Offices

April 8 2008



Diane von Furstenberg Studio’s new headquarters fits perfectly in New York City’s fashionable Meatpacking District, also known as the Gansevoort Market Historic District. The new, six-story building is wedged between two historical, landmarked facades that resemble the wall props in Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba. One corner of the structure is topped by a Olot, Spain-made faceted glass sphere that is part of the penthouse suite and seems like a gigantic diamond fallen from the sky.

In the design, New York-based WORK Architecture managed to combine old and new, light and dark, openness and enclosure, artistry and practicality. The building houses DVF’s flagship store, a 5,000-square-foot showroom and event space, offices and studios for a 120 people, an executive suite, and a penthouse apartment.



Inside the building, the chief feature is the “stairdelier,” a wide stairway that connects the floors and distributes light throughout the building. Flexibility characterizes all of the public areas. Pivoting walls and built-in unfolding “steamer-trunk” structures allow for a wide use of the space for fashion shows, photo shoots, events and parties.

WORK was founded in 2002 by Beirut, Lebanon-born Amale Andraos and Rhode Island native Dan Wood. Many of their projects are in New York, but their work includes everything from a master plan of an Icelandic town to a theatre stage set, from low-income housing towers in New York to a luxury residence in Panama, plus retail, office and residential projects around the world. WORK is also designing 14 DVF stores in 11 countries.

Diane von Furstenberg was born in Brussels, Belgium, 61 years ago. She started her fashion designer career in 1970. Famous for her wrap dresses, which she started creating in 1973, she has become a veritable fashion icon. She is also the current president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the non-profit association of America’s fashion heavy-weights. By Tuija Seipell
 
See also Creative Work Environments

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Transportation

April 4 2008



The annual Detroit Auto Show serves as a platform for American automobile manufacturers, specifically, to flex their muscles, so-to-speak — and this year the Chrysler Corporation did just that. Dodge unveiled three models of the Challenger that will be available in 2009: the SE (3.5 liter V6, 250 hp), the R/T (5.7 liter HEMI V8, 370 hp) and the SRT8 (6.1 liter HEMI V8, 425 hp).

Originally hitting the streets in 1970 at the dawning of a new generation of design in automobile manufacturing, the Challenger was one of the original American muscle cars (along with the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro). Power and steel were king, gritty, dirt solid performance ruled over clear smooth edges and lavish aesthetics. The auto industry in Detroit was destined to enter its glory days.



Now, almost 40 years later, the auto industry, especially in Detroit is facing more than a handful of obstacles — including attempting to recover from an arguably failed race to build the largest petrol-guzzling trucks on the market. Compact and fuel-efficient has been all the latest rage — but what about performance? Based on the model chosen, Dodge almost guarantees blood-pumping sensation. The SE model doesn’t come with racing stripes and spoilers like its two bigger brothers, and the less sporty version only has a single exhaust pipe in the rear, rather than duel pipes on the more powerful models.

Dodge believes a retro-styled coupe can deliver exactly what auto enthusiasts are seeking in the three Challenger models: a varying array of performance options and features including voice-activated MyGIG Multimedia and UConnect systems, Remote Start with Keyless Go and five-speed manual models get the Hill Start Assist. Time to kick up some dirt — driving’s about to get messy again! By Andrew J Wiener


Stores

April 2 2008



Since being established by Dennis Pahitis twenty years ago, Aésop skin care has become an uncontested success story in the notoriously fickle beauty industry — focused on providing its worldwide clientele with the highest quality botanical skin care, rather than subscribing to mainstream-cosmetic anti-aging hype. Aésop now have 78 international stockists, plus 20 signature stores including stores in Paris, London, Sydney and their most recent Melbourne addition, Flinders Lane.

