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FROM THE EDITOR
e didn’t set out to fill this issue with the work of so many talented, enterprising women. It just happened. For the third ever Design Anthology UK, we explore the psychology of colour with a shoot of design pieces (p36) in a palette curated by experts Carolina Calzada-Oliveira and Justine Fox, who make up colour consultancy Calzada Fox. In a conversation with Fox on p42, we discuss everything from the effect of blue light on humans to the environmental benefit of bio-colour (she also makes a strong case for the divisive hue of lavender). It turns out colour doesn’t exist outside of our minds, and we all experience it slightly differently. It’s been proven that some colours we traditionally associate with stimulation, like red, are actually grounding and calming. And, thrillingly, developments in structural colour – refractions of light at a nano level that we see as colour, versus pigment-based tones – are predicted to open new worlds of possibility in design and fashion. That could mean a future where less water and harmful chemicals are used to create colour for commercial products, which would be extraordinary progress. Elsewhere in the issue we survey the vibrant Dublin interior designed by Róisín Lafferty of Kingston Lafferty Design (p74) – a home that is full of daring colour, yet is in no way discordant. We sit down with stylist and creative director Laura Fulmine in her new east London gallery M.A.H – a beautiful space where people can hire pieces from Fulmine’s network of artists, with a roster that will rotate seasonally. It’s an astute idea at a time when so much meaningful discussion is happening around the idea of ownership and the sharing economy (p138). We explore how a Parisian woman, Marie-Lise Jonak, along with her son, has launched Ormaie, a business making modern fragrance out of 100% natural ingredients – not an easy endeavour, as it turns out (p170). And finally, we highlight the work of Atelier NL, a maverick pair of women from the Netherlands who have been recognised for their research in using locally sourced natural materials for useful, everyday objects (p176). We hope you enjoy it. Elizabeth Choppin Editor-in-Chief
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Choppin email@example.com Art Director Shazia Chaudhry firstname.lastname@example.org Sub Editor Emily Brooks Commercial Director Rebecca Harkness email@example.com Editorial Concept Design Frankie Yuen, Blackhill Studio Words Jonathan Bell, Morag Bruce, Alice Bucknell, Stephanie Drax, Bertram James, John Jervis, Eliel Jones, Dominic Lutyens, Karine MoniĂŠ, Deborah Nicholls-Lee, Emma Oâ€™Kelly, Helen Parton, Debika Ray, Laura Snoad Images Ben Anders, Barbara Corsico, Tim Evan-Cook, Luke Hayes, Claire Illi, Kathrin Koschitzki, Ola Rindal, Antosh Sergiew, James Silverman, Valentina Sommariva, Simon Upton Styling Clare Piper
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OE Quasi Light
Design to Shape Light
OE Quasi Light Design by Olafur Eliasson louispoulsen.com
Front cover Colour theory, using PPG Paints’ Colour of the Year for 2020, Chinese Porcelain, as a jumping-off point. Image by Antosh Sergiew. See p36
Products Collections and collaborations of note
Read A selection of new titles on design, architecture and interiors
Hotel openings New design-centric destinations to explore, in Europe and beyond
Travelogue, Bergen Rainy yet resplendent, Norway’s second city takes nature as its inspiration
Hotel, Sri Lanka A completely demountable safari lodge on the Indian Ocean
Hotel, Italy Combo, a new take on the hostel, where locals and guests can meet
25 Openings Selected showrooms to visit in London and Copenhagen 26
Profile Note Design Studio and its Swedishinspired London co-working space
Gastronomy Design-led dining experiences that are “uncomfortably pleasant”
Colour New products arranged in four shades that sum up the design zeitgeist
Q&A Design Anthology UK speaks to Justine Fox about colour theory
Saturation point The Dublin home where graphic colour stimulates the senses
Higher aims Banda’s impeccably restored west London townhouses raise the bar
100 Place of refuge A monolithic concrete home that glorifies its Swiss lakeland setting 112 Worldly wise Design Haus Liberty’s eclectic interior for a Nigerian couple in London
Art + Collecting
122 Diary The most compelling art and design events for the coming months
164 Most wanted A compilation of clothes and accessories that are beautiful, thoughtful and good
132 Germany A new creative hub outside Berlin that’s generating power as well as art 138 Gallery Laura Fulmine of M.A.H brings the sharing economy to the art world
Architecture 144 London Architect Ernö Goldfinger’s Balfron Tower, on the cusp of a revival
170 Profile Fragrance house Ormaie, committed to artisanship at every production stage
Pioneer 176 Atelier NL The Dutch design studio doing dirty work to change the way we think about our natural resources
152 Survey New models of communal housing being championed by architects 158 London Hackney’s live music venue, carved from an almost-lost art deco theatre
Nature & nurture Shot for Design Anthology UK, French fragrance house Ormiae’s entirely natural products. Image by Ola Rindal. See p170
As little design as possible â€œWhen we concentrate on the essential elements in design, when we omit all superfluous elements, we find forms become: quiet, comfortable, understandable and, most importantly, long-lasting.â€? Dieter Rams, 1976
Note Design Studioâ€™s Summit House co-working space. Read the full story on page 26
R ADAR Global design news
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Sabine Marcelis Rotterdam-based Sabine Marcelis’ Candy Cubes – blocks of polished resin in pastel tones, which look like enormous bars of soap – have become a cult decorating product since she launched them five years ago: once you start spotting them, you won’t be able to stop. Her latest invention, the Stacked coffee table, could become just as ubiquitous. It’s made from an invisibly fused translucent resin top and onyx base, creating a highly satisfying contrast between the natural and the synthetic. sabinemarcelis.com
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Ercol Daniel Schofield has trained his eye for reductive design on Ercol, creating two occasional tables for the storied British furniture brand. Tenon (pictured) features an oversized tenon joint, visible where the circular top meets the base so that the construction method is plainly evident; while Ore explores mixed materials, with a cast-iron base topped by a slender oak stem and walnut top. These pieces emphasise the natural beauty of timber and highlight Ercol’s commitment to craftsmanship. ercol.com
Egg Collective Design Anthology UK championed the work of Egg Collective in its launch issue, and new work by the trio of US designers Crystal Ellis, Hillary Petrie and Stephanie Beamer validates that praise. Shown here are the Wu side table/stool in walnut, Howard armchair (which complements an existing sofa) and
the Pete & Nora floor lamp. Egg Collective flies the flag for American craftsmanship – everything is made in its own workshop or with local fabricators – but its work is available here through Radnor. eggcollective.com // radnor.co
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Stilnovo Founded in 1946, Stilnovo became one of Italian mid-century design’s stalwarts, propelling designers such as Joe Colombo and Ettore Sottsass further into the spotlight. Now relaunched, the brand is steadily bringing a back-catalogue of classics on to the market, such as this Fante light, available from The Conran Shop. Originally designed in 1978 by architect and design studio De Pas, D’Urbino & Lomazzi, its aluminium ‘hat’ moves freely, so it can direct the illumination to where it’s needed. stilnovoitalia.it // conranshop.co.uk
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Slash Objects An exploration of geometric shapes and contrasting materials, the Coexist daybed brings a composed sculptural quality to the art of relaxation. Its black steel frame and marble and brass cuboid legs – the brass cube balancing gravity-defyingly on one edge – fit together with no extra hardware holding each element in place: the components simply coexist, which is how the product got its name. It’s the work of Slash Objects, a New York studio founded by architect and designer Arielle Assouline-Lichten. slashobjects.com
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Henry Wilson Product designers are increasingly tapping into stone and marble’s potential as a viable material for lighting. Australia’s Henry Wilson is a case in point: his studio’s newest offering is the made-to-order Pillar lamp, which is carved in two parts from solid viola marble, known for its dramatic streaks of purple veining contrasted with snowy white. When the lamp is illuminated, the translucent stone glows – but you’ll need to find somewhere sturdy to place it, as it’s a heavyweight piece. henrywilson.com.au
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Eny Lee Parker Brooklyn designer Eny Lee Parker says that her eerily zoomorphic Stitch Stool “seemingly escapes your grasp with its arthropod-like appendages”. It forms part of her latest collection, First Hand II, which also includes the deliberately imperfect ceramic pieces for which she is better known. These include doughnut-like terracotta wall lights, handthrown vases and a mirror with a liquid-looking cast-clay frame, as well as a (somewhat less cuddly) glazed ceramic version of the stool. enyleeparker.com
Yield A pick-and-mix approach to materials means that Yield’s new collection of coffee tables, side tables and consoles can be customised with an inviting palette of glass, metal, mirror, leather and terrazzolike engineered stone, making thousands of different combinations possible. The six designs include the
Sundial coffee table, pictured here with a ruby-red and clear acrylic base paired with a glass top. It’s also available with the top in bronze glass, smoked glass, mirror or a custom colour, among other options. yielddesign.co
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Collection Particulière French design brand Collection Particulière seeks to find nobility in everyday objects that are more usually overlooked, from fruit bowls to storage vessels. Recently it charged designers including Grégoire de Lafforest and Christophe Delcourt to interpret this ethos in one of the modernists’ bestloved materials, travertine, with beautiful sculptural results: de Lafforest’s Ray bowls (pictured centre), with their fin-like bases, are a highlight. collection-particuliere.fr
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Floris Wubben With an industrial aesthetic but also a hand-made, irregular appearance, Floris Wubben’s tables have an uncanny quality to them. They’re made from clay that has been extruded through a machine of the Dutch designer’s own making, before being finished with metallic glazes. His latest collection, including this Striker table, was specially created for influential US design retailer The Future Perfect; their shapes were partly inspired by the concrete architecture of Zeeland’s surviving wartime bunkers. floriswubben.nl // thefutureperfect.com
House of Grey When respected design consultancy House of Grey champions a product, it’s usually worth waiting for. The limited-edition Pebble sofa is a collaboration with furniture and interior designer Fred Rigby; it has a curvy asymmetrical frame in ebonised oak and a padded seat, pictured here in a textured Libera
fabric by Dedar. House of Grey describes the sofa as “marrying our beliefs of combining and supporting local craftsmanship with the understated luxury of a high-quality natural finish and fabrics.” houseofgrey.co.uk
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Studio David Pompa From black clay to colourful talavera ceramics, materials synonymous with Mexican culture are a hallmark of Studio David Pompaâ€™s work. Volcanic stone is the Mexican-Austrian designerâ€™s newest territory: the Origo light (pictured) is made from adjacent spheres of stone and glass, the two forming a robust contrast. The studio has also introduced two new versions of its slim stone Meta pendants, adding a warm red travertine and a pale, fossilflecked fiorito to the original volcanic stone version. davidpompa.com
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Breaking Ground: Architecture by Women
New Nordic Houses
A visual survey of important buildings created by women from the early 20th century up to the present day, Breaking Ground features more than 180 projects by 150 architects. The subjects covered include Julia Morgan, who was the first woman to be admitted to the architecture programme at École des BeauxArts in Paris in 1898; Jane Drew, who qualified at the Architectural Association in 1934 and became one of the leading modernists of her day; and Kazuyo Sejima of SANAA, one of only three women (along with Zaha Hadid and Carme Pigem) to have been awarded the Pritzker Prize, the industry’s highest accolade.
Set against a backdrop of extreme climactic conditions – cold, dark winters and endlessly bright summers – Dominic Bradbury’s book explores Nordic homes and the vernacular traditions and materials that inform the region’s contemporary architects. Divided into four chapters (rural cabins, coastal retreats, townhouses and country homes), New Nordic Houses features work by talents such as Todd Saunders and Snorre Stinessen, and examines over 40 homes, providing a glimpse into the way diverse landscapes and changing lifestyles have informed residential design in Nordic countries over the last two decades.
by Dominic Bradbury (Thames & Hudson)
by Jane Hall (Phaidon)
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Designing Japan: A Future Built on Aesthetics
Axel Vervoordt: Portraits of Interiors
Muji’s long-serving art director Kenya Hara presents a vision of how his industry can support Japan in crafting a future founded on a philosophy of “beauty and crowd-sourced wisdom from around the world”. Drawing on more than three decades of experience in the design field, Hara looks at how Japan can tackle the issues it faces as its population ages and other nations move ahead in manufacturing. He also examines Japanese design from the 16th century to now, and how problem-solving through design remains a pertinent endeavour, as technology advances and his home country moves into an unknown future.
