The activity of Neri&Hu is founded on constant research and the desire to work on the dynamic interaction of experience, detail, material, shape, and light, rather than adapt to stereotyped formulas. In a blend of tradition and innovation, Yanzi is a lightweight composition of graphic signs. Balanced structures, such as branches or perches, support multiple stylized figures to provide a variety of versions and qualities of light. They are iconic swallows with a brushed brass body, with their head like a white glass sphere enclosing light, either flying free or contained in glass cages. There is unique sensibility in matching warm and cold, essential yet refined materials. Yanzi is an open system, ideal for creating lightweight compositions and light landscapes that animate any space with an elegant poetic attitude.
Yanzi Lights, by Neri&Hu, for Artemide
The site is remote occupying a spectacular panoramic view location overlooking Cardigan Bay. The clients’ brief was to provide a family home with three bedrooms maximizing the views and unique nature of the location. The clients’ passion for art and sculpture was to be referred to in the design. The house plan is abstracted as a Mondrian inspired painting, which is hung at the heart of the house. The stone remains of a 400 year old cottage were re-used for the new boundary wall offering privacy and textural contrast of the ‘traditional’ juxtaposing ‘the new’. The new house separates from the wall with a glass slot roof, visually suggesting the house delicately “kisses” the wall.
All rooms enjoy a view to the panorama beyond the site as well as intimate views internally visually linking spaces through the floor plans inside to out. Visual links are abundant through the plan via pivot doors which compartment spaces down on their closure. A sliding glass screen opens to the external secluded courtyard into the plan of the living spaces. Two bedrooms have been arranged to provide closure of the plan to the private inner courtyard. The bedrooms are located to act as a retreat away from severe weather conditions.
At first floor is a master bedroom and en-suite. A glazed wall overlooks the sea and coastline. The en-suite bath projects out from the plan for sea and sky views. From the bedroom, further views back across the fields, to the mountains and Criccieth Castle are on offer from the stairwell via glass slot windows.
The new house is a defining and epoch making change to what existed previously. The Local Planning Authority were fully supportive from the pre-planning consultation and duly granted consent by delegated powers. They recognized the rigor of the design and theory which fully complied with current planning policy. Elevations are about framing, layering of materials and solid and void. A steel frame structure and combination of rendered masonry and lightweight timber frame construction allowed for the large expanse openings to be created. The extrusion of the first floor references the maritime theme of coastal observation stations, whilst massing up the approach view of the house set within its own private walled courtyard.
A parking courtyard provides hardscape surfaces with views out onto the large lawned garden area to the sea view. The plan of the house is extruded out to form an external terrace area with a level change of approximately 300mm.
Cefn Castell, Criccieth, United Kingdom, by stephenson STUDIO
Photograph by Andrew Wall photography
If you ever visit Japan, you will probably encounter the fantastic craftsmanship that can be seen in the traditional art of Kumiko screens. The wooden screens are often used as privacy screens and or room dividers and can be very simple or consist of incredibly intricate geometric patterns. The Kumiko cabinets are inspired by the graphic expression and craftsmanship and I wanted to combine the simplistic Japanese and Scandinavian expressions into new form.
Kumiko Cabinets, by Staffan Holm, for Ariake Collection
HALO is a table lamp created in collaboration with Christophe Genard, one of the last Belgian glass blowers. It’s pronounced glass body emphasizes the circular fluorescent light positioned at its center - An element which is regularly designed to be hidden in most lamps.
HALO’s geometric design is directly inspired by the standard light bulb; While being small enough to give off an impression of levitation.
HALO, limited edition (18 pieces + 3 AP), by Designer, for Quentin de Coster
A spa with two pools has been completed adjacent to a 1796 mansion in south Sweden. The spa has one indoor pool for wintertime and one outdoor for summer. The outdoor pool sits on a podium, which levels the slope on which the mansion sits. It thus creates a platform from which you have an elevated view over the estate towards the back. Yet, it sits discrete as seen from the approach to the main entrance. The indoor pool is hidden inside the podium so that one pool could be said to sit on top of the other. The two spa areas are each other’s mirrors.
