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The Samurai Cabinet by Sebastian Errazuriz

The Samurai Cabinet continues Sebastian Errazuriz’s series of innovative works on furniture as a medium. Almost 400 individually movable keels construct a flexible skin which allows its contents to be accessed from any angle.

The small spear shaped pieces allow its shape to shift and change depending on the positions in which they are arranged.

Cleverly counterbalanced on a pivoting point, each spear instantly flips open by simply sliding a finger down its side. This small technical detail evidences the artist’s passion for completely developing his unique ideas from the conception to the last screw or joinery.

The cabinet’s sculptural presence reminds us of an armor spiked up ready to protect the valuable belongings it’s owner might decide to place in its interior.

The Samurai Cabinet like the vast majority of Sebastian Errazuriz’s creations was completely fabricated in house at his own wood-shop with the help of a couple of assistants. 

Info and images © Sebastian Errazuriz

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Slash Lamp by Dragos Motica for UBIKUBI

When is an object designed? When is an object precious, particular? What is broken and what is new? What means the result of a mechanical intervention (more or less violent) on an object? What is a vulgarized object? “/” Lamp is an object that gives the user the chance of choice. A subjective and personal choice. It is an object at the middle of two opposite states. The process of intervention or non-intervention places the object inside one of them. The materials used for building this lamp were inspired by the industrial facilities, by the construction sites: concrete, reinforcing wire, rope climbing, spool for high voltage wires.

‘ The main intent of this object was to provoke the user and to establish a personal relationship between the lamp and its end user, making it more “valuable” to him. Given the possibility to choose between breaking it or leaving it intact is meant to establish that personal, powerful relation. It empowers the buyer, leaving him with the power of making a decision, to choose between either one of two opposite attitudes: action / inaction. This is already a personal choice.’

‘My main interest is in the subjectivity of the term “emotional value”. The subjectivity of the term beautiful or ugly, in regarding all things surrounding us.  How we can mentally manipulate the value” of an object by passing it through our personal filter. Our main characteristic as human is the uniqueness. By braking it you are becoming the designer of a unique object. By leaving it unbroken, you chose the serialized object because you like it as it is. So you are already taking a very subjective decision.’

‘A reason for using concrete was the entire esthetic of it.  Also, I looked to show the esthetic of filtered light passing trough broken reinforced concrete. The cork inside is meant to protect the LED lights if you chose to break it.’

‘The body for the lamp is produced by pouring reinforced (colored, if needed) concrete into a silicone mould. The concrete shape is then air dried and after that, polished until it reaches a smooth exterior. The inside core is a round shaped cork, cut on a CNC machine, and inserted into the concrete shape.’ - Dragos Motica

Info and images courtesy of Dragos Motica

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Light Walls House by mA-style architects

There is something amazingly beautiful about natural light washing a wall. Very few architects have a handle on natural light. Located in Toyokawa City, the “Light Walls House” is a wooden dwell conceived by Japanese studio mA-style architects. Light wood walls and white boxes are the only elements that furnishes the interior. The minimalist space is engaged by the playful patterns of light filtered through the building’s structure.

 All Images © Kai Nakamura

via mA-style architects

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Costa Blanca Apartment by A-cero

A-cero: ‘This penthouse reform of 218 sqm is placed in a town of the coast of Valencia, Spain. The apartment has an area of 175 sqm and the terrace has 43 sqm, which makes a total of 218m2. Access to housing is given through a hall of 6 sqm.’

‘First we found a great diaphanous space: the living room of 55 sqm, and the kitchen with 14.5 sqm. Other spaces that complete this apartment are the hallway, the pantry, the laundry room (located on the back of the kitchen), the master bedroom with dressing room and bathroom with a total area of 27sqm and finally two secondary bedrooms of 17 sqm, with bathroom in suite.’

‘White is the main character of this project. The property is located in the “Costa Blanca / white coast” in Valencia. This provides enormous luminosity inside. The sinuous shapes are also relevant in this project with the views focused to the environment extending to the sea.’

