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87 LEONARD GRADE NEW YORK PALLET HOUSE SELIN MANER ARCHITECTS 10 HUBERT STREET ODA NEW YORK THE EDISON BLU WATER STUDIO MOMENT FACTORY MU ARCHITECTURE TEA HOUSE IN HUTONG ARCH STUDIO

THE SPIRIT OF PLACE

CHEONG FATT TZE MANSION


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in two tones Titled ‘Shadowboxing’, the composition of this beautifully structured colour walls replicates fundamental shapes in the purest form. www.thismintymoment.com

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ZAHA HADID StePS INTO MELBOUrne Images Tourism Victoria

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ne of Zaha Hadid’s final works will make its presence felt in Melbourne, Australia. Hadid’s creation is set to come to life as Zaha Hadid Architects’ $300-million tower has been approved by the Victorian government and declared Melbourne’s first “destination tower”. It will be called 600 Collins Street. The 54-storey tower building was one of the last designed by Hadid, the world’s most renowned female architect, before her untimely demise last year at the age of 65. It is the first Melbourne project by 2004 Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Hadid and will be one of the first completed Australian projects by the architecture firm. The mixed use building that comprises 420 apartments, offices, retail and public spaces, is located on the western boundary of Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD), at the nexus between Collin Street and Docklands. The tower breaks down the building’s overall volume into a series of smaller stacked ‘vases’, creating a coherent relationship between the tower, podium and surrounding streetscapes. The ‘vases’ gently tapers inwards to offer communal space at its base and improves the flow of pedestrian

traffic and increases connectivity with existing transport infrastructure. This configuration includes the adjacent Southern Cross railway station and existing tram network that runs parallel to the site. The tower will also have 350 bicycle parking spaces and bays for electric vehicles and shared car clubs. A delicate filigree envelopes the building and is designed to use 50 percent less energy than a conventional mixed-used tower. High performance glazing system, high efficiency central cooling, high efficiency lighting and grey-water reuse systems will be incorporated to further reduce consumption of resources and lower emissions. The solid elements of 600 Collins Street embody the traditions inherent within the finest examples of historic architecture in Melbourne’s CBD, yet reinterpret them in a contemporary solution that is driven by the building’s structural integrity and the logical division of its overall volume. The project hopes to add to the Melbourne skyline and become a new iconic symbol for the world’s most liveable city, while etching a legendary mark of the one and only, Zaha Hadid. (www.visitmelbourne.com)

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REVITALISING PUSHKINSKY INTERNATIONAL CINEMA HALL Images Pablo Osorio

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os Angeles based design studio, MetropolitanmomentuM won Silver Prize and Bronze Prize in the categories of Architectural Design/Misc. and Heritage Architecture respestively for Pushkinsky International Cinema Hall at Moscow – Revitalization. The project consists of the restoration of Pushkinsky International Cinema, the addition of two exterior glass towers, an interactive hub glass structure and a public recreational zone adjacent to Passion/Pushkin Plaza. The existing building is an architectural gem in the city of Moscow that suffered years of neglect. The new addition and its architectural elements attempt to recognise Pushkinsky cinema’s great history while also paving its path towards its future in the city of Moscow. The new building program is housed within two glass towers. The glass towers offer retail at its ground level, and concession stands and a bookstore on its second level. They become new façade elements that showcase the cinema’s restored splendor without covering the existing building from the public view. The glass towers work as special mediators between public and private areas. They invite the public in to enjoy the theater and experience the city. The new public areas outside the cinema consist of public art, a skating rink, a small amphitheater, and an

MIRROR EFFECT Images singapore art museum

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umankind has always devised ways of seeing beyond sight. Two such instruments are the map and the mirror, which make visible more than just physical terrains. While the atlas – a book of maps – locates where we are and charts where we want to go, the mirror shows us to ourselves, sometimes unreliably, and in curious ways. Through an exploration of the literal and metaphorical characteristics of atlas and mirror, An Atlas of Mirrors reveals artistic perspectives that arise from our migratory, intertwining histories and cultures, particularly in Southeast, East and South Asia. Tokyo-based Harumi Yukutake, who is a celebrated artist (having exhibited in numerous international exhibitions and public shows), makes use of the reflective quality of mirrors to transform existing spaces, walls, floors and stand-alone structures, as well as to create installations both indoors and outdoors. For this installation, she uses glass mirrors because of their highly reflective qualities. The mirrors – cut into random cellular shapes of 15-30cm in diameter – call to mind her other mirror installations, such as Restructure, 2006, which uses mirrors of the same shape but in different sizes. In realising the installation, sponge tapes – adhesive tapes specially manufactured for architectural mirror applications on uneven surfaces – were meticulously applied to the concave wall. Each piece was precisely placed by the artist to create a surreal installation that inspires imagination. The main title of the Biennale is woven through nine ‘conceptual zones’ in particular curatorial contexts. Artworks located within each zone resonate on many levels, and at the same time, all nine zones coincide, intertwine and reflect each other along the conceptual continuum of ‘An Atlas of Mirrors’ as a whole. Each zone represents concepts, ideas and ways of seeing as explored in the 58 artworks and projects. (www.singaporeartmuseum.sg)