In keeping with Aésop tradition — that every store is different; conceived and designed individually so as that each store is a reflection and celebration of its location — the Flinders Lane store does not disappoint, providing its customers with a design and infrastructure that is just as alternative as Aésop’s skin care products. Located in one of Melbourne’s most interesting precincts, the Flinders Lane store interior is made entirely of industrial-grade cardboard; from the display shelving, to the massive eastern façade, and even the counter tops— proving that cardboard can be both striking and structurally sturdy if it’s engineered well.



Designed by local interior architects Rodney Eggleston and Anne-Laure Cavigneaux of March Studios, the ambient new store has drawn attention from all sorts of passers by. Store manager, Kate, says she wasn’t expecting how amazed customers would be by the store’s design. “It’s clear it’s a very tactile environment. Most people come in and tend to want to touch it all.”

The Flinders Lane store is located at Shop 1C, 268 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. For a full list of Aésop products and stockists visit www.aesop.net.au. By Anna Byrne.


Transportation

March 31 2008



We've often wondered how certain high-end brands manage to maintain their global exclusivity especially as the number of millionaires and billionaires continues to skyrocket. Drive down prominent streets in Beverly Hills, Dubai, London and you're certain to pass more than a handful designer Italian and German sportscars. Chances are the valet parker at your local Ritz Carlton will have sat behind the steering wheel of cars totaling more money than most of us could only dream of making in a lifetime. 

Thankfully the expert minds at Ferrari have devised a plan nearly guaranteeing you'll have a difficult time parallel parking between the same Ferraris your neighbours are driving around town. Ferrari customers are undoubtedly accustomed to getting what they want out of their cars, but now the ability to add personalisation has become paramount - and here's all you need to know:



Book a trip to the Ferrari factory in Maranello, Italy where you will meet with a consultant in a special dedicated atelier area. Rivaling a personal fitting by Valentino for the Oscars, your consultant will welcome you to the new One-To-One Personalisation Program where you will design your own Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, accessory by accessory, detail by detail. 

The front-engined rear-wheel drive flagship Ferrari 612 Scaglietti is the only two-door four-seater in the line. The 612 is available with Ferrari's SuperFast gearbox that allows a driver to shift the paddle shifters located on the steering column in an astonishing 100 milliseconds. Whilst shiftting away, the V12 is capable of reaching top speed of 320 kph. 



The new model comes complete with an electrochromic panoramic roof that covers the length of the top of the cabin. With a turn of a knob, the entire ceiling changes from opaque to translucent, instantly adjusting the level of sunlight that may penetrate the interior. 

OK, so we’ll admit that Ferraris are not quite as common as we make them sound, but we’re also sure it’s refreshing for some of you to know that with the assistance of a personal design consultant, you can soon be cruising the streets in a truly unique Ferrari. By Andrew J Wiener



Music

March 26 2008




Hot Chip's new album 'Made In The Dark', is a wild ride. From thepopping, stomping squelches and whistles of 'Out At The Pictures', tothe LCD Soundsystem-esque groove of 'Ready For The Floor', the albumjumps frenetically between styles and influences.

With moments of delicate intimacy, soulful croons and straightforwarddance-pop, Hot Chip truly are the kings of hipster electro-pop.

Full of infectious, imaginative hooks and schizophrenic mood and tempochanges, you can lose yourself in 'Made In The Dark'. With somuch to process, it's an album that will reveal its more subtleelements on repeat listens.

Music for sound-tracking times of bliss and glee. By Nick Christie myspace.com/hotchip
 

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Stores

March 25 2008




Alexandre Herchcovitch has come a long way since his humble beginnings of making his mother's party clothes. Having launched his first collection in 1994, things have only gotten bigger for the Brazilian-born designer.

Trained at the Catholic institution Santa Marcelina College of Arts in Sao Paulo, his designs have been sent down the runways of New York, Paris and London. Best known for avant-garde designs and eclectic prints, his trademark skulls became an icon of Brazilian youth in the nineties.

