Renovation of a 130m2 apartment, located in the heart of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, in a catalogued building located behind the City Hall. The proposal respects the original structure reinforcing the different spaces identity through a strong intervention. The project is based on a reinterpretation of the existing spatial structure of different rooms with differentiated uses and atmospheres, redefining the assigned uses and functions and creating new spatial and visual connections without allowing the traditional elements to predominate. The aim is to create a peaceful environment which allows its young owner privacy and a work place, while creating a social meeting place for meals and parties. The kitchen-dining room, a spacious and clean space, warm and elegant, recalls the old clubs and cafes. The ceiling and longitudinal wall, which begins in the entrance vestibule, are paneled with tinted pine wood slats, assembled by hand.
Apartment in Barcelona, by YLAB
Designed for a couple whose hobby is racing motorcycles and setting world land speed records, this flat becomes a private retreat from an adrenaline charged lifestyle. Originally a two bedroom, one and a half bath condominium, the floor plan was stripped of all but completely utilitarian necessities. Organized around a very long double-sided storage wall, retracting fabric scrims are used to create more private areas. The interior view, a place to relax, meditate and dream, provides a counterpoint to the openness of city and water views.
This house is an original construction of the 40s, it belonged to a great Brazilian artist, Victor Brecheret, the man behind great references in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. After the artist’s death, the property has never been occupied and during decades it served as a foundation of part of his collection and a deposit. The architect Guilherme Torres was immediately attracted by its compact size (130 m²) and the privileged location in one of the most charming streets in the Jardins neighborhood in São Paulo.
The main concept was to update the building, reflecting the contemporary language of the newcomer. The floor plan has not suffered many changes. The only things that has been changed over were the gaps, openings and coatings. All the walls were covered with drywalls and received in some parts white paint and in others, a coating that resembles cement texture. Up the stairs, from the original construction, you can see an art piece of Pinky Wainer, also responsible for the façade neon with the say: ‘land of the free, home of the brave’. The master suite’s toilet is connected to a mezzanine above the kitchen where a bath tub was created. A retractable glass roof can be opened on summer days, to help leaving a mild climate. To soften the rays of sun, a wooden muxarabie, a registered trademark of the architect, was used as a covering following the same pattern of the front door of the house.
The architect chose this property to live and work. With just over 30 years and works in broad expansion, Guilherme Torres is considered one of the great names of Brazilian architecture. Coming from the interior of Paraná state, Brazil, where he established his first office serving many cities of Brazil for 10 years. Guilherme wanted to translate in his own new space, the best way of a cosmopolitan life with a hint of pop. The Studio Guilherme Torres moves from style to style developing architecture and interior projects and also signs a furniture line. The architecture receives timeless traits, a result of Guilherme’s admiration to the Escola Paulista de Arquitetura Modernista, which had its heyday in the 60s and 70s. For interiors the tendency is always to reflect the inquietude of our days. And design is a perfect match between both styles. One can simply look to the house owner to understand the symbiosis between creation and creature. Guilherme is a lover of street art, electronic music and loves to create new tattoos for himself, and it is inside this cauldron of references where he receives his clients and friends.
Studio GT SP, São Paulo, Brazil, by Studio Guilherme Torres, via: Archilovers
René Redzepi’s calmly elegant, picture-perfect reinterpretation of Nordic cuisine has seen him widely regarded as international gastronomy’s leading creative force. His restaurant, Noma, has been named the world’s best for the last two years. It’s an oasis of calm, refinement and beauty. This is not the theatre of The Fat Duck, or the sheer experimentalism of el Bulli — Noma’s thing is ingredients, purity and creating dishes that could be displayed in art galleries. Its kitchen too, is a place of calm; Redzepi is no Ramsay.
So, when GXN — the innovation unit of Copenhagen architects 3XN — where invited to design an experimental food lab for the Danish restaurant; you can probably imagine that it wasn’t all whistles and bells.
Relentless foragers, the Noma team scour their local area to create dishes like poached deer served with foraged ramsons, pickled juniper berries, beet leaves, snails, chanterelles, fiddlehead ferns and a woodruff sauce — having an intuitive, organised and serene space in which to try out these taste combinations was essential. And, it seems the local designers have delivered, emphatically.
Situated in the same beautiful — but highly protected — warehouse as the restaurant, Noma’s FoodLab had to be constructed without placing even a single nail into the walls or floors — instead, GXN designed four central multi-functional storage units; each comprising over 500 individually formed wooden cubes.
Soft lighting, delicate hues, and an emphasis on space — it’s the antithesis of all that shouty, sweary Hell’s Kitchen malarkey, and exactly the sort of place you’d imagine those exquisitely ethereal dishes are made.
Despite the traditional chalet exterior appearance, this is no ordinary chalet in terms of its interior. The interior architecture of this family home in the French Alps is inspired by mountains and valleys in a modern character where organic forms are composed around a strip of wood. The entire program, construction, and interior architecture are all built around the focal point of the chalet – a large room where the family comes together around a warm hearth.
Located in the St. Martin de Belleville in the French Alps, this 530 square meter chalet was completed in December 2011 by designer and interior architect Noé Duchaufour Lawrance. The 530 square meter house runs is a three storey construction where the communal spaces are located on the top floor and are isolated from the private quarters. Additionally, a detached 100 square meter barn area works as a guest house. The main quarters are composed of the main living room on the second floor with a spacious kitchen, yielding a total of 150 square meters, five bedrooms with en suite bathrooms and WC, a Jacuzzi area and a game room. The barn has two bedrooms, two lounge areas and two bathrooms.
