-family home in design and layout. 3600± sq.ft., 3 bedrooms/baths and home office with loft, this voluminous space features ±17' ceilings and custom artisan details throughout, including two internal customized cantilevered shipping containers, teak vanities, Wolf & Sub-Zero appliances, indoor/outdoor multi-zone Sonos-powered sound system and state-of-the-art projection home theater as well as a 2-car garage with additional storage/workspace.
Additional 800± sq.ft. of outdoor living space completes the experience with custom-built outdoor bar featuring professional bar touches and 11’ custom slab teak bartop and under-bar heaters, fire table and grill area.
Upstairs bedroom comes complete with its own deck and massive catamaran-style hammock. Privacy, sophistication, true NY SOHO loft living in an established, vibrant neighborhood.
See the tub in the far corner? Draw back the full height draperies et voila!
Office / Guest Room
If you had to - really had to, leave your heart in San Francisco, this would be pretty good spot to leave it.
From ArchDaily : : Jakob presents Green façades, which is a wall system, where climbing plants or cascading groundcovers are trained to cover specially designed supporting structures.
Green façades use climbing plants, which are divided into self-supporting plants like root climbers or adhesive-suckers, and plants that need supporting structure, like twining vines, leaf-stem climbers, leaf climbers, or scrambling plants.
There are different types of support structures for Jakob's Green façades:
Modular trellis system: Stainless steel cable and rope wire systems consist of a kit of parts that includes high-tensile steel cables, wire trellises, anchors, spacers, and supplementary equipment. Vertical and horizontal wires can be connected through cross clamps to form a flexible trellis system in various sizes and patterns. And to cover large areas, stainless steel wire-rope nets can be supported on flexible or rigid frames.
Single cables system: Cables can be oriented in a vertical or horizontal arrangement and spaced to suit the overall look and/or plant type selected. Single Cable Trellis systems are a great way to draw vines up a space while scrambling plants love to sprawl sideways along horizontal style trellises.
Webnet for Greening: The stainless-steel mesh Webnet as a plant support blends well with modern architecture and enables an exact greening of the façade.
Spinnaker House (2018), the most recent work of Sparks Architects, reconciles another monumental setting. It builds upon lessons learnt by the practice over more than a decade of being challenged by precarious sites. Perched on the edge of an escarpment overlooking Hervey Bay, Queensland, the building seeks to balance the visual opportunities of the landscape, while providing sanctuary from the windy coastal environment. The building projects confidently, its sloping form paralleled by the falling ground below. The continuity of roof and wall strengthens its presence, making it a defiant object in a windswept landscape. Like many projects before it, Spinnaker House’s building section reveals most about the architectural intentions. Light and glare, breeze and wind, are controlled by the manipulation of enclosure. Occupation is encouraged to the very edge of the building, against the leaning timber screen hovering on the precipice. X : : https://architectureau.com/articles/sparks-architects/
The San Francisco Decorator Showcase is considered to be the West Coast’s premier design showhouse event, renowned for featuring the work of the region’s top Interior Designers. Selected to design “His Office” for the 2015 San Francisco Decorator Showcase, ABD STUDIO explored the concept of beauty resulting from destruction. A timeless design, the space featured a highly textured custom shou sugi ban desk with a patinaed antique brass sculptural base and an abstract painting depicting fading memories inspired by damaged video tapes. The home's original, expansive iron-framed windows and herringbone wood floors served as the prime foundation to layer lush textures such as soft white wool drapery, a well-loved antique rug, woven cashmere, Patagonian sheepskin, ebonized wood and linen paired with crisp contemporary tufting.
ABD STUDIO is a high-end San Francisco interior design firm specializing in residential & boutique hospitality interior design and architecture. We are committed to thoughtfully creating elegantly understated interiors that are inviting, encourage connection and provide respite from our busy world. Each space is customized to enhance the authentic personalities and lifestyles of those who dwell there.
Through mindful consideration, we achieve the intricate balance between architectural style, scale and overall room composition enduring a consistent and effortless ease as well as subtle luxury. It is our deepest hope that these spaces inspire meaningful memories for many years to come.
With a dedication to excellence and building trusting relationships, we welcome collaboration with clients, architects and general contractors while supporting artists and craftsmen in the communities in which our clients reside.
But first, a question to the readership — as you are all well aware I invest countless hours in seeking out fresh new, novel, inventive expressions of design —be they architectural, furniture - graphics — the whole broad spectrum. And in so doing I apply my own sense of judgement as to what constitutes the extraordinary from — well, the ordinary. Frankly, you have no idea of the articles, pieces I preview — and reject. But I have to look at them, examine - explore, to see whether they meet a certain standard. Those that do, appear here in DR•I. And judging by comments I receive, it seems you agree with those choices.
However, in reviewing certain design installations I find I am often appalled at the callous indifference that many designers have for the real practical use and enjoyment that a patron or a client has a right to expect following both their investment of faith — and dollars. And so I have decided to speak out - to expose examples of such to you - all with the idea that there is learning that can be done here.
For example - the following room was designed/decorated by ABD Studio as a feature room in the showcase house. And it has a nice appeal - until you attempt to put yourself 'in the picture'. Look at the photographs and then I'll draw specific pointers about them
This is what I might term a 'very handsome and sensitively designed home study'— most likely envisioned for a woman in spite of the bold use of black as a striking backdrop.
But — a) who among you would ever sit on that bench? It is a bench, right? With no back — and so, one might sit, very uncomfortably — for a mere few minutes. But why? What's the point? It looks expensive. . . . it IS expensive.And it is - pointless. By virtue of its placement in the room it might suggest it is positioned where it is so that one might enter, and go and sit and look at the painting. But, that is just weird!
b) let's examine the other end of the room - trés elegant, yes? But, trés dumb! Why? For starters look at the chair and then look at the rug — a facsimile of a pony hide. By its very nature it is very thin. Imagine you go around the desk, pull out the chair so you can sit down and then pull the chair towards the desk.
One of two things must happen next - either the chair legs 'scrunch' the rug forward under the desk (most likely), or, you have to literally pick the chair up and move it — above the floor — in order to position it on the rug. And, what happens if you don't get it quite right the first time? You have to repeat the procedure enough times until you do get it right - until you are comfortable. . . .and then you don't dare move 'cause you have to do the chair calisthenics all over again. So - haven't these designers heard of comfortable chairs on casters? Perhaps not. And when it is time for you to get up and leave, how do you manage the chair? Do you slide it across the surface of the rug? Remember, I pointed out that the rug is rather thin - exactly how many times will you do that before the rugs has un-removeable chair leg marks in it. And, what then? Not fixable, certainly. It's simply, plain, dumb — all to aid in the perpetuation of the requirement to create 'cool' design. The one thing I am guessing that does make some kind of sense is the armchair can be readily turned about to face the desk for use by a visitor.
As we continue with DR•I we will share additional examples of 'wrong-thinking design'.
I trust you will find it both interesting and educational.
If you're of a certain age you'll recognize him as Ernest Hemingway -- one of the world's most famous authors.
In 1934 he bought a boat in order to pursue his love of fishing. The boat, Pilar, became a home away from home. He jumped back and forth between his house in Key West and Cuba. In 2012, Ernest Hemingway's niece Hilary explored his old fishing boat for the first time. The 38-foot Wheeler Playmate "Papa" named Pilar after his wife Pauline was just sitting in a berth outside Havana, holding nothing but history.
Hilary Hemingway boarded the boat that day with Wes Wheeler, whose great-grandfather founded Wheeler Shipbuilding in 1910. They measured the Pilar from bow to stern and now—eight years later—a new Pilar has been built from those measurements by the Wheeler Yacht Company and is expected to launch in September.
It probably was the most famous at the height of Ernest Hemingway's fame. The Nobel Prize-winning author piloted the Pilar throughout the Caribbean and had many adventures,
"It’s probably the most famous fishing boat in the world."Hemingway's boat — PILAR
Wheeler Yachts has worked hard to re-constitute the Pilar in a modern-day rendition.
Editor's note / comment: I have a great respect for leadership in design that seeks to perpetuate character and style from an era long gone. Simply because we, the world, are so very high tech now, does not, in the least, diminish the values inherent in fine and proud craftsmanship. IMHO - in the world od robotic leadership today, pride of craftsmanship is simply not a constituent element of mass production - pity that.
