Ekko ushers a new level of style into conference rooms and personal office spaces everywhere. Its clean, crisp lines and unapologetically simple aesthetics make a bold statement about both modern interior design and the people who incorporate it into their daily lives. New materials and striking architecture make Ekko a much-heralded addition to the impressive collection of traditional conference room options from Davis.
Ekko Tri Leg Base Table, Ekko V Leg Base Table, by Wolfgang C.R. Mezger, for Davis
Los Angeles-based architect, Bruce Bolander, has completed the architectural and design work on the Chicago office of international editorial company The Whitehouse, his third of such projects for the company. Previous projects included the Los Angeles and New York offices of The Whitehouse.
The project hinged on the transformation of the space. The Whitehouse had occupied a set of offices in the historic Courthouse Place building since 1995. Courthouse Place was designed by architect Otto H. Matz and completed in 1893. It was initially known as the Cook County Criminal Court Building and was the site of many legendary trials during the 1920′s.
Even though they appreciated the character of the building and the space with its dark wood from a previous design and historical feeling – especially with their British background – the company was moving in a new and vibrant direction and they wanted their space to reflect their modern outlook.
Light was important to the client, as the current space was very dark. “I focused the design so that the light from the outside came all the way through, which was occasionally as simple as changing the blinds, wall and floor color. In other areas, we cut out some of the perimeter offices to let light in along the large corridors,” said Bolander. “The intention was to try to peel back and get back to the basics of the building, so we uncovered the brick and steel pieces. We also as integrated other stripped-down elements such as vertical wood-paneling as an an additional material that kind of bridges the old and the new.”
The Whitehouse, Chicago by Bruce Bolander
Thirty-seven-year old Jean-François d’Or (a name that befits the sunny, luminous quality about him) is considered one of the most talented, prolific and appreciated designers in Belgium.
In 2010, he was chosen to represent his hometown, Brussels, during the national design week (Design September), and a retrospective selection of his works was displayed in one of the shiny spheres of the iconic Atomium. On this occasion, critics praised his “simple, unpretentious, logical objects that appeal as much for their evident, clearly perceptible design as well as their discrete poetry”. “Humble” is quite the epithet for Jean-François d’Or — and he proudly claims the label, turning these words from Belgian poet George Linze into his motto: “A strange phosphorescence covers the humblest objects as if poetry were only what is extraordinary about the ordinary”.
Droog design, Domani, Interni Edition, Konstantin Slawinski, Jongform, Ligne Roset (his terracotta Maternity pot was recently released during the Milan Salone, another landmark in the collaboration he started a few years ago with the Roset group) or The Conran Shop are among the brands his name has been associated with. Lately, he has designed a bed for Magnitude (which was introduced during the Kortrijk fair) and a series of door handles for Vervloet (on display at Maison&Objet in Paris). A large panel which somehow illustrates his versatility, as well as his ability to absorb himself into raw material, whether clay, glass, metal or wood is involved.
Graduated from the renowned La Cambre School of design in Brussels (1998), he started his own studio, Loudor design, five years later. In between, he had managed to achieve a project in New York with textile designer Caroline Ray, then to work in his homeland with star designers such as Maarten Van Severen and Hans De Pelsmacker. Already granted a Henry van de Velde award (Belgium’s most coveted prize in the design field), this deeply grounded young man’s creations are now everywhere, through his brainchild: Loudor design has set up ongoing collaborations with the most prestigious design labels in Europe. A gifted, modern day alchemist, well-named Jean-François d’Or seems to turn everything he touches into gold.
– Elodie Palasse-Leroux
(French journalist Elodie Palasse-Leroux is the founder and editor of Sleek design, launched in 2009)
Bonbonne hanging lamp, Bonbonne floor lamp, Arlequin, Bonbonne, Drop, Mezzoluna, by Jean-François d’Or, Loudor design
DEX is a refined, compact en minimalist desk that fits anywhere at home. The frame consists of two horizontal cross shapes of solid wooden laths and a drawer unit. The frame has a minimal presence round the seat for optimal comfort. The drawer unit has two or three drawers. They can be pulled out entirely to provide a place for a printer which one can control from the seat.
DEX Desk, by Reinier de Jong
The small and narrow lot extends dramatically down a steep slope to beautiful Flowing Lake in Snohomish County, Washington. Giant fir trees occupy the western half; the eastern half was marred by the previous removal of a fire damaged cabin. Our challenge was to create a home for an active, young couple which preserved the trees and the remaining native landscape while extending toward and maximizing views of and access to the lake.