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interactive hub structure/information center. In addition, the project proposes improvements to its adjacent streets. Existing lanes are reconfigured in a new way. Therefore, Tverskoy Boulevard has newly dedicated bicycle lanes running along a green median strip. The bicycle lanes and the green median strip are sandwiched between car lanes and public transportation lanes. This new green core beautifies the street and ensures the bicyclists safety. The project provides recreational areas adjacent to its plaza, and a buffer zone in the form of glass towers mediate between the building’s private areas and its surrounding public parks. In addition, Passion/Pushkin Plaza connects directly with an ongoing local project led by the government of Moscow. It is called “My Street” and it aims to create 50 kilometers of new pedestrian zones along Tverskaya Street. In sum, the Pushkinsky International Cinema Hall at Moscow - Revitalization project is a comprehensive design that considers the improvement of the existing building, its public pedestrian areas and its adjacent transportation corridors. The project echoes MetropolitanmomentuM’s aim to help revitalise and improve the quality of life of people in cities and key urban areas through the power of architecture. (www.metropolitanmomentum.xyz)


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ST JAMES’S MARKET Images Make Architects

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ounded in 2004, Make Architects is an awardwinning international architectural practice that is passionately committed to designing schemes, which minimise environmental impact and optimise energy efficiency. The team believes that architects have an urgent duty to mitigate the effects of climate change by designing buildings, which work harder and perform better. One of their latest design schemes for their client, The Crown Estate, proves to be a force to be reckoned with. Innovative and state-of-the-art, the combination of contemporary design and adaptive sensibility recreates a new legacy for centuries to come. “St James’s Market is the most exciting scheme that we

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have ever undertaken in the West End,” cites Matthew Giles, Head of Development for The Crown Estate, an independent commercial business created by an Act of Parliament. The Crown Estate believes that everything they invest in and manage are sustainably worked, developed and enjoyed to deliver the best value over the long term. As part of a decade-long programme to revitalise St James’s Market, an upmarket district defined by high fashion stores, flagship galleries and cutting edge fining outlets, Make Architects will be redeveloping two key blocks in the heart of London’s West End, delivering offices, retail and a new public square directly south of


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Regent Street are undergoing extensive repairs, and the interior and rear are being sensitively reconstructed. On top of that, the design team will also be adding an elegant office and retail building that respectfully echoes the quality, scale and materiality of nearby structures. Four back-streets on the eastern fringe of St James’s Market will be pedestrianised to improve connectivity and solidify the site’s relationship with its wider urban context – one of the many ways our holistic design integrates the new and existing buildings with the public realm.

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Piccadilly Circus – an area that became isolated following the construction of Regent Street in the 1820s. The core aim is to restore the site to its former glory, and celebrate its historic identity with a vibrant new destination defined by firstrate public realm and world-class architecture. “It was important that we remained respectful of the site’s unique history, so we collaborated closely with Historic England, the St James’s Conservation Trust, the Westminster Society and Westminster City Council to ensure our design preserved its character and quality,” cites the architects. The two Grade II-listed facades on

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THE PALLET HOUSE location Site Area Building Area Gross Floor Area (GFA) Completion Architect Lead Architect Contractor Landscape Landscape Architect

Cesme, Turkey 15,750 m2 160 m2 120 m2 2011 Selin Maner Architects Selin Maner Selin Maner Architects (with 4 carpenters) Vourla Peyzaj Mimarlik Özge Kıran Sentürk

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the HONEST HOME The Pallet House is a uniformed space that combines the beauty of up-cycling, carpenter’s artistry and creative ideas. Words Martin Teo / Photography Nina Choi

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1. Rusticity is the theme of the dining space that is punctuated with a dramatic expression of shadow and light. 2. The entrance opens majestically to the natural surrounding of beautiful lush steppes. 3. The artistic expression of the house accentuates the beautiful artistry of the carpenters.

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here are 400 shipping pallets used to build the Pallet House. Juxtaposed in the most honest interpretation, the project led by Selin Maner of Selin Maner Architects (SMA) takes on a very uncomplicated design proposal that combines the element of up-cycling and the surrounding environmental requirements. An epitome of up-cycling especially in the years where nature conservation efforts are of great concerns, the Pallet House celebrates the simplest form with traditional carpentry using mere shipping pallets. “The primary aim of the project was to explore the feasibility of creating a comfortable and attractive summer home, while minimising both cost and environmental impact through maximum use of recycled materials,” Selin shares. The building placement also needed to respect the on-site mastic trees, so that none were felled in the design process.

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The 120m2 building was conceived as two interlocking C-shaped volumes: one open-air, the other enclosed. This application required two different pallet types including those with gaps between their slats and those without. These two allow the designer to specifically allocate both private and public spaces in the most discreet manner. There is no sense of stark contrast seen evidently in this space. Instead, a waft of quiet confidence and subtle harmony permeate throughout this one-bedroom house. The open space that features a shaded sun-deck uses mainly gapped pallets. This treatment allows light to penetrate into the space while air ventilates efficiently in its own axis. The space oversees the gorgeous savannahs dotted with verdant trees in multiple shades of green. Here, dining becomes a must-have agenda of the list of daily activities. Curated with a dash of Mediterranean touch, the table setting has an inviting charm with wind chimes orchestrating tranquilising tunes throughout the day.


Selin Maner, Architects

“The project explores the feasibility of creating a comfortable and attractive summer home, while minimalising both cost and environmental impact through maximum use of recycled materials”

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The enclosed volume, constructed primarily of the second pallet type, houses the kitchen, bathroom, walk-in closet , and an open-plan living space. The walls and ceiling of the enclosed area sandwich a layer of insulation and waterproofing between the two layers of pallet. The inner and outer pallet layers are uninsulated, allowing the air spaces to facilitate natural cooling. Opening Up From the open living space, the kitchen and bedroom are positioned to orientate towards the beautifully done up landscaping. There is an interesting way on how the wooden building is punctuated to allow light to drench the rooms while encouraging interaction with its surroundings. Even the window openings behind the bed are designed in such a way that they frame the composition into a beautiful feature that interacts with nature. The styling is truly impeccable – simple yet relaxed, with a touch of ‘outback’

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ENIGMATIC EXPRESSION There is an elusive quality, a certain je ne sais quoi that lingers in The Edison George Town, a beautiful revival of a charming colonial architecture with a modern twist. Words Martin Teo / Photography Staek Photography

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1. On its own, The Edison is a charming family mansion that has been wellpreserved. While work is in progress, it is evident that the architectural elements are very much intact and brimming with a unique character. 2. The main lobby combines the beauty of art and a colourful celebration of revitalisation.

