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May 27 2010

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Kids

May 26 2010

Fitzroy High School has a long history in Melbourne, Australia. The government school closed in 1992 but it re-opened in 2004, after an 11-year campaign by parents and residents. In 2009, its senior students gained an exciting new building, designed by Melbourne-based McBride Charles Ryan who we have featured previously.


 
The school’s philosophy of innovation in education is reflected in the striking new building that connects with a cluster of older school buildings, some more than 100 years old. The new building’s exterior walls are deliciously wavy and painted in stripes of secondary colors, all of which helps the building both blend in and stand out.


 
Inside, the studio spaces had to remain extremely flexible and their configurations had to be easy to change by staff. The solution is deceptively simple: Bright-colored drapes and splashes of color that define a space. The school brought McBride Charles Ryan the 2010 Grand Prix at the Dulux Color Awards while the interior won in the Commercial Interior category. - Tuija Seipell

For a comprehensive visual presentation of schools/universities with thousands of visuals to excite you, contact TCH Platinum. Schools wanting to see ideas and concepts in how to design super cool educational environments effectively, contact our marketing agency, ACCESS AGENCY.


Design

May 23 2010

Great, aesthetically pleasing design needn't be limited to traditional architectural forms such as houses and public buildings.



Utilitarian spaces, such as car parks, present architects and designers with a unique opportunity to bring beauty and harmony to the everyday functional spaces that are normally ignored by great design minds.

We're excited to report that the tide is changing, evidenced by these good-looking car parks.



Modern design is all about "experience" and these car parks pictured acknowledge that one's experience of a private or public place begins the minute they pull up in their car. Innovative developers and designers are recognising just how crucial this is - it's almost too late by the time the consumer arrives at the front door. The "experience" of good design starts well before that.

Our agency ACCESS is currently working with a few developers/city councils globally in creating the ultimate public car park and we're on the hunt for architects/designers who already have created in this space. In the know? Get in touch. Seen any other interesting car parks we should know about - send us tips - Bill Tikos

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Travel

May 21 2010

When you travel constantly, you are not easily impressed by hotels. You have no patience for pretentious or poor service, and you have seen enough amenity kits and fluffy robes to turn you off bathing permanently. Design does not even enter the picture until the all-too-common problem issues, such as bad pillows, no wifi or no internet connection at all, noisy surroundings and slow service, are eliminated.


 
However, if the service and comfort issues are handled well, we start to really appreciate design. This is why, when in London, TCH stays at the Firmdale Hotels. Our favorite is The Soho Hotel, situated right in the centre of Soho but tucked away in a quiet lane with theatres, shops and cafes within walking distance. The rooms are spacious and luxurious, and the penthouse is extraordinary.


 
Firmdale is a UK-based boutique hotel operator with six hotels in London and now one in New York. Firmdale is privately owned by husband and wife team of Tim and Kit Kemp. In each Firmdale property, Kit Kemp has been in charge of interior design and her attention to detail is impeccable. Color, texture, quirky themes and art collections are part of her signature style that manages to translate into an inviting and beautiful hotel experience. Kit Kemp’s eclectic but luxurious design work makes her hotels akin to the refined British Airways business class.


 
Late last fall, Firmdale opened its first-of-many-to-come North American hotel, the Crosby Street Hotel, in New York. Again, it is in the perfect location in the heart of SoHo between Prince, Spring and Lafayette Streets. It is a few cobblestones away from all the action, but on a quiet street.


 
The brand new 11-storey, 86-room Crosby Street Hotel was built on a vacant parking lot over a two-year period. A short film by Jean Roman Seyfried “The Reconstruction of My Views” chronicles the construction period using time-lapse photography. The film premiered in the hotel’s own 99-seat screening room. (all images here are of Crosby Street Hotel). - Bill Tikos

Firmdale's next opening will be in London. They have acquired a site in Piccadilly (called Ham Yard) and will begin to develop later this year.
 

Bars

May 19 2010

Are you always hunting around vintage stores trying to find that perfect precious signature piece, delicately rummaging through shelves of long forgotten items imagining having the skill and craft to turn that amazing door into a signature coffee table, or an old barbers jar into a unique centrepiece vase? This is what designer Lee Broom was thinking for his newest product 'the Decanterlights', which launch next week as part of his latest bar design for Coquine in London's west, and lucky for him - he does have the skill and the craft to create such beautiful and original pieces.



