d+a Issue 102 (Preview)

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inehouse was commissioned by Canadian lifestyle brand Herschel Supply to develop a pop up structure for temporal retail experiences. Drawing from Herschel’s roots in Vancouver, Canada, an urban center surrounded by nature, Linehouse took the notion of the urban forest and the kind of residences found there. In doing so they reconsidered the alpine cabin for an urban context, creating a fragmented dwelling. Linehouse created a horizontally stacked timber structure; a void space fills the interior of the assembled wood, in the profile of a house allowing for visitors to pass through the volume. These timber profiles push and pull, at points of entry, drawing visitors into the space. The horizontal stacking is interlocked with vertical mirror columns. These are placed diagonally throughout the


volume. Translucent panels in the form of a half profile house are layered upon the columns, creating mechanisms of display and graphic applications on the interior. Upon approaching the structure, black metal frames and acrylic enclose the areas of display, containing twotone story panels. As one moves around the volume, their perspective of the structure shifts from wood to a colour gradient. One side of the timber profile is painted a colour, whilst the other sides remain wood. The colour changes upon each stacked element, in a gradient spanning from blue and green to yellow and orange. (www.linehousedesign.com) (www.herschel.com)

1. The Herschel Supply pop up travels across China as a mobile system for temporary retail 2. The dynamism of lines and colours are used in an imaginative way to create an outstanding design language

/ ABOUT LINEHOUSE / Linehouse is an architecture and interior design practice established in 2013 by Alex Mok (Chinese-Swedish) and Briar Hickling (from New Zealand). Operating as a platform to investigate the rituals of inhabitation and how these daily moments can be celebrated through design, transforming the mundane into performative acts, the studio is a collaboration of like-minded individuals from various backgrounds and cultures. In 2016, Linehouse was awarded twice at the A&D Trophy Awards in the retail and F&B categories, and named Judges’ Choice and winner in the shopping space category at the Asia Pacific Interior Design Awards (APIDA). Named Emerging Interior Practice of the Year by World Interior News in 2015, Linehouse has also been awarded at Restaurant and Bar Design Awards and Design for Asia (DFA) Awards.






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he Pure Talents Contest gets things moving: a clock that shows the time physically, a lamp that makes windows of light move across a wall or outdoor monster furniture that seems to be grazing on the lawn and whose purpose and function only become clear when you take a seat on it. Objects that seem to be alive, surfaces that shimmer like a beetle, fabrics draped in waves and carpets made of thick skeins of wool woven into a honeycomb structure – these are some of the entries that make up the 15th edition of the Pure Talents Contest at imm cologne 2018. They are joined by practical products that almost appear stoical in comparison – a table, table box and bench – intended for working at, packing things in and sitting on – and nothing more. The special exhibition showcases smart product concepts, offbeat ideas and solid craftsmanship in a tremendous diversity encompassing everything within the world of interior design, from ultra-simple furniture


and textile works to home accessories and lamps through to conceptual design. If there’s one thing young designers like doing, it’s turning the world upside down. And the competition for emerging talent at the international interiors show imm cologne is the ideal opportunity to see them do just that. The results presented in the form of prototypes are not only exciting and inspiring; they also look fantastic. And it’s not uncommon for them to be really useful, as demonstrated by the success stories of many former Pure Talents Contest entries, as designer Harry Paul van Ierssel (Studio Harry & Camila, Barcelona) affirms: “We have seen how projects exhibited in the Pure Talents Contest have subsequently been produced by well-known brand manufacturers. That has delighted me, because it shows that we have done a good job. And that’s what matters.” As a platform for young design, the Pure Talents exhibition format draws together imm cologne’s


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1. A collaboration between the designers Alejandra Perini, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lollano and Raúl Arribas de Miguel, the metal stool Cétoine is inspired by the beauty and diversity of the insect from which it takes its name, the rose chafer with its shimmering exoskeleton in multitude of colours 2. Originally used as a harvesting tool for sorting grain, Temi presents an ergonomic and mature form that the Japanese designer Hiroyuki Morita wanted to retain the shell as a seat perfectly adapted to match the human body 3. Designed by Chinese designer Xiang Guan, the table and chair in Symbiotic Objects are mere fragments – lovingly worked from metal, wood and leather – that only become complete when a person inserts him/herself between them as part of the furniture 4. Upcycling as a form of art, it was the material that inspired Hamburg textile designer Sophia Schulz to create her Honeycomb Carpets 5. Firmly strapped, Liga - teamwork by the French designer Matthieu Muller and Pierre-Alexandre Cesbron - is a series of metal storage furniture, comprising of a box, a bedside cabinet and a coffee table

