Page 1


£ 10.00

# Future


# Digital

#Art #Sound

# CreativeCrossPollination

# Wearable

# Design

PLOUM sofa. Design: Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec.

Our UK Concept Design Team are a unique resource providing inspiration and advice to help designers create individual floors using Interface carpet tiles. We can guide you through the design process, from inventive carpet designs using square and plank product ranges, to recommending how to maximise the floor design within your allocated budget — we are an in-house resource and here to help at any stage of your project.

#BeautifulThinking is using our in-house concept design service to create design-led workspaces that inspire your customers.




3. 4. 5. 6.

1. Monochrome – Meadow; 2. Composure – Retreat; 3. Glen Weave – WW895; 4. Unity – Pumice; 5. Raffia Weft – WW870; 6. Scottish Sett - Plaid Raffia; 7. Glen Warp – WW865

Jun Lam, Sarah Tilbury, Laura Light — Interface Concept Design team

Scottish Sett – Plaid Raffia





Be iconic. USM is distinctive about representing and customizing your lifestyle: a design icon stating personality and independence.

#usmmakeit yours

Visit our authorized sales partners or our USM Showrooms in Berlin, Bern, Dßsseldorf, Hamburg, London, Munich, New York, Paris, Stuttgart, Tokyo USM U. Schaerer Sons Ltd, 49 – 51 Central St London EC1V 8AB, 020 7183 3470,

Welcome to the Arts and Culture issue of Design Exchange. In London, we often feel we are at the forefront of creativity, and are privileged to be surrounded by so much diversity. As Guest Editor, I have selected features which explore the spread of arts and culture from Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, crossing boundaries and providing a cultural scene which can trigger reflection, create dialogue and foster new ideas. Libyan-born, but raised in the UK, I have led something of a nomadic lifestyle and believe art is a product of culture; it both reflects and determines how people see themselves and the world around them. In this issue, we explore how the arts can unite people across the globe by surpassing cultural differences and capturing what it means to be uniquely human. We take a look at the work of young artist Nelson Makamo, who captures the authentic South African story of societal changes and city dwelling in downtown Johannesburg, and of Lebanese-born Nadine Kanso, who romanticises the sea traveller's approach to a city that was once and could be Beirut; Elizabeth Goode, from the Foundry Gallery in London, explores the relationships that can be found and forged between art and architecture. At Design Exchange we are devoted to the exchange of ideas in architecture, art, design, technology and travel, and hope you will both enjoy and take inspiration from the projects and features in this issue.

DE Editorial

Nissrin Zaptia/Guest Editor {}


Meiré und Meiré

Dornbracht CL ∙1 Product Design Sieger Design

Culturing Life


| By Canal Engineering Limited | +44 (0)115 986 6321 |

British engineered stairs, balustrade and handrail for residential and commercial environments. Visit our luxury Showroom.

Clerkenwell London Showroom 11-12 Great Sutton St. London EC1V 0BX


EDITORIAL BOARD Di Mainstone is an artist and researcher. She creates wearable John McRae joined Orms in 1997 and is an owner of the practice. John is a member of the British Council for Offices and has contributed to a number of conferences including: Ecobuild, RIBA’s good design it all adds up, Super Brands and BEST. Collaborating and listening are fundamental to his design approach and instigated the practices THiNK research initiative.

Jo-Anne Bichard’s first degree in social anthropology developed an interest in creative practice, and she now collaborates with designers as a senior Research Fellow at the Royal College of Art Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design. Her PhD from UCL in architectural studies continues her work in the field of design anthropology in which her research focuses on multi and inter-disciplinary collaboration.


Design Exchange

sonic sculptures that are played by a 'movician'. Di’s body-centric devices have been performed internationally, most notably at The V&A,The Barbican, The National Portrait Gallery, the Swedish National Touring Theatre, Eyebeam and on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.

David Morris is Co-founder and Travel Editor of Design Exchange. The magazine and all our other digital platforms are a great way to find new stories and to meet new exciting creatives. Working along side the other editorial board members has been inspiring for me, as an individual and for the future of Design Exchange.

Charles Rattray read architecture at the University of Edinburgh and worked in practice for over twenty years including a period in the studio of Sir Leslie Martin. He was an Editor of Architectural Research Quarterly (Cambridge University Press) from 2000–2014 and has been a Senior Lecturer at the University of Dundee since 2007. He writes regularly for the architectural press in the UK and abroad. Recent publications include Rationalist Traces (Wiley, 2007) with Andrew Peckham and Torsten Schmiedeknecht and a monograph on the Dutch architects, Geurst & Schulze Architecten (Quart Verlag, 2013).

Denise mt IVI VASILOPOULOU Ray Bradley studied at Basso studied Wimbledon School of Art and Originally from at the Scuola the Royal College of Art, London, Internazionale di awarded ARCA 1962. Established Greece, Ivi trained Grafica, Venice his studio in West London as an architect (under the Venetian (1964 –2004) encompassing artist Silvestro Lodi in London and multiple glass techniques related and German artist holds a Master’s Andreas Kramer). to architecture and the built degree in Theory She later graduated environment, with commissioned works in UK and overseas. Art with 1st Class and Criticism of Hons. from Chelsea College lecturer/visiting tutor/ Architecture from College of Art & assessor, most recently for Design and Public Art, Chelsea Design, where the University of College of Art and Design, London, glass was one East London. of the specialist 1993 – 2003 and Established facilities. Became a Bradley+Basso Studio with Denise creative partner of mt Basso in 2004. the newly formed James Pallister is a journalist and Bradley+Basso studio in 2004, content strategist. He writes for a number working from both of magazines and websites as well as Italy and England. In 2006 she gained providing copywriting, editing and content an AHRC award to strategy services to a number of clients in study and achieve the architecture, design and fashion sectors. an MA in Fine Art (with Architecture) in 2008 whilst continuing in professional practice.

NISSRIN ZAPTIA is originally from Tripoli, Libya. After studying fashion design at the London College of Fashion, Nissrin worked and lived in the Middle East and South Africa where she developed a keen interest in South African contemporary art and contemporary Arab visual culture in the diaspora.


Masthead DESIGN EXCHANGE 2015 VOLUME 1 £10.00

Cover Image: Illustration by

SPECIAL THANKS: To Daniela and Pedro for your help on this issue and congratulations for the arrival of baby António into this world. David Morris

design exchange Magazine 366 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 0AH T: +44 (0) 20 7118 4319 For subscriptions UK: £20.00 (3 issues) 12 months visit UK ADVERTISING T: +44 (0) 20 7118 4319 ROW ADVERTISING & SPONSORSHIPS

Editor-in-Chief Diana Biggs Guest Editor Nissrin Zaptia Senior Editors Martin Guttridge-Hewitt Contributors Ana Araújo Elizabeth Goode Hala Warde John McRae Tolla Duke Sloane ART DIRECTION/DESIGN LAYOUT VEER Design Studio Co-Founder / Travel Editor David Morris

© 2015 Copyright Design Exchange magazine claims no responsibility for the opinions of its writers and contributors contained within this design magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without prior permission is strictly forbidden. Every care has been taken when compiling Design Exchange to ensure that all the content is correct at the time of printing. Design Exchange assumes no responsibility for any effects from errors or omissions.


