Design Anthology UK Issue 08

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Hans J. Wegner’s Masterpiece Collection of chairs represents the pinnacle of high-quality, timeless design. Pushing the boundaries of natural materials while remaining focused on function and form, the CH22, CH23, CH24, CH25 and CH26 chairs each feature seats carefully woven by hand in a process that takes a skilled craftsperson hours to complete.

Find an authorized dealer near you at or contact our Carl Hansen & Søn Flagship Store in London +44 (0) 20 77308454



ere we are again. At the time of printing issue 08, the world is tentatively looking towards brighter days. In the UK, friends and family have begun to see each other again under cautious conditions. Many of us are calculating the risk of making actual travel plans. Over the period that this issue will sit on newsstands – through spring and summer 2021 – the hope is that our lives will expand gradually, safely and with a heap of gratitude for each in-person cup of coffee, or cocktail on a terrace, we can manage to fit in. One thing is certain, as the economy opens, whatever “it” is – visiting galleries, seeing live music, overnight stays in hotels or sharing food and conversation in beautifully designed spaces – will have so much more meaning. It has to. For me, the idea of entertaining loved ones at home has taken on a kind of sacred significance. The prospect of sitting around a table together either inside or outside – whatever is allowed – fills my heart with simple, unmitigated joy that I wouldn’t have believed possible at the start of 2020. It’s one of the positive aspects of what we’ve been through. Hopefully, we’ll never again take the roofs over our heads for granted. We’ll invite connection with human beings and creativity in whatever forms we can get it, and cherish them. Crucially, we’ll understand the importance of supporting small businesses and creating places with intention and soul. This is what we’ve been thinking and talking about at Design Anthology UK. If you’ve had a rough ride over the last year or so, we hear you. And if you’ve managed even a little contemplation and growth, we commend you. Make your plans. Stay home, or go out, but make it memorable. See you in September.

Elizabeth Choppin Editor-in-Chief


styling Agape Atelier / photography Andrea Ferrari

Vieques – washbasin, design Patricia Urquiola Square – taps, design Benedini Associati



April 2021

Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Choppin Art Director Shazia Chaudhry Sub Editor Emily Brooks Commercial Director Rebecca Harkness Editorial Concept Design Frankie Yuen, Blackhill Studio Words Charlotte Abrahams, Emily Brooks, Philomena Epps, Rossella Frigerio, John Jervis, Nicola Leigh Stewart, Joe Lloyd, Dominic Lutyens, Harry McKinley, Karine Monié, Peter Smisek Images Helenio Barbetta/Living Inside, Thomas De Bruyne/Cafeine, Nick Dunne, Brian Ferry, Talia Liu, Andrew Meredith

Design Anthology UK is published triannually by Astrid Media Ltd

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BAXTER LONDON HOUSE Old Sessions House, 4 Farringdon Ln London -


Front cover Home Studios’ curvy interiors for an apartment in New York’s NoHo. Image by Brian Ferry. See p64




Products Collections and collaborations of note



Q&A Martin Brudnizki and Nicholas Jeanes of And Objects talk about their colourful new furniture and lighting

Hotel openings Plan a stay at one of these new designcentric destinations across Europe


Hotel, London As one influential Ace Hotel closes, another one opens its doors

24 Read Delve into a selection of books on design, architecture and interiors 26

Urban retreat, Milan The Sanctuary is a city hideaway that’s part hospitality space, part gallery and part green oasis for reviving the senses

Make your connection Once a run-down railway station in Milan’s Lambrate district, The Sanctuary invites guests to de-stress as they socialise. See p26


Home 48

Milan Architectural studio Luini 12 unites three apartments with a playful scheme that delights in the unexpected


New York City A seductive apartment full of fluid curves, partly inspired by the work of Finnish modernist Alvar Aalto


Belgium Pieter Vanrenterghem renovates a rural Flemish farmhouse with raw materials and neutral hues


Art + Collecting


92 Diary The most compelling art and design events for the coming months

120 Most wanted A compilation of clothing, accessories and leisure pursuits that are beautiful, thoughtful and good

102 Profile Ceramicist Noe Kuremoto’s forms are rooted in her Japanese heritage and its flower-arranging tradition

126 Profile Young Parisian jeweller Augustin Basso’s sculptural debut collection



108 Essay The arch is social media’s most fashionable design motif - but can its popularity stay on an upward curve?

128 Map Project Office The industrial design firm that works with everyone from tiny start-ups to powerful tech giants

114 Slovakia Čierne Diery highlights forgotten built heritage via its award-winning printing and publishing projects

Body language Model-turned-jeweller Augustin Basso takes an abstract approach with his debut collection. Image by Talia Liu. See p126


Dipped terracotta candle holder by Casa Cubista from Lusophile. Read the full story on p13 Image by Article Studio

R ADAR Global design news

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Kirkby Design Pictured against the chalky cliffs of East Sussex’s Seven Sisters, Leaf is a collection of wool fabrics by Kirkby Design made from recycled wool salvaged from the fashion industry. The textile company is donating 5% of the income from the collection to Trees for Life, a rewilding charity based in the Scottish Highlands. A sister collection of jacquard weaves, Flow, has followed quickly on the heels of Leaf, but instead of wool it’s woven from recycled polyester yarns made from waste plastic bottles.


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Article Studio

This dipped terracotta espresso cup and saucer is by Casa Cubista, a company that is building on several centuries of history when it comes to Portuguese ceramics by creating modern collections that use traditional methods. It’s available from Lusophile, a UK-based online store that sources the best of Portuguese craft and design, including textiles and lighting. If you prefer your ceramics a little more free-spirited, Casa Cubista’s latest collection also includes spatterware glazes in an array of colours.

Kalon Studios Advocating both slow design and natural materials, American furniture company Kalon Studios was founded in 2007 by Michaele Simmering and Johannes Pauwen, and is known for its understated aesthetic. Its latest collection, Highland, is a tribute to California’s oak-filled rolling hills, with a dining

table, chair, bench and desk all made from American white oak, their simple slab-like forms a nod to brutalism. The dining table is extendable, while the bench comes with a leather or linen pad.


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Studiokyss Seoul-born, Sydney-based designer Kenny Yongsoo Son, who works under the name Studiokyss, specialises in metalwork, including these Pentagon and Decagon brass vases. As with all the studio’s output, the finish is just as important as the form – the brass is unlacquered so it will develop a patina over time (or require polishing, if you’re so inclined). Source these and the rest of Studiokyss’ work – including copper cups and modernist-inspired brass paperweights – at online boutique &YOU. /

Amuse La Bouche If you care about having a beautifully designed tabletop as much as you do what’s on the menu, then new boutique homewares label Amuse La Bouche’s textiles are sure to please. Its napkins in circus stripes and gingham with a ruffled edge are a charming addition to the dining table, and they

have recently been supplemented with a range of other textiles, including aprons and tablecloths. Each product in the collection is hand made in small batches from durable 100% linen.


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Takt The Sling lounge chair, designed by Sam Hecht and Kim Colin of Industrial Facility for Takt, features a hammock-like linen seat suspended between two solid oak sides. It responds, the designers say, to new ways of living, where furniture is required to be both informal and portable. Launched in 2019, Takt has an admirable vision for sustainable manufacturing: it is one of only a few European design brands to be designated a B-Corp, the highest certification for social and environmental performance.


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Toogood Dough is a tabletop collection by Faye Toogood that marks the British designer’s first foray into homewares. The name refers to the synchronicity between kneading bread and working clay, and the cast stoneware pieces feature satisfyingly chunky rounded volumes that are both playful and tactile. Available in either cream or charcoal, the collection consists of a mug, a pitcher, a bowl and a platter, plus a vase and centrepiece that are subtly different thanks to their contrasting matt and gloss glazes.


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Broste Copenhagen With their stacked discs of tonal colours, these linen-mix Pond footstools were inspired by the shape and shades of a sweet macaron. Easy to move around and available in two sizes, they have been designed with versatility in mind, useful as a side table or stool as well as somewhere to put your feet up. Broste Copenhagen’s latest collection includes many more colourful takes on Scandinavian design, from quilted throws to mix-and-match platters in amorphous shapes that nest together.

Floor Story Rugs such as Alma (pictured) feature boldly scaled geometric shapes inspired by the Bauhaus’ collage techniques, with the colour bleeding out in an ombré effect that shows the skill of its makers.

Felix Speller/Child Studio

Child Studio’s Che Huang and Alexy Kos are the latest designers to undertake a creative collaboration with rug company Floor Story. Made in Nepal from silk and wool, the 1919 collection is inspired by the Bauhaus movement and named after the year in which the influential design school was founded.


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Max ID NY Ghost is a new collection of moulded glassware by designer Maximilian Eicke, who operates under the moniker Max ID NY. The pieces have a personal connection, since Eicke originally created them for the home he recently designed and built for himself in Bali; their jewel-like quality is a result of both their twisted, faceted shape and their gorgeous array of colours, from blush pink to uranium green and smoky grey. The highball and tumbler pictured here are complemented by a vase of the same design.

Nathalie Deboel joinery techniques with no nails or screws; as well the bookshelf, armchair and daybed pictured here, two dining table designs complete the collection, all available in oak or walnut with brass detailing.


Belgian interior architect Nathalie Deboel’s spaces are pared-back, balanced and thoughtful, and so it is with her debut furniture range, Nomad. Like many collections emerging at the moment, it is the result of an enforced period of introspection last year. The furniture’s components are fixed with traditional


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Lee Broom Ever reliable for design that captures the zeitgeist, Lee Broom’s latest collection, Penthouse, consists of a series of pieces conceived for his recently acquired New York apartment, pictured. The White Street sofa has a streamlined, sculpted design that appears to float above its concealed support and is available in a two- or three-seat or corner version. A pair of travertine and black marble coffee tables called Tribeca are similarly gravity-defying, with a circular tabletop cantilevering over a square base.



