“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!”
Copenhagen weaves years of refined craftsmanship with contemporary lifestyle. With its light Nordic design, the loudspeaker plays elegantly together with the surroundings.
Henrik Mathiassen, Design & Creative Director at design-people, gives… a brief insight into the design process behind Copenhagen.
The distinct characteristic of Copenhagen is its Nordic expression. How do your interpret Nordic design?
Nordic design addresses complex issues and turns them into simple and appealing solutions. Keynotes are respect for materials, details, and for the user experience.
Your design approach is based on years of research into user preferences. Why this approach?
Desirable design is achieved through connecting to people’s values and creating everyday benefits. Our team of researchers, psychologists, and designers, together with the skilled Vifa team, have taken Copenhagen all the way through the music listener’s journey; from dreams and desires to realization.
How does this approach manifest itself in Copenhagen?
It has helped us designing a great, well-crafted loudspeaker that integrates itself gently in people’s lives and homes. All details are toned down to the essentials with high finish and ease of use. The exquisite basics for anyone who values exclusive design just as much as authentic sound.
The design of IOOI turns the world of hookahs upside down. Sophisticated materials are presented in a minimalistic an extraordinary design. Modern materials, like anodised aluminium, polished brass, crystal clear glass and 3D printed parts are composed to this outstanding sculpture.
IOOI Hookah, by Christian Zanzotti
Numéro 111 are the creators of the second VIA Furnishing programme, entitled Insulaire. Numéro 111 see the living room as an island, a ‘space inside space’ where furniture plays a structuring role and creates varied experiences of comfort and use. The more traditional approach focuses on the sofa; the more laid-back take is linked to floor-level living, where the central element – a rug – is accompanied by easy-grip cushions that can be positioned as needed to form headrest, back-rest or seat. Other pieces interact with both space-levels: tables with an upper plateau that moves to serve at low or divan level, a lamp that reconfigures to serve as reading light, up-washer or standing lamp. There is also a screen that defines territory and doubles as a storage unit, the open-work parts of which serve to hang a mirror or digital devices.
Insulaire, by Numéro 111
DM Residence, Keerbergen, Belgium, by CUBYC Architects
Photography by Thomas De Bruyne and Koen Van Damme
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of its iconic Bourgie table lamp, Italian plastic furniture specialist Kartell invited ten designers associated with the company to create tribute pieces for a special exhibition. For their contribution, Japanese design studio Nendo decided to work with two of the lamp’s most distinctive characteristics – its use of silhouettes and its transparency – rather than touching the original design itself.
Nendo created a new table lamp by inverting and rotating the Bourgie lamp’s silhouette, so that when two of the new lamps are lined up together, the space between them forms the upside-down silhouette of the Bourgie lamp. “Because our homage inverts both the lamp’s figure-ground relationship and our regular sense of up and down, we named the lamp Eigruob” the designers told us.
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.
Stripping away the frills poses the risk of coming up against bare essentials, sometimes in a highly visible way. A fine example are Alessandro Zambelli’s new lights, designed for .exnovo. He calls the collection “Afillia,” a name borrowed from botany. In plant terms, it means leafless, though not lifeless: surely an apt image for a collection of luminous essentials and airy voids.
The Afillia range of six lighting accessories consists of three table lamps and three pendant lights. The base or socket ring is in Swiss pine, a premium wood from the Alto Adige mountains, hand-crafted according to the region’s ancient traditions. The wood fitting locks on to a light diffuser in polyamide (also known as nylon fibre), sintered by professional 3D printing.
The results are furnishing extras, either one-offs or limited editions. The avant-garde technology really does print them, but the machined product is in perfect harmony with the intuitive skill of the master-craftsmen who shape the material from the amorphous polymer block. They finish off the process by hand, lending the personal touch to every creation. The centrepiece of each accessory is a diffuser which embraces and embellishes space. Delicate, lace-like patterns with their geometrical pinholes give rise to two-dimensional origami in thin, curvaceous spirals. Free to waver at will, the light casts fleeting shadows, then beams into unexpected focus, forming compact halos, round and bright. This is energy in fluid form, in the no-man’s land between stuff and shape, air and light.
Afillia by Alessandro Zambelli for .exnovo