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Mies Van der Rohe Barcelona Pavilion Posters by Blackhaus

This project starts as a small fragment of our new audacious project called “Iconic Architecture” which will be splitted into several chapters being each chapter a new reading of famous architectures which branded our culture.

About the pavilion
As part of the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona Spain, the Barcelona Pavilion, designed by Mies van der Rohe, was the display of architecture’s modern movement to the world. Originally named the German Pavilion, the pavilion was the face of Germany after WWI, emulating the nation’s progressively modern culture that was still rooted in its classical history. Its elegant and sleek design combined with rich natural material presented Mies’ Barcelona Pavilion as a bridge into his future career, as well as architectural modernism.

Iconic Architecture: Barcelona Pavilion, by Mies Van der Rohe, at Blackhaus

Sticks & Stones Home by Luigi Rosselli Architects

Hunters Hill is an attractive, historic peninsula that lies between the Parramatta and Lane Cove rivers on the north shore of Sydney Harbour. The suburb, a precursor to the Garden City movement, was subdivided in the 19th century with sandstone mansions and Victorian timber cottages sitting side by side, with large gardens and private parks containing centuries old trees.

It was natural to choose stone and timber to build a new house on the edge of one of these private parks. Sydney sandstone has a slightly yellow hue that darkens and becomes more attractive over time. The timeless materials provide a warm colour palette in an otherwise contemporary construction.

Behind the sandstone walls, huge, double glassed (Skyframe) windows with minimal framing are pocketed out of sight. Post tensioned concrete slabs have been cantilevered with minimal steel post support to cover the main garden terrace. Behind vertical timber shutters, curved glass windows span from floor to ceiling.

Designed for an uncluttered and relaxed family life the house layout is very simple and quite cartesian in plan except for one sinuous wall overhanging the driveway. Every room opens to a terrace or the garden through large glass doors that slide on ball bearings; one can step outside without noticing the thresholds. Additionally, one can move fluidly from the entry to the open plan living space while hardly noticing the floor to ceiling timber door that, when open, is entirely hidden in the wall but when closed completely separates the open plan area from the rest of the house.

All this modern machinery for easy living could end up being sterile and boring without a dark side: take the stairs to the basement and you will find a subterranean level housing a car collection, a home theatre, workshop, and wine cellar.

Sticks & Stones Home, Hunters Hill, NSW, Australia, by Luigi Rosselli Architects
Photography by Edward Birch

Yanzi Lights by Neri&Hu for Artemide

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

Cefn Castell by stephenson STUDIO

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

Kumiko Cabinets by Staffan Holm for Ariake Collection

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 by Quentin de Coster

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

Parquet Patterned Pool and Spa by Claesson Koivisto Rune

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

04-SU by Mcleod Bovell Modern Houses

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 by Kubota Architect Atelier

FU House, Shunan, Japan, by Kubota Architect Atelier
Photography by Kenji Masunaga

Cabanne by Bestetti Associati for Paola Lenti

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

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