Martin Brudnizki & Nicholas Jeanes

The co-founders of furniture and lighting company And Objects on their colourful new collection, inspired by the Swedish Grace movement

Together you’ve designed some iconic London spaces, including The Royal Academy of Arts, Soho House and the hugely Instagrammed Annabel’s. What prompted you to co-found And Objects in 2015? MB: We’ve always designed furniture for our interiors and we’d often get people asking where we bought a certain chair from or if they could have one, and so it grew from there really. NJ: Allowing the wider public to access our designs – not just when they are in a restaurant or club – means anyone can have the dining chair from Annabel’s or the light from The Ivy. In the past, you’ve worked in partnership with brands on collaborations as well as launching your own collections. It’s an interesting approach that a handful of interior designers have been taking. Why work this way? MB: We love the process of collaborating when working with a manufacturer and fusing our own approach with another brand’s. NJ: It helps the creative process. Understanding their production process in meticulous detail can help you come up with new ideas. MB: Yes, and I think as interior designers we’re also constantly involved in conversations with manufacturers. We have an understanding of what they do and many of those relationships have lasted years, so it evolves from that history. From their point of view, I suppose they get to breathe new creative energy into their product selection – a different viewpoint. Let’s talk about your new collection of 14 pieces. What are the ideas underpinning it?

MB: As I mentioned, we’ve always designed individual pieces for our interiors or other producers and love the collaboration on these projects. But we really wanted to take a step back and understand what And Objects stands for: what would a table look like if we had absolute freedom to create it? Hence this collection. It takes our focus on craftsmanship and combines it with a sense of playfulness to create a range of furniture for homes that embodies And Objects. For inspiration, I ended up going back to my childhood and the furniture and architecture that surrounded me in Stockholm. The Swedish Grace movement became the starting point. For those who aren’t familiar with the Swedish Grace movement, can you tell us about it and what drew you to it? MB: To my mind Swedish Grace derives from three main influences, and it is the balance of all three that creates a really beautiful and rather delicate aesthetic. Firstly you have the neoclassical, felt in the often monumental scale of the architecture or the use of classical patterns. Then you have a touch of art deco, which you can see in the elegant and slimline forms in the furniture and the interesting use and combination of materials. Lastly you often have a feeling of folk patterns and designs from Scandinavian history being reinterpreted through a modern lens. If you look at the furniture of Carl Hörvik, for instance, you can see almost Viking patterns in them. The greatest example of all of this coming together has to be the Swedish National Pavilion at the 1925 World Fair in Paris, designed by the architect Carl Bergsten.


As told to Elizabeth Choppin

Facing page Clockwise from top left: Hambledon bookcase; Easton dining chair; Waltham console; and Candover daybed


Swedish Grace was a starting point. We didn’t want to create a collection that copied these beautiful designs, but were influenced by them and could move the conversation forward without being pastiche. We knew that, for it to be more contemporary, the shapes should be more sculptural and less sharp, the materiality less art deco, and there should be more colour. There is this idea Swedish design is minimal, simple, earthy – nothing flashy. Is that fair, seeing as you grew up there, Martin? MB: That’s never been the Sweden I grew up with. We would go to Svenskt Tenn in Stockholm all the time and I was obsessed with Josef Frank and Estrid Ericson and the colour and pattern they use. It’s a colourful city. NJ: I think we often get that impression but it’s interesting researching the history of this collection and understanding the strong influence of neoclassicism and the Arts and Crafts movement in Sweden – both styles that are usually colourful or decorative. Classical pattern, motif and rich materiality have made a huge mark on modern interiors recently – with your studio arguably leading the way. Why has this approach resurged? MB: I like to think of it as a sort of anti-trend, as essentially at its heart it’s about exploring your own personality and looking at how the various different layers within our interiors can be used to reflect your personality and make you feel comfortable. It doesn’t have to be a million different aspects clashing at once but a good interior does have to transport you into your own world, I think. Whenever I sit in my drawing room in the countryside I feel camouflaged against the mix of patterns in the upholstery and artwork on the walls. But in a sparse white interior you are always on show. There’s no escape. The interiors don’t quite envelop you in the same way. The new collection doesn’t shy away from bright colour, surprising scale and a variety of materials and textures. What are your favourite pieces and which will be making their way into your own homes?

MB: The colours involved in the collection often come from the manufacturing process or materiality. Scagliola, which is a faux marbleeffect made from plaster, was used on a few pieces. It often comes in muddy greens and yellows so we stuck with that as we liked the idea of carrying on that tradition. Then you have pieces like the Ropley ceramic table, where we wanted to invert the sense of the expected, by not only making the table from ceramics but also selecting bold colours that you wouldn’t expect to see in a table. For us, colour, alongside materiality, manufacturing and history, is one of the key factors when designing a product and looking at ways to make it more beautiful or interesting. NJ: Pieces like the Marden coffee table, which has a sense of architecture and was created very much in homage to [architect and designer] Gunnar Asplund represent the collection very well. But if I could have anything it would be the Ovington table lamp – a flexible piece that would fit into any interior.


Above Brudnizki (left) and Jeanes, both seated on Wickham armchairs Facing page The Ropley table, made from brightly coloured glazed ceramic

RADAR / Read

The Art Museum in Modern Times

By Design: The World’s Best Contemporary Interior Designers

by Charles Saumarez Smith (Thames & Hudson)

by Phaidon editors (Phaidon)

Phaidon continues to dip its toe into the world of interior design with a book that has a simple premise: to spotlight the industry’s brightest minds, as decided by a network of in-the-know nominators. Many of the names featured have appeared in the pages of Design Anthology UK, including Pierre Yovanovitch, Faye Toogood and Norm Architects (cover stars of the firstever issue), and since this is an international survey, the perky Californian cool of Kelly Wearstler sits happily alongside the sensitively stripped-back style of Shanghai’s Neri&Hu. A diverse snapshot, this is a smart survey of the strands that make up interior design today.

Having helmed three of London’s biggest cultural institutions, Charles Saumarez Smith has the authoritative voice to survey how art museums have developed over recent years, and consider where they are going. The book runs chronologically, from New York’s MOMA in 1939 to 2019’s West Bund Museum in Shanghai, conveying a sense of how attitudes to architecture, curatorship and the role of the public have changed over the decades. Its conclusion explores the sector’s current challenges, from restitution to unease about unethical sponsors, and – just touched upon – finding a way back from a pandemic.


RADAR / Read


The Ideal City: Exploring Urban Futures

by Louna Lahti & Peter Gössel (Taschen)

by Gestalten and Space10 (Gestalten)

“Urban life is humankind’s biggest experiment to date,” declares this book exploring some of the ingredients that might create the recipe for a perfect city. Gestalten asked the design and research agency Space10 to find projects that enhance quality of life and make urban spaces better places to live, from housing to walkability to creating a sense of community. The ideas from 53 cities across 30 countries include an alternative policing programme in Canada’s Kwanlin Dün First Nation to JAJA Architects’ Park & Play in Copenhagen, an attempt to beautify a multi-storey car park with a joyful rooftop playground.

This newly updated introduction to Finnish modernist architect Alvar Aalto details his work via 21 short chapters, each dedicated to a specific project. The book conveys Aalto’s brand of modernism – warm, empathetic and with human experience at its heart – expressed in buildings like 1932’s Paimio tuberculosis sanatorium, with its daylight, ventilation and generous recreation space, or stylish private homes such as Villa Mairea on the west coast of Finland, built in 1939 for Maire and Harry Gullichsen. Aalto’s furniture company Artek, co-founded with his wife Aino and Maire Gullichsen, also gets a much-deserved chapter.


RADAR / Urban retreat

Make your connection The Sanctuary in Milan is a former railway station that’s now a multifunctional space delivering a sociable respite from city life


ogic does not produce magic – if you don’t believe in magic, you will never find it.” It is with these words that architect Simone Menasse and designer Stefano Papa manifested The Sanctuary, set within the sweeping ceilings and bare cement walls of an abandoned railway station in Lambrate on the fringes of Milan. Billed as an “eco retreat”, the original Sanctuary was conceived four years ago in the heart of Rome, and this new iteration weaves the eclectic travel experiences of its co-founders across Mexico, Morocco and Ibiza into the space’s visual fabric. Hand-cut wood accents and an earthy palette of soft furnishings, ceramics and cement create a warmth of feeling that invites reflection and the pleasure of communal conversation. As with the lush Sanctuary in Rome, nature and greenery are important, integrating into the surroundings and softening any harder industrial edges. It marks the culmination of a collaboration between Menasse and Papa’s aesthetic, and the desire by local authorities to repurpose a historic venue that, at the turn of the 20th century, had helped revolutionise rail travel between Milan and Venice. Within this expansive venue, Menasse and Papa have recreated the multiverse that is The Sanctuary – part restaurant and bar, part art gallery, part wellness haven, part park – which represents a fluid concept of bringing people together that resonates with the new ways in which we will be connecting with eachother beyond our homes. With our yearning to

socialise having been strengthened by imposed physical distancing, superfluous meetings that once filled our time – but that often left us feeling disconnected – will almost certainly be cast aside. Instead, Menasse and Papa surmise, we will seek meaningful exchanges in settings that will contribute to our wellbeing and enable inspired conversations; conversations that connect us back to a community and to our sense of being human.

Words Rossella Frigerio Images Courtesy of The Sanctuary

This wider social purpose is what has driven the co-founders to forge ahead with this latest opening. It reflects their deep commitment to design that expresses their own distinct personality while enabling others to discover these eclectic, nature-infused spaces. As well as sourcing globally, the decorative elements have been crafted using readily available materials that speak of the surrounding areas and of the deep-rooted history of local artisanship – and these pieces are also available to acquire online, helping to spread its magic beyond Milan and the confines of its physical walls. For Menasse and Papa, the Japanese principle of wabi-sabi, which finds appeal in humble simplicity and raw imperfections, has been their design’s guiding light. Highlighting the intrinsic value of all that is incomplete and blemished, The Sanctuary is a statement of how they envision visitors will engage with it both within and without – by embracing a life that might be a little less outwardly polished than before, but that might be all the more fulfilling because of it.


