“Flowers aren’t just beautiful to show on tables,” said Makoto Azuma, a 38-year-old artist based in Tokyo. His latest installation piece, if you could call it that, takes this statement to the extreme. Two botanical objects – “Shiki 1,” a Japanese white pine bonsai suspended from a metal frame, and an untitled arrangement of orchids, hydrangeas, lilies and irises, among other blossoms – were launched into the stratosphere on Tuesday in Black Rock Desert outside Gerlach, Nevada, a site made famous for its hosting of the annual Burning Man festival. ”I wanted to see the movement and beauty of plants and flowers suspended in space,” Azuma explained that morning.
Dotdotdot has designed a showroom in Pont Saint Martin, Val d’Aosta for the Data Center Technology & Operations of Engineering, a leading company in Italy, specialized in software and IT services. This communication-oriented ambience dedicated specifically to the clients illustrates the corporate values, the solutions, the projects and the projects through a demonstrative pathway has been designed to make the invisible visible.
Subdivision of the spaces, furnishing solutions, interactive experiences: in this project for Engineering dotdotdot has exploited, maximized and optimized its know-how in architecture, interiors and interaction design. The hub of the project is the ‘demo’ area where the clients will enjoy a full immersion and interactive experience, thanks to the large table used as a platform for navigating the multi-media contents. This table provides direct feedback on the large curved video-projection wall; this adds a touch of scenographic impact that is transformed into a visual support of the contents.
On entering the showroom, the client immediately becomes the protagonist of the full immersion and communicational experience. The different ambiences, split by function, are part of a single visual identity, expressing the corporate values of innovation, research, internationalization and growth. The space has been designed to be versatile and flexible, to satisfy the different needs of the participants and the varying degree of communication required and the depth of investigation/research applied to the contents. The furnishings have also been designed to guarantee maximum versatility. The materials – full-depth color MDF (medium-dense fibreboard) and the colorways combine to project an overall visual identity that differentiates the spaces according to function.
The objective of the design was to use architectonic choices, the materials and color to explain to the client the study behind the interfaces, the infographs and the communication, with the perception of an ambience that is undeniably avant-garde yet extremely user-friendly.
Showroom, by Dotdotdot, for the Data Center Technology & Operations of Engineering
Photography by Mauro Angelantoni
A striking occasional table for home and contract use. The white lacquered cylindrical table is made from a patented environment-friendly resin that contains handmade fish replicas, therefore no need of additional decoration than themselves. The designers explain: Fish that aren’t fish. That seem to float in water that isn’t water. They seem to be suspended in air that isn’t air. Like a dream. A wonderful mixture between minimalism and poetry is the result of this charming project, that is available in different versions of fish compositions and table sizes.
Up in the Air, by Ramón Úbeda and Otto Canalda, for Viccarbe
Iceberg, as the name states was inspired by the form and beauty of these large glacial structures. Capturing their breathtaking splendor this collection clusters to illuminate with a subtle white and blue light. These are not ordinary pendants lights, but an incredible array of glass sculptures gracefully floating in space.
Lomocubes is a new innovative and sophisticated residential project by MPA Architetti, located in Lugano and commissioned by the entrepreneur Alessandro Lo Monaco. Lomocubes is a luxurious and high profile condominium that overlooks the Lugano lakeshores. It is a groundbreaking architectural project that marks a new frontier in residential building construction. Finished in July 2013, Lomocubes synthesizes the best relationship between interior and exterior spaces, giving from the living room of each unit a wonderful view on the lake. A texture-in-motion built with a rigorous and wise use of materials leads to a seductive aesthetic result established on the succession between full and empty spaces, transparency and opacity.
Lomocubes, Lugano, Switzerand, by MPA Architetti
This project is conceived as a domestic landscape that blurs the boundary between interior and exterior space in a temperate coastal rainforest climate. It is essentially a ranch house typology with a guest house stacked upon it – for an physically active empty nest couple who enjoy the idea of welcoming family home for the holidays. The domestic program is spread across the entire site, and the vertical circulation is deliberately understated.