Why? Why this? 'Cause it's just, c o o l . Cool design, cool execution - it has flavour and character.
Jay Ahr bags:
If you’re inspired by travel and fashion alike, you cannot go wrong with a piece or two from the all-new One&Only Heritage Collection by Jay Ahr. With the launch of the new ensemble, the renowned resort chain aims to celebrate the love for travel with a touch of luxe.
Designed as a limited-edition range of custom-designed vintage Louis Vuitton Keepalls, the Heritage Collection celebrates the natural beauty and rich culture of each One&Only resort location. Sourced from the 10 global resort destinations, each bag is handpicked and embroidered to perfection in quintessential Jay Ahr style. Only two bags are designed for each of the brand’s resort and are exclusively available for purchase from One&Only.
WOW! Is it maybe, a slice of watermelon? Surrounded by - broccoli? Nah! that's silly!
Seen from a different perspective - it's a rooftop
Designing a project like Casa Biblioteca is every architect’s dream. So being able to combine an idyllic location, a sizeable commission, an open minded client who knows what they want, and the inherent sense of experimentation of a start-up, is quite a coup for a young practice. The residence’s creator, Sao Paulo based Atelier Branco was just a year old when this project came along, making this distinctive piece of architecture a breakthrough one for the firm, winning them since a number of awards and attracting international attention.
Nestled in an idyllic, tree-filled spot in the municipality of Vinhedo, in upstate Sao Paulo, this private home was the result of the architectural flair of Atelier Branco’s founding duo, Matteo Arnone and Pep Pons, and the character, needs and idiosyncrasies of their client. ‘It was a very challenging client and we were able to experiment a lot with the architectural solution,’ the pair says. ‘The result, even after a few years is still surprising. We are very proud of it.’
The brief outlined a home ‘to accommodate the need for a place to read; and the need of a place to think’. The architects’ response was to create a space more like a modernist pavilion or an art gallery, than a traditional home.
The structure is a simple rectangular glass box with a cast in-situ concrete structure (‘all the concrete was cast in a single working day,’ say the architects proudly). A series of slender columns hold up the tall ceilings creating a generous, triple height space. The walls are glass expanses that dissolve into the views, bringing the outside in.
Studio / Atelier Banco
After graduating from the Accademia Architettura Mendrisio in Switzerland, Italian Matteo Arnone and Spaniard Pep Pons moved to Brazil to set up their studio, Atelier Branco in São Paulo in 2012. Soon after, the firm started to attract international attention, winning the Gold Medal at the Triennale di Milano in 2018 and the Dedalo Minosse International Prize for Commissioning a Building – OCCAM Under 40 in 2019 for their Casa Biblioteca.
From WALLPAPER: (Ellie Stathaki - https://www.wallpaper.com/author/ellie-stathaki)
Photography: Ricardo Bassetti Kaza and Jaqueline Lessa
Enter Anthénea: An eco-friendly floating party pod that can sail where ever you want
You KNOW you want one, right? Man! What a fantasy!
Enter Anthénea: An eco-friendly floating party pod that can sail where ever you want
If a quirky getaway is on your mind, consider hopping onto Anthénea – a luxury floating hotel suite and water-based mobile home that is perfect for traveling in the times of COVID. Inspired by James Bond’s floating pod in the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me, the vessel is fun, fancy, and every bit fantastic!
Designed by architect Jean-Michel Ducancelle, the floating wonder runs on solar power and is 100% eco-friendly. It releases clean water back into the ocean using black and gray water stations and is equipped with sand screw anchoring to avoid any harm to the underwater ecosystem and environment.
Built as a luxury pod, the vessel offers 360-views of the ocean via its dome-shaped structure. It features a bedroom with an overflow round bathtub, a small living area with kitchen necessities and fiberglass windows as well as an outdoor seating area with a capacity to accommodate 12 people at once.
Anthénea can sail across waters and can be used by travelers to get to one destination from another. It is currently stationed at the Pink Granite Coast in Brittany, France and can be rented for a few nights. Interested folks can also buy one to live in along with customizations. Details on pricing and more are available on the company’s official website. Well, offbeat travel cannot get any better than this!
So — that's it for another issue — and I've barely scratched the surface. Stay tuned - be back at you in a couple of weeks.
We are now in Week 22.
Meaning that for me, it is now 22 weeks since I was forced into a 'stay-at-home' regimen - doctor's orders, way back on February 18th. HowzThat? Well, fact is I, unfortunately, suffered a fairly serious leg injury, which became infected, which took me to Emergency 4 times in 8 days,
which resulted in the 'stay at home' order.
Followed by, in the first week of March, the order to the general population, to 'stay home'.
22 weeks - almost half a year - hard to believe.
Coping, has been difficult - as we have collectively sought to shrink within ourselves, within our households - within our family units, there have been some startling discoveries. Coping mechanisms, the likes of which we, as a society, were never confronted with before, became the keys to maintaining and preserving some sense of normalcy — of a 'new normalcy' .
ZOOM fusions - remote movie night shares — order in, take-out. Introspection, the likes of which, as a society, we've never had to deal with before.
The overwhelming need, over time, to break free - break free of the tyranny of this pandemic. The urge to sit in a café once again — the need to see friends. The absolute need to see family — none of which was available to us.
For myself, as I strove to find ways to keep myself distracted, busy, to set projects for myself, I spent a great deal more time reading, reviewing — seeking out and searching for novel ideas/innovations in design. Perhaps because, collectively, being locked down, locked up, locked in — within our abodes, our shelters, many of us elected to re-examine the norms of our households — things we had previously accepted and taken for granted, we now had time to question. Makes sense, yes?
Professionally, as a designer for five plus decades, it was all these things that propelled me to think back on recent projects which dealt with small spaces. Thus, in this issue, and for the reasons as stated, I am indulging your patience in taking a look at one such project. However, as it involves Before/After photographs along with floorplans, it will be posted as the last entry in this issue.
Fusing local Oaxacan culture with modern architecture, BAAQ' has created an idyllic beach escape. The Naila House places four volumes on the rocky coastline of Mexico's Puerto Escondido. Each structure is situated on a concrete base, forming a cross-shaped courtyard with a swimming pool at their center. Their wood frames are clad in palm bone, a nod to the area's traditional beach huts while the interior's clay and earth floors and a clay stove in the kitchen fall in line with the local vernacular. Folding doors open the living spaces directly to the exterior, affording views of the Pacific Ocean to every room.
Fusing local Oaxacan culture with modern architecture, BAAQ' has created an idyllic beach escape. The Naila House (Casa Naila) places four volumes display over a surface of 740 sq. meters in Puertecito, on the rocky coastline of Mexico's Oaxaca, 20 km from Puerto Escondido.
The land is located on the highest hill of the coast, providing the house a privilege double side view of the sea. The main goal was to avoid any impact in the landscape caused by the used of the property and its context, as most of the daily activities are done outside.
The creative process of Casa Naila started with the core idea of 2 axis, in which each of the 4 structures are situated on a concrete base, forming a cross-shaped courtyard with a swimming pool at their center. These structures were key to achieve the perfect integration of architecture and its immediate surroundings.
Each structure consists of buildings of divers’ heights and inclined covers, which are a direct reference to the uneven and rocky landscape of the beach. It was important to give different orientations to the spaces to allow the best lighting and air circulation, as well as provide to each user a view of the sea.
The architectonic programme takes place indoors and outdoors looking for efficient and functional spaces, making the core of the project its connectivity between the living spaces, private areas, main courtyard, and the pool. As a result, we obtain a simple, aesthetic, and low maintenance housing able to accommodate up to 15 people.
The ground levels are made of reinforced concrete trying to frame and direct the views of the spaces to the south and west of the property. In the upper levels, the spaces are defined by structures made of wood frames and clad in palm bone, which are the predominant resources of the area and a nod to the area's traditional beach huts at the coastline of Oaxaca. The folding doors open the living spaces directly to the exterior, affording views of the Pacific Ocean to every room.