The solution was to first establish a path to the water alongside which a house was then placed. The path begins at an auto court with its detached garage/office. It then descends past the bedroom wing alongside the giant firs to mid-slope where a glass corridor/entry blurs the line between interior and exterior. From here the living areas open and cantilever toward the view, its glass façade maximizing both openness to the lake and the limited quantity of light. The upper level Master bedroom with its roof terrace hovers amongst the trees. These lake related portions of the house are all embraced by the wood clad wall providing privacy to the neighbors and focusing attention to the view. Downslope from the entry, as the house bridges over the path, is a covered porch, then a bunkered patio and finally the lake edge itself with its restored wetland. The materials of the house are honest and natural. This allows the house to meld with the natural landscape so that by day it is difficult to isolate when viewed from the lake, while at night the home glows reassuringly from within.
The project is articulated basing on two really simple spatial typologies. The first one, a compacted and pure single-storied level with huge window panels that open to the Alps, framing the beautiful view. The glazing surfaces on the entire level structure the façade in a generous way. The panoramic window panels fold inside, providing a special expression to the ensemble, while forming the terrace-covered area. The difference of enclosure between North and South façades is two faces: “behind” the street and “on the front” The Alps as a visual limit. The “courtyard” typology is composed of an open terrace bordering on one side of the dwelling, a vertical wooden enclosure and by a “green wall”, which at the same time separates the dwelling from the street. The garage, which protects the dwelling from the winds crossing the “Jura” from the East, permits a prolonged use of the terrace during the year. The dwelling is buried on its North side down the steep ground. The volume of the lower ground floor retracts from the façade line in the first floor, which produces a floating effect over the natural prairie. The interior is arranged in 4 individual rooms, including wet and comunal areas, which are defined by the concept of open space. Both the garden and interior rooms, with their glazing façades, open onto the valley.
Prouvé RAW is a collection of newly interpreted furniture classics from French designer and artisan Jean Prouvé. The designs of Jean Prouvé have been a source of inspiration for the creative team at G-Star for quite some time. This appreciation of and fascination with the artist was the starting point for Prouvé RAW in collaboration with Vitra. Thanks to the cooperation of G-Star, the Prouvé family and Vitra, Prouvé’s most famous designs have been re-issued with a contemporary flair, while some of his lesser-known designs have been rediscovered.
The vision was a customised building, incorporating the impressive panorama at the foot of the Alps with a lifestyle demanding variable solutions. The owner’s specifications were a house combining living and working areas under one roof. The entire design of this compact house conforms to the location and it was built into the slight decline. As the hill side of the house is embedded, the east facing cellar area could be naturally illuminated and used as an office, for example. This office has direct access, via covered outdoor steps between the main entrance and the carport. Due to its ideal positioning, the building profits from the optimal use of the mountain sunshine.
In spite of being highly original and very chunky, looking almost fortified, the building does not appear out-of-place in its surroundings. The nearby 150 year old, heritage-protected, typical Bregenzerwald farmhouse is reflected in the Haller house. Local tradition has been reinterpreted, focussing on aesthetic details without cutting back on functional aspects. The entrance area is generous and includes a guests’ cloakroom. It is also possible to enter the house or the office from the double garage. The central staircase divides the ground floor into a living area and a kitchen area. The bedrooms and an extra bathrooms for guests are situated on the first floor. The owner’s bathroom has a separate terrace, which is ideal for relaxing and enjoying the magnificent views. The ridge and pitch of the roof give each first floor room an individual character. The internal walls and ceilings are covered with local silver fir wood, which gives the rooms a cosy feeling despite the large glass windows. The outside façade and the roof have been finished with local silver fir shingles. Here we can see how the architect as made use of a single material, testing its possibilities and confinements. What was once considered confined to traditional buildings appears here as experimental.
Crimen pinecone lamp consists of 56 plates and screws, without an internal skeleton due to rounding forms plaques form gaps through which light passes. Boards themselves are also slightly transparent, this creates a particular pattern of light from the outside and downward bright light. Flatpack in natural maple veneer.
Crimean Pinecone Lamp, by Pavel Eekra
“Although not commonly thought of as a holiday destination all these photographs have been taken at tourist sites throughout the city. It took over a year to get permission to go in with my camera and nothing quite prepares you for what awaits. I was not allowed to take my mobile phone past customs and was met by two guides who were to accompany me at all times throughout my trip. At first they appeared robotic in conversation as if reading from a script, telling of their country’s great achievements. After a few days and many polaroids the guides became more relaxed and personable.”
– Charlie Crane