This is a small yet complex project of a duplex apartment renovation. The apartment combines modern elements by using materials in their raw form: exposed concrete wall, iron stairs and furniture, a terrazzo floor, poured on-site and unpainted wood. The space created by the new stairwell, divides the movement and the axis of the existing space in a way that creates a dramatic architectural cross section through the apartment, links the different levels and allows natural light to penetrate the building through glass skylights inserted into the roof of the upper floor. The new cross section creates a double space with transparent glass and a system of moveable wooden slats that makes it possible to create a view between the spaces or to allow privacy and natural light control.
The restraint and scale of the apartment design avoiding the use of gimmicks make it into a “timeless architecture”. Despite the fact that the apartments has a small area, the spaces feel large and spacious. The wide and open views out to the scenery and in between the neighbourhood buildings create the feeling of a light and airy space. The border between the interior spaces and the balconies is almost totally blurred by a thin glass panel system. The use of the same flooring, purred terrazzo, both inside and outside also contributes to this feeling of continuity.
Y Duplex Penthouse, Tel Aviv, Israel, by Pitsou Kedem Architect Pitsou Kedem Architects
Photography by Amit Geron
The versatility of furniture for the changing work and domestic space has lead to the development of the ‘tool’ adjustable side table. The aim was to create a surface in which people could be freed from their office desks, offering them the possibility to easily connect their work area to any type of furniture or person. Integrating a lever with a smooth vertical operation offers ease in modifying the height of the surface.
Adjustable Side Table, by Studio Irvine, for OFFECCT
This compact private residence’s 136-square-meter area consists of five horizontally divided spaces, each connected by a minuscule sculptural spiraling staircase that, given the footprint of the house, allows for loft-like spaces within its intimate confines. Oversized windows punctuate the house, each with two layers of glazing.
Transparent and relief glass extend to the floor, to ensure that the house remains responsive to passing street life. When closed, they cloak the house within an iridescent texture. On the ground floor, one of these windows serves as the main entry, and slides open to reveal the kitchen. Each level has a different program: the lowermost consists of storage and technical spaces; the lower two bedrooms, permeated by daylight via sliver windows that span the full length of the house, at street level; the kitchen and dining room occupy the ground floor; the living room the first; and the uppermost a master suite, with a wooden ofuro.
These oversized windows, with their dual layers of glazing, can be countlessly reconfigured, to regulate the interior flow of daylight. A small terrace is attached to the master bedroom, yet it is expansive, relative to the house’s size. Its northeastern wall is composed of the same textured glazing that shields the house’s windows, except that there is no layer of transparent glass behind it, as the terrace is completely open to the exterior elements.
A’ House, Tokyo, Japan, by Wiel Arets Architects
The Kuskoa collection is inspired by the first plastic chairs designed by Robin Day. But in this case, all the chair is crafted out of wood, providing a warm appearance, comfort and resistance. The shell, front upholstered or fully in wood, perches delicately on a frame of solid wood.
Kuskoa, by Jean Louis Iratzoki, for Alki
The frameless glass makes this a special open space that is completely invaded by the exterior nature. Thus, the gallery becomes a true stage for the client, while the exterior green landscape transforms into a perfect background setting. The glass is sandwiched between by a 22-metre-long floor slab and roof that project out at the front to form a sheltered terrace. The reinforced concrete roof cantilevers from a steel framework, enclosing a corridor at the rear of the building, to ensure the gallery interior is free of any columns that might obstruct the view.
Florist Studio, Mie, Japan, by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates
Over the course of seven seasons, the landmark series “Mad Men” has charted the rise of ad man Don Draper in the “Golden Age” of advertising in 1960s New York. The bench is located in front of the Time & Life Building, fictional home of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Designed by Pentagram’s Lorenzo Apicella, Michael Bierut and Emily Oberman, the monument takes the form of a sleek, elegant bench that features the iconic graphic of Draper from the show’s opening title sequence.
The idea behind the bench is strong and simple. The silhouette of Don with his arm draped over a couch has become a symbol of “Mad Men,” seen in the final moments of the opening titles designed by Imaginary Forces. The show’s story is told against the backdrop of massive cultural changes in the 1960s, and the graphic pictures Don sitting back, taking it all in. The bench invites visitors to do the same, to take a moment and observe the excitement of New York around them. Fans are welcome to “drape” themselves on the bench like Don, and take and post photos.