Due to the characteristics of the region’s weather, the adjustment of the palm bone and the mosquito net allows the permeability and ventilation of the spaces, beside creating an interesting mix of shadows and transparencies during day time, and a contras of lights during the night; making the house give the impression of a lighthouse from faraway.
One of the fundamental spaces of the project is the kitchen area, as this one harbors as center piece a clay stove called Lorena, which fall in line with the local vernacular. The bar and main workstation were also made of clay, as well as the covering of the floors, providing a thermal comfort to the users while giving the interiors a more natural and earthy appearance.
Named after a traditional song of the coastline, Casa Naila seeks to honour Oaxaca within every single aspect of their culture, from the selection of materials, the construction systems and techniques to its traditions and living experiences, but above all they way the cook.
Commentary: This is a novel, imaginative and inventive way to look at a communal property.
The latin culture is centered on family before all else. This interpretation is consistent with the values of latin life — the articulation of spaces, the sensitive use of natural materials - the mood and the ambiance all speak together in harmony and shared community.
A very big 'thank you' to Vanessa Bertran for the english translation and wonderful editing job she did!
For the spanish speakers among us, here is the extract from Uncrate, verbatim:
Commentary: This is a novel, imaginative and inventive way to look at a communal property.
The latin culture is centered on family before all else. This interpretation is consistent with the values of latin life — the articulation of spaces, the sensitive use of natural materials - the mood and the ambiance all speak together in harmony and shared community.
Gee! Lookee here! It's a closet, with a chair and a counter. Looks/feels familiar. Why might that be?
Oh yes! Now I remember - way back, many years ago, whether in an apartment or a house. my @home office was always in the smallest bedroom. And the way I would maximize space/efficiency was to take the doors of the closet, buy a hollow core slab door, cut it to the approrpriate length, buy 3 yards of white vinyl from Fabricville and wrap/staple the vinyl around the door. A couple of lengths of 1" x 2" strapping, screwed to the back and end walls of the closet at a height of 28 ½ inches was all I needed. With the door cut to the length of the closet interior I would then simply insert it so that it rested on the strapping strips.
Generally I would then do the same thing with two or three shelves above the desktop. This worked, by the way, with a drafting board originally and with computers, keyboards later on.
So that is why this looks familiar.
It is a cool concept - in this form, pricey though. Where this is best suited is like here:
That's pretty cool - idyllic even. Except — except it does not take into consideration that you simply require a power source if for no other reason than being able to close the door and turn on a light and a fan.....no?
Of course you could also do this. But, the same provisos apply. And of course, there are NO windows.....yuck!
From the manufacturer, LIVIT:
The work from home movement has left many people wishing for a dedicated workspace. Livit's Studypod is designed specifically to meet this need. Measuring roughly seven feet in each direction, it's made from a composite material, with a large glass window affording views of nature from behind the detachable desk. Oak laminate flooring, four downlights, and power socket fill out the feature list, and the simple shape lets it easily transition from office to yoga studio or even a bedroom.
Then again, if budget permits, there is this option. This is what I would do if I ever re-activated my residential interior design practise involving large-scale renovations or newbuilds.
See, this would be an ideal mobile work environment. The driver's chair and passenger's chair swivel around to face the table, which with the banquette would comfortably accommodate two others.. The mini kitchen would be great for coffee service and/or working lunches plus the rear section, with the beds removed, would provide a really nice table/desk workspace.
I would do this in a heartbeat if I were to seriously pursue private projects.
Of course, as a mobile 'writer's cabin', it would be a most wonderful place to spend a working day.
Here's the details:
LA STRADA NOVA EB CAMPER VAN
German camper van manufacturer La Strada has released their Nova EB built on the Mercedes Sprinter. Measuring in at 10 feet tall and seven feet wide, the La Strada designed the GRP bodyshell
for maximum interior space with clean, simple interior design to avoid any obstructions
while moving around inside. The upper cabin sleeps two in either dual twins or one
combined queen size bed, while below is a fully-equipped kitchenette, bathroom, and a
convertible dining or lounge area. Ambient lighting sets a relaxed tone and the materials
used are top-quality and highly customizable to the buyer's taste. Optional equipment like
four-wheel-drive and engine choices allow for getaways off the pavement.
Unfortunately, La Strada has no plans to bring the Nova EB to the US, like many
of the best camper vans on the market.
So, if a client or a contractor, in a fit of pique, said, 'Get the hell outta here!', their request could be comfortably accommodated. . . . . .
This is, simply a w e s o m e !
Why is it, as I see it, that so much creative brilliance and innovation literally erupts out of Asia?
I don't believe that this is simply my own opinion.
Innovation, inventiveness - the ability to look at and see things through
prisms that westerners, generally, do not have the ability to do.
That is not always the case, but when one sees a project like this one
has to wonder, 'Where on earth did such a
compelling vision come from?'
Chiang Mai is located in northern Thailand
Text description provided by the architects. Little Shelter is located in Chiang Mai where its old cityscape and vernacular architecture are characterized by wood structure with shingle pitched roof.
The hotel roof form inspired by traditional hip roofs as homage to the local architecture
has a little reinterpretation with an asymmetrical form blending naturally with the
surrounding tree top silhouette. The west side of the roof is partially carved out to
become a roof deck for guests to enjoy the panoramic river view at sunset.
The design continues the local architectural character through the use of the predominant traditional material – the wood shingles. The most interesting aspect of the material is in its system
that has been well developed for hundreds of years. Small units of wood shingles are
laid out like fish scales to become a watertight architectural plane.
On the entrance façade, the upper portion is composed of solid wood shingles
and they trickle down to mixed with polycarbonate shingles on the lower part.
Although working with the traditional shingle system, the uninterrupted translucency
surface is achieved by a special detail design using translucent studs and
special transparent screws.
The facade is glittering in the sun as the light touches different material grains,
from the solid wood shingles to the different translucency levels of the polycarbonate shingles.
The light passes through the facade and creates varying interior atmosphere
at different time with the changing light condition of the sky.
At night with the light from the inside, the building becomes a lantern glowing
on the riverbank. The structure seems less of a building but becomes
more like a piece of craftwork.
I suppose, if I were to drill down - way far down into the psyche - the deep sub-conscious, I might discover certain clues. One, simply would be, a fearlessness of sensitivity.
I do not know, and would be most curious to find out, if the architect/designer might be a woman.
The 'signature' I feel here, seems to flow from that distinct possibility.
And I'd be curious to know who among you feel the same way.
Speaking of innovation : : check this out! A most clever solution to the best location for a flatscreen TV.
Mount it on a frame that rolls back and forth between living room and kitchen/dining area.
What I can't quite figure out just yet is how are the necessary wires/cables are kept out of sight. Unless they are on a self-governing retractable spooling mechanism I don't see how it has been done....but, brilliant as a solution.
More to come about this in the next issue.
Richard Beard, Architects is a highly distinguished and much accomplished firm.
He was elevated in 2010 to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in recognition of his contributions to the advancement of the practice of architecture.
Their portfolio of residential projects is simply stunning.
This one, in California (near San Francisco) is a magnificent example of gracious transitional design.
The team that worked on this project:
Landscape Architect: Lutsko Associates
Interior Designer: Kelly Hohla Interiors
Contractor: Peninsula Custom Homes
Lighting Design: Pritchard Peck Lighting
Photographer: Paul Dyer
And now, from the sublime to the ridiculous — ridiculous in the sense that this teensy little project deserves to be on the same page as the rest of the content. But, as noted previously, this is not so much about design, good or bad, as it is about planning and maximizing the efficiency of a small space.
The site, a derelict and rundown tiny apartment, in a nice part of town, needed an in-depth analysis and review as to how it might be made more efficient, more attractive. The building in which it is located is a normal duplex (two apartments on the upper two floors) also contained two studio type apartments on ground level.
In my analysis of the vacant space my recommendation was to 'gut' the unit and re-plan it completely.
The previous kitchen (if one could cal it that) was an inefficient mess. The bathroom was plain nasty with turn of the century plumbing fixtures, ceramics etc. Plus in both the bathroom and the living room, two very large pipes ran across the ceiling into the adjacent apartment. The ceiling height was the legal minimum to begin with — in the area of the piping it was reduced by an additional 6 inches (see photo of previous bathroom).