Design Exchange

des i g n ex c han g e partn er

des i g n ex c han g e magazine ar e m ed ia su porters: of

Made in England We’re proud to say that our vanity furniture is made in the UK using traditional artisan techniques. The Mandello 114 is crafted from the finest timbers including European cherry and beechwood. The naturally white basin is created from QUARRYCAST,® our signature Volcanic Limestone™ material. With generous storage space, this vanity elegantly blends form and function.

To find your nearest Victoria + Albert dealer, visit

DE Contents


























069 /079 /087 /096 /098 /100 TWEETALKS

FOYLES BOOK STORE 080 ZUS Rotterdam: Kristian Koreman & Elma van Bozel INTERVIEW PROJECT#6








Uppingham School Science Centre 116 PROJECT#8 ST. MARTINS LOFTS








Design Exchange



MO D. 548



U K D i s t r i b u t o r : A t r i u m Lt d - Te l . 0 2 0 76 8 1 9 93 3 - f l o s @ a t r i u m . l t d .u k

DE Mission

Design Exchange is about the cross pollination of ideas. We believe that the future of design will be a space where the boundaries between creative disciplines dissolve. Exchange with us.






Live, work and play... We offer the biggest and most varied collection of decorative surface solutions in the UK.

See Us At



From solid surface, laminates, melamine and veneers to thermoplastic, our portfolio includes some of the most recognised brands in the world, all available under one roof and directly from stock. Whatever your budget or project requirements, why not allow our extensive range of products to provide the inspiration. Find out more‌.

Call 0116 257 3415 email or visit

Limitless solutions are now possible. With a unique construction allowing simple reconfiguration as your work place evolves, opt for the Freedom range by Silverline.

London Showroom: 21-22 Great Sutton Street | Clerkenwell | London EC1V 0DY T: +44 (0)20 7253 7652 | E:


Belleville Chair, Belleville Table Developed by Vitra in Switzerland Design: Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec Go to to find Vitra retail partners in your area.

Vitra-ad_Belleville_Indoor_220x280_UK-en_Design-Exchange_1131.indd 1

15.03.16 09:57


Olympia London National Hall 25-26 January 2017 Each day from 13:00 until 20:00

EXCLUSIVE TRADE EVENT for architects and interior designers with over 200 innovative products and services showcased by manufacturers and distributors. All exhibitors go through a strict selection process with an external judging panel, ensuring the presence of high caliber innovations. FOCUS ON WATER > Seminars by high profile architects Full programme available online > Wateration by SCIN™ > Matière grise photo exhibit by Pavillon de l’Arsenal TER S I > Images by DAPh G RE NLINE > RIBA pop-up Bookshop @ATW_INTL #ATWUK WWW.ARCHITECT-AT-WORK.CO.UK

O ING US DE CO 30 13






























words: Martin Guttridge-Hewitt — images: COURTESY OF Everard Gallery 22

Design Exchange

Left page: "Born to be Free", 2014 This page: Nelson Makamo.

south africa


The art of inner city existence




enowned for his colourful portraits, which capture both the condition, context and soul of their subjects, Nelson Makamo is amongst South Africa’s most celebrated artists. Here’s why. How do we portray the essence of youth? It’s a question that has perplexed great artists throughout history. The zeitgeist of what it means to be ever – inquisitive and open to the possibilities of the world is arguably the most difficult to capture. Unless you’re Nelson Makamo. Living and working in Johannesburg, this revered South African practitioner has mastered his specialism perfectly. Born and raised in Modimolle, in the country’s Limpopo province, a move to the capital in 2003 marked the beginning of a career that has taken his works across the globe. Joining the Artist Proof Studio, which gives young talent the chance to learn the craft, after graduating with a certificate in Advance Professional Printmaking (an accolade awarded in the wake of a bursary from Johnson & Johnson International and a Pinpoint One Human Resources scholarship), he hasn’t looked back. Skip forward to today, and through a mixture of monotype prints, silkscreens, watercolours, inks, charcoals and oil paintings, his focus is on recreating a reborn South African metropolis. Yet this is achieved not solely by concentrating on youth in stasis, but rather a multitude of generations faced with the realities of living in this vast urban sprawl. The city, after all, is always redeveloping, and therefore always young. A chaotic place that matches the flux of politics in the country, instead of looking to articulate the transformation from ‘old’ to ‘new’ nation, Makamo conveys the multiculturalism of today. An indisputable sign of the progress that has been made, but also a clear indicator of how much there is still to do. “In my work, I reflect on the movement of culture amongst the youth living in and around 24

Design Exchange

the city. My observation is that there is an exchange between people where we adopt each other’s cultures that are relevant to our respective ages. My work does not represent a certain group of people, it moves across cultures and generations,” he explains. Despite the range of media used there are clear totems to Makamo’s oeuvre. Closely cropped portraiture being one, albeit it’s not unknown for him to feature entire figures, and vignettes of city life appear omnipresent. Perhaps in the expressions of the people, maybe in the backdrop or setting when a more distant perspective is used. Either way, it’s almost impossible to remove these snapshots of everyone from day-dreamers ¦

This spread: Top image "Acting older than we should". Below left image "Patriotism".



to strugglers, posers to the demure, from the context in which they were found, with many subjects literally plucked off the street before being placed in the studio. Colour is also of key importance. Using a kaleidoscope of hues, the vibrancy of both those featured in Makamo’s work, and the human condition itself, jumps out at the onlooker. Thick brushstrokes give not just the impression of texture, but imply the way that texture could change depending on light, shadow, mood and stance. These are not simply stills, but moments in time, frames in the ongoing narrative of a city. Coupled with the range of materials employed – with monotypes affording an opportunity to use ‘ghost prints’, whereby a second image is created from the leftover ink of the first- although by nature art as drawn is sedentary, in this instance movement is tangible; as if the work has become an organism in itself – autonomous to and yet connected with the original scene that first inspired its creation. Simultaneously captured and somehow free, if you’re looking for 21st Century existence in a millisecond, caught forever but never restricted to that instance, then this is it. Hence the respect Makamo’s collaborative and individual exhibitions command, across continents, and from one era to the next. de 26

Design Exchange

This page: "My Moment", 2014.