The programmatic organization allows the primary residents to live entirely on the ground floor. The japanese-inspired courtyard ‘moss garden’ operates as a multi-faceted architectural device – it provides circulation along the primary project axis from the main entry through to the backyard pool and workout pavilion; it provides a visual extension of the living room into the garden; and the sliding glass doors in the kitchen (conceived as a glass box in the garden) open directly into the courtyard and the outdoor dining space beyond. The central living space is bracketed on the south side by a large concrete fireplace which provides privacy from the street, and it extends visually into the mossy minimalist courtyard to the north. The orientation, form, and positioning of the upper volume was designed to protect against direct solar gain during the summer months, while allowing light at lower sun angles to penetrate into the spaces during the winter months.
Ocean Park House,Vancouver, Canada, by Campos Leckie Studio
Photography by Ema Peter
It’s nature inspiring the shapes of Pandora, that live in the echoes of their minimal texture. Ethereal entities that make of the light an added value, building up an outfit out of time, playing to conceal the material composing them. The project makes of the versatility its overriding characteristic: Pandora can be used as floor lamps both in external and internal spaces, such as hanging lamps or floor lamps.
The biggest challenge was the conversion of a family apartment compartmented into an apartment for a young single advertiser, and retrofitting existing securities repaginating brought from other apartment. The meticulous work respected the memories impregnated in certain parts and introduced new elements from the new intentions. The living room, tv room and kitchen have become part of a single space through the demolition of walls and removal of the toilet.
Shelves specifically emphasize the horizontality of the space and serve as a shield for design pieces. A large gallery Corten steel is the element delimiter between social and intimate, camouflaging access that is done through a pivoting door. The original structure was exposed and the materials are shown with sincerity. The concrete, glass and steel corten combine a sober color palette and contrast with some pieces that give identity to the flexible space.
Maranhão Apartment, São Paulo, Brazil, by Flavio Castro
Photography by Pedro Kok
“Simplicity, quality, function and innovation have been the central tenets during the design process throughout this project. The mechanism we designed for this pen is completely unique, yet intuitive and reliable. We wanted to transcend the classical twisting or clicking mechanisms by developing this precise and user friendly piece of engineering.”
Align Pen, by Beyond Object
This unconventional design by Pitsou Kedem blurs the borders between private space and outdoor space. In a new building, in the old north of Tel Aviv, a unique penthouse covering an entire floor of some 600 square meters, is open and transparent in four directions. The entire penthouse is wrapped with a screen of clear walls. The internal spaces, floating within the building’s shell, are fully exposed to the city. Passages and movement, or corridors in conventional design language, to the rooms and then, on to the apartment’s spaces are next to the structure’s outer shell. No rooms connect with this outer shell and no rooms block or shut off the view over the city. The levels of transparency and exposure are regulated using various methods of shading. Thus long and continuous lines of sight are preserved from one of the apartment to the other.
Along the entire frontage, some 25 meters, there are transparent, teak framed, sliding doors which allow for the opening and closing of the various internal spaces, such as bedrooms and bathrooms, to the external shell. Thus the city merges into the apartment, the climate is regulated and the residents can enjoy the sky line and changing lights at any given time. The apartment’s style corresponds with international styling whilst retaining classical influences in the spirit of the period. Such as, for example, the style of French architect Jean Prouvé whose work was unembellished, placing the emphasis on practicality. The materials used in the apartment’s construction are, for the most part, shown in their raw state. The floor is poured terrazzo and an exposed concrete wall in the living room is offset with a metal bookcase. The pool is completely covered with dark stone so that the city can be reflected in its entirety in the water. Along the balcony we find planters with Frangipani trees that reflect and continue the characteristic flora of many Tel Aviv gardens. The apartment’s residents have an impressive collection of art. This played a significant role in the design of the spaces, each of which relates to the specific piece displayed in it. And the responsibility for bringing a smile to the design has been given the yellow hue that has been used in the main door, the closet and additional touches of yellow scattered around the apartment.
Open and Transparent to the City, Tel Aviv, Israel, by Pitsou Kedem Architects
Photography by Amit Geron