In all the total area of this apartment is 352 square feet — which qualifies it as a 'tiny space'.
A key suggestion to the Owner was that in doing the renovation required we semi-furnish the unit and market it as a corporate 'pied à terre' - one wherein we envisioned that a company that flew personnel in and out of Montréal on a regular basis, could realize some significant accommodation savings with an annual lease on the unit. A central requirement was that it have a kitchen with the greatest efficiency possible and incorporate the very best of appliances. Thus the microwave is also a convection oven.
And the cooktop is a recessed two-burner induction unit. There is a full-size Samsung washer/dryer.
The refrigerator is standard height but somewhat narrower than normal. And the counter was designed to accommodate two people very comfortably with the ability to squeeze in a third if desired.
The seating unit is an IKEA Vallentuna design which easily flips out to become a single bed.
There are two large flatscreen TVs installed.And top it all off the rent included one indoor heated parking spot. Although the apartment was only a 5 minute walk from a Metro station it was anticipated that a target corporation would be either providing a rental car, or the occupant may well drive back and forth between Montreal and Ottawa, or Quebec City - or Toronto.
The first images are the 'before' photographs : :
Note the piping that traverses the space
Before : : Bedroom at front of apartment
Plan/Layout Before Renovation
New Proposed Plan/Layout
As noted in the project description there were many challenges that had to be overcome in this undertaking. For instance, the Owner insisted that we supply and install a queen size bed in the bedroom. He also insisted that the kitchen counter be able to accommodate 3 people. Moreover a full-size washer and dryer had to be located where the previous unit was because of plumbing/drain considerations.
And, full-size washer and dryers are extremely uncommon - had to invent a completely new support system to manage the installation. It is for that reason that a pleated accordion blind is what is the cover/mask in front of the washer/dryer.
There you have it. Working in small, tight spaces requires focused concentration and coordination among trades. In a case such as this, the unit had to also act as the staging area — there was no other available space in which to store ceramic tiles, toilet, vanity, doors — whatever. Insofar as I acted as both the designer/planner and project coordinator I spent countless hours running back and forth in attempts to coordinate deliveries from Home Depot, Canada Appliances, Best Buy - all the various suppliers — for there was no such thing as being able to tell them, 'It's okay - just leave things at the side of the house.'
A further complication was the simple fact that the Owner wanted the complete job to be done only by a licensed contractor. His reasons were valid, certainly - but the costs were pretty much double what they could have been — and we had scheduling issues/conflicts that were dictated by union regulations, etc.
But the job got done - everything worked. All was good. It's a job I take professional pride in - not because it is one of great design value - but because so many intricate challenges were met and overcome.
The space, feels, spacious — hard as that may seem, it does. And both the Owner and the Tenant, are happy. Pointe finale!
And so - once again, here we are.
You might want to be asking, 'So - what's new with DR•I?'
There are things - new directions - as I keep promising/threatening, so to speak.
Some of you have been the recipients in the past couple of weeks of an issue of DR•I that's somewhat different in format. We are moving towards a different way to present DesignReview.
Ultimately it will transition away from being the web-based internet site that it is now to being a standalone 'flipbook' publication. That has some interesting added attractions which we are still exploring. The extended use of incorporated video, of added soundtrack — some other features, will hopefully provide greater enjoyment to you the reader.
So - stay tuned - and watch your mailbox. Readers are being selected at random these days to receive the new DR•I in trial form. Your feedback is always appreciated.
Half full glass, half empty glass - halfway there - come halfway......
some may think of it as a threshold.
July 1st - Canada Day here, in Canada. 4th of July in three days in the USA
Said I wouldn't go there. . . . wouldn't make any disparaging remarks. About them. About him.
But - 125 days left. Or, 4 months and 2 days. 18 Saturdays.
Until the US election. A lot can happen in 125 days. A lot can happen in the 10 dozen days from next Monday until November 3rd.
Interesting, no? Of course it is.
Aston Martin • the mark of James Bond. THE, mark of automotive excellence.
And here they come again. But not automotively speaking.
Talk about c o o l ! Talk about super c o o l !
Lonika Chande is a London based interior designer who recently ventured out on her own. And her first client, as it turns out, was her mother. Remodelista featured the project in their publication last week.
The following is a partial extract from their post : :
After earning an architectural interior design degree from the prestigious Inchbald School and working for two design firms in London’s Chelsea, Lonika Chande felt ready to strike out on her own. What she needed was an initial solo project to show what she can do.
That commission came from Lonika’s mother, Lucy Dickens, an artist (and great-great granddaughter of Charles Dickens), who dabbles in real estate: she and Lonika’s stepfather had bought a one-bedroom fixer-upper in Hampstead that they wanted to overhaul as a high-end, long-term rental.
The living area came with nearly 10-foot-tall ceilings and original windows that required restoring. Lucy agreed to expand her white paint palette: the walls are in “a warm and inviting but still neutral shade,” says Lonika--Paper I from the Paint & Paper Library. “With no cornice, the ceiling was painted in with the walls to soften the junction between the two. The window sash bars and rails were painted in Off-Black by Farrow & Ball, not only to make them stand out, but also to highlight the pretty Victorian spindles on the balcony behind. We went for bespoke sheer roller privacy blinds set inside the recess to expose as much of the original paneled detailing on the window architrave as possible.”
The furnishings are a mix of midcentury pieces Lucy already owned and antiques Lonika tracked down at good prices. The sofa cushions are made from vintage Kuba cloth: “as an artist, visual texture is extremely important to Lucy,” says Lonika.
“We spent a lot on the build and getting the bones of the property right, with good-quality flooring, tiles, and other fittings,” says Lonika. “Things like the ironmongery and the new doors were expensive. This meant that we had a tighter budget for the soft furnishings.”
Following are the 'Before' photographs:
As noted, Lucy Dickens is a well established artist - I wanted to showcase some of her work here.
I figured we could all use a little cooling down these days, so. . . . . .
and a little 'Back to the Future' couldn't hurt either:
This wonderful home was recently featured in UNCRATE.
The text and description are taken from that article.
Nestled among the trees of Portland's Forest Park, the Royal House, designed by William/Kaven Architecture, brings a contemporary edge to the rugged scenery. The 4,352 square foot dwelling is formed by a series of rectangular volumes stacked along a wooded ravine. Clad in black siding, the facade blends the stark, geometric forms into the surrounding tree trunks. Its four-bedroom interior boasts bright, open living spaces featuring white oak floors with dark walnut inlays and custom oak cabinets. Floor-to-ceiling glazing envelopes the level in views of the treetops while sliding doors expand the interior to an outdoor terrace and a Juliet balcony overlooking the hillside. Along with direct access to hiking trails including Wildwood Trail, the home is just minutes from the shops, restaurants, and bars of downtown.
A stunning, private home designed by award-winning studio
William / Kaven Architecture.
Photography © Jeremy Bittermann / JBSA.
A clever new product by Danielle Baskin is a remedy to current challenges with facial recognition software used to unlock phones. The San Francisco-based designer recently launched Maskalike, a company that prints custom face coverings with photographs of the wearer. Made of machine-washable cotton, the functional masks create a seamless look that opens cellphones and other devices without having to remove it first.
Maskalike currently has a waitlist for custom designs, although there are options for those who want to maintain some anonymity. The company sells masks printed with Hide the Pain Harold, a man featured in stock photographs who now is recognized widely as a meme. “Look permanently uncomfortable, trying to be happy,” the product description reads.
Try Before You Buy: Walkable Plans Offer a New Way to Visualize Architecture
These full-scale floor plans allow architects and their clients to take their designs for a test drive.
WOW! What an awesome, stupidly O B V I O U S solution to every architect's, designer's major problem - how to accurately, simply and inexpensively convey the true realistic spatial realities of a structure to the client?
Once you see this you slap yourself upside the head and ask yourself, 'Now why did I think of that?'
Check it out here
This idea, this concept came out of Australia. Read this brief account of how it came to be.
I was a builder pouring concrete at Tempe for a customer, the customer is annoyed by the size of the building and wanted it to be bigger, he didn’t realise how small the actual house was, even after looking at the plans for a long time.