activities in support of the next generation of international designers. Thanks to its unwavering focus on quality and great proximity to the industry, the contest has become one of the world’s most prestigious competitions for young designers. Sebastian Herkner, one of Germany’s most successful designers and a member of the jury again this year, was once one of those who used the contest as a career springboard. “imm cologne is the first trade fair of the year and more compact than Milan. This is a clear advantage for young talent,” says the designer from Offenbach, adding: “The competition is established in the industry, which, ultimately, is reflected in the number of products that have gone into production after being exhibited as part of the Pure Talents Contest.” In terms of entrants to the Pure Talents Contest, the field has rarely been as international as it is this year, featuring 671 designers from 53 countries. Many entries were submitted by students and young graduates from every major university, including the RCA London, Design Academy Eindhoven, LASALLE Singapore, ECAL, Aalto University, Konstfack Stockholm, Pratt Institute NY, ArtCenter Pasadena and many others. The number of submissions was higher than ever – but the standard has remained consistently high, as Sebastian Herkner stresses. Especially “the strong entries from Asia and particularly Japan will enrich the exhibition at imm cologne,” states the designer, welcoming the competition’s high level of internationality. Jury member and Berlin-based design journalist Sophie Lovell also finds this remarkable: “We are seeing a very broad international spectrum of entries, styles and working methods. It has become very interesting and less limited to a European design style,” says the native Londoner.


INTERACTION BETWEEN PEOPLE AND FURNITURE Do we actually need furniture, or is it furniture that needs us? This year it was striking how many young designers addressed the relationship between man and object: our era, the users themselves and almost forgotten craftsmanship – all this takes on a shape in this year’s winning entries for the Pure Talents Contest. There are carpets with an in-built patina effect that only acquire their pattern and final colours after traces of use and discolouration have left their mark, lamps that constantly change their (light) shape in response to the user’s adjustments, and furniture that only becomes furniture when spontaneously joined together. Classic and virtually production-ready design solutions such as the adjustable sixty° angled connectors for light modules, which form their own structural framework, stand alongside less realistic, conceptual design objects such as a loose combination of the rudimentary elements table, chair and lamp that only become a fragile unit with the arrival of a user. “The range of entries is astonishing. One focuses on materials, the other on concept or on industrial functionality”, cites jury member and designer Rianne Makkink from the Rotterdam-based Studio Makkink & Bey, sounding impressed. “I find it exciting when things don’t immediately disclose what they are. If products have a double meaning, they force you to think.” (www.imm-cologne.com) (www.global-competence.net/interiors/)






ulgari celebrates the art of wonder with its New Curiosity Shop, the temple of creativity that opened its doors on 7th December 2017, next to the historic store at No. 10 Via Condotti, a new token of the Roman’s Maison affection for its city. A futuristic version of its forerunner, the Old Curiosity Shop that was inaugurated in 1905, this new space, through a total immersion in Bulgari’s creativity, is an expression of the curiosity for extraordinary objects and the hunt for wonders that have always fed the brand’s imagination and appeal. In a playful game of opposites, materials, extravagant objects and elements of interior design from the past are mirrored in their contemporary alter egos. These are beautifully harmonized with unique, personalised and exclusive Bulgari creations. A step into the magical world of curiosity brings you into the quintessential Italian vivacity and the art of living from the heart of Rome: bold style, exuberance and a touch of madness all take shape in the contagious originality of a place offering much to discover. Bulgari’s style proves that opposites lead to perfection. Pairing unusual materials, clashing colours and the convergence of past and present create the harmony of juxtapositions. Similar duality defines the concept of the store, merging the world of the Maison’s traditions with a more visionary one. An imaginary line separates the rooms in warm tones, previous woods, enveloping velvets, retro-style finishing on one side, and minimalistic lines, ethereal marbles, bright nuances and ultra-white leather on the other. The surreal world of creativity suddenly bumps into the real world of space; and everything becomes different from its appearance. The ancient now celebrates the modern, and the colourless now becomes vibrant. The central counter mimics a traditional table in its shape and materials, but when seen from above, it turns into an interactive screen where the customer can enjoy browsing through the collections. The walls also hide precious secrets; the many drawings are an invitation to discover new creations, with one’s curiosity one’s only guide. Ad in all Bulgari shops, beauty is celebrated in all its forms, with made-to-measure interior design pieces, such as the splendid chandelier by Venini that defines the space with its luminious light.