For five decades, Belgian collector, antiquarian and designer Axel Vervoordt has created interiors that are known for their harmony and quiet beauty. In Portraits of Interiors, 18 of the designer’s residential projects, from a waterfront estate in New England to a Moscow apartment, show how Vervoordt combines art, architecture and natural materials in the perfectly balanced manner for which he is revered. Including his own homes in Venice and Belgium, the book takes a tour through rooms in each residence designed by Vervoordt, giving insight into his abiding principles for living and working in serene spaces.
by Kenya Hara (Lars Müller Publishers)
by Michael Gardner (Flammarion)
E X C L U S I V E
C A R P E T S
A N D
QUILLS from the Plumage Collection www.deirdredyson.com
R U G S
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Pinch Design studio Pinch has a new shop in Belgravia. Set over two floors, the bright and airy space on Ebury Street showcases the British brand’s collection of cabinetry, upholstery, dining furniture and lighting. The new outpost is around the corner from the firm’s Bourne Street shop, which first opened two years ago and will now be solely dedicated to Pinch’s collections for the bedroom. The recent expansion coincides with co-owners Russell Pinch and Oona Bannon celebrating the studio’s 15th anniversary of creating high-quality designs for domestic interiors. pinchdesign.com
Garde Hvalsøe Acclaimed Danish interior designer and architect David Thulstrup has created a new showroom for bespoke joinery company Garde Hvalsøe. Set in a repurposed industrial garage in the heart of Copenhagen, its muted colour palette and materiality show off the timber and metal joinery – mostly designs for the kitchen and bathroom – in a way that emphasises Garde Hvalsøe’s ethos of quality and craftsmanship. It’s the second space that Thulstrup has worked on for the brand: Garde Hvalsøe opened a shared showroom in Aarhus with flooring company Dinesen last year. gardehvalsoe.dk
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Perfect composure Swedish collective Note Design Studio’s first major London project aims to bring a sense of calm to the workplace
Words Helen Parton Images Michael Sinclair
Left With its birds-eye maple desk and stepped timber walls, there’s a cinematic quality to the lobby of Summit House, The Office Group’s newest co-working space
ehind the beautiful, buff-coloured facade of a Grade II-listed building in London’s Holborn is an office interior by Sweden’s Note Design Studio, the practice’s first major UK project. Summit House is the latest outpost for flexible workspace operator The Office Group (TOG), and sits on Red Lion Square, around the corner from a bustling Tube interchange. “London’s a busy city. We wanted to bring a sense of calmness to the space, so you feel safe and you don’t feel tense at work,” says Johannes Carlström, Note’s co-founder, describing the 4,180 sqm space, which mixes private offices, communal lounges and meeting rooms, plus the now-obligatory office roof terrace. The work of Note, a multidisciplinary design collective founded in 2008, came to TOG’s attention two years ago when it created a temporary dining concept in shades of blush, red and cream at the Stockholm Furniture Fair. These colours pop up again at Summit House, as does Note’s predilection for a thoughtful approach and a lightness of form that are also evident in the studio’s other interiors work – such as Stockholm business hotel Grow, which opened late last year – and in its prolific product design for brands including Reform, Moooi, Menu and Fogia. At Summit House, Note has paid due respect to the stately 1920s building, but it has given the interiors a historic Scandinavian spin. “We
Above Stockholm-based collective Note Design Studio, founded in 2008 Facing page Fogiaâ€™s Bollo armchair by Andreas Engesvik on the bespoke terrazzo floor in the lobby of Summit House 28
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were inspired by ‘Swedish Grace’, which was a significant style in Sweden for quite a number of years. It’s art deco but with a bit more functionalism,” explains Carlström, with Note product designer Charlotte Ackemar adding: “I also thought of ‘Grace’ as a person, someone who is strong, really graceful and forward.” The composition of a tiered structure behind a monolithic bird’s-eye maple reception desk, with custom-made patterned terrazzo flooring in front of it, is also a nod to the precise, colourful and symmetrical cinematography of arthouse film director Wes Anderson. It does indeed feel like a filmic experience walking down the hallway, which is lined with pendant lights by Lee Broom and mirrored artwork that Note created themselves. “We didn’t want
the kind of accessories that date,” says Ackemar. “We wanted to create a timelessness.” Leading off from the hallway, there is a cafe space with a round ceramic and metal table – another bespoke Note creation – as are the wall benches in the adjoining ballroom and the lounges of the office floors. Off-the-peg Note products can also be found around the space, along with a spectrum of other contemporary design pieces including the Grande table for Fogia and the Macka easy chair for Arrmet, with its softly inviting silhouette featuring in meeting rooms. The Arkad pouffe for Zilio Aldo & Co, meanwhile, forms the centrepiece in Note’s interpretation of a “recharge room” – the first of its kind in a TOG space – where members can escape for peace and quiet.
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Elsewhere, the ornamental pattern of chinchilla glass intersperses a wall of meeting rooms for greater privacy, and dark green walls, chocolatecoloured Corian kitchen worktops and oak flooring all help to underpin Note’s concept of creating serenity within the workplace. “It’s a very competitive part of town. If you’re going to be here, you’ve got to create something different,” says TOG’s co-founder Charlie Green. “We want people to feel something – and here it’s about calm.” Green must approve of Note’s work, because he has already lined up the practice to design another space. It’s been something of a year of firsts for Note. Waiting Windows, its debut piece of public art, was unveiled in Nacka, the Stockholm outer suburb where a new rail link to the city is due
to arrive in 2027. The piece consists of a series of large-scale polished stainless steel frames set on a granite hillside near to where the Sickla subway stop will be; it reflects on the idea of waiting, both in the sense of waiting for a train and the 100,000 residents of Nacka waiting for this significant transport link to be completed. This autumn will see more projects coming to fruition, among them the continuation of work for Danish brand Menu, with the launch of new storage pieces; an installation at lighting company Vibia’s Barcelona showroom; and the design of an exhibition at ArkDes, Sweden’s national centre for architecture and design, all about how prefabricated concrete panels changed the world. Given Note’s busy schedule, that “recharge room” may come in quite handy.
Above Left to right: Summit House’s ballroom, now an openplan working area; simple architectural details such as the oak-lined corridors, were inspired by the Swedish Grace design movement; one of the meeting rooms, featuring a Palais Royal table by Studio Twenty Seven
RADAR / Gastronomy
The experimental eater
Dutch collective Steinbeisser’s immersive events pair top chefs with boundarypushing design to create “uncomfortably pleasant” dining experiences
Words Deborah Nicholls-Lee Images Kathrin Koschitzki
o get the best ingredients in the world and cook them perfectly is not the most difficult thing. The most difficult thing is to cook with an intention,” says world-renowned chef André Chiang, who is known for his “octaphilosophy” of food, the coming together of eight key elements to create the perfect dish. Chiang is no stranger to experimentation, but his latest project rethinks not just food itself but the wider question of how we eat. He is visiting Amsterdam for Experimental Gastronomy, an occasional series of events that explore a multi-sensory, mindful way of eating. It’s the work of Steinbeisser, a Dutch creative collective founded in 2009 by Jouw Wijnsma and Martin Kullik. Their intention is unusual: to disrupt the conventions of dining and create an immersive experience that Chiang describes as “uncomfortably pleasant”.
Facing page Artist Rachel Colley’s “cutlery comb” is typical of Experimental Gastronomy’s mischievous approach, challenging the strict rules of functionality when it comes to tableware design
Such oxymorons are typical of the evening in which I am invited to take part. Even the venue, an 18th-century former water-board headquarters built on a sea wall on the outskirts of the city, embodies this incongruence – its handsome shuttered facade and immaculate lawns at odds with the landscape of cranes and concrete motorway bridges across the water. The eight-course vegan taster menu we are here for is served and eaten using glassware, plates and utensils designed by 15 artists who were hand-picked by Steinbeisser for their intriguing, avant-garde approaches. In line with the project’s mischievous aim to force participants out of their comfort zone, many of the artists were also nudged into unfamiliar
territory. For example, the tiny, interlocking soapstone plates that our cylindrical sticky-rice canapés are served on were created by Dutch jeweller Elwy Schutten. “Normally, I make just one piece,” she explains; Kullik commissioned 20. All of these exclusive collaborations are then made available to buy via Steinbeisser’s online outlet, Jouw Store. Up a dark-wood staircase, a dining room with swirling blue and gold textile wallpaper, crystal chandeliers and gold-framed mirrors awaits us. The decoration of the two long tables is contrastingly primitive, with wild flowers and grasses twisted together in a knot and perched on the white tablecloth, vase-free. The flowers, like the food, reflect the concept’s commitment to organic and biodynamic produce sourced as locally as possible. Even the soy sauce is barrelaged in nearby Rotterdam. At each place setting is laid a “cutlery comb” designed by British artist Rachael Colley: a row of repurposed Sheffield stainless-steel forks held together by a colourful frame made from powder-coated steel. Like many of the objects introduced this evening, the comb walks a tightrope between art and functionality. It’s a striking piece but a challenging utensil for attacking our starter of tomato, elderflower and strawberry consommé with a startlingly hot green curry sorbet, and it is also a rather inadequate napkin holder. “The food that we have every day, we take it for granted,” explains Chiang. “Only when this relationship turns sour, do you start to appreciate it more. If I serve you soup with a
RADAR / Gastronomy
fork, you start to miss the spoon. You start to appreciate the spoon more than before.” Over the evening, our expectations as diners are challenged repeatedly: the clay dish by US ceramic artist Adam Knoche that looks like black, charred wood; the plate by South Korean jewellery-maker Myung Orso that appears at first to be an edible part of the dish but is actually paper clay and bio-resin; and the salami-like “sweet meat” course, which Chiang tells us to drop into our mouths like Dutch herring, but is in fact made of dried and then rehydrated watermelon. When our smoked aubergine with a caviar of summer-cypress seeds is cleared away, a perplexing object designed by Norwegian artist Stian Korntved Ruud is laid in its place: half gong and half utensil, it’s not clear if it is for eating or for making music. “Can I take your spoon, just to investigate?” asks my neighbour, as various sounds – some pleasant, some painful – bounce around the room. Some diners have unwieldy instruments the size of small saucepan lids and others have impossibly small spoons, unsuited to the chunky texture of the seven-grains main course that follows. Opposite me, two diners have been given an alternative challenge, a heavy hybrid of tool and spoon – in this case a wrench and a spanner – forged by Estonian blacksmith Nils Hint. At up to 39cm in length, the going is tricky until they embrace the interactive nature of the meal and resolve to feed each other. Suddenly, the length of the utensil becomes an asset rather than an inconvenience. Chiang’s meal may be over, but the search for new ways to enjoy food is not. In early October, Experimental Gastronomy heads to Vienna for a two-night collaboration with chefs Lukas Mraz, Philip Rachinger and Felix Schellhorn (aka The Healthy Boy Band). Perhaps the event will have as profound an effect on them as it has had on Chiang. “The experimental dinner is to throw out questions, not to give an answer,” he says. “That’s where creativity comes from. Every good solution, every creation, comes from inconvenience and limitation.”
Above Chef André Chiang puts the final touches to one of the courses for his Experimental Gastronomy event Facing page Clockwise from top left: artist Adam Knoche’s pulverised clay dishes; a diner grapples with Jaydan Moore’s wheel-like composite of spoons; Chiang’s delicate gastronomy paired with a plate by jeweller Myung Urso and a “bell spoon” by Stian Korntved Ruud; experimental diners await their next challenge
A shade better
An exploration of four of-the-moment hues, with a palette chosen by a leading colour consultancy Images / Antosh Sergiew Styling / Clare Piper
Facing page Design Anthology UK’s shoot responded to a palette suggested by colour consultancy Calzada Fox, using Johnstone’s paint supplied by PPG Paints The Voice of Colour. The colours are: Chinese Porcelain, a dark blue that’s PPG’s Colour of the Year for 2020; Petal Whisper, a pale purple with an element of grey; the terracotta-hued Cinnamon Brandy; and Ruby Lips, a saturated dark red. All products credited overleaf, with the exception of: Calice vase (on blue table), Kartell (kartell.com); Hollo side-table/stool (foreground, right), Petite Friture (petitefriture.com)
Clockwise from top left: Riflessi vase, Bรถjte Bottari (monologuelondon.com); Y chair, Etel (theinvisible collection.com); Totem watering cones, Boskke (boskke.com); EUR side table, Kartell (kartell.com); 28T table lamp, Bocci (bocci.ca). Walls: Cinnamon Brandy (PPG1199-5), PPG Paints (ppgpaints.com)
Clockwise from top left: Kaskad pendant, Schneid (schneid.org); Dip plate, Richard Brendon (richard brendon.com); Round Pouf, Ferm Living (fermliving.com); medium Troll vase, Menu (menu.as); Form Stool 5, Nort Studio (nortstudio.be); small and large Troll vases, Menu (as before); Dip bowl, Richard Brendon (as before). Walls: Chinese Porcelain (PPG11606), PPG Paints (as before)
Clockwise from bottom left: Bon Bon table lamp. Helle Mardahl (hellemardahl.com); Formafantasma vase, Bitossi Ceramiche (scp. co.uk); Mademoiselle Georges I and Mademoiselle Georges 3 decorative boxes, Maison Dada (maisondada.com); Pillar vase, Olivia Aspinall Studio and Ornamental Grace (olivia-aspinall. com); Haze stool, Wonmin Park (carpentersworkshopgallery.com). Walls: Petal Whisper (PPG1248-4), PPG Paints (as before)
Clockwise from bottom right: Mag side table, Daniel Schofield for the Conran Shop (conranshop. co.uk); Barker sideboard, Sebastian Cox (sebastiancox. co.uk); Rustic pillar candles, Ester & Erik (conranshop.co.uk); Matin table lamp, Hay (hay.dk); Step-up mobile, Louise Helmersen (scp. co.uk). Walls: Ruby Lips (PPG 1052-7), PPG Paints (as before)
RADAR / Q&A
Calzada Fox fuses science, psychology and trends to get brands to think about how colour can work for them. Here the consultancy’s co-founder talks about their research– and why the four shades chosen for Design Anthology UK’s shoot (pp 36-41) are right for now
Can we start with the palette that Calzada Fox put together for our shoot? The blue, dark red, lavender and cinnamon – we’re seeing them everywhere in design and fashion. But instead of trends, we wanted to look at colour theory, the psychology of colour and how colours work in combination. This is where colour psychology and colour trend people miss a trick – they can be quite dismissive about each other. They’re connected. Colours come about because people feel things. Colour doesn’t exist in the abstract, the only place it exists is in our minds. The place it’s processed in the brain is very close to where our emotions are thought to originate. In your work, do you find that designers know the properties of colour and how they affect people and products? Or is it an afterthought? We always ask designers: what’s your colour process? What’s your colour thinking? Some have really thought it through, but many still think about it as a pure aesthetic added at the end rather than forming the foundation of a design proposal. But it’s still very much a developing science, with a lot of exciting new research around bio-fabricated colour and structural colour that will positively impact the environment and really open up what we can do with colour. What is structural colour, exactly? It’s when a surface refracts light on a nano level and appears as colour to us. The most famous
RADAR / Q&A
example would be a morpho butterfly – we see it as blue because of the way the surface is directed, but it won’t ever fade because it’s not pigment-based. What makes people respond to certain colours more than others? Is it hard-wired in, or is it something you learn to appreciate, like with trends? For example, there are colours I’m always drawn to, blues and greens, but lately I’m looking at lavender differently. Not long ago I would’ve said, “I hate lavender.” Old lady colour. Very divisive. Exactly. But now it feels really fresh. I’m thinking “Ooh, lavender is quite nice.” Appreciation of colour fluctuates, and studies have shown that people don’t experience it in the same way. We get tired of certain colours and we search for new avenues. That’s especially true when taking into account how society, and political and economic moments, affect us: we’ll gravitate to colours that are an antidote to what’s happening around us. With lavender, there’s a child-like reassurance about it. It’s not threatening and there’s something wistful and magical about it. And in the palette we chose for you, it amplifies the slight redness in the background of the Chinese Porcelain. Let’s discuss the blue, Chinese Porcelain, next. Well, it’s [paint company] PPG’s colour of the year for 2020 and it encapsulates the need for a place of escapism, of calm and serenity away from tech. It’s saturated and tonal, with a black undertone, but there’s a slight redness in the background that gives it a gentle energy. What about the Cinnamon Brandy colour? How does that fit in? There’s definitely a move toward earthy tones. Colour trends, especially for interiors, don’t really jump from one to another, they tend to evolve. That cinnamon colour came from terracotta, but over the seasons it’s become spicier, richer, darker. And finally, my favourite, Ruby Lips. Dark red. Red has worked a supporting role within design trends for the past few seasons – the orange flame popping up against cobalt and
green within Dutch styling in particular. But more recently it has become super-saturated, verging on oxidised blood. What’s interesting is that it has a stabilising effect on the palette, grounding and securing rather than energising.
