Design

March 18 2010

In a world where people appreciate good design everywhere, cool mini hotel rooms are the latest ‘it’ trend. In Tokyo, the  Capsule Inn exemplifies the bare-essentials hotel rooms for brief use, and similar concepts are popping up at airports, train stations and downtowns around the world, replacing and mimicking the “day rooms” already existing at many airports.


 
Unlike Tokyo’s bed-only cabins where customers climb into a human equivalent of a honeycomb for a night’s rest, Yotel pods at Gatwick and Heathrow airports in London and Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam come in larger and more comfortable formats. These self-contained mini hotel rooms are equipped with a bed, table, HD TV and Wi-Fi.



The fourth Yotel is set to arrive in New York in 2011 with a location opening on 42nd and 10th street boasting 669 luxury rooms and the largest outside terrace in any hotel in New York

Also in Amsterdam, Citizen M has a hotel with 230 mini rooms at Schiphol Airport and a 215-room hotel in Amsterdam City. Citizen M plans to open similar hotels across Europe.

Qbic Hotels has opened two “cheap chic” hotels with mini rooms in the Netherlands: Qbic World Trade Centre Amsterdam and Qbic Maastricht, plus one in Antwerp, Belgium.

Taking the next step in rest and space efficiency, Russia’s Arch Group designed the SleepBox.



Along with an airport version of the rest pod, equipped with the usual, high-tech necessities offered by other companies, Arch Group has also designed an easy-to-relocate version fit for hostels. A small, mobile compartment, 2m (l) x 1.4m (w) x 2.3m (h), SleepBox is made of wood and MDF. SleepBox is meant to “allow very efficient use of available space and, if necessary, a quick change of layout”, making it perfect for hostels where demand and space available often come in conflict with each other. The hostel-specific SleepBox features bunk beds, flip-out tables and sockets for computers or phone chargers and not much else. Yuri Pushkin, Tuija Seipell.

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News

March 16 2010

This week, TCH launches TCH Singapore which joins our list of geo-targeted sites - TCH UK and TCH AUS.

A big welcome also to our Brazilian readers. As of this week, TCH will have a weekly column in O Estado de S. Paulo, one of the most important newspapers in Brazil with a daily readership of 1 million.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of the numerous print magazines/newspapers that have published feature stories on TCH and our numerous projects.

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Food

March 5 2010

Didn’t think you’d ever end up window shopping for beef tenderloin? Get ready for a rethink, especially if you are on Queen Street in Woollahra, Sydney, Australia.


 
In the well-established suburb, tree-lined streets offer a perfect enclave for cafes and boutiques, and for that most unlikely of things, a supremely cool butcher shop. Victor Churchill is the first, and so far the only, butcher shop established by Vic and Anthony Puharich, the father and son duo behind Vic’s Premium Quality Meat, the leading meat supplier to some of the finest restaurants in Australia, China and Singapore.


 
A butcher shop -- Churchill’s Butchery -has operated in the space since 1876, so it was an appropriate location for what the Puharichs envisioned as a European-inspired designer shop of meaty delights.
 
To realize their vision, they engaged Sydney-based Dreamtime Australia Design whose many restaurant, bar and resort projects around the world combine traditional and modern elements in a deliciously layered and multi-textured way. This was Dreamtime’s first retail project but too juicy to pass, says Dreamtime director, Michael McCann


 
The store boasts so many unique, custom-designed and exclusive features that the only way to absorb it all is a real-life visit. The features provoke, intrigue and amuse the customer – starting with the façade with its double-glazed, refrigerated vitrine for viewing the ever-changing array of hanging meat and poultry, plus selections displayed on custom-made copper and glass shelving.

Inside, butchers work at timber butcher’s blocks on a “stage” behind floor-to-ceiling glass while specialty cuts of meat and carcasses, hung from a custom-designed cog gear and metal chain rack, slowly pass by. The backdrop for all this is a Himalayan rock salt brick wall that infuses the hanging meat with flavor and sterilizes the air. In a humorous nod to a recent Louis Vuitton window display, multiple video cameras are trained onto the daily special inside a glass dome on a pedestal.