2007 was a memorable year for Herchcovitch. It was a year of branching out, particularly with his redesign of the uniform for McDonald's employees in Brazil, and the opening of his first store abroad. In this daring project, Herchcovitch chose Tokyo where a good part of his collections are purchased and where he has become somewhat of a fashion guru.

The 1,076sq ft store, which sits in the hip Daikanyama district carries his men's, women's and denim collections and is operated in partnership with Japanese fashion distributor and retailer H.P. France.

Changing the way the world thinks about Brazilian fashion, coupled with his new Japanese store and concessions in New York, Herchcovitch is fast becoming a big and serious name in the fashion world. By Brendan McKnight.

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Transportation

March 20 2008




We're back to tell you about another missed opportunity to add another supercar to your fleet. Bugatti has built the Veyron 16.4 'Pur Sang,' or 'pure blood.' The Veyron, a special addition version, is one of the world's fastest cars ever made with a top speed of over 400 kph. Again, all five models have been pre-purchased for approximately $2 million each. 

Bugatti has been off the radar for quite some time, but with the introduction of the 'Pur Sang' clad in a revealing paintless carbon and aluminium structure, the Volkswagen-owned manufacturer has clearly repositioned itself among the world's most exclusive and exceptionally engineered automobiles. By Andrew J Wiener

Lifestyle

March 19 2008




We don't go to the movies to admire the theatre, but would it kill theatre owners to build even one with an edge? Time and time again, we are disappointed in the new, mega multiplexes that are boring beyond belief in their sameness and recycled ideas. So, we must admit that there is not much to celebrate but are seeing little glimmers of hope and ingenuity once in a while.



One example is the AMC Pacific Place Cinema in Hong Kong refurbished by Hong Kong-based James Law. The entrance areas to the six auditoriums seating 600 in 1.2-meter wide leather seats plus the a VIP theatre for 39 offer some unusual eye candy, but we are still wanting more. If you know of a truly cool movie theatre, please let us know via the contact page on the bottom of the site. By Tuija Seipell.

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Ads

March 12 2008




To promote the line of Procter & Gamble's Wella Koleston HairCare Naturals hair colourant, H & C - Leo Burnett Beirut did thiscreative piece of outdoor where the woman's hair, die cut out of the billboard, allows the colour variations of day and night shine through.Brilliant!

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Bars

March 12 2008



Everybody is going crazy about Mumbai's Blue Frog, opened earlier this year. It's a 1,000-square-meter complex that includes a club, restaurant, lounge, sound stage, recording studio and sound lab, all encased within the massive walls of an old warehouse in Mumbai's mill district. The Blue Frog Club interior may remind you of those delirious nights at the end-of-summer Exhibition with its midway games, roller coasters and dizzy-making rides. Or you may suddenly start channeling Queen Amidala, addressing the StarWarsian Senate from her floating pod. Luckily, Blue Frog does its dizzying job in a way that is totally stylish - not a tacky thing or overdone costume in sight. And everyone's table is definitely on level ground, although it does not appear so first.



Designers Chris Lee and Kapil Gupta formerly of Chris Lee Architects and Contemporary Urban, and now of Serie (London and Mumbai) have managed to create a cohesive yet exciting space by stripping the visual cues down to a only a few very strong ones.

The equilibrium-challenging effect is achieved by the clever surround-millwork that uses a circle as its main form. The mahogany-paneled millwork circles each round table, forming circular booths or pods in somewhat varying shapes at various levels, guaranteeing great sightlines for all. Not wanting to compete with the lighting or other embellishments of the stage acts, the interior is dark except for the top surface of the booths.



The glowing back-lit resin surfaces tie the seating area together even when a stage show is on, and make it a bit easier to gain one's bearings in the otherwise dark space. Like seating in a Roman amphitheatre, the pods circle and rise from a stage area that can also double as standing room or dance floor in a club set-up. Acts from India and from around the world are starting to make Blue Frog Mumbai's hottest club. By Tuija Seipell

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