When restoring this traditional Victorian terrace house — now known as the Skylight House — in Sydney, Australia, the architects and designers at Chenchow Little had to leave the street façade intact because the house is part of a conservation streetscape.
But the ornate, white exterior now hides a beautiful, minimalist dwelling that includes three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a new kitchen.
Flipping the typical Victorian terrace-house floor plan around, the designers placed the secondary bedrooms on the ground floor and the living rooms on the top floor. The living areas gained access to natural light via the new series of south-facing skylights, and to views across Parramatta River thanks to strategically placed windows.
Right beside the stairs leading from the relocated living room to the new kitchen, is a new central courtyard that encircles an existing mature banksia tree.
The materials and colors are minimalist and pure: raw concrete, glass, white walls and spotted gum hardwood.
The interior design by Janice Chenchow of Chenchow Little, veers toward mid-century modernist with several Scandinavian and Italian pieces including a Woodnotes’ hand-tufted wool "Sammal" carpet (Finnish for "moss") carpet in the color "Ice." We also love the lighting choices, especially "Parentesi" designed by Achille Castiglioni & Pio Manzuʻ for FLOS.
Project architects, husband and wife, Tony Chenchow and Stephanie Little, established their Sydney-based firm in 2004.
The Skylight House won the Australian Institute of Architects, NSW Chapter Award 2011 Residential Architecture Award for Alterations and Additions. - Tuija Seipell
The 15-room Parisian boutique Hôtel Thoumieux in the Left Bank is yet another cool, art-deco-ish creation by Thierry Costes and designer India Mahdavi. Some time ago, we wrote about their Germain cooperation
Located above the popular Thoumieux Brasserie, the hotel also offers its own significant culinary input in the form of the 20-seat dining room Jean-François Piège, where chef Jean-François Piège is apparently creating gastronomic masterpieces.
The dining room’s tongue-in-cheek decor, also by India Mahdavi, exudes a somewhat out-dated and perhaps even a bit underworldly glamor of a bygone-era -- potted plants on doilies and elaborate wallpapers included. The pastelly furnishings, carpets and wall treatments bring out an aura of an elderly, once-quite-elegant aunt, who would not allow you to enter the room with a drippy chocolate ice cream cone.
The 20-seat dining room is not likely offer ice cream cones, but the atmosphere is relaxed, with no sommelier and no menu just “Les Règles du Jeu” (today’s market). - Tuija Seipell
The three-dimensional wall art, “I feel good today,” is a result of creative minds coming together. The location: A popular morning coffee and lunch spot, the erste liebe bar in Hamburg (erste liebe means first love in German). The bar’s owners are the video producers at erste liebe film who work right above the bar.
The artist: Niels Bruschke of Santiago Design, who used a Viktor bike from Schindlehauer as the focal point. The partner: Bruschke was asked to do this piece by Two Wheels Good, a bike shop and promoter and creator of urban mobility concepts. Their first location is at Bismarckstrasse and the second one opened this summer at the new bike-loving 25hours Hotel HafenCity.
All of which just proves Oprah Winfrey’s point: “Here’s what my love affair with quotations has taught me: the more you focus on words that uplift you, the more you embody the ideas contained in those words.” - Tuija Seipell
French architect Odile Decq (born 1955) and her late partner, architect and doctor Benoit Cornette (1953-1998) have never feared bold, big, challenging projects.
This year, Decq who continues to lead Odile DECQ Benoit CORNETTE:Architectes Urbanistes in Paris, completed a task that has apparently eluded designers and architects since 1875.
She designed the spectacular L'Opéra Restaurant, located in one of the most famous buildings in opera, the 1,600-seat L'Opéra Garnier, on Place de l'Opéra in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris.
The 6 million Euro (about $8.2 million US), three-year-long project was completed this summer. The most significant features of the restaurant are the magnificent glass curtain walls that protect the original stone; the curved structures that define the new space and also create the seating areas and even some of the seating; and the simple use of white and red. The result is both minimal and grandiose, contemporary and historic. From some angles, the curvy structures create a cave-like view, perhaps a reference to the Phantom’s subterranean world.
The building, originally designed by architect Charles Garnier in Baroque Revival style, was inaugurated in 1875. Over the years, it has been known as Opéra de Paris, L'Opéra Garnier, Paris Opéra and L'Opéra Populaire. Its architecture set a new style for opera buildings, and for the next several decades opera houses around the world were built to resemble it.