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nterventions can bring beautiful breathtaking magical moments into an outmoded architecture. The old charm within the peripheral of an existing building is something irreplaceable even with the finest technology or the best interior fittings. To strike the right balance, architects and designers strive to achieve a certain je ne sais quoi, a sensibility that will ignite the glorious spirit of the place. Continuing the legacy of a former Hokkien tycoon’s AngloChinese mansion which was built in the early 20th Century, the idea of creating The Edison George Town was conceived as the newest addition to tasteful boutique hotels in the historical island of Penang. Combining the colonial past and oriental charm of Penang, The Edison offers a quirky yet fresh approach on heritage. The fresh concept combined with an air of timeless elegance exudes an appeasing blend of modern and traditional elements with an elusive character found in equal measures. Principal interior designer, Lai Siew Hong of Blu Water Studio illustrates that the project expresses a great deal of creativity and innovation. “We tried to keep the old charm while introducing a contemporary feeling in order to create an eclectic mood and at the same time – not just to celebrate the history of the place – bringing the building back to life. The challenge was to combine both elements (old and new) within this heritage building without

masking the original characteristics,” Lai shares. He reveals that the entire process also consumed a lot of attention to detail, from the selection of colours, furniture, and materials to the choice of light fittings. In a nutshell, jade-inspired accents, patterned tiles, bone china references, and warm tones are mixed into a light and airy environment that makes up the perfect backdrop for the modern day traveller. The guestrooms reflect the colonial past with its monochromatic setting with modern nuances injected through contemporary furnishings. The juxtaposition of past and future makes this 35-room boutique hotel an epitome of the orient charm. True Revival The façade is remarkable. In true blue colonial style, the original architecture is a unique masterpiece that combines the eccentric Classicism with Anglo-Chinese influences. On both east and west wing, the classic fundamentals of architecture are evidently majestic in pure white tones. The ornate pediment atop the centre core of the building is originally higher to create a majestic height like most celebrated mansions. In the heydays, Western influences like the Corinthian columns, pediments, arched windows, cornices and balustrades are symbolic to wealth and authority. Today,

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Lai Siew Hong, Principal Interior Designer Blu Water Studio

“It is not about reinventing the hotel but more to readdress the conventions by keeping hospitality concepts fresh, attractive and relevant”

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3. Guests enjoy a spacious and warm space, infused with a modern colonial interpretation. 4. The George Suite features a boutique living room, imbued in oriental nuances but uses a royal blue and verdant teal to reflect eccentricity. 5. Guest bathroom is simple in an open layout.

these architectural features are unique characteristics that make buildings like The Edison one-of-a-kind. Most of the façade are coloured white with jade green adorning the windows. As one walks to the main door, beautiful colonial mosaic flooring embellishes the foyer. A couple more steps take you to the front desk that is demarcated using intricate tiling works. The striking concierge is punchy with Delftwareinspired (white and blue pottery) art-printed panels; as if veiling something surprising at the back. In this area, an alternate of white and green, lined with striking blue skirting express an artsy fresh interpretation from the designer’s point of view. In a wider view, a pair of butter yellow Chinese chair injects just the right amount of flair to the revitalised space. “We retained more than 90% of the original layout, only removing walls that weren’t part of the original structure. The unique spatial flow is something we do not normally experience in today’s modern hotels,” shares Lai some more. Circling around the concierge, you’ll find a revitalised Palladian staircase that leads to the upper floors. The original

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wooden ceiling structure is heightened with cast iron Corinthian columns with authentic Gothic metal works dressed in an arched formation. Tastefully redefined, the entryway to the guest rooms is designed into a beautifully curated space where architecture is celebrated and heritage is liberated. The spatial planning of The Edison George Town is akin to old Peranakan mansions; where the spaces within lead from a centralised entrance to segregated halls with a courtyard in the middle while the kitchen is kept behind the building and rooms are arranged symmetrically along the corridor. The Edison’s main feature derived from tradition is its open courtyard. As a result, it has added to the homely experience, leaving guests feeling at ease without sensing any forms of ununiformed manifestations in the space. People-centric Space Like all restoration projects, The Edison George Town has had its fair share of challenges. For instance, the limitations of storage in the back of the house and also the inability to install a passenger


THE EDISON GEORGE TOWN location Site Area Building Area completion Architect Design Firm Lead Designer Design Team Project Manager M&E Consultant C&S Consultant Lighting Consultant Quantity Surveyor Contractor Landscape Awards

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Penang, Malaysia 32,670 ft2 28,895 ft2 2016 K.H. Tan Architects Blu Water Studio Lai Siew Hong Mak Sook Har, Nashzelima Ngadmin, Lee Ping Seng, Lee Jian Ru Concept Works Sdn Bhd O&A Consult Sdn Bhd Perunding Yaa Sdn Bhd Lightcraft Ambience Architecture Sdn Bhd Unitech QS Consultancy Sdn Bhd Pro Tech Deco Interiors Sdn Bhd ESH Landscaping Sdn Bhd APIDA Award 2016 (Judge’s Choice & Winner for Hotel Space Category)

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A WARM WELCOME The Lo & Behold Office incorporates a charming reading-cum-tearoom that emanates a quirky kind of cool. Words Luo Jingmei / Photography Jovian Lim

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1. The calm yet quirky demeanour of The Lo & Behold office adds to the eclectic, historic streetscape of Kampong Glam. 2. The domed entrance to Looksee Looksee begins the rhythm of curves and rounded edges.