Facing page The Sanctuary’s earthy palette of materials exemplifies wabisabi principles of embracing imperfection

Facing page Nature is ever present in this retreat from urban life: here, exotic plants are outlined against cement walls

Above The founders’ travels in Mexico, Morocco and Ibiza have been translated into the design



Compose the mood

Kartell by Laufen’s latest updates bring design freedom to the bathroom


wiss precision plus Italian soul – that’s how to define Kartell by Laufen. Beloved since it first launched in 2013, the complete bathroom collection including furniture, accessories and fixtures has developed with each year and is marked out by its rich materiality, clean silhouettes and bold colour – combining the refinement of Laufen ceramics with Kartell’s signature use of transparent material. Now updated in new finishes and hues, this highly customisable range sees the bathroom as one of the most sacred spaces in the home. If we’re redefining the spaces we live in, why not start here, by creating a sanctuary of quality and light away from the outside world? Flexibility and variety are Kartell by Laufen’s essential traits. Its sanitaryware is rendered in

high-quality ceramic, using geometric lines and discreet edges that make a subtle design statement; slim profiles create lightweight products that help to reduce environmental impact. These are complemented by cabinets and drawer units in new colours – earthy ochre, mustard yellow and grey-blue – combining compact, linear design with ample size. Transparent accessories create a dialogue with these cabinets and ceramic fixtures, adding a touch of lightness and a rich range of colours. From the Sound Rack storage system, which offers great compositional freedom, to shelving, mirrors and more, Kartell by Laufen is an eclectic contemporary collection that allows you to tailor the bathroom according to the mood of the moment.

Left New basin colours include black and anthracite grey. An ultra-slim, lightweight design helps reduce the impact on the environment Facing page Matt-black ceramic washbasin with black vanity unit and basin mixer; matt-black ceramic wall-hung WC; Sound Rack modular shelving; All Saints mirror; Rail towel rail




Kalesma, Mykonos. Read the full story on p40

JOURNEY Distinctive destinations

JOURNEY / Openings

New hotels

David Emmanuel Cohen

Unique places to stay, in destinations of note


JOURNEY / Openings

Hotel 48° Nord, France Perched atop of the Alsatian village of Breitenbach, Hotel 48° Nord cuts a striking figure against the sweeping French countryside. Oslo agency Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter has eschewed standard hotel design to reimagine the traditional Scandinavian hytte, creating a collection of 14 private cabins that blend daring architecture with a sense of wellbeing. Furniture has been carefully selected from Danish design houses including &Tradition and Hay to complement each cabin’s clean lines, neutral colour palette and raw natural materials, particularly wood and stone. The addition of bay windows, balconies and open-air saunas encourage guests to be at one with the surrounding natural environment.


JOURNEY / Openings

Bethlen Estates, Romania and Stefanie de Castelbajac have worked with a team of artisans to retain the rustic charm of each residence – think original wooden beams, traditional tiled stoves and antique kilim rugs – while adding a contemporary twist with Tom Dixon lighting, minimalist retro furniture and bespoke staircases.

Philip Vile

Nikolaus and Gladys Bethlen’s carefully restored Transylvanian homes, collectively known as Bethlen Estates, might just lure travellers away from the tourist trail and into the countryside of Romania’s most famous region. The first three properties in what will be an ongoing project have now opened, offering exclusive use and a stylish take on rural living. Interior designers Melanie Etten-Rüppell


JOURNEY / Openings

The Hoxton, Italy For The Hoxton’s tenth hotel, Ennismore Design Studio has once again joined creative forces with Fettle Design, this time to reimagine a 1970s building in Rome’s leafy Salario neighbourhood. The 192 bedrooms take design cues from old Italian cinemas, with lacquered wall panelling, statement headboards and a mish-mash of furniture, while larger rooms boast one of the building’s original

Murano glass chandeliers. Like its sister properties the hotel is set to be a hotspot for both locals and travellers, with a farm-to-table restaurant, a coffee bar and a terrace. For more intimate soirees, guests can hire one of five private rooms furnished with terrazzo flooring and vintage Italian accessories.


Edmund Dabney

JOURNEY / Openings

Kingsland Locke, UK Aparthotel group Locke has tapped East London agency Red Deer for its fourth London bolthole, Kingsland Locke. After looking to the eclectic neighbourhood of Dalston for design inspiration, the studio has created a series of striking contrasts in the public spaces, which are crowned by a large glass atrium. Ice-cream shades of pink and pistachio sit next to vibrant pops of red and green and an industrial backdrop of metal and concrete has been softened with velvet-clad seating, polished tiles and leafy plants. In the 124 studio apartments, the mood feels more subdued, with soothing shades of soft peach, warm timber, large living spaces and plush corner sofas to encourage relaxation.


JOURNEY / Openings


JOURNEY / Openings

Kalesma, Greece Greece’s perennial summer hotspot of Mykonos has its newest boutique address in the form of Kalesma, a 25-suite and two-villa hotel in picturesque Ornos Bay. Greek agency K-Studio has taken charge of the architectural side, crafting an exclusive collection of blocky whitewashed buildings that fit together in the style of a traditional Mykonian village. Inside, Vangelis Bonios has imbued each property with

understated luxury, pairing the immaculate white walls with sophisticated neutrals, tactile furnishings and minimalist furniture. A poolside bar shaded by wooden beams and olive trees sits by the infinity pool, while the hotel’s restaurant, Pere Ubu, will serve up a contemporary take on Greek cuisine.


JOURNEY / Openings

Mondrian Shoreditch, UK Marking its grand return to London after the South Bank’s Sea Containers complex reverted to an independent hotel in 2019, Mondrian has moved into the purpose-built red brick building that once housed The Curtain. The 120-room property has emerged after a luxurious redesign as Mondrian Shoreditch. The brand has also ramped up the culinary offering to include a restaurant by three

Michelin star chef Dani García, who will be making his first foray into London’s gastronomic scene. Up on the rooftop, guests can find a revival of the famed lounge bar, Rumpus Room, while downstairs, The Curtain Members’ Club lives on to provide an intimate setting for late-night performances.


Game changer

Shoreditch’s Ace Hotel heralded a new kind of hospitality space, rooted in the community; now shut, its legacy lives on, as a new Ace in Brooklyn opens

Words Harry McKinley Images Andrew Meredith


n ace card: in poker, both a high and a low. It’s an analogy that Ace Hotels’ founder Alex Calderwood used often, seeing it as a pithy expression of his brand. Ace’s relevance is to this day still found in its embrace of both ends of any spectrum: aspirational and accessible; understated and confident; urbane and youthful. Its hotels are places to work and play, to dip into and to stay. It’s why, when Ace announced that its landmark property in London’s Shoreditch would not be reopening post-pandemic, there was shock. For anyone who lives in the east of the city, or ventures there, this was where weekday coffee meetings happened, where post-work cocktails flowed and where weekend brunches ran long: its closure a loss not just to travellers, but to the local community. It’s a testament to just how groundbreaking it was. After all, few tears were shed when the drab hotel that previously occupied the building was shuttered: a place where brown plaid was a prominent design theme, minus any sense of hipster irony.

Left Universal Design Studio tapped into Shoreditch’s creative vibe for the hotel, with a check-in desk that featured vinyl racks and various merch


“We didn’t set out to revolutionise,” says Brad Wilson, president of Ace Hotel Group. “We just imagined that a different way was possible. We sensed Shoreditch was hungry for a hub and somewhere that would crystallise its place in the contemporary identity of London.” That was in 2012 when, thanks to the Olympics, the capital was selling itself to a global audience as cooler than New York, weirder than Paris and more fun than Tokyo. Ace tapped Universal Design Studio to shape its first – and to date only – European outpost, which was until then known chiefly for its clever fashion retail schemes. It had never tackled a hotel, so its unpolluted vision and

JOURNEY / London

progressive attitude aligned neatly with the hotel world’s chief disruptor. “Ace were, and are, very design literate,” says Paul Gulati, director at Universal and one of the project’s leads. “We didn’t have all of the answers at the beginning, but that’s the best way to go on a journey. When you don’t know where you’re going to get to, you end up somewhere unexpected.” On the partnership, Wilson says that “it felt like kismet.” It’s hard to overstate the role that Ace Hotel London Shoreditch, which ultimately opened in 2013, played in shifting the paradigm. It’s been cited as an inspiration and a reference point for projects as diverse as Tbilisi’s impressive Stamba Hotel (a brutalist, 61-room property in a former Soviet publishing house), the many citizenMs and the genteel, rapidly growing family of Lockes, which put public spaces and community interaction at their core. Ace wasn’t the first in London to reframe the lobby as a democratic space, but it was arguably the most effective – much of which was down to the make-up of the neighbourhood.

Above The lobby reframed public hotel space as more than transient, hosting nomadic workers at its giant table

Below A high-low approach to design saw utilitarian materials such as tiles and concrete used with bespoke pieces

“The whole project was about creating a hybrid space that allowed for locals and transient visitors to come together,” says Gulati. “At the time, Shoreditch was still at the crossroads of emerging ideas in culture, design and art. It was a transitional point between different worlds, where there was a collision between students and the money of the City.” Microterritories were carved out, giving the otherwise sprawling space purpose and form, while other elements bred spontaneity. “I could talk for hours about the Ace table,” says Gulati about the huge table that dominated the lobby. “I’ve had people tell me how genius it is that it compelled you to talk to the person next to you, because you needed to lean across to plug your laptop in. I have to admit to them, that wasn’t our intention, but it’s fantastic.”