1. In its interior space, the elements shimmer in glorious majesty and an elegant charm 2. The New Curiosity Shop presents an array of the finest and more precious collection of creations by the famous decorative house, Maison Fornasetti 3. The original ‘Curiosity Shop’ 4. Standing from the entrance, the internal spaces are celebrated in high grandeur


3 Every detail is designed for interaction with visitors, offering an experience in which the only rule is to allow oneself to be guided by pure imagination. Even before walking into the threshold of the shop, curiosity challenges one to put oneself into play and peep through a spyhole of the window to satiate the tinkling feeling of curiosity. The innovative concept of the shop is inspired by the universe of the cabinet of curiosities, a concept that was born in northern Europe in the late Renaissance before being adopted by the Sicilian and Tuscan nobility in which people exhibited collectable objects from the world of science or nature. Like an art exhibition, the New Curiosity Shop will periodically change its appearances to address new themes. The first will be the world of Mirabilia (the wonderful and surprising man-made creations), and the time when man began to question the nature of the universe. Bulgari’s cabinet of curiosities will also regularly exhibit design objects that are curiosities including a collection of creations by the


4 famous decorative house, Maison Fornasetti comprising a wooden hand-lacquered sideboard, a collection of four mirrors, and a trilogy of gold and china plates with an astronomical theme all decorated and handcrafted. Piero Fornasetti was one of the most original and novel talents of the 20th Century, capable of surprising his audience with idiosyncrasies and a touch of madness – famous throughout the world for his endless imagination that reaches beyond all borders and conventions. Only in Rome, Bulgari piques your curiosity with its new glimmering space, glinting from afar with its historical charm redefined at the New Curiosity Shop. (www.bulgari.com)


PURSUIT OF ELEGANCE aste ull desi ned, t is s at in en u r es t at all t at litters is definitel n t ld as it shines brightly in chic sophistication. WORDS JADE ANG / PHOTOGRAPHY FAN LIFE


legance and class are coveted by many and often perceived to only attainable by a handful of elites; those who have that mindset are probably mixing it up with luxury and lavishness. With some smart designing, the right pieces and a play on colours, sophistication can be achieved without extravagance as seen in this show flat project. As one of the top rising decoration design companies in Shenzhen, Fan Life specialises in interior decorative design, providing furnishing art design to both residential and commercial clients.

Spanning over 2,300 square feet, this four-bedroom flat is located in Zhengzhou city, Henan Province, China. Breaking away from the mundane single theme for the entire home, FAN Life steers clear of the common colour palette associated with luxury; instead, they went with a solid blue ink and low-key gold as the overall tone, which resulted in a chic and soothing atmosphere. While it is easy to be archetypal with design ideas, the true essence of what is perceived as quintessential oriental is pushed to the next level. As the core belief and free spirit of Wei and Jin dynasty is filtered into the modern spaces, the notion of



1. A pared down modern interpretation of the chandelier holds just as much grandeur without being over the top 2. In a relaxed composition, the sideboard completes this corner in a pictureperfect setting 3. The simplistic monochromatic pillow creates a beautiful contrast with the retro leather armchair





4. In a circular typology, the dining space symbolises harmony and warmth within the home 5. Featuring neutral hues, the painting in the dining area catches your eye just enough to notice it but not stealing the limelight from the rest of the room


staying true to domestic roots becomes eminent. There is a kind of beauty this is woven in the solemnity of these reinterpreted spaces. The approach embodies the rich history of the place whilst being interpreted in a modern and sophisticated way – preserving a strong Asian sensibility as far as design goes.


A CLASS OF ITS OWN Natural light streams into the house, automatically making the space appear light, bright and airy; as if welcoming you in with open arms. Upon entering the hallway, a glass partition provides a little more privacy for the dining area whilst still allowing light to flow through to the entrance. Sitting pretty atop a chest of drawers with gold accents, the mix of décor items come together beautifully as the seemingly mismatched assemblage of random pieces find common ground in a single theme; nature. Past the main entryway, the house opens up into the dining and living spaces that are both flanked with floor to ceiling windows on each side. The living


room is a quiet study in tones of white, beige and grey. The absence of colour works wonderfully as a carte blanche for a few statement pieces to take centerstage. In the middle of the room, a marble console table is both aesthetically pleasing and functional as it works well to divide the living room from the study right behind it. Anchored by the dark wood table, the rest of the surrounding continues in muted tones similar to its adjacent space. Over at another end, we are immediately drawn to the glass chandelier hanging majestically above the dining table. Despite being often perceived to be an epitome of grandeur, this chandelier is a pared down version that exudes a touch of luxe while still being modest; the perfect cherry to top of the dining table surrounded by an exquisite set of wooden wingback chairs. Across the dining area, a painting captivates as it hangs surreptitiously - catching the eye just enough to notice it but not stealing the limelight from anything else.