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n the heart of Singapore’s historical Kampong Glam district has arisen an alluring oasis in the form of Looksee Looksee. Part of hospitality company The Lo & Behold Group’s new office, the reading-cum-tearoom is an inviting space that provides the ambling public respite from the cacophony of bustling traffic and the blasé sterility of surrounding glass-and-steel towers. Looksee Looksee is one of three lifestyle concepts – the other two being tenants design shop Supermama and modern oriental furniture brand Scene Shang – that takes up the first storey of three adjoining shophouses. The Lo & Behold Group’s office is spread across the second storey of all three shophouses. Candy Coloured Charm One enters Looksee Looksee through a textured, domed portal – a most tactile threshold that hints at the captivating world within. Inside, custom-designed bookshelves along one wall and scalloped banquette seating along the other reinforce the shophouse’s characteristic longitudinal space. The latter is also a clever design that works as either communal benches or subtly enveloping alcoves for the lone visitor.

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“Looksee Looksee forms an intentional interface between the Group and the public – a mixing chamber meant to foster curiosity and discussion,” says interior designer John Lim, who designed the space together with OWMF Architecture. Lim had previously worked at Buro Ole Scheeren before coming out on his own. The main conference room’s location next to Looksee Looksee at the back of the shophouse, separated by just a glass panel and optional blinds, further augments this idea of open communication. Looksee Looksee also functions as the Group’s reception space. Designed as such, it is a sort of informal living room that breaks down the formal stiffness usually associated with office foyers. This comes, as no surprise as The Lo & Behold Group’s founder Wee Teng Wen is a maverick in Singapore’s hospitality and F&B scene. His design-led hospitality concepts, which include The White Rabbit restaurant housed in an old chapel, the offbeat Loof rooftop bar, and the upcoming Warehouse Hotel housed in a trio of historic godowns, are as original as they are idiosyncratic. Looksee Looksee adds to this interesting portfolio. The 25-seater Looksee Looksee features books curated by local design and F&B icons, such as Chris Lee of multidisciplinary


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3. The banquette seating at Looksee Looksee is perfectly designed for both communal and private seating. 4. The main office space is airy and openplanned, conducive for collaborative working. 5. Saccharine and cool, the colour palette at Looksee Looksee creates the perfect informal foyer space to The Lo & Behold office.

design studio Asylum and fashion designer Priscilla Shunmugam, whose ong shunmugam label mixes eastern and western influences. Local speciality tea company A.muse Projects serves up a rotating menu of teas and titbits for visitors. Lim has created a relaxing mood to serve this purpose. An ambience of softness and warmth is created with the choice of colours – a gentle, candy-coloured rainbow of taupe, greys, soft pinks, sand and teals – as well as the rounded corners in the joinery and furnishing selection. Distinctive pieces, such as the dainty Oslo sofa from Muuto and anthropomorphic Sam Son armchair from Magis, were chosen “specially for their generous, rounded forms.” They add a dash of whimsy and congeniality to the backdrop of natural materials like compressed marble, terrazzo, wood, rattan and leather. The dreamy elements of this tableau are reminiscent of the 1980s kitschy Memphis Movement started by Italian designer EttoreSottsass. Lim confirms this reference. “We began the project in the midst of a revival of interest in the work of Memphis,

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At Looksee Looksee, the furniture carries some of the formal sensibilities of that movement, albeit in a less graphic way,” says Lim. Open Space In architectural context, OWMF Architecture opened up the bones of the original 1820s shophouse structure. “Most of the windows, jack roofs, and air wells were closed off and interior partitions were added, resulting in a fragmented, dark interior space,” describes Yong Sy Lyng, founder and architect-in-charge at OWMF Architecture. Natural light was reintroduced into the office’s high ceiling space through skylights where allowed by the conservation guidelines, and a mezzanine added. The obstructive interior partitions were removed and the openings in the party walls between the three units enlarged as far as possible. Other than that, all other original features were maintained. This opening up of the floor plan is a boon for the office


Looksee looksee location Project Area completion Client Architect Project Team Civil & Structural Contractor

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Beach Road, Singapore 10,000 ft2 2015 The Lo & Behold Group John Lim & OWMF Architecture John Lim & Yong Sy Lyng Tham & Wong DH Deco

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OFFICE WONDER Moment Factory’s new, super-cool office space stirs the senses and ensures their employees are never lacking creativity. Words Joan Chan / Photography Ulysse Lemerise Bouchard

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ot all office spaces are created equal – some can diminish employee’s morale while others can keep them happy and encourage them to be more energetic and incredibly creative. For giant companies like Google and Airasia, which require smart, imaginative and in-demand employees, these offices offer a competitive edge when trying to attract the young and intelligent. There are many ways to make an office boost its employees’ health, happiness and productivity. For starters, some offices feature athletic equipment that helps workers reduce stress and get their happy hormones going. Others offer lounges with pool tables and a well-stocked

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pantry where workers can relax and feel at home. Nowadays, employers have realised that inspiring office designs does have a direct effect on their employees’ work attitude and can help stir the creative juices. Moment Factory, a Montreal-based multimedia studio has just completed their new office with the help of MU Architecture’s project team. The result is an energised working space that is both inspiring and uplifting. Set in a former industrial area of the Mile-Ex, Moment Factory was once an old, bricked factory and the architects’ challenge was to create a massive “work and live” area for 250 people on two floors totalling an approximate 45,000 square feet.


