Archive for February, 2009
The annual Forum AID awards ceremony took place February 3rd in Stockholm and once again honored the best in Nordic Architecture, interiors and design. Bjarke Ingels and his team were nominated in the Architecture category for their Copenhagen-based project called Mountain Dwellings. BIG competed against seventeen other entries from all of the Nordic countries.
Mountain Dwellings was realized in an effort to satisfy the wishes of two different clients: One requested a parking house to serve several of the apartment blocks of the area. The other requested a housing block.
The project, completed in August of 2008, consisted of a mountain of 20,000 square-meters of parking that acted as the escalating foundation for 10, 000 square-meters of terrace houses. The idea was to create “a mountainside of single-family homes resting upon the colorful foundation of contemporary car culture.” Mountain Dwellings combines the splendors of the suburban backyard with the social intensity of urban density.
For more information on the Forum Aid awards, click here.
Posted by Nicholas Van Kuren
From 1920s vacation rentals, to housing for migrant workers, then to 1970s-80s crack houses, the Venice Beach Eco-Cottages have seen many face lifts through the years. But its most recent rehab by owners, Cynthia Foster and Karel Samsom, has made the beach-side bungalows an appealing vacation rental.
Over nine months, the Eco-Cottages were refurbished and completely redesigned with ecological tastes and consciences while forgoing the typical components of a business plan and architect. The artist and environmentalist couple were their own contractors and say they approached the undertaking as “a giant mixed-media art project—the art of sustainability.”
Rejecting the use of petroleum and plastic products as well as anything made in China, the couple opted for purchases made at flea markets, eBay, and salvage yards. Going beyond the general installation of solar panels, they also found eco-companies that make organic mattresses, bedding, and shower curtains, and they even went as far as using recycled blue jeans for insulation.
As a renter you have your choice between three cottages, each aptly named for their stylized interiors:” ‘The Papa Hemingway Cottage’ is the sort of place to inspire pulp fiction. ‘Le Bébé Cottage’ mixes midcentury modern with Rococo flourishes. And ‘Aunt Zoe’s Place’ is like a cheery, kitschy lake cabin.”
For more information, you can call: 866.802.3110 or visit venicebeachecocottages.com
Posted by Kyra Shapurji
Famous horror movie genius Marcus Nispel moved his wife and two children into this renovated factory, a former Con Edison building. It’s not to be believed. We especially appreciate the 20 foot high bookshelves that reach the ceilings, not to mention the industrial, flying-saucer-like pendant lights. There is even a pool on the bottom floor! Prepare to get jealous.
Photography by Francesca Giovanelli
New York’s Office for Design & Architecture (ODA) recently unveiled its plan for the conversion of an old gas station into the Long Island City Bakery, According to the ODA the project will be “situated at the crossroads of the older commercial Long Island City and the newer residential Long Island City with housing developments near the East River.”
The ODA has said there will be a two fold design approach to the construction of the bakery. “The first process involves the conversion of a gas station mechanics garage into a warm, inviting and sustainable environment. The second challenge is to evoke the idea of a bakery into an architectural expression that responded to the owner’s tight budget.”
The use of steel channels and wooden dough rollers in the exterior design of the building will help to create an innovative rain screen. These design elements will be complimented with grass throughout the parking lot and Boston Ivy that will continue vegetation up the front of the building.
The design team plans to utilize and refurbish key existing elements of the building including walls, garage doors, and skylights. Leaving these elements exposed “recognizes the past use of the garage while integrating the new ideas centered around baking.”
Posted by Nicholas Van Kuren
Last night we went to DWR’s Upper West Side studio to see the results of the Nathan Thomas Design Challenge. DWR partnered with Housing Works and tasked Nathan with creating a warm and welcoming personal work space using items up for auction with the thrift shop.
Using his signature skills in altering designs, a DWR dining table turned into a geometrically eye-pleasing lucite topped desk, and a plain wall bearing chalkboard paint was transformed into a chalk mural accented by the phrase “Trust Me” in neon, resonating with today’s environment, or lack thereof. A personal favorite was the hand painted wine bottles leftover from gatherings at the designer’s apartment that he had jazzed up with a raw zipper and white poppies. Other great pieces included the hot pink duct taped antique mannequins and the over-sized brown medicine jars with single banana leafs placed in them.
Check out DWR’s Workspace Sale here.
For more on Nathan Thomas, visit his website Nathan Thomas Studios.
Read our interview with Nathan Thomas here.
Posted by Erin Ryder
It’s always a treat when an original SoHo loft is featured, especially since it’s the neighborhood where the whole loft movement began a few decades ago. And this 7,200 square-foot space located on the corner of Wooster and Broome street is idyllic. The loft takes up the whole first floor of a landmark red-limestone building and has been meticulously stripped down to incorporate as many of the original elements feasible for modern living. Read the full article called Undoing the Cover-Up for the full story. Also, be sure to check out the NYTimes Slideshow to see even more images. Here’s a preview:
While fashion collaborations have been ubiquitous in recent years and hit virtually every major retail chain, it’s yet to become a mainstay in the realm of home design. Brands, as well as designers, are continually looking to reach a wider audience and we’re excited for the possibilities. One collaboration we’re particularly excited for should appeal to any modernist aficionado.