The Decanterlights are truly one of a kind, each made from lead crystal decanters that have been hand sourced from antique markets and vintage shops by Broom and his team. Hung together in clusters at Coquine to create a warm glow amongst the eclectic surroundings, the Decanterlights have already created such a stir that Broom has decided to build on the concept to develop a collection that will soon be available to purchase in either clear crystal or with a contemporary polished gold finish.



Coquine will also feature signature pieces from Broom’s recent and highly sought after Heritage Boy collection, including some that have not yet been seen by the public.



Based in London, 33 year old Broom has already achieved such acclaim and success that his designs are sold around the world and have been featured in publications including Wallpaper*, Sunday Times Style and The New York Times. Original, contemporary and style conscious, Broom has created the design for over 35 venues across London and the UK and has won numerous awards including Time Out's Bar of the Year for Lost Society. - Brendan McKnight

 

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Bars

May 13 2010

Juliet Supperclub opened late last year in the West Chelsea area of New York. The elegant, opulent, sexy and thoroughly shimmery establishment owes its looks to Bluarch Architecture + Interiors, whose ability to make the blue, hard surfaces look luminous and richly textured is astonishing.


 
Juliet is an impressive coming-together of big names that keep popping-up in the restaurant and nightclub scene. It is the 15th-or-so restaurant of celebrity chef Todd English. English’s influence is evident in the Mediterranean menu and overall attention to food, something that often ends up overpowered by glittery and glamorous nightclub surroundings.



Juliet is one of three restaurant/nightclubs in which nightclub tycoon Jon Bakshi (Jon B.) is currently a partner. His other two are the Greenhouses he operates with Barry Mullineaux in New York and Hallandale Beach, Florida. Mullineaux, in turn, is currently also partner in Via dei Mille in New York with Giuseppe Tuosto and Marcello Villani.
 
Greenhouse New York was also designed by Bluarch as are several other prominent nightclubs, stores, hotels and residences in New York and around the world. Tuija Seipell

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Offices

May 12 2010

Upperkut, a young communications agency, takes up residence in the basement of a fully operational church, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church, in the Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhood of Montreal, Canada. How do you design the space without compromising the dynamic and fun character of the agency, and without altering the ceilings and other acoustic components of the building?


 
Montreal-based designer, Jean de Lessard, solved the problem by relying heavily on color and large-scale graphics that echo Uppercut’s website. The 380-square-meter space was divided into four areas: president’s office, project managers’ area, studio and multi-function room. The result is a colorful, functional space with a slightly scruffy feel that reiterate the vibes of both Upperkut and church-basement life. - Tuija Seipell

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Food

May 6 2010

It is not easy to impress in Paris. To create a restaurant, bar, hotel or retail establishment that stands out, surprises the locals and the jetsetting international visitors, and creates positive buzz that lasts more than a night, is a serious challenge.


 
The collective talents and star power of the team behind Le Restaurant Matignon are significant enough to suggest that a new, permanent player may have arrived on the scene.
 
Opened two months ago, at 3 Avenue Matignon, just a few steps off Champs‐Elysées, Matignon promotes itself as “restaurant and playground” but  in plain terms it is a restaurant, bar and lounge that has already hosted several lavish private parties for high-end brands and media.


 
Matignon was founded by Paris-born international promoter and artistic director Cyril Péret (Paglinghi) and Gilbert Costes, one of the Parisian Costes hospitality triumvirate (brothers Jean-Louis and Gilbert and Gilbert’s son, Thierry) that seems to have its hands in half the new restaurant and cafe concepts in Paris.
 
Péret has entertained and cooperated with celebrities throughout his career in Miami and Paris, while the Costes brothers are no strangers either to working with celebrities and top-level designers and architects.


 
To create the physical environment, Costes and Péret retained the formidable and prolific French architect and designer Jacques Garcia, whose rich and luxurious signature touch can be witnessed in hotels and restaurants around the globe. Garcia’s work includes Hôtel Métropole in Monte Carlo, the Spice Market restaurant in New York, Hôtel Costes in Paris and dozens of others around the world owned by sultans and sheiks, royalty and even Garcia himself (Château du Champ-de-Bataille).