“Mad Men,” and Don in particular, are known for their cool, consummate sense of style, and the show has been credited with renewing interest in mid-century modern design. Rather than recreate the look of the period, Apicella’s design for the bench echoes it in clean, smooth lines that make the monument the chicest, most sophisticated piece of street furniture in the city. Comprised of only two pieces, the 12-foot-long bench combines a ½” thick-rolled steel plate seat and back, balanced on a 10-foot-long cast concrete base. Don’s silhouette is cut from the seat, which has a powder-coated black finish with white painted graphic elements. The concrete base color was selected to complement the existing plaza paving pattern.
Mad Men Monument, by Lorenzo Apicella with Michael Bierut and Emily Oberman
The combination of modern design and the neo-classical structure from the 1930’s enabled the designer to create a world full of contrasts and tensions combined in one project; between elegant and industrial, between raw and ornamental, between simple and complex. Together, they enrich the structure, both architecturally as well as the relationships between the space and those in it, and tell the tale of two periods in one space. In order to preserve and respect the tradition and the past, the materials chosen for the apartment’s renovation were all raw materials. The open balcony, the adjacent courtyard paved in terrazzo just as are the apartment’s spaces, act as a silent and elegant peninsular between the apartment and the noisy, urban surroundings of the outside world.
All the furniture was carefully chosen to complement the common culture that connects between two periods in time. A touch of red paint also symbolizes the combination between rawness and industrial styling and the classical elegance of the apartment’s original period. The building has been designated for preservation with severe building restrictions as part of the Tel Aviv preservation plan. The area, known as the “White City” is the site of Tel Aviv’s founding and was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2003. The structure itself consists of a rustico ground floor that is the foundation for two additional floors with renaissance style arches. The ground floor apartment was previously the home of Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion which lends historic significance and magic to the building and the apartment.
Past Turned Into Space, Tel Aviv, Israel, by Pitsou Kedem Architects
Photography by Amit Goren
Externally, the same continuous volume creates a duality between an opaque block – where the living room is – and the transparent stretch of the heated pool and sauna. The volumetry of the house was given by the extrusion of sixty-five meters of an icon-house, with pitched roof. Furthermore, an external wooden deck connects the spaces and creates a solarium to be used during the summer months. In the opaque part of the volume, which is 50m long, the openings were minimized and used as sliding doors to intensify the integration between inside and out. This relation between empty and full in the facade allows for an excellent thermal performance, with a high degree of electric energy conserved. The transparent stretch is fourteen meters long and the internal ventilation was spatially designed to avoid condensation on the glass by the heated pool, which would harm the relation with the view. The house was not implanted on the top of a rough site, as initially desired by the clients, but in its lowest part – in the midst of a beautiful forest of pine trees. This solution allowed the building to be surrounded by nature, creating an intimate relation with the site. The initial premise of the project was to design a quick and cheap construction. Therefore, there were found industrialized solutions such as metal structures and steelframe walls. The site, despite high levels of rainwater, was always clean. Opposite to the usual Brazilian building culture, few elements were built on site, rather mounted at the factory.
The Mororó House, Campos do Jordão – SP, Brazil, by Studio MK27
Photography by Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
Composed of two overlapping volumes, the house derives from the intention to release the largest possible area for living spaces and provide fluidity between the spaces. The upper volume was designed bigger than the lower one, because of that half of the house seems to float on the ground and provides shadow and a relaxing space on the yard. With the intention of ensuring influx of natural lighting and ventilation, the project has large openings on the facades and coverage, and that also contribute to the composition of its main facades. Downstairs, the living room can be completely opened to the garden by sliding glass panels, creating an extension of your home to the outside and making their environments mingle, inviting the plants and flowers to get into the living room. To ensure the privacy of intimate settings on the upper floor the openings are protected by wooden shutters painted in white, beyond the glass on the inner face.
Sorocaba House, Sao Paulo, Brazil, by Estudio BRA Architecture
Photography by Pedro Kok
The ILLUM collection is series of outdoor furniture designed by Merckx+Maes for Tribù. The collection refers to classical furniture archetypes, translated with updated materials for the outdoors. The emphasis for the collection is on comfort, ergonomics and usability. The low sculpted back of the chair allows for comfortable seating for many hours. Easily stacked, the chair can be put away during colder months. The sun lounger not only inclines, but also lowers itself to offer a matchless comfort, while all the mechanics involved are astutely hidden away. The table tops are available in ceramics and teak. The various sizes available for the table include a more narrow option to fit balconies.
ILLUM, by Merckx + Maes, for Tribù