I myself then wanted to build my own house and looking at the plans it was hard to wrap around the actual size of the building. I decided to draw the plans onto the ground in a park and was subsequently fined by the council. There had to be a cheaper way to view your plans life-size and that’s when it hit me. I rented out a warehouse, put up some projectors and was now able to walk through my house before it was built saving myself thousands from simples mistake, and now I am bringing this technology to you.
Bringing your architectural plans and your future house to a real-life size before you put $1 on building your home.
With the use of state of the art technology and tailored programs we are able to show your complete dwelling – including upper and lower floors, backyards, swimming pools and entertaining areas, along with driveways and parking spaces to a 'true' 1:1 scale.
You can park your car in the garage and walk around your whole property without annoying glasses or goggles. Your whole family can experience this all at the same time.
So - this technology is now available in the US - and probably soon in Canada also.Currently it is offered in Pittsburgh - but watch - soon it will be available in every major city in North America. So simple!
From Architizer: Nathan Bahadursingh
Even with detailed floor plans and renderings, it’s difficult for architects and clients to clearly visualize and estimate the proportions of a space. This discrepancy can lead to delays in design finalization, mid-construction changes and costs or an inadequate final product.
Ron Lyndon seeks to mitigate this issue and provide greater transparency during the design process with his new Walkable Plans venture. Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Walkable Plans is a floor plan projection center that provides an immersive 1:1 scale layout of a residential or commercial space.
According to NEXTpittsburgh, Lyndon based the company on an idea he saw on “Shark Tank Australia” called Lifesize Plans. He took the concept of projecting true-sized floor plans and applied it to Walkable Plans, which is the first of its kind in the United States.
Using the latest technology, the floor plan projection facility displays life-sized architectural layouts onto the floor, allowing an architect or client to better experience and visualize a space. It gives builders, designers, architects and families the ability to confirm that a design is perfect before investing in construction.
The Walkable Plans facility uses four projectors that are connected to create one massive image measuring 48 by 70 feet. All the company needs is a PDF of the drawings a few days in advance. To make the experience even more immersive, the facility uses real furniture and portable walls in order to provide better clarity.
The Walkable Plans technology also has applications beyond residential and commercial building. It can cover landscapes, retail, manufacturing, office, medical and entertainment spaces. Additionally, it can be applied to more civic projects, such as public transportation and city planning spaces.
As stated on NEXTpittsburgh, Lyndon views Walkable Plans to be the “missing step in the design process.” The benefits are clear. Its ability to display all types of spaces allows individuals to cautiously plan, which ultimately saves money and time on a project.
Hey! DR•I is always - always on the look-out for new and novel technologies!
VESPA 946 CHRISTIAN DIOR SCOOTER
Piaggio and fashion house Christian Dior have collaborated to create the most luxurious experience available on two wheels — the Vespa 946 Christian Dior. Vespa and Dior are no strangers to style, and the Vespa is the perfect platform to express their creativity in motion. Painted creme white, the Vespa 946 Dior has gold accents and trim with a prominent Dior Oblique design in dark blue. The same pattern is used on the seat, with a bespoke square Dior carrying case that mounts to a rack behind the rider. The Vespa 946 Dior will be available Spring 2021 in Dior boutiques and Piaggio Motoplex stores worldwide.
Gee - I wouldn't mind one of these. . . . . great colour scheme.
But, there's also these called BoomerBuggies.....Daymak Boomerbuggy X Covered Mobility Scooter With Cool A/C$7,999.00
I'm figuring on a black one - then will have to get me a black leather motorcycle jacket (with lotsa zippers and stuff) and to finish it off a raccoon tail....yowzah!
Oh - they also come in these colours
Here I am - lighting up your life - again!
The most selling innovative table lamp. Winner of the Red Dot Award!
Within the warm frame of this pleasingly minimalist lamp is a surprising way to illuminate it. When you lift the lower ball attached to a cord, it attracts to the top one—thanks to the embedded magnets inside—creating a connection that switches on the lamp’s LED light. Separating them turns off the light.
The attractive curved design creates the illusion of light passing through the wooden structure. USB plug. Choose from beech wood or three color frame.
: : QUIZ : :
What is this?
Here's the choices:
Maybe this will help. . . . .
Oops - maybe not. . . . . well, this will
Located in the Kanto region of Japan, the Ortho House is a modern family home in the suburbs.
The monolithic structure is comprised of two board-formed concrete volumes. Its interior is accessed through a subterranean garage where an elevator leads to the main level. Featuring floor-to-ceiling glazing, the interior is both visually and physically linked to a courtyard and a garden terrace. Each room expands to these external areas allowing inhabitants to enjoy the outdoors and still maintain privacy. While the interior mimics the facade with exposed concrete and muted tones, a coffered ceiling with wood inserts adds a subtly warmth to the living spaces.
Okay - here's the deal - IMHO this is a wonderful architectural statement, albeit I am unconvinced that the exterior shell couldn't do with some concession to material sensitivity - say, a slash of deep walnut banding. Just something to un-sterilize it.
The architects displayed a deft hand in the definition of the volumes and the spaces....the visual conversation is rich with harmonious balance, simpatico finishes. It's a wonderful design.
The next photograph is the Living Room, and although my opinion doesn't really change, there is one element that disturbs me. Were I the designer or the architect I would have argued for a change, a concession. I'm referring to the coffered ceiling design. Yes, it's a beautiful treatment - but again, IMHO, it is excessive in its intrusion into the visual language that otherwise composites this space.
Does anybody agree with me? Examine it more closely.....the walls appear to be a travertine marble. Perhaps not - could be Kerlite, or even a wood product. Point is it has a nice, rich but subtle texture.
The ceiling -as beautiful as it is, so tone rich, overpowers the space.
So, I decided to do a little experiment - using my Photoshop skills. Check it out.
There are a number of options that might be explored here - but I elected to retain the beams and the architectural reveals that run down the centre of each beam, thereby maintaining a strong connection, both visually and feeling-wise, to the original architecture. I eliminated the recessed coffer in so doing. To my eye the geometry is more gentling, actually more delineating because both the recessed coffers and the wood grain are not now pulling one's focus to the ceiling.
On the other hand, I did a similar experiment in the dining room - which I feel is terribly sterile, design-wise.
In this case I retained the recesses but eliminated the woodgrain ceiling deciding instead to carry the colour richness from the ceramic floor to the ceiling.
And so, whadday a think?
Moi, once done, I realized i wouldn't advocate for such a change. Not that it doesn't work - it does. But the coffered panelling provided a degree of warmth and material richness that this rather barren space really needs.
I would be interested in your opinions, comments
Looks kinda like a beehive sort of, yes?
Hooba Design Group used bricks with glass inserts to create a "semi-transparent character" for the headquarters of brick manufacturer Kohan Ceram in Tehran, Iran.
Tehran-based Hooba Design Group designed a special type of brick, which was manufactured in Kohan Ceram factory, for the six-storey block's facades.
"The spectacled brick was exclusively designed by our office and produced by Kohan Ceram factory for this project," said Hooba Design Group founder Hooman Balazadeh.
"The final block was achieved based on a series of trial and error samples," he told Dezeen. "A close cooperation between our office and the producer resulted in an innovative building block which combines brick and glass to create a singular module."
"The urban scenery along the major highways in Tehran is an amalgam of forms and materials, causing visual disturbance to the urban environment," Balazadeh said.
"This project tries to overcome this issue by minimalizing the form and limiting the materials. The resulting building is calm and neutral in the urban scale," he continued.
"In the building scale, on the other hand, the spectacled brick creates a very different perception for the observer and adds a layer of detail to the atmosphere."
Other recent building projects with patterned brick facades include Fundamental Approach Architects' Tehran apartment block with perforated brick screens and Adept's customised-brick housing alongside Carlsberg's Elephant Gate.
Photography is by Parham Taghioff- Deed Studio.
Client: Kohan Pour
Design consultant: Hooba Design
Principal architect: Hooman Balazadeh
Project architect: Parima Jahangard
Design team: Parima Jahangard, Mohsen Tahmasebi, Mostafa Dadashpour
Site supervision: Mohsen Tahmasebi
Detail design: Bahram Afsari- Mohsen Tahmasebi
Physical modeling: Mehran Alinezhad
Graphic: Shafagh kia- Maryam Eghlimi
Mechanical engineer: Iman Ilbeigi
Lighting design: FAD
Furniture: Harmony Co
S T O P • WAIT | WAIT - S T O P !