The building’s fame has also been boosted because it is the setting of Gaston Leroux’s gothic novel, Phantom of the Opera (Le Fantôme de l'Opéra, 1911) and the popular musical ,by Andrew Lloyd Webber (1986). - Tuija Seipell
Pics by Roland Halbe
Earlier this year, the angular and colorful illustrations of Star Wars characters by UK-based illustrator and animator Liam Brazier drew everyone's attention.
In addition to the Start Wars characters that in their clunkiness lend themselves to geometric treatments, Brazier has also attacked Superman whose billowing cape and bulging muscles are far less boxy.
What makes Brazier's work even more interesting is that the illustrations are not created in Illustrator using vectors. Instead, he draws each shape with Photoshop's polygonal selection tool and then fills them in with color.
We love these powerful images full of intention and action. We can see them covering an entire wall in a kids' room. Or in our office .- Bill Tikos
”Kipling” is the title of a hauntingly melancholic yet somehow beautifully hopeful music video created for the Finnish indie rock band, Magenta Skycode, by Miikka Niemi and his Lapland-based team at Flatlight Films.
We love the way the open space, sparse nature and mythical plot leave room for the viewers’ own interpretations. The airiness and subdued light are perfect reflections of the chilly beauty of Lapland where this was filmed in Kemijärvi and Salla.
The voice and the music are those of Jori Sjöroos, Magenta Skycode’s founder and main man. The other band members are Niko Kivikangas, Kalle Taivainen, Valtteri Lipasti, Mitja Kiviluoma, Niina Sinkkonen and Jessika Rapo.
We especially love the rhythm that seems to recall a yoik (joiku), the Lapps’ ancient form of storytelling by singing. Combined, the video and music bring out thoughts of shape-shifters and shamans, tragic fates and dramatic lives, fear and hope. The man and dog (a white Swiss shepherd) never appear together. Are they the same?
Kipling gained its name from a Rudyard Kipling quote: “Of all the liars in the world sometimes the worst are your own fears.” The song ends with a beautiful verse: As your sadness leads you home, will you turn the scene around, moving closer to the stage where your fear ends up afraid?
Kipling is part of Magenta Skycode’s second album, Relief, that won the 2010 Finland Emma Award (Finnish equivalent of Grammy) for the Best Indie Album. In 2006, the Turku-based Magenta Skycode’s debut album, IIIII, became Finland’s Record of the Year. - Tuija Seipell
Rosemarie Köckenberger's experience as part of Balestra Berlin no doubt shaped the creation of KJOSK.
A double-decker bus reimagined - KJOSK is part kiosk, part urban oasis for Berliners seeking well-curated
staple goods sourced from local farms. It stands apart, much like Balestra Berlin, known for it's unique, collaborative approach and stand-out projects like Kubik, a lantern-like light installation. Check out more here:
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What do you get when you combine the ultimate summer playground with a fun, cool brand that is willing to play with you? You get life-size Mini convertibles, inflatable beach toys that are as much fun for adults as they are for kids.
Most likely kids will have no chance at all to play with these toys as the Mini inflatable screams grown-up fun in an irresistible way. This is the ultimate beach accessory; too big for the ordinary pool but perfect for the warm waters and sandy beaches where the in crowds gather to see and to be seen.
Beach-goers can just grab one and play in the sand or on the water. They will be able to enjoy the sun, catch the waves, look cool, pose for some pics. These are pictures they will want to broadcast and post online because the beach Minis will not appear on every beach. People will want their friends to know where they are so that they can join the fun.
Mini Inflatables were created by Access Agency after the success unveiling of the Mini Indoor Drive-in cinema for the new Countryman in Italy.
Access’s cool car experiences for Mini include the car wraps and the recently launched Sephora's new Same Day delivery service using the Mini Clubman.
The Mini Inflatables are incredibly flexible as promotional and entertainment tools. They can be used not only at the beach over summer but in many other environments as well.
Additional uses for the beach include fun Mini rides in Mini Inflatables pulled by speedboats or jet skis.
Mini Inflatables are effective as massive “balloons” on top of actual Minis in showrooms, outdoor picnic promotions, parks, special events such as Art Basel and other large-scale festivals.
Mini Inflatables are also perfect for point-of-sale displays, as showroom props and as décor. - Bill Tikos