Los Angeles-based architect, Bruce Bolander, has completed the architectural and design work on the Chicago office of international editorial company The Whitehouse, his third of such projects for the company. Previous projects included the Los Angeles and New York offices of The Whitehouse.
The project hinged on the transformation of the space. The Whitehouse had occupied a set of offices in the historic Courthouse Place building since 1995. Courthouse Place was designed by architect Otto H. Matz and completed in 1893. It was initially known as the Cook County Criminal Court Building and was the site of many legendary trials during the 1920′s.
Even though they appreciated the character of the building and the space with its dark wood from a previous design and historical feeling – especially with their British background – the company was moving in a new and vibrant direction and they wanted their space to reflect their modern outlook.
Light was important to the client, as the current space was very dark. “I focused the design so that the light from the outside came all the way through, which was occasionally as simple as changing the blinds, wall and floor color. In other areas, we cut out some of the perimeter offices to let light in along the large corridors,” said Bolander. “The intention was to try to peel back and get back to the basics of the building, so we uncovered the brick and steel pieces. We also as integrated other stripped-down elements such as vertical wood-paneling as an an additional material that kind of bridges the old and the new.”
The Whitehouse, Chicago by Bruce Bolander
Located at the top of Nichols Canyon on a quiet cul-de-sac, the home has been strikingly modernized yet remains faithful to the confident, unfussy simplicity of Fickett’s original aesthetic. It is sited on a handsomely landscaped knoll above the street, flanked by the original carport. Through the double entry doors one is struck immediately by the open living plan and dramatic glass atrium and pond that anchors the center of the home, bringing the peaceful sound of water flowing over rocks indoors and filtering light throughout. Cool white limestone floors play against the heft of the double-sided river rock fireplace and the geometry of a cinder block feature wall. Floor to ceiling Fleetwood doors allow the entire rear of the house to be opened to the pool and deck, creating a seamless flow between indoors and out.
Salvaging a 19th Century building, that once was a stable and a troop hall, in central Stockholm says something about your vision. It speaks to the respect and acknowledgment of the past and how you pursue pushing the envelope by embracing it. Serving as consultants in industrial design, product design, packaging design, art direction, consumer insight and architecture, No Picnic had to unfold a space that allows for creative exploration, diverse prototyping and absolute comfort. Although building an environment within a protected building is no easy task, Swedish duo Elding Oscarson, saw the opportunity to create ingenious ways to occupy and divide the interior envelope.
The program asked for large, open office spaces, prototype rooms, project rooms and a striking customer area. In order to achieve such compartmentalization, the architect used an old trick to divide while making the space seem bigger, a reflective aluminum wall. This division not only makes the space feel bigger but also allows the exterior light to bounce off the interior, washing the entire office with natural light. Carrying this thought of maximizing the space, Elding Oscarson placed a spiral staircase at the intersection of two walls to access the mezzanine and keep an ample open floor plate below.
Dentist Mattias Fierbiger chose the space for his new dental office; an old dancing studio in a historical art deco building. The space had high ceilings with magnificent stucco detailing and beautiful oak wood flooring. Though Dr. Fierbiger had a vision for his soon to be office, he decided to call in design enthusiasts Peter Ippolito and Gunter Fleitz of Ippolito Fleitz Group to take charge of the interiors.
The dental office is called Weissraum Dental Surgery, Weissraum meaning white space, which became a driving force for the interior design. All of the historical detailing was kept intact and carefully touched up while hints of gold were added for the feeling of opulence. The waiting room is decked out in unique modern furniture, gold shelving punched into the white walls, and white sheers wrapping the space, reminiscent of a modern lounge to give the feel of hospitality and service.
Throughout the rest of the space fluorescent tube lighting is not only used as a source of light but also a repetitious design element. The office walls are made of glass which is treated with a tiny mirror grid towards which gets tighter towards the center to make the space private. People passing by the outside of the office would only be able to see the flooring and the stunning ceilings.
Designed with a holistic attitude, together with a certain amount of eccentricity, Nobis Hotel is a contemporary 5-star hotel, The extravagant Gold Bar, the French-inspired 24/7 bistro, the generous lounge, the Italian trattoria Caina on the floor below, the relax area clad entirely in marble and the conference section with its original wooden panelling reserved have each been given a distinctly different character. Despite this, each space flows into the next so that the spatial context is strong, The colour scheme and lighting design is also warm and subdued throughout. We call it Scandinavian dark blond. Another recurring theme is subtle patterns, in many cases derived from our own abstracted architectural drawings. Like the corridor carpeting and the wallpaper in the conference section. Apart from the fixed interior features like, for example, the reception desk in rusted shipping steel, a large number of new furniture designs, textiles and lamps have been developed specifically for the hotel.
Osaka-based studio, atelier KUU has designed Chico, a hyper minimalist pet store located in Shizuoka Japan. centered around an enlarged and simplified dog house – a motif that is repeated through the space – the design features thick intersecting planes of exposed concrete and smooth white surfaces. Large frameless windows cut through the exterior walls and open onto a small green lawn that doubles as a dog park during business hours. Accessed through a miniature kennel-shaped door, dogs are given free-reign to both the store and the green space out front while their owners shop around.
The reform has been approached as a search for the most intrinsic characteristics of the actual construction, while the building is freed of additions, surface elements and recent reforms, interpreting the old elements not so much through an historical optic as through their architectural qualities. Alemanys 5 is situated in the oldest part of Girona’s Barri Vell (Old District) inside the area of the first ramparts. Its location on calle Alemanys is special as it stands in front of one of the old fates of the wall, the Rufina gate, which provides views from the house to the convent of Sant Domènec and from there to the house, with the vision of the Cathedral as a backdrop. Although it is difficult to determine the antiquity of the built bodies, the most important reform dates from the sixteenth century. It later underwent many other reforms and additions that disfigured the original volumetry. The project is organised around the two centrelines that structure the floor plan. The staircase has been shifted to place it next to the lift, in the interstitial space between the two directional lines of the centrelines. This space is configured as the hinge that generates the entire layout. The refurbishment has been undertaken with very few materials: iron, concrete and oak wood. The forgings are exposed. They are in concrete with wooden shuttering, or wooden beams and beam fillings for the roof. Lintels and crowning of the stone walls are executed in steel sheeting one centimetre thick.
Young, single, businessman and DJ. The owner of this apartment, located in the west side of São Paulo, wanted to keep living near his company and at the same time grant his new house all the modernity that represents this moment of his life. The property, a typical apartment of the 80’s, was literally put down and rebuilt from scratch. All partitions, that limited the rooms, were removed. The toilets and two bedrooms were kept for structural reasons. Some windows were also eliminated, to create the concept of a box in which the illumination plus wall and floor coverings would create a three-dimensional effect, like in a night club. All the illumination was designed using leds, featuring no other light source in the whole apartment. Besides the scenographic effect, the illumination presents a great energy saving combined with a high luminous efficiency. The walls and ceiling were built with plasterboard and then covered with polymer cement. The kitchen, integrated to the living room, occupies the area that was previously designed for corridors and lavatory. All the woodwork was designed by the architect and one of the great aspects of the project’s interior design was the “high-low” effect, that is, great insights with very low costs. For example, the DJ table, is actually an aluminum ladder that gained a new interpretation. The whole furniture line follows an unassuming style, inspired in the 70’s.