What are you seeing here? The lady in the photograph is probably 5'-6" tall? Possibly? Yes.....probably.
LOOK AT THOSE GLASS DOORS!
Extrapolate - if she is 66" tall, she is about one-quarter of the height of the doors......that would mean - yes, BOBO - that would mean the doors are approximately 20 feet high.
Yup! They are - in fact, they are the largest glass doors in the world. Each piece of glass weighs 1.5 tons!
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
I am not, kidding you. These doors are at the rear of an addition to an elegant old house in Antwerp, Belgium.
LOVE the possumPussyCat!
Text description provided by the architects.
A town house ready for the next century. The façade keeps its historical function and bourgeois radiance, neatly in line. The contrast with the rear is ample. All incorrect additions are replaced by a unit of space and light. Daylight and contact with the garden are introduced. The simple, contemporary glass rear has the world’s largest pivoting window – 3 meters wide by 6 meters high – and makes this house ready for the future.
Renovation old Bourgeois town house. Bell etage, so no connection on the same level with the garden. Clients wanted to have that connection and a more modern approach in connection with the old details. We broke down the rear part of the building to make this connection on the same level, and give the house a nice view to the garden from the different floors. We wanted to make also a connection with the different floors. This happened wit a triplex in the new built rear extension.
Materials new extension. Polished concrete inside and the outside terrace on the same level. Walls: masonry with painted. Windowprofiles: ODS Jansen Ixtra lasercut and tailormade with insulated glass from Saint Gobain. (glass 1.5 ton each slab). Each window (with frame) 2 tons. Dimensions: 3x6m and 6x3m above. Concept window: same form: T shaped as an old standard window. Kitchen: table tops also in concrete. The island is movebla to the terrace. The ideal bbq house. In the old front part we renovated the existing floors and architectural details. The new bathrooms are in the old style with modern approach. But we kept the old lavabo’s that were available in the house.
The new bathrooms are in between the two big bedrooms with double doors ‘en enfilade’ (a classical term for doors of different rooms on one view axe). So we didn’t do a lot; but what we did has giant repercussions to the way of living in that house.
This is what is truly known as a Tour de Force! Frankly I cannot understand why one would want to invest the kind of money it must have taken to design/specify two such huge doors. Spectacular result, no doubt......but. . . . . .
This is the home of Barton Myers, Architect. Although American by birth he lived and worked in Toronto for many years. The firm, Diamond and Myers, was the architectural firm that all young design professionals hungered to work for back in 1968 and almost 20 years thereafter.
From d w e l l magazine: $8.2million Written by: BJennifer Baum Lagdameo
Featuring steel garage doors that stave off fires, the home, guesthouse, and studio of Barton Myers are now on the market.The nearly 39-acre site in Montecito, California, that architect Barton Myers chose for a family home afforded breathtaking views of the ocean, the Channel Islands to the south, and the mountains to the north—but it did raise a red flag for him and his late wife, Victoria. "Fire was very much on our minds," shares Barton. "As an architect, if you are going to go into a dangerous area, you have the responsibility of dealing with that in a sophisticated way and hopefully establishing a prototype of how people should deal with these areas."
Barton Myers’s residence was notably featured in
American Masterworks: Houses of the 20th and 21st Centuries
which proclaimed it "one of the 40 most important works of
residential architecture in the last 120 years."
So - that's a wrap for this issue - barely scratched the surface of all the goodies I have stockpiled for y'all.
So far we're maintaining the twice monthly publication. Stay tuned - write, comment, critique - say something!
Development towards an improved or more advanced condition • as defined by Lexico/Oxford dictionary
To that end efforts are underway to continue the development of DR•I - to improve the nature, style and character, to bring the reader a richer, more fluid and efficient experience.
With this issue there will be an eBook file [.epub] of the previous publication, 4•6.
Why? It will allow the reader to download the eBook and read/review it without the requirement of an internet connection. It is, a book - it is the publication in a book form.
What will change is that a) an ePub document does not support slideshows and b) it is more cumbersome to include gallery photo displays.
Other than that it will deliver the exact same content.
Bear in mind - no attempt has been made to style the document - it is, ratther pedestrian in appearance.
That will change as we, advance.
Along the mangroves: The in-between space of Jack Trolove’s paintings
Tulia Thompson talks to Paparoa painter Jack Trolove
and considers his new body of work,
on show in Auckland from Sunday.
After painting all day, Jack Trolove walks along the mangrove coastline. It is dusk, as the day is turning, dark gathering, the mangroves becoming more shadowy. The way places you love slip into your consciousness, like the phrases and gestures of a loved one. Likewise there is something of in-between states about Jack’s potent new paintings.
The dark eyes in a large oil on raw linen painting, ‘Aerial Roots’, are brimming with tears. The young man looks either triumphant, or destroyed. Which is it? This is what makes painter Jack Trolove’s portraits so compelling. There is the visual immediacy of the faces, often in close-up, simultaneously slipping back into abstract lines of thick, bold paint.
I meet Jack during level two. The required lack of hug feels a bit awkward but necessary, and the vegan cafe is otherwise empty of customers. He is wearing a dull black shirt with muted red roses. He has only just finished painting. He is still “close up in it”. I ask him what it has been like working during lockdown, and he explains he stopped painting. He thought his new exhibition Mangrove at Whitespace in Auckland would be cancelled, and got a shock when it wasn’t.
“I just quit my life in an amazing way.” Instead, he grew vegetables.
Jack lives in a hut in the bush in Paparoa, one and a half hours north of Auckland. “You have to walk through the bush to go to the loo.”
Mangrove, a collection of 11 portraits, draws visual cues from the palate of Trolove’s surroundings, but the central concern of being liminal, between things, is an ongoing preoccupation and lived experience. Mangroves, those dark, waxy, horizon-dwellers that cleave to shoreline, are resolutely intertidal, they can tolerate being submerged in sea water.
‘Aerial Roots’ is so called because of mangrove’s pheumatophones – the muddy sticks you see around mangroves that take oxygen to their roots. A breathing device.
Mangrove has also been propelled by technical and aesthetic curiosity; the thick impasto work Jack has done previously is still exciting to him, but it was a challenge “to work with mark marking”. Colour became “intuitive”. He wanted to create “shifting space”.
The blue eyes in another painting, ‘Bones’, look tired. Maybe his subject is exhausted. Maybe her gentle face is just watching something distant, her mouth uncertain. There are dark greens and browns that harness the work to the earth. Jack feels this painting does what he dreamed for it. Some devastation, some hope. Sometimes when he walks past the studio he says she looks peaceful.
I have made this observation, comment, in previous issues - there seems to be a wholly different and unique grasp of residential architecture by latin professionals - Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador - we have included many, many fine homes in DR•I these past many months. I a personally, am always blown away by the inventiveness, the boldness - the fearlessness of new trails blazed in such architecture.
This house, as an example, is a study in tactility, in texture - a collision of colours and moods that provide both tranquility and a fizzy excitement at the same time. Definitely a 'zen-ness' to aspects of the design.
I seriously doubt if a North American architect or designer would have the courage to combine what is seen in this image. . . . the 'fence', of a seafoam green weathered cast is a brilliant formatic device that articulates and grounds the street level experience. The poured in place concrete shell and assymetrical roof beams are both a geometric statement and a deft slash of a well wielded pen - or pencil - or stylus.
There is a definite Asian 'voice' in the vertical wood cladding - almost bamboo-like.
Brilliant! This is one singular pivot-mounted slab door that opens into a beckoning and sensual entryway.
The uplighting is a quite perfect touch.
Architects: Studio Guilherme Torres
Area: 600 m²
Photographs: Denilson Machado – MCA Estúdio
Text description provided by the architects. In 2015, the program requested by the client was relatively simple: a house just for him, with space to welcome his daughter on weekends and maybe in the future to start a new family. Another request was to make the most of the view of the valley in the back, which is a permanent preservation zone, in addition to designing the house entirely in exposed concrete. The first idea was to explore the slope of the land, locating the living room integrated with the kitchen and pool at the lowest level of the property. At the central level service structures, a small home theater and an office/guest room were located, with the upper floor reserved for 3 suites.
