Ideally, wouldn't we all like to live in a climate where outdoor living is possible year-round? And wouldn't we love to live in a space where the divide between indoors and outdoors is non-existent? São Paulo-based Fernanda Marques achieved this idealistic balance in her Loft 24-7 residence, presented at the CasaCor exhibition in São Paulo, Brazil.
In the 250-square-meter (about 2,700 square feet) space, Marques has erased the barriers by using "outdoor" elements inside and "indoor" elements outside and creating easy visual links between the two. Limestone, rough stone, steel, glass, wood paneling and furnishings that speak to the architect's modernist style, all create a harmonious, seamless environment where you are never quite in and never quite out.
Fernanda Marques is the chief architect at Fernanda Marques Arquitetos Associados that is involved in both residential and commercial architecture, interior design, furniture design and real estate. - Tuija Seipell.
As we continue to wonder why so much more time, energy and attention is lavished on adults' play and entertainment spaces than on kids' play and entertainment spaces, we sometimes find a cool spot worth mentioning.
The "sculptural playground" Schulberg located in a formerly neglected area overlooking the historic centre of the city of Wiesbaden in Germany, is one of such great kid-friendly environments. It is both kid- and adult-friendly and big enough to hold even the most active kid's attention for several visits.
Designed by Berlin-based ANNABAU Architektur und Landschaft http://www.annabau.com/index.php?site=projects&subsite=project&id=6, the pentagon-shaped play area mirrors the city's historic shape. The playground consists of three elements: A suspended net walkway loop supported by two undulating lengths of stainless-steel pipe; an artificial landscape created inside the loop; and a wide boulevard with benches outside the loop. - Tuija Seipell
When we saw this great idea in Montreal, Canada, we immediately thought how wonderful it would be if city councils around the world took this on as a way to draw attention to Breast Cancer Awareness Month! The cause deserves this kind of prominence.
However, this presentation by landscape architect Claude Cormier is not for breast cancer awareness. It is part of Aires Libres a summer-long celebration that has turned the street to a pedestrian-only mall of arts and culture. Aires Libres will end September 12, 2011.
Pink Balls/Les Boules Roses consists of more than 170,000 pink balls hanging over a 1.2 km distance from Berri to Papineau Street in Montreal’s Sainte-Catherine Street East Village.
There are three sizes of pink plastic balls, stretching over the street in nine sections, each with its own pattern. Pink Balls was produced by Impact Production in partnership with Société de développement commercial - SDC du Village. - Bill Tikos
Berlin and Shanghai-based COORDINATION ASIA has just migrated its Shanghai office from an old textile mill to a glass-company headquarters. The former office was located on the banks of Suzhou Creek at No. 50 Monganshan Road in an old textile mill now known as M50 and housing a mix of creative businesses, cafes and restaurants.
COORDINATION ASIA’s new digs are located in the former headquarters of the Shanghai Glass Company at Huangpi Road 688, a building waiting for complete renovation in 2012.
COORDINATION’s CEO Tilman Thürmer, now more or less permanently located in Shanghai, says he misses the artistic community of M50, but loves the downtown location and the cool vibe of the new space.
The team at COORDINATION created a sleek 300 square-meter home for itself among the crazy “old-style European mansion” decor that was the result of a renovation in the 90s. They kept the marble, hardwood, built-in bookshelves, hidden storage, weird ceiling molding and the odd mix of ceiling light fixtures but covered most of it with black paint, a colour prominent in many COORDINATION projects.
The result is an elegant and artsy creative space that could be mistaken for a completely customized environment. - Tuija Seipell.
Shanghai’s shiny new Museum of Glass opened last week as part of Shanghai’s campaign of becoming a globally important cultural and creative centre by launching 100 museums in a decade.
Shanghai-based German architectural firm Logon handled the architecture and exterior of the museum. Germany’s Glashütte Lambets supplied the enameled glass used for the museum’s façade inscribed with glass-industry terms in ten languages.
COORDINATION ASIA, also based in Shanghai, was in charge of the overall museum concept, art direction, design and supervision of the museum interior. It was also the chief consultant for curation, marketing and operation, as well as coordination of an international team of architects, artists, designers, filmmakers and multimedia specialists.
COORDINATION’s Tilman Thürmer tells TCH that they used black lacquered glass for the interior (cases, floor, furniture, walls), but left the existing structure untouched. The museum building is a former glassmaking workshop, one of 30 former bottling-plant structures that the Shanghai Glass Co. still owns.
The black, sleek glass of the interior reflects the LED lights and screens positioned throughout the space, creating a shiny and glittering multi-dimensional feel. This emphasizes the interaction, interdependence and influences of periods, continents, materials and peoples involved in the art, craft and industry of glass.
The design of the space and exhibits and the use of various media help create an interactive and participatory museum experience where the visitor is directed through the story of glass.
“Designwise, we wanted to create a piece of black crystal glass. Sparkling, reflecting, sleek and deep,” Thürmer says. - Tuija Seipell.
Spanish leather goods and women's accessories firm Malababa started in 1997 when pharmacy graduate Ana Carrasco realized she was more drawn to fashion than apothecary. She created a solid following in Madrid, then in the rest of Spain, and moved on to other markets in 2003. Malababa is now sold in more than 300 stores in Mexico, Argentina, USA, Japan, Kuwait, China and several European countries.
