Romolo Ferri folds down into his Lambretta Record, and takes a deep breath. It is August 8, 1951, and the brave pilot intends to break the speed record for the scooter category, on a stretch of motorway between Munich and Ingolstadt, Germany. His toughest competition is Piaggio’s Vespa Torpedo. But the real challenge is winning against himself, as he already reached 195.8 kilometers per hour a few months earlier, on French soil. This time, his goal is to exceed 200. The red bullet – made of rubber, metal and plexiglass – slices through the air and reaches 201 kilometers per hour. It is a source of pride to the Lambretta Record’s manufacturer, Innocenti; to its inventor, engineer Pierluigi Torre; and of course to Ferri, who will continue to set records with his full-throttle, red Lambretta.
Lambretta Record Racer, via: Italian Ways
Bob and Dolores Hope’s mushroomy Palm Springs house is hitting the market for the first time ever this month, but for even more than expected: $50 million (vs. the $45 million reported in November). The house was designed in 1973 (but not finished until 1980) by the magnificent John Lautner and “was built to resemble a volcano, with three visorlike arches and an undulating concrete roof, a hole at its center opening a courtyard to the sky,” according to the New York Times. The house also has a boulder that juts into the living room. However, Dolores Hope had ideas of her own and brought in a designer to change up the interior; while Linda Hope says they weren’t “major alteration[s],” Lautner “eventually distanced himself from the project.” Dolores also added a Garth Benton mural on the back wall of the bar and “a lush, greenhouse-like wall of plants in the spa, which houses a pool, a hot tub and an exercise area.” The house also has six bedrooms, 10 full bathrooms, three half-baths, indoor and outdoor pools, a pond, putting greens, and a tennis court.
Benjamin Hubert has designed the world’s lightest timber table as part of an internal studio research project into lightweight constructions. The table, titled Ripple, is 2.5 metres long, 1 metre wide, and weighs just 9 kilograms. Made using 70-80% less material than a standard timber table, Ripple can be assembled and manoeuvred by a single person. The table’s impressive strength to weight ratio is enabled by an innovative production process of corrugating plywood for furniture through pressure lamination, which was developed by Benjamin Hubert with Canadian manufacturer Corelam.
Ripple is made entirely from 3 ply 0.8mm birch aircraft plywood, a timber sourced only in Canada, where the table is manufactured. The material is the same as that used in construction of the Hughes H-4 Hercules – popularly known as the “Spruce Goose” – the world’s largest all timber airplane. The strength of the material in combination with the unique lamination process means the edge of Ripple measures just 3.5mm. Ripple is minimal in its design language, employing a simple knockdown construction. The top surface is corrugated plywood overlaid by a flat sheet, and the A-frame legs are a sandwich construction of two corrugated plywood layers.
Ripple Table, by Benjamin Hubert
The Meadowbrook Residence is a space to observe the diurnal and seasonal changes of the desert light within the urban setting of Phoenix, Arizona. It is an exploration of what natural aspects remain within the constructed landscape. The residence is organized around three sculpted rooms-a bedroom on either end and a living room in the middle. Each opens in a different cardinal direction, and each receives light differently throughout the day and year. The rooms function as spaces of pure experience; curved walls record moments of light and shadow in daily procession. The north, east, and south sides are lined by a diaphanous screen that protects the interior and diffuses the bright Arizona light. The west side employs a solid block wall to protect from the afternoon sun, which creates the most intense heat of the day. A refuge from the desert, each space gently conveys the fluctuating seasons of light.
Meadowbrook Residence, Phoenix, Arizona, by Jay Atherton, Photography by Bill Timmerman
Capsula pendant light is composed of two oval capsules of glass when external absorbs the internal and by permeating each other they complete compact form. The concept is visualized by two convex capsules one overlapping the another and so merged into one single form which reminds an inspiration of nature, shapes of cells or plant seeds.The combination of outer shell of crystal clear glass and internal capsule of colored glass creates exciting tension of forms and optical 3D effect. Capsula light sculpture is gently fixed together by a tubular light source connected with small wooden side bases and the effect is emphasized by blending the colored core into a crystal clear outer bubble.
Capsula Pendant Light, by Lucie Koldova, for Brokis, Photography © Lucie Koldova / Brokis
The conversion of a former manufacturing workshop in a Parisian alley to a family apartment. Multifunctional wooden cabinetry lines the perimeter of the space to open up the central living area.