As told to Elizabeth Choppin
Do brands have a colour specialist working with them on colour decisions or is it intuitive? A lot of them invest a huge amount of money in colour. When I first started looking at colour, which was in the early noughties, there wasn’t much information but there’s so much now and global brands have to consider all of it. There may be a universal association with colour but there is also a cultural aspect. For example, if you ask kids in London to draw a sun they’d use yellow, whereas kids in Tokyo use red. There’s a particular green that is rarely used for interiors in Israel because people associate it with hospitals. Good colour design is about understanding what you want to achieve and using all of the tools in your box, including psychology, science and ergonomics. What are some of the most interesting things that you’ve found looking into the psychology of colour? A lot of the neurological research. For example, we’ve traditionally always been told that red is stimulating and that blue is tranquil and relaxing. Well, actually NASA is now using red-based lights to induce sleep because we’ve learned about the impact of blue light. What’s the impact of blue light? It stimulates us. There’s been a rise in obesity and mental health problems associated with the blue light of our phones disturbing our circadian cycle. Scientists have found that blind mice also respond to blue light, so the suggestion is that we have non-visual receptors in our bodies to colour and light. Wow. Knowing that, it seems like colour should be one of the first things to consider, not the last. Yes, it should be considered at the beginning because of its communication properties, its ability to make things inclusive and because it resonates with us emotionally, reflecting the world around us and offering a balance.
Facing page Calzada Fox’s Justine Fox: “Colour doesn’t exist in the abstract, the only place it exists is in our minds”
Dexamenes Seaside Hotel, Greece. Read the full story on p51 Image by Design Hotels
JOURNEY Distinctive destinations
JOURNEY / Openings
Stephen Kent Johnson
Unique places to stay, in destinations of note
JOURNEY / Openings
Maison de la Luz, New Orleans A guesthouse that describes itself, rather brilliantly, as “a place for reverie and proper Southern Swoon,” Maison de la Luz couldn’t be more different to its sister hotel, Ace New Orleans, just across the road. Instead of buzzing public spaces open to locals, guests and visitors, this is a sanctuary of privacy, with its living and breakfast rooms only accessible to guests. Designed in partnership with Studio Shamshiri, the look is a departure from Ace hotels too: suites echo the guesthouse’s ethos of old school-luxury, with a restrained palette, elegant antique furniture and decadent touches such as fringed chairs and velvet upholstery. maisondelaluz.com
JOURNEY / Openings
The Standard, London You can rely on Standard Hotels to do things a bit differently. For its first UK property, rather than choose a predictable Soho or Shoreditch address, the trailblazing hotel chain opted for a 1974-built brutalist building close to King’s Cross station, once a local council office. While the exterior may be grey, the interiors, conceived by Shawn Hausman (who has several other Standard hotels under his belt) are anything but. In-keeping with the period of the building, rooms have a 1970s sci-fi vibe, while downstairs the showstopping lobby features a tile installation by London-based ceramic artist Lubna Chowdhary. Further evidence, if any were needed, that King’s Cross is on its way to becoming London’s most exciting and creative district. standardhotels.com
Chimney House, Copenhagen A two-bedroom residence housed in a former water pumping station in Copenhagen, Chimney House is the third “non-hotel” in design brand Vipp’s portfolio. The Danish firm worked with architects Studio David Thulstrup to convert the building, constructed in 1902, into a modern space that honored the original shell. The result is a light-filled home-from-home whose highlights include an 8.5-metre atrium with a skylight with views of the old chimney stack, a sleek, suspended steel staircase and terrazzo floors. Thulstrup has created a fittingly beautiful space from which to showcase Vipp’s new furniture collections and iconic utility designs. vipp.com
JOURNEY / Openings
Santa Monica Proper, Los Angeles The much anticipated Santa Monica Proper has a stellar cast of names behind it – including Kelly Wearstler, who designed the interior of the 271room hotel. Its spaces feature an artful mix of vintage and custom furnishings and an array of luxe materials (think obsidian, timber and stone), all in a cool, Californian-inspired colour palette. The hotel
is spread out between a 1920s Spanish Colonial style building and a multi-faceted new build – the latter playing host to the hotel’s crowning glory, a rooftop pool deck, complete with ocean views, cabanas and a Balearic-influenced bistro. designhotels.com
JOURNEY / Openings
The Sister Hotel, Milan Design-savvy visitors to Milan have long treasured the Six Gallery as a go-to destination, and now they can experience its impeccable style in a new way as it opens side-venture The Sister Hotel. Set around a secluded courtyard that also houses a bistro and a floral atelier, the design of its nine rooms follows
the ethos of the gallery next door, with a mix of mid-century and contemporary pieces and moody, inky paint colours. There was a soft opening in April, but in autumn the hotel is fully guest-ready. thesisterhotel.com
JOURNEY / Openings
Dexamenes Seaside Hotel, Kourouta, Greece The award-winning architecture firm K-Studio is behind the transformation of this former winery in the western Peloponnese, now reopened as a hotel. Every effort has been made to retain a sense of the propertyâ€™s industrial history, which was the driving force behind the entire project. The old wine tanks were found to be the perfect size to house each of its 34 guest rooms. Original concrete walls have been left exposed, complemented by polished terrazzo floors and the most minimal of decoration â€“ a welcome, cool retreat after the heat of the beach, which is just a few steps away. designhotels.com
The forecast is good
Don’t let its 266 days of rain per year stop you from visiting Bergen. Norway’s second city is thriving thanks to its distinctive food, art and fashion, all in some way inspired by nature Words / Emma O’Kelly
JOURNEY / Travelogue, Bergen
hen they wake up, the first thing that Bergen locals do is check the weather. The news, Facebook, the strong black coffee that everyone drinks – they all have to wait until the forecast has been registered. It rains 266 days of the year in Norway’s second city; there are eight words for rain in Norwegian, and the bergensere own a pitiful average of one raincoat each. But talking about the rain in Bergen is a cliche. Talking about how it has shaped people’s psyches is much more fun. For fashion designer Karine Lunde Trevellik, the wet weather was a catalyst for starting a business. Having worked on a sportswear labels
Kari Traa and Helly Hansen, she was dismayed by the lack of decent raincoats on offer when she moved to Bergen in 2009. Regular strolls up Mount Fløyen (one of the seven mountains that circle the city) with her business partner led, in 2016, to the birth of fashion label BRGN. Its colourful ponchos, macs and trenches, boots and bags are sold in boutiques in Norway, Denmark and the UK, as well as Høyer, Bergen’s best department store. “The rain gives you an excuse to go to your studio as there’s nothing else to do,” says artist Kent Fonn Skåre, only half-jokingly. Given that Fonn Skåre’s workspace is in a striking listed building by the late modernist architect Geir Grung (famed for his futuristic-looking hydroelectric power stations in the Norwegian mountains), going to work is not that bad. The vast site is the former headquarters of NRK, Norway’s national TV station, and it now features artist studios, a concert hall where the Bergen Philharmonic rehearses and sound studios occupied by upcoming musicians. Music is a big deal in Bergen. Its most famous figurehead is DJ Kygo, and the numerous Harleys parked along the harbour hint at a thriving black metal scene. In the bustling harbour, industrial tugs share jetty space with billionaire’s yachts, fishing trawlers dock alongside wooden rowing boats, and families in windcheaters eat meatballs and mash on the decks of motor cruisers. Vast cruise liners, bigger than entire suburbs, deposit tourists at the fish market and the Hanseatic enclave of Brygge to eat seafood chowder and waffles, washed down with Bergenhus beer. Modern developments are now springing up all around the city, freeing up the clapboard wooden houses and cobbled streets of the city centre for a young creative crowd.
Above Norwegian Rain, the outerwear company set up by Ghanaian-born fashion designer T-Michael
To the north of Brrygge is Sandviken, which, 300 years ago, was a district of hundreds of wharfside warehouses connected by canals. The hum of drills signal the transformation of what was once known as the Venice of Bergen into loft apartments, cool offices and art spaces. Among them is Bergen KjØtt, a former meat factory now colonised by 300 artists. “In terms
Facing page Art hub Bergen Kjøtt in Sandviken, a district of wharfside warehouses Previous page Clothing brand Oleana’s picturesque factory-on-the-fjord at Ytre Arna
â€œModern developments are springing up all around, freeing the clapboard wooden houses and cobbled streets of the city centre for a young creative crowdâ€?
Above Top to bottom: contemporary art in the Tower Room at KODE 4, one of a connected group of museums in the city; a suite at the Bergen BĂ¸rs Hotel, housed in a former stock exchange
JOURNEY / Travelogue, Bergen
“We watch the ships go by and marvel at how the light changes on the water all year round”
of public funding, Bergen is one of the wealthiest cities in the world,” says Cameron Macleod, co-founder of Aldea, an art space with high-tech workshops on the waterfront opposite. (It was formerly occupied by KMD, the University of Bergen’s Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design before this moved into a new HQ designed by Oslo architects Snøhetta in 2017.) Product designers Vera Kleppe and Åshild Kyte, who together form Vera & Kyte, have a top-floor studio in USF, an arts centre in a former sardine cannery. “We watch the ships go by and marvel at how the light changes on the water all year round,” says Kleppe. As well as post-industrial creative hubs, Bergen is also packed with good museums. Between
the Kunsthall and the multi-venue KODE, you can find everything from old masters to contemporary works, including those by Norway’s most famous artists, Edvard Munch and Nikolai Astrup. At the newly revamped Norwegian Fisheries Museum in Sandviken, modern displays on whaling, seal hunting, salmon farming and global warming are a perky reminder of just how seafaring the Norwegians are (they have the second-longest coastline in the world after Canada, after all). Next door to the museum is Bod 24, a cafe offering fresh salads and cakes alongside yoga and painting classes. You can rent a rowing boat from the museum and, should you decide on a dip in the sea, the cafe has towels on hand.
Above The airy atelier of designers Vera Kleppe and Åshild Kyte, whose topfloor studio was once part of a sardine cannery
Above Fresh fish is always on the menu at Marg & Bein, alongside refined takes on other Scandinavian ingredients
JOURNEY / Travelogue, Bergen
A little less spartan is a seawater swim at 1930s lido Nordnes Sjøbad, which can be topped off with a few laps in a heated pool and a hot shower (the salty air, stunning scenery and Norwegian heartiness galvanise even the most timid). A hike (or run) up Stoltzekleiven, the 1km-long stone staircase that leads to Mount Fløyen, is a rite of passage for locals and exercise goes hand in hand with healthy food. Salmon, cloudberries and other Scandinavian classics are given a fresh twist at restaurants such as Marg & Bein, Colonialen and 1877. Unless you like tattoos, trolls and Vikinginspired jewellery, the shopping options in downtown Bergen are minimal – which means that a cool window display really stands out. Norwegian Rain, founded by Ghanaian-born fashion designer T-Michael, is a good example; it sells rainwear with thoughtful detailing (such as storm flaps, detachable hoods and thumb holes) in high-tech Japanese fabrics. Contrary to what you might expect from an off-the-radar city of 250,000 people, Bergen has proved advantageous to the brand. As the gateway to the fjords, it hosts a year-round stream of visitors, and those from Japan in particular form a Norwegian Rain fanbase; this year it opened its first boutique in Tokyo.
Above Oleana wool mill's workroom. New creative director Matilda Norberg is expected to mark a new chapter for this local clothing brand when she reveals her first collection in autumn
Perhaps buoyed by the success of the likes of Norwegian Rain, established brands in Bergen are having a rethink. Oleana, which has made traditional knitwear since 1992, recently made Matilda Norberg, formerly of Henrik Vibskov, its creative director; her first collection, released in autumn, is expected to mark a new direction. What won’t change is Oleana’s manufacturing: every garment is designed and made at its picturesque factory-on-the-fjord at Ytre Arna. At the glitzy cocktail bar at Bergen Børs Hotel (one of five hotels in the local De Bergenske chain, and the finest), the barman pours me a Fjording, a new (delicious) Norwegian liqueur made from caramel and hazelnuts. On a nearby table, a group that resembles extras from Game of Thrones and descendants of Harald Fairhair, the Viking king, propose a toast. To what, I say? To the fact that, for the full three days of my June visit, it didn’t rain once.
Below The recently revamped Norwegian Fisheries Museum in Sandviken. During the summer months it can be reached by ferry from the historic centre of Bergen
Cocooned in paradise
The Sri Lankan safari lodge that lays a light hand on the landscape Words / Stephanie Drax Images / Tim Evan-Cook, Nomadic Resorts
JOURNEY / Sri Lanka
hen Wild Coast Tented Lodge opened in an untamed corner of southern Sri Lanka, the eco-resort broke new ground with almost no physical impact on its environment. The site, on the fringes of Yala National Park, offered dense bushland that revealed golden beaches rippled with sand dunes, studded with colossal boulders and pummelled by strong surf. When the hotelier, Malik Fernando, first surveyed the scene for his new resort, it beguiled him: “The beach – unique for a safari lodge – had this single tree overlooking the Indian Ocean, and right there I saw the perfect sundowner spot.” The site had already been claimed by exotic wildlife, among them Sri Lankan leopards and Asian elephants, so the challenge was to build a safari camp that wouldn’t intrude on their habitat. “I wanted to make it playful, using unconventional structures that would preserve the jungle setting,” says Fernando, the scion of the Dilmah tea empire, who runs two other experiential retreats in Sri Lanka through the company’s hotel division Resplendent Ceylon. It was Nomadic Resorts who got the nod in 2011, a then-new interdisciplinary design and project development team that had some quirky ideas for sustainable hospitality ventures using pre-fabrication and modular design.
philosophy,” says Louis Thompson, Nomadic’s CEO and landscape designer. In an ingenious tribute to Sri Lanka’s apex predator, Nomadic Resorts configured the clusters of guest tents and watering holes into the shape of leopard paw-prints when viewed from the air. Yala National Park – an unfenced reserve of 980 square kilometres – boasts one of the highest densities of leopards in the world. Wild Coast’s expert rangers take guests on daily game drives into the adjacent parkland, where the arid grasslands, forests and lagoons teem with elephants and crocodiles, sambar deer and sloth bears. Back at the resort, the safari experience doesn’t stop: “The cocoons’ elevated decks overlook watering holes that were designed to attract wildlife and allow guests a private vantage point,” says Thompson. The elegant interiors, designed by Dutch practice Bo Reudler Studio, build on the theme of discovery, with travelling
“We consider the entire life cycle of a resort,” says Olav Bruin, Nomadic Resorts’ architect and creative director. “At Wild Coast there are no structural pieces that two men can’t carry so there’s no need for heavy machinery on site.” The landscape is protected, and in the case of natural disasters, political crises or encroaching over-development, the resort can be wrapped up and removed, leaving virtually no trace. When in situ, the property is sustainable thanks to its solar power, greywater recycling and heat recovery from air-conditioning units. The project was also the first opportunity for Nomadic to utilise its unique tensile membrane pods – 36 double bed “cocoons” and twin bed “urchins” – that appear along a gravel path like landed airships part-concealed by vegetation. “Our biophilic design allows guests to feel part of nature, which is part of our underlying
Previous page Seen from above, the cluster of guest rooms form a leopard’s paw-print Below One of the tensile membrane pods Facing page “The perfect sundowner spot” Next page The restaurant and bar, camouflaged amid the boulders
JOURNEY / Sri Lanka
“Our ultimate objective is to make an invisible resort”
trunks, copper baths, varnished teak floors and exposed piping in an aesthetic that the team describes as “Jules Verne meets steampunk”.