In Malababa pieces, there is a sense of traditional Spanish craftsmanship and handiwork. The use of natural-tone leathers and metal accents with timeless patina create a feel of value, elegance and timelessness. Purses, bags, wallets and shoes form the core of each collection, with cuffs, belts and other accessories completing the line.
Great animated music video for the band Danger Beach. Their album Milky Way can be downloaded here:
Directed by Ned Wenlock
Character animation by Rodney Selby
Black and white are the safe choices in the design world. The color of luxury is elegant and subdued. Yet, at the same time, even top-tier designers, artists and luxury brands have always used bright colors as well. It is not about either or. It is not black-and-white or color.
Just try telling those who love Dale Chihuly’s art, Versace interiors, Karim Rashid’s Corian eco-house or Renzo Piano’s Central St Giles facades in London that the “designer look” is always predominantly black and white.
And although bright color is often associated with being a sort of primitive, wild, folk-art aesthetic, and therefore black and white would seem the serious and civilized alternative, color is not just wild, frivolous, and primitive.
Just think of your favorite brand’s logo and you will most likely visualize some color. Imagine a weekly market at a Peruvian mountain town, an Indian wedding party, a Norwegian fishing town, Marimekko fabrics, a Cirque du Soleil show or Avatar, and you cannot avoid feeling uplifted and happy because of the colors.
In fact, we are seeing a clear increase in the use of color in the broad design world.
We see more color in commercial and residential architecture, interior design, art and installations, events, retail and hospitality. We also see more color in products — from aircraft to fashion to everyday items — and in marketing and communications as well.
The recent super-enthusiastic online reaction to the redesign of the logo of the City of Melbourne in Australia is a good example of this. People are interested and they do see the difference. When did people last get that excited about a city logo? Disneyland’s soon-to-open World of Color and the Dubai Fountain are also great examples of what technology and color are bringing to entertainment experiences.
We are hard-wired to notice and react to color, and marketers (and Pantone and the Color Marketing Group) and psychologists have long known this. Children generally love bright colors. Fast-food restaurants use bright colors because they want us to notice, grab and go. Red is stop, green is go. Colors affect and express our everyday lives, even when we don’t notice it.
Throughout history, color has expressed and represented status, religion, origin, feelings and many other things, and its use has been dependent on resources. To be able to afford clothing or other possessions in certain colors meant you were wealthier than most, as some ingredients to produce specific colors were not available everywhere.
As we have seen so vividly in the widely circulated “color wheel” by David McCandless and Always with Honor, different colors mean different things in various cultures. And apparently, people from warm climates respond favorably to warm colors while northerners like cooler colors.
Perhaps it was the recessionary economy that enticed designers to use more color, and attracted the rest of us to it. Whatever the underlying reasons, we see more color and we love it. - Tuija Seipell
Brands wanting to see ideas and concepts about how to use colour effectively, contact our marketing agency, ACCESS AGENCY.
This residence in the Pavilniai Regional Park, near the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, is one of those that we just have to point out, although it is neither brand-new nor unfamiliar to many readers.
The confident combination of history and modern needs of an upscale family was achieved by the architectural firm G. Natkevicius & Partners.
Located by in the valley of river Vilnia that gave the city its name, the park and the city have a rich history with the oldest written records dating back to 1323. The Puckoriu escarpment in the park has rare rock formations from the Ice Age. A large munitions factory on the site dates back to the 17th century.
It seems that in Vilnius private residents can buy pieces of such storied land, and when the current owner of the site - a banker and collector of antique books - bought it, a single bright-yellow building stood on it. On further examination, the owners found out that the building was part of the cannon foundry and it was built of valuable, historic Vilnius-made bricks.
The yellow house itself was not as big as the four-member family wanted their home to be, so they decided to build their new home of glass and erect it around the historic brick house. The exposed brick adds a tactile sexy feel and softens the potentially cold atmosphere of the glass structure. A sensuous curved opening, cut for the staircase that is outside the brick house, adds another focal point that works beautifully with the square elements around it.
The owners' antique library is now in the basement of the old brick house, the kids' rooms are on the ground floor, the master bedroom on the top floor. The other functions - living, dining, cooking, baths, garages - are all within the new glass structure. As a stunning bonus to the historically sensitive solution, the residents enjoy an amazing 360-degree view of the park. Sigh. - Tuija Seipell
In a refreshing departure from the now so routine dark-mahogany “men’s club” feel of men’s stores, New York-based architect and interior designer Rafael de Cárdenas of Architecture At Large approached Cape Town’s Unknown Union with a much lighter touch.
The two-level boutique, located in a historic building, exudes light and color. On the first level, white walls serve as the background to the pared-down stacked-box shelving painted in softly muted yet vibrant colors. This simplified setting, gives the owners, Sean Shuter and Daniel Jackson, an ideal showcase for the brands that they represent, including ANYthing, Pendleton, Surface to Air, and Penfield USA.
The second level is an ever-changing, creative space, where local and international creators and artist showcase their work. The opening event for the space featured the work of Rafael de Cárdenas/Architecture at Large, Gazelle, Surface to Air, Milkbeard, Cornrow Rider and THECAST. - Tuija Seipell.