‘We have designed a ceiling whose curves are resolved in white glow Krion by Porcelanosa. This ceiling goes through walls also, and has indirect LED lighting that changes colour to create different atmospheres and feelings.’

‘The interior woodwork: interior doors, closets and dressing are done in white lacquered. A mirrored wall at the back of the hall gives more depth to this home. Furthermore, the finished for the horizontal parameters of the house use a white plastic colour, except from the living room where vertical parameters are followed with overlapping slats Krion.’

‘The kitchen is exclusively designed by A-cero. It has sinuous forms and is also made with the material Krion by Porcelanosa. The rest of the furniture is designed by A-cero, such as beds, tables, bedrooms, bathrooms… while the living room sofas, chairs and dining tables are designed and manufactured by the international firm Vondom. Everything is white and suit perfectly with the concept of this holiday housing.’

Info and images © A-cero

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Sand Packaging by alien&monkey

Sand Packaging is a rectangular sand gift box sealed by a wooden top. The gift is revealed as soon as the packaging is broken in half by hand where the guideline is incised. Destroying the packaging during its opening provides a unique sensory experience and creates a long-lasting memory for the person who receives the gift.

alien&monkey: “Sand-made packaging re-establishes the ritual of discovering a gift and the concept of sustainable packaging. As an answer to the increase of waste in modern society, we have developed a material using one of earth’s most abundant natural resources, sand, to create packaging for precious gifts.”

All Images & Info © alien&monkey

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The Runners House by AR Design Studio

Nestled along a leafy lane on the outskirts of Winchester sits Kilham House. Once a tired building with a confusing layout, the house now boasts a contemporary update that really transforms the house into the five-bedroomed family home that it desperately needed to be. A grand, double-height entrance guides you into the building, immediately bringing you into the heart of the home which has now been become the main living space for the family. A large expanse of sliding glazing gives views into the garden, allowing the three children to run wild whilst the parents can relax in the central space and still keep a watchful eye.

A key and exciting feature of the house is the staircase. Centred in the property it acts as a locus to the project, dividing the space between the kitchen, dining area and the living areas. Steel wires hang around the staircase, enclosing it in a contemporary wrap whilst also forming part of the balustrade. The stairs take you up to the first floor and onto a bridge that flows across the double height entrance space. A tongue in cheek use of Foscarini’s Gregg pendant lights give a feeling of being up in the clouds, adding to airy and spacious feel of the central space.

At the rear of the property a central timber form connects the two wings of the house and projects into the garden creating an architectural form that ties the whole project together. A large concrete plinth that steps down to the garden creates a place to relax and dine outdoors. The concrete plinth flows into the property and makes up the entire ground floor surface. This use of material, mixed with the large sliding glazed panels that face onto the garden, blurs the boundary between indoors and outdoors.

Info and images © AR Design Studio

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Porsche Pavilion by Henn

Since its opening in 2000, the Autostadt in Wolfsburg receives a new structure, the Porsche Pavilion. The characteristic silhouette is a striking icon within the theme park lagoon landscape. The new brand pavilion of the sports car manufacturer is presented as an organically shaped structure with a curved, softly gleaming roof construction, taking up 400 m² of exhibition and presentation areas.

Curving lines and exciting bends make the Pavilion a dynamic yet reduced sculpture with its characteristics derived from the Porsche brand image. In the seamless building envelope the racy lines pick up speed, reduce their tempo again and send out additional radii. A matte finished stainless steel cladding forms the flush envelope of this vibrant structure, creating the impression of a homogeneous unity, whilst creating a continuously changing appearance depending on light and weather conditions. On its entrance side the pavilion juts out for a total of 25 metres above the water surface of the lagoon in front.

