Located on the Alentejo Coast, the Monte Novo da Cruz is a rural property strongly characterized by a gently undulating land with slopes sometimes relevant. The presence of a curtain of high trees along the south-eastern perimeter of the site and a dense vegetation near a south-western stream stand out in the landscape. In the centre of the property, in a high position, there is an old rural construction in an advanced state of degradation.
The proposal for the Monte Novo da Cruz seeks to establish a contrast dialogue between the existing and the new building which sometimes merge with each other, creating a smooth transition between the past and the present. This relationship is materialized through two types of intervention, placed at different levels on the ground: In the upper level, the intervention consists on recovering and expanding the existing building for owners’ house. The planimetric composition is made up by a succession of spaces, which ends with a double height common lounge with a central fireplace. On the north-west side are located the main entrance and supporting spaces intercalated with small garden courtyards for natural lighting and ventilation. On the south-east side, to the contrary, are located the main spaces overlooking the garden and pool.
In the lower level, the intervention results in a new independent building that adapts to the topography of the site and uses the slope of the ground to differentiate the owners’ house of the guest areas. This long volume, half-buried and perpendicular to the line of trees, preserves the scale of the house and reinforces the verticality of vegetation. Its unique façade is characterized both by a wide opening framing vistas of the landscape as well as by a stand-alone pergola reducing the amount of direct sunlight coming inside the rooms and providing privacy for guests. At the level of arrival the building is almost imperceptible to the eye, only a long terrace with seating areas for contemplation of the surrounding nature is visible.
Pe No Monte Rural Tourism, Odemira, Portugal, by [i]da Arquitectos
Photography by Joao Morgado
Designer Adrian Magu’s interest for everything green and his work in the automotive industry has resulted in the Kasokudo Bonsai Planter; a stunning fusion of form and function. Referencing speed forms and manufacturing processes used in transportation design, this piece juxtaposes movement applied to what is usually a static object. The piece gives the impression of an accelerating form that effortlessly floats to house a bonsai tree, evoking a perfect balance of dynamic harmony. The latest manufacturing processes of the highly polished finishes of the planter and 3D-printed ‘mountains’ contrast to that of nature that usually takes many decades to grow, sculpt and form the gnarled bonsai forms. In all, a unique synthesis of cutting-edge precision with the imperfect beauty of nature.
Kasokudo Bonsai Planter, by Adrian Magu
Photography by Andy Beard
Based on the genetic of the place, the intervention holds, as the main goal, the creation of a contemporary space without disturbing the peace of the countryside area. A pure volume, with rectangular base, is adjusted to the ground and opens into the green landscape. The volumetric purity, desired by the customer, sets the mood for the project and the new inhabitant of the place is, now, one of the terraced fields of the perfectly balanced ground. Thus, the act of inhabiting unfolds through the volume of concrete, pure, raw, adjusted to the ground, just waiting to grow old as the days go by reflecting the life of the countryside.
Sambade House, Penafiel, Portugal, by Spaceworkers
Photography by Fernando Guerra, FG+SG
Two thin parallel concrete planes stretch over a gently curving topography acting as floor and roof, floating slightly above the terrain. The large rectangular footprint provides a 360-degree experience within and around the home, with a large concrete mass perpendicularly projecting out into the site containing the pool. Within the framing elements indoor and outdoor space are separated only by a transparent operable glass membrane that slides to connect the two states.
Structural materials are present throughout the interior and exterior lending to its conceptual purity. At the other end of the house, opaque volumes clad in closely-bound slender wooden slats offers privacy for the bedrooms and bathrooms and much needed shade during the day. Existing as individual forms within the horizontal concrete extents, hallways penetrate through the program so each room has a unique connection to the outdoors be it through immediate access to the site or through exposed patios formed from varying setbacks on the foundation slab. The floor of circulation through the spaces essentially dictates the location and size of each internal element so the home becomes more about ones movement through the site and through the structure.
Redux House, Brazil, by Studio MK27
Photography by Fernando Guerra
Oversized pendant lamp shows sensitively the beauty of smooth glass in soft curves. The source of tubular light permeating daringly the delicate body of the lamp builds a thrilling tension of this concept. Sophisticated and strong look of the elegant hand blown lampshade resembling a shape of a futuristic helmet is based on the principle of penetrating forms, previously applied in the design of the Capsula light designed for Brokis in 2013. Natural combination of a wood, textile and blown glass reflects designer’s distinctive style. Lampshade is fixed on a stick sheltering LED source, suspended on textile straps secured by wooden buttons. Mona shade can be also pierced on a steel tube in order to create a standing version.