 
Victor Churchill is definitely on the leading edge of redefining the meat shop category. (See also their iPhone application) We are seeing this happening slowly in other food, restaurant and grocery categories as well as our McDonald's -McFancy. We are all for a future without a single sprig of plastic parsley! - Tuija Seipell

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Bars

March 2 2010


L’Arc Paris, Restaurant-Bar & Club, has been open for four months and at least the Club has already become the place where you go if you want to be with the chic, the famous and the beautiful. Mostly, you go there to be seen.
 

Last month, one of the must-see occasions at the Club was the Chloé Van Paris’s Fashion Burlesque Ball, a masquerade where the dress code, according to the Club’s Facebook page. Party - Club Party was “13 cm heels, nylon, glamorous stockings, retro, pine-up, dandy, sexy, smart and glamorous.”

At the Restaurant, chef Antony Germani (of L’Atelier Joël Robuchon) presides over menus of seasonal everything-made-from-scratch delicacies.


 
L’Arc occupies the former premises of l’Etoile Nightclub at 12 rue de Presbourg, with views of Arc de Triomphe but it was completely redesigned by Cannes-based Prospect Design.

Prospect was established in 1996 by Samy Chams (and expanded into Dubai in 2005) whose night-club design work includes VIP Room in St Tropez, Baili in Cannes, and Maddox and Movida in London. - Tuija Seipell

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Music

March 1 2010

There’s gotta be something in the water, right? First it was Jonathan Boulet and his gift for Technicolour indie, closely followed by fellow Australians Tim & Jean who blew our minds with their perfectly realized synth-pop splendor. And now we’ve got Melbourne-dwelling twosome Gypsy & The Cat who despite their young age have already got a firm mastery of classic pop.

Yes, we know that’s a big wrap for these relative unknowns, but the proof is in the pudding,  or in this case the luscious pop gold of Gypsy & The Cat’s breakout tune Jona Vark, which distills their love of electronic tweaks, Fleetwood Mac-tutored songcraft and soaring hooks into three perfect minutes. - Dave Ruby Howe

Listen also to Thieves of Aon
 

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Architecture

February 26 2010

Vitra Haus, the new home of Vitra's Home Collection, has been covered widely by design media, and not in vain. It is a beautiful example of Jacques Herzog's and Pierre de Meuron's ability to take the ubiquitous stacked-houses concept and still make it look new, interesting and inviting.



Reaching five storeys in height and containing 12 separate houses, Vitra House is geared toward the general public, design-aware consumers who will appreciate the building as well as the Vitra products inside. The entire contraption appears both grandiose and intimate at the same time, with the gray exterior disguising the disheveled heap within the site, while the open glass-walled ends and stark, white interiors facilitate the presentation of residential-scale displays.



Vitra House is the latest addition to the ever-expanding Vitra Campus that started as an industrial park with the manufacturing facilities. Now the Vitra Design Museum--Frank Gehry's first European building opened in 1989 -- the Conference Pavilion by Tadao Ando (1993) and the Fire Station by Zaha Hadid (1993) already provide magnificent visual attraction. Vitra Haus and a new circular manufacturing facility by Kazuyo Sejima/SANAA are this year's entrants to the site.



Weil am Rhein is a German town and a community that is a suburb of the Swiss city of Basel in Switzerland. Weil am Rhein is located by the River Rhine, close to the meeting point of the Swiss, German and French borders. The Vitra Design Museum is the town's biggest draw.



The Basel-based architecture firm Herzog and Meuron was established in 1978 by Jacques Herzog (born 19 April 1950), and Pierre de Meuron (born 8 May 1950). It is known for many prominent international commissions, including the Beijing Olympics' "Bird's Nest." - Tuija Seipell

Photography by Iwan Baan


Stores

February 23 2010

We are seeing more and more stores and services dedicated solely to the fine things in life for men. Salons, shops and spas are realizing that men have been treated like second-class citizens when it comes to luxurious, beautiful retail environments.