Under the large, asymmetrically shaped roof a sheltered external space opens up with seats for several hundred visitors, being optically connected to the surrounding landscape and forming its own acoustic enclosure. The architecture and landscape, interior and exterior, roof and façade are designed as a uniform, flowing continuum, while the exterior of the pavilion designed by WES LandschaftsArchitektur has been integrated into the overall concept of the theme park. Similar to the monocoque type construction used in lightweight construction in the automotive and aircraft industries, the space-forming building envelope assumes a supportive function. A total of 620 stainless steel sheets have been welded together with reinforcing ribs, prefabricated in a shipyard in Stralsund and assembled on site.

Inside the pavilion a concentrated space opens out to provide a tangible experience of the Porsche sports car brand and its history. The elliptically curved ramp takes the fundamental dynamic principle of the architecture and leads visitors down to the presentation area. The exhibition and presentation concept designed by hg merz architekten museumsgestalter and jangled nerves combines the evolution, the engineering and the fascination of Porsche in one memorable image of pioneering tradition.

The Porsche Pavilion at the Autostadt in Wolfsburg has been awarded with the design prize Automotive Brand Award 2012 in the category “Best of Best – Architecture” by the German Design Co.

Info and images © Henn

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Schäfer Roffscape by plasma studio

Located in the medieval centre of San Candido/Innichen, Schäfer Roofscape is a newly-completed restoration and conversion of a historical building. The first three storeys house a department store while the upper three storeys serve as four large, independent apartments within the formerly underused attic space.

The building faces a public plaza protected by local regulations, thus, efforts were directed towards its rear facade. This west-facing elevation explores how slicing and folding can be employed to expand the limits of the ubiquitous pitch roof typology: large glazed balcony slots produce bright, contemporary living conditions and generous exterior expansion space within this dense urban situation. A marked departure from the neighbouring vernacular buildings.

Info and images ©  plasma studio

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MAPFRE Complex by TSM Asociados

The project is a Commercial Complex where all the MAPFRE services may be found. MAPFRE is a Spanish transnational insurance company with presence all over South America. With a total built up area of 7,872.84 m2, it is composed of a Commercial Office two story building, a Medical Center with two levels, a Chapel and a six stories Columbarium building, and finally a Wake Area, plus two basements. The main design principle was to arrange all functions around a square inside the property.

The chapel has been placed on the left side of the entrance, with seating for 100 people. It has been design so it could hold most types of Christian services. It is more like a neutral temple. The external and internal cladding is a flagstone which is extracted from quarries in the Peruvian state of Arequipa. Inside, the altar has been decorated with a back of wooden veneer and with a top natural skylight. The altar table is an inclined marble table. The lighting fixture includes LED strings inside the windows to always give the effect of daylight permeating through them.

The chapel volume tops off with the Columbarium building, in contrast to it, lightening the building by the use of ellipsoid sun louvers to keep a more private atmosphere inside without compromising the entrance of natural light. The Columbarium starts on the second floor and spread over 6 floors.

Towards the right side, also facing the street is the two stories Medical Center building. It has a continuous glass façade which enters into the complex ending in the office building. It has been design as a multiple combination of different types of glass that goes from light and transparent to dark and almost opaque. The reception, offices and services, such as pharmacy, X-ray, laboratory, etc. are on the first floor. The second floor consists of medical offices and administrative areas.

Between the two outbuildings there are two clearly defined pedestrian accesses. One is a corridor that continues in the first level, next to the chapel and columbarium until reaching the entrance to the Wake Area. This area has been design with a type of “public” space which allows interaction among attendees, maintaining the necessary respect to private wake spaces.  Between this area and the basement there is a vertical connection with a specially sized elevator for the entrance of the funeral procession with the coffin. In the basement there is also the mortuary room through which the coffin and body passes before being taken to each wake room.

The second path is via a slope and open staircase that ends in the upper plaza where the entrance to the Mapfre Peru office building is. This office building has the same façade treatment that continues from the Medical Center, whose design has been proposed as a continuous membrane that connects the exterior and the interior facades of the complex.

Info and images © TSM Asociados