Paul Raeside

Elsewhere, design elements were a response to the location: the Crittall windows a nod to surrounding warehouses; the bespoke lobby door handle a wink to fixie bike culture. There was a mixing of high and low code design:


Kent Johnson

JOURNEY / London

inexpensive vinyl embedded into custom Benchmark tables and cheap corkboard in guest rooms hovering above bespoke leather change dishes by accessories designer Ally Capellino. Where other hotels picked a lane and stayed in it, Ace Shoreditch careened across them all to dazzling, seducing effect. Ace of course lives on elsewhere. Many of the cues seen in Shoreditch will be found in Ace Brooklyn, designed by Roman and Williams and opening in spring. “Both then and now, I think it’s the quality of curiosity that draws people most to Ace – we’ve got an appetite for the stories in things and our guests are genuinely interested in discovery,” says Wilson. “I think that as long as you stay attuned to that, the well of possibility is continually renewing itself.” In Brooklyn perhaps there is a glug of the same secret sauce that made Shoreditch so successful – the creative tension between communities and the sense of an area still fluctuating from what it was to what it will be.

“Atelier Ace and Roman and Williams drew on the cultural history of the neighbourhood, weaving together threads of inspiration from the waves of immigrants that have deeply enriched the borough,” says Wilson. Guest rooms allude to the raw utility of artists’ studios, public spaces include indoor and outdoor midways that ease into the city and an indoor garden features a double-sided fireplace and sawtooth skylight. Rowan and Williams’ design principles are rooted in primitive modernism and it’s reflected in Ace Brooklyn, in the honest, sensitive use of materials such as poured concrete and Douglas fir. What it isn’t, of course, is in London. And so the question remains: what’s next for Ace in the city it helped to nudge forward? “While we don’t have plans we can share right now, we’ve made no secret of our love for the UK,” says Wilson.“We don’t see this as the end of a chapter though; we expect to write plenty more pages in the city before long.”


Above Roman and Williams’ work at Ace Brooklyn, opening in spring

making places inspiring

Update your space with more plants! USM makes it possible. USM Modular Furniture 49–51 Central St, London EC1V 8AB, 020 7183 3470,

A converted farmhouse in Belgium. Read the full story on p80 Image by Thomas De Bruyne/Cafeine

HOME Timeless spaces

Break with tradition

Turning three apartments into one, Milanese architects Luini 12 unite the playful and the pictorial Words / Charlotte Abrahams Images / Helenio Barbetta/Living Inside

HOME / Milan


roject Arco, as this Milan apartment has been dubbed by its designers, is named after the Arco della Pace, the city’s imposing triumphal arch, the top of which can be seen in all its neoclassical splendour from the living room window. It is a remarkable view, but you would be forgiven for barely giving it a second glance, such is the impact of what is contained on the inside of this newly completed home. Designed by architects Giovanni Maria Sacchi and Federica Gambigliani Zoccoli of Milanese practice Luini 12, Arco is home as theatre; a place filled with life-affirming surprises. “The clients are young and international and wanted us to create something warm and familiar for their family [they have two small children], but also something wow,” says Zoccoli. Both the warm and the wow begin the moment that you step into the hallway. Long and narrow in shape, and with walls painted in aubergine and plum, it is like walking into the comforting embrace of a hug. Turn left and those brooding tones are punctuated by the sweeping curve of a brilliant white helical staircase. This vast sinuous sculpture, designed by Luini 12 and made from steel covered with resin-treated plasterboard, was the starting point for the entire project. “Easy communication between rooms is very important to us in all our work,” says Sacchi. “This apartment was three separate flats when we started, two on the same floor plus an attic,

so it’s very long. We put the staircase in the middle, where it acts as a pivot, with the three public rooms radiating out from it.” The dining room sits in the centre. Wrapped in sumptuous cyan and furnished with Pietro Lingeri’s mid-century ruby-red upholstered dining chairs, it is a precious jewel box providing a physical link, via gold-leaf-lined archways, between the kitchen and living area. These rooms flow seamlessly one into another, but with each change of location there comes another aesthetic surprise. Where the dining room is all dark, velvet-smooth richness, both the kitchen and living room are light and bright with rough textured walls, while the soft curve of the staircase, the 17th-century dining table and those arched doorways are in striking contrast to the straight lines and sharp angles found elsewhere. “This building is on a corner plot and the living room is a trapezoid, so geometry is one of its characteristics,” says Sacchi, “but it is also a signature of ours.” In this project, Sacchi and Zoccoli have used shape as a decorative device to add layers of texture and detail. There’s the square grid-like pattern of the reclaimed parquet floor that runs along the hallway and into the dining and living rooms; the precise angularity of artist and designer Vincenzo De Cotiis’ table and sofas in the living room; the straight lines of


Previous page Angular furniture by Vincenzo De Cotiis accentuates the living room’s trapezoid shape Facing page Luini 12’s lighting designs pepper the apartment, including linear Cake lights on the living room wall

Facing page The kitchen’s steel ceiling holds up the pool in the attic above, but is designed to resemble old coffers

HOME / Milan

“Our job is to create a space that combines the personality of the people who live in it, the architects who design it and the history of the building”

the coffered kitchen ceiling. The result is a kind of pared-down opulence that is utterly in keeping with both the clients’ desire for a contemporary home and with the 19thcentury bones of the building itself. “Our job is to create a space that combines the personality of the people who live in it, the architects who design it and the history of the building,” says Zoccoli. There is not much left of the building’s original fabric – putting in the central staircase and turning the attic into a relaxation area complete with swimming pool meant demolishing walls and replacing ceilings – but many of the new additions have old roots. The wooden floor in the hallway, living and dining room was rescued from a historic building in Piedmont for example, while the reclaimed marble fireplace in the kitchen dates back to the 16th century. And even where new is indeed new, it has been made to look old. The kitchen ceiling is fashioned from steel so as to hold up the swimming pool, but the coffered construction means that it speaks of ancient wooden beams. These public rooms are all about material, colour and shape and, despite the jewel tones and flashes of gleaming metal from the gold leaf on the archways, the brass touches on De Cotiis’ table and sofas, Luini 12’s living room lamps and Abimis’ custom-made stainless steel kitchen island, they have a urban, almost industrial feel. The private rooms at the other

end of the hallway – a master bedroom suite, the two children’s bedrooms and a family bathroom and playroom – are, in contrast, all about connecting with nature. “The clients wanted to bring the terrace and its plants inside, so we commissioned Milanese specialists Pictalab to make some fresco-like paintings,” says Zoccoli. “The idea was to create the feeling of a fantastic winter garden and, in the master bedroom, to do it in an absolutely abstract way. That’s why the banana plants have been painted orange!” There are many subtle and harmonising visual links back to the rest of the apartment, such as the two huge iron columns in the playroom; the old French industrial lamps above the master bed and the brass and resin-coated concrete cabinet, designed by Luini 12, in the ensuite bathroom, but juxtaposed against the cocooning sophistication of the hallway and the metropolitan glamour of the public spaces, these rooms come as a fresh and delightfully decorative surprise. The final theatrical flourish in this drama-filled home is the upstairs relaxation area with its Moroccan-tile hammam, lounge bar and pool. The original plan had been to create a doubleheight kitchen, but Sacchi and Zoccoli, for all their love of surprises, are functionalists at heart. “We wanted the attic to have a real purpose,” Sacchi says. “A house is a place to be lived in and every part should be enjoyed.”


Facing page A gold-leaf-lined archway leads to the dining area, with its eyecatchingly bright mid-century chairs by Pietro Lingeri

Facing page The sculptural steel and resin staircase that connects the two floors is the fulcrum of the house, with the rooms radiating out around it

Above Spied from above, the right angles in the pattern of the reclaimed flooring provide maximum contrast with the sweeping curve of the white staircase


Above The brass and resin vanity unit in the master bathroom was designed by Luini 12, as were the wall lights

Facing page Decorative art specialist Pictalab painted the master bedroom’s bright orange banana-plant mural

Above Spearmint-green horizontal stripes wrap around one half of the master bedroom

Next page One final surprise is saved for the attic: a relaxation area with Moroccan-tiled hammam, lounge bar and pool

Facing page Lush wall murals in the bathroom’s shower bring verdant nature inside


Fluid forms

A seductive New York apartment full of shapely curves Words / Dominic Lutyens Images / Brian Ferry

HOME / New York City


here seems to be a new style emerging in interior design that counterbalances the minimalist and the decorative. Following the overblown maximalism of recent years, a calmer look is creeping into interiors. Not that it’s cold or bland, since it favours sensual curves and arches, warm, natural materials and rich finishes, albeit in an understated way.

striking features is a free-form vaulted ceiling made of Finnish pine. “We included images of Maison Louis Carré and Aalto’s curvilinear Screen 100 in the initial moodboard we presented to our clients,” says Haslegrave. The apartment – formerly an unloved home that hadn’t been renovated since the 1980s – is Home Studios’ second residential project. The practice first made its mark with designs for a number of restaurants, and the homeowners approached Haslegrave having been fans of two East Village haunts they had frequented, Goat Town and Elsa, both of which have a distinct deco influence.

Those curves have many connotations. They recall art deco – fountains gushing arching water were a major Jazz Age motif. They are also redolent of the fun-loving, curvaceous pop design of the 1960s and 1970s, which was itself inspired by the frivolity of the deco era. Today’s curves are reminiscent, too, of the softer, organic modernism espoused in the 1930s by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto: the creator of ergonomic bent plywood furniture observed that modernist tubular-steel furniture was “unsatisfactory from a human point of view”.

Haslegrave says that storytelling is an essential part of his studio’s creative process. In fact, he is a former book editor but interior design eventually took his fancy more than literature. “Books are my first love, and while I enjoyed editing, there was a tactile, physical element I was missing,” he says. “My dad was an architect and designed our home. I was always around construction sites when I was growing up, so I constantly felt nostalgic for architecture.”

This apartment in a 1920s building in New York’s NoHo neighbourhood, occupied by a couple and their two children, epitomises this style, with straight lines softened by curves wherever possible. For its designer, Oliver Haslegrave, who founded his Brooklyn-based practice Home Studios in 2009, the work of Aalto, in particular his project Maison Louis Carré, co-designed with his second wife Elissa and completed in 1959, was a key inspiration.