The outside is protruding while the inside is hollowed out. But both share the same patterned concept. Lending inspiration from the Gustavian (Neoclassical) mansion in general and parquet floor patterns from the time in particular, the concept is built on the chevron (French parquet). Wood decking and custom precision laser cut tiles share the same chevron pattern in different scales. Two archetypically house-shaped structures stand, extrusion-like, on the podium next to the outdoor pool. The larger house makes for a roofed outdoor kitchen and dining place. The smaller and narrower house conceals the stairwell down to the indoor spa. The spa harmonises with the mansion in proportions but does not recreate the historic style. House shapes and pattern are contemporary interpretations of classic composition.
The oversized (in comparison with normal parquets) tiles are white which allows them to be coloured turquoise by the depth of the water. Each step down into the pool thus is a deeper hue of turquoise. The water itself is not treated as a transparent ”nothing” but as a visible element and one of the materials on the palette. A material with the added function of beautifully lifting the tile pattern from the bottom of the pool to the surface, refracted and distorted by ripples.
Sauna and showers behind a dark tinted glass wall flank the indoor pool. The tint makes the glass act with more reflection that amplifies the chevron pattern. The whole spa palette is complete with only four materials: Wood, tile, water and glass – the chevron pattern from wood is superimposed on tile, amplified and modulated by water and reflected by glass.
Parquet Patterned Pool and Spa, by Claesson Koivisto Rune
Situated on a steep and technically challenging site, this house captures framed views to large-scale marine traffic in the outer harbour. Movement into the house is carefully choreographed to disguise the considerable elevation change from street to living space- no individual stair run is greater than 1/2 story. Similarly, a split level arrangement allows for generous spaces in the main living levels and a closer connection between upper and main floor. A suspended plunge pool at the main level is a unexpected element 40 feet in the air.
04-SU, West Vancouver, Canada, by Mcleod Bovell Modern Houses
Photography by Ema Peter Photography
FU House, Shunan, Japan, by Kubota Architect Atelier
Photography by Kenji Masunaga
Cabanne is a system of architectural structures that originates from the desire of the Company to integrate harmoniously with nature. The modules Quadro, Veranda and Tunnel, which make up this collection, create large covered areas, which provide shelter and intimacy, where it is pleasant to meet, talk and rest. Through colour, the Company blends the exterior environment with architectural structures, seating, rugs and accessories in its collections. The structure of Cabanne is made of steel; it can be completed with aluminium, fabric or wooden tops, fixed or moving side panels made of wood, fabric or glass or with curtains. The exclusive fabrics are an essential part of the product: they protect from sunlight and heat, making Cabanne distinct and unique. Designed by Bestetti Associati, Cabanne is the first element of Landscapes, a collection that has developed over the years to become today a comprehensive system of architectural structures for the exteriors responding to the most diverse requirements.
Cabanne, by Bestetti Associati, for Paola Lenti
North of the West-Flemish village of Westouter one can find a plot in an open and rural landscape, heavily influenced by the typical agricultural activities in the area. The setting has had a great impact on the design of this single family house, which is solemnly surrounded by a few farms and a group of trees here and there.
The atypical shape of the parcel, together with the not so ideal orientation of the plot have been transformed into remarkable assets for the project. The single-story volume of the building is a consequence of the lack of surrounding buildings. This choice of design has limited the appearance in the surroundings greatly. The cut-off parallel to the border of the plot was used to enhance the synergy between building and nature and made sure the inhabitants have the best possible view on nature at every possible angle.
The living areas are situated at the north of the house. This is also the side were the connection with the surroundings is at its maximum. An intimate inner garden creates a private area for the inhabitants and is a gateway for natural light. This patio is the heart of the house, where life is directed by the ever-changing seasons.
CASWES, by TOOP architectuur
Photography by Tim van de Velde
Basset’s sculptural language is simple and clear. There are just two elements – a horizontal “pillow” for a seat and a vertical “duvet” at the back that wraps around the seat, embracing it from the sides. Upholstery details – marked piping is used to accentuate its shape in a natural way, giving it an easily recognizable design “signature”. Basset doesn’t demand much space and fits easily into smaller rooms.
Basset is constructed and produced following the finest traditions of craftsmanship for this type of furniture.
Basset, by Iskos-Berlin