Above Nomadic Resorts’ design allows for the whole resort to be wrapped up and removed, leaving no trace Facing page Top to bottom: the bar’s structure was woven from bamboo strips; colonial-style interiors, designed by Dutch practice Bo Reudler Studio
Perhaps most visually arresting, though, are the two gravity-defying pavilions that arch over the restaurant and bar, bisected by a meandering swimming pool that opens out into the garden and can be traversed by bridge. The organic structures, designed to emulate the contours of the beach boulders, were deftly woven from bamboo strips and fixed with reclaimed teak shingles using the skilled hands of local fishermen. As guests feast on traditional Sri Lankan cuisine, a welcome ocean breeze wafts through the space: “We found boulders on the beach with lines of sedimentation,” says Bruin, “so we added those rings into the structures as natural cross-ventilation through the openings.” Ambitious future plans for Wild Coast Tented Lodge include a leopard research station to better understand one of the country’s keystone species, now endangered through habitat loss.
Malik Fernando has been granted government approval to turn the resort’s eight square kilometres into a conservation area, replete with visitors’ centre where guests will be able to assist researchers on camera traps and photo ID projects. Nomadic Resorts and the local fishermen will be back to build it, designed to blend into the landscape as seamlessly as the rest of the property. “Our ultimate objective,” says Bruin, “is to make an invisible resort.” Within 24 hours of Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday terrorist bombings, Malik Fernando had founded the Sri Lanka Tourism Alliance. Via its website (lovesrilanka.org) and social media, the alliance is a credible source for travel advisory updates for tourists and tourism professionals, with 150 hotel members helping to drive recovery and rebuild confidence in the country. “The atrocities this year were a freak event,” says Fernando. “Travel advisories have been lifted and we have been galvanised by what’s happened.” The alliance will now lobby for best practices, sustainability and a code of conduct across the hospitality industry.
JOURNEY / Hotel, Italy
The affordable hospitality concept that’s taking over some of Italy’s exquisite historic buildings – then uniting locals and tourists through art, music and food
Words Emma O’Kelly Images Valentina Sommariva
ome, Venice and Florence may have their Colosseums, Grand Canals and Botticellis, but eager visitors to these great cities can often struggle to find decent food, reliable wifi and a comfy bed.“Often their experience can be underwhelming,” says Italian entrepreneur Michele Denegri. “There is a big gap between the luxury hotels and the weak, poor offering at the bottom end.” A fleapit hotel will dissipate any joy at seeing Michelangelo’s David, while the grunt from a surly concierge can snuff out all wonder at witnessing the Sistine Chapel; as the founder of new hospitality concept Combo, Denegri wants to address this disconnect. Combo might be described as part hotel, part hostel and part cultural incubator, and is aimed at young, discerning travellers who want to see the sights and hang out with young, discerning locals while sidestepping tourist traps. The first one opened in May in a restored convent in Venice; a second opened in a typical casa di ringhiera in Milan’s hip Navigli district in July; and in November, a third site opens in a former fire station in Turin. Accommodation in each Combo varies from single and double rooms to studios and dormitories. The bar and restaurant typically offer regional specialities (Turin’s will will source its ingredients from the nearby Porta Palazzo food market, for example) while a communal gallery, performance space and DJs entice the locals.
Facing page Combo Venice, which occupies a former convent in the quiet Cannaregio neighbourhood
A serial entrepreneur and the son of an Italian businessman, Denegri has a knack for seeking out cool locations such as disused convents and monasteries, and former schools and army barracks. “Italy is full of buildings that are abandoned or bound up in prohibitive heritage legislation, making them too costly to repair,” he says. Some he buys, others he rents; convents and monasteries, with their
dormitory layouts and small bathrooms, lend themselves particulaly well to a hostel set-up and embody Combo’s desire to be a catalyst for social change. By the end of 2020, Denegri aims to be in Rome, Verona, Florence and Bologna, with each Combo playing on its host city’s strengths. In Bologna, there will be an emphasis on DJs; Florence will tap into the city’s musical community; and in Venice and Turin, art will be a theme. In each city, “Combo aims to bring locals and tourists together through music, art and literature,” says Denegri. Turin is Denegri’s home city, and he already has experience of boosting its fortunes: in 2012 he transformed Del Cambio, a fabled yet faded restaurant, into a hotspot for food and art lovers. For Combo Turin’s opening in November, the venue is collaborating with the annual art fair Artissima (see p130), where an artist will stay at the space and produce a performance over the course of their six-day residency. (For the launch of Combo Venice, German artist Dara Friedman collaborated with guests and locals to make a film which will also be shown in Turin.) Combo and Artissima fund all the artworks and their network of contacts, from Turin’s Castello di Rivoli to the Madre Museum in Naples, ensures that they will be exhibited in established gallery settings. “The secret of a good hostel is that it is like a home in the city. Not only a comfortable place to sleep and hang out, but also somewhere locals and tourists can meet,” says Denegri. During Artissima, Combo Turin will host live music and DJs and bring new energy into what has been a depressed stretch of the city. Combo may not be able to solve the problem of mass tourism in Italian cities, but perhaps it will become a “third space” for locals and tourists alike. Watch this space.
Right Sinuous lighting snakes through the cloisters at Combo Venice Below Communal spaces are an important ingredient at Combo, and are used for art and performance as well as being a place to meet locals
A Dublin townhouse designed by Kingston Lafferty Design. Read the full story on p74 Image by Barbara Corsico
HOME Timeless spaces
The Dublin home where graphic colour-blocking makes every room a stimulating experience Words / Dominic Lutyens Images / Barbara Corsico
HOME / Dublin
nodyne is the last adjective you’d use to describe this Victorian home in the leafy, affluent Dublin locale of Donnybrook. The five-bed house, which was once a refuge for Michael Collins, a leading figure in the early20th-century Irish struggle for independence, was recently redesigned by Kingston Lafferty Design (KLD), and pays no heed to convention. It juxtaposes colours in such searing shades as maraschino-cherry red, jade green, cobalt blue and dandelion yellow along with moodier plum and soothing sage green. It’s these offbeat colour combinations that give each room a distinctive atmosphere. There’s also nothing muted about this home’s other finishes, from high-gloss ceramic tiles, large-scale geometric patterns and glowing brass light fittings to pigmented concrete in zingy hues inspired by tadelakt, the waterproof plaster surface used in Moroccan architecture. While colourful and contemporary, the house retains the splendour of its original architecture – its high ceilings and ornate fireplaces – enhanced by theatrical full-length curtains and pots bursting with ferns and kentia palms. KLD’s client, a senior lawyer, clearly saw no point in kowtowing to conformity when decorating her home, which features quirky, almost irrational touches aplenty. “She works in a large corporate office, which is stylish yet minimal and cold,” says KLD’s founder, Róisín Lafferty. “Creating a very personal, unique home that contrasts with this was a big part of
her brief. She didn’t want anything wishywashy. As a practice, we’re known for being playful with colour. But with this project we were pushing it; for us this was extremely bold.” Over the years, the client had admired KLD’s work, and eventually hired the practice to transform her home. In places, the architraves and skirting boards have been painted the same shades as the walls to make the colours ultra-intense and the rooms immersive. “We went for very graphic colour-blocking,” says Lafferty, who presented her client with several options for paint colours and finishes for each room, ”which is important, since the colours change depending on a room’s orientation and its quality of light.” The colour palette was also informed by the homeowner’s “beautiful collection of things picked up on her travels,” says Lafferty. “She loves New York and Italy. She’s also a fan of the Villa Oasis and Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh” – and so the intense lapis lazuli and viridian shades found in Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé’s Moroccan retreat also reverberate throughout the interiors. The owner’s extensive art collection provided a further source of inspiration: “She particularly likes the colour combinations of [modernist painter] Josef Albers,” says Lafferty. Even in the kitchen, glamour takes precedence over mundane practicality. “Our client didn’t want a standard kitchen,” explains Lafferty. “So
Previous page A mid-century ceiling light unites the living space’s many hues Facing page Strong, contrasting colour makes a bold transition from one room to the next. The rug hanging on the wall is inspired by the work of Josef Albers, one of the homeowner’s favourite artists
HOME / Dublin
“As a practice, we’re known for being playful with colour. But with this project we were pushing it; for us this was extremely bold”
we made it look luxurious, designing it almost like a jewellery cabinet with brass shelving and handles.” The splashback and worktop are made from the same slate-grey moulded concrete, creating an elegantly unified surface.
Facing page Traditional elements are made modern with their paint treatment: in the dining room the panelled walls have been uniformly lacquered in a deep blue
Devising a sociable space was a further priority, says Lafferty: “The layout was determined by a need for easy circulation. We didn’t make many structural changes but changed some openings. Originally there was a door at the far end of the kitchen, which led to a conservatory, then to the garden. We moved the door to one side so that from the kitchen you now get an uninterrupted view of the conservatory, which we transformed into a sitting room where guests can sit and talk to others in the kitchen.” Here, a bespoke crescent-shaped peacock blue sofa faces two yellow mid-century armchairs. “We redesigned the garden as an extended entertaining space. It’s all very free-flowing,” continues Lafferty. The impact of using strong colour is felt the moment you step into the hallway, painted a blackcurrant-fool shade. The risers on the staircase are decorated with a wallpaper with a pattern of blousy, oversized peonies.
In the dining and living rooms, built-in, glassfronted cabinetry, which KLD incorporates into many of its projects, is painted the same colour as the walls – a brilliant blue – creating a homogeneous, uniform surface. The cabinets are filled with books, or display sculptural midcentury glassware. In the dining room, the ceiling is covered with a blue and white wallpaper while the fireplace is picked out in a vibrant cherryade pink. The main bedroom, by contrast, has sage green walls: “This colour was chosen because it’s calming without being insipid,” says Lafferty. This room was once two bedrooms, now amalgamated to create a single larger space to incorporate an adjoining walk-in wardrobe and an ensuite bathroom. The newly expanded room is dominated by a bespoke winged rattan headboard that stretches almost to the ceiling, its romantic quality chiming in with the house’s more charmingly old-world elements. The serene atmosphere here contrasts with the more stimulating colour schemes downstairs – but the impression it gives is that it primarily appeals to the homeowner as somewhere to unwind and recover the energy needed to entertain friends and have some more fun.
Facing page With a backdrop of glossy blackcurrantfool-coloured walls, the stair risers have been faced with a blowsy floral wallpaper. The ribbed stool that matches the walls is from Ferm Living
Above Opulent materials, such as the velvet curtain that pools on the bedroom floor, stand up to the grandeur of the houseâ€™s Victorian architecture, including parquet floors and ornate fireplaces
Previous page The master bedroom is dominated by a bespoke rattan headboard Above Sage-green walls sound a calmer note in the master bedroom
Facing page Inspired by Moroccan design and the homeownerâ€™s travels, the bathroomâ€™s polished-plaster walls and monolithic concrete basin/ vanity unit echo the colours found at Marrakechâ€™s Jardin Majorelles
An impeccably restored lateral apartment that has much more than just a good bone structure Words / Elizabeth Choppin Images / Simon Upton
HOME / London
hen boutique property developer Edo Mapelli Mozzi acquired 13-19 Leinster Square in London’s Notting Hill, his team had the significant job of bringing the Grade IIlisted buildings back to life after a long period of neglect. Very few of the original features in the stucco-fronted townhouses, built in 1850, had been spared when they were gutted in the 1970s for use as a hotel. Mapelli Mozzi and his team at Banda Property have now restored as much of the detail as possible while creating five maisonettes, eight apartments and two penthouses – all of which are due to complete at the end of 2019. The first three-bedroom unit to be finished by Banda’s in-house design team faces the garden square on the first floor, and is decked out with a wide-ranging collection of classic design pieces, contemporary artwork and a palette of elegant natural materials. The apartment’s exceptional finish helps shift the rest of the properties, explains Mapelli Mozzi, because the company’s approach is not to sell off-plan before construction begins, but to appeal to buyers who actually want to live there and so will look to buy after the work is complete.