Among designers, particularly those in the hospitality sector, “storytelling” is a popular buzzword: it’s seen as important to create environments that make considered, multilayered references to the cities they’re located in and celebrate their context, rather than making purely aesthetic statements. However, for Haslegrave, storytelling means something a little different: “The process begins with the client’s story. We then interpret, distil and

The villa, in Bazoches-sur-Guyonne, about 40km from Paris, was created for art dealer Louis Carré and his wife Olga. One of its most

Previous page and facing page The walnut and rattan master bed was custom-designed by Home Studios for the space; a painting by artist Landon Metz sits above it


“Key ingredients in the process are diversity of expression, playful curiosity, editing to the essential and a devotion to detail”

Above and facing page The blocky marble vanity unit is one of the few places in the apartment where designer Oliver Haslegrave deviates from his love of curves; it’s edged in simple tiles, trimmed with copper


HOME / New York City

recreate these needs through interior design. We talk to our clients about their inspirations, the places they like going to… for us, key ingredients in the process are diversity of expression, playful curiosity, editing to the essential and a devotion to detail. In this case, our clients required functionality with a large kitchen – it has a 16-foot-long island – and a dining table of a particular size. They wanted natural materials and curved walls.”

shower fittings. Outsized white tiles redolent of those in municipal swimming pools form a homogeneous surface that clads the bath, vanity unit and floor. These curve in such a way as to eradicate all right angles on corners and even provide a seating area above a built-in storage unit for towels. The other bathroom boasts a charcoal grey concrete panel framed by avocado tiles providing a backdrop that throws into sharp relief its white curvilinear bath.

The heritage exterior of the apartment has protected status: the windows on either side therefore partly determined the internal layout, which the clients stipulated should have three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Sliding doors help to make the most of the space, and the airy atmosphere created by so much daylight is enhanced by the pale walls painted Farrow & Ball’s Pointing. Yet rich accents prevent the space from looking bland. In the kitchen is a copper cooker hood, while the cabinets have been painted in another Farrow & Ball shade, the lichen-green Pigeon. In the hallway, architectural details such as door frames have been decoratively trimmed with fine copper lines to subtly ritzy effect.

Bespoke furniture designed by Home Studios renders the space more personal still: a huge storage-unit-cum-console in the living room riffs off the wooden elements at Maison Louis Carré, while mid-century pieces – a French rug and Danish armchairs – accentuate the cosy vibe here. A striking custom-made pendant light supplied by Brooklyn-based design studio Fort Standard hangs above the dining table and the dining chairs are the work of midcentury Danish designer Niels Otto Møller. But back to those curves. The clients’ desire for curvaceous contours chimed fortuitously with Haslegrave’s love of Aalto, while another of his perennial favourites is Italian designer Mario Bellini, best known for his 1970s modular Camaleonda sofa with its chunky bulbous upholstery. So why is Haslegrave ineluctably drawn to curves? “To me, rectilinear spaces are a challenge,” he says. “Curves are welcoming. It takes more effort and care to create them. I find they have a greater emotional impact. A Renaissance-era dome is very emotional to me – and creates a bridge to the natural world.”

Despite the apartment featuring idiosyncratic, curved internal windows with frosted panes that provide privacy, it is the discreet bathrooms that are the most theatrical elements of the apartment. The walls in one are partly covered with an expanse of copper-coloured mosaic tiles with extravagantly rounded, very 1970s pop corners, complemented by copper taps and

Facing page A lounge chair by LA-based Atelier de Troupe meets a vintage French lamp in a corner of the bedroom

Next page The copper cooker hood picks up on the same material used to trim architectural details elsewhere




“Curves are welcoming. It takes more effort and care to create them. I find they have a greater emotional impact”

Facing page Natural materials, a neutral palette and a wash of daylight lend the apartment a soothing ambiance

Above A vast island dominates the kitchen; the homeowners wanted a large, practical family space


Above A travertine-clad niche at the end of the hallway provides a focal point for art

Next page Custom-made storage in the living room combines the warmth of timber with a more utilitarian feel

Facing page Bespoke joinery is an homage to Alvar Aalto’s Maison Louis Carré in France


Room to breathe

Interior architect Pieter Vanrenterghem renovates a rural Flemish farmhouse with a palette of raw materials and neutral hues Words / Karine Monié Images / Thomas De Bruyne/Cafeine

HOME / Belgium


e wanted to live by the sea but on a farm, not an obvious combination in the west coast of Flanders,” says homeowner Liesbeth Depuydt of the home that she shares with Lieven Decat and their two sons in Adinkerke in Belgium, which lies close to the French border a 40-minute drive from Bruges. “After about ten years of [looking for the right place] at a maximum distance of 20km from the coast, this farmhouse came up for sale.” The property is no longer a working farm, but its authentic spirit, nurtured by its agricultural roots, lives on thanks to interior architect Pieter Vanrenterghem, who led a one-and-a half year renovation of the site for Depuydt and Decat. The couple helm a company that specialises in electricity and renewable energy, and felt they needed to live full-time in a true retreat where quiet and intimacy prevail.

Facing page The site hosts a complex of five buildings, including this one featuring an office Previous page The pool is in a separate building dedicated to health and wellness, with a fitness area located upstairs

“We have a very busy business life, which makes us desire a place to recharge and pump energy to create new projects,” says Depuydt. “Our free time goes entirely to our friends and family. We’ve been living in this unique place for a year now and we’re joyful that it inspires us to start new hobbies. Having a space in nature gives us lots of possibilities.” Made up of a cluster of buildings ringed by a moat of water, the country estate consists of five distinct structures. The main house, where the family lives, comprises a ground floor with


a kitchen and living room, a laundry room and a further annex kitchen, while the first floor is home to three bedrooms, each of which has its own bathroom. Vanrenterghem says that, of the five buildings, this house “has the warmest and cosiest atmosphere of all the structures.” In the second building, an indoor swimming pool with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the lush garden occupies the ground level, with a fitness and wellness area on the first floor. The third building has three guest bedrooms and bathrooms, while the fourth is dedicated to either relaxing or working, with a bar, pool table, fireplace and annex office area with views of the surrounding green space, complemented by two bedrooms and wellness bathrooms with a sauna on the upper floor. Finally, there is an event space adorned with dark oak herringbone flooring and exposed timber beams that can host more than 100 people. “The biggest challenge we faced was trying to find a harmonious connection between the five entities in terms of materiality and atmosphere,” says Vanrenterghem. “It was difficult because the houses have various uses – both private and public – which implies a different approach. So we used the same colours and painting techniques in them all, but different materials.” One key idea was that, when the children eventually leave the house, part of the property could be transformed into an independent bed

Above Left to right: a view through the kitchen-dining area; a handsome walnut staircase leads upstairs

Facing page The monolithic kitchen is clad in distinctive Pierre de Varennes limestone, sourced from Hullebusch


“The houses have various uses, which implies a different approach. So we used the same colours and painting techniques in all of them, but different materials”



HOME / Belgium

“It is an oasis of rural tranquillity and sophisticated comfort near the seashore. We feel perfectly happy here”

and breakfast. Also important was reducing reliance on external energy sources, through photovoltaic panels and pellet-fired boilers, which allow the house to be disconnected from the electricity grid if needed. This may sound straightforward but it was a technical challenge in terms of scale – the sheer size of the five buildings means there is a lot of space to heat.

Facing page Clean, calm and tranquil, the master bathroom includes a large shower area screened off by black partitions and a stool/ side table by destroyers/builders Previous page Poul Kjærholm’s PK22 chair and Pierre Jeanneret’s 051 Capitol Complex Office Chair are among the iconic pieces of furniture in the living room

“Since both owners are fond of the sea, we wanted to take the natural character of the seaside and translate it to the aesthetic of the interiors,” says Vanrenterghem. “The owners certainly did not want a white, cold building.” The elegant spaces are clean and textural with honest, earthy and raw materials, which soften the lines and result in warm minimalism. Muted, matt finishes such as walnut timber joinery, chalk-hued paint, Muzillac Veine limestone, Moroccan tadelakt lime plaster flooring and black steel combine throughout the buildings in a perfectly balanced way. Decorative details are kept to a minimum, so that the unique qualities of a material, whether metal or stone, are what gets noticed. “We always try to relate the materials we use to the region we work in and to the personality of the client,” says Vanrenterghem. “We create living spaces that last, with materials that stand the test of time. Most of the spaces we design keep their neutral state so the owners don’t have to change this base when things change in their life.” Depuydt puts it another way: “The


materials are natural, robust and simple – just like the characters of the four residents.” A series of iconic pieces of design adorn the living room: Cassina’s 051 Capitol Complex Office Chair, designed by Pierre Jeanneret; a Ligne Roset Togo sofa and chair designed by Michel Ducaroy; a PK22 lounge chair by Poul Kjærholm for Fritz Hansen and the minimal Austere floor light by Hans Verstuyft for Trizo21. Every object has been carefully selected, focusing on the bare essentials and beauty of simplicity; the spaces are a subtle invitation to breathe, feel and contemplate. Some of Depuydt’s favourite elements include the impressive blocks of Pierre de Varennes stone used to clad the kitchen (sourced from Belgian supplier Hullebusch), the outdoor beds by Kristalia and the abstract sculpture by Fernand Vanderplancke in the garden. “It is an oasis of rural tranquillity and sophisticated comfort near the seashore,” she says about her home. “The rich panoramic views provide calm and the harmony that exists in the buildings ensures that the atmosphere is completely right and has always been this way. We feel perfectly happy here.” For Vanrenterghem, who thoughtfully put his vision at the service of the owners’ current and future needs, it is “a made-to-measure house that fits the clients’ personalities. We were on the same page throughout the whole project.”