The aim of the project was that all rooms had the same privileged view of nature. Another key point of the proposal was to create a dramatic free span, framing nature and accommodating the main access to the house and garage. To make use of this effect, a gable covered in copper cuts the lot in half, supporting the upper structure of the residence and creating a counterpoint to the simple and sculptural architecture of the house. The sculptural effect of the concrete structure came about through a “folding exercise” in the architect's words. “I composed the blocks by materials: in the basement a volume covered in marble, on the middle floor a volume in copper and on the upper floor, a wooden box. Embracing the three materials, a concrete shell, which is limited to just two support points”.
Such simplicity is only conceptual considering how exquisite the final touches, fittings and material encounters are. Excellence in the quality of finishes is the client's merit: a perfectionist passionate about architecture. In the hiatus since the house was built a lot has happened; today it is also home to his wife, a small son and another one on the way. The architecture is timeless, but time doesn't stop.
THE PARCHMENT WORKS
In the countryside of Northamptonshire sits a Grade II listed Victorian house along with a cattle shed and the ruins of a former parchment factory. Rather than demolish the existing relic, Will Gamble Architects transformed it into a contemporary extension. The building's existing masonry walls were left intact and delicate glass volumes were inserted throughout the voids, preserving the historic quality of the property. To further highlight the original character, a material palette of Corten steel, oak, and reclaimed brick clads the exterior while rugged oak beams, lime-washed stone walls, and a concrete plinth live harmoniously with a modern kitchen throughout the interior.
The existing property consisted of a Grade II listed double fronted Victorian house. Connected to the house was a disused cattle shed and beyond that a ruin, which was a former parchment factory and scheduled monument.
The client’s initial brief was to convert the cattle shed and demolish the ruin to make way for a new extension. From the beginning of the design process it was clear that the client viewed the ruin as a constraint as opposed to a positive asset that could be celebrated through a sensitive but well conceived intervention.
Instead of demolishing the ruin, Will Gamble Architects proposed ‘a building within a building’ - where two lightweight volumes could be delicately inserted within the masonry walls in order to preserve and celebrate it.
A palette of honest materials were chosen both internally and externally which references the site’s history and the surrounding rural context.
Externally, corten steel, oak, and reclaimed brick were used. The extension was built from up-cycled materials predominantly found on site which was both cost effective and sustainable, whilst allowing the proposal to sensitively blend into its surroundings.
Internally the structural beams of the existing cattle shed were exposed, as well as the steelwork to the new parts - the stone walls were re-pointed and washed in lime to create a mottled effect, and a concrete plinth was cast along the base to create a monolithic skirting.
A contemporary kitchen (also designed by the practice) juxtaposes the uneven and disordered nature of the ruin and continues the theme of a modern intervention set within a historic context.
Photography by Johan Dehlin
Mobile Pixels DUEX Pro Portable Dual Monitor
Nothing amps up your productivity like working with two screens, but computer monitors can be crazy expensive and tend to take up a ton of space. Thankfully, you don't need a full desktop setup to work with multiple screens on the go— the DUEX Pro Portable Dual 1080p Monitor lets you enjoy dual screen functionality anywhere, anytime. The DUEX Pro is a completely portable dual-screen laptop accessory that helps boost your productivity by up to 50% and allows for efficient multitasking. It's simple to use and provides flexible rotation and dual-sided sliding with 270-degree rotation, as well as the option for a 180-degree presentation mode. DUEX Pro is lightweight, energy efficient, and incredibly durable. Just attach the DUEX Pro to the back of any laptop, and you're ready to work wherever you are!
For a long-treasured family lake house in desperate need of a refresh, two sisters turned to Schumacher to zhuzh-up their midcentury modern space without dismantling its perfectly imperfect charms. Stylish and happy indoor/outdoor fabrics were just the things to channel the cabin’s surprisingly chic legacy—and they’re tough enough to handle anything that comes their way.
The lakeside getaway that sisters Vivette Porges and Claudia Beyer grew up in and inherited from their parents had begun to show its age. But any redo would require a gentle hand to preserve the home’s intellectual-boho air: Their dad, Peter Paul Porges, had been an illustrator for The New Yorker; their mom, Lucie, had spent 43 years as a designer for fashion icon Pauline Trigère, and had lovingly renovated the home. Both of them were Viennese émigrés, and through the years the cottage crackled with life. It was the type of place where the neighborhood kids congregated for breakfast, where the atmosphere was welcoming and unpretentious, and all the details felt right without any of it trying too hard. “We didn’t want to do anything that would change the essence of Mama’s house,” says Vivette.
In the end, the Schumacher team opted for indoor/outdoor fabrics in the kinds of bold, bright motifs that Lucie always favored to wake up the spaces without altering them too much. The high-performance textiles are ideal for the relaxed, easy-breezy lifestyle that the family has always cherished at the house, and honor the chic practicality that Lucie espoused. “She would love it,” says Claudia.
It was the type of place where the neighborhood kids congregated for breakfast, where the atmosphere was welcoming and unpretentious.
By Mario López-Cordero
Produced by Olivia Caponigro and Tori Mellott. Photography by Max Kim-Bee.
Interior styling by Olga Naiman.
Food styling by Paul Grimes.
From the architects:
Settled in a rocky enclave of seasonal, waterfront homes, Metrick Cottage is a one-storey, wood-clad, residence and boathouse on the shore of Lake Joseph, Ontario. This year-round retreat for a multi-generational family, draws inspiration from the rugged beauty that surrounds it to create a warm, elegant, and eco-friendly home.
Team: Robert Kastelic, Kelly Buffey, Nazia Aftab
Construction: Mazenga North
Photography: Shai Gil
The design of the main cottage consists of three distinct yet connected ‘pods’ comprised of an open, communal space, flanked by private bedroom suites. The residence was carefully situated in the landscape so that the bedrooms face a stone ridge on either side, creating a visual boundary that extends the perception of space while providing privacy. At the same time, each pod is slightly angled from each other in order to capture the longest view from the central pod where the family congregates. Various textures of wood were used, from the semi-charred fir cladding to a torrified-ash that wraps the interior floors, walls, and ceilings.
From the Lake, the cottage is designed to elegantly blend into the rugged terrain, while the boathouse maintains a quiet presence on the water. Together, the home offers a serene oasis for the Metrick family, with panoramic views of the lake and shoreline beyond.
Sited on the shore of Lake Joseph in Ontario, the Metrick Cottage & Boathouse reflects is rugged scenery in design and materials. The main house is devised as three gabled volumes. Their charred fir exteriors feature exposed joists and oversized eaves, giving them a rustic character while standing-seam metal roofs and expansive glazing provide a contemporary quality. Each timber structure is separated by function, with the main living areas in the center and the master bedroom and guest suite on either side. Intimate areas are placed toward a stone ridge for privacy and angled to allow the central gathering pod unobstructed views across the lake. Stretching from the shore, an accompanying boathouse floats on the water's surface and offers three slips and sweeping vistas.
Discipline, in design, is a prerequisite. One's ability to conceive a vision, a concept - and then to see it through all the pathways and processes - all the while remailing true to that core vision, is discipline.
That's what we see i this mostwonderful lakeside retreat. An essentially monochromatic colour scheme, one wherein the tones of natural materials, form a comforting coccoon in a wllderness setting.
Kudos to the architectural/design team - and to the clients - who quarterbacked this initiative through to such a wonderful result!
And so here we are again ◾ this is now, the second mid-month issue ◾ and still, no one has responded/replied in regards to stating if you 'like it' or 'don't like it' - hmmmmmm ◾ not so easy to figure you all out, not
Back@you in 2 weeks
Some time back - oh maybe, like in January or February - I made a promise to you the readers. . . . that
I would no longer use the platform of DR•I to voice concerns, critiques in respect to world events.
That I would maintain a respectable posture of non-engagement in regards to the performance (or non-performance) of political world leaders (or wanna be leaders. . . ) I strayed, once I think - as I thought the situation merited it.