Chelsea Lin, Founder & Designer, FAN Life

“Each work is unique, each space has its life, and each design is the epitome of the present moment,”



OF PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE Within one of Kuala Lumpur’s most tranquil enclaves, the Annexe house extension reconciles its modernity and the past by embracing the power of family. WORDS NIZAR MUSA / PHOTOGRAPHY ADELA ASKANDAR & SHAMIN SAHRUM




riving into Damansara Heights is like putting on a pair of noise-cancelling headphones; one minute, you’re surrounded by the endless cacophony of Kuala Lumpur traffic, the next, total silence. It’s an impressive feat of escapism considering the area’s proximity to the city. As I take a winding road past homes from various eras, it’s evident that residents here continue to enjoy their relative peace and calm. Even the trees, branches and vines grey with age, contrive towards seclusion and solitude, obscuring entire houses like the ones lining the cul-de-sac I’ve turned into. Among these homes, is Jelutong House. The familiar sight of a late-sixties and early-seventies Malaysian bungalow greets me, with its trademark sloping car porch, white stucco walls, red brickwork and black-painted grilles. Something else projects out from this old residence, and it’s very twenty-first century. And as far as extensions go, rarely have I seen one that fits in with the original quite like this. I make the short trek up the inclined driveway to meet the owner and her intriguing abode.

EARTHLY TIES I step into a generous living area-cum-hall that I imagine must’ve hosted quite a few parties in its day, suggested in part by the classic green-leather-upholstered bar counter near the main entrance. And while parts of this interior have seen a modest upgrade, certain elements like the vertical timber wall panelling and white terrazzo flooring, continue to speak of their time. In fact, it’s hard to believe the area being anything other than an old KL suburb, yet according to Datin Valerie Yong, the home owner, Damansara Heights was once just a rubber estate on a hill. “The whole place wasn’t even developed,” she tells me, recollecting a time when she and her late husband had acquired the land with the help of his employer. “Of course, we had no money to build a house. So, we sold the land to a contractor, and bought a linked house instead.” The Yongs’ relationship with the property would persist over the years. Having built the original house, which incidentally won a PAM House Award in 1970, the contractor then sold it to a family of doctors, who so happened to be acquainted with the Yongs.


1. The Jelutong House scratches on the importance of family values through an integrated design scheme


the two-storey Annexe is compact in its 10m x 4.5m footprint, and is connected to the main house on both levels. To me, it resembles a studio apartment, a sentiment Shamin shares, but it’s far from being a tiny home. Generous floor-to-ceiling heights, offered by an unadorned concrete soffit below and a soaring flying roof above, make spaces seem considerably larger. Coupled with folding doors that open out to lawn and patio, and windows with panoramic views, all of which almost full height, you instantly have a home that offers more than those three or four times the size. Even when you’re climbing the Annexe’s piece de resistance, a staircase of perforated metal treads arrayed around a tubular core, you’re constantly connected to the outside world – well, as connected as your vision can take you before those huge trees get in the way

“In 1973, they wanted to migrate to Australia,” Datin recalls, “and when we bumped into each other at a party, they asked my husband, would you like to buy back your land? So, we did. It’s so funny, we were destined to live here.” Since 1975, the house has put a roof over three generations of Yongs. The vicissitudes of life, however, would prompt its first major transformation in fortyfive years. HOME WITHIN A HOME “When my daughter, Beverly decided to come here and look after me, they didn’t want to just move in. They wanted their own privacy, their own wing,” recalls the Datin. With that direction agreed upon, Beverly, who is an art consultant, got in touch with renowned local practice, Studio Bikin, and the project began in earnest. “It’s a self-contained unit, it even has its own kitchen,” explains Shamin Sahrum, the assistant architect of Studio Bikin who oversaw construction. Built on the existing patio and garden,

STITCHING OLD AND NEW Designing an extension for an old house isn’t as straightforward as you might think. There are always choices to be made,


2. There is a touch of ‘brutalism’ in the structure with deliberate exposure of raw concrete finish 3. Looking at the dining space, the composition is calm and collection; much like the entire structure itself 4. Unique juxtaposition seen at the staircase area