New York based artist David Foote is releasing a collection entitled “David Foot Limited Edition No. 10″ with the likes of BoConcept, Jaboneria Marianella Soap , Izola Shower , Ortolan NYC and Barterhouse Wine among others for a capsule collection including apparel, jewelry, skis, and a skateboard in addition to the interiors bearing his signature print. Foote chose a favorite painting from his New Girls collection and adapted it with brands he admired for their design aesthetic.
Kicking off today, and available for the next 60 days, all items will be available at BoConcept store in Soho, with a portion of the proceeds going to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
BoConcept Ottoman, $1900
Ortolan NYC Organic Pillows, $245
Jaboneria Marianella Soap, $17
Izola Shower Curtain, $60
Barterhouse Wine, $75
Posted by Erin Ryder
Photos by Liam Alexander
It’s a challenge for designers to get a break these days with the economy in such a downward spiral. Though some smart, savvy, eco-friendly, and determined to mind the the value of the dollar, have turned to sustainable design as inspiration.
Suzanne Tick and her husband Terry Mowers are exploring innovative ways in which materials from your local dry cleaners can be used to generate a type of modern textile. By using the plastic wrap and paper, the wire, and the cardboard from the dry cleaning packaging, they’ve come up with quite a modern pattern for their loom.
Tick is also launching another new line with Knoll Textiles this year, rightly titled State of Matter. The line includes two upholstery fabrics, a drapery, and a panel fabric. Today, Tick and Towers opened up their NYC live/work space to give us (and other industry creatives) a sneak peek at the new fabrics.
So think twice before you pitch those dry cleaning bags–it’s possibly plastic never looked so beautiful as art.
Photographs and post by Linden Hass
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Moroso, the cutting edge furniture company, has decked out their window with Ron Arad’s Soft Heart rocking chair. The window installation went up on February first and can be seen from the street side at 146 Greene St. in New York.
In partnering with Moroso now over a decade ago, Ron Arad jump-started his move from functional artwork to design for industrial production. The partnership began with Arad’s iconic spring collection of 1991, from which the whimsical rocking Soft Heart is from. This collection was Arad’s first venture in the industrial process and since then he has been an innovator in the field.
I have not had a chance to get down and check out the storefront yet, but hope to do so this weekend.
Posted by Nicholas Van Kuren
If a tree fell in a forest and was then smashed into pulp to create paper for a mass-produced book, would it make a sound? The following titles won’t solve this eco-ethical dilemma, but they may help you solve a few of your own.
This colorful, spiral bound book with tabbed sections and funny asides is full of surprising information. Packed with pragmatic tips on getting rid of the toxic chemicals that invade our homes, Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan’s Squeaky Green will change the way you think about cleanliness. While the “cute-factor” might be over the top, the actual content holds up in this room-by-room guide and will have you bidding farewell to your chemical tendency. At the very least, it will force you to reconsider the products, furnishings, and various homegoods you blindly trust. Squeaky Green will help you detox your home and change your lifestyle for the better.
Chronicle Books; $16.95
Written by experts at GreenSource Magazine, Emerald Architecture documents 24 in-depth case studies, providing “hard” information about every detail that goes into “green” architecture. Printed on uncoated, 100% recycled paper, Emerald Architecture takes a no-nonsense approach to essential concepts used in sustainable construction. While this would make a great text book for any architect, an occupation in the architectural or building industry is not necessary to find these case studies fascinating. Each study includes documentation of the carbon footprint and energy use of the structures, ranging from libraries to office buildings. Get to know what it really means, not to mention what it takes, to be
LEED-certified. McGraw Hill; $59.95
The Contemporary Design in Detail series takes a suitably visual look at architectural design details. Sustainable Environments, written by architect Yenna Chan, explores residences that have made the conscientious choice to lessen their impact on the environment. The book, which presents recent work by architects from around the globe in color photographs and architectural drawings, is separated into four sections: “Response to Place,” “Connection to Habitat,” “Conservation of Resources,” and “Use of Building Materials.” The reader sees first-hand the degree of difficulty that exists in making homes sustainable. It is a sacrifice, according to Chan, but for many, one worth making. Rockport Publishers; $50.00
NEW SUSTAINABLE HOMES
Against both urban and suburban landscapes, the innovative homes found in James Grayson Trulove’s New Sustainable Homes: Designs for Healthy Living prove that lessening your carbon footprint doesn’t mean cutting back on aesthetics. The book provides detailed
descriptions of alternative materials widely available today, including water-retrieving concrete, bio-fiber panels, solar water heating systems, and high-thermal performance windows. Many people have been riding the environmentally conscious bandwagon before it became trendy. This book will teach you what it takes to join them. Collins Design; $35.00
In honor of TASCHEN’s 25th year, the German publisher has republished many previous titles in gorgeous hard-back volumes, including Green Architecture, written by James Wines (back in 2000). Exploring the history of environmentally-aware architecture and the effect it’s had on structures being built today, Wines (a devout follower of Frank Lloyd Wright) speaks out against an attentiveness to function and makes a case for architecture that not only focuses on technological solutions, but also tries to reconcile man and nature in its formal idiom. Ahead of the curve, visually stimulating, and beautifully bound, Green Architecture is a book collector’s dream. TASCHEN; $24.99