 
Several years ago, Garcia was quoted as saying that 50 million people ate at his restaurants and five million people slept at his hotels. These numbers have only grown since.
 
At Matignon, Garcia has created a luxurious mix of eclectic and opulent, subdued and bold, elegant and funky. Matignon has no online presence at this time, so the only way to get to know it is to go in person. Tuija Seipell

Matignon is located at 3, Avenue Matignon 75008 Paris, telephone : 01 42 89 64 72.

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Food

May 2 2010

Rosa’s, a modern Thai restaurant in Soho in London’s West End, is the second Rosa’s for managing partners Saiphin and Alex Moore. The success of their first, in Spitalfields in the East End, spurred them to open a three-month “tester,” a pop-up restaurant called Noodles in the Soho space. Its success, in turn, gave birth to a full-blown Rosa’s with its bright-red exterior and wood-paneled interior.



Designed by London-based Gundry & Ducker Rosa’s is an elegant nod to the temporary plywood-booth air of Noodles, the red-light heritage of Soho, and the warm and homey style of the Thai food. Its design features match those of the Spitalfields Rosa’s, also by Gundry & Ducker.



The main feature in the Soho Rosa’s street-level space is the modified oak ogee-curved mouldings. They form coat hooks, lamps and the 'pie crust' edge of the tables. The ceiling is made of gloss pink panels in a brick pattern, set behind a deep frame. In the basement, the same themes prevail but in black gloss and grey and reclaimed teak.



Gundry & Ducker was founded by Tyeth Gundry and Christian Ducker in 2007, both former employees of Nigel Coates. With backgrounds in architecture, furniture and exhibit design, Gundry and Drucker have completed several award-winning hospitality and residential projects. - Tuija Seipell
 

Kids

May 1 2010

Kids have boundless imaginations. No matter how poor, colorless and toyless their environment, they’ll find a way to play. They will play with stones, twigs, grass and water, and they will play with each other. They’ll think up ways of turning mundane items into creations that have all the life of the latest computer game.

But only if they are lucky enough to have the free time to play, are not too hungry to move about, or have water to play with.



In this light, what our urban kids have available to them, is excessively abundant. They have daycare and play spaces, parks, playgrounds, even yards. Yet, when we look at the basic play environments in our communities, there’s no denying that they are sadly short of what they could be. With some color, imagination, labor and resources, they could all be so much better.



There are wonderful examples of this, such as the recent “accidental” kids’ park at Madison Square Park in New York. It is an art installation by artist Jessica Stockholder, commissioned by the Madison Square Park Conservancy.

The installation includes a multicolored triangular platform, a sandbox of bright-blue rubber mulch, multicolored bleachers and painted pavement. It was not intended originally as a children’s play space, but kids have taken to it like crazy, surprising both the artist and the Conservancy. The lesson we can learn from this is that if we point our resources in the right direction, the result can be infinitely fun and rewarding for everyone involved.



We spend millions annually on "adult playgrounds" — stadiums, concert halls, bars, restaurants. We spend billions advertising and promoting them. Why is it that we do not seem to want to dedicate the necessary resources to give our children the best we can offer?



Every dedicated kids’ arts organization will be able to point you to reams of research reports that show that early access to arts and arts education aids children in all aspects of their lives later on.

They will build self-confidence; discover their abilities, skills and talents; and in the best of circumstances, they will grow to be fantastic contributors in their communities. Yet another reason to make sure our kids live and play in environments that are rich in creativity, arts and inspiration.



If this generation of children is going to be responsible for solving the problems of a world where children are still too hungry to play at all, then we should be paying closer attention. We should be giving our kids — regardless of their resources — all the support and inspiration we can.

Anyone with creative ideas, energy, staff and money, can give to kids in his or her neighborhood. Who knows what could happen, if we as individuals, companies and cities paid as much attention to our kids’ play environments as we do to our own? - Tuija Seipell

Developers, city councils wanting to see ideas and concepts in how to design super cool educational environments and playgrounds effectively, contact our marketing agency, ACCESS AGENCY.

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