“That’s been our approach from day one,” says the entrepreneur, who distinguishes Banda from other luxury developers by the quality of the base build and the pared-back approach to the design of the interiors. “We always design and build for owner-occupiers, not investors,” he says. “For this project, we wanted to use the best materials possible and then use those materials to create a very plain, high-quality palette that maximises light.” It’s true that it takes a certain kind of confidence to dress a show flat sparingly because it doesn’t leave room for shoddy workmanship, and it lets the fine detail of the interior architecture shine through. In this case the statement Marquina marble fireplaces and mix of Versailles parquet, herringbone and chevron oak flooring are striking features in their own right. A lot of the new builds in London post 2007 followed a very similar aesthetic that was busy and layered, says Mapelli Mozzi. “If you’ve got a white box, you’ve got to add layer upon layer to disguise that your base build is not good enough. So we wanted to tone that down and make sure that everyone looked at things like
Left Pierre Jeanneret teak chairs appeal to buyers who are as interested in rare furniture as grand proportions
Previous page The mid-19th-century listed building retains its original facade, but has been entirely rebuilt within
Facing page Details such as ornate cornicing have been faithfully reproduced where possible. In the living room, the focal point is Finnish designer Tuomas Markunpoikaâ€™s steel and tadelakt coffee table
HOME / London
the mouldings, the ironmongery or the point where timber hits marble – all of those little details that really matter.” One advantage was that the previous owners of 13-19 Leinster Square had knocked through all of the internal walls, meaning each new flat has a rare expanse of lateral space spanning the buildings. Essentially, the front external facade is the only original wall, and everything behind it is new, although Banda also had to adhere to listed building regulations, so any timber that came out during construction went back in, and breathable lime plaster was used. The team also salvaged fragments of the original cornicing: “In one room we found a tiny bit of moulding, and we found an eighth of a ceiling rose, so we had a replica created and reinstated. We tried to get everything as close to the original as possible,” says Mapelli Mozzi. Certainly the 3.4m-high ceilings and arched windows along the building’s frontage provide an indication of its original grandeur. But this is a space adapted for 2019, with an Obumex handmade kitchen with Gaggenau appliances,
long stretches of bespoke storage and a generously sized garden terrace. The work of emerging and well-known artists such as Slim Aarons, Nick Knight, Anish Kapoor, Tony Bevan and Emily Young is set off by a simple palette of stone, wood, linen and marble. Antique furniture, sourced from the market at nearby Portobello Road, sits alongside design classics such as Pierre Jeanerret dining chairs and a rosewood and cane bench by Joaquim Tenreiro, plus select pieces from Banda’s own furniture line to be launched later this year. “The hierarchy of space is very important to us,” says Mapelli Mozzi of the layout. “We wanted to have all of the principal living spaces at the front facing the square and the secondary spaces at the back without as much light.” It’s difficult to imagine that any of the positions in this home could fall down the pecking order, but that’s a testament to Banda’s careful execution. “We know their mindset,” Mapelli Mozzi says of his discerning clientele. “We spend our money on the quality of the product instead of marketing tricks and branding. We want our buildings to have character and soul.”
Facing page The Obumex kitchen, leading through to the dining room. Unusually, the terrace of houses had already been knocked through to create lateral layouts – a hangover from when the building was a hotel
“We wanted to use the best materials possible, and then use those materials to create a very plain, high-quality palette that maximises light”
Above The ceilings are 3.4m high in the entrance hallway. Antique urns sit on the whitewashed Versailles parquet floor, and there are views to both front and back
Facing page Left to right: Farrow & Ballâ€™s Ammonite paint provides the backdrop to a delicate console in the hallway; the bench is by Brazilian designer Joaquim Tenreiro
Right The master bedroom, overlooking leafy Leinster Square, features a 1950s Mole chair by Sergio Rodrigues. The artwork is by Kristin Giorgi, from NG Collective
“In one room we found an eighth of a ceiling rose, so we had a replica created. We tried to get everything as close to the original as possible”
Above Left to right: the master bathroom is clad in Calacatta marble; a solid marble dressing table, part of Banda’s own furniture collection
Facing page Ceramics by Nina Malterud, sourced locally from Notting Hill’s Flow gallery, hang on the wall in one of the bedrooms
Place of refuge
A Swiss home formed from monolithic concrete, in thrall to its lush lakeland setting Words / Jonathan Bell Images / James Silverman
HOME / Lake Maggiore
ake Maggiore bridges the mountainous terrain of northern Italy and the most southerly point of Switzerland. This 65kmlong serpentine body of water snakes all the way from Piedmont in the south to Locarno in the Swiss north, pairing Alpine views with exotic vegetation. Unlike Lake Como and Lake Garda to the east, Maggiore doesn’t have the magnetic allure of money and celebrity: what is has instead is striking architecture. Throughout the 20th century, architects have exploited the far-reaching views, steep slopes and mild climate, creating structures that redefined the relationship between the house and the landscape. From the lofty heights of Richard Neutra’s masterpiece, Bucerius House, to contemporary works by Italian and Swiss architects, the lake’s snow-capped slopes offer up a perfect canvas for architecture that relates to its distinctive surroundings.
Previous page From the roadside, the 190 sqm house overlooking Lake Maggiore is almost entirely out of sight. At the top level, a staircase leads down to the entrance court Facing page The south facade, pierced irregularly with windows, overlooks the pool. The Ninix loungers are by Royal Botania
Swiss practice Wespi de Meuron Romeo’s house in Brissago is its second residential project to overlook Lake Maggiore. The clients acquired the site because they loved the region, and the architects’ portfolio was instrumental in winning them the job. Finished in concrete, like its earlier sibling, this house is a modernist monolith, a pared-back structure that reduces its visual language to a sparse arrangement of blank walls and picture windows, yielding nothing of the internal configuration. Many layers of function are hidden behind these inscrutable walls and there is an architectural progression down through the topography of the site. The design not only sets up spectacular views south over the lake, but interacts with the landscape on every level, providing a variety of paths from the roadside down the hill, over, under and through.
Rigorously defined in a rough concrete finish, the house is arranged over four levels interspersed with internal courtyards, fullheight windows and carefully placed slots in the facade. At the top, a parking area is clearly defined just off the main road, setting up the architectural grid and material palette of stone, metal and poured concrete, with windows and details set into the surface. Yet it also conceals more than it reveals, for the 190 sqm residence is almost entirely out of sight below. This modest space descends down into an entrance courtyard, which opens up into the kitchen and dining area. There’s an intimacy and simplicity to this outdoor room, where a small table is set up for private al fresco dining, with a sliding door at one end to open up the view to the east. Inside, the function of the room is again arranged around the view: the kitchen counter, with its sink and hob, appears to float before a frameless vista right down the length of the lake, while a long custom-made oak dining table is also set against a backdrop of glass to reveal the hills running down to the water’s edge. The slender timber and metal legs of the white Charles Eames DSW side chairs cast long evening shadows on the expansive polished concrete floor. From the fourth level, a staircase and lift lead down into the main living area. Once again, the space is dominated by southerly views down the length of the lake, with the large floor-to-ceiling windows running the full width of the facade. The house’s interlocking, puzzle-like section is exploited to create two distinct outdoor spaces, a covered courtyard with large sliding wooden door to provide access to the garden, and a main courtyard. This double-height walled space is planted
Above The study area, which sits on the lowest level of the house, includes an integrated desk and an Eames chair
Facing page Rough walls in the courtyard emphasise the houseâ€™s monumental appearance. The lake is glimpsed just beyond
HOME / Lake Maggiore
“The design not only sets up spectacular views south over the lake, but interacts with the landscape on every level”
with olive trees and laid with cobblestones. Architect Jérôme de Meuron describes it as the “heart of the house – it’s where different paths join together, like in a historic village.” A concrete bench and water feature are joined by a second sliding wooden door, creating a route through the house and emphasising the feel of a collection of related structures. The garden doors reveal two paths leading down to the large garden terrace below the house. From here the lake is revealed in all its glory, creating a modernist oasis shielded from neighbouring properties. Designed using the same gridded aesthetic, the terrace is finished in a combination of concrete and wood and contains a pool and outdoor kitchen by Gardelino, sunk into the ground to reference the courtyards, walls and stairs of the main house. Furniture is carefully selected, including Ninix outdoor chairs by the Belgian firm Royal Botania. “We always appreciate being involved in choosing furniture with the client and it’s even better if we can design it as well, which often happens,” says de Meuron. The landscape is still very evident in the living room. Like the kitchen above, this generous room is a dual-aspect space, with views across and down the lake. Arranged around the hearth, a large Flexform Soft Dream sofa wraps around the glass-fronted cornermounted hearth. Behind it, the concrete has been cast to form large shelving slots for books, ornaments and artworks. The floor below contains two bedrooms, a bathroom and a fitness suite, while the master bedroom is located on the first floor, alongside its own bathroom and sauna. Exits on both levels intersect with the sloping garden and provide additional ways of getting down to the pool.
The architects were responsible for the bespoke design of all the built-in and architectural furniture, from the dining table to the beds and study desk, using solid oak. Sanitaryware and kitchen fittings were supplied by the Swiss firms Arwa and Franke. The large expanses of glass and custom frames were provided by another Swiss firm, Asconabased Lurati & Frei. Their smooth surfaces are juxtaposed with the rough concrete walls, creating a compelling contrast between the two materials. “We were looking for a material that created a connection with traditional old structures nearby, all of which were built in natural stone,” says de Meuron. The architects used specially treated concrete, stripping away the outer layer to create a raw, natural finish. “It becomes very rough and the stone aggregate reappears,” the architect explains. “It’s as if decomposition has already started and the ageing process is underway. With time the house will get a patina.” Despite the practice’s expertise with concrete and stone, this was Wespi de Meuron Romeo’s first experience of using this particular type of concrete construction. “We visited other houses that used the material,” explains the architect. “We were also on site to oversee the concrete ‘washing’ procedure, to make sure we got exactly the right result.” The Brissago house builds on Switzerland’s admirable and long-standing tradition for refined contemporary living, mixing a respect for landscape and topography with a highly rigorous approach to materials and detailing. The result is warm but uncompromising – a place for contemplating the relationship between architecture and the natural word.
Facing page Top to bottom: the dual-aspect main living space, with a corner hearth providing an interior focal point; looking back through the main living room to the internal courtyard
“The house reduces its visual language to a sparse arrangement of blank walls and large windows, yielding nothing of the internal configuration”
Above In the kitchen, the stainless-steel counter appears to float
Next page A sunken outdoor kitchen in the pool area, whose concrete shell echoes the house’s architecture
Facing page The tranquil courtyard with its minimal planting, closed off from the world by a sliding timber door
Worldly wise A Hampstead apartment that blends contrasting influences from Lagos, London and beyond Words / Karine MoniĂŠ Images / Claire Illi
HOME / London
ampstead Manor, in the affluent London suburb from which it takes its name, has an intriguing history. Formerly a women’s college founded in 1882, its buildings include laboratories and classrooms that have now been split up into residential units, which are still adorned with Victorian features such as bay windows overlooking charming gardens. It is here that a couple from Lagos with two sons chose to make their second home. The family trusted Dara Huang, the creative mind behind Design Haus Liberty, to transform the 168 sqm holiday apartment. Huang says that her clients “actually weren’t too particular about the process and gave us a blank slate. They were easy to work with and approved most of our ideas very quickly.” In charge of the refurbishment, interior design, lighting and furniture, Huang and her team spent time understanding the owners’ culture and lifestyle, as well as the way the family interacts, in order to make sure they created the right space: for example, there are two living areas, one for everyday use, and one for entertaining. “The architecture was already laid out so we really wanted to create a very rich environment inside with African-inspired colours that had a lot of depth and that we found while looking at many traditional fabrics,” Huang says. Dark turquoise, pink clay, burnt sienna and royal blue define each vibrant living area adorned with painted walls or bold wallpapers. The colours of Akara fabrics (the wax-print cotton synonymous with boldly patterned clothing in Nigeria and throughout West Africa) proved a fruitful source of inspiration: “We wanted to bring those colours into the palette of the flat and not be afraid to be as bold as those fabrics.” That’s only a part of the design recipe, though. The rich and diverse materials used include silk, tweed, rattan, stone, terrazzo, metal, velvet, linen and timber. Huang says that she wanted to mix the West African influences with “Scandinavia, Paris, London and some of the rough materials in nature – hence why we left broken edges and used organic-shaped glass. Our objective was to combine both distressed and new, to form an interesting blend.”
Huang’s multicultural background means that she’s comfortable combining all these different influences and styles. The daughter of a NASA scientist who emigrated from Taiwan to the US, she studied design at the University of Florida and architecture at Harvard University, before working at Herzog & de Meuron, Asymptote Architecture and Foster + Partners. She lived in Tokyo, Basel and New York City before settling down in London. One of Huang’s passions is lighting, so much so that she set up a sister company, DHLiberty Lux, to bring her own designs to a wider audience. She’s used it here in the living and kitchen area, where uneven orbs of glass are suspended from the ceiling as pendants. Design Haus Liberty designed many bespoke pieces for the space too, such as the terrazzo tables, bookshelves, side tables and vanity units. Other custom-made features include a floorstanding mirror in the entrance; a TV wall with rough quartz edges and back-lit joinery; a terrazzo dining table, which seems to float on a thin metal edge; and the study area’s desk, which features a giant quartz cube at one end of its base. The dusky-pink master bedroom includes a bespoke alternative to a headboard that occupies a whole wall – a row of cushiony velvet-upholstered frames, topped with a further row of framed terrazzo panels, picking up on the material’s use elsewhere. European contemporary furniture brands lend polish and sophistication to the interiors, from a pair of Moroso’s sculptural Bloomy armchairs, colour-matched the same shade of blue as the walls, to a curvy sofa by Bespoke Sofa London and Portuguese brand Mambo Unlimited Ideas’ Jean coffee table, a play on monolithic marble shapes in pink, black and white. Rough and smooth, light and dark, crisply outlined geometric shapes and satisfyingly uneven hand-crafted furniture: despite the obvious presence of opposites, Huang perfectly united all these elements in a cohesive and harmonious way. As a result, the space expresses emotion, creates surprises and tells a story filled with the richness of diverse cultures and the memories of its inhabitants.
Facing page A tonal blue scheme in one of the living areas features Moroso’s Bloomy chairs, upholstered in wool Previous page Curvy furniture creates a soft and inviting space: the sofa is Navii by Bespoke Sofa London, and the timber stools are by Pols Potten
Above Framed rows of terrazzo and velvet are used in lieu of a headboard Facing page Dark timber unites the furniture and joinery in the bedroom
Next page For the study, DH Liberty designed a striking table with a monolithic quartz cube set into a black metal frame. The airy geometric lighting above the desk is the Cercle and Trait pendant by CVL
* KENT console by Duquesa & Malvada // TURING table lamp by Wood Tailors // PLANTS by Fiu - Jardins Suspensos
Associative Design ‘The Best of Portugal’ Global Showcases. Featuring an expertly curated mix of contemporary and luxury Portuguese design and innovation.
