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An art deco design inspired façade: Louis Vuitton Matsuya Ginza

The new façade of Louis Vuitton Matsuya Ginza is inspired by the history of Ginza, the city that used to be known for its art deco design. Ginza was the entrance of Tokyo, adjacent to Shimbashi, from which the very first railway station of Japan stretched to the port and led to the foreign Country. The “modern” atmosphere the forefront Ginza acquired derived from art deco patterns in relation to edo-komon, the pattern of traditional Tokyo and the highly abstract and stylized geometric pattern in repetition.

Based on Louis Vuitton’s damier, which also is a repeated geometric pattern, the façade of Louis Vuitton Matsuya Ginza becomes a softer version of damier, imbued with delicacy and richness that is found in organism. From edo-komon to art deco. Art deco to the soft damier. This is a journey to the history of Ginza.

Gentle bulges and dents elaborate the façade of opal beige reliefs. With these pattern, the façade reveals various appearances in sunlight, and also during the night, the LED lights behind the reliefs lit the façade to render another expression reminiscent of Louis Vuitton’s monogram.

Info and images © AOKI JUN

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KUBRICK - An Art Show Tribute

Spoke Art presents: KUBRICKAn art show tribute to the films of Stanley Kubrick. Over 60 artists were invited to re-imagine their favorite characters, scenes and thematic concepts from one of the world’s most prolific directors. Spanning a plethora of mediums from sculpture and painting to limited edition prints, the show seeks to honor one of the 20th century’s most significant directors while also reinterpreting his impact in a contemporary context.

Widely known for his controversial techniques and highly controlled directorial style, Kubrick has fabricated a diverse repertoire of films and imagined worlds for his viewers. One of the great idiosyncratic masterminds in history’s cinema, Kubrick has cultivated a noteworthy genre completely his own. Critical discussions of humanity, morality and social justice all appear in his work regularly. Contextually disparate but psychologically banded, all of Kubrick’s films challenge the viewer both intellectually and ethically. A true auteur, Kubrick’s work pushes our understanding of human nature to severe place. Extreme violence, salaciousness and deranged psychological behavior are commonplace motifs instrumented to establish Kubrick’s pessimistic undertones. Even through satire, Kubrick manages to take levity to a place of lunatic proportion.

All the artists were allowed to select the film of their choosing, there were no guidelines on subject matter or content. Each artist was given free reign to re-interpret and render their take on Kubrick’s entire cinematic collection. Resulting in a variegated display, KUBRICK is an experiment in modernity, a cross-section between film and art.

Info and images © Spoke Art

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Uniqueness with a modular solution: Bottles’ Congress by Tiago do Vale Arquitectos

The “Bottles’ Congress” project came as an answer to the very particular challenges presented by a wine and spirits store in unique circumstances. Located in the outskirts of the city of Braga, in northern Portugal, next to Minho’s University, the client required a system to display over a thousand different wine and spirits bottles, designed in a modular fashion and capable of being adapted to different locations. At the same time, the location the client brought to the table had interesting characteristics that asked for a specific, non-generic intervention: a beautiful natural setting by the Este river, facing the sunset, already a leisure site favored by the city and the University’s students in particular; and a store with two glass fronts that presented an unusual opportunity to play with the inside/outside relationship.

According to Tiago do Vale, “three questions presented themselves as the development vectors for the project: how does one display over a thousand different references while still treating each bottle as a special, unique product; how does one address that uniqueness with a modular solution; and how does one design a modular solution that still answers, with no compromise, the particular characteristics of a place”. The modular design brought order to the products’ display: “Considering we had over one thousand different bottles, each with its shape, size, color and label, the modularity of the design, with its rhythm and repetition, introduced a deliberate order in a potentially chaotic, noisy context. We felt we needed that visual systematization and subtly reinforced it with the illumination. But we equally needed to strike a balance: if we overdid it, each individual product would get lost in its context.