'And, so - what do you think now?', you might well ask. I have, many thoughts - I have many feelings -
I have disappointments and frustrations. . . . as do, I'm sure, many of you. But those will not be shared,
or spread across these 'pages'.
Suffice it to say, in allowing my conscience to speak for me, on Friday night last, I cancelled/deleted my Facebook account. After more than 10 years, 'sayonara'........the 'whys', the 'what fors', - well, if you have to ask you're just not tuned in..
Sadly -as the FB connection was one that kept me in front of friends and colleagues, ex-co-workers, ex-students - in Amman, Hong Kong, Milan. Beirut, Victoria, Miami - other places..... I will surely miss them.
A void is now in the place where once a warm spot used to be. . . . . but, one has to either live by their code of morality, or - not.
Moreover, no longer will FB be a place where I can announce to my confreres, news about DR•I and other design-related issues.
'Nuff said', he said. Grazie though, to my FB associates. I will, miss you.
A London Home Goes From Georgian to Modern, With a Detour : :
By Alice Rawsthorn : : New York Times
Notice the plaster mouldings? You have to assume the ceiling here is about 14' in height. Why? Because a standard door measures 80" - and here we have almost double that. Pretty awesome.
The house/home was designed and built from 1773 to 1774 by one of the estate’s surveyors, John White, and Thomas Collins, a sought-after ornamental plasterer. MM
The owner of an apartment in an 18th-century townhouse thought she was undertaking “an easy conversion.” Then she entered a maze of rules and interpretations.
When Heather Kane was scouring her favorite London neighborhoods two years ago searching for an apartment to buy, she discovered a promising candidate on the first floor of an 18th-century townhouse on Harley Street, in the Marylebone area of the city center.
“I loved it,” recalled Ms. Kane, a 42-year-old technology executive turned design entrepreneur, who was born in Los Angeles and has lived in London since 2015. “Most of the apartments I’d seen had beautiful, original facades but were too pared back inside. This one was huge with high windows and ceilings, original plaster moldings, and an amazing terrace.
“I love London’s historic architecture and wanted to preserve as much of the period detailing as possible. I thought it would be an easy conversion, but it turned out to be 10 times harder than anything I’d done before.”
The cause of her difficulties was Britain’s labyrinthine architectural conservation system, which ensures that any changes to a building deemed to be of historic importance, like the Harley Street townhouse, must be approved by the local planning department. Ms. Kane’s home is in the City of Westminster, which includes some of London’s finest historical buildings, but whose planners are famed for their strictness and for having very particular opinions on what constitutes acceptable — and unacceptable —— architectural interventions.
Translating such a building into a comfortable, functional contemporary home is almost always intensely subjective and potentially contentious. One person’s interpretation of sensitive restoration can be another’s idea of architectural carnage, while a third might regard it as too timid. As Ms. Kane admitted, one of her challenges in navigating British conservation politics was having no knowledge of the planning system. Another problem was the difficulty of translating her needs and wishes into something that Westminster’s planners would approve.
Like much of Marylebone, Harley Street originated as a speculative development by the Portland Estate, owned by the Duke of Portland, whose wife inherited most of the land between what are now Oxford Street and Marylebone Road, in 1741. Harley Street’s construction began in the 1750s, and the house containing Ms. Kane’s apartment was designed and built from 1773 to 1774 by one of the estate’s surveyors, John White, and Thomas Collins, a sought-after ornamental plasterer.
Grander houses were built nearby at that time — notably those designed by the Scottish architects Robert and James Adam on Mansfield Street — but the delicately rendered cherubs in Collins’s plasterwork would have been enough to distinguish this one. His renown may also explain why several of his ornate panels survived nearly 250 years of construction, including the house’s conversion in 1949 into flats. Collins’s skill also contributed to the entire house’s being given a Grade 2 listing, which is awarded to a building “of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve it,” in 1987.
Like many London apartments of similar vintage, Ms. Kane’s two-bedroom, first-floor flat combined some original elements with a motley assortment of additions dating from the early and mid-1800s, early 1900s, the 1949 conversion, and subsequent makeovers. Westminster’s planners insisted that all of those features be preserved and that any adjacent work match them. Ms. Kane was happy with that, but not with the planners’ response to her request for what she thought were modest changes to make her new home “more livable,” as she put it.
Ed note: Don't you just love the archway? Homage to a radiator. . . . of course, in 1740, it may well have been that radiators were not as yet in existence. Therefore, it begs the question, 'Why an archway? Why here?'
And the answer may well be that it was in fact a passageway to somewhere else.......make sense?
This to me, is a lovely example of a renovation, sensitively and elegantly undertaken to reflect both the tenor of the architecture of the time, and also to bring forth a very personal stamp of the current owner.
The full article in the New York Times is available at:
M E D D L E S O M E ?
Who, me? Well, maybe so - but I would argue, it's only a designer taking creative license/freedom - to comment, critique - to show perhaps a better way. IMHO this is a lovely, simple space, this guest bedroom. Gentle, elegant, simple. But I feel the two pieces of art displayed on the wall of the recessed archway are a) too small, b) out of context. So, I did some searching. Firstly I thought a ROTHKO poster reproduction - with the wonderful range of colours ad moods - might be right. And, many would be. But I luckily tripped over the work of a Canadian First Nations artist, Linus Woods. He is a Dakota/Ojibway artist from the Long Plain Fisrt Nation of Southern Manitoba. He is largely self-taught. Please visit his work here.
I selected the one you see in the following 'edited' image. It is called,
'Untitled - White Horse Looking Down' .
And as part of 'Designer's License', I added the frame. So - what do you think? Would love to hear your comments.
By the way - because I find his work so rich, so compelling, I am showcasing some of Mr. Woods paintings here.
A SHACK NOT IN THE WOODS
There is a wide-ranging fascination of late, for small spaces. Nobody seems to be able to explain it.
Is it cost-related? Think not - at least not in the main - a certain percentage equates smaller with cheaper. And in that they are not necessarily wrong. However having designed numerous small spaces in my career (from powder rooms to kitchens, staterooms to home offices) - oft-times it can cost much more to achieve miniaturizaton in anything. Hardware is more costly, labour is more expensive - there is no rule of thumb, but it costs big money to be, well, innovative.
But that fascination exists - it's akin to small boat (or even big boat) interiors. Having had a 40' houseboat for a few years, I know firsthand how one has to consider the consequence of every decision to 'bring something else onboard.'
To that point - this is a quite lovely exercise in clever thinking.
PREFAB MOUNTAIN REFUGE
Gnocchi+Danesi architects merge traditional alpine shelters with modern design to create the Mountain Refuge. The compact cabins are constructed from two prefabricated plywood modules that feature dramatic roof pitches while a black pine tar finish gives them a minimalist character. Interiors total around 258 square feet and although the designers offer a variety of layouts, the living spaces are left mostly open to give owners the flexibility to accommodate their needs. There's also the option of adding another module to boost the inside 129 square feet. With helicopter delivery and no need for a poured foundation, the Mountain Refuge can be placed in remote locations that couldn't normally be reached using conventional methods.
Photos: The Mountain Refuge
Copyright © THEMOUNTAINREFUGE.COM 2020. All Rights Reserved
Pour moi, there is a 'baring of the soul' in the raw bleakness of this environment. Striking, it resonates deeply. Pour moi. . . . .
When we're finally able to break out of quarantine, you won't want to be confined by four walls anymore. The Casa Cosmos is the perfect cure for cabin fever. Located on a remote piece of Pacific coastline in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, the seaside retreat features an open-air design. Wooden screens slide out to seamlessly expand the minimalist living spaces to the jungle landscape. For full ocean views, head to the rooftop terrace and catch the sunset. Its interior is comfortably equipped with a bathroom, kitchen, and queen-size bed while an outdoor hammock and private plunge pool ensure relaxing is part of the agenda.
Casa Cosmos is the perfect house for you to relax, come and disconnect yourself from the city chaos.
In this remote beach of the Mexican Pacific coast, you will be able to let go of stress, we want you to enjoy your stay, have time and space to finish that book that you been willing to read or just enjoy the incredible sunsets while you walk down the beach.
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