Mona Lights, by Lucie Koldova, for Brokis
Project EGG is an object measuring 5 x 4 x 3 meter, composed of 4760 uniquely shaped stones, 3D-printed by Studio Michiel van der Kley together with hundreds of co-creators all over the world. The largest 3D-printing community art project so far. A new way of creating and collaborating. You could call Project EGG a poetic pavilion. The building has an organic form and structure where the floor, walls and ceiling fully and seamlessly merge. It has been constructed with 4760 open, elegantly designed stones, each one’s shape unique. Many small elements together forming a large structure, as in the objects from nature that designer Michiel van der Kley likes to look at, such as crocodile skin, corn cobs, coral. He finds in these a language of segmentation which he merges with the possibilities of desktop 3D-printing; when you see a large object as the total of many small elements the potential is limitless. The material is new, PLA, re-usable and biodegradable. Also the way this object is produced is new; not by a factory but by a community. Project EGG invites you to enter it and to be inundated by the play of light and shade, to see 100 shades of white and to experience space and emptiness at the same time.
This is the largest desktop 3d-printed co-creation art project so far. During his research on the potential of the 3D-printer, Van der Kley came into contact with bloggers and digital communities all over the world. He learned much from them and invited them to print one of the stones for Project EGG. Since each stone has to be printed individually, it is very easy to make slight variations in each design. Participants received the digital version for their unique stone in which their name has been included.
Project EGG, by Michiel van der Kley
Inspired by early Modernist and Bauhaus era architecture, this one room deep house is organized along an L-shaped window wall which offers each space a connection to a central courtyard and a balance of natural light from multiple sides. The street facing courtyard and transparent first floor are made private as the house is perched on a plinth above passersby. With little protection from shading trees, exaggerated overhangs help protect the transparent façade and provide continuous outdoor living space between interior and courtyard. Simple, well-crafted details are carefully edited so as not to compete with the texture and reflections of the true divided lite steel windows.
Courtyard House, Austin, Texas, by Tim Cuppett Architects
Photography by Whit Preston and Atelier Wong Photography
2014 Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Sam van Gurp has created a series of lamps representing different approaches to movement and dimming: Cumulus, which dims through layering; Eclipse, which keeps the light contained or sets it free; and Lunar which plays with reflection. “Do we understand what happens when we dim the lights? And to what extent could the dimming become part of the design? Exploded View shows that the key factor is to move the light source closer to the object or further away.” says van Gurp. Cumulus: light gets dimmed as caps slide over each other, each successive cap provides a different light intensity, pulled apart they resemble an exploded-view drawing.
Exploded View Lights, by Sam van Gurp
Hans J. Wegner (1914-2007) was one of the most prolific designers the world has ever seen. His furniture paved the way for the international breakthrough of Danish Design in the years after World War II. In 1949 he created the Round Chair, which the Americans dubbed “The Chair”: the ultimate chair design. Over his long career he created some 500 chairs. Wegner’s work always stems from the manual craft, and he personally created many of the prototypes in his workshop. His life was a constant quest to explore the logic and potentials of wood. In 2014, Designmuseum Danmark celebrates the 100th anniversary of Hans J. Wegner’s birth with the exhibition “Hans J. Wegner – just one good chair”.
Hans J. Wegner – Just One Good Chair, April 3 – December 7, 2014, Designmuseum Danmark, København K, Danmark
There will never be enough tribute to the immense talent of the French designer Pierre Paulin. This beautiful book of major works highlight the paradoxical and complex as well as the hair-raising concern for human creativity. Before becoming a cult designer Pierre Paulin (1927-2009) was a decorator located in the rue de Seine in Paris as attested by the stamp on the preparatory drawings of the chair Stuhl. An autodidact rebel, an unusual character, skinned alive, an outsider criticizing the caste of right-thinking design, he was primarily a pioneer and a visionary who experimented bold forms and new technologies coming out of the postwar boom. Mushroom (1959) Tranche d’orange (1959), Ribbon Chair (1966), Face à Face (1967), La Langue (1963) and Concorde (1966) … etc. Absolute icons, dressed in foam and stretched fabric, reveal a demanding formal economy and aesthetic quest. Innovative and anticipatory of these furniture collections, edited by Thonet France, Roche, Artifort, Herman Miller and now Roset, suggest sculptures that combine gesture and landscape, purification and pleasure, functionality and elegance. “I do not create. I design. I draw,” stated vehemently that prolific creator who refused dilution of design in art. In subliminal connivance with the times and its aspirations to happiness, the designer was able to shape a changing world where the body adopts new postures. “Creations by Pierre Paulin confront us as authoritative in their own right, achievements that demonstrate the power of a company and what it produces,” says author and art critic Nadine Down. Philippe Starck and the Bouroullec brothers admire a singularity that combines comfort and style. And judging by the many avatars inspired by his aesthetic, they are not the only ones to recognize the intelligent model of the hand and the mind.
Pierre Paulin. L’homme et l’œuvre, by Nadine Descendre, Published by Albin Michel, Language: French, EAN 9782226250575
Buy it here: Amazon