Ruutu, which means diamond or square in Finnish, is a collection of 10 vases available in five sizes and seven colours. When collected and combined, they make small seamless installations where both the strength and the delicate nature of the glass come alive. Like Ittala’s iconic Alvar Aalto collection, Ruutu is also created in Iittala’s Finland factory. However, where the Aalto vase embodies an organic form, Ruutu follows strict form and makes a perfect collectible.
Designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec explain, “Iittala knows very well how to manipulate colours. In Ruutu, we were able to create a delicate, watercolour-like palettes that intermingle with each other when combining sizes and colours. Ruutu allows a game of composition. We wanted to show the sophisticated range of Iittala colours while at the same time handing the job over to the user who will feel tempted to have several modules to create his or her own individual assemblage.”
Ruutu was an inspiring challenge in the Iittala glass factory given the many hours required to create symmetry, yet keep the feel of a handcrafted, unique product. “We were seeking to express the purity of glass blowing in this simple diamond shape,” explain the Bouroullec brothers. “Glass is a material that likes round shapes. When hot it flows like honey and does not like to be pulled into a very precise geometric shape. By developing the strict shape we are reaching the limits of the material, and using the highest level of the Iittala glass-blowing expertise.”
Hypetex, the high performance brand best known for having introduced the world to colored carbon fiber, has collaborated with furniture designer Michael Sodeau to create a limited edition lounge chair. Entitled ‘Halo’, the lightweight object is produced entirely from Hypetex, a material developed by engineers from Formula One, and has been designed to utilize the unique properties of the new composite. The Halo lounge chair features a thin wing-shaped seat on three legs and a large disc-shaped back that completely eclipses the seat when viewed from behind.
Halo Chair, by Michael Sodeau
Aptly named, Heavy Metal is a steel clad private residence that sits on eight acres of heavily wooded terrain. As an owner of a steel manufacturing facility, the homeowner wanted a residence to reflect his distinctive family business and his personal artistic background, but also become a “forever-home” for him and his family. As an industrial entrepreneur, steel is introduced as an element to add a level of interest and texture from the inside out. The hot-rolled steel on the interior of the home is blackened and maintains a natural “grain”, while outside the exposed custom perforated panels are allowed to rust, bringing out the natural warm reds of the steel’s iron oxide.
Being a single-level dwelling the home is easy to move through. Neutral walls and floors facilitate a gallery-like space that showcases the client’s art collection. Warmth and texture is introduced into the spaces through something natural, elements and furnishings that interact with the user and relate to the home’s exterior context. Heavily textured rugs break up vast expanses of concrete floor while walnut wraps selected vertical and ceiling planes for added richness and warmth. Natural light filters through the exterior perforated panels in the daytime and likewise in the evening the light from the home softly glows through the exterior skin. A careful combination of indirect cove lighting and aggregate task lighting help maintain the calm aesthetic of the residence and further define the spaces in the otherwise open floor plan.
Heavy Metal House, Joplin, Missouri, by Hufft Projects
Bridge House is a multi-generational family home that spans both landscapes and age groups. Sited between a suburban development and a protected wooded area, the Bridge House appears as a single family home from the front. Its rear elevation reveals an internal organization designed to accommodate three generations living together under one roof-or in this case, within three volumes that act as a number of roofs. These three volumes are devices that frame views through the house of the dramatically sloped wooded site.
Each tubular volume contains a carefully organized relationship of private and public areas that correspond to the family’s generational structure. The smaller volume of the ground floor is the private master suite for the grandparents (the clients) who are first-generation Korean-American immigrants to the United States. The larger volume of the ground floor is the collective public area of the multi-generational home, which includes all shared programs, such as the kitchen, family room, dining room and garage. Physicallybridging between these two spaces is a long volume that houses the family’s second and third generations. Two master suites bookend the bar volume: one for their visiting daughter and one for their live-in son and daughter-in-law who reside in the space with the clients’ two grandchildren. The grandchildren live in a “Jack and Jill” suite and have access to the upper-level outdoor space, which is set between the master bedrooms.
Bridge House, McLean, USA, by Höweler and Yoon Architecture
A trompe l’oeil wooden upholstery seat. Available in maple or walnut.