Kabinett, Paris, by Septembre, Photography by Maris Mezulis
The North Delegates’ Lounge inside the United Nations was designed as a place for informal meetings. The casual setting was furnished by leading designers of the time including Hans Wegner, Peter Hvidt, Jacob Kjaer, and Nanna Ditzel. The interior was the pinnacle of postwar / modern design splendor reflective of the era. It was refined, clean and handsome. But decades of wear and tear not to mention various additions tarnished its luster. Enter Rem Koolhaus and Hella Jongerius. The Dutch masters were selected to redesign the lounge as part of UN’s nearly $2 billion plan to renovate the entire building. Artworks and some of the lighting and furnishings were preserved but for the most part, Jongerius transformed the lounge into a colorful, casual, and dare we say fun environment. The renovation and redesign was a gift from the Netherlands to the UN.
Redesign of the North Delegates’ Lounge, United Nations, New York, by Hella Jongerius and Rem Koolhaas, Photography © Frank Oudeman
For more than 150 years, the longstanding silver manufactory of Jarosinski & Vaugoin has been producing high-quality silver objects. At the beginning of the 20th century, the manufactory–founded in 1847 by Carl Vaugoin, who specialized in heavy, handmade cutlery–relocated to Zieglergasse in Vienna’s 7th district, just a few minutes’ walk from Feichtner’s current studio. Today, Jean-Paul Vaugoin represents the sixth generation of his family to continue the tradition of this renowned business. For their collaboration, Feichtner took inspiration from Jarosinski & Vaugoin’s history: during the late 1960s, the silver manufactory produced several replicas of the legendary Saliera by Benvenuto Cellini, of which one was presented by the Republic of Austria to Queen Elizabeth II as an official gift on the occasion of her state visit in 1969. The manufactory’s current collaboration with Feichtner has given rise to a series of silver spice containers that are gold-plated on the inside. The salt cellar can be tilted to remove salt through an opening with two fingers in order to sprinkle it. In this way, Feichtner gets the salt cellar’s users to playfully but consciously approach the concept underlying an object that sees little use today, rather than just to casually shake on salt. “I didn’t want to design a second Saliera–instead, I wanted to come up with a new take on its approach to salt,” says Thomas Feichtner of his design. “Saliera” will be first shown on the occasion of the opening of the Vienna Design Week 2013.
The Kearsarge Residence is a major renovation of the 1968 M.G. Residence by the Romanian-American mid-century modernist architect Haralamb H. Georgescu.
Located on a flag lot in Brentwood, California, the site for the Kearsarge Residence has a unique character as a forest within the city. The challenges of working on a historic architectural home is one filled with a unique set of choices. These choices arise from questioning what makes the house important as well as what elements deserve to be preserved and what can be changed to make the house comfortable and livable for years to come.
We don’t live today the way we lived forty five years ago and we will live differently forty five years from now. The goal was to honor Georgescu’s work by restoring the house to it’s true character where appropriate as well as updating the house in keeping with the original design spirit.
We began working on the house after decades of wear and tear as well as modifications by subsequent owners. For example, the open sight lines that are characteristic of Georgescu’s work was interrupted by an owner closing off of the office wall to create an additional bedroom. One of the first tasks was opening up this wall back to it’s original intent, so there is interaction between three levels: The Office, Loft and Living Room.
As we began to peel back layers of the existing building during construction, we discovered that the ceiling of the main space had a rich blue-grey tone that was simply painted over in white. With the uncovering of more elements, it was determined that the original architect extended this colored ceiling from from the Living Room to the the outdoor soffits, creating an indoor-outdoor effect when standing in the space.
Taking cues from the the original cabinetry, all casework was re-created in mahogany wood. The Dining Room Cabinetry was restored to the original details while most other areas used more modern detailing, but within the same language as the original design. Throughout the process we were constantly asking ourselves “What would Georgescu do today?” Picking up on the original white oak used on the stair treads, this became the species of choice used throughout. The new wood floors replaced large expanses of purple carpet and checkered linoleum.
On outside, a deteriorated wood decking was replaced with ipe wood while the wood railing posts and metal mesh was replaced with steel posts and a cable rail system. Under the ipe guardrail cap, an LED rope light gives a pleasant glow to the deck for evening and night time entertaining.
Kearsarge Residence, by Haralamb H. Georgescu, Restoration by © Kurt Krueger Architect