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Since it is a company that develops and produces shows for events around the world, the owners of Moment Factory wanted flexibility in the building structure as well as the physical workspaces. The many departments needed to have a fluid connection with each other so that all the occupants are in sync with the growth of the company. Needless to say, the architects certainly satisfied the client’s requirements and much more. Modern, bright, organic – these three words basically sums up the interior build and design that MU Architecture conjured up for Moment Factory’s office. It definitely fits its work culture too. There’s nothing like cubicles, drop ceilings and carpet tiles to make an office a place people dread coming to. Most modern companies have ditched this outdated style by opting for a more open-concept design, and while that is more aesthetically pleasing, it’s the details that make the difference. Underground Battle At Moment Factory, visitors are greeted by an ‘undergroundfeel’, minimalist black steel staircase that, instead of the usual receptionist area, leads them straight into a large, brightly-lit cafeteria. There, the conservative corporate idea immediately disappears in favour of a more youthful and relaxed ambience

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with the concoction of mismatched chairs, contemporary artworks, brick walls and exposed wiring, casually hooked to the old, concrete beams. Occasionally, pet dogs and skateboards circulate freely among the people in here too. From the cafeteria entrance, employees are able to access into a versatile lobby that caters to a multitude of uses; projections, casual meetings, technical tests, project exhibitions, awards showcase and reception. But the ‘heart’ of Moment Factory has got to be the massive 2,400 square feet studio space set at the centre of the project. To create this studio, the architects decided to cut through the concrete slab between two floors and used super-beams and carbon reinforcements to support the roof. This is the space where working models, life-size devices and projections on the green screen enable the integration of certain projects. The top floor –where the offices are – is alive and buzzing with employees, models and lots of natural light. Crisp-white workstations that can be moved and reorganised are surrounded by lush plants and coloured panels. Colourful pendant lights inject a playful vibe that contrasts nicely with the masculine concrete floor. Another detail to love is the “Oasis” – a grassy floor space bordered by books, perfect for little chats and discussions or even a catnap in a hammock.


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1. Bright, airy and youthful, the cafeteria is the gathering spot for the employees – a perfect place to share juicy gossips, important messages and up-to-the-minute reports about the office. 2. M for Moment is a clever design twist using typography. 3. The cafeteria is a great place of mingling with people and men’s best friend.

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4. Overall, the industrial look of exposed vents against the white surfaces brings out an airy and nonconformist way to a typical office archetype.


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Toronto’s leading architects led by heritage specialists ERA Architects integrate the controversial 19th century Don Jail into the surrounding community for Bridgepoint Active Healthcare. Words Rebecca Lo Photography Josh Thorpe (exterior) & Tom Arban (interior)

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n the evening of Monday 17 October, Toronto’s wellheeled philanthropists descended upon the Isabel Bader Theatre on the grounds of The University of Toronto to congratulate the winners of the 2016 Heritage Toronto Awards. Since 1974, the awards have recognised the contributions of individuals and organisations that have contributed to conserving Toronto’s rapidly disappearing past. For decades, Toronto was the first port for waves of immigrants arriving into an adopted homeland. Its mushrooming condominium scene to house newcomers is perhaps the city’s most visible example of how little the past now survives. The heritage awards swing the pendulum back by acknowledging the efforts of physical structures being preserved through its William Greer Architectural Conservation and Craftsmanship Awards of Excellence and Merit. Further, the awards cover the categories of community activism, media (including film for broadcasting online or through other means), books and short publications. The Award of Excellence winner for large project architectural conservation went to The Don Jail. Now a part of Bridgepoint Active Healthcare, the jail was North America’s

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biggest correctional institution when it opened in 1864. It was designed by England-born William Thomas, an architect responsible for respected pre-confederation central and eastern Canadian buildings including Toronto’s St. Michael’s Cathedral and Halifax’s St. Matthew’s United Church. His concept for the co-ed Don Jail was originally lauded for its innovative approach as a remanded offenders’ prison to house 184 inmates. The façade comprises an imposing Renaissance Revival styled central building with two wings— east for men and west for women. It was clad in a yellow limestone quarried from nearby Queenston, along with sandstone and buff brick. “There are griffins and snakes on brackets and in the stair landings,” notes Michael McClelland, principal and cofounder with Toronto-based conversation specialists ERA Architects, the heritage compliance firm on the project’s revitalisation. “The central rotunda offered a point of control for the reform prison. While the cells were small, dark spaces in the middle of the wing, there were day rooms where the prisoners could work and engage with other inmates.”


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1. There is a new sense of airiness within the space that is mostly in white. 2. The building’s strengths are highlighted by removing most of the cramped, claustrophobic cells. 3. Some grilles and ironworks are kept to retain its original character. 4. Red is added to complement the new vision of the revitalised centre.

The Don’s Decline When the Don Jail was built, it sat on farmland east of the Don River in the eastern extremes of the young city. As the city grew, the jail began to overflow with prisoners; when it was decommissioned in 1977 as a result of public pressure, it housed more than 600 prisoners. The building’s hangings before Canada’s abolishment of capital punishment added to its ghoulish reputation. For a structure within one of the city’s established Chinatowns, the ageing jail became a visually and emotionally charged sticking point—and one that the community long resented being in its backyard. As Don Jail was bulging at its seams, the adjacent hospital originally built to welcome Toronto’s destitute grew into a rehabilitation centre. In 1950s, the semi-circular structure known as the Riverdale Hospital was constructed to serve these patients’ needs. As the new millennium approached, there was a change towards more holistic healthcare. A new 10-storeyed hospital designed by Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg (KPMB) Architects and Diamond Schmitt Architects

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was eventually built after Riverdale was demolished. “In 2004, we worked on schemes and master plans to determine what to do with the jail,” McClelland recalls. “Riverdale was treating people with multiple disorders and needed to expand. But we couldn’t put patients into the jail. That was how it was decided to transform it into an administrative building open to the general public. The new hospital has the same number of beds but everyone now enjoys a view. Previously, Riverdale had six people to a room and not enough washrooms. The new hospital was build from the inside out and is considered the best hospital in Toronto.” “One of the challenges we faced was the stigma associated with the jail,” McClelland reveals. “It was a problem within the neighbourhood. How do we change its connotations? We held consultations with the community. As the hospital is connected with Chinatown, we held a celebration at the Chinese arch opposite the hospital during its opening. This regeneration was a major thing for the city.”