Longworth from the Magnetic Edition - Photography: Andrew Bordwin.


Edward Fields, a House of Tai Ping brand, has been creating area rugs for legendary interiors since 1935. Available from authorized UK retailers and Tai Ping’s new London showroom at 85 Pelham Street SW7 2NJ. |

A suiban vase by Noe Kuremoto. Read the full story on p102 Image by Liam Prior

ART & COLLECTING A cultural review



Sights to behold: a calendar of shows and fairs for the coming months Words / Philomena Epps

Kara Walker, Kunstmuseum Basel 5 June–19 September

American artist Kara Walker’s show at Kunstmuseum Basel, A Black Hole is Everything a Star Longs to Be, will be her first extensive solo exhibition in Switzerland and features hundreds of drawings from her studio archive. For Walker, paper is a key medium due to its association

between drawing and the written word, and with the genre of satire and caricature: akin to Hogarth or Goya, she commands a subversive flair, bringing racism, gender, sexuality and violence into focus. Pictured are two untitled drawings from 2018 (above) and 1999 (opposite).


Private archive Kara Walker. Kara Walker collection: Kunstmuseum Basel, Kupferstichkabinett

Courtesy the artist & Jupiter Artland

© Photo archives Kamel Mennour, Paris/London. © ADAGP Mohamed Bourouissa


Rachel Maclean: Meme, Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh

Mohamed Bourouissa: HARa!!!!!! hAaaRAAAAA!!!!!hHAaA!!! Goldsmiths CCA, London

From 8 May

21 May–1 August

A new permanent commission by Scottish multimedia artist Rachel Maclean marks the opening of sculpture park Jupiter Artland’s summer season. Inspired by fairytale characters and the woodland settling, Maclean will debut her newest persona, Mimi, a cartoon princess. The artist is known for her highly saturated, hyper-real films, made with green-screen video technology and computer animation, in which outlandish characters and fantasy environments often disguise deeper critiques on the role of social media in politics, society and identity.

French-Algerian artist Mohamed Bourouissa’s survey at Goldsmiths CCA is his first solo show at a UK public institution. The 2020 winner of the prestigious Deutsche Börse photography prize, Bourouissa has often focused on disenfranchised groups and individuals in society, engaged with the boundaries between integration and exclusion. The exhibition will present work made between 2003 and 2020, utilising photography, sound, installation and the moving image, and often interweaving smartphone footage, grainy images or text messages.


© The artist. Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London


Breaking the Mould, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield 1 April–13 June

The Arts Council’s 2021 touring exhibition will spotlight its holdings of post-war British sculpture made by female artists, opening in spring at Yorkshire Sculpture Park before heading to Walsall, Nottingham, Plymouth and Hull. The show surveys the work of 40 female sculptors

from the traditional to the more experimental, and embracing an eclectic list of materials such as hair, paper, flowers and salt. The roster includes Barbara Hepworth, Sarah Lucas, Cornelia Parker, Rachel Whiteread and Margaret Organ, whose 1978 Loop is pictured.


© Lee Miller Archives


Lee Miller: Fashion in Wartime Britain, Farley’s House & Gallery, East Sussex 20 May–8 August

Now a museum and archive, Farley’s House & Gallery is the Sussex former home of photographer Lee Miller and her husband, the painter and collector Roland Penrose, which became a meeting place for some of the leading figures of 20th-century art. This show focuses on the

body of work that Miller made during the second world war, particularly for British Vogue. Despite the difficult conditions, including shooting during the Blitz, her surrealist eye and command of art direction and technical skill led to a series of striking images.


© Milwaukee Art Museum. Photo: Larry Sander


Georgia O’Keeffe, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid 20 April–8 August

The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, home to one of Europe’s biggest private collections of western art, is due to present the first Spanish retrospective of Georgia O’Keeffe, the “mother of American modernism”. The show will offer a complete survey of her work, from early

works of abstraction (including Series I–No 3 from 1918, pictured) to her celebrated magnified flower paintings and New York skylines, and later works that focused on the remote landscapes of New Mexico, swapping the metropolis for the rugged, sun-bleached desert.


© Sherrie Levine. Courtesy the artist and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis


American Art 1961–2001, Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Florence 15 April–22 August

Curated in partnership with the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, this show charts the development of late20th-century American art, starting with the Vietnam War and ending with the attack on the Twin Towers. The themes explored range from consumerism, the struggle

for civil rights, feminism and gender identity, via over 80 paintings, photographs, sculptures, installations and video artworks. Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Matthew Barney and Sherrie Levine (whose bronze homage to Marcel Duchamp is pictured) are among those featured.


Photo: Rod Lewis


James Barnor, Serpentine Gallery, London

Night Fever: Designing Club Culture, V&A Dundee

British-Ghanaian photographer James Barnor’s career as a studio portraitist, photojournalist and editorial photographer spans over six decades. His images offer a record of the significant social and political changes that took place in two continents over the late 20th century, and this extensive presentation of his work demonstrates his enduring fascination with people and culture.

This large-scale survey of the fruitful relationship between club culture and design includes film, photography, fashion, posters and flyers, in addition to light and music installations. It charts the evolution of the discotheque and nightclub from the 1960s onwards, via Studio 54 and the Haçienda to architecture firm OMA’s recent concepts for a new Ministry of Sound in London.

Samson Kambalu: New Liberia, Modern Art Oxford

Félix Gonzalez-Torres, MACBA, Barcelona

For his largest solo exhibition to date, the artist, writer and academic Samson Kambalu will create a powerful site-specific installation centred on his search for a “more enchanted world” beyond the limitations of everyday life. His combination of video, images and texts will offer a timely exploration of sovereignty and resistance in the long interplay between Malawi, the UK and the US.

MACBA’s exhibition of work by Cuban-born American artist Félix Gonzalez-Torres takes a particular look at his experiences as an exile and immigrant, in relation to Spanish, Latin American and Caribbean culture. Notions of memory, authority, freedom and national identity will be explored through his sculptures, which infuse the language of minimalism with bodily presence and desire.

Dates TBC

© Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Courtesy of The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation

Courtesy of PEER. Photo: Stephen White & Co

Until 30 August

22 May–5 September

Until 12 September


© AChP


Charlotte Perriand, The Design Museum, London 19 June–autumn 2021

Charlotte Perriand’s pioneering modern design shaped the aesthetic of the 20th century, and her ideas still impact how we live today, from her use of aluminium and steel to her belief that design should meet everyday human needs. Perriand created timeless furniture pieces after she

joined Le Corbusier’s Parisian studio in 1927, and in the 1960s designed one of the most recognisable ski resorts in the world, Les Arcs (pictured). The Design Museum’s survey will include reconstructions of her interiors as well as furniture, photography and personal notebooks.


The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: The Museum of Modern Art. © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn


Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Tate Modern, London 15 July–17 October

Bringing together works from major collections in Europe and the US, Tate Modern will host the first UK retrospective of Sophie Taeuber-Arp’s work. Now understood to be one of the foremost abstract artists of the early 20th century, Tauber-Arp dissolved boundaries

between art and craft, blending traditional weaving with the intellectual process of abstraction in modern art. Expect to see paintings (including 1930’s Composition of Circles and Overlapping Angles, pictured) as well as textiles and embroideries, carved sculptures and puppets.



Thinking with clay

Osaka-born, London-based ceramic artist Noe Kuremoto’s organic forms are rooted in her heritage and the Japanese art of flower arranging, ikebana


started to work with clay as a child”, recalls Noe Kuremoto. “Not seriously at all. Just for fun.” In addition to transforming into an adult passion, ceramics have now also become her perfectly mastered craft. Born in Osaka but currently based in London, Kuremoto followed in her father’s footsteps when it came to finding her calling. “My father is an artist and taught fine art at university in Japan, so my brothers and I met a lot of his colleagues – artists, ceramicists, poets, etc,” she says. “We absolutely loved hanging out at his studio and being with interesting grown-ups.” From there, however, the path to working fulltime with clay wasn’t a straight line. “When I started studying fine art at Central Saint Martins in the late 1990s, I consciously stayed away from ceramics because at that time, it seemed [to me] that it belonged to craft, not fine art,” she continues. After initially focusing her practice on performance and video art, Kuremoto started to crave the simplicity of clay, water, fire and handwork. That was around eight years ago. “The world was going ‘digital mad’ and my mind needed to feel more grounded somehow,” she explains. Inspired by the work of Toshiro Kawase – who works in the field of Japanese flower arranging, ikebana – Kuremoto is also deeply influenced by Japanese mythology. Her Kodama series of vases refers to the Japanese belief in woodland sprits that inhabit the trees: honouring this magical, fairytale universe, these poetic and playful pieces use organic shapes, combining childlike simplicity and the utmost refinement in a surprisingly simple yet profound way.

“Making a sculptural form with clay is like drawing,” says Kuremoto, who has had a pencil in her hand since a very young age. “Drawing is thinking, and I love thinking with clay. It feels natural to me…clay will often reveal its shape on its own; we cannot force a shape to clay. Maybe this is why I love it so much.”

Words Karine Monié Images Nick Dunne

Mostly working with earthy tones, or without colour at all and just using the natural tone of the material after firing, Kuremoto tells stories through her collections, which also comprise many spontaneous elements. “I see my vases like earth, and floral artists like gardeners,” she says. “It’s my job to keep their earth nutritious and let the fruits grow.” When she creates an ichirin zashi – a vase traditionally designed for a single flower – Kuremoto wants to invite the spirit of nature into people’s homes in order to show that we live in a beautiful place. Passionate about everything she does, she finds creativity through her childhood memories. While sometimes she feels the need to disconnect from – or rather, reconnect with – the world and what surrounds her, Kuremoto looks for the truth of our universe in the wilderness. “When I feel that I need to find inspiration, I try to do nothing in nature – [the] wilder the better,” she says. “We do too much. Business is a form of addiction.” Currently working on her Kodama series and some upcoming exhibitions, Kuremoto dreams of having the opportunity to one day do a large installation piece for a major gallery or a museum. “Even if this sounds ambitious, I believe it’s important to say these things out loud so I have a clear target,” she says.