East London gallery M.A.H. Read the full story on p138
ART & COLLECTING A cultural review
ART & COLLECTING / Diary
Sights to behold: a calendar of shows and fairs for the coming months
Words / Alice Bucknell
Bridget Riley, Hayward Gallery, London 23 October 2019â€“26 January 2020
The crisp optical illusions of British painter Bridget Riley will complement the swooping brutalist architecture of the Hayward Gallery this autumn. Riley, now 88, was at the forefront of the op-art movement, and has produced her provocative colour explosions for 70 years. Hayward
will capture her full career, from the late-1950s copy of a Seurat painting (pictured above) that changed Rileyâ€™s thinking about colour, to zingy later works (such as Aria from 2012, pictured opposite). A site-specific mural, made specially for the show, is set to be a highlight.
Carsten Höller and ENEL. Image: Attilio; Volumnia/Enrica de Micheli; Courtesy of the artist and Galerie In Situ. Image: Raphael Fanelli
ART & COLLECTING / Diary
Carsten Höller: Reproduction, Copenhagen Contemporary 29 September 2019–13 August 2020
Whether you’re standing in a room of rotating mushrooms stuck to the ceiling or whizzing down a twisting slide in London’s Olympic Park, your curiosity and amusement will be provoked by Stockholm-based artist Carsten Höller’s surreal stage sets. Höller’s Danish double-billing
this autumn at Copenhagen Contemporary and Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg will be no different, as visitors to both museums will bear witness to the weird world of this ex-scientist’s mad creations, including such futuristic follies as Double Carousel from 2011, pictured.
ART & COLLECTING / Diary
Otobong Nkanga, Tate St Ives
Radical roaming design fair NOMAD is packing its bags for Venice this September. The fair, lauded for its novel approach to curating contemporary art and collectible design, will show its goods in the majestic gothic Palazzo Soranzo Van Axel. With a mixture of special projects, including installations from Draga & Aurel, Objects of Common Interest and Wonderglass, plus a solid line-up of galleries such as Nilufar and Victoria Miro, NOMAD is an unmissable stop-off for design collectors sniffing out the wares of today’s most interesting makers. Pictured is a Gabriella Crespi pendant, from Italian gallery Volumnia.
Nigerian-born Otobong Nkanga works in a variety of media, including textile, painting, performance, sculpture and installation, in order to interrogate the politics of landscape and the body. Nkanga’s exhibition at Tate St Ives, the artist’s first solo museum exhibition in the UK, will feature both new and old work in a poetic and urgent exploration of these subjects. A good primer is In Pursuit of Bling: The Transformation (pictured), a woven textile first shown at the Berlin Bienniale in 2014, which examines the subject of mineral mining, its human cost and our insatiable appetite for raw materials.
5–8 September 2019
20 September 2019–5 January 2020
Collier Campbell/V&A; Timothy Hursley; Mark Bradford/Hauser & Wirth (image: Joshua White); Alice Mann/Afronova Gallery; Ranti Bam/50 Golborne
ART & COLLECTING / Diary
Still Undead: Pop Culture in Britain Beyond the Bauhaus, Nottingham Contemporary 21 September 2019–5 January 2020
A latecomer to the centenary celebrations of Europe’s brief-but-influential Bauhaus movement, Nottingham Contemporary’s show promises a fresh take on a tired subject. It follows what happened to the leading figures of
the movement after the 1920s, then considers its impact on pop culture decades later in the 1970s and 1980s – from DIY publishing and club culture to textiles, such as Collier Campbell’s 1972 fabric for Liberty (pictured).
ART & COLLECTING / Diary
MoMA, New York City
Other Spaces, 180 The Strand, London
Reopening October 2019
1 October–9 December 2019
Earlier this year, MoMA announced it was closing its doors in order to re-evaluate its entire collection, with the goal of including more works by women and artists of colour. With other world-class museums deaccessioning pieces by “stale pale and male” artists in order to acquire more diverse works, cultural leaders will be closely eyeing the results when MoMA’s doors open again in October.
Brutalist office block turned creative hub 180 The Strand shook up London’s art scene in 2016 with its inaugural show of large-scale audio-visual artworks, curated by The Vinyl Factory. This autumn the venue is back at it with a trio of trippy installations by London-based practice United Visual Artists (UVA) including Vanishing Point (pictured), inspired by Renaissance perspective drawings.
Mark Bradford, Hauser & Wirth, London
1-54 Contemporary Art Fair, London
Mottled materials, splats of colour and a mind-boggling game of surfaces define American artist Mark Bradford’s distinctive practice. Represented by Hauser & Wirth since 2015, he will have a blow-out inaugural show across both of the gallery’s London outposts this autumn with a whole new body of work, including The Path to the River Belongs to Animals (detail pictured).
Since its debut in London 2013, 1-54 has become a core component of any savvy art collector’s autumn checklist, with a cutting-edge selection of contemporary African art including photography, painting and sculpture. Expect work by the likes of South African photographer Alice Mann, winner of last year’s prestigious Taylor Wessing Prize, and Nigerian ceramicist Ranti Bam (both pictured).
1 October–21 December 2019
3–6 October 2019
ART & COLLECTING / Diary
Frieze, London 3–6 October 2019
The veritable Armageddon of art fairs, Frieze was founded in 2003 and has grown in popularity since, expanding to New York in 2011 and LA in 2019. The fair features 170 contemporary art galleries, a Focus section that offers discounts from the steep admission price for select youngblood galleries, as well as specially commissioned artists’
projects, a talks programme and an artist-led education schedule. The fair itself may have become the ultimate spectator sport, but the public sculpture area that takes over the English Gardens in Regent’s Park is less intense. This year it includes Iranian artist Ghazaleh Avarzamani’s deconstructed slide, Strange Temporalities (pictured).
ART & COLLECTING / Diary
Christina Quarles, The Hepworth Wakefield
A Tale of Two Women Painters: Sofonisba Anguissola and Lavinia Fontana, Museo del Prado, Madrid
9 October 2019–19 January 2020
22 October 2019–2 February 2020
US artist Christina Quarles is a rising star, and for good reason. Her psychedelic canvases emanate a tender but fraught state of embodiment: supple figures bend and collide across the canvas, blurring the line between love and violence. Quarles’ show at The Hepworth Wakefield will be the artist’s first at a European institution, and will feature a range of paintings and ink drawings, including new works specially created for this exhibition.
There were plenty of successful female painters active in the Renaissance – they’ve just been brushed out of art history. The Museo del Prado intends to change that by shedding light on the unsung careers of two Italian mavens: Lavinia Fontana, widely considered the first professional female artist, and Sofonisba Anguissola, who served at Philip II of Spain’s court, where in 1573 she painted the king’s fourth wife, Anna of Austria (pictured).
Perottino Piva Bottallo
ART & COLLECTING / Diary
Cars: Accelerating the Modern World, V&A, London
1–3 November 2019
23 November 2019–19 April 2020
Possibly the most charming of all the art fairs, Turin’s Artissima doubles up as Italy’s most significant show dedicated exclusively to contemporary art. Almost 200 galleries partake in the annual attraction, which places a special emphasis on young galleries (under four years old) as well as more affordable print works, in its Art Spaces & Editions section. Housed in the Lingotto Fiere, the spectacular former Fiat factory dripping with architectural drama, and surrounded by beautiful scenery, Artissima promises a fair that will satiate hungers for both avant-garde art and a picturesque Italian getaway.
A shape-shifting emblem of modernity, luxury and necessity, depending on who you ask, cars are an integral part of contemporary culture. Yet the way they have shaped us and our planet in the post-global economy is yet to be reckoned with within an institutional exhibition – until now. The V&A’s Cars: Accelerating the Modern World breaks its survey down into 15 models and three sections: Going Fast, Making More and Shaping Space. Both critical and celebratory, this exhibition is a must for any driver, car lover or individual concerned about how the future on four wheels might look.
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ART & COLLECTING / Germany
Powerful performance A former coal power plant south of Berlin is going back on the grid as a centre for contemporary art
ince 2012, Performance Electrics, an artistic enterprise founded by German artist Pablo Wendel, has been producing power through art. I’m talking about electrical power: the kind that switches on your lights, lets you boil the kettle and watch your next favourite Netflix TV show. All thanks to making art. Up until now, the collective has been working at the intersection of sculpture, installation, performance and creative technology to create artworks that facilitate the collection and distribution of electrical power. They call it “Kunststrom” (art electricity), and so far it has ranged from building solar-panel sculptures out of electricity pylon fragments, to guerrilla actions such as performers roaming around public spaces with accumulator backpacks that collect energy from any available plug. They might not be the most straightforward ways to generate energy, but they do work. The end-users of this energy, which range from museums to private homeowners, believe in the power of art, quite literally. And with this non-profit endeavour investing 100% of its profits back into the production of artworks and electricity, Performance Electrics has created an unusual sustainable model that benefits the communities it chooses to work with in more ways than one. This September, the organisation will launch its most ambitious project to date, a former coal power-plant station in Luckenwalde, about 80km south of Berlin, which it has converted into a 10,000 sqm centre for the contemporary arts. E-Werk Luckenwalde will supply its own electricity and contribute to the local and national power grid. Running across
four floors, it will have a multiplicity of spaces on offer for both the presentation and the production of contemporary art, including a turbine hall and adjacent gallery spaces, workshops and affordable artists’ studios. And all the while, the renovated and sustainable power plant will be producing electricity at an industrial scale – the antithesis of its former life burning brown coal, which is considered especially unfriendly to the environment.
Words Eliel Jones Images Courtesy of Performance Electrics
Leading E-Werk’s opening artistic schedule are Wendel himself and Helen Turner, who has joined the team from the UK’s Cass Sculpture Foundation. “For our first year it was important for us to think about an expanded notion of energy, particularly in relation to autonomy and production,” says Turner. “It was also crucial for us to pay attention to our location. This is only the second contemporary art space in Brandenburg, so we wanted to start the conversation with something that feels quite familiar to the community of Luckenwalde and its particular industrial history.” Launching during Berlin Art Week, the programme will feature a flagship commission by artist Lucy Joyce, who, working with former factory workers and other locals connected to the building’s past and present, will create a sculptural installation highlighting one of the greatest sources of energy and power: the sun. Using mirrored arrows, the artist and her collaborators will create reflections from the nearby rooftops, all of them pointing to E-Werk. Audiences will be able to look up to witness the action live, or watch a recording of the performance within the gallery. Making direct use of E-Werk’s electrical power, artist Nicolas Deshayes will be producing a series of
Facing page The inside of Performance Electrics’ Off Road installation
ART & COLLECTING / Germany
cast-iron wall-hung sculptures that function as both artworks and radiators, pumping hot water directly supplied by the plant. There’s also a live performance programme, curated by Block Universe, London’s annual performanceart festival, featuring artists including Nina Beier, Nora Turato and Fernanda MuñozNewsome, among others. Throughout its first year, E-Werk will also roll out E-Pavilion, a series of three architecture commissions that will provide additional space for educational activities, production facilities and a public programme. “We are treating the pavilion commissions as prototypes, but with the hope they will become long-term or even permanent fixtures to the estate,” says Turner. “We wanted to fill the grounds with utopian architecture, and it is important that there is room for experimentation and openness for that to truly happen.”
Utopian ideas about electricity generation, explored through art, have been at the heart of Performance Electrics’ work from its inception, and although electricity and its accompanying manifold uses will now not always necessarily be produced by the art at this ambitious new complex of buildings, a constant supply of power will be generated in tandem to the creative endeavours. The aim is to make enough to power the entire arts centre itself and up to 100 single-occupancy households in the area. “Not many people really understand what electricity is, or how it works, and I think this lack of accessible knowledge is a tool of control to limit people’s ability to choose, to selfdetermine and to create new models of operating, within a market or otherwise,” says Turner. “Following Performance Electrics’ mission, at E-Werk we will continue to be an example of the possibility of being off grid.”
Above The Luckenwalde coal plant, set to become an arts centre that will generate energy for the grid Facing page Top to bottom: Off Road, an installation of a series of “wind sculptures”; Infobridge, part of a 2014 collective project in Darmstadt
“For our first year it was important for us to think about an expanded notion of energy, particularly in relation to autonomy and production”
Facing page Top to bottom: Nina Beier, who is performing as part of E-Werk’s events programme; Varta Bande, a project in which performers roam around charging their backpacks
Above The power plant’s entrance – with electricity-themed stained glass
East London gallery M.A.H brings the borrowing economy to the art and design world Words / Elizabeth Choppin
ART & COLLECTING / Gallery
rom the outside looking in, the British art scene doesn’t seem easy to penetrate, with its network of gallerists, exclusive events and cash flying to and fro. It’s a rarefied world that can intimidate novice collectors – and while there are several buying fairs with accessible artwork for sale, there aren’t nearly as many ways to borrow a painting or a piece of sculpture, and then give it back. Enter M.A.H – short for Modern Art Hire – the brainchild of London-based interior stylist and creative director Laura Fulmine. M.A.H recently opened its doors amid the galleries of Vyner Street in east London, and is in equal measures a prop house and an exhibition space where enthusiasts can see, borrow or, if they wish to, buy work from artists in Fulmine’s network, including Camille Walala, Emily Forgot, Tegan Ashmore, Naomi Clark and John Booth. Every six months a new rotation of talent will appear, curated seasonally by Fulmine, some of whom will make artworks especially for M.A.H. Fulmine is a self-proclaimed art outsider, whose vision was born out of necessity rather than a grand ambition to be an art dealer. As a stylist working for top interiors magazines and brands, she found it increasingly difficult to borrow artwork for shoots without facing repercussions of stringent copyright laws. “A few of these artists are my friends,” she says, waving her hand around the gallery, which is painted grey and artfully strewn with limitededition design pieces, paintings, wall weavings and sculpture. “I was always asking them to borrow work and it just seemed crazy,” she says. Fulmine decided to launch her own platform collaborating with contemporary artists for a kind of one-stop shop for stylists who need artwork for shoots, events and films – or longer-term hires by interior designers for restaurants, offices and hotels. Following the
launch, it quickly became clear that the concept stretches to private individuals who want art in their homes but either can’t afford it, or don’t want to make the commitment of buying it. Unlike prop houses, Fulmine doesn’t own the artworks – they are on loan from the artists and she makes a commission with each transaction, the cost of which is based on the risk value of the piece. “I wrote to all of the artists and said ‘I know a lot of you have work in a drawer, or in a cupboard, doing nothing. We can make use of it.’ That’s how I sold it to them, but then everyone got so excited that they wanted to give me new work,” she says. All of the artists involved have granted license for the copyright to be used over the duration of a loan, which means stylists can borrow and shoot pieces without worrying about being sued, which is apparently a real risk. It’s been a good year for Fulmine, who has just completed a high-profile project with designled estate agents The Modern House, where she worked with galleries such as Béton Brut, Mint and Seeds to curate a penthouse flat in London’s Television Centre development, a big step toward bringing M.A.H to life. As ideas around ownership and the borrowing economy are debated, hers is a timely business model. “So many people have wandered in off the street and tried to understand what M.A.H is all about and how long they could hire pieces for,” says Fulmine. She’s had enquiries from stylists about offering an advisory service on what art would work in a particular space. “That kind of service could stretch to the home as well,” she adds. “I know there are platforms doing it already – hiring art – but because art is such a huge expenditure, to hire something that is temporary and it’s only, say, a few hundred quid for the short term, it’s easier for people to get involved.”