There are millions of sports bars, car dealerships, gyms and hardware stores, but that is definitely not all that men need and want. At New York Fashion Week, British luxury men’s brand Alfred Dunhill showcased its Winter 2010 collection in a vacant Meatpacking District warehouse transformed into a pop-up shop.

With aluminum panels and projection technology, London-based design workshop Campaign created an environment that brought a little bit of Dunhill’s London flagship store to New York.

Alfred Dunhill, who joined his father’s saddlery business in 1887, and planned to change the company’s focus toward the pioneering motorist, said it very well: “It is not enough to expect a man to pay for the best, you must also give him what he has paid for...” We think men are ready to pay for the best -- and “the best” includes the environment in which he spends his money. - Tuija Seipell

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Ads

February 22 2010

HBO’s show HUNG has now made its New Zealand debut on TVNZ’s Channel One.

Auckland-based ad agency Colenso BBDO was retained to promote the show and to generate some buzz. They have definitely created a buzz with their risqué billboard, recently erected on Victoria Street in central Auckland. Whether you like the billboard or not, and whether it draws you to watch the show or not, you must admit that the old, tried-and-true subjects – well-endowed female and male bodies – never seem to fail to draw attention.

Established in 1969, Colenso BBDO is consistently one of New Zealand’s highest-ranked ad agencies. Campaign Brief has also named Colenso BBDO Agency of the Decade. - Bill Tikos

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Transportation

February 18 2010

Some motorcyclists just want a cheap commute to work. Others are speed freaks seeking the ultimate expression of individuality and power.

For these guys and girls, the dream machine is a Confederate Fighter or MV Augusta F4CC. But a few riders will aim even higher, and these are the people the 135hp Ecosse Iconoclast was designed for. It’s effectively a shopping list of high-end motorcycle components, based on Ecosse’s existing Heretic model.



After handing over your £44,000.00 (US$69,000), you get a bike with car-sized 2-liter engine. It’s machined from solid billet aluminum, and wrapped in a hand-welded custom frame that also stores the engine oil. The bodywork is carbon fiber; suspension comes from the favored brand of MotoGP racers, the Swedish company Öhlins.

The Iconoclast is quick, at less than three seconds to 60 mph. But you’ll need to be even quicker to get your hands on one. Just eleven will be made, and they’re exclusive to 20ltd.com—an online gallery that only sells limited editions, from fashion to jewelry to furniture.



If the Ecosse represents the ultimate motorcycle available today, the RogueMoto KickBoxer reveals what might be in showrooms tomorrow. It’s a concept from designer Ian McElroy, and uses Subaru’s rally-bred WRX motor for propulsion. The engine is turbocharged for even more grunt, and feeds into a Baker Torquebox—one of the few motorcycle gearboxes able to handle sportscar levels of power. If the KickBoxer makes the transition from CAD program to showroom floor, the Ecosse will have a serious rival at the stoplight Grand Prix. - Chris Hunter


 

Art

February 17 2010

Robert Bradford creates his life-size and larger-than-life sculptures of humans and animals from discarded plastic items, mainly toys but also other colorful plastic bits and pieces, such as combs and buttons, brushes and parts of clothes pegs.



Contrary to some reports, he’s not a self-taught artist who tinkered in his shed one day and suddenly decided to create something out of his kids’ discarded toys. He is a London-born and U.K. and U.S.-trained visual artist who, like many artists, also had another career on the side. His was that of a psychotherapist.



In 2002, he started to consider the possibilities that his children’s forgotten toys could have as part of something bigger. Bradford says he likes the idea that the plastic pieces have a history, some unknown past, and that they also pass on a “cultural” history as each of the pieces represents a point in time.

Recycling is not his primary concern, but each sculpture certainly keeps quite a few pieces from becoming landfill. Some of the sculptures contain pieces from up to 3,000 toys and sell for £12,000 (US$19,000). - Tuija Seipell

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