An apartment built on the mezzanine level of a building overlooking the square that symbolises the city of Turin, Piazza San Carlo erected by the Dukes of Savoy and in particular Maria Cristina di Francia, who reigned as “Madama Reale” during the first half of the 17th century, turns into a modern-day theatre representing a certain idea of the bourgeois home, the home of the Turin professional middle classes, through its spaces and the furniture inside it, all embodying reassuring engineering precision and subtle concerns.
The building plan, characterised by a tunnel-shaped progression from the rear to the drawing room facing the square, the windows opening onto the square itself with their given shape and size of the “oculus” on the building facades marking the perimeter, and the need to set out the relational spaces in the living quarters as zones and premises that (to a greater or lesser degree) can be seen from outside, provide the initial input for the construction of a vaguely metaphysical home environment.
Apartment at Turin, Italy, by Andrea Marcante & Adelaide Testa
Photography by Carola Ripamonti
Nuon Office, Amsterdam, Netherlands, by NEYLIGERS Design+Projects, Photography by Rick Geenjaar (Procore)
“Okko hotel is, first and foremost, the story of my encounter with Olivier Devys, the project’s founder. Starting with a blank page, we combined our visions and our determination to take up the challenge of upending traditional practices in the hospitality industry to create a bold and innovative concept, an all-included package for the best location, best service and best price! Thus was born the idea of a contemporary and urban four-star hotel where the human, design, and innovation are at the heart of the project. I designed an adequate, simple, and timeless product around this “Okko spirit” to cater to customers’ new needs: a place unaffected by time or trends and where the notions of service and comfort are essential; to be able to work, dine, relax, be waited on or use anything freely, any time of the day; to feel like being home away from home. The high-end amenities and services in the modern and relaxing Okko room and in the vast and convivial Club room make the Okko hotel a unique place that combines aesthetics and comfort. I wanted to create a brand, not just a hotel!”
Casa Cubo, the initiative of a couple of art collectors, was conceived to house a lodging and support center to artists and the development of the arts, but with all necessary facilities to serve as a home. The program was solved within a cubic block, split vertically into three levels and a mezzanine, whose façades are treated graphically as a combination of lines defined by the cladding cement plaques, by the glass strip on the mezzanine, and the striped wood composition that changes as the bedroom windows are opened and closed.
The service nucleus is located at the front of the ground level, comprising a kitchen, a restroom, a dining room and an entrance hall giving way to the wide room with double ceiling height and polished concrete floor, intended to host events, exhibitions or even work as a lounge that opens onto the backyard.
The mezzanine of the lounge, standing on the slab topping the service nucleus on the ground floor, houses the library, which is marked by three strong elements: a shelving unit extending the whole back wall, a strip of fixed glass next to the floor and a spiral staircase covered in wood that leads to the private quarters upstairs.
Private quarters consist of 3 bedrooms and a living room thoroughly lit through a floor-to-ceiling opening. The garage and service areas are located in the basement.
Over the course of… four years, George Nelson, along with his associate Gordon Chadwick, would execute a highly personalized design-a home tailored to the members and lifestyle of the Kirkpatrick family. This itself is not remarkable-it could be said of any architectural commission. What makes the Kirkpatrick House so special-then and now-are the universal qualities that transcend the specifics.
The best Nelson designs, be it a clock, chair, or in this case, home, share that same elusive trait. His view of design allowed for both modular system and mannerist quirk. As an “architect in industry” (as he categorized himself in the introduction to the 1948 Herman Miller Collection catalogue), Nelson was responsible for creating-and making salable-consumer goods. In the Kirkpatrick House, it becomes clear that this mentality affected his practice of architecture in equal measure. A product had to be unique to stand out in the market, but it also had to appeal to a wide array of people to be successful. Even in the execution of this private home for personal friends, Nelson’s brand of modernism embraces this duality fully.
Kirkpatrick House, Kalamazoo, Michigan, by George Nelson, Gordon Chadwick
via: Herman Miller
In the heart of Le Marais, architect Fleur Delesalle just completed construction of a place of warmth that combines the best of contemporary creation, on earth as “in heaven”.
Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka has created a boutique for Issey Miyake, stocking the more experimental and unusual creations from the legendary designer. Yoshioka wanted to play on the idea of shopping in laboratories, so he designed the Issey Miyake Reality Lab. with a clinically themed interior divided into blue and green coloured zones, he describes “the contrast between the texture of peeled wall and the futuristic coloured aluminium expresses contrast between history and future.”
Issey Miyake Reality Lab, 5-3-10 Minami Aomaya, Minato-ku, Tokyo, by Tokujin Yoshioka, Photography by Masaya Yoshimura
Mathieu Lehanneur and Pullman reinvents meetings with the ‘Business Playground’ room as a perfect illustration of the “blurring” of private and professional life. This room reflects the brand’s ‘Work hard, Play hard’ motto as well as its guests’ lifestyle. It combines performance and pleasure with a fresh take on the traditional aspects of a meeting: a meeting table designed like a poker table, a private area for informal conversations or breaks, and a cabinet of curiosities. All these features are designed to stimulate creativity and reinvent international hospitality codes. The Pullman London St Pancras will premier the ‘Business Playground’ room from November 2013, before it is gradually rolled out across the network starting in 2014. Pullman is an event organization expert, with over 30,000 events organized in its hotels. It aims to offer a unique meeting experience and remove the increasingly artificial barrier between work and relaxation. The ‘Business Playground’ room is a far cry from very formal conventional meeting rooms and disrupts the codes of business with style by focusing on defining elements and unique furniture create specially for Pullman.