Music

May 21 2008


While hipsters the world over are salivating for distorted bangers from the likes of Justice, Teenage Bad Girl and the rest of the rabble, there’s something far more exciting happening just out of the spotlight. It’s called Valerie (scene, sound, label and blog). It’s sunglasses at night, John Hughes, Molly Ringwald, old Sega Megadrive cartridges, endless summers and high drama romance all rolled into one. Purveyors of the Valerie sound include founders the Outrunners, Anoraak, College, Mathelvin and Minitel Rose and more recently Parallels and Aedyhawke, all brought together through their shared adoration of retro synths and Miami Vice re-runs. Good thing they all found each other because they’re hitting all the right marks, from Maethelvin’s car-chase disco to the teenage anthems of College and Anoraak’s make out sesh scores. In three years time Valerie might be an inescapable, designer-tee-spewing, branding monstrosity. Right now, it just sounds so good.  Touch it while it's still pure.

myspace.com/valeriejetaime
myspace.com/theoutrunners
myspace.com/maethelvin
myspace.com/anoraak
myspace.com/minitelrose
myspace.com/collegeoflove

By Dave Ruby Howe






Architecture

May 19 2008




There’s a new planet in the solar system and it’s called Luxury. Actually, it is here on earth, on a little-known island called Nurai, located northeast of Abu Dhabi city.

The 130,000-square-meter island is about to be transformed into an achingly glamorous and luxurious resort and exclusive private residential estate, comprised of one boutique luxury hotel resort with 60 suites, 31 beachfront estates and 36 water villas.



The mammoth project is a collaboration between New York based Studio Dror, led by Dror Benshetrit, that has designed the residences, and the Paris-based firm AW2 are responsible for the design of the hotel.

The sheer scale of the project is awe-inspiring; the incredible multi-storey water villas alone will span 515 square metres each, comprising of three bedrooms, four bathrooms, a private rooftop garden with spa pool, private infinity pool, multiple decks, outdoor barbeque area, gourmet kitchen and concealed service quarters. No doubt Tom & Katie are making their reservations already.



As for the private “Seaside” residences (which are sure to be snapped up by Saudi Princes and oil shieks because they will probably be the only ones who can afford them), the five bedroom-six bathroom estates span across between 3,000 — 6,050 square metres.
 
Each “Seaside” estate will include a private beach and garden, rooftop garden with spa pool, infinity swimming pool, indoor reflecting pools, concealed service quarters, entertainment patios, outdoor dining areas, chef and show kitchens and outdoor showers.

The resort is due to open in 2010 and residences start at €20 million. By Lisa Evans




Architecture

May 15 2008



Some of us think that our far off ancestors lived in the trees — and during our childhood, when our thoughts and memories are most pure, we yearn to climb trees growing in our gardens, in our parks, in our cities.  As we get older, the urge to climb trees subsides as we ride elevators up to our offices in the sky and look out across the cities where we live.  Yet occasionally, as we’re sealed up tight in our artificially climatic spaces, we long for a breath of fresh air.



At a German company called baumraum  an architect, a landscape architect, an arbologist, and a craftsman design modern, natural and solidly constructed treehouses. Each treehouse project is assessed individually. The team takes into consideration both the condition of the environment and of the tree, with the size and features the clients desire.  


baumraum offers a range of wood-types as well as options for insulated walls.  Treespaces can be outfitted with sitting and sleeping benches, storage spaces, a mini-kitchen, heating, glass windows, lighting, as well as a sound system for multimedia.  Every piece is pre-fabricated in a workshop, and then brought together on site.



Sound like something you’ve been wanting?  The baumraum team offers free consultation where they can talk you through every option available as you put together your dream treehouse.  The treehouses can span multiple levels and sit among several trees.  Treehouses are mostly secured with ropes, thereby minimising the impact of stress to the tree or trees on which the house is placed.  And if a tree is particularly weak, or even if a treehouse is wanted where there is no suitable tree, stilts are used to guarantee people everywhere can once again climb trees. By Andrew J Wiener.



Stores

May 14 2008



If you were led to a department store’s make-up and perfume floor blindfolded, would you know where you are when the blindfold came off? What store, what city, what country? Probably not, as one looks just like the other. Unimaginative, predictable, boring. Not so at Berlin’s 100-plus year-old Kaufhaus des Westens, one singular store known by Berliners as KaDeWe. Specializing in luxury, style and indulgence, KaDeWe has never shied away from swanky design or striking displays. This time, they’ve allowed Hamburg-based Bilen & Born GbR  to create two radically different areas on the ground-floor perfume department. One is a white space-agey multi-label area inspired by the act of breathing in fragrances, where spirals and rounded shapes draw the visitor in. The other is a baroque-inspired space with a contemporary twist. With its glass mosaic floor, studded pillars and ceiling with more than 8,000 Swarovski crystals, these surroundings are memorable even if the brands are the same as everywhere else. By Tuija Seipell



Design

May 13 2008



The work of Belgium’s Rotor Group is popping up in more and more visible places. Rotor covers a wide range of projects, from basic design, branding and packaging, to events, lighting planning, interiors, showrooms, products, trade shows and art. We especially like the work they have done with Belgian lighting firm Modular Lighting Instruments creating events, showrooms and surroundings that defy definition. A great example is Rotor Designer Toon Stockman’s retro-futuristic showroom for Modular that pays homage to Modular’s Beam Squad and consists of six enormous cages supported by a skeleton of fluorescent tubing. The wild narrative for this installation – a typical Rotor tale – tells of life-destroying peril but luckily, all will be well and in about 2069, lighting will be manufactured in peace again. By Tuija Seipell







Fashion

May 12 2008




For all you sneaker addicts - here's two new crazy styles that have just been released. Arriving in Dover Street Market (London) on 15th May — the Pierre Hardy special limited edition ‘Cruzeiro’ in metallic calfskin (above) and below, the must-have terry toweling inspired sneaker by Japanese brand realMadHectic - the Pile.