The best balance between modularity and individuality was found by designing four different types of display boxes, with each design coming as a precise consequence of the particular shapes, presentation characteristics and resting needs of each specific kind of bottle. Each module consists of four pinewood display boxes, with a storage area underneath. A palette of dark rich tones was elected throughout the store to convey a sense of luxury and coziness, contrasting with pinewood features. “There’s a recognizable image of what a wine store should be, with endless walls of bottle shelfs and pine boxes, but we felt this kind of wine store ended up banalizing the product. Though still establishing a connection with the traditional wine store through the use of pine wood elements, we wanted to present the product as something really special, like a luxury item, so I always had the image of a jewelry store in my mind.

The store is located on a quiet residential area, featuring two glass fronts, one facing an urban context and the other facing a soothing park, crossed by the Este river and served by open-air sporting facilities. In order to maximize the store’s transparency the bathrooms were relocated, resulting in an unobstructed space with open views from the street to the park. This allowed for a breathtaking presence of the store on the street, invitingly bringing its content outside, while simultaneously transporting to the inside that beautifully qualified natural landscape.

Info and images courtesy of João Morgado Photography

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Inspiration + Information + Innovation: Sleep Conference Line-Up

Sleep, Europe’s leading hotel design and development event, has just announced its much anticipated conference programme for 2014. As last year, the conference is complimentary for all pre-registered visitors, offering operators, developers, architects, designers and the many other professionals who attend the show, an unparalleled chance to hear and engage with industry stars, influencers and the big thinkers.

Two of the design industry’s most enduring partnerships will be celebrated. George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg, the founders of Toronto-based Yabu Pushelberg who are revered for their iconic and contemporary hotel design, such as W Hotel, Times Square in New York, Public Hotel in Chicago and The London EDITION, will be in conversation with Catherine Martin, editor of Sleeper, while Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku will be interviewed by the conference moderator, Guy Dittrich. As Jouin Manku, the Parisian-based duo have recently woven their individual passions for industrial design and craftsmanship into the outstanding interiors of both the Mandarin Oriental and Plaza Athénée in Paris as well as Fontevraud L’hôtel in the Loire Valley.

Legendary restaurateur, Jeremy King, who, this autumn will be welcoming guests to his first hotel, The Beaumont in London’s Mayfair, will open the conference, offering insight into how the art of successful restaurant management may be translated into the world of luxury hotel keeping. Then, in a gear shift, a panel discussion will follow about the new generation of designer hostels with speakers including the funder of Generator Hostels, Josh Wyatt of Patron Capital, and three of the designers setting the benchmark in this sector – Werner Aisslinger, Ian Burleigh and Anwar Makhayech. The heat will be further turned up when Andrew Sangster, editor of Hotel Analyst and frequent conference inquisitor, will instead be the interrogated, answering questions about the hotel market put to him by Philip Camble, director of Whitebridge Hospitality.

Other sessions new to the conference this year will hear from leading hotel operators and developers, including Billy Skelli-Cohen of Greenbrook BD, the developers of the new Mondrian London, and Carlson Rezidor’s Eugene Staal about how they identify the parameters for realising a well-designed project; there will be a discussion about the triumphs and frustrations of working with heritage buildings and, in a session moderated by David Curtis-Brignell from Think Apartments, an exploration of the potential of design to differentiate long-stay lodging as it seeks to take on the hotel brands. The tickly issue of how to define good taste and true style will also be debated by a panel of designers and trend forecasters, including Tom Hupe of EPR Architects and Sally Davies from Global Color Research, moderated by Andrew Linwood of Areen Hospitality Design.

“The Sleep Conference is a unique event that offers access to a vast wealth of design knowledge, know-how and sheer talent,” says moderator Guy Dittrich. “The hotel sector is very dynamic at the moment and design in the widest sense is now recognised as a driving force in the industry’s success. This makes for a conference full of passion and new ideas as well as a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues from across Europe and further afield.”

