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Books: Pierre Paulin. L’homme et l’œuvre

There will never be enough tribute to the immense talent of the French designer Pierre Paulin. This beautiful book of major works highlight the paradoxical and complex as well as the hair-raising concern for human creativity. Before becoming a cult designer Pierre Paulin (1927-2009) was a decorator located in the rue de Seine in Paris as attested by the stamp on the preparatory drawings of the chair Stuhl. An autodidact rebel, an unusual character, skinned alive, an outsider criticizing the caste of right-thinking design, he was primarily a pioneer and a visionary who experimented bold forms and new technologies coming out of the postwar boom. Mushroom (1959) Tranche d’orange (1959), Ribbon Chair (1966), Face à Face (1967), La Langue (1963) and Concorde (1966) … etc. Absolute icons, dressed in foam and stretched fabric, reveal a demanding formal economy and aesthetic quest. Innovative and anticipatory of these furniture collections, edited by Thonet France, Roche, Artifort, Herman Miller and now Roset, suggest sculptures that combine gesture and landscape, purification and pleasure, functionality and elegance. “I do not create. I design. I draw,” stated vehemently that prolific creator who refused dilution of design in art. In subliminal connivance with the times and its aspirations to happiness, the designer was able to shape a changing world where the body adopts new postures. “Creations by Pierre Paulin confront us as authoritative in their own right, achievements that demonstrate the power of a company and what it produces,” says author and art critic Nadine Down. Philippe Starck and the Bouroullec brothers admire a singularity that combines comfort and style. And judging by the many avatars inspired by his aesthetic, they are not the only ones to recognize the intelligent model of the hand and the mind.

Pierre Paulin. L’homme et l’œuvre, by Nadine Descendre, Published by Albin Michel, Language: French, EAN 9782226250575

Schiebepuzzle by Herr M

Design company Herr M creates furniture and accessories which are particularly easy to understand, user-friendly and elegant in their impression. In the course of this they work on narrative solutions – design which tell the user a story and tie them up emotionally.

Inspired by a childrens toy they designed the side table “Schiebepuzzle”. The front doors can slide up and down and from side to side showing just a little bit of his content at a time, the rest is a seeking-game – for magazines and the minibar, for bottles, glasses, coasters or a deck of cards. Decent and lightly in impression this side table fits in lounges, lofts, living rooms and everywhere, where small things need a place.

Schiebepuzzle, by Herr M
Photography by Marco Warmuth

Wardrobe Exo by Grégoire de Lafforest for Galerie Gosserez

The wardrobe as a suspension. A heavy and minimalist monolith that seems to float, like it is in levitation. An exoskeleton that surrounds it and contrasts with it, empty and complex at the same time. The wardrobe, block of pure wood is set like a jewel. Like Fabrice Le Nezet’s works, it defies gravity.

Wardrobe “Exo”, by Grégoire de Lafforest, for Galerie Gosserez

Garage in a Living Space by i29 Interior Architects

A formerly garage space in Amsterdam’s area de Pijp, turned into a spacious house naturally lit by large roof lights. The interior with a generous 230m2 on one floor level is finished in a simple material palette. The repetition of rectangular rough oak wooden surfaces is in great contrast with the stark white walls, black surfaces and grey cast flooring. The custom designed kitchen includes a large wooden sliding door to cover integrated storage areas, with a contrasting black cooking island in front. Built-in cabinets and a fireplace have the same characteristics and contrast in materials. Wooden walls from top to bottom with built-in doors are marking the entrance to the more private areas such as bed and bathrooms. Outdoors is a patio in between the living and master bedroom. In order to connect inside and out, i29 interior architects designed a 20 m2 hand knotted carpet with a natural mossy pattern. The excess of natural light in combination with the soft layer of green and beige resembles the outdoor experience while being inside.

Garage in a Living Space, Amsterdam, Netherlands by i29 Interior Architects

Formafantasma: From Then On by Established & Sons

In the center of the vault-like room is a brass pendulum, which swings back and forth every second. This is meant to symbolize our fight against time, as the brass base would naturally oxidize over time yet the polishing brush at the bottom of the pendulum keeps that process from occurring. Nearby stands two connected saxophones, which emit a sound every 15 minutes like a classic horological sentinel. “This is our town church bell,” Trimarchi explains. A massive slate of round Carrera marble represents time as a circular motion. The handless clock is comprised of two concentric circles, and when the veins in the marble match up, one hour has passed by. An elegant fan clock in another part of the room expresses time as a repetitive pattern. Over the course of five minutes, the shade circumnavigating the brass center playfully unfolds and folds back up again as a reminder of our most common way of measuring time.

