Archive for the ‘Call-Out’ Category
To this day, Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill’s legendary live/work complex in Barcelona, Spain remains one of, if not the most impressive examples of adaptive reuse we’ve ever seen. It all started about 35 years ago when the controversial architect discovered an abandoned cement factory comprised of over 30 silos, underground galleries and huge engine rooms. He bought it and began renovation. This included defining the space by demolishing certain structures, cleaning cement, exposing previously concealed forms, and planting various greenery including eucalyptus, palms, olive trees and cypresses. Today, the factory has been successfully transformed into his personal home, as well as a multitude of offices, modeling and archival laboratories, a projection room, and a huge space known as ‘The Cathedral’, which serves as a venue for subsequent exhibitions, lectures, and concerts.
The vast space exemplifies incredible restraint. He hasn’t filled it up with too much stuff; rather the interiors are intentionally appointed with casually slip-covered white sofas, canvas slingback seating, warm oriental rugs and lush leather upholstery. The work areas feature dramatically long conference tables paired with high-tech leather seating. In terms of artwork, beautifully framed architectural prints either hang on the wall or are displayed on wooden easels. The space overall boggles the mind, so much so that we can’t believe it even exists! But it does, and Bofill has this to say about it:
“The factory is a magic place with a strange atmosphere that is difficult to be perceived by a profane eye. I like the life to be perfectly programmed here, ritualized, in total contrast with my turbulent nomad life.”
Photography by Verve
This past weekend LoftLife sponsored the Eighth Annual Castleberry Hill Loft Tour. The festivities kicked off on Friday night with the Loft Tour Media and Sponsor Party. Great food from Castleberry Hill’s local eateries was provided and Massoud Besharat’s breath-taking home and gallery served as the backdrop. Many of the guests went on to take part in the monthly Castleberry Hill Art Stroll.
Even with ominous clouds, the crowds showed for the first day of the tour. Volunteers were welcoming and worked hard to make sure guests were well informed and guided.
Loft #1 is owned by artist / illustrator, David Campbell. It was one of the smaller lofts, but was also one of the most successful uses of space. Multi-levels and large canvases served as room dividers between his living and working space. Large factory windows let in excellent light for drawing and living. This live/work space is cozy, comfortable and very livable.
Loft #2 is the home to Calvin Lockwood and Steve Messer. After walking through the downstairs gallery, guests are greeted by an actual airplane fuselage. The loft itself is open and airy with a mix of new furniture and vintage finds. Adjacent to the main space is a private, natural style, multilevel rooftop garden. Although the highlight is the spiral staircase that leads to a small rooftop cupola with stunning views of the city and their own garden below.
Loft #3 is a free-spirited space inhabited by Debbie Kvinlaug. This tri-level loft was a former loading dock for a meat packing plant and still retains a lot of the industrial grit. Most recently in her career, Debbie has worked for Claire’s, and that same funky fun attitude infuses her space. From the quirky bare-lightbulb chandelier to the messenger bag planters; her space oozes character.
Loft #4 is owned by Jeff and Tracy Schaffrick and is an interesting mix of modern and traditional. After acceding the stairs from the gallery below, The space is all exposed brick and clean wood floors. In contrast, the furniture is more classic in styling, which gives the space a warm touch. The heart of the home is a beautiful, large kitchen, perfect for entertaining.
Loft #5 is an open loft with soaring three story ceilings and belongs to Tracy Bergquist. This loft really works because all the living spaces are open and flow into one another, while just behind well placed walls lie comfortable and intimate bedrooms. It even has a small room at the very top, perfect for listening to vinyl with friends and having a few drinks.
Loft #6 is home to Raymond and Wendy Tsao. This three-story 1930’s warehouse was renovated to their specifications. The goal of this home was to create something that feels both contemporary and country and the same time. With fantastical light fixtures, distressed furniture, touches of glass and exposed brick walls it certainly accomplished its goal.
Loft #7 and #8 were both in the neighborhood’s newest construction, Castleberry Point. The first belongs to Rob Anderson who used a boutique hotel as inspiration while adding some personal touches that reflect his love of old-school jazz. The second loft is home to Valarie Henry and had a really wonderful layout. With living space on one side of the partition and sleeping on the other, both can enjoy sweeping skyline views from the full wall of floor to ceiling windows.
Even with the downpour of rain on Saturday, Atlantans came in droves to participate in the neighborhood event. Everyone left with great design inspiration and (of course) a copy of LoftLife magazine.
Chroonkit Thahong is a senior presentation code developer at R/GA who practices interior design part-time. While he’s been celebrated the most for restaurant design (including SEA in Willamsburg and the Highline in the Meat Packing District), his talent comes through clearly in a couple of gorgeous lofts.
For example, there’s “The Flowerbox,” a duplex loft in New York’s East Village, which uses subtle detailing to feature some fine, pure modern style. His clients, couple who had met at MIT, desired a minimal aesthetic; Thahong proposed invoking John Pawson’s style, thinking it would give them the look they wanted. In the living space, sleek sliding glass doors and a long hidden bookcase replaced old-fashioned molding adding functionality to the interior. The room was then infused with form, including a Living Divani wall sofa, a BDDW dining set, and Donald Judd’s sculpture work. The custom-built entertainment cabinet and the birdhouse sconce, meanwhile, both use the original developer’s floor material, while the pair of brass birds perched on the stair rail were purchased on eBay.
The space’s open feel allows each piece to stand on its own while still contributing to an overall cohesion. And as light floods in during the day, Thahong’s design ensures “The Flowerbox” functions as a calm and meditative home in which a planted mind and body can truly grow!