Several session favourites are returning but with new faces. On the second day of the conference, Rapid Eye Movement, based on the Pecha Kucha model, will once again provide a rousing wake-up call. This year, some of the newest minds in the architectural and design community, as nominated by the industry’s most celebrated names, will be participating.
Also back are The Sleep Round Tables, organised by Daniel Englender of Benjamin West, giving delegates the opportunity for one-to-one conversations with senior executives from the hospitality industry, including Christian Youens from Cedar Capital, Dominic Seely of Westmont Hospitality Group, Lionel Benjamin, Director – Hotels for Topland Group and the CEO of Leonardo Hotels, Saar Sharon. And – always a popular session – the intrepid designers of the concept Sleep Set rooms, which are constructed in an area adjacent to the conference theatre, will be called to the stage to explain their response to this year’s challenge. ‘Simplexity’ is the theme for 2014 and the judges are: Katherine Blaisdell of Belmond, Marco Nijhof of yoo Hotels and Conrad Smith of ReardonSmith Architects. The winning Sleep Set team will be announced on the evening of the first day during networking and drinks served in the Sleep Bar.

Every year Sleep galvanises the industry with an initiative aimed at inspiring young designers and students to join the hotel design sector, and this year the event has linked up with Class of Your Own, a leading social enterprise for built environment education. Over the summer, school children across the UK have been busy designing a hotel fit for a James Bond movie located within a London Underground station, in the process learning to use the latest BIM technology. The conference will hear from the two finalists in a session which will decide on the winner and provide an update from Arup on the impact of BIM on design.

‘Question Time’ will wrap up the conference with international industry leaders answering questions posed by the audience in an open forum.

Katy Ghahremani, partner at Make Architects, is a regular attendee at the conference. “Sleep is the main hotel conference in the UK and a great way to find out what is happening globally in the hospitality industry,” she says. “No two years are the same – the organisers manage to keep the format fresh, engaging and evolving every year. As an architect and designer, I love to hear about the other side of the industry such as the investment and management issues. Having a good understanding of these non-design issues helps me to deliver better design.”

Sleep’s Headline Sponsor is Grohe.

The Sleep Conference, together with the Sleep Set and Sleep Exhibition will be held on Wednesday 26th and Thursday 27th November at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London. For more information and to register for complementary passes visit:

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Charcoals, ebonies and raven black: Luminescence/ by Schön! Magazine

Schön!: ‘Sandro Bäbler gets behind the lens for Schön!’s exclusive online editorial Luminescence. Dark and dynamic, model Tony Thornburg defies the laws of gravity dressed in layers of Yohji Yamamoto, Rick Owens and Givenchy. With a palette of charcoals, ebonies and raven black, stylist Brigitte Magareta Wilhelm lets texture and fabric speak volumes. From the matte leather of Christian Louboutin boots, to the leather sheen of an Alexander Wang suit – creative prints, sleek lines, and angular shapes exhibit a new form of masculinity.’

Info and images © Schön!

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Recipes for a head in the clouds

Nora Luther: “The raw ingredients rest in weightlessness. They are properly proportioned falling into the vessel where they are further processed. The image serves a foretaste not only of the dish but also of its preparation. The look of the ready cooked dish is left to your own imagination.” A glimpse on the recipe lets you know what you’re going to cook. You don’t even need to know how to read.

Info and images © Pavel Becker and Nora Luther

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Reimagining an iconic Frank Fox House: Bellevue Hill residence by Tzannes Associates

Originally designed by architect Frank Fox in the 1960s, this distinctive residence was extensively remodelled in a manner sympathetic to its mid-century character. The architecture successfully resolves many idiosyncrasies inherent to the existing semi-circular, partly-domed building form on pilots. New external elements are carefully integrated within the existing envelope. Except a small extension to the living room terrace, the footprint and the form of the building remain original. A new underground garage was excavated below the house and a new ground floor was inserted in place of service areas, columns and voids. The garden space, cleared of ancillary structures, now wraps around the home, bringing a magnificent Hills Fig in focus. The pool was rebuilt changing its hard landscape character to a pond-like extension of the garden.