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BRIDGEPOINT ACTIVE HEALTH CENTRE ( FORMER DON JAIL) location Gross Floor Area (GFA) completion Planning, Design & Compliance Architect Planning, Design & Compliance

Design, Build, Finance & Maintain Architects Design, Build, Finance & Maintain Consultants

Design, Build, Finance & Maintain Consortium Constructor Project Team Awards

Toronto, Canada 7,102 m2 2013 Stantec Architecture / KPMB Architects ERA Architects (heritage architects), Stantec Consulting (structural, electrical, sustainability, energy), The Mitchell Partnership (mechanical), Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg (landscape), Randal Brown & Associates (building code, fire and life safety), Soberman Engineering (elevators), Aercoustics Engineering Ltd. (vibration, noise, acoustics), CFMS Consulting (commissioning), McCarthy Tetrault (munipical legal advisor), Urban Strategies (urban planning), RV Anderson Associates (site servicing), BA Consulting Group (traffic, transportation), Agnew Peckham (functional programming), Golder Associates (environmental), Archeological Servical (archeological), Bruce Tree Expert (arborist), Kaizen Foodservice Planning & Design (food services) HDR Architecture / Diamond Schmitt Architects +VG Architects (heritage architects), Halsall and Associates (structural), Smith & Anderson (m&e), The MBTW Group (landscape), A.M. Candaras (sustainability), Leber Rubes (code), Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin (environmental), Brook Van Dalen & Associates (building envelope), J.E. Coutler Associates (acoustics), Terraprobe Design Ltd (geotechnical) Plenary Health Bridgepoint (Plenary Health, Innisfree Health) PCL Constructors Canada, Clifford Restoration Ltd. Stantec Architecture, KPMB Architects, HDR Architecture, Diamond Schmitt Architects 2016 Governor General’s Medal in Architecture (RAIC) 2014 Ontario Masonry Design Awards – Structural Design: Institutional 2014 Canadian Urban Institute, Brownie Awards – Rebuild, Excellence in Project Development: Building Scale 2014 The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, ACO Provincial awards – Paul Oberman Award for Adaptive Reuse 2014 Ontario Concrete Awards – Sustainable Concrete Construction 2014 Canadian Interiors – Best of Canada Design Awards, Institutional 2014 Pug Awards – Paul Oberman Award for Adaptive Reuse and Heritage Restoration & People’s Choice for Best Commercial or Institutional Building 2014 OAA Award – Design Excellence

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HUTONGS REINTERPRETED The secrets of ancient ‘hutongs’ are revealed as Chinese architects beginning to realise the massive potential in these unique cultural affairs. Words Sarah NH Vogeler / Photography Wang Ning

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eijing’s iconic alleyway of ancient China or known as hutong is no stranger to the adaptive reuse movement. Of late, the architecture community has witnessed winged courtyard houses that flank the alleys, renovated into everything from boutique shops to classy eateries. Established design powerhouse, Arch Studio’s hutong transformation in Beijing has a different design language that sets this project apart from the rest. The Chinese architects retained the historic Qing Dynastry-era façade but converted the interior space into a beautiful open and modern teahouse. Arch Studio devotes to using multi-perspective and rational means to intervene the development of contemporary urban living environment, finding a right balance between the connections of reality and nature, history and culture, creating a spatial environment that is full of the spirit of times and humanistic quality. In this complex and multivariate era, new creation

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does not come from a sudden inspiration. It is through careful study of the unique needs and restrictions of each project, continuous improvements in the whole process from concept to construction details, as well as skillful transformation between exterior and interior (new and old) to make the curated space a communicating medium between people and people, people and the environment. Thus, creating a new liveable dwelling. Perched in Beijing’s traditional Hutong district, the project’s structure space is an L-shaped neighbourhood measuring 450 square metres. The space has five old traditional houses and temporary corroded steel houses. The building, which originally hosted company business meetings before going dormant due to poor management, had been transformed into a wonderful communal space. Once a derelict housing completed, the century old structure is now an ample place for people to read while enjoying their teatime. Additionally, Tea House in Hutong also serves individual dining guests.


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1. Light and shadow lend a beautiful presence in the private tearoom. 2. The entrance is anticipating and brimming with suspence. 3. A mixture of crisp white surfaces and organic tree trunks creates a beautiful contrast at the tea area. 4. Arch Studio draws light in through these ‘light-courtyards’ that also provide the bamboo scenery.