Facing page One of Kuremoto’s signature pieces is the ichirin zashi – a vase designed for a single stem

Styling Maya Angeli/floral artist Kasia Borowiecka

Floral artist Tul Chompaisal/PHKA Studio

Liam Prior

“Clay will often reveal its shape on its own; we cannot force a shape to clay. Maybe this is why I love it so much”

Facing page A shallow-footed bowl or suiban; Kuremoto says she sees floral artists as gardeners, and her vases as the earth needed to nourish them

Above Kuremoto’s vessels used in a scheme devised by creative floral designers Cosmos & Plums, inspired by Dutch still-life paintings


we are united in design.

A charitable organisation set up to address the lack of diversity within the Interior Design Industry. United in Design was founded by Sophie Ashby and Alexandria Dauley to address the lack of diversity within the Interior Design Industry. Specifically, the lack of representation from the black, Asian, ethnic minority and low socio-economic communities. Through partnerships with established educational programmes, industry professionals and sponsors, the intention is to provide a clear road map for the increased diversity in all sectors of the industry – design studios, makers, suppliers to individuals and magazines. Visit: and take the pledge. UNITED_IN_DESIGN INFO@UNITEDINDESIGN.COM

The Canyon House. Read the full story on p108 Render by Charlotte Taylor/ Victor Roussel

ARCHITECTURE Surveying the built environment

Bending to our will

If there’s one architectural motif that’s dominated social media lately, it’s the arch – but is it now more tired than triumphal? Words / John Jervis

Luke Hayes

Nathan Willock-VIEW/Alamy Tom Blachford

“Even modernism found it impossible to let the arch go, from the ambitious social housing of Red Vienna to the imperious public architecture of Mussolini’s Rome”



t has been around for a couple of millennia. Probably more. But, in its semi-circular guise at least, the arch is having a moment. Find it scrolling your favourite #interiordesign accounts, a feature of doorways and alcoves, windows and mirrors, wardrobes and dressing tables, and glamorous murals in cocktail bars. Facades boasting bold contours are becoming an increasing favourite of archiporn sites too.

And it has lasted. Even modernism found it impossible to let the arch go, from the ambitious social housing of Red Vienna to the imperious public architecture of Mussolini’s Rome, and Le Corbusier’s pilgrimage chapel in Ronchamp and Chandigarh’s High Court. Robert Venturi’s subtle postmodern nods to the arch in the 1960s were supplanted by the lascivious efforts of his successors, rejoicing in the arch’s triumphal associations, if not its religious ones. Since when, sadly, arches have been rather demeaned, idly stuck on the flanks of shopping centres and apartment blocks. Throughout the postwar era, however, there have been examples of heavyweight architects exploiting its potency, from early pioneers such as Eero Saarinen and Oscar Niemeyer, via Rafael Moneo and Richard Rogers, to current practitioners such as David Adjaye, Amanda Levete and Toyo Ito. Even the world’s greatest brutalist estate, the Barbican, incorporates it into its architecture, in inverted form, around windows, doors and vents. So why is the arch having a resurgence now? Parametric architecture has long played with arcing organic forms, particularly in China, but

Karel Balas

As an abstract idea, the arch is beautiful – a line suspended in space, supporting mass, framing a void. As a structural element, it made the spectacular aqueducts and baths of the Roman Empire possible, imbuing them with grace and grandeur – as it did, in rather chunkier fashion, Victorian railways and reservoirs. Whether used in serried ranks around amphitheatres, or scalloped niches above marble deities, it made for a compelling decorative motif, one seized upon for the facades of Romanesque cathedrals and the dining rooms of neo-Palladian villas.

a new wave of practices in Asia are adopting some subtler takes on the arch, with encircled entrances, vaulted colonnades, barrel vaults and local materials, embracing setting as much as impact. Elsewhere, “contextual” surfaces – engineering brick, blackened wood, Corten steel – are all too often applied to rectilinear modernist structures in a safety-first fashion. A rival pop aesthetic seems more promising for an arched renaissance, with bold proposals for both high-rise towers and public buildings gathering momentum. Britain, predictably, stays timid – the arch remains a caricature, hijacked for debates about architectural beauty and Euston Station. But it’s inside that arches have really triumphed. After two decades, perhaps we’ve tired of midcentury style – of stripped wooden floors, fastidious grey felts, rosewood armchairs and flecked linen rugs. A roomful of Eames or Wegner chairs isn’t invigorating; a stale pot plant and tame Alexander Calder print don’t


Above Venetian hotel Il Palazzo Experimental, with interiors by Dorothée Meilichzon Facing page Top to bottom: Le Corbusier's High Court in Chandigarh, India (1957); Merah, a restaurant in Melbourne by One Design Office Previous page ReCasting, an installation by Alison Brooks Architects for the 2018 Venice Biennale, made by Benchmark

José Hevia


cut it as splashes of colour. Now, courtesy of how-to sites, you can create “painted arches” in alluring hues, trashing those white modernist walls with pleasurable efficiency. Whether daubed behind a coat rack, above a desk, or even, occasionally, over a door, the results provide an Insta-friendly touch of Miami: graphic, eye-catching and – most importantly during lockdown – fun. It’s a satisfying step, but a small one. For bolder souls, fully fledged postmodern revivals are available. Matt expanses of nursery pastels – mint greens, blush pinks and sky blues – cover walls, with arched entrances and shallow recesses, sometimes in calming complementary colours, providing depth and variation. In a world without mouldings or skirting, the arch provides structure and balance. And, now that open plan is (ever so slightly) out of fashion, it creates subtle demarcations between spaces. The arch is certainly versatile. If pastels are replaced by pistachios and russets – or perhaps raw brick – a modern rusticity is achieved,

mixing the arch’s geometry with Mediterranean vibes. Similarly, a crisp semicircle can bring a contemporaneity – even a domesticity – to industrial concrete. Of course, a glossier style, à la 1980s Memphis, has also materialised in avant-garde apartments and bars, where arches cap sculptural cabinets and floor-to-ceiling murals. Accompanied by triangles and squares, unfettered geometry reigns supreme, with heady juxtapositions of colour and pattern. More often, the hospitality industry favours traditional markers of luxury – bronze rims around mirrors and velvet on banquettes. And, whisper it, there’s also a tranquil white take on the genre, with deep monastic alcoves and layered portals receding into the distance. At the end of the 19th century, structural steel frames arrived, and the arch’s day as engineering marvel was done. Today, arches, inside or out, may not carry the same physical or spiritual weight, but as a celebration of geometry they remain wonderful, even sublime. There may be a certain sadness that the arch is now just decoration. But what decoration it is!


Above An apartment in Barcelona by architects P-M-A-A Facing page Top to bottom: Completed in 1954, the chapel of Notre Dame du Haut by Le Corbusier; a concept design for an office by Kosovan architect Shkelqim Hoti


VPC Travel Photo/Alamy


Lost & found

Čierne Diery highlights Slovakia’s forgotten built heritage through its blog, prints and publishing. Now, a real-life renovation project is set to draw in eager architourists

Words Peter Smisek Images Courtesy of Čierne Diery


ur name means ‘black holes’,” says Martin Lipták, co-founder of Čierne Diery, the Bratislava-based non-profit known for both colourful prints and illustrated publications that shine a light on Slovakia’s lesser-known industrial heritage. “But it’s not exactly the best translation,” he notes. “A more fitting English expression would be ‘blank spots’.” The collective began in 2014 after Lipták and Andrej Sarvaš – both journalists by trade – and architect Miroslav Beňák began exploring old factories and abandoned mines in the country's more remote corners. “We noticed that no-one was really talking about these structures,” explains Lipták. “In many cases, local heritage bodies do not consider a 100-year-old factory to be of the same value as classical manor houses or medieval castles.”

Facing page A print of an old cable factory by Daniela Olejníková; the collective's Risographs are collectors' items

The trio started to collect stories and research the social history of these scores of left-behind places. Their aim was to educate the public about the country's forgotten built heritage and then kickstart a conversation around its preservation. The three friends’ travels resulted in a blog with an interactive map and articles documenting the buildings they had visited; within a year, Čierne Diery had amassed a sizeable online following.


The real breakthrough took place in 2015, when Čierne Diery began collaborating with graphic designer Michal Tornyai. Tornyai managed to get his hands on an old Risograph machine (essentially a screenprint photocopier) and the collective began producing a series of collectable prints, which they would sell at local craft fairs. The prints included Daniela Olejníková’s image of an old cable factory in Bratislava, which, despite being historically listed, was demolished by developer HB Reavis to make way for a new office complex on the site. “We printed several motifs as a test, and people came to like them,” says Lipták. Since then, Čierne Diery has released 220 limited-edition prints of forgotten buildings, collaborating with 65 emerging and established Slovak artists, graphic designers, illustrators and architects. In addition to raising awareness of these neglected monuments, the prints have become collectors’ items, each edition selling out within minutes of being released online. In early 2020, the Slovak National Gallery’s chief curator Alexandra Kusá expressed an interest in acquiring the whole collection. While the prints initially retail at €25, some of the rarer and more desirable pieces can now fetch up to €4,000, a development that has led the collective to organise online auctions to raise


