Kids

December 10 2008



ArcheToys designed by Floris Hovers may be toys but kids do not need to get excited. Adults are going to scoop them up, now that they are apparently available - although we are not yet quite sure how or where we could buy them.
 
Hovers was born in 1976 in Raamsdonksveer in the Netherlands and graduated from the Eindhoven Design Academy in 2004. The first ArcheToy was an ambulance that Hovers created for his little cousin. The simplicity of the cars from the 1950s and 1960s charmed and intrigued Hovers and so he began to craft a fleet of specialty vehicles. They are archetypes of uncomplicated, recognizable form; toys for adults minus tiresome macho undertones.
 
Hovers introduced ArcheToys to the world at the November 2007 Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. His intention of designing furniture has now been sidetracked as these little things have taken off the way they deserve. More than 40 strong and growing, the ArcheToys fleet includes several that we simply must have — especially the hearse, combine and ice-cream truck. - Tuija Seipell

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Food

December 8 2008



Posh is probably the best word to describe the venerable Boca Raton Resort & Club in Florida. Expecting only pastelly and fussy colonial style, we were happy to see the fun decor of Serendipity cafe, just opened at the luxury resort. But we really shouldn’t be surprised. This cafe is the second only outlet of New York’s super-famous Serendipity 3.
 
It is the cafe with the crazy Alice-in-Wonderland decor that was opened in 1954 in New York (on East 58th and later moved to East 60th) by three party-hosting young men, Patch Caradine, Calvin Holt and Stephen Bruce. In addition to serving mad dessert and ice cream treats, they also offered – and still do – an extensive family-friendly menu. Celebrities of all kinds are regulars. In 2001, a movie was named after the cafe and starred John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale.


 
The Boca Raton outlet is the first time the 54-year-old Serendipity has been lured outside New York, so we assume they have really thought this out. Certainly the new 1,200-square-foot space looks amazing with its ice-creamy colors and signature light fixtures. .We’ll drink an Apricot Smush for that. - Tuija Seipell

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Transportation

December 8 2008



If you're fortunate enough to have a garage full of sports cars your next purchase must be a Silvestri speedboat - what we like to call the Porsche of the sea. The devastatingly handsome 23-foot vessel was actually created by the makers of the Spyker sports car and it shows. It features all sorts of high tech gadgets and stylistic points that you expect from a superior sports car, from remote control hatched compartments to a sleek leather interior. Oh, and a ferocious motor to be reckoned with. It's enough to make James Bond proud. - Orlando Evans

Design

December 4 2008



123dv Architectuur & Consult is yet another award-winning – and strangely numbered – multi-disciplinary Dutch design firm. The Rotterdam-based 123dv practices architecture and interior design in a wide range of areas from residential to commercial buildings, from small-scale to huge projects.
 
A commercial project, the new wing of the Media Plaza in Utrecht, was launched with a high-tech party in October.
 
The Media Plaza is one of many conference and exhibition venues under the wings of the venerable Dutch Fair organization
JaarBeurs.


 
The Media Plaza’s new expansion involves eight meeting rooms and a main congress hall that accommodates 700 people. The space 123dv created is an incredibly flexible blank-canvas for seminars, conferences and corporate events.
 
The design emphasis is on various light sources and different projection methods. The new wing is accessible via two tunnels in which 123dv designed all surfaces to be canvases for projection, with floors and walls reacting to the movement of people.


 
Light and projection are the main features also in the foyer and in the meeting rooms. To create different moods or to emphasize event-appropriate colors, the LED-light walls in the foyer and the fabric ceilings in the session rooms can change color.
 
123dv outfitted the main hall with a 100% transparent ETFE (ethylenetetrafluoroethylene) roof to mimic the feel of an ancient amphitheatre – a meeting under the open sky. The completely white congress hall seems an ideal backdrop for events where the organizer can really allow its colors or products to pop. We can already picture the possibilities for a fashion runway show. - Tuija Seipell



 
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Stores

December 3 2008



VilaSofa, a furniture store that opened in Amsterdam in October is a clever design feat by Tjep. Judging by the VilaSofa website, it is a brand that can use some visual updating. VilaSofa is positioned somewhere between an IKEA store and a conventional furniture store and its claim to fame is reasonable prices and a guaranteed 48-hour delivery of all displayed models.
 
The Amsterdam-based Tjep faced the challenge of making all this look cool. It zeroed in on the warehouse concept but with a homey twist. It focused on the aspects of speed and the transitional nature of the place where factory-born furniture lives while waiting to be taken to your home.


 
Combining warehouse and home isn’t easy, but Tjep accomplished it by only suggesting both. They used warehousing and transportation symbols as the basis for gigantic cutouts and wall graphics, and created a white wall with cutouts of chandeliers, windows and ornate balconies that imply a villa and refer to your home as your castle. Staff rides around in cute cash-register trolleys so that customers don’t need to go to them.


 
The Tjep design team included company founders Frank Tjepkema and Janneke Hooymans, plus Leonie Janssen, Tina Stieger, Bertrand Gravier and Camille Cortet.
 
Tjep is a multiple-award winning firm that works in an astonishingly wide variety of three-dimensional design – Product and furniture design, interior design and interior architecture, identity design and events. Tjep clients include Droog, British Airways, ING, Restaurant Praq, Camper, Heineken and Ikea. Hooymans left Tjep in May 2008, and now works independently thisisjane.com. - Tuija Seipell.
 