Existing openings received new windows with adjustable vertical and horizontal louvers, sliding curved glass high performance doors, and a steel and timber awning. This provides improved solar and privacy control, better internal amenity and a more generous relationship between internal and external spaces. The existing three-quarter faceted domed ceiling above the living room has been remodelled to better express the underlying geometry and provide clarity to the internal planning. New curved joinery screens define spaces within the room, providing privacy, separation and connectivity. A new kitchen is located at the junction of the private and more public areas of the home, and between outdoor and indoor living areas.

The materials have been selected for durability, warmth and easy maintenance. They generally consist of natural materials such as recycled timber, stone and metal. The metalwork, except the kitchen bench, is in warm hues of bronzed brass.

The Bellevue Hill Residence was awarded a Commendation in Residential Architecture Houses (Alterations and Additions) at the 2013 NSW Australian Institute of Architecture Awards. The Jury Citation reads:

‘Bellevue Hill residence as reimagined by Tzannes Associates explores the existing potential of a distinctive, perhaps even iconic, 1960s Frank Fox house.  It embraces its eccentricities  and deftly resolves its many compromises and shortcomings to create a home suitable for 21st century living.

The original building was a local landmark on its street corner.  Its circular form responded well to the site geometry, vegetation and urban context, while its bulk and scale were appropriately unimposing.  It made a positive contribution to the public domain.  The architects and the owners of the house wisely, and yet at considerable cost, chose to work with the existing building fabric, resolving the functional brief within its envelope and respecting its mid-century character.

Additional spaces are provided within the present envelope and with due regard to its mid-century character, yet accommodating the modern lifestyle of its occupants with provision for a range of engaging spatial experiences.

The jury felt the architect and client, in collaboration with their builder, are to be commended on the finely detailed and drafted conservation and adaptation of a challenging and idiosyncratic 1960s building – one of many buildings of this period which may not enjoy legislative heritage protection but are worthy of preservation.’

Info and images © Tzannes Associates

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A fire-starting kit in Melbourne: Tinderbox House by Breathe Architecture

Breathe Architecture: ‘Site inspections at the historic brick warehouse complex revealed an apartment fit out with a series of unfortunate conversions. Perhaps described best as a ‘fire-trap’, we explored narratives relating to the tinderbox and its three core elements. Comprising flint, tinder and firesteel, this fire-starting kit inspired a material narrative.’

Info and images © Breathe Architecture

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Natural and artificial elements coexist in Claudia Danna’s A/W 2014-2015 collection

Exotic landscapes and industrial scenarios, abandoned and contaminated suburbs, where the rough nature and the unfinished construction seem to want to prevail one on the other. Tactile and sensory perceptions are focused on the Autumn Winter 2014-2015 collection presented during Altaroma Altamoda july 2014. A project that celebrates the ability of coexistence between natural and artificial elements, that together constitute a new identity.
The decadence, the final stage of the natural process, becomes the most favorable condition to fulfill this course: the opaque white of the walls is represented by the large volumes of outerwear, at times affected by fragments of murals soaked of symmetries, that crash on black and gray of the rounded and flowing forms of fresh lime. Verdant wild plants growing above and below the synthetic surface, tattered, deteriorated, and stand around massive skeletons of shimmering aluminum, until absorbing it. The white shirt, basic item of clothing par excellence, becomes versatile and adaptable for both day and night.
Finally, sneakers, fanny packs and small backpacks are the setting for a sporty-chic style, that dares and goes beyond, perfectly intertwined with experimental materials and sophisticated manufacturing.




Info and images courtesy of Claudia Danna