1. The different layers of the old and new are seen clearly from the facade: a new white skin over a steel frame that sits on the original brick architecture 2. The signages were specially designed to create a contemporary feel from the start of the garage experience


ROUGH AND REFINED How can design elevate the impression of commonplace automobile workshops? The Garage by Neri&Hu Desi n and Resear e d es t is it a a architectural tricks to create a spatial show of layering, movement and industrial tactility. WORDS LUO JINGMEI / PHOTOGRAPHY PEDRO PEGENAUTE & XIA ZHI

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arages are typically places that don’t warrant special design care. Grit, grease and mess come part and parcel of working with automobiles. The function is straightforward; there is no need

to attract. A new project by Shanghai-based Neri&Hu Design and Research Office contests that notion. Beijing B+ Automobile Service Center, dubbed ‘The Garage’, is a 2680-square-metre automobile-repair workshop that has undergone renovation to become a


distinctive, handsome space incorporating offices, meeting rooms, a VIP gallery and a café on top of the usual workshop amenities. The Garage is located in a decommissioned missile factory in Beijing, which is part of a complex of missile factory buildings built in 1991 in a largely residential neighbourhood. The owners, who operate several automobile workshops around the city, intended to expand their business with this new building. “As a second-generation family business, the client wanted to breathe new life into a typology


3. The workshop looks out to the suburban neighbourhood through regular window cut outs 4. The workshop space spans three storeys of the entire building

that is considered a bit gritty, not typically a ‘nice’ place to be. At the same time, as he expanded his business, he required more office space and wanted to add a café and gallery, which would bring a different clientele,” shares the architecture firm’s co-founder and architect Lyndon Neri. The existing building had much merit, and was largely preserved. Three out of its four walls remained untouched. The architect painted the concrete and brick structure in shades of black and grey “to emphasise the textural quality of the old materials.” Windows were framed with a thin, black metal frame and mirror film pasted on the glass to draw in reflections from the surrounding – the intention to provide “textural intrigue to the mostly monochromatic base”. PRAGMATIC APPROACH Space for new programs and functions were accommodated for with a new third storey over the existing shell, held up by a steel frame structure. The new skin painted in white wraps around, its clean,


bright colour contrasting with the dark tones of the existing shell. “The new building expansion is rendered conversely in white only – an expression of pure volume and shadow – with a row of punched windows, deeply recessed, so you have this interplay between the matte and rough textures of the existing, and the precision and shine of the new additions,” elaborates Neri. Even before entering the complex, the façade hints at the workshop’s new contemporary identity. The new skin is marked by a regular, angular rhythm of windows, layered over that of the old building’s openings. Raw steel-edged glass garage doors at each end of the vehicular entries are marked with cleancut graphics and signage that draw on the bold and straightforward graphics of road signs, which subtly reference the function within. While the main signage is clear and direct, a second layer of signage augments the functional with the reflective. Meant to be slowly discovered,


quotes are silkscreen-printed throughout the lounge and waiting area for customers to ruminate and take pause. For Neri&Hu, words are like a material, triggering the cerebral capacities to evoke emotions and thoughts, lending the building a ‘voice’ and conjuring silent conversations with the users. CONSIDERED PERSPECTIVES The building has a long plan, with entrances at both ends. The more public functions, including the VIP gallery and cafe, are housed at the east end, with a car lift at the back that cuts through all three storeys. Customers enter the café end to encounter the reception and consultation area, which are adjoined to the café. Concrete elements extending from the ground, from exterior to interior, form benches and low walls that support custom-designed furniture pieces. This architectural landscape blurs the boundary between structure and furniture, its low-lying nature encouraging casual interaction between customers and the space.




TERRESTRIAL REFLECTION The new teaching blocks of the Miguel Hernรกndez University capture the essence of its surrounding terrains in sophisticated fashion. WORDS MARTIN TEO / PHOTOGRAPHY ALEJANDRO Gร MEZ VIVES


