“Mount Etna is a mine without miners – it is excavating itself to expose its raw materials.” Studio Formafantasma, in collaboration with Gallery Libby Sellers, present ‘De Natura Fossilium’ – an investigation into the culture of lava in the Mount Etna and Stromboli regions of Sicily, two of the last active volcanoes in Europe.
Formafantasma questions the link between tradition and local culture and the relationship between objects and the idea of cultural heritage. De Natura Fossilium is a project that refuses to accept locality as touristic entertainment. Instead, the work of Formafantasma is a different expedition in which the landscape is not passively contemplated but restlessly sampled, melted, blown, woven, cast and milled. From the more familiar use of basalt stone to their extreme experiments with lava in the production of glass and the use of volcanic fibers for textile, Formafantasma’s explorations and the resulting objects realise the full potential of the lava as a material for design.
‘De Natura Fossilium’, by Studio Formafantasma, for Gallery Libby Sellers, London, Photography by Luisa Zanzani
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.
In a constant game of fusion between inside and outside, the project responds to the challenge of keeping privacy between four close neighbours without losing the spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.
The idea was to create a single plan for all the houses that should work as a unity taking advantage of the diagonal of the plot. By doing so the wall of the neighboring house could become an interesting space for the adjacent house, in a delicate game of constructed and empty spaces. The house is relatively narrow but very rich in paths and views. The section demonstrates quite clearly this division of spaces. A central patio becomes an interior garden while bringing abundant light to the core of the house.
The spaces are developed with diagonal views to other spaces. The materials and textures delimitate intimate and public spaces, by the use of wood and stone. The façade is made of bricks. It’s a beach house that has a strong Brazilian character through a contemporary vocabulary, taking advantage of our particular climate and unique landscape.
Beach House, São Sebastião, Brazil, by Studio Arthur Casas
The residence overlooks a mountain lake with expansive mountain views beyond. The design ties the home to its surroundings and enhances the ability to experience both home and nature together.
The entry level serves as the primary living space and is situated into three groupings; the Great Room, the Guest Suite and the Master Suite. A glass connector links the Master Suite, providing privacy and the opportunity for terrace and garden areas.
Piedmont Residence, Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, by Carlton Architecture+Design
A limited edition of Love Me More bedding and the Forever Bed by Nika Zupanc is part of an exhibition at Museo Bagatti Valsecchi. They were developed in cooperation with Dormeo and commissioned by Rossana Orlandi. Nika Zupanc said about the joint project: “On a symbolic level, I tend to work with things that form our secrets and our cravings. Thinking about sleeping and dreaming, I was inspired by the beauty and pain of loving – as it is today and as it has been throughout history. I was moved by the strength of the chemistry between two people and by the madness of their passion. These themes are the foundations of the Love Me More project and are reflected in the design of the bed that can be closed up and hidden away. The restrained, even monastic look of simple, iconic blankets and linen was taken to an unexpected level through the combination of the innovative Octaspring technology and super elegant, long-lasting materials”.
The limited edition of bed linen was designed exclusively for Dormeo and is based on Octaspring, a game-changing technology that inspiringly replaces both metal springs and memory foam as a favourite choice for products made for sitting and sleeping.
Love Me More Bedding, Forever Bed, by Nika Zupanc, for Dormeo, Commissioned by Rossana Orlandi
Diatom, a stackable aluminium chair, takes its shape from the frustum of a diatom, this primordial single-cell organism with silica skeleton found in bodies of water the world over. Refined ornamental geometry in three-dimensions, a marvel of structure devised from exploring the rules of mathematics that dictate the vegetative development of living organisms.
Production adopts a technology developed in the automotive sector to reduce both the weight and the production cost of the seats; die-cast aluminium sheeting ensures the lightest weight and eliminates the need for steel while ensuring equivalent levels of performance.
Diatom, Stackable Aluminum Chair, by Ross Lovegrove, for Moroso
The aim was to create a multifunctional space that provided an experiential opportunity for the visitor so they could appreciate, to the full extent, the inherent beauty of the landscape. Simplicity is essential to the success of the project. The approach was to maintain simplicity through each stage of the design process in order to create an elegant, unobtrusive incision into the landscape setting that allows for both prospect and refuge.
The use of the pavilion is multifunctional. The design needed to be flexible and adaptable to accommodate for various uses during the changing seasons through out the year. Site selection was critical from an existential and sustainability perspective. The location was selected for it’s remoteness, opportunity for prospect, and orientation to the sun and prevailing winds.
The materiality was selected for the inherent tellurian characteristics to harmonise the building to the natural setting. The geometry itself is simple. The building is essentially two bisecting rectangular prisms, one created from composite steel, concrete and glass, and the other a sandstone cladded core. The structural solution was derived from a rationalised ‘grid’ system.
Wirra Willa Pavilion, Somersby, Australia, by Matthew Woodward Architecture
Photography by Murray Fredericks
Not from the Stone Age but closer to Kryptonite, Crystal Rock appears in the cave of the future as an ambassador of the fusion between nature and man, light and reflection, transparency and mass.
All these characteristics are gathered within a perfectly cut, yet roughly sculpted contemporary silex that interacts between light and darkness, suspended in the air like a frozen shooting star. It‘s as if the world stood still at the very moment you gaze upon it, the multiple reflections and deflections fascinating during the day and even more dynamic at night, when lighted. Crystal Rock‘s LED source highlights the artistic glassmaking process and advanced gluing techniques, gleaming on its inner curved surfaces and defining form on cut facets.
Crystal Rock, by Arik Levy, for Lasvit
A massive stone frees from gravity in the air as if it were floating in the universe. To the future, Tokujin Yoshioka envisions his dream to the universe.
Agravic Floating Stone Table, by Tokujin Yoshioka
The highlight of this adaptive re-use project is the introduction of a new façade that enables the circa 1950′s building to morph from an enclosed structure into an environment that invites the community into the space. The transformation was achieved by essentially replacing the entire front façade with a double-height, double hung floor-to-ceiling window wall that can be raised or lowered depending upon the needs of the user. The wall is operated by engaging a pedal-to unlock the safety mechanism- then turning a hand wheel which activates a series of gears and pulleys that opens the sixteen-foot by ten-foot, two thousand pound window wall. In addition to the front façade, other changes to the building included raising the roof by half of one story to create a better proportioned interior volume, and installing skylights to bring in more natural light.
242 State Street Building, Los Altos, California, by Olson Kundig Architects