The arrival at House B+B – the access to the social area – is through an architectural trajectory, via an open ramp, located on the eastern side of the construction. This space is protected by hollowed-out concrete elements to the side, which create surprising effects of light and end up functioning as protection from bad weather conditions. It is an interstitial space between the protected inside of the construction and the open garden. The ramp, long and smooth, extends the transition from interior to exterior creating the constant sensation of environment changing. This solution was vastly used by Brazilian modernism, which consecrated the radical use of ramps as a way of vertical circulation while reaffirming the Corbusian precepts of architectural promenade.
Limited views and access to the garden resulted in the rooms beings dark, and thus the clients main request was to transform this house into a light-filled open plan contemporary home. A framework of steel columns and beams surround the entrance while louvered planes conceal the four garages and floating roofs. It’s as if each plane whether wall, roof or floor has been intentionally treated differently either in material, texture or colour creating a unique entrance design.
By incorporating large glass sliding doors Werner van der Meulen ensured that just about every room has direct access onto the garden while the double volume living spaces and high level windows add a dimension of spaciousness to this predominantly single storey house. The inclusion of a new study located on the first floor allowed for the staircase to become an architectural feature in the home, built as a mezzanine overlooking the garden and family room. Framed by grey tinted glass, the steel staircase fluidly yet privately connects the study to the living room below.
Indoor /outdoor and open plan living is a trademark that Nico van der Meulen Architects for many years, and this is most often achieved with extensive use of glass and steel throughout their designs. As is the case with House Sar, making use of expanses of glass ensures maximized views of the garden all the while allowing natural light and ventilation to flood the rooms. The lanai overlooks both swimming pool and water feature creating a contemporary landscape to compliment this modern home.
House Sar, Johannesburg, South Africa, by Nico van der Meulen Architects
Pen Store is a new retail space that behaves like a shop, a gallery, an atelier and a supplier warehouse – a new brand experience, designed by Form Us With Love. With the aim to provide a long sought after creative hub for local studios and pen loving people, the Pen Store has become the place to gather and share ideas of sketching, drawing and writing, using the best materials on the market.
Pen Store, by Form Us With Love
Photos by Jonas Lindström
Created in the 1950′s by danish designers Nanna and Jørgen Ditzel, the woven chair, made from oak, is offered in its ‘original’ version and in an outdoor adaptation. The traditional Ditzel chair has hand-braided wicker, while the outdoor version is made from artificial fiber and teak to protect against the elements. The ‘basket chair’ is accompanied with custom cushion fabrics that are also designed by Nanna Ditzel, who has been coined the ‘queen of Danish design’.
Basket Chair, by Nanna and Jørgen Ditzel, Edited by Kettal
The Booleanos cabinet designed by Joel Escalona, is a intriguing piece with an architectural curiosity formed from interacting squares. Echoes of constructivism are reflected in the offset angles of its beguiling shape and emphasized by tinted gradations across each element of its façade. The sideboard stands 150cm tall and is made with one drawer and three doors to access separate interior storage spaces fitted with glass shelves.
Booleanos, by Joel Escalona, for Roche Bobois
Photography by Revista Casa Viva
Finnish practice K2S architects has designed the floating headquarters of arctia shipping, an icebreaking company who are based in eastern helsinki’s katajanokka neighborhood. Referencing the scheme’s close proximity to water, the building’s horizontal massing and customized black steel façades relate to the hulls of the adjacent ships. These elevations feature an abstracted motif which refers to ice crystals and textile patterns commonly attributed to sailors. Internally, the scheme is constructed from lacquered wood, which directly relates to the country’s ship building traditions. An integrated water ballast system ensures that the buoyant office remains at the same level as the dock.
Tetris House, Finland, Helsinki, by K2S architects
Photography by Mika Huisman, Marko Huttunen
Pullman Tour Eiffel just opened with the second sample of Mathieu Lehanneur’s “Business Playground” concept: reinvention of the meeting 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. After the success of first Playground at Pullman London St Pancras, the concept is gradually rolled out across the 80 Pullman’s hotels network.
“Poker Table” The table is a key element in a small gathering like a board meeting. In the “Business Playground” room, the central table is given an additional dimension. Mathieu Lehanneur has reinterpreted it as a poker table which notably features a leather edge. This table is designed to make people want to participate in the meeting, just as they would want to engage in a game, they want to take part, be a player and stay constantly focused.
“Canopy Break” During a meeting day, it is important to have relaxing moments and less formal exchanges between the intensive work sessions. To allow participants to escape or opt for a different meeting setting, a dedicated bubble-like space has been created. The Pullman “Canopy Break”, allows participants to relax comfortably and take an organic break or have an informal conversation.
Mathieu Lehanneur explains: “Between two meetings, the Pullman “Canopy Break” provides an escape route that is both organic and digital. Designed to offer a pause but also as an informal extension of the meeting, the Pullman “Canopy Break” is somewhere else, outside, under the trees.”. At last, an object for imaginary travel, but also for growth strategy, Mathieu Lehanneur has designed a giant globe. The entirely white “Earth Ball,” revealing countries and continents through its simple relief, seems in equilibrium, ready to roll at any moment. Through this object/sculpture, the “Work hard, Play Hard” motto is embodied here more than ever. Pullman has furthermore made it an iconic object by placing it in each of its lobbies worldwide.
A wooden volume in line with the eastern façade – with a little more 2.85m high and 19m long – rests within a ceiling height of 5.15m and 11.75 in the front. Configuring a permeable space between the entrance and the back of the lot, the living room is the emptiness that results from this organization of the plan on this lot. The space is delimited – together with the eastern façade – by a wooden shelf that contains the library and a fireplace.
The wooden Box on the lot shelters on the inside, the washroom, the stairs and the dining room, which opens entirely to the ample garden in the back, like an esplanade (terrace), looking from the inside in. (de dentro para dentro) The ceiling of this living room, a slatted wooden lining – creates a cozy, intimate sensation, contrasting with the spatial sensation of larger monumentality of the lot. The four bedrooms, including a master suite looking out to the garden in the back, are on the floor upstairs.The seals – such as the wooden slats that function as a filter applied to movable panels – were designed to create greater comfort for the inner spaces. The sun’s heat, when the panels are closed, is retained by this type of brise soleil, while the wind continuesto chill the inside.
Tetris House, Sao Paulo, Brazil, by Studio MK27
Photography by Fernando Guerra
1,2,3 Mirror was part of designers diploma thesis The Past Is Never Dead at the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt, Germany. Most recently, however, it was exhibited at Tent London during the London Design Festival. The three-part mirror is designed to not only be a reflection of the onlooker, but also an imprint of the time, place and context, demonstrating how context and our self-image are inextricably linked. The three layers are simply leaned against the wall, no nails or mounting required. The first two layers, a light pink layer on top of dark grey glass, provide the reflective surface. The third layer, made from untreated brass, changes with time and touch. It eventually modifies and distorts the reflection, much like our past memories and experiences can distort our present self-image. A simple mirror thus slowly becomes a physical manifestation of the self throughout time.
1,2,3 Mirror, by Matthias Klas and Philipp Schenk-Mischke, Klas Schenk Mischke
Photography by Jan Motyka