At this year’s second New York International Gift Fair, it was all about functional design. In the “Accent on Design” section, the part applicable to us the most, we were overwhelmed by the innovative designs exhibited. Here is a round-up of our favorite, top three participants:
#1 – Moleskine
Just when you think this forward-thinking journal company has reached their creative limits, they present ingenuous product design. Some stand-out new products include a tear away desk calendar (pictured above), the 2010 “Color A Month” Daily Planner box set, extra large folio journals, and the 2010 Pocket Softcover Project Planner that features 54 accordion pages.
This steady favorite of ours specializes in providing a context for designers of all fields to create, develop and produce various high-quality home and lifestyle items. This “publishing house” for designers has resulted in unique accessories that mix form and function, many of which have playful overtones. Our favorite new designs they were showing include a white table that swivels, a candleholder meant for dripping wax, and a foursome of Swedish stick-back chairs.
#3 – DESU DESIGN
According to their mission, DESU DESIGN “strive to make innovative products that blur the boundary between art and design” using modern manufacturing technology to mass produce their products. Every single furnishing and accessory that they sell has a specified function. Their small products for the home feel especially custom. Our favorites: the spice rack series.
Whether seeking a new color palette or a shot of original style for your home, fashion is always a fantastic place for inspiration! I’m very excited to be a new contributor here on the LoftLife blog where I’ll be featuring weekly posts every Tuesday that show just how easy it is to translate runway looks into styled rooms.
The series is called Rooms from the Runway – something I started two years ago on my blog, coco+kelley, and I hope it will be a great source of quick inspiration for many of you! Shall we get started?
Pulled from the Alberta Ferretti 2010 Resort collection, this ensemble features a surprising pop of mustard and blue against black, khaki and brown. Translated into this room featured at Nuevo Estilo, we see a classic style that is consistent with Ferretti’s design. Using similar neutrals as the base, the blue urn and yellow flowers add that same pop of color, carefully placed in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the space.
*Tip: If you’re unsure of adding a brighter color to your rooms, testing it out with a little floral arrangement will help you see if you really like it without breaking the bank! Next to throw pillows, they’re the quickest and easiest way to transform a space.
Here at LL we have always been fans of the Moleskine company and anything affiliated with the design-savvy brand. We jumped for joy when they debuted their “City Notebooks” a few years back. They have been gradually adding new cities to the collection; notable recent additions include Atlanta, Las Vegas, Hamburg, and Moscow, which launched this Spring. Each 228-page notebook is thread-bound with the traditional black leather cover. Each book is chalk full of useful stuff: Map with layout of the city, subway/transportation map, street index, tabbed sections to record info on food, drinks, people, places, and books, perforated sheets for exchanging messages, and, finally, nifty translucent sheets for tracing itineraries over city maps.
Be sure to get your companion for the inevitable urban travels you’ve got planned this summer.
Visit MoleskineCity for more information.
Plywood just got interesting, and the Parisian loft below shows plywood at its best. Renovated by architects Karine Chartier and Thomas Corbasson (who trained in the studio of Jean Nouvel–last year’s Pritzker Award winner), the old industrial laboratory (check out the building’s original freight elevator below) is transformed by adding a heavy textual and uncanny element–plywood.
Plywood, a moisture-proof, marine-grade, very low formaldehyde-content pine, certified by the European sustainable forest practices agreement, becomes a strong, almost abnormal complement to what would normally be simply a white, industrial space. It’s hard to see but the plywood kitchen islands are mostly on locking wheels, which creates a flexible space that can mutate from a small cooking area to a larger gathering area. Combined with the other moveable furniture, plywood has stopped looking cheap, and starts looking high-end (or high-grade, maybe?) whether it just sits pretty or on wheels.
Posted by Kyra Shapurji
Photography by Christine Besson
On the first and fourth Sundays of every month, Angelenos far and wide make the pilgrimage to the Santa Monica Airport, home of one of the better flea markets gracing the city. Although nobody is boarding a flight, design inspiration is sky high in this treasure trove of vintage, antique, and collectable goodies. Despite their flea market origin, with the right point of reference, plenty of these pieces can dress up any loft to designer heights.
Used and vintage Spode dishware isn’t just for the tabletop anymore.
Kelly Wearstler creatively mounted Spode plates on the outdoor wall of the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica. Buy your dishes cheap at the flea market and spend your money on a great handyman to hang them instead!
Antler plaques were aplenty at this Sunday’s flea market, priced at $75 for the smaller ones and all the way up to $250 for the larger vintage plaques. However, the real find was this old buck trophy head. One of his antlers was slightly broken, but he was in overall great condition, and only $75! According to interior designer Thom Filicia, the taxidermy look works in any home that knows how to balance it out with some refined lines and sophisticated touches. Purse designer, Carrie White, certainly applied Filicia’s school of thought after buying the stag’s head for her own home!
Anthropologie may be the first store that comes to mind when searching for cool, antique looking hardware for your home, but the flea market is an equally great resource for much cheaper prices. The market had everything from etched glass doorknobs to vintage iron hooks, perfect for adding function to that fashionable loft kitchen!
It happens only twice a year (in May and in July), and it’s one of those true “sights for sore eyes”: Manhattanhenge. This year’s first one falls on Saturday, May 30 (to see the half sun) or Sunday, May 31 (to see the full sun), and marks the date when the setting sun aligns with the east-west streets of Manhattan’s main street grid. The term stems from Stonehenge, at which the sun aligns with the stones on the solstices, and was coined by in 2002 by Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History. It applies to those streets that follow the Commissioners’ Plan of 1811, which laid out a grid offset 28.9 degrees from true east-west.
You should try to arrive a half-hour earlier before 8:17 P.M. EDT (same time for both days) for the event. We’re asking all our readers to record the event with their camera of choice, and to send us your shots of the city in its truest light.
Email us and we’ll choose the best ones in a follow-up post.
Posted by Kyra Shapurji