Transportation

December 5 2007




Mobile living might not be for everyone - but those adventurous enough to give it a shot. Living Is.be has crafted a fully-functional living space within the bed or a truck. 

Two hatch skylights provide natural ventilation and allow sun to illuminate the interior. A double bed was installed at the rear of the truck allowing two adults to sleep comfortably. Running water is not only used in a functioning sink, but is also used in a sunken shower that was placed directly behind the cab of the truck. A kitchen stove ensures meals can be prepared - whether driving through an urban area or traversing rugged terrain. By Andrew J Wiener.



See Also -THE WOLTHAHELLIZAT
             DOUBLE DECKER LIVING





Design

November 22 2007


Fixated as we are with creative ideas, we really like it when we see something nearly impossible turn out to be possible. At the moment we are intrigued by small, compact, boxy buildings. Dwellings, mini houses, pop-up buildings that are clever and functional, yet chic and fun. A home inside a box, a cafe in shipping container.



Or maybe an office, shop or yoga studio in some new, fascinating cube-like format? If you know of such buildings -
actual buildings, not just plans - please let us know where they are. We'd like to see how it's done and spread the word. By Tuija Seipell. send to [email protected]


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Design

November 21 2007




Whoever said that reading was a religious experience was right, especially when taking a visit to Selexyz Dominicanen in Maastricht, Netherlands.

Having just won the Lensvelt de Architect Interior Prize 2007, this newest addition to the Selexyz book chain is well worth the visit to this medieval city if you are ever in the area.



Erected inside a former 800 year old Dominican church, this bookstore is said to hold the largest stock of books in English in Maastricht, one of the oldest cities in the country.

It was always going to be a challenging task for Amsterdam based architects Merkx + Girod who designed the space, to stay true to the original character and charm of the church, whilst also achieving a desirable amount of commercial space (there was only an available floor area of 750 m2, with a proposed retail space of 1200 m2). Taking advantage of the massive ceiling, both have been achieved through the construction of a multi-storey steel structure which houses the majority of the books. This is one giant bookshelf, with stairs and elevators taking shoppers and visitors alike, up to the heavens (mind the pun), to roof of the church.



To maintain a sense of symmetrical balance in the space, lower tables of best sellers and latest releases have been added to either side, and of course a small cafe at the back for readers to relax and enjoy a hot drink.

Overall a great example of how with clever thinking, spatial solutions can both achieve a suitable retail presence, whilst still respecting and remaining true to the original structure. By Brendan Mc Knight

See also Pontificial Lateral University Library
                 LIBRARIES - CANDIDA-HOFFER
                 Kids Republic Bookstore

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Ads

November 20 2007



In a world where conservation and efficiency are becoming the standard, a greater number of companies are doing anything and everything they can to continue keeping awareness in the consciousness of the consumer. In this billboard for Philips, a consistent leader in corporate sustainability, the image of their globe is printed in ink that glows in the dark. The energy saving poster eliminates the need for artificial lighting. By Andrew J Wiener

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Ads

November 13 2007



Print Ad for Videocon Washing machines, created by Ogilvy & Mather, Mumbai 

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Lifestyle

November 12 2007


Recent collaboration between the industrious designer Michael Young  and his wife, Icelandic graphic artist Katrin Olina Petursdottir, resulted in SKIN. It is an exquisite Florentine cosmetic surgery clinic commissioned by Dr. Jorgos Foukis, guru to the rich and (determined-to-remain) beautiful.


SKIN is befittingly located in central Florence in Borgo San Jacopo, an area known already in 1050 for a hospital for the pilgrims on their way to Rome. SKIN’s 250-square-metre space includes state-of-the-art operating theaters, meeting rooms, massage rooms, offices and a reception.



In SKIN, the Hong-Kong-based Young and Olina have managed to fuse sterile medical with sexy boudoir. The overall feeling of lightness and illumination is achieved by applying a translucent laminate glazing DuPont on not only walls, windows and mirrors but on floors as well, allowing Olina’s beautiful, light-pastel imagery to glow through. By Tuija Seipell





Events

November 12 2007




Villa Eugenie is an "events" company in the most impressive sense of the word. These are not people who organize bridal showers and baby parties for minor movie stars. For the Brussels-based team of Villa Eugenie, led by Etienne Russo, routine means orchestrating a major runway event for a major fashion house. And stunning everyone.



Best known for its catwalk extravaganzas, Villa Eugenie is now involved in not just creating spectacular fashion shows, but staging major events for luxury business in all of its forms - magazine launches, major celebrations, and jewellery, perfume, art and opera installations, corporate events and fairs around the world. The team also advises major fashion brands on store concepts, stores space searches, lighting and branding. Although based in Brussels, Villa Eugenie operates in all major fashion and luxury centers and has a permanent office also in Miami.