Formafantasma: From Then On, by Established & Sons
Photography by Established & Sons and Karen Day

OKKO Hotel Grenoble by Patrick Norguet

The second OKKO hotel has taken up residence in the heart of Grenoble and its eco-district. With a terrace facing magnificent mountains, the challenge was to come up with a flattering echo for these beautiful rivals. A new range of warm colors is arranged in islands to give structure to the large volumes of the Club. Very contemporary evocations of nature were achieved with a choice of high performance materials and a collection of furniture pieces that hinge on the fundamental concepts of the OKKO ethos. Neither quite the same as the first OKKO nor quite different from it, this unique place combines aesthetics, comfort, timelessness and high standards. To continue to feel at home while being somewhere else. Okko hotels had been founded by Paul Dubrule and Olivier Devys.

OKKO hotels, Grenoble, France, by Patrick Norguet
Photography by Jérôme Galland

Surfside Residence by Steven Harris Architects

A glass box makes up one of the lower volumes and the transparent structure contains the kitchen, living, and dining rooms. Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors fully open letting the space continue outdoors. The picturesque swimming pool wraps around the glass volume making the water super enticing. The upper volume houses the master bedroom wing that’s designed as an open floor plan. It hovers over the pool and gives the owners views of the ocean. When the sliding glass doors are open, it’s almost like you’re living outdoors. The glass volume is attached to a structure that contains the garage and a guest wing above. Landscaping plays a key role in the design of the house making it feel like the home is meant to be there.

Interior design by Rees Roberts + Partners LLC (Lucien Rees Roberts, Partner, Kate Rizzo).
Landscape design by Rees Roberts + Partners LLC (David Kelly, Partner).

Surfside Residence, East Hampton, New York, by Steven Harris Architects
Photography by Scott Frances/OTTO

Caché Lamp Series by Aurélien Barbry Studio for le Klint

Caché is a lamp series of three pendants and a floor lamp. A sleek and contemporary design manufactured in a ultra-high quality craftsmanship with a lovely brass detail where all the parts are produced in Denmark. The pleated lampshade gives the lamp a special character and adds le Klint’s classical DNA which lies in the unique craft of pleating. Caché which in French means hidden is just the symbolism of the almost hidden hand folded lampshade, which is beautifully integrated in the lamp, and provides the unique character associated with a classical le Klint lamp.

Caché Lamp Series, by Aurélien Barbry Studio, for le Klint

Apartamento Sergipe by Felipe Hess

The Brazilian architecture firm of Felipe Hess has designed this bright and spacious apartment located in a 1960’s modernist building in São Paulo for its owner, a young actor who lives alone. With the brief calling for a spacious, open and clean-cut space, the designers decided to tear down almost every wall and unify all social areas. One of its unique features is a 10-meter-long table that runs along one side of the loft-like space, serving different purposes at different points (functioning as a cooking table and office desk with inlaid power plugs and dining table). The apartment’s private areas, comprising a master bedroom with bathroom and closet and a small toilet for visitors, are separated by a large white wall. Reflecting the owner’s occupation, a special area has been created opposite the kitchen for rehearsing plays, simply furnished with a few chairs and amply lit with natural light.

Another feature of the apartment is its main entrance which has been placed inside a cube construction, that is completely covered in bright yellow tiles from floor to ceiling. In order to create a seamless surface of tiles, the designers decided not to use a door handle; instead, you open the door in true 1960′s James Bond style by entering a PIN on a number-pad hidden behind one of the tiles. As the entrance cube is covered with shelves from the outside, an illusion is created – as upon entering, it seems like you are coming out of a magic door through the bookcase.

Apartamento Sergipe, São Paulo, Brazil, by Felipe Hess
Photography by Ricardo Bassetti

House LS by dmvA

The municipality of Wemmel, situated on the outskirts of Brussels, is well known for its green areas with their monumental villas of the upper class. After a search of several years, the principal saw a house situated in one of those quarters. It was not his dream house but because of its marvellous location and the south orientated garden, he decided to buy it.

DmvA was commissioned to turn the rather classical house into a contemporary edifice. No sooner said than done, but the fact that also the neighbours had to approve the design to get a building license, as prescribed in the building regulations, had a great impact on the design. So no total ‘methamorphosis’ of the existing house, just small interventions. The façades of the existing house were painted white. The interior was furnished in black and white. The swimming pool was renovated and framed by an illuminating glazed ‘retaining wall. Finally, two sculptural white volumes were added connecting inside and outside, linking house, pool and garden.

House LS, Brussels, Belgium, by dmvA
Photography by Frederik Vercruysse

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