Above Bratislava's Slovak Radio Building, shaped like an inverted pyramid, as illustrated by Marek Menke

money for charity. Last year alone, Čierne Diery donated around €200,000 to various good causes, from building conservation and educational programmes to homeless shelters. At the same time, the group has also been busy publishing a series of maps documenting old factories in Slovakia’s regional cities, as well as a number of commercially successful and critically acclaimed books, all designed by Tornyai and, like the prints, becoming instant sell-outs. The titles include Čierne Diery, a travelogue documenting 100 forgotten places, and Stratená Bratislava (“lost Bratislava”), a collection of 30 prints and essays about the capital’s lost – or threatened – industrial and socialist-era heritage. Printed on the group’s trusty Risograph, the publications are almost


works of art in themselves, and Tornyai’s work has been twice recently awarded Slovakia’s National Design Prize. The work also seeks to realign people’s views of these places and build awareness of their neglect. The group’s remit has widened considerably over the years, and attracted new members, including Tornyai, city planner Lívia Gažová and most recently historian Lukáš Patera. They have also become more involved in regional tourism, something that their blog and social media always implicitly promoted. In 2018, together with the all-female architectural collective Woven, Čierne Diery launched a successful crowdfunding campaign to build a forest sauna on the edge of Spišský Hrhov, a village in eastern Slovakia. Built and run by

Kvet Nguyen


the marginalised Roma community, it became a successful tourist attraction and went on to receive a national architecture prize. “We were initially surprised when hotel proprietors in some of the less-developed regions got in touch to say that they have had an increase in the number of guests going to explore the places we wrote about,” says Lipták. Since last year, the team have been developing their own project: creating some “experiential” accommodation in a derelict manor house in the small town of Jelšava. “We are working with an architecture studio called 2021, cabinetmakers Dielňa Haus, lighting studio LightLab and artist Martin Piaček,” explains Lipták. “Not necessarily to renovate the buildings, but instead to show how we can

reuse them, even if we do not have an especially large budget.” Current plans include inserting a number of pods within the building, all financed by the collective’s publications, as well as a special-edition print of the building. Like the forest sauna in Spišský Hrhov, the manor house is in one of Slovakia’s poorest regions and Čierne Diery's project looks to address this by providing local employment. By engaging with people’s interest in their surroundings, the group has developed an alternative mode of practice that combines architecture, publishing, local history, graphic design and tourism. Its work shines a light on the country’s forgotten buildings and places, uncovering nuanced histories that have been neglected by the public heritage bodies.


Above Left to right: the multi-disciplinary collective; Lucia Žatkuliaková's illustration of a former pharmacy in Bratislava, built in 1904


Tropics eyewear by Ørgreen. Read the full story on p125

STYLE Fashionable pursuits

Most wanted

Clothing, accessories and pursuits that are thoughtful, expressive, beautiful and good

STYLE / Products

Eudon Choi Many of us have been restricted to armchair travel of late, and fashion designers are no exception. Eudon Choi’s pre-fall collection takes us on a journey to the remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. The drape and details of traditional Tibetan dress are translated into pieces such as the Carmen top (above), while the eye-popping cobalt blue of

the Beatrice jacket and Olivia trousers (opposite) is a reminder of the country’s penchant for vibrant textiles. The collection is called Rewa – Bhutanese for “hope” – expressing Choi’s desire to travel again. Beatrice jacket, £650, Olivia trousers, £475, Nora skirt, £675, Carmen top, £445;


STYLE / Products

Novocastrian One of the past 12 months’ unexpected success stories, chess has experienced a revival thanks to a combination of Netflix drama The Queen’s Gambit and some enforced home-time. This handsome Otterburn set in brass and walnut is just the thing to learn new skills or sharpen existing ones. It’s made by Novocastrian, a collective of designers and

makers helping to revive small-scale manufacturing in the north east of England. Each set is made to order and there are several options for materials and finishes. Now, will you be opening with the Albin Countergambit or the Sicilian Defence? £7,200;


STYLE / Products

Kestin Founded in 2015 and aiming to “redefine modern Scottish design”, menswear brand Kestin is the brainchild of Kestin Hare, former head of design at Nigel Cabourne. Its SS21 pieces have been inspired by the work of mid-20th-century textile designer Bernat Klein, who lived and worked in the Scottish Borders and whose 1957 home, High Sunderland,

has given its name to the new collection. Klein’s eye for colour has been translated into a palette for the garments of pollen yellow and dusty pink, mixed with tan, slate and lagoon blue. Pictured are the Stac water-resistant blazer and Inverness shorts. Blazer, £279, shorts, £125;


STYLE / Products

Leica Now that social media has made everyone into a potential citizen journalist, it seems right that Leica’s latest limited-edition camera pays homage to the company’s history of servicing the needs of press and reportage photographers. The M10-P Reporter has the same discreet design and technical spec as a regular M10-P, with a 24MP sensor, an

ultra-quiet shutter and touch screen. The difference is in the body, which has a dark green, extra-strong Kevlar trim that should give handy extra protection when you drop your camera, whether you’re fleeing a war zone or capturing your kids in the park. £7,100;


STYLE / Products

Ørgreen Danish eyewear brand Ørgreen is known for its pared-back design, and its latest Imaginary Lines capsule collection is a testament to titanium’s ability to be crafted into barely there frames – the thinnest frames that the brand has ever brought to the market, in fact. The seven designs’ names all allude to the earth and the wider universe, such as Tropics,

above. In a capsule-within-a-capsule moment, two of the frames, the rounded Equator and Hemisphere, were designed by Danish-Italian duo GamFratesi, with Japanese fashion and textile designer Akira Minagawa devising the colour palette. €465;


STYLE / Profile

Body language

The sensual and sculptural debut collection of jeweller Augustin Basso makes him one to watch

Words Emma Moore Images Talia Liu/ Basso Bijou


hen he is deep in his design process, Augustin Basso doesn’t concern himself with the practicalities of how his jewellery might be worn. The form comes first, then he seeks a way for the pieces to clasp the body, making the mechanisms things of beauty so that they do not interrupt the design. This sometimes makes for quite original placements: his Phantom earrings float magically below the lobe, while Moto clamps around the ear, the forms hovering around its perimeter like birds on the wing. “It’s sometimes necessary to find a different way for the heavier pieces to be worn so they are not uncomfortable,” says Basso, clearly not contained by convention. Aged just 25, Paris-born Basso was already well stuck into another career when he began designing jewellery in earnest a couple of years ago. He had been scouted by a model agent on the streets of London, aged 20, and on his return to Paris was picked up by a local agency there. Catwalking became his bread and butter. “I walk well, apparently,” he says bashfully, suggesting the advertiser’s lens was less fond of him than the runway, but that still had him working with Fendi and Hermès, Balmain and Dries Van Noten. It put him in a milieu that helped fuel his ambitions of a second career in jewellery design.

Facing page Clockwise from top left: the Stella earring, inspired by a traditional Ukrainian floral crown; the Tadaa earring, which appears to float below the lobe; Moto ear cuffs in gold; a white version of Moto

His calling wasn’t a bolt from the blue, however. When Basso realised that university wasn’t for him, he sought out a metier that would allow him to put his eye for beauty and love of art to practical use. He embarked on a two-year course at Paris’ specialist school for jewellery design, AFEDAP, during which he undertook a placement with Philippe Grand, maker of prototypes for big fashion houses such as Dior, Louis Vuitton and Jean Paul Gaultier. “The experience really opened my eyes to what is possible in accessory design,” he says.


A slowing up of activities in fashion during 2020 has allowed Basso to focus on a launch collection. His fascination with the sculptural style of the architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava inspired the designs, which include a cuff and earrings influenced by the Milwaukee Art Museum. “I love his zoomorphic approach to structures,” says Basso. “The movement of animals has also inspired me.” Basso’s passion for books equals his love of art and history. “I spend a lot of time in libraries,” he says. “The Stella earring evolved from a picture I saw of a Ukrainian lady dressed in folk clothing wearing red flowers in her hair. I wanted to bring the decoration down to her ears.” Other pieces are simply an evolution of his drawings: “I play with lines and forms, very intuitively. I take my drawings and work them into models. The shape of the jewellery comes first and the way to wear them comes after. “ Though Basso’s design approach is abstract and sculptural, his making methods are traditional and faithful to his training. Working mostly in brass, silver and sometimes gold and lacquer, he is also starting to experiment with materials such as plastic, glass, ceramic and crystals. His first collaboration is with his sister Domitille Basso, herself an accessory designer who has worked most recently at Saint Laurent; they have designed a series of jewellery pieces using shells collected from shores near their family home in Brittany. “I filled the shells with resin to strengthen them from the inside, then set them into metal,” he says; his touch gives the natural material a more contemporary profile. While brimming with new ideas, he is putting the reins on himself to concentrate on getting his collection launched; a website is coming, but until then you can catch him on Instagram at @basso_bijou. Basso is a talent to watch.


Forward focus

Map Project Office can design for tiny start-ups as well as it can for quantum computing firms Words / Joe Lloyd Image / Courtesy of Map Project Office


ow do you design for a typology that does not yet exist? Design consultancy Map Project Office has faced this question again and again – and each time addressed it with rigorous, inventive solutions.

the crowdfunded Beeline compass for cyclists. Its innovation is driven by an all-in mentality: agencies typically provide either future-gazing advice or assist with product delivery, but Map takes a starring role in both. “We’re passionate about doing what’s right for the client,” explains director Will Howe, “but also what’s right for the studio.” This authored approach coalesced in 2019 with the launch of the IBM Q System One, the world’s first commercial quantum supercomputer. “We got to define what a new archetype looks like,” says Howe, “an industrial designer’s dream.”

Map grew from the team at parent studio Barber Osgerby tasked with delivering the 2012 London Olympics torch, a project with an administrative complexity not usually faced by industrial designers. From the start, the office broke new ground, eschewing established brands in favour of tiny, tech-focused startups. When hired by two-person education coding venture Kano to create its packaging, Map ended up designing an entire self-build computer kit (whose rainbow-hued sensors are pictured).

Lockdown has prompted logistical headaches and cut out fortuitous studio interaction, yet Map still flourishes; 2020 was, says principal director Richard Stevens, its “best year – for no other reason than what we’re working on is relevant.” With design and digital technology moving ever closer, this relevance looks to swell and swell.

Map’s portfolio has since included concept cars for Honda, machine-learning hardware, an exhibition with Google Chrome, the interiors of Crossrail carriages and


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