We do not envy their task of having to impress the time-hardened fashion buyer or editor, or the celebrities that line up the runways of the famous fashion emporiums. These events are critiqued like major concerts or art exhibitions, and the shows themselves are as much about drama and ever-bigger surprises as they are about the designers, or the fashions - most of which are unwearable by mere mortals anyway.



Villa Eugenie must be doing it right. Year after year, its client list reads like a Who is Who in the fashion world: Chanel, Dries Van Noten, Miu Miu, Maison Martin Margiela, Lanvin, Hermés, Hugo Bosss, Sonia Rykiel, Olivier Strelli, and the
Adidas-backed Y-3.



These are all major brands with huge production budgets. But even when you know that sky is not the budget's limit, it is still astonishing that the same production company can be creating several shows in one season - all attended by the same posse of cynical seen-it-all viewers - and not start to appear stale or formulaic. Boundless creativity and ruthless attention to detail, both most likely still sparked for each project by Etienne Russo himself, are the cornerstones of such a feat.



Russo started humbly in the 1980s as an artistic and creative barman at Mirano, a fashionable nightclub in Brussels. He was soon creating major events there and drawing serious attention. His first real fashion client was Dries Van Noten for whom he worked as a model, salesman, lighting engineer, cook and extraordinary producer of Van Noten's first fashion show in Paris in 1991.



In 1995, Russo started his own production firm, naming it after the charming villa where it was located. Since 2004, the Villa Eugenie team has worked out of a former factory close to Brussels South station (Bruxelles-Midi, Brussel-Zuid). The space, covered by a vast glass canopy, was redesigned by the Ghent-based architect Glenn Sestig



This is the same man who this year opened his first luxury hotel Sestig Hotel. In the cubic Huis Van Waes building in Ghent that he reconstructed. By Tuija Seipell



Seen any other interesting events we should know about? e-mail [email protected]


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Architecture

November 6 2007



It’s not only the destination that is important – the trip itself matters as well. Both literally and figuratively. So why are we left bored out of our heads, plus cold, wet, angry and hungry, as we wait (and wait and wait) in line ups?



It is because the operators of clubs, cinemas, theatres, restaurants, sports facilities and other entertainment venues fail to embrace — or take advantage of – the entire user experience. We are right there, waiting to be entertained and they ignore us and leave us out in the cold?



As we ponder this, we are delighted when something like this fun ski-lift shows up under our radar. It serves as a metaphor for the idea of doing more than the minimum with every aspect of the experience. What we see is ingenuity, creativity, and a sense of style and fun.

Stores

October 24 2007



Sensory overload is unavoidable in Paris, and after a while you become a bit numb. But like a sorbet that clears your palate between courses, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac’s (JC/DC) store at 10 Rue Vauvilliers will work as a visual palate-refresher.



The store has an air of theatre without being theatrical, drama without being dramatic and history without being historical. A retro, semi-aggressive undertone, popped up by whimsy and surprise. Oh yes, they do sell fashion, too.

The store’s flair and ingenuity are not accidental. Cooperation between super-talents such as JC/DC and Christian Ghion is likely to produce something remarkable. In his 40-plus years in the business of high-impact eye candy, the Casablanca, Morocco-born Marquis de Castelbajac has enjoyed enormous successes designing fashion, movies, cars, sportswear and interiors. Celebrities from Elton John to Pope John Paul II have worn his creations and added to his fame.



The 49-year-old Christian Ghion is no less prolific or versatile. He is known as a designer of high-end furniture and accessories, exhibitions, and home, store and hotel interiors. His chicest furniture design is the 2002 Shadow chaise lounge for Cappellini. By Tuija Seipell

 

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Kids

October 16 2007




Poetry and storytelling help us understand the world that surrounds us. Visual imagery allows the mind to draw parallels between what we see and how we think. Dutch designer Jurgen Bey has created a classroom that will inspire young minds to think beyond the realm of what is traditionally asked of school children. 



The classroom interior project is part of the ROC training school at Apeldoorn in the Netherlands. Practically every surface of the room is covered with images found in books used at the school.  Centred around a palate of white and grey, Bey selected graphics then placed them around the space on walls, furniture and even the floor. Moveable screens allow the room to open completely or divide space depending on the activities taking place. 



One key feature, the highly wear-resistant flooring system made with Senso Freeze, contains a transparent resin that allowed Bey to embed digital photographs onto the surface.  Inspiration and creativity seeps from every surface - it's impossible to imagine what will be generated from the minds as they pass through this space. By Andrew J Wiener


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