Nelson Makamo is represented by Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg

Squashed Tomato Emulsion

To see our full range visit


words: Tolla Duke Sloane — images: COURTESY OF The Artling

Cross Cultural Dialogues Artist-in-Residence Exchange

Programme (AiRx) creates cross cultural collaborations

EXCHANGE SELECTED BY Nissrin: Tolla Duke Sloane Consultant & Curator The Artling The Artling is a curated selection of Art from Asia's best galleries and artists. At the Artling, we are passionate about art and focus on the best of Asian Contemporary Art. We constantly source Asian artists, both established and emerging, and aim to make their work accessible to the international market. We are constantly increasing the size and variety of our curated online collection, whilst also increasing exposure for the galleries and artists. What makes The Artling unlike many online art platforms is that our focus is Asia and we have a strong offline presence through our art consultants and events. We launched mid-2013 and now represent over 150 artists and feature over 65 Galleries. 28

Design Exchange


ince 2007, when I relocated from London to Singapore, I’ve been passionate about creating dialogues between artists in Southeast Asia and Europe. In a global, increasingly homogenised world, cross-cultural dialogues which celebrate differences, whilst finding common threads, are important. This led me to conceptualise the Artist-in-Residence Exchange Programme (AiRx) with the British Council and the Singapore International Foundation in 2011. I subsequently managed and curated AiRx for its three year run. AiRx is an in-depth collaborative exchange between the UK and Singapore with the artists spending time in each other’s countries. Subsequently, they develop new solo and collaborative works inspired by the experience. Over the past three years British artists Bob Matthews, Emma Critchley and Philippa Lawrence have engaged in dialogue and collaboration with Singaporean artists Michael Lee, Genevieve Chua and Randy Chan, creating new work shown at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Asia House, Singapore Botanic Gardens and Inner Temple Gardens. I invited artists whom I believed would work well together conceptually, technically and on a personal level to develop their practices and to forge relationships within the arts community of their host country. It was a unique experience as the collaborative element was at the core of the AiRx philosophy.


This page: Michael Lee and Bob Matthews. LEAVE: Losing Everyone and Valuing Everything from the series The Great Levellers [2011]. Lithography on paper, Edition of 50 + 2 AP.

AiRx 2011

I began exhibiting and curating Singaporean artist Michael Lee’s work in 2009 and met British artist and Royal College of Art tutor, Bob Matthews, during the annual RCA Show in 2010. As a result, the once-labelled romantic landscape painter for the digital age, Bob Matthews and Michael Lee, observer of the psychological consolations offered by architecture, engaged in a dialogue around utopian and dystopian landscapes. This dialogue led to the first AiRx collaboration.


AiRx 2012

In 2012, I invited two emerging artists working in photography, Emma Critchley and Genevieve Chua, to join AiRx. Whilst their individual practices are quite different, they found common ground in their interest in the phases of the moon. “We ventured out to the edge of the sea at dusk when the moon was full, and began to document the moonrise-moonset in our respective locations; Brighton and Singapore. The moon diffused light that blurs visual perspective and slowly buffers the hours between rise and set. Under its diminishing glow, objects and surfaces surrounding the sea began to fade into the background. We photographed these nuanced scenarios of change and loss.� Emma Critchley and Genevieve Chua.


Design Exchange

This page: Emma Critchley & Genevieve Chua. Disappearing Moon #2 [2012]. C-type photographic print, 20 x 30 inches, 5 + 2AP.


AiRx 2013

The final edition of AiRx saw us bring the programme out of the white cube gallery space into the public realm. I invited artists to submit joint proposals for sites at Singapore Botanic Gardens and Inner Temple Gardens in London. Artist-Architect Randy Chan collaborated with textile artist, Philippa Lawrence to create a multi-site-specific installation. The installation comprised a multi-faceted pod and its family of reflective offshoots. Each element created new vantage points and planes of perception enabling visitors to re-connect with the rich heritage of the gardens. The reflective nature of the steel and the Swarovski crystal portals re-energised the sites, creating dynamic relationships between object and environment as they de-materialised and became part of the landscape.

This page: Randy Chan & Philippa Lawrence – Angles of Incidence [2014]. Site-specific installation, stainless steel. Photo: Š K S Lim Currently on display at the National Museum of Singapore


words: JAMES PALLISTER — images: COURTESY of Cuadro Fine Art Gallery

This page: "Building Over", Black and White silver gelatin print.


Design Exchange




What If‌ S

hot from a boat navigating the Eastern Mediterranean, just off the shores of Beirut, Nadine Kanso’s photographs of the coastline capture the moment when seafaring traveller's approach to the city. Printed in black and white, the images have an ambivalent nostalgia to them: are these the views of time gone by or the imagined remembering of what the city once was or could be? The answer lies somewhere between the two. For the sequence, Kanso uses contemporary images of period architecture in the older sections of Beirut to present an alternate reality: what the city would have looked like were it to have been spared the ravages of war and the sleek impact of modernity. Kanso removes modern-day architectural influences; her images depict buildings in the French colonial style. She romanticizes the present in stark black and white images, as though acknowledging it as the soon-to-be past. Kanso was born in Beirut in 1968 and now lives in Dubai. Having spent her entire childhood in Beirut, Kanso gained two degrees from the Lebanese American University - Communication Arts and Advertising Design. She always travels with her camera and worked as a fashion photographer after stints in journalism and design-related fields, but describes her big break into art photography as coming with a group show at the V&A in 2006, Arabize Me. On her return to Dubai the gallerist Isabelle van den Eynde gave her a chance for her first solo show at a gallery, then known as B21. Like much of her work, this show explored contemporary Arabic identity, including a series of portraits of Arabs from different artistic and creative milieus from across the peninsula. Œ


This page: Above, "Far & Away" black and white silver gelatin print. Below: "What Next" black and white silver gelatin print.

Not one to remain within single disciplines, she is best known for her jewellery line Bil Arabi. Many of her pieces take inspiration from the Arabic alphabet and the beautiful typography of the region, in her words a kind of ’bling with a Middle Eastern edge’. This sequence of photos, which originally debuted at Dubai’s Cuadro Gallery, show a more austere, sombre theme in her work. Though fans of bling were not disappointed. One of her pieces was a diptych with one panel a photographic detail of Beirut and the other panel made of 18carot gold. Her 2009 sequence, ‘Beirut on Fire’ also used diptychs to create dramatic contrasts. Here horizontal shots of close-cropped party scenes – all glowing bodies, high heels and undone shirts – in saturated colour sit beneath black and white shots of graffiti and battle scarred walls. de


Design Exchange

Folio Material lightness and technological precision in perfect harmony. Surfaces, minimalistic radii and uniform contours are the result of highly precise manufacturing. A barely 3 mm thick cover made of glazed steel wraps tightly around the washplace and encases it like a waferthin sheet


words: Elizabeth Goode — images: COURTESY of The Foundry Gallery

"Jenny C est Quoi", from the series Private Lives, 2012. ©Sarah Howe


Contemporary Art Space 36

Design Exchange



he Foundry Gallery is a contemporary art space in the heart of London’s Chelsea. In 2010, Jason Slocombe and Jonathan Goode of Le Lay Architects established this cultural destination on the ground floor of their architectural practice. They had a desire to raise their profile within the local community whilst creating a stronger connection with the street. Realising its potential as a gallery, with its height and good natural light, the opening was seen as a way of giving something back to the Borough by celebrating its artistic heritage. From the outset the intent was, and still is, to show new artwork that explores the relationships that can be found and forged between art and architecture. A curatorial programme has been chosen which is based around a broad interpretation of architecture. To date this has included painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and site-specific installation. There are no preconceptions as to what medium an artist should use hence the variety of work The Foundry Gallery has exhibited. The space, through funding by Le Lay Architects, has provided an exhibition opportunity for up to 4 artists a year whose work is informed by contemporary artistic practice whilst exploring aspects of architecture. The curator and gallery art director Elizabeth Goode strongly believes that; “The gallery's role is not only to arrange and realise an exhibition, but also to work closely with artists providing them with a supportive framework to explore and develop new and existing ideas and take risks with their work. We follow the artists after their exhibition and seeing their development and progression in their artistic practice has proved to be one of the most rewarding aspects of running The Foundry Gallery. “ Benjamin Jenner all © 2014