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Music

December 2 2008



I worry for anyone who ever doubted Miami Horror. No really, because when Miami first appeared on the scene almost two years ago, sporting an unrestrained love of everything ‘80s and a healthy night-club tan, the people who dismissed him then had no idea of his potential for greatness. Shame on them. Since his humble beginnings, Miami Horror’s broke out of the basement beat factory to hook up with esteemed company like Fred Falke, Pnau, Gameboy/Gamegirl and Midnight Juggernauts and also polished off the extremely strong debut EP, Bravado. It’s on the EP that Miami Horror really shines, whether it’s with the Prince-esque strut of Don’t Be On With Her, the crunch of Summerfest ’86 or the shimmer and pulse of Bellevue. It’s filled with more style, vigour and thoughtfulness than your normal producer’s debut EP, but trust me, Miami Horror is far from the norm. - By Oliver Queen. Bravado is OUT NOW

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Offices

December 1 2008




GHD, makers of the must-have hair straightening irons (many a woman's best friend, let me tell you) have just joined the cool offices club. The company's new 15,600 sq ft head quarters in Leeds is more space ship than corporate office. And that's exactly how they wanted it, according to UK firm Carey Jones interiors, who designed the futuristic space, which features a "catwalk" in the reception area.



The objective of the two-year long project was to capture GHD's sense of style and uniqueness in the market place and translate that into their HQ's design. Mission accomplished. - Lisa Evans

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Kids

November 27 2008




One of the easiest ways to make a boring space more vibrant is to use colour. However, as so many of us can remember, obvious opportunities to do this have been missed for decades in schools, universities and hundreds of other places where young people are more or less stuck for long periods. Luckily, today’s kids have better luck – at least in the schools where Amsterdam’s i29 has had its say.


 
i29 Interior Architects consists of two interior designers – Jaspar Jansen and Jeroen Dellensen – and is known for clear, bold solutions. A good example of this is their custom furniture project for a Het Veer. It is a public school in Almere, a city located 25 kilometers east of Amsterdam and often referred to as the most modern city in Europe. Het Veer is a school for children with learning and concentration difficulties and the objective of i29’s work was to express and entice concentration, playfulness and movement. Their eight different white and red tube furniture pieces can be mixed and matched creating various formations. They play off the Buzz Wire science game that teaches about electric circuits and is based on concentration and hand coordination.


 
At the Caland Lyseum in Amsterdam, 1,500 students work in a sport-centric environment where they receive coaching for their specific sport and in academic topics. i29 was asked to envision  the public spaces – including the main hall, staff room, library and computer/media room – for the new Bos & Partners architects-designed building with its gray brick, glass walls and unusual floor plans. They used large images of the school’s famous sports hero alumni and then custom-created multi-functional tables, benches and signage, plus a color scheme for the common areas. The award-winning solution matches the dynamic and multicultural life of the school yet lets the buildings features dominate. - Tuija Seipell

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Kids

November 26 2008



These cool images are from the fabulous Kinderdentist in Berlin. Designed by Brad Pitt’s favourite architecture firm, the super-creative and multi-functional GRAFT, this is the kind of place that makes us want to be kids again. Never thought we’d say that about a dental office, but what can we do? And why exactly is it that adults’ dental offices don’t look like this?


 
Kinderdentist is an underwater world of play and adventure with a 12-foot visual wave drawing the guests into to world of blue hues and pixilated schools of fish. You feel as if you were under water, in a submarine, just waiting for exciting things to happen. And yes, kids’ teeth get fixed there, too.


 
Originally established in 1998 in Los Angeles by German architects, Lars Krückeberg and Wolfram Putz, Graft expanded in 2001 when third partner, Thomas Willemeit, opened the Berlin office, and fourth partner, Gregor Hoheisel, established Graft in Beijing.
 
Now perhaps best known for its collaboration with Brad Pitt, Graft has always pushed the boundaries of mere architecture and is known for an enormous breath of projects. Architecture, interior design and art concepts, urban design, “eventing,” film and video projects, music, car design, commercials and exhibitions are just some of the things the prolific team has completed globally. Its architecture and interior design practice extends the breath of the field as well from furniture schemes to concept design of hotels, restaurants, clubs, offices, institutions, residences.


 
In the media, Graft is often labeled as something other than a ‘global architecture firm’ – including a rock band, a hippie commune and a bunch of eccentrics – and it seems that this is exactly what the partners like to hear. Willemeit has been quoted as saying that “In L.A. we’re these crazy German guys and in Berlin we are not accepted into the Berlin architecture mafia – we’re cowboys. - Tuija Seipell

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Stores

November 25 2008



Aesop continues to serve up award winning design with its new store in "The Strand Arcade" in Sydney. Each Aesop store has its own signature look defying the carbon copy stores that were so popular in the 90's and early 2000's. Respecting the store's neighbouring environment is important to Aesop and integration within the area is emphasised. March Studio's, Rodney Eggleston has again been offered the role to find the "store's soul" and bring it to life. He has made one of Aesop's highlight materials "Porcelain" the hero in this store by using the timeless, precious material for the tiles, small furnishings and floor.   



As always with Aesop, clean lines and only the necessary pieces of furniture and interiors are used allowing optimum space and movement. The complete range of skin, hair and body products are available in this store, so maximising the wall space was essential. The finishing results are a sublime gallery like offering that continues to push the retail boundaries. — Kate Vandermeer.


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