1. In response to the land folds, the building is designed with a uniformed linearity for cohesion


he plane terrains unfold in multiple tones of brown. Ranging from dark taupe to dusty sand, the dunes provide rich nutrients for thriving succulents, palm trees and foliage in the surrounds. Backed by the undulating mountainous territories, the Miguel Hernández University breaks the organic curvatures with its uniformed architecture. From a birds’ eye perspective, the building sticks out almost intimidatingly. Apart from being the only building that boasts a minimalistic archetype, the university introduces a new code of aesthetic to the otherwise, barren land. The construction of the new teaching block “Arenals” responds to the demand for educational spaces required by the Miguel Hernández University Campus of Elche. The design manifesto explains a utilitarian space that caters to the expansion of the building programme. This multipurpose building stretches over 8,761 m2 with an extensive layout that spreads over three floors. On the ground floor, concentrated spaces for more public and communal use are plotted. These include the cafeteria, auditorium, computer labs and multiuse rooms. The teaching rooms with nine large classrooms that accommodate up to 220 people are placed on the first floor. All the classrooms have a prefabricated staggered system for the arrangement of the tables. Moving to the second floor, the teaching laboratories are positioned to capture the massive height and spatial values. The initial building planning unveils a dimension of 90m x 40m. This dimension may seem rigid and causes the structure to look too bulky. “We try not to generate a very heavy volume with the structure. In our design, we keep the building ‘lightweight’ to create a more




2. Taking on a contrasting look from its surroundings, the building features materiality that integrates collectively with the external spaces

welcoming and less intimidating colossal structure,” explains the team of architects from GRUPOTEC Engineering Services. Unanimously, the decision to raise the closed volume of the first and second floor over a free and recessed ground floor becomes important. The structural intervention gives an immediate feeling of ‘floating’ as the building comes forth expressively amidst the sand dunes. ILLUSIVE EXPRESSION On ground level, the lower floor appears seemingly invisible with its reflective surface in dark tinted glass panels. Ribboning across all four sides, the reflection of the surrounding landscape creates an immersive experience as one walk into the building.


Approaching the upper levels, the external cladding displays a melodious repetition of lines that creates a harmonious yet controlled texture on the building. The enclosure is formed using prefabricated GRC panels, Stud-frame type in ribbed finish. Homogenous colour is chosen for the facade and pigmented in mass with projected polyurethane and galvanized steel tube framework. The architects mention: “The materiality of the building integrates with the outer space. We choose a prefabricated system of lightweight concrete façade, GRC Stud-frame for better sustainability and structural balance.” And obviously, the colours and textures of the exterior framework are drawn from the land where the building is settled.








LIBERAL ARTS MVRDV en isi ned a n led e filled li in r m in its i n e t desi n r ian in in ai i rar , ina WORDS REBECCA LO / PHOTOGRAPHY OSSIP VAN DUIVENBODE IMAGES COURTESY OF MVRDV



1. The exterior side of Tianjin Binhai Library faces an open square while its opposite side backs onto the district's new cultural corridor 2. Illuminated from within, the white spherical auditorium dominates the central lobby of the library



s development in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou reach saturation, the spotlight shifts to the China’s second and third tier cities. One of these is Tianjin: the northern Chinese coastal metropolis is now the country's fourth largest in terms of population. Recent construction has been centred on Binhai to the east of Tianjin’s historic core, and the district is getting a starchitect treatment worthy of the city’s prosperous legacy as a major 19th century treaty port. MVRDV originally participated in Binhai’s master planning competition. Though German architect GMP’s 120,000 square metre solution eventually was selected, MVRDV was directly appointed to design the library. It is one of five cultural buildings that comprise

the core of the master plan; the others are by some of the world’s leading names, including Bernard Tschumi Architects and Bing Thom Architects. “It was a fast track project,” acknowledges María López Calleja, MVRDV’s project leader assigned to the library. “Our client, the cultural department of the Tianjin municipal government, was really involved. It had its own contracting firm, Tianjin Architecture Design Institute (TADI), who worked with us on the project. TADI recommended Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute (TUPDI), and TUPDI became our co-architect.” In contrary to recent digital publishing trends, the printed word is alive and well—even flourishing— in greater China. New libraries and bookshops are springing up all over the country, and many of them






3. The auditorium is capped by the 'eye' - a skylight that funnels daylight directly downwards to wash the space 4. Terraced platforms morph into bookcases, allowing browsers to lean, sit or access their favourite volumes as they wish

have morphed into destinations where people can browse, shop, socialise and spend quality time in pursuit of knowledge. As the second completed project by MVRDV in Tianjin, the Rotterdam based architecture firm was no stranger to Chinese tastes and inclinations. It proceeded with an ambitious design for the 33,700 square metre project, investing the central space with a curvilinear aesthetic that looked directly into the future.


WORLD CLASS SITE “The site is situated within the cultural corridor on its quieter back side,” explains López Calleja. “It is accessible from the city centre and also accessible to green public spaces. Although the park next to it is hilly, that did not influence our design solution as our site was flat. Our brief was to design a new library for a world class area. We had to make spaces flexible enough to adapt to future uses.”