Facing page Laura Fulmine, who set up M.A.H as a result of the difficulties she faced borrowing art in her work as an interiors stylist Previous page Works to hire or to buy in the gallery
A bin with human centred design Bins designed to effectively change recycling behaviours
Hackney live music venue EartH. Read the full story on p158 Image by Luke Hayes
ARCHITECTURE Surveying the built environment
High & mighty
Restored and modernised, ErnĂś Goldfingerâ€™s Balfron Tower enters a new age of exaltation Words / John Jervis
ARCHITECTURE / London
Previous page Balfron Tower, completed in 1967 and recently modernised by developers Londonewcastle Facing page Architect ErnÖ Goldfinger in his self-designed Hampstead home, 2 Willow Road Below Trellick Tower, Balfron’s larger and betterknown sibling in west London
n the last few years, Balfron Tower – a glowering 1960s hulk of social housing near the old East London Docks – has become the high-rise that seems to be most treasured by the capital’s architectural cognoscenti. That might be surprising, because for decades, its younger, taller, sleeker sibling in Kensington, Trellick Tower, also by Budapest-born architect ErnÖ Goldfinger, held the crown. Its famous silhouette was appropriated for mugs and Britpop videos, but this very fashionability – and the encroachment of private ownership – eroded its appeal, and the dirtier, grittier Balfron became the insider’s choice. Like Trellick, the 27-storey Balfron houses its lifts and services in a separate tower alongside the main block, connected by a bridge on every third floor. The ensemble has a martial air, with arrow-slit windows slanting up the service tower, topped by a bulging boiler house and chunky chimneys, resulting in a fortress-like silhouette. With its bush-hammered concrete finish, it makes the perfect subject matter for the black-and-white photography of the recent brutalism revival – although, Goldfinger firmly rejected the term.
Balfron also has literary allure. After its completion in 1967, Goldfinger and his wife Ursula moved into a top-floor apartment for eight weeks, paying rent, holding parties for residents and collating observations (“It might be an idea to have a window-box competition”). The stunt seemed calculated to grab press attention, and helped to inspire JG Ballard’s 1975 dystopian novel High-Rise, but there is no doubt that Balfron was enormously important to Goldfinger. Despite being a major figure on the British architectural scene since his arrival in 1934, it was only in the 1960s that major commissions hit his drawing board. The first – the redevelopment of south London’s Elephant and Castle – proved a political football. Balfron and its surrounding estate were a shot at redemption, and one of the most prestigious commissions bestowed on a private architectural practice as socialhousing construction soared in London. Despite a taste for the finer things, Goldfinger was a committed Marxist, and had hoped to build a monumental housing scheme since the 1920s. He promptly rejected proposals for four low blocks, instead designing one of Europe’s tallest residential towers, with 146 flats ranging from one-bed apartments to more glamorous duplexes with small private gardens or distinctive “papal” balconies, visible halfway up the facade. He worked from first principles, not just in practical aspects such as placing noisy lifts and waste chutes in their own tower, but also in social ones. Between each spacious lift lobby in the service tower, communal spaces were provided, including a table-tennis room, a play space and a “jazz/pop room”. Bridges lead over to an outside “street” of 18 front doors serving three storeys of interlocking flats. This maximised light and space, but also fostered a community spirit – where possible, residents were rehoused alongside their original East End neighbours. And the building was finished to a high spec, with double glazing and bespoke fittings, while its bridges rested on neoprene to minimise sound and vibration. Despite this – and the generosity of budgets for 1960s social housing – many of Goldfinger’s aspirations foundered. His pleas for a concierge
RIBA Collections / RIBA Collections and Architectural Press Archive / RIBA Collections
Courtesy of the Goldfinger family
“The building symbolises the ideology of 1960s architects – they thought a lot about social engineering, providing extensive facilities, but arranged vertically”
Above As part of the building’s recent restoration, the original white timber window frames have been replaced by aluminium versions – to the ire of heritage bodies
Facing page A drawing of the tower’s west elevation; the service tower housed laundry rooms, rubbish chutes and lifts, with bridges across to the flats on every third floor 148
ARCHITECTURE / London
Today, the scaffolding is coming down after a major refurbishment by London practice Studio Egret West in collaboration with Ab Rogers Design. The process has not been without controversy. It is being funded by the sale of Balfron’s social housing – in the shadow of Canary Wharf, it has a highly desirable location. Although previous alterations to the Grade II-listed building (such as the removal of its cornice and chimneys) are being reversed, restoring its original silhouette, the decision to ditch the chunky white timber windows has displeased heritage bodies. The new frames – slim aluminium with a tasteful bronzed effect – are more durable and dirt-resistant, but fail to match to Balfron’s heroic qualities. Inside, this window choice seems more sensible, helping ensure today’s exacting acoustic, thermal and energy standards are met – cars roar down into the Blackwall Tunnel just below – and the increased glazing maximises spectacular views and light, while integrating the balcony into the living space. Six “heritage” flats retain their original layouts (and taps), including the one in which Goldfinger stayed. Elsewhere, adjustments take account of today’s performance standards and modern lifestyles, including smaller families and young couples. There are more generous bathrooms, for example, and a wall between the kitchen and sitting room has been removed, creating a large, light-filled open-plan space with dualaspect windows. (There has been rather strange criticism of this alteration, with the implication that Balfron should be preserved in perpetuity as a 1960s re-enactment society.)
to sit in his marble-lined lobby were ignored, and it was soon vandalised. Communal rooms were shuttered; access galleries were closed to the elements. Perhaps tellingly, Balfron and Trellick proved to be Goldfinger’s last major commissions – by the late 1960s, high-rise housing was already out of fashion, particularly after the nearby Ronan Point tower collapsed in 1968. Balfron’s pollution-stained facade became an unfortunate symbol of the decline of postwar ideals, and in 2011 it was added to English Heritage’s At Risk Register due to its deteriorating condition.
Half of the interiors were overseen by Ab Rogers, half by Studio Egret West. There are minor variations in layout, but their approach to finishes is more diverse. Both respect Goldfinger’s preferences in such matters as the slimline light switches in the metal door frames, but Rogers has plumped for what he calls a more colourful “modern take on brutalism” with blue linoleum and dark grey cabinetry in the kitchen, and oversized tiles and a surprising red ceiling in the bathroom. Brian Mallon, who lead the project for Studio Egret West, says that its palette “was very much driven by the 1960s heritage, respecting Goldfinger’s intentions while not actually replicating his materials” – thus there is a preference for raw, natural surfaces, including glimpses of raw concrete, terrazzo for the bathroom floors and walls, and cork flooring for the bedrooms. Despite these differences, Rogers feels that the two practices share the
RIBA Collections / Londonewcastle
ARCHITECTURE / London
same underlying intentions: “Both of us are trying to expose the Goldfinger bones and to celebrate them.” Show apartments designed by Ab Rogers and London practice 2LG Studio are being launched in September.
star-gazing. Each space has its own palette of materials and colours, focusing on foam and cork in the music room, OSB in the workshop, and sapele – a hardwood much favoured by Goldfinger – for kitchen cabinets. “It really goes back to part of ErnÖ’s original thinking around the experience,” says Rogers. “Every one of these rooms is designed with both function and the building’s DNA in mind, keeping the original spirit of Balfron engaged.”
Externally, the bold colours of Goldfinger’s access corridors have been reinstated and amplified – the original tile company has been tracked down – as has the marble lobby with its plate-glass door, complete with a new concierge desk “so you feel that you are entering the world of Goldfinger”, as Rogers puts it. The communal rooms in the service tower are finally being brought back to life as “third spaces”, including a yoga studio, a workshop, a music room and even a small cinema. “You have to make some sacrifices to live in a London flat, and they provide facilities that you just wouldn’t have room for,” says Mallon. “It’s something quite unique about the building, and symbolises the ideology of 1960s architects – they thought a lot about social engineering, and considered how people could move from a traditional street into a building like Balfron, providing extensive facilities but arranged vertically.”
The roof of the main tower boasts an enclosed garden, and down below, Balfron’s rugged concrete surroundings are being softened, with fences and bins removed, and planting, lighting and benches added. “We felt that we needed to be bolder here, as the exterior was quite uninviting,” says Mallon. “We’re removing as much clutter and fencing as possible without taking away from the existing fabric, and introducing a layer of soft landscaping to take the harsh edges off.” The playground, with its rather frightening “watchtower” slide, is also being brought up to date, while Balfron Kitchen – a restaurant and store in an old estate shop – is being set up to act as a bridge between the area’s various communities.
The most eye-catching new facility is the boiler room at the top – now a double-height dining room bookable at reception, with a kitchen above, and its roof accessible for post-prandial
All in all, it’s a huge endeavour, and certainly not without risk, but there’s no doubt that the newly grime-free Balfron will stand as magnificent testament to Goldfinger’s talent.
Above Ab Rogers’ scheme for one of Balfron’s newly refurbished apartments Facing page Balfron in its context: postwar Poplar saw a significant programme of social housing
152 David Butler
ARCHITECTURE / Survey
To some, co-living is the unfortunate consequence of a housing crisis, but sensitively designed schemes point to the positives of a more inclusive way of life
Words Debika Ray
Facing page Top to bottom: Marmalade Lane, Mole Architects’ “intentional community” in Cambridge; at Hesselbrand’s cooperative in Gothenburg, flexible modular units respond to changing demographics
n an increasingly urbanised and crowded world, it is perhaps no surprise that we’re getting comfortable with the idea of sharing, whether through co-working or services such as Uber. A few steps behind is the notion of sharing domestic space. We’ve already opened up our homes to some extent via Airbnb and, of course, the concept of the commune existed long before its association with the alternative lifestyles of the 1960s. In recent years, however, communal living has gained fresh impetus. Architects and developers have designed buildings specifically aimed at people who want to live this way. Workspace provider WeWork launched its residential arm WeLive in 2016 and Airbnb is poised to enter the market, while in London, dedicated “coliving” provider The Collective is about to open a second and third branch this year. Architects are also working on one-off schemes, including R50, a 2015 project in Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighbourhood by Heide & Von Beckerath that includes 20 apartments, shared workspaces and a community space, and Hesselbrand’s Gothenburg cooperative, featuring 40 modular units that can be adapted over time to allow different groups to live together however they see fit. “We can no longer make judgements about the size, gender and age structure of families, so we have to be able to design for any possibility,” the firm says. Common spaces and amenities are at the heart of these projects. At a time when the cost of housing in major cities is a growing problem, demographics are changing – more older and single people and fewer nuclear families – and loneliness is on the rise, could they address some of our most pressing problems?
Common is a US company founded on that belief: it manages shared homes across six cities, and is on track to have 2,000 residents by the end of the year. Sophie Wilkinson, head of design and construction, says its success is partly down to physical design – for example, making sure communal spaces are shared between three or four bedrooms, rather than just two, and avoiding gimmicky interiors that give the sense of a branded home. It’s equally about service design, such as the inclusion of bills, cleaning, laundry services and household goods. “We intentionally reduce the presence of things that room-mates might fight over, with weekly cleanings and constantly restocked basic supplies,” says Wilkinson. In the US at least, Wilkinson says several city governments are looking at co-living seriously, and in the UK, Mole Architects’ recent resident-led scheme in Cambridge shows that some local authorities in the UK are also seeing the advantage of more communally oriented housing types. The scheme, Marmalade Lane, is an “intentional community” designed from the start to foster close ties between residents. “The council was instrumental in finding the land, and it decided it would only permit a cohousing group to build there,” says Mole’s founder Meredith Bowles. There are shared amenities such as a toolshed and workshops, as well as a commonly owned social space, which the architects have placed at the heart of the scheme. “It’s impossible to ignore because it’s in the nicest spot,” says Bowles. “In other schemes they have been out of the way, so people have to make an effort to go there.” The defining characteristic of Marmalade Lane is the blurring of public and private space,
Left Co-living as prescribed by US brand Common. Basic supplies and weekly cleaning are included, helping to reduce the typical issues that room-mates disagree over
ARCHITECTURE / Survey
between which the architect had to find a balance. “The main thing is to leave residents to decide,” says Bowles. “Nobody has a back garden that’s completely cut off, but there are hedges you can let grow. And every house has an area with high fencing for when you don’t want to talk to your neighbours.” As a whole, he feels that it’s a residential model that could have implications for broader society.
Questions remain around co-living and cohousing. Such schemes rely on a precarious balance of co-operation and restraint that may only succeed where residents know each other well or where shared facilities are externally managed, which may not be possible in mixedtenure developments. Moreover, the generosity shown to these schemes’ shared space will require a different attitude to ownership and value, and for local authorities to absorb some of the costs of embarking on such projects. Yet, within the very notion of sharing our most intimate spaces are some alluring possibilities for greater harmony and empathy. As Bowles says: “I haven’t found anyone who hasn’t seen it as a more attractive way to live.”
Tim Riley, founding director of architecture practice RCKa, feels similarly about the two retirement housing schemes that the firm has recently completed, one in Harpenden, Hertfordshire and the other in Seaford, East Sussex. “It’s a model that would work for any demographic,” he says. The schemes are in opposition to the better-known forms of shared accommodation, such as student halls and hotels, which are dominated by corridors. “That leads to social isolation,” explains Riley. “We’re pushing to turn that corridor and circulation space, which developers see as having negative value, into a social space.” RCKa’s schemes offer multiple ways for residents to socialise – in lounges, dining areas and craft space, all of which are encountered naturally. The Seaford development, Hortsley, also has a series of shared “winter galleries”
– interconnected double-height spaces that Riley says has had a profound effect on the behaviour of residents and their inclination to socialise. “The spaces bring together external amenities, circulation and social space, and the number of immediate neighbours is tripled.” Equally crucial is the Harpenden scheme’s Park Cafe, which is open for anyone to use. “It reaches out to the community – it’s really important that we don’t just put retirement accommodation in out-of-town areas.”
