Dutch design office Roderick Vos Studio has recently opened a new showroom in the town of ‘s Hertogenbosch (also called Den Bosch for short) in The Netherlands, which reflects its designers’ convictions and philosophy about what design should (or should not) be. Founded in 1990 by designers and partners in life Roderick Vos and Claire Teeuwen, the studio specialises in innovative interior solutions and product designs for the home. With collaborations with companies such as Alessi, Driade and Moooi, products on display include iconic design pieces such as the modular Dresser Montigny, the almost poetic Kiyo faucet and the organic Atlantis bowl. More recent projects at the Roderick Vos Studio include the hybrid Bucketlight (cast-aluminium pots with live plants hung from the ceiling, double-functioning as lighting) and the interior design for the eat-in kitchen of hotel Château de la Resle in Burgundy, France.
Roderick Vos’ philosophy as a designer is simple and concise: ”Good design should be self-explanatory,” in other words, a design object should not require intellectual and conceptual explanations in order to be appreciated, used and enjoyed. For Roderick Vos, art and design are two different beasts, with the latter being in the service of everyday life, utility and efficiency. A firm believer in the disarming power of simplicity and beauty, he strives towards creating objects that make the people who use them happy, placing more emphasis on the emotional impact of a product. Like a researcher armed with a child-like curiosity and eagerness for experimentation and play, he seeks new ideas in the factories and workshops where his products are manufactured, drawing inspiration from getting to know different materials, crafting techniques and the craftspeople themselves.
As living spaces and kitchen islands merge together in most contemporary homes nowadays, i29 designed a kitchen that acts more as a piece of furniture instead of as a kitchen. Our aim was to develop a kitchen system that seems to disappear in space. The design is reduced to it’s absolute minimum, having a top surface of only a couple of centimeters thickness with all water, cooking and electrical connections included. Large sliding wall panels conceal all kitchen appliances and storage space. In the case of this apartment in Paris, where the kitchen concept is installed, an existing profiled wall is exactly copied on the front panels in order to integrate the solid volume with the monumental space. The freestanding kitchen island is placed in front of the panelled sliding doors.
Invisible Kitchen, by i29 Interior Architects
This 1960’s Hugh Kaptur ranch house was in quite a state of disrepair when it was purchased as a foreclosure. It had been “remuddled” several times, featuring electrical wiring run on the outside of walls, awkward closets added in every room, and poor design choices highlighted throughout. It was stripped of all finishes and some minor layout work was implemented. It was restored to its mid-century glory with modern, but period-appropriate, finishes and materials. Furnishings are a mix of vintage and new, mostly sourced from eBay and local Palm Springs vintage boutiques. It’s intended use as a vacation home provided some extra latitude for whimsy and use of color. The original architect came to view the home at the end of the project and was highly complimentary.
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