Music

May 9 2008




Yeo Choong, from Brisbane, Australia is smart.  I say this not because he is the mastermind behind Yeo and The Fresh Goods, or because he makes music with mathematical precision. 

I say it because he is a 21 year old Masters student in Audiology and because his debut album 'Trouble Being Yourself' sounds like a nerdier version of N.E.R.D.  Indeed, the production on his standout track 'Two Sides Of A Door' would make Pharrell proud.

But Yeo isn't just in the mood for making funk rock and singing in a slight falsetto.  He jumps and jerks between genres, sometimes in the same song. 

The reggae-pop intro of 'Fishin' With Aidan' melds into a salsa infused party jam, all the while mixing the ska-delivery of Sublime and the 'Thank You' message from Dido's long-forgotten hit of the same name.

From his sneaky horns to his hand-claps and Super Mario samples, Yeo recorded, mixed and produced the entire album.  It's catchy, cheeky good fun.

Fresh goods indeed. By Nick Christie


Food

May 8 2008



With its rich, red interior, Le Rouge restaurant in Stockholm’s Gamla Stan (Old Town) is a delicious fusion of a maharaja’s tent, red-light-district boudoir and aristocratic grandeur. It is not called Moulin Rouge, but it could be. The entire concept is dramatic with lush drapery, ornamental tableware and lighting fixtures oozing with bling and tassels.

Le Rouge is the latest addition to the F12 restaurant empire owned by two chefs, Melker Andersson and Danyel Couet. The chefs interpret classic French and Italian cuisine in Le Rouge using fresh Swedish ingredients. The 125—seat Le Rouge occupies two adjacent buildings, spreads over three-stories and 1,200 square-metres, and includes a dining room, bar, lounge and private rooms. The concept comes from the talented masters of Gothenburg’s Stylt Trampoli AB who were using storytelling as a tool to create and stage-direct restaurants, hotels and resorts long before storytelling became a design cliché. By Tuija Seipell


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Events

May 7 2008



Berlin’s Magma Architecture won several awards for its entry in the JETZT | NOW series of temporary installations at the Berlinische Galerie, Museum for Contemporary Art, Photography and Architecture. Magma’s installation, 11th in the series, was called fittingly “head-in | im kopf” and its concept is based on exploring the properties of materials, form, color and light.
 
The main feature of the installation is an alarmingly orange flexible fabric (polyamide-elastan mix) stretched between the walls, ceiling and floor. The fabric is the most visible part of the exhibit, yet it is also the tool with which the viewers can focus on smaller details.



Visitors bend down under the fabric into which openings were cut. Through these holes, visitors pop their heads up into the orange space to view drawings, models and photographs suspended from wires. These items are from Magma’s work and include representations of the revitalization of the former GDR Radio Centre (Berlin, Nalepastrasse, 2007), a bridge over the Landwehrkanal river in Berlin (competition entry in 2006), the new Nexus Productions headquarters in London, and the exhibition Trial & Error in London (2003). Luckily, we have images to show how it all worked as the full effect of the experience is quite impossible to describe in mere words.
 
The project team for head-in | im kopf included Anke Noske, Hendrik Bohle, Dominik Jörg, Lena Kleinheine, Ksenia Kagler, Yohko Mizushima, Lena Kleinheinz, Martin Ostermann and Ben Reynolds.



Magma was established in 2003 by Martin Ostermann and Lena Kleinheinz. The Ohio native Ostermann is a former senior architect at Studio Daniel Libeskind. The Denmark-born Kleinheinz is an exhibition designer. Magma is known for its inventive, experimental and experiential approaches to architectural work. By Tuija Seipell



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Kids

May 5 2008



Yummy! Wow! Ooops! The playful, colorful and juicy Taka-Tuka-Land kindergarten in Berlin evokes a rambunctious reaction. You hear the kids at play. You see the bright colors. You sense the kids are happy. So it is no wonder that the students who designed and created this funhouse call their approach “sensuous architecture.”



Baupiloten is a group of architecture students who during their studies at Faculty VI, Institute for Architecture at Berlin Technical University (Technische Universität Berlin) develop their own projects from concept to implementation under professional guidance. Architect Susanne Hoffmann founded Baupiloten (Bau=build, Piloten=pilot) in 2003 and has headed it since 2004.



The Taka-Tuka-Land kindergarten was originally erected as a temporary solution, but with the fantastic Baupiloten approach to the refurbishment, it has become a permanent place for children.
 
The Taka-Tuka-Land is part of the Pippi Longstocking lore created by the Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. Pippi in Taka-Tuka Country is a movie based on one of her novels. The children at the kindergarten and their teachers created collages, models, drawings and ideas based on Taka-Tuka Land with bridges, huts, merry-go-rounds made of blossoms and thrones made of seashells. The Baupiloten students then spent several days with the children observing their daily routines, their schedules and their ways of communication.



From this extensive groundwork, the design story for the space was developed. The building itself is Pippi’s old oak tree that contains a lemonade factory. The lemonade breaks through the bark of the tree and flows outside creating padded play areas. The story of the building is a trip through the seven stages of the lemon tree, each facilitating a different activity: The lemonade tree, Glittering lemonade in the sun, Lemonade drops, The lemonade island, Waiting for the parents, Lemonade gallery, The bark breaks open, and Delving into lemonade. Pippi’s most likely verdict would be “Jätte god!” By Tuija Seipell.




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