Modernising the Past The project design started by analysing the old building’s previous data. From the structure of the wood and the size of the grey bricks, one could tell that the relatively old north wing predates the Qing Dynasty. From the already decaying wood structure on the east and west houses, Arch Studio deduce that the houses ought to be remodelled from the 70s and 80s. Additionally, judging by the wood structure on the building’s south side, one could not deny the fact that it needed repair. The repair design was selective because it had to factor in the building’s age, as well as its financial and historical value. Refurbishments of the room in the north wing were light, changing only the parts with serious damage by replacing bricks. In the north room, changes were controlled to ensure it doesn’t compromise the room’s historical appearance. Adjustments in the south wing were aimed to give the room a basic style through a partial renovation of the roof and wall. After the East and West wing had been demolished,

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they were rebuilt into a wood structure with a pitched roof. While the façade was restored to its traditional outlooks, the interior was partially gutted and replaced with white curving corridors that simultaneously blend the different rooms together. The use of exposed bricks and timber beams further reinforce the cohesive relationship between the interior and exterior space. Being Significant The new environment demands comfort requirements that the previous architecture could not sustain. To be temperature resistant as required, the building needed to be closed. Consequently, Arch Studio has streamlined the visualised structure of the building with a flat “curvy corridor” that creates a smooth transition from the past to the present. “The gallery of the traditional architecture takes a half inside, half outside form, scattered high and low, significantly increasing the beauty of the garden,” shares the architects.


Arch Studio

“The steel structure beam column that replaces the decayed wood in the old building brings forth an overlapping series of old and new images, making the new and old grow together…”

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THE SPIRIT OF PLACE Behind the indigo blue walls, there is a sentiment, a story, and a spirit of place lingering within the periphery of the Blue Mansion. Words Martin Teo / Photography heartpatrick

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CHEONG FATT TZE MANSION

/ built in 1880s by merchant, Cheong Fatt Tze as a private residence / comprises 38 rooms, 5 granite-paved courtyards, 7 staircases and 220 vernacular timber louvre windows

Yi-Fu Tuan, Chinese-American Geographer

“What undifferentiated space becomes place as we get to know it better and endow it with value. ”

/ the distinctive blue colour is a result of mixing lime with natural blue dye made of the Indigo plant (Indigofera), imported from India to Penang by the British / Malaysia National Architectural Award for Conservation in 1995 / UNESCO ‘Most Excellent’ Heritage Conservation Award in 2000 / details of the Chinese cut and paste porcelain Chien Nien works can be found on the tip of the mansion’s façade / the spiral staircase is imported directly from Glasglow, Scotland / operates as a 16-room boutique hotelcum-museum with a restaurant called Indigo / the mansion restoration remains a workin-progress up to this day

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he sky is blue. The billowing clouds aren’t perfectly white, slightly tainted in a moody grey. Standing in front of the entrance, the casted shadows look faint. My eyes begin moving in all directions; attempting to check the place out within five seconds. “It is blue alright,” I whisper in my mind. In soft sunlight, the Blue Mansion appears glorious in its signature blue tones. At the five-foot entryway, the main entrance illustrates an omnipresent welcoming with its oversized doorway; significant to mansions of the rich and wealthy in the golden days of the Anglo-Chinese reign. The floor tiles are typical to Straits Chinese something similar to most houses in Penang, Malacca and Singapore. Several trishaws are seen dotting the entryway as the eyes return back to the entrance. Upon entry, the place expresses a warming sensation – a weird sense of homecoming rather. The interior space is very grand, well spaced out and percolated with a sense of grandeur. The colours here accentuate an earthy palette. Perhaps, tad bit melancholy. I zone out a little as my vision turns 360 around the main hall.

“Hello!” a voice breaks my concentration. “Can I help you?” she says warmly with a smile. The lady, who is the museum curator, explains that the tour is going to start real soon. “Oh, but I have an appointment with Ar. Laurence Loh, if you may point me to the right direction,” I interject. Within three counts, a figure appears, shakes my hand and welcomes me into the Cheong Fatt Tze Museum. Daniel Selvarathan, the museum manager walks me to the centre courtyard where an assortment of tables and chairs are set around the boundary of the courtyard. I walk over to a square wooden table on the right side, right next to the stairway. At this juncture, I wonder. What is the story behind this heritage architecture, unique to the island of Penang? Enter The Blue The Blue Mansion or better known as the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion needs no introduction. The dynamic building, immediately recognised from its vibrant blue façade, carries a chronicles of rich and grandiose history that creates the unique story for this bed-andbreakfast and cultural museum. In the pursuit to remain mainstream, adjustments need to take place to keep the conserved mansion appealing to urbanites. And along the way, the historical context is slowly beginning to dissolve into a hungrier appetite for aesthetics and social-mediaworthy spaces. Conservation is being hit with various aspects that force age-old buildings to pave the way for new constructions to take place. Commercial values, political monopoly and depreciation within the community contribute to the effects of conservation. Acclaimed conservation architect, Ar. Laurence Loh reckons that conservation is a way to interpret the heritage values of the place to the new world. There is a new community and audience now,

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which are not familiar with the courses of heritage and traditional culture. The Revelation “The last thing I wanted to be is a conservation architect,” reveals Loh. So, what got the architect into conservation? Graduated from the Architecture Association in 1974, Loh was exposed to the term ‘avant-garde’. “Designs tend to be Bohemian and always on the ‘cutting-edge’. We try to look into new designs and how to advance new architecture. Prominent figures like Zaha Hadid, Archigram and the rest of the architectural generation are the nonconformist geniuses that came from this period,” shares Loh, who has never envisaged himself to be a conservation architect. The architect, now in his sixties, started his own practice in 1984 and was awarded with six to eight recognitions by Pertubuhan Arkitek Malaysia (PAM) within 5 years. It was a slow trajectory but he was happy. In 1988, something happened and it changed his life. “I was driving past this building. I remembered, PBA3003. It was a Ford Telstar, in Metallic Brown because it was a very ‘in’ colour. Something made me stop. I braked and look into the house and there it was, when I know this building is going to take my life,” reminisces Loh. “No way, lah!” he remembers saying as he drove away from the house. In 1990, one of his friends talked to him about a ‘Chinese-temple-looking building with 38 tenants’. He shares: “At that time, I already knew the story of the place and its history. It is important. I told him to just buy and develop it later. And together with a few friends, we accumulated the deposit and bought the place.” Surprisingly, Loh had had no background in conservation prior to taking over the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion. “It was the first building I got involved in. I had no idea what to do with it but all I knew was to buy it first. I weren’t trained as a conservation architect but as time goes by, everything falls into place,” he continues. Loh was also involved in a group of people who spoke about conserving Penang back in 1994. He shares: “Most of these people are in the fringe of many things. We would meet once every month at the house of Datuk Dr. Goh Ban Lee, a former municipal councilor and a scholar in urban research and town management. About 10 of us would meet and talk until the cows come home. It was here that I was introduced to the theory of ‘what conservation meant’.