CUTTING THE CHASE Tim Rundle is an industrial designer. Born, raised and trained in New Zealand, the calm and collected designer is currently in London where he designs furniture, lighting and other living home-stuff for various brands including SP01. If you think you know what he does – visible work and unsurprising array of product-related projects – think twice! INTERVIEW MARTIN TEO / IMAGES SP01 / PORTRAITS JESSICA MACCORMICK


“People know less about the other work that goes on in the studio, which is strategic consultancy for brands with a focused on innovation and technology, and doesn’t always result in a product, but maybe a new approach or way of working.” People may not be asking enough of Tim Rundle when it comes to his design approach and philosophies. Apart from his apparent collection of furniture pieces for SP01, d+a speaks to him about everything else from people, disruptive technology and market trends. FROM STUDYING IN NEW ZEALAND TO WORKING ACROSS DIFFERENT FIELDS IN LONDON, WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT SO FAR FROM THESE DIVERSE EXPERIENCES? I think what I learned at Design school in New Zealand was critical to my career, though what I learned outside was just as important. Some of the jobs I had while studying (from working on building sites to making espresso) taught me a lot about hard work, and to be craftsman-like in your approach to every thing you do, no matter how small, which has been just as important as what I learned in formal training. I’ve also been fortunate to work for some incredible people in a very broad spectrum of product design, which has given me great perspective. DNA OF TIM RUNDLE STUDIO? The DNA is quite linked to my experience as a designer. There’s a real fascination and deep understanding of materials and manufacturing processes, and I prefer projects where we are deeply involved throughout the whole development process. Aside from this, we approach our design work in a way that considers it in an architectural context, seeking to create products that can stand alone, but still contribute positively to a space as a whole, rather then shouting for attention. WOULD YOU SAY YOUR PERSONAL STYLE REFLECTS THE WAY YOU WORK AND IMPACTS YOUR DESIGN APPROACH? If you mean by ‘personal style’, the choices I make day to day, then yes I guess they do. I don’t tend to separate the way I think about a project from they way I approach most things. I’d like to think the products I design are simple and familiar, but created with the utmost care, attention and quality ingredients. I’m not particularly interested in fashion as such, but have a bit of an obsession for really well made classic staples.


YOU’VE WORKED ON THE INTRODUCTORY COLLECTION OF THE SP01 AND THE COLLECTION HAS MADE A POSITIVE IMPACT IN THE INDUSTRY. TELL US MORE ABOUT THE STORY BEHIND SP01. SP01 are without a doubt one of the most exciting new design brands, so it has been a real honour to work with them so early on. They have a truly global outlook, while staying true to their Australian roots, and are uncompromising on quality and creativity. The have close ties to Space Furniture who have been instrumental in bringing European design to Asia and Australasia, and now it feels like they are making that conversation two-way. WITH SP01, WHAT IS IT THAT MAKES THIS RANGE UNIQUE? This collection is just as suitable for the home as it is for commercial environments. The pieces are comfortable, but also highly durable. We looked at the amount of space available in contemporary interiors and designed each piece to work with this. The Shu-Ying for example is a generous lounge chair, but in a compact footprint. CAN YOU REVEAL TO US THE VERY FIRST PIECE OF FURNITURE THAT YOU’VE ACTUALLY DESIGNED IN THE SP01 COLLECTION? Some elements of the Mohana tables had existed as sketches before I began working with SP01, and when the brief came through, it was like they’d found their natural home. I had been playing around with compositions of contrasting materials in a kind of fixed ‘nesting table’ arrangement, and it all came together with the SP01 collection. WHAT ABOUT THE COLOURS THAT YOU’VE USED IN THE RANGE? The colours you see in the photography are actually the work of Matt Lorain, the Creative Director of SP01. When the collection was being put together we discussed a number of influences, from the Art Deco Architecture of Sydney, to Post-war Italy. Actually whenever Matt and I met during the development, we were in Italy, which is not far from Venice; so maybe that has had some influence.


DO YOU HAVE ANY PET PEEVES AND MUST-HAVES IN THE MORNING? Haha, I have so many pet peeves, the list would be too long! I have just as many unusual habits and must haves though (and a coffee, or three, to start the day is probably the most normal).

In terms of a designer I admire, I would have to say Jasper Morrison, in the way that he seeks to quietly and pragmatically improve the manufactured environment, rather than trying to reinvent everything for the sake of novelty. Most importantly though, my wife Lauren, who is also a designer, can be my biggest fan or my harshest critic, whichever I need most at the time.