Architect Patrice Lémeret and Interior Designers Michel Penneman and Catharina Eklof have successfully joined forces to produce a pride in Belgium’s architectural renovation; the beautiful ‘petit’ bed and breakfast hotel known as the Tenbosch House. A true hospitable house opening its exquisite arched metal and glazed doors into a world of Scandinavian design combined with a contemporary uniqueness and a private personality.
The structure consists of two art nouveaux houses originally built circa 1906 which have been reconfigured to meet the needs of the wonderful world of exquisite hotels. Situated in one of Brussels’ most prime locations ‘Rue Washington’, the exterior façade has undergone a very careful and respected face lift to bring the two buildings into the world of forever, young and timeless existence.
The interior is just as gloriously respectful and successfully lifted. Walking inside, escaping from the sounds of the street, you enter into a world of warmth, new, quiet and luxuriously white. The finishes are kept to a strict order of ‘less is more’, consisting of the ambient white, the wooden herringbone flooring, the glazing, and the white painted detailed molding. The overall interior concept of the 7 spacious suites of the Tenbosch House is the surrounding pure white colour with the ambience of the high ceilings treated with detailed designs where the only non white factor is the timeless wooden floor. The reminiscent art nouveau stair case is the dominant interior feature. The detailed balustrade and the dado rails together with the large gallery type landings fitted with carpet give out a wonderful feel of comfort and exclusivity which is one of the key elements why we love this interior. This staircase is also one of the most prime settings to exhibit the famous 14 series articulated glass sphere light pendant of Bocci. This openness which has been incorporated both in the ambience and the design of this hotel is of a prime example of a space were design matters.
In the bedrooms, the reception, the bar and the foyer we see typical cast 60’s Scandinavian furniture such as Hans Wegner chairs, Poul Henningsen lighting and Nisse Strinning shelves which are incorporated as comfortable, atmospheric, inviting…
The much admired Tunisian Azzedine Alaïa, has given the opportunity to anyone from the outside to get a feel of his lifestyle and appreciation of the world of design from the inside. Mr. Alaïa has converted a 300 sqm loft hosted in a traditional 17th century building in the very private Rue de Moussy of Marais district in Paris, into three exclusive apartments/suites. It really does not get more boutique then this. The idea behind these three 100sqm apartments is for a lover of fashion & design visitor to get a feel of the true Parisian life. It is a hotel concept which incorporates the necessary facilities of daily life. Each interior has a private entrance and once inside, a complete fitted kitchen meets all the needs of the guests. The fashion designer’s aim was to achieve a true feeling of a home away from home. It is important to have the luxury of a hotel but at the same time to open the door and feel that you are somewhere familiar and close to you.
McDonald’s has put Patrick Norguet in charge of designing the new architectural identity for its restaurants in France. A project which is exciting in terms of its scope as well as in its technical and sociological constraints since it concerned McDonald’s returning to its founding myth: familial fast food. If the brand was originally founded on the family, its image has little by little slid towards a more urban and adolescent tone. A return therefore to McDo’s DNA with this new interior design that Patrick Norguet, literally and figuratively, matches with getting back to roots.
The plant metaphor, with its branching development, this root common to the brand and to the family, is transformed here into an architecture which is transversal and expansive: birch plywood takes root and branches out in the restaurant in order to create areas, functions and moods for different social requirements without compartmentalizing. This organic and functional furniture/architecture offers several possibilities, several eating choices from eating standing up for lone teenagers, alcoves providing privacy to family table service, a small revolution at McDonald’s with digital control terminals integrated into the base and distributed throughout the restaurant. Henceforth, a mother can settle with her offspring at a table, order from a nearby terminal and wait for the meals to be brought to the table.
Patrick Norguet’s design, which as always hits the spot, uses contemporary white which he counterbalances with fun colours without falling for “toy” conventions like for example the storage elements with the painted metal boxes included in the base template. The luminous ambiance and the quality of the acoustics are exceptionally meticulous and offer customers a comfort which is rare today, whilst the quest for a certain radical nature is revealed through the choice of materials (plywood, sheet metal, concrete, etc.), tested in conditions of heavy passage to respond to the constraints of such a popular restaurant.
The designer is using his “Still” metal chair for Lapalma for the seats with a new high stool version specially designed for the occasion. The ceramic floor also designed by Patrick Norguet for Lea Ceramica immediately lends a distinctive tone to the venue. These huge, ultra-slim 2 metre slabs break with usual visual conventions: warm and graphic without being carpet, they change our habits in terms of flooring to create a brand new typology. Piloted at the start of the year in the Villefranche-de-Lauragais restaurant 40 km from Toulouse, the concept was immediately appealing and spoke volumes. 6 restaurants are currently in the pipeline throughout France.
McDonald’s France Architectural Identity by Patrick Norguet
One such rough diamond was a 310sqm neoclassical private residence. Originally built for the French Councilor, this residence is a fine example of a typical Landmark Piraeus building. The architecture practice ASKarchitects co-founded by the Greek architect Stella Konstantinidis, was approached in 2007 with a brief to renovate the existing landmark while introducing a new built extension penthouse opening up the green roof. For this project, outmost care and sensitivity was paid to the historic values of the structure. New life has been introduced without forgetting about those that have gone by.
The finished residence consists of a four-story building with the new built section consisting of 90sqm. The aim was to create an open plan residence to house a family of four. The building was stripped to its bare bones and minor but effective interventions were applied to reinforce the original structure. All interior walls were demolished and replaced with sliding doors/walls for flexible living. The most flexible being the timeless old world courtyard reminiscent of the former days of outside neighborhood chit-chat now with over scaled glazed doors giving/retaining the sense of the endless height now bestowing a point of contact to all boundaries of the daily life. As the architect herself puts it ‘this courtyard area has become the lungs of the house’.