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THE SPIRIT OF BAUHAUS Fondation d’entreprise Hermès presents an exhibition, which journeys through the chronicles of Bauhaus from a school to a revolutionary movement. words Martin Teo / images foundation d’entreprise Hermès

1. Pierre Charpin, Collection Torno Subito, Écran series, 2000‑2001 Glass Marseille, CIRVA 2. Muller Van Severen, Installation, 2012 Leather, brass, propylene © Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris, Jean Tholance

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rchitects, sculptors, painters, we all must return to the crafts,” the architect Walter Gropius wrote in his Bauhaus manifesto. Founded in 1919 in Weimar and forced under Nazi pressure to close in Berlin in 1933, the Bauhaus was an art school that established itself as a major influence on 20th-century art. It was created by Gropius to improve our habitat and architecture through a synthesis of the arts, crafts and industry. The Musée des Arts Décoratifs pays tribute to the Bauhaus in this exhibition featuring more than nine hundred works – objects, furniture, textiles, drawings, models, paintings – all placed in the context of the school and illustrating the extraordinary wealth of its experimentation in all fields. “The ultimate aim of all visual arts is the complete building,” proclaimed Gropius in the introduction of the Bauhaus Manifesto. The school’s collective ambition was to produce affordable, practical and beautiful objects, as well as fully equipped buildings, by encouraging collaboration between artists, craftsmen and industry.

Gropius positioned architecture at the centre of his pegagogical model, as the final goal for the different art practices taught in the school. The pedagogical program at the Bauhaus began with a preliminary course that offered a common foundation to the students. After this course, they chose the workshop in which they would pursue their training, under the direction of a Master of Form – an artist who taught general aesthetic principles – and a Master of Craft – a technical expert. At the end of their studies, apprentices had to pass an exam to become journeymen, and eventually received a diploma from the Bauhaus. The exhibition begins by showing the historic context and sources that brought the Bauhaus into existence, then takes us through all the stages of the student curriculum in its various workshops from 1919 to 1933: furniture, ceramics, metal, stained glass, mural painting, weaving, typography, advertising, photography and many more. Like a Bauhaus student, the visitor follows all the stages of the Bauhaus teaching program, from the preliminary course, designed to break down academic

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3. Josef Albers, Stacking tables, 1927 Ash veneer, black lacquer, painted glass © The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, VG Bild‑Kunst, Bonn 4. Alma Buscher, Toupies, 1923 painted wood © Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum / Foto Alexander Laurenzo

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ideas and open the student’s mind, to work in the various specialised workshops. For four years, the students followed a both practical and theoretical curriculum. Avant-garde artists and artisans taught and supervised the workshops. Some include prominent figures like Paul Klee, Wassily Kandisky, Marianne Brandt and Walter Peterhans. It was all this wide-ranging experimentation, in conjunction with works by the teachers, that forged the open-mindedness of the Bauhaus, which embraced expressionism, folklore and popular parts, the primal arts, Dada and photomontage, De Stijl, constructivism and functionalism. After 1933, many members of the Bauhaus emigrated to foreign countries, passing on their knowledge to their students and colleagues and thus widening the Bauhaus’s sphere of influence. The school’s pedagogical methods, considered revolutionary in its early days, are now the foundation of art education. In 1938, New York’s MoMA organised an exhibition on the Bauhaus. After 1945, the school’s legacy met with mixed fortune. While the Bauhaus was seen at first as an example of antifascist resistance and a tool for reconstruction, it was rejected by the communist ideology in the 1950’s. In the west,

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its partisans erased its references to socialism in order to turn it into a symbol of international modernity. Despite the many interpretations and a growing number of commemorative projects, that is the creations of the former Bauhaus members that keep the spirit of the Bauhaus alive. Bauhaus is a vibrant space at the crossroads of the arts, artisanship and industry. It has established itself as an essential reference point in the cultural history of the 20th century. “As a driver of innovation, the Bauhaus has bequeathed a vast corpus that remains as influential in the contemporary creative arts, as it was in its heyday. Presented at the Paris headquarters of the Arts décoratifs, ‘The Bauhaus Spirit’ is France’s first exhibition devoted to the iconic school since 1969. The show takes an original approach, based on new research and with a focus on the Bauhaus workshops’ emphasis on crossdisciplinary work, creativity, skills transmission and artisan expertise,” shares Catherine Tsekenis, Director of Fondation d’enterprise Hermes. The Fondation d’entreprise Hermès is delighted to support ‘The Bauhaus Spirit’, reinforcing their loyal support of the Arts décoratifs over a number of years. Two years after co-producing the exhibition ‘Simple Forms’ with the Centre Pompidou-metz

d+a Issue 096  

We welcome 2017 with a brand new look and a fresh new content. As the revamped issue 96 of d+a magazine takes on a revolutionary creative di...

d+a Issue 096  

We welcome 2017 with a brand new look and a fresh new content. As the revamped issue 96 of d+a magazine takes on a revolutionary creative di...

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