Facing page A shared dining space at WeLive in Washington DC; residents can stay short or long term Below Hamilton Heights, one of Common’s schemes in New York City, which occupies a historic brownstone
â€œWe can no longer make judgements about the size, gender and age structure of families, so we have to be able to design for any possibilityâ€?
East Londonâ€™s newest arts venue, an art deco theatre that had been forgotten for 30 years Words / Bertram James Images / Luke Hayes
ARCHITECTURE / London
alston nightlife veterans will remember Efes Snooker Club on Kingsland Road. It was one of those down-at-heel bars coopted by a newly minted hipster class that had dribbled up from nearby Shoreditch; the kind of place you would find yourself in without any real intent and very rarely before midnight. Few of those sipping a can of Red Stripe while attempting to negotiate the warped felt knew
Previous page Once a derelict art deco theatre in east London, EartH has become one of Londonâ€™s most exciting live music venues Right As part of a programme of renovation, fixed seating has now been replaced by auditorium steps
that just beyond the snooker room lay an art deco cinema, dormant since the 1980s. And yet the signs of the buildingâ€™s former life as a picture house were there. Viewed from the street, its origins reveal themselves. Squint and you may just be able to picture the canopy of the Savoy Theatre, which closed in 1984. And there this once-grand structure might have remained, a repository old junk, clad in an unbecoming coat of pigeon droppings. Enter
ARCHITECTURE / London
the owner of Shoreditch events space Village Underground, Auro Foxcroft, who got wind of its existence. Sensing an opportunity, Foxcroft began a fairly tortuous negotiating process to wrest control of the building from its owners. It was worth it. Once the ink had dried, he had the keys to a 2,500-seater venue with another extensive space in the basement.
Below EartH Kitchen, the venue’s cafebar-restaurant, designed by Transit Studio. The restaurant is helmed by chef Chris Gillard, formerly of the St John group
Now that the pigeons’ substantial contribution to the space had been cleared, its true beauty – replete with decorative motifs and a stainedglass aperture in the ceiling – is undeniable. Once the acoustics had been sorted out (this is where most of the money went), the restoration was more of an exercise in reduction, which saw the seats removed and replaced by shallow amphitheatre-style steps. The building opened last autumn under a new name, EartH (short for Evolutionary Arts Hackney), mounting an eclectic programme of music. Foxcroft has further plans – a rooftop terrace is among them – but even without this indulgence, EartH is one of London’s most exciting new venues. But what of Efes? Well, the old snooker hall and bar are now the EartH Kitchen, an all-day bar, restaurant and cafe that partially nestles under the rake of the auditorium (the area that’s now the cafe replaces one of Efes’ lesswell-remembered features, a mini-golf course). The dining room has found a steady stream of ardent food lovers, thanks to the skills of chef Chris Gillard, formerly of the St John group. The adroit fit out has been done by Islingtonbased practice Transit Studio and as you enter it is immediately clear that the architects have resisted the temptation to create yet another shabby-chic East End boozer. A suspended ceiling was carefully stripped back to reveal a grand double-height space, but unfortunately no original features remained. A splash of pink on the walls plus a new window dispels the gloom, with the incoming sunlight all but reaching the focal point, the central bar. Nods to the building’s history are apparent in the riveted steel uprights, offset by an installation of irregularly suspended tubular lights above the bar, intended to represent a sequence of musical notes frozen in time. At the far end,
under the lowest point, are a row of C-shaped banquettes, exactly the sort of space you might happily decamp to for a whisky or two after seeing a performance. The architects have paid careful attention to the materials: deep blue Japanese denim clothes the banquettes, for example, a motif that sets the tone for the rest of the interiors. Modern, but not too refined, these spaces are a great foil for the gracefully aged beauty above – a relationship that is likely to strengthen with the patina of time.
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Lucite bracelets by Corey Moranis. Read the full story on p169
STYLE Fashionable pursuits
Clothing and accessories that are thoughtful, expressive, beautiful and good Words / Emily Brooks
STYLE / Products
Instrmnt Think of Instrmnt as the Scottish equivalent of US brands such as Shinola that are designing highquality staple goods and championing local skills. Following on from an acclaimed range of watches comes Instrmnt’s R-19 aluminium umbrella, which has a Japanese fabric canopy and hand-stitched leather grip, all assembled in its Glasgow workshop.
Details like the hollow handle, designed to save on weight, elevate the R-19 above the rest. The studio enlisted the help of Glasgow photographer Susan Castillo to shoot the umbrella on location in the city’s Govanhill Baths (pictured opposite). £120, instrmnt.co.uk
STYLE / Products
Carla Colour Made in Italy by Brooklyn’s Carla Colour, these Lind sunglasses were named after US folk singer Bob Lind, and capture some of the freewheelin’ spirit of the late 1960s. Like all Carla Colour’s eyewear, they’re unisex and come in appealing acetate colours that are hard to find elsewhere: pictured is Blood, which colour-matches a deep red
lens with the frames. Stockists include east London boutique LF Markey, which is worth the trip for its postmodernism-inspired pink, red and green tiled interior, conceived by the brand’s founder and former Burberry designer, Louise Markey. £185, lfmarkey.com
STYLE / Products
Respiro Studio Australian jewellery brand Valet Studio has a new sister brand for accessories, Respiro Studio. The founder of both, Ana Piteira, has designed a series of diminutive hard-case resin bags, including this swirly pale green number called Alexa. Possessing the same design DNA as Valetâ€™s cult hair-clips and earrings in kitsch, vintage-inspired shapes such as
seashells, Alexa also comes in glitter and terrazzo versions, with an optional resin chain-strap in black or tortoiseshell that turns it into a cross-body bag. True, thereâ€™s not room for much more than your change and a lipstick, but what more do you need? $279 AUD, valetstudio.com
STYLE / Products
Mismo Copenhagen-based Mismo was founded by Adam Alexander Bach and Rikke Overgaard, launching its first collection in 2006, and it’s stayed true to its core values of refined details and classic craftsmanship. Good for a weekend away or a short business trip, this handsome suitcase has the curvy contours of a vintage model, along with some of the necessary
practicalities for modern living, including a padded compartment in the lid that has been designed to hold a 17-inch laptop. Made from waterproof nylon and bridle leather with brass hardware, it’s built for the rigours of a frequent-traveller lifestyle. €915, mismo.com
STYLE / Products
Corey Moranis Canadian jewellery designer Corey Moranis says she is drawn to her material of choice, lucite, for its ethereal, luminous qualities – something amply demonstrated by her Rod bracelets, which seem to glow from within when they catch the right light. They’re available in three sizes and four widths (pictured is the thickest version) and each one is
hand-bent so that no two are quite the same. Moranis’ know-how with lucite also stretches to complementary designs such as wrap-around rings and chunky chain necklaces, in both minimalist clear versions and enticing colours like smoke, yellow, turquoise and pink. From $75 CAD, coreymoranis.com
STYLE / Profile
Nature & nurture
Composed of non-synthetic ingredients, Ormaie’s fragrances have been conscientiously crafted
ime is of the essence, they say. Faster is better. The 21st-century business model is powered by expectations of delivery asap and a constant stream of newness, served up precurated by friendly algorithms. Gloriously eschewing that model is French fragrance house Ormaie. When it comes to its craft, time actually is of its essence – time for exploration, experimentation and a steadfast dedication to breaking the rules. Beauty products must list every ingredient contained therein, and that might include the mysterious “parfum”. Likewise, fragrances have “parfum” as well as lots of intense-sounding chemicals. The romance promised in base notes and top notes doesn’t exactly play out, with the secret perfume ingredients likely to be synthetic. Ormaie’s fine fragrances are entirely natural. Doesn’t that sound a lot simpler? In fact, it’s much more complex. Luckily for Ormaie’s original visionary, Baptiste Bouygues, he had a powerful accomplice close to home. His mother, Marie-Lise Jonak, is a fragrance industry doyenne, having spent her career creating award-winning scents for luxury brands. She describes the challenge as “formidable. It had never been done before. But, the chance to work with my son to achieve it was too good to resist.”
Bouygues. “Yes, the feeling a fragrance gives the wearer is always personal,” says Jonak, “but with a natural scent, its characteristics behave differently. It changes the sensation on the bottom note and the sillage [the linger of scent left behind when you walk away]. It feels more present on the skin, somehow.”
Words Morag Bruce Images Ola Rindal
Their dedication goes beyond the experience of an individual wearer. They also wanted close relationships with their suppliers and for their ingredients to be fully traceable. “The first step was to find people willing to do it!” says Bouygues. “We had to make sure the raw materials we used were the best in the world and that they were socially and environmentally responsible.” The challenge was then to turn them into fine fragrances. “Working this way is not only more complex, it needs a new way of formulating,” says Jonak. “It takes much longer. You can’t smell the fragrance straight away, you must wait for the natural ingredients to intertwine and show their full potential. As this was the first time it had been done, it took us over two years.”
Bouygues had been working in communications for Louis Vuitton and Givenchy, but he had always been fascinated by fragrance. “It might feel like smell is the sense we use least, but it’s so primal it’s almost mystical,” he says. “It can throw up memories or thoughts from nowhere; we have no control. I also knew I wanted to create a ‘house’; a group of people who share the same beliefs.”
The result is seven fragrances, closely tied with the pair’s memories – another reason why it helped to keep Ormaie in the family. “If something bothered me about a fragrance in development, I could say, ‘it smells too much like my grandmother’s soap,’ and mother would get it immediately,” laughs Bouygues. Soap aside, his grandmother is elegantly present in Yvonne, the fragrance that has been named after her. “All our fragrances are unisex, but Yvonne is more feminine – a beautiful rose with patchouli. It had to be modern, though, so mother added blackcurrant and raspberry.” Le Passant, meanwhile, is inspired by Bouygues’ father, who wore a lavender cologne.
But why this tricky path? “I think that you can tell the difference between a natural and a synthetic fragrance when you wear it,” says
Wearing Ormaie you might feel like you’re wandering in a field in Tuscany or Provence (Les Brumes), dipping your toe in the seas off
Facing page Baptiste Bouygues and Marie-Lise Jonak, the mother and son team behind Ormaie
“The feeling a fragrance gives the wearer is always personal, but with a natural scent, its characteristics behave differently. It feels more present on the skin, somehow”
Facing page More than two years in the making, the first seven fragrances are presented in bottles with hand-made beech tops – each one different – and hand-applied labels
Above Sketches for fragrance bottles. Their 12-sided shape references a clock face – a nod to Ormaie’s dedication to taking its time in the pursuit of a superior product
STYLE / Profile
Tahiti (L’Ivrée Bleue), browsing the books in a historic library (Papier Carbone), backstage at a grand theatre (Toï Toï Toï) or just having the best summer’s day (28°). Bouygues says of 28°: “To me, this is the south of France when the temperature is perfect. You pick up scents of orange blossom and jasmine, mixed in with shea butter from sunscreen.” As for the company name, an ormaie is an elm grove, referencing the trees in Bouygues’ grandparents’ garden. Elms are increasingly rare in France, so it’s a nod to the duo’s choice to bring this ancient way of perfume-making back to life. It’s not only Ormaie’s fragrances that stand out from the crowd, but their beautifully crafted packaging, too. Its studio walls are as likely to be decked in Jean-Paul Goude sketches of Grace Jones and de Stijl postcards as botanical references. “I remember my mother buying fragrances just for the beauty of the bottles,” says Bouygues. “I wanted our fragrances to escape the bathroom cabinet and be displayed proudly as sculptural objects. We just had to
find the right craftspeople to recreate our sketches without compromising.” Each bottle top is made in beech sourced from French renewable forests. “We wanted each one to be unique, so they’re polished by hand before being painted,” says Bouygues. The glass bottles are made in Normandy and have 12 facets, representing the numbers on a clock. “We try to take our time in everything we do and we hope that can be felt,” says Bouygues. The labels are printed by fine printing house L’Imprimerie du Marais in Paris, stamped in Ormaie’s dedicated typeface, then attached by hand. The fragrance collection even has its own manifesto, created by writer and art historian Guillaume de Sardes. “We found great people for every part of the design and we’re happy,” says Bouygues. “It’s the greatest pleasure to see someone smelling your fragrance and being moved by it.” From the wearer’s point of view, perhaps the best things do come to those who wait.
Above Left to right: a collage capturing the mood of Les Brumes, whose fragrance conjures up a misty citrus grove; childhood memories – from the school library to liquorice treats – have gone in to Papier Carbone
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Breaking new ground
Atelier NL’s earthy approach invites people to see raw materials in a completely new way Words / Laura Snoad Image / Mike Roelofs
telier NL designers Nadine Sterk and Lonny van Ryswyck are champions of responsible, localised production, challenging the idea that raw materials such as clay, soil and sand are infinite and homogenous. Clad in waders, knee-deep in dirt, they excavate “impure” materials and develop small-scale production. “Fieldwork is a way to connect with our surroundings, to really get in touch with the material and the people who work on and have the knowledge of the land,” says van Ryswyck.
planet to mail them a bottle of local sand, which was then smelted into a rainbow of 300 different glass samples. The commercial endpoint of the project is ZandGlas, a set of hand-blown glasses and a carafe, each set being different according to the sand source. Beautiful and functional, ZandGlas also highlights the global politics of sand scarcity, where hunger for glass, electronics and concrete is causing coastal erosion and ecosystem destruction. For Atelier NL, a designer is a bridge between scientists, local people and industry, reconnecting us with local raw materials in order to breed healthier attitudes towards consumption and the environment. “We live in a world of abundance, but things become scarce because we over-mine and exhaust ourselves and nature,” says van Ryswyck. “Tackling huge environmental challenges can seem overwhelming, but make people part of something that’s local and tangible, then they are really willing.”
Their projects include Kleiservice, a tableware collection made from distinctly hued clay bodies that they handdug from all over the Netherlands; and Colors of Best, for which the studio transformed soils from Van Gogh’s hometown into a palette of 270 paints. The pair are about to start making glassware from abandoned South African mines, a venture that stemmed from To See the World In a Grain of Sand – a project that invited anyone on the
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In issue 03 we explore the psychology of colour with a shoot of design pieces in a palette curated by colour consultancy Calzada Fox. We re...
Published on Sep 1, 2019
In issue 03 we explore the psychology of colour with a shoot of design pieces in a palette curated by colour consultancy Calzada Fox. We re...