Much of architectural practice is concerned with meeting demands of regulation, technical specification and an economic imperative. Having a unique dialogue with artists who explore the realms of architecture also enables Le Lay Architects to navigate creative ideas within architecture beyond what they do in their regular architectural commissions. Jason, Jonathan and Elizabeth have created a gallery that allows an artist to realise their ideas through exploring the relationships and possibilities between architecture and contemporary fine art. They have opened a dialogue where the artwork shown helps to give visitors to the practice and The Foundry Gallery a better understanding of the importance and possibilities of architecture in our culture and our built environment. de This page: Martina Markota, from the series Private Lives, 2012. ©Sarah Howe

To apply for an exhibition opportunity at The Foundry Gallery please go website or contact Elizabeth Goode at



words: HALA WARDÉ — images: COURTESY of Ateliers Jean Nouvel — RENDERS: ATELIERS JEAN NOUVEL

Louvre Abu Dhabi Contextualising a Universalist museum in the Arab world

This page: Abu Dhabi Louvre concept view. 38

Design Exchange



The first universal museum in the Arab world, and the first to be built in the 21st century, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is an innovative and ambitious project currently under construction in the Cultural District on Saadiyat Island. This 27 square kilometer dot of land off the coast of the city itself, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is aiming to become a strategic international cultural destination in the Arab world through the inclusion of world renowned cultural institutions designed by Pritzker-awarded architects. This museum project was born out of an intergovernmental agreement signed in 2007 between France and the United Arab Emirates. The elaboration of Jean Nouvel’s design, which began in 2006 initially for a ‘Classical Museum’ before the current proposal took shape, has evolved over the years as the curatorial program was developed whilst retaining its original integrity. Applying a contextual approach to the site, the museum has been designed as an archipelago in the sea, a contrasting series of white buildings cultivating their own differences and authenticities. Jean Nouvel explains, “Architecture belongs to a moment and a place. It is a form of dialogue with the people who lived there and the ones who want to modify a place at a given point in time. We are not building a space but building in a space. The vocation and objective of this museum is to mirror a protected territory, one that belongs to the Arabic world; the Louvre Abu Dhabi will belong to its country, to its history, to its geography, and to its traditions.” According to Nouvel, the birth of the museum is a form of reverse archeology, a venerable museum city being brought to the surface from the seabed, an urban environment that could have always existed. Hala Wardé, Project Director of the Louvre Abu Dhabi who has been working with Nouvel for over 25 years, elaborates, “The project questions the notion of what a museum is today, taking the definition beyond the traditional towards the understanding of a museum as a conglomeration of neighbourhoods, a series of buildings organised in a hidden order, creating spaces for precious artworks to be housed and public spaces where people can gather and where cultural dialogue can take place in a unique environment.” The project is based on one of the major symbols of Arabic architecture and a universally recognised form: the dome. This 180-metre wide cupola protects the museum city below and filters the sun rays to create a ‘rain of light’ effect. The reference to geometry and light ¦


This page: Top image, Abu Dhabi Louvre concept plan mass. Bottom, Abu Dhabi Louvre passage. Right page: Abu Dhabi Louvre Dome, construction site October 2014.


Design Exchange


ties it into the Arabic architectural discourse whilst the materials and construction process place the dome firmly in the 21st century. The design, composed of eight superimposed layers, marries aesthetic choices with climatic concerns as the perforation cartology is equally dictated by the uses of the spaces under the dome, with greater shading over outdoor public areas, adapting the design to provide environmental comfort for the museum users. Wardé comments, “The museum will be like a city within a lagoon using the shadows and water to create a microclimate in the exterior spaces under the dome. Arabic architecture has explored this sensation countless times by controlling light and geometry, structuring shadows, opening up trails to discovery. We have been inspired by Arabic cultural references such as the traditional souks or the nearby Al Ain oasis, well known for its dense plantation of palm trees which filters the sunlight. It is a calm place in a serene environment. The Louvre Abu Dhabi is also an urban promenade surrounded by water, a garden on the coast, and a tranquil refuge for the visitors.” Asked about her experience working with Nouvel, Wardé comments, “Working with him is a permanent evolution and renewal of ideas which is extremely exciting. Jean Nouvel does not believe in general solutions; his architecture is specific and singular. He is an exceptional architect and working with him is both very demanding and a pleasure.” In 2008, Wardé created her own independent architectural practice, HW Architecture, whilst continuing to work on Nouvel’s projects under her charge as a privileged partner. At HW Architecture, Wardé is able to expand on her experience working with Nouvel, developing her unique position and knowledge of the local and global markets. DE


words: Usseglio Prinsi Eleonora — images: Tim Van De Velde



INCINERATION LINE Erick van Egeraat Architects


ixelated facades that interact with the city through lighting and digital systems are nothing new. One of the precursors to this trend was perhaps the gigantic Kunsthaus Graz, designed by Peter Cook, Colin Fournier, and their Spacelab team in Austria circa 2003. Renamed by his creators The Friendly Alien, the biomorphic building took life in Graz old town with a matrix of 930 fluorescent lamps integrated into the eastern Plexiglas facade. Since then, quirky systems have switched on lights from South Korea to Finland. “Beyond shelter, architecture also implicates a cultural dimension, as a device for communicating social relationships – for example, a palace mediating between ruler and subjects, or a cathedral mediating between God and man,” asserts Matthew Claudel, a researcher at MIT’s SENSEable City Lab, when talking about media architecture. Perhaps the flickering facade of the Incineration Line in Roskilde, designed by Erick van Egeraat and inaugurated in September 2014, mediates between the incinerator’s bulky structure and a landscape defined by the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cathedral. Erick van Egeraat, 2007 RIBA Award-winner for the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, has wrapped the imposing structure in a raw umber-coloured aluminium layer with an irregular pattern of laser cut circular holes, completely hiding organisation inside. Winner of an international competition, the facade project has been commissioned in 2008 by local waste management company Kara/Noveren to shelter the 7,400m2 plant. The faceted skin of the double layers also responds to the technical requirements of openings for daylight, ventilation, and wind and water tightness. The Rotterdam-based office conceived the system in collaboration with the Danish lighting architect, Gunver Hansen.The twinkle covering ¦