Trompe L’oeil Bench, by Rüskasa
One of our client’s major requirements was for a living space where the presence of the family would always be felt. In response, we devised a single-roomed layout without columns that took advantage of the distinctive features of the existing warehouse. A large kitchen was installed to cater to the needs of the food-loving husband-and-wife couple. We then conceived the entire living space by taking the kitchen as a focal point, with a mix of various other activities and functions unfolding around it. Within this single-roomed space, we also created a box-like structure with a loft bedroom for the children on top of it, and private quarters including a bedroom and bathroom inside it. In order to minimize heat loss within this massive space, a 100mm layer of urethane foam was added to the walls, floors and ceiling, while a combined heat and power device was installed in the living room to heat water and provide floor heating. All openings were designed by making use of existing sash windows and doors, while glass panes were all given a double-glazing treatment to improve insulation.
Family House, Gifu, Japan, by Airhouse Design Office
Photography by Toshiyuki Yano
Located close to Naka’s sacred Todaiji temple, Japanese architect Yoshiaki Yamashita has designed a private residence for a retiring husband and wife. The house is primarily a two-storey dwelling, with spacious open-plan living accommodation positioned at the upper level of the home. above, a roof terrace offers panoramic vistas across Naka. The dwelling’s sleeping quarters are contained on the ground floor, while an exposed concrete basement provides a secluded area for the client to work on his oil paintings. in order to maintain a degree of privacy, a large window-less façade is presented to the passing street, while glazed volumes at the rear of the property allow for unobstructed views.
House Nara-Zaka, Nara, Japan, by Yoshiaki Yamashita
Bolle is a suspension lamp in transparent glass, where the illuminating brass bulb is suspending between the spheres, giving light to not only the space but also the curved surfaces, multiplying reflections to amplify the magical effect. The Architect and Designer, following the wonderful experience of designing and producing “i Flauti” lamps, with the master glassmakers of Murano, they wanted to continue their research with glass. For the Bolle project that have used a different technique known a “a lume” in Italian, another expertise within the Veneto region. This method, even if hand-blown, has a higher level of precision allowing the possibility to assemble the spheres. And so the magic becomes reality.
The Bolle lamp is available in two sizes, one with 4 and one with 6 spheres. The two can be combined to form endless compositions. In contrast to the intangible and magical appearance of the glass, the central brass body maintains a sense of function rigor. The meticulous design development has simplified the body into a simple cylinder, whose internal components are stacked and self-locking, without the need for screws. The double-sided Led bulb, designed and produced for this lamp, allows for downward and upward lighting.
Bolle Lamp, by Giopato & Coombes
Being in Andalucia, in the south of Spain, the idea was to create a huge garden with big covered outside spaces, giving some shade when needed, where you could live outside day and night, all year long. It’s all about catching that twilight with your friends and family, chilling out with some tapas and great Spanish wines. At the same time we needed to create the necessary privacy towards the neighbouring buildings, so you could live outside without being exposed. The concept therefore is that the whole site is a garden surrounded with a peripheral wall filled with content, that’s the living room, a private garden. Above that living room landscape we set a patio house – a house over a garden.
In the winter time, one covered part of the private garden can be closed with sliding windows and heated.
There are no windows or openings to the outside / public space, the house appears as a white and cubic sculpture, similar to the Moorish patio houses in Andalucia. Only the plants give a sign of the interior life to the outside. Everything is covered in white plaster, creating this endless playful landscape just covered by the deep blue Andalucia sky, it’s there to host people.
Los Limoneros, Marbella, Spain, by Gus Wüstemann Architects
Photography by Bruno Helbling
The family, who occupy a typical 1940s bungalow, asked Andrew Burges to reorganise and extend the property in Sydney’s North Shore to improve both the daylight inside and the connection with the garden. “The conceptual framework of the house has been developed around improving the quality and character of natural light in both the existing interior and as a defining element in the new addition,” said the architects. The pitched roof of the single-storey extension rises from behind the roof of the original house, resulting in a V-shaped gap between the two. This incorporates skylights, ensuring that daylight reaches spaces at the centre of the home. The living, dining and kitchen area located within the extension is illuminated by large windows facing the garden and by two skylights built into the roof that channel light onto the walls.
Materials were chosen to enhance the unusual section of the new structure. The sloping ceiling is painted white, while the walls that extend up towards the skylights are constructed from bricks reclaimed from the demolished rear wall and former bathroom. “The section creates a play between an abstract, white, sculptured ceiling line and bulkhead datum, which washes light on the more robust natural finishes used below the ceiling and bulkhead datum,” explained the architects. Natural materials, including American oak used for the fitted cabinetry, and a concrete floor create tactile surfaces below the ceiling line. A central core containing a bathroom and laundry was inserted between the old and new parts of the house.
Skylights, Sydney, Australia by Andrew Burges Architects
Photography by Peter Bennetts