WE BELIEVE THAT THE SUCCESS OF A FURNITURE BRAND LIES WITHIN THE UNIVERSAL CODE OF AESTHETICS THAT APPEALS TO THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY. CAN YOU SHARE WITH US THE AESTHETICS THAT YOU’RE OFFERING TO THE MARKET IN ASIA WITH SP01? The collection for SP01 is global to the core. I’m a New Zealander based in London working for clients from Oceania to Denmark. SP01 is an Australian brand that manufactures in Italy and sells in New York and Singapore. It’s a collection of furniture that could almost be a reflection of a new international style. When designing it, we considered it every context, from a Singapore Penthouse apartment to a Georgian terrace in London.

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN YOUR INDUSTRY TODAY? I think these days, designers, especially in the world of furniture, have to fulfil so many more roles. We get involved much more deeply in not only the product development, and in the marketing of the things we design. Speaking publicly about your work is just as important as being able to draw well, or having a sense of proportion, for example.

WHO WOULD YOU CONSIDER THE PERSON WHO HAS HAD THE BIGGEST IMPACT IN YOUR LIFE AND CAREER? Obviously working for Tom Dixon was a formative period in my career, and was incredibly eye opening in terms of the ways a designer could apply their creativity across so many different fields.

DO YOU FEEL THE IMPORTANCE FOR DESIGNERS TO EXPAND THEIR FIELD OF WORK ACROSS VARIOUS DISCIPLINARIES? Actually, I don’t think designers need to be so eager to be multidisciplinary. If it makes sense and comes naturally, then great, but I think there’s a lot of value in having an incredibly deep expertise in one particular field. I do think however that it’d be important to have a good understanding and empathy for the other disciplines that relate to your work. When designing lighting, for example, you need to think about it from the architects’ point of view. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN TODAY’S DESIGN-DRIVEN COMMUNITY? I’m not great at social media; I have just one Instagram account that is both professional and private; and not too curated. I think it’s nice for people to get a genuine insight into the design process of a studio, as well as the things that interest them on a personal level. You’re as likely to see what craft beer we’re drinking on a Friday evening in the studio, as you are likely to see a sneak preview of a new project. I do believe we need to be wary of the demand social media has created for a constant stream of new content and the way that it can dilute real quality, but on a positive note, it has made it easier for young agile brands, like SP01, to get their message out to wide audience. IF YOU’RE GIVEN A DAY-OFF FROM ANY DESIGNING OR CREATIVE STUFF, WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD BE DOING OR WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU’D GO? (laughs) There haven’t been many of those days lately. I enjoy photography, but maybe that doesn’t count, as it’s creative as well. I’d probably be getting out of the city to somewhere with a lot of space, not many people, and a view of the sea if possible. WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST ADVICE SOMEONE HAS GIVEN TO YOU? ‘Measure twice, cut once’. I think this can apply to industrial design, as your work will be produced in quantities, so it had better be just right!



DEFINITIVE POWER OF BEING CREATIVE He is a strong believer that you cannot make people do everything. Rawlings knows that he is good at creative things and in an organisation where he can just be creative, is desi n isi n and aest eti s uris throughout the years. Twenty years and counting, the amiable creative director continues to roll out amazing interior spaces, with recent ones in the Asian region. We speak to him about his career and the legacy of David Collins Studio, in remembrance of its late founder, David Collins. INTERVIEW MARTIN TEO / IMAGES DAVID COLLINS STUDIO




Tetusa Oasia Thermal Resort is an extensive wellness and medical facility sited within a low-rise housing area in the coastal town of Cesme, Turkey. A simple glance at site-related urban regulations reveals that there is not nearly enough ground area available for the complex’s numerous programmes to be placed above the surface. A special design feature organises the entire programme in circular building blocks; each wrapped around an inner atrium and deepened in order to allow sunlight to reach the underground levels. Similar principle is applied to the semicircular units on the perimeter of the site where the surrounding terrain is used to obscure view of the levels thus gained. The entire complex is unified by a common visual expression. Breaking the uniformity of the heights relative to the ground levels, diverse views from the atria towards the surroundings are created; contributing to the instantly recognisable shapes. Atria and half-atria define the exterior spaces, forming a cluster of oases with different programmes. While the undulating roofs that follow the hilly terrain help to de-emphasise the presence of the complex in the surrounding area; with similar key distinguishing features. The winner of Architizer A+ Awards for Unbuilt Hospitality is currently a work in progress – a development of social, organisational and design algorithms that derive from the environment. (www.enota.si)


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