Right page: Night view Incineration Line, Roskilde. 42

Design Exchange




Design Exchange


becomes a symbolic gesture to promote the capacity of the plant to produce enough electricity for around 65,000 homes, and heat for 40,000. The plant collects and burns waste from nine surrounding municipalities and abroad, supplying electricity and heat power for the entire region. “At night the backlight perforated façade transforms the incinerator into a gently glowing beacon – a symbol of the plant’s energy production,” explains Erick van Egeraat, founder of the studio. “Several times per hour a spark of light will gradually grow into a burning flame that lights up the entire building. When the metaphorical fire ceases, the building falls back into a state of burning embers.” The facade is composed by two layers, the first with insulation property from the outside and the second built by aluminium panels, which support the programmable lighting system. The lights are installed in the outer layer and reflected from the inner surface, guaranteeing a uniform radiance. The increased density of circular holes along the spire raises the intensity of the sparkle effect. The system includes LED strips using tricolour LEDs, offering superior colour mixing directly at the lens, and LED spotlights controlled by Martin's M-PC software. Art and technologies meld together successfully, transforming the 97-metre spire into a monumental permanent installation on the flat Dutch landscape. The project’s accomplishments are evidenced in the winning of the last edition of the Media Architecture Biennale in Aarhus. Despite the 2050 energy strategy, Denmark has one of the longest standing histories of waste-to-energy plant usage in Europe. In 2011, of the 9million tonnes of material that ended up as waste, 29% is incinerated, according to the Danish Ministry of Environment. The last project, in order of commissioning year, is the 100m tall incinerator in the heart of Copenhagen that BIG will turn into a ski slope. With the same aim to show interior activities as part of city life, Bjarke Ingels is working on a smoky installation where the smokestack on top of the plant will eject a 30-metre smoke ring every time a tonne of CO2 is released. The Burning Machines aesthetic purposes transform them into contemporary cathedrals, mediating between the need to appeal to the public and realise sustainability. de

Left page: Facade support structure. This page: Above daily view Incineration Line, Roskilde. Below facade detail: aluminium layer with irregular pattern of laser cut circular holes.


words: Martin Guttridge-Hewitt — images: David Barbour


Publicis new HQ Marks Barfield & Forme UK


f developing a build from scratch is challenging, then redesigning an address wholesale is often even more difficult. Whether it’s an office, industrial unit or residential project, the original purpose rarely fits the new concept, and as such needs a complete rethink. Such was the problem facing the collaborative team of Forme UK Interior Architects and Marks Barfield Architects when they were commissioned to create 73,000 square feet of commercial space in the centre of London, within an Edwardian building. The client, Lazari Investments, had specific ideas on what it wanted from 82 Baker Street, none of which were met by the building as it stood prior to work beginning. These included, but were not exclusively restricted to, developing a pleasant environment with unique features, focusing on environmentally friendly materials and reduced carbon footprints, and retaining original aspects of the attractive historic address. ¦ 46

Design Exchange



This page: Top image, London new headquarters for Publicis, 82 Baker Street. On the left, relaxed meeting/study room. Below, open plan meeting space. Right page: New Glazed Atrium with interconnecting Glass Stairs.


Design Exchange



Architect: Mark Barfield / Forme UK. Lighting: DELTALIGHT. Windows: Crittall Windows Ltd. Glazing: Cantifix Ltd. Roof Systems: Bauder Ltd. Surfaces: Giles Miller Ltd.

Following feasibility studies the first alterations had to be made to the structure itself, which comprised three original buildings, whilst still retaining the heritage of the address. A new glass atrium was installed, providing a hub between the three, employing a frameless double glazed system, welcoming natural light into the core of the address whilst providing privacy from the street through an innovative ‘veil’ fabric. Yet more natural daylight has been made possible in the brainstorming rooms on the lower ground floor thanks to an innovative ‘light slot’ carved into the floor. Elsewhere, Deltalight lighting products were used for the main open plan office areas, along with specific meeting pods, kitchen areas, breakout areas, the café and communal zones. The Main Feature lighting used emphasised the impressive new Glazed Atrium with interconnecting Glass Stairs. Elsewhere, the interior design plans have taken into account both the demands of a modern office, and the history of 82 Baker Street. These include contemporary fixtures and fittings, and a focus on opening the workspace out to create an airy environment for staff that directly contrasts the old, somewhat oppressive internal feel to the building, and making a roof garden accessible to provide a relaxing breakout area with stunning views over London. Meanwhile, thanks to features such as artwork composed of 12,000 individually crafted bronze pegs cut in a way that reflects the Publicis lion, along with Alba Pearla stone in the reception area, there is a timeless ambience present that neither dates nor will date as the years pass. All of which is in addition to the painstaking restoration work carried out on the facade to enhance and enrich the colours, and contracting the same Essex firm that made the original windows, Crittall Windows, to develop modern but similarly elegant options for the new design. de


words: Martin Guttridge-Hewitt — images: Alessandra Rinaudo [portrait]


Canal ARCHITECTURAL Mailen Design 50

Design Exchange


t’s never easy to take two seemingly disparate things and make them fit together. That process becomes significantly more difficult when it involves the workshop of an industrially-focused firm in the Midlands being transposed into central London. Such was the brief given to Mailen Designs, the firm in the capital tasked with creating a new showroom for Nottingham’s Canal Architectural, a specialist manufacturer and installer of metalwork that places the emphasis on innovation. At the company’s base, staircases are created for a multitude of purposes, balustrades crafted and similar large fixtures developed from concept to installation, all suited to a particular client’s needs and requirements. In contrast, the Clerkenwell area of London may be heavy on design businesses but remains a far cry from the industrialist ¦


Left page: verione ssimus doluptati audici ommo et occuscius, nonseditia ducimo This page: To consequid ut aut aliquam adi quae volorpo ressimus verione ssimus doluptati audici ommo et occuscius, nonseditia ducimo


drama present in welding and other heavy duty tasks. Nevertheless, Mailen has transformed what can only be described as a basic shell of a space in the capital, into something that’s at once inviting for customers visiting the showroom, whilst also wholly indicative of the methods used to create the products they are looking to buy when they order through Canal. Combining a mixture of hardwearing materials – from solid darkwood surfaces to clear glass and stainless metals-cornerstones of upscale properties both commercial and residential – a space has been created that tells of Canal’s trade and market position. Open plan, it employs a particularly striking use of staircases showing off the fundamental selling points of the firm. Representative of the idea of bespoke manufacturing, these stairs fit into raw stainless steel linings to truly convey the strength of the overall business proposition, whilst avoiding becoming too regimented or formulaic. Given Canal’s trade, design is clearly of key importance. The company’s staircases aren’t merely utilitarian edifices simply built to channel staff from A to B – they are integral to the overall look and feel of any space they inhabit. Through Mailen’s keen eye for aesthetics, there’s a boutique-like aspect to the new showroom that succeeds in articulating this unique selling point, and also serves to attract members of, and position Canal within, the design community – placing an emphasis on precision and attention to detail, in turn providing the company with a new home in the heart of a global trading centre. As the business grows, so too will the requirement not just for new clients, but also new employees that share this appreciation for both brutalist engineering at the factory-floor level, and beautiful design once final installations have been completed, and the new London showroom has been developed with precisely that in mind. Previous spread: Ben Mailen founder of Mailen Design in Canal Architectural Clerkenwell showroom. Right page: Glass and wood staircase on display. This page: Top image, one of the many Staircases in the showroom and a display of the various different materials. Below, engineered bespoke signage. Right page: Top image, bespoke lighting made by Canal Architectural. Below, clear glass staircase.


Design Exchange

Quite the achievement, combining a pair of incongruous concepts to create a comprehensive portrait of the passion and products of one business, for Canal's new space Mailen has done more than simply work to brief – an identity has been created that may have existed before, but was always hidden from the public behind a screen of metal sparks and works units. In a year when Google is preparing to open its first brick and mortar store, a presence in the physical world has never been more important when it comes to truly conveying the build, design and finish quality of a product, an idea that has truly been taken to heart on this project. de



words: Martin Guttridge-Hewitt — images: Agnese Sanvito (PORTRAIT) + COURTESY OF GENSLER


UBM: London office GENSLER 54

Design Exchange



hen Gensler was appointed to plan, design, build and finish a brand new London office for the global events-led marketing and communications giant UBM, the brief was deceptively simple. Create a modern work area that’s flexible, suited to the various business departments, has a low carbon footprint and reduces the amount of space being wasted due to holidays, absences and home-based staff.

Left page: Eating area and meeting space for UBM staff. This page: Gensler principal Architect Enrico Caruso and lead Interior Designer Barbara Kiss.

After months of discussions over how best to achieve this, work began on a new base in the UK capital on Blackfriars Road. Situated next door to the company’s already established building, this additional address was an entirely new construction project that looked to address those challenges in an employee-focused manner, and in stark contrast to the old site that was often perceived as dark and cluttered, with a highly inefficient layout and blueprint. Gensler’s answer was to focus on a contemporary hotdesk model for the overall plan. This means that whereas previous concepts placed an emphasis on everyone having their own desk, irrespective of whether they were in the office or not, this new approach affords 10 desks for every 14.5 people, freeing up space that would have been vacant (i.e. empty desks) for collaborative areas, meeting rooms and similar. Not only has this resulted in over 90% of space being used – a vast improvement on the previous statistics – but also a new focus on working together both internally within departments and across the various arms of UBM. ¦


This Page: Top image reception desk and open plan office area. Below meeting room. Next page: Top image relaxed meeting room with screen and soft seating. Below, library and quiet reading room.

It was also important to create an inviting place for people to come to work in. Thanks to the use of floor to ceiling windows, plenty of open plan areas and glass rather than plastered partitions, far more natural light is now welcomed into the building, addressing issues ranging from navigation to afternoon tiredness in a way that encourages people to stay, rather than look to leave at the earliest possible hour in the day. Meanwhile, aesthetically speaking the use of non-primary colours has created a softer tone to the premises that adds to the feeling of airiness. Half of each floor is not carpeted, but vinyl, which gives the feel of a pioneering, creative, media organisation – as does the magnetic glass, which have replaced whiteboards throughout for brainstorming purposes.


Construction Suppliers: SAS (Ceilings); Komfort (Partitions); Milliken (Carpet); Bolon (Vinyl); Signbox (Graphics & Signage); Specialist Joinery Group (Bespoke Joinery); Euroworkspace (Lockers); Fabric Systems (Fabric Wall Panels); Frenger (Chill Beams); Style Partitions (Movable Walls). Furniture Manufactures: Plank; Vitra; Tecno; Moroso; Offecct; Naughtone; Kusch; Haworth; Six Inch; Coalesse; Magis; Prooff; Fritz; Hansen; COR; Loook Industries; Versus; Casalis.


Design Exchange

Barbara Kiss, lead Interior Designer, puts it better than we could: “The old and new buildings are completely different. The large L-shaped desks and storage units have given way to spaces that encourage people to work together. The old space was a silent space, where people would simply move their chair to another desk if they needed to collaborate, disturbing others around them. The utilisation was low. In the new office the utilisation is far higher, the options are far reaching – they can work in a cocoon chair, in a separate room, whatever suits the task.” de



words: Martin Guttridge-Hewitt — images: Luca Piffaretti (PORTRAIT) + DENNIS GILBERT PHOTOGRAPHY + Julian Abrahams 58

Design Exchange



10 Brock STREET Wilkinson Eyre Architects


ow do you add to London’s ever-changing skyline in a manner that’s both sympathetic to the buildings already in place, and indicative of the direction in which the city is heading? Such was the problem facing Wilkinson Eyre. The architectural firm’s 10 Brock Street project needed to achieve both these goals. As part of a landmark 17-year project to redraw the urban landscape of the Regent’s Square area, any design needed to be in keeping with the idea of contemporary prestige as set out by the owner of the overall estate, British Land, whilst not being out of place in a district dominated by the modernity of Euston Station and its accompanying office towers. In order to meet this requirement, a blueprint was laid out that took into account the angular edifices that already define the look of this corner of the capital, but one that simultaneously points towards the future in terms of aesthetics within the context of commercial spaces. Costing some £116million to complete, and providing 350,000ft2 of brand new, grade-A accommodation over 16 floors, the results speak for themselves. Nevertheless, it also seems appropriate for us to pay our respect to the accomplishments. Comprising three articulated blocks, each boasting an individual core and crystalline appearance, angular facades and roofscapes are used to welcome in natural light and reflect the traditional shapes of nearby structures. The full-height atrium, linking the rear Drummond Street entrance to the front exterior, further adds to the feeling of airiness, and provides a welcoming, informal ¦


Previous spread: Left page exterior image of 10 Brock Street. Right page Wilkinson Eyre Architects Director Giles Martin. This page: Reception area of 10 Brock Street with two bespoke reception desks by Benchmark.

area with spectacular interior views upwards. By employing materials such as oak, marble and bronze, there’s a timeless side to the finished product that provides a nod to the fact this area has been home to prominent business addresses for far longer than Brock Street has been in planning. Which isn’t to say there’s anything dated about the development, more to highlight the way in which harmony between the old and new has been achieved both inside and out, albeit the contemporary furniture, designed by Wilkinson Eyre and manufactured by Benchmark, confirms this as a space in which to look forward, not back. A key aspect of the project, as with any modern development of this scale, is the environmental footprint impacted by the use of the space. For 10 Brock Street, an energy efficient design means no less than 49% higher efficiency has been reached when compared to 2006 Part L building regulations. This is made possible thanks to a submetering system well above BCO standard, which means occupants can fully monitor their utility use, affording full climate control of each level. Moreover, with 190 secure cycling spaces available, and 49 showers perfect for turning cyclists into well-dressed staff members, the building fits in with London’s ongoing emphasis on sustainable, carbon neutral travel to work. This idea of personalising the building to the individual needs of tenants is carried through elsewhere, and further 60

Design Exchange




reflects a truly contemporary approach to office builds. In the 21st Century, off the shelf is out, and bespoke very much in, and Wilkinson Eyre’s concept is no different. Occupancy configurations are highly flexible, allowing any resident firm the ability to develop the framework to suit their own specific ideas as to the perfect workplace, addressing the problem of how to attract a multitude of different industries to one address. For instance, space has already been taken by Diorama Arts Studios, an organisation that supports the arts and community of the area, and social media giant Facebook, two similarly creative but fundamentally different businesses. de

Benchmark made two remarkable reception desks for 10 Brock Street, part of British Land’s Regent Place complex which is home to nearly 10,000 office workers and residents. These multi-faceted desks, one an enormous 10 metre desk for the main reception with a six meter back unit, and the other a six meter desk for the reception area of the floors taken by Debenhams, were conceived by architects Wilkinson Eyre. The multi-angled components certainly made the geometry of these desks a challenge and took several months to resolve. The desk was modelled on CAD, working first on the outer shell and then building on the next layer of plywood cladding with each panel requiring changes in dimensions to ensure perfectly mitred joints. The next step was to construct a complex rib system for the skeleton of the desk. Once the framework of the desk was complete, they planned for cable management, computer wells and storage. Finally the 3D CAD model was deconstructed into individual components to be programmed for the CNC machine. With the framework complete, attention was turned to the cladding. It is a testament to the skill of Benchmark’s metalworkers that the desks are often thought to be cast bronze due to their seamless finish. In fact, they are clad in sheets of gilding metal that were cut, bent, welded, ground and polished by hand over many, many hours. Also supplied by Benchmark was the geometric reception seating and solid oak tables. Over a 30-year period, Benchmark has collaborated with some of the most creative minds of today, from global businesses through to independent companies. These pieces for 10 Brock Street combine in-depth understanding of engineering, design resolution and detailed knowledge of timber, metals and process.


words: Martin Guttridge-Hewitt — images: ®Hufton+Crow (space) + LucaPiffaretti (PORTRAIT)


Foyles Book store Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands 62

Design Exchange



e live in an age where the term ‘digital first’ is banded about like it’s going out of fashion. An era when the Internet of Things is connecting all manner of products, from fridges to notepads, and a time wherein people could be forgiven for forgetting how to use a pen and paper. Not quite the landscape for a new book shop. As such some would be surprised to hear that the largest shop selling manuscripts, novels and compendiums to be built this century has just opened in the UK. Foyles, at 107 Charing Cross Road, London, is far from a mere page pedlar, mind, and represents both the traditional book worm’s dream, and a highly innovative vision of where this retail sector could, and should be going.

Left page: Folyes Bookstore, ground floor. This page: Folyles Sam Husain and Director Alex Lifschutz (left) at Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands (RIBA London Architect of the Year Award) RIBA judges were so impressed with Foyles and the relationship they forged with Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands that they awarded Foyles the RIBA London Client of the Year Award.

With space for more than 200,000 titles on its four miles of shelving, the Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands designed address comprises 37,000 square feet of reading heaven, sprawling across eight shop floors within two halves of a four storey building. Such a vast space proposes several problems in itself – first and foremost how customers are supposed to navigate the aisles, let alone find what they want to browse and buy. Through the use of unique, boundarypushing technologies this issue has been answered. Located in the old Central St. Martins university site – a fitting area with an academic heritage to match the new purpose – a key feature of the new development is the mobile app. Once in the store customers can download the software to their smartphone and access both an archive and location information for any book in stock, in turn being told exactly where to find it. It’s a stark contrast to the old Foyles building, which,, ¦


although charming in its antiquated layout, was confusing and inefficient. Elsewhere, and other unique aspects of the project include heating and cooling fixtures being put ‘on display’ – a space saving idea that avoided having to box in the units and losing valuable headroom when ceiling heights were already noticeably low. Meanwhile, low glare LED lighting creates an inviting ambience that’s neither dark and oppressive nor too bright and off-putting. Which is a good thing, given one of the features in the new store is a communal bar area that will be used for talks and events, turning the address into a creative hub befitting the site’s collegiate history. A place to visit, sit, read, think, converse and admire – with the original old ballroom floor restored in the central area, married to a beautiful Domus Wood engineered oak floor elsewhere in the store – all this has been made possible thanks to a combination of print, technology, digital, design and architectural prowess. What more could you ask for from a post-modern retailer? de

This page: Left image main bookstore area. Right image centre staircase in the centre of the building.


Design Exchange


Architect: Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands; Breeam assessor and building services engineer: Hilson Moran; Wooden flooring: Oak Engineered Timber floor by Domus Wood; Stair nosings: AATI cast steel nosings; Shelving units: Bespoke shelving units by Interior Service Contracts Ltd; Lighting: Artemide Choose pendants; Zumtobel Lincor linear LED; Iguzzini Front Light track spot/flood LED; Lifts: Otis; Retail windows: Schuco triple glazed window system; Retail skylights: Schuco FW 50+; Glazed clay facing brickwork: Ibstock White glazed WT10; Zinc cladding: Rheinzink double standing seam.

Scenes by default Mosa.

Mosa Scenes. A stylish and adaptable range for effortlessly creating bespoke wall and floor colour gradations that give depth and richness to any surface, by default. Inspired by the natural grain variation of soil, this collection comes in eight colour groups, each assigned four different textures, in the size 15 x 15 cm. The collection functions in small and large areas, relying on its visual identity to create a distinctive setting in any type of space. Mosa Scenes is a thoroughly practical, natural and cost-effective collection. Buy a range, own a concept: Mosa Flagship Store London 56-60 St. John Street Clerkenwell, London EC1M 4HG T +44 207 490 0484

DE Collaborators

Design Exchange is proudly produced in collaboration with:

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." helen keller

Editors Nissrin Zaptia Martin Guttridge-Hewitt @martinghewitt Emma Rowling @cocoum Eleonora Usseglio Prinsi @usseglioele Emily Mullan James Pallister @jamesapallister Rosemary Munro Jessica Macnally @JessMacNally4

ARTISTS & Designers Mailen Design @BMailen HumanHarp @humanHarp Veer Design @Veer_Design Ray Bradley @dmtbasso Amanda McDonald Crowley @amandamcdc Anita Fontaine @liketotallynita Brigitta Zics @cognitiveloop Francis Bitonti @francisbitonti Robin Rimbaud - Scanner @robinrimbaud

Academics Evelyn Wilson @EWcwl Charles Rattray @DundeeUniv Jo-Anne Bichard @gardezleau Kate Cheyne @artsbrighton

Digital & Film The Big Sky @the_big_sky Stefano Carniel @steky89 Ghislaine Boddington @GBoddington

Architects Orms Architects @Orms_Architects Gensler @GenslerOnWork Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands @lds_architects Keith Williams Architects Carl Turner Architects @CarlCTA Marks Barfield Architects @MarksBarfield Wilkinson Eyre Architects @WilkinsonEyre Space Group Architects @gruenanger

CONTRIBUTORS Ana AraĂşjo Elizabeth Goode Hala Warde @LouvreAbuDhabi Robert Hasty @lignerosetcity John McRae Tolla Duke Sloane

Photography Agnese Sanvito @agnesesanvito Luca Piffaretti @LucaPiffaretti JosĂŠ Campos @Jose__Campos



Sento Sospeso Pure innovation

The Occhio Sento Sospeso is lighting technology at its most beautiful: A suspended luminaire with gesture control, sophisticated height adjustment and the highest quality of LED light.

View the full Occhio collection at Future Light Design

t: 020 8543 4451 e:

#CreativeCrossPollinators #Tweetalk in 140 Characters #Hashtag Throughout this edition we asked the creative community to answer five questions in 140 characters



How would you best describe your work?

#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Robert Hasty I own the two London Ligne Roset Furniture stores. I am proud to sell such innovative and creative products, designed from the inside out to built to last – @lignerosetcity W: #CROSSPOLLINATOR: Francis Bitonti The future of materials and consumer products/ experiences through the capacities afforded to us by additive manufacturing. – @FrancisBitonti W:

Join the #Tweetalk @demagazine

#CROSSPOLLINATOR: JiaXuan Hon I carve paths with artists whose work crosses boundaries. As a manager/ producer, I make sure good work gets made and seen! – @idanceinbetwee @blackwingedc W:


#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Anita Fontaine Hyper-real and romantic, digital dreams for the future. – @liketotallynita W:

I enable Desktop Genetics – enabling biotech from computers – without having to step into a lab. Great scientific UX is central to this! – @edwardperello W:

#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Brigitta Zics Art that uses technology to extract & activate new capacities of the mind and body; that challenges conventions & the way we experience art. – @cognitiveloop W:

#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Ghislaine Boddington Virtual Physical blender, director, researcher, producer, curator, future thinker, engaging entire body as digital interaction canvas – @GBoddington W:

#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Di Mainstone I mix #sculpture, #music, #dance & #technology to build poetic instruments that make sound when we move and are played by a Movician. – @HumanHarp @DiMainstone W: W:

#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Robin Rimbaud - Scanner A Flaneur electronique, traversing the terrain between sound and space, connecting the dots between a bewilderingly diverse array of genres – @robinrimbaud W:



words: James Pallister — images: COURTESY of Keith Williams Architects

Design Exchange catches up with architect:

Keith Williams 70

Design Exchange

After the great boom in regional art buildings built by leading architects of the last twenty years, what's next for the new generation of galleries? Design Exchange caught up with Keith Williams, a man whose practice has a string of highprofile arts buildings to its name, to get his point of view.



rt galleries, concert halls and theatres have enjoyed a boom time over the last two decades. A generation of architects, from Britain and mainland Europe, have benefited from this renewed interest in set-piece cultural buildings for city centres, building an impressive set of works, from Herzog and de Meuron’s reworking of Bankside power station for the Tate Modern to David Chipperfield Architects’ Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield. Keith Williams knows a thing or two about the power – or otherwise – of a well-designed arts building. His practice, which he founded in 2001, has gained a solid reputation for a succession of sensitive, critically-acclaimed and award-winning arts buildings, in the UK and abroad. His best known work, the Unicorn Theatre, which specialises in youth performance, was completed in 2005 as part of the gradual transformation of Southwark from unloved Thames-side slack space to the thriving commercial district we are now familiar with. Williams followed this with the Wexford Opera House and the New Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury. We meet in the Royal Society of the Arts, just off the Strand. Williams is a fellow there, and it’s an auspicious venue for a discussion on the role that arts venues have on civic life. Although it could pass for a rather subdued organisation today, the RSA has its roots in the thrum and buzz of the London coffee houses of the 18th century. Today the clatter and murmuring in the canteen comes from the suited members drawn to its central London location, handy for the types of plotting and scheming that has been going on in the capital since the Romans dug a port by the Thames. Tall, slim and with a mop of greying hair that contrasts with his black pullover, Williams returns from the server with coffees, and unfolds his limbs into a chair. Buoyed by the rep it gained through its arts and culture buildings, the practice’s workload has got a lot more international, he tells me. The practice is currently working on a museum project in Canada, on the great plains border between Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Keith Williams.

Like many of his contemporaries among the crop of London-based pragmatic modernists, Williams has been drawn to, and courted by, the more welcoming, less hostile climes of mainland Europe, where ¦


This spread: Wexford Opera House. PHOTOS: Ros Kavanagh


Design Exchange


increasing amounts of his work comes from. There’s a reciprocally respectful relationship between architect and the civic authorities in places like Germany that is not so prevalent in the more pragmatic, overtly capitalistic UK, says Williams. The spate of high-profile arts buildings built over the last twenty years has enriched the UK, both metaphorically and literally, says Williams, pointing to oft-quoted statistics of the contribution major arts buildings make to the local services economy. Importantly, the boom has helped go some way to bring regional diversity to a scene all too often dominated by the nation’s four capitals. “Since the advent of the Heritage Lottery Fund (an arts funding pot which distributes lottery-derived income) a considerable investment has been made into arts infrastructure, and over that time a regional diversity has been fostered: it’s not complete yet,” says Williams. “There is still underinvestment in places like the northwest and perhaps Cornwall and Devon, but there has been a broadening of museums, galleries, that has not just been London-centric, which is very important“. Why does this matter so much? For Williams, it’s down to what he calls “the civilising influence of art”. “You could perfectly exist without paintings, or sculpture or music -- it's not fundamental to eating, breathing, drinking, but what an impoverished place we'd have” says Williams. “Culture in the arts is a way we measure ourselves over time, which is hard to do by most other means. In the example of theatre, it can hold up a mirror to society and shows aspects of itself which perhaps it hadn’t quite realized.” One very tangible example of the positive impact that the introduction of theatre had on people’s lives is given by Williams, when he recounts a visit to the Unicorn Theatre (set up in 1947 to encourage under-18s to take part in theatre, which received a permanent home designed by Williams in 2005), when two teenagers explained how their lives had been changed through getting involved in performances. “These were just two people whose lives have been fundamentally shifted by that building going in to that location”. While enthusiastic about the power of art, Williams cautions about commissioning a building without sound ideas about what will be programmed, as was done with the Millennium Dome, which now has found renewed purpose as a leisure complex. He’s wary of the ¦


‘Guggenheim Effect’, and says ““I’m not interested in building empty vessels”. There are clear limits on what architecture can do for a city, but architects must do their best to make the most of the opportunities they can influence. Describing the procession through the Wexford Opera House that culminates in visitors being rewarded with a spectacular view of the city after climbing the building’s tower, Williams talks about the importance of creating exciting spaces of delight for the city’s inhabitants. “I think our job is to ensure that facilities they have are first class and the whole experience being in those buildings is a thrilling thing.” After doing their best to achieve this, says Williams, much is down to the people responsible for programming the shows. ‘Bilbao effect’ or not, the prospect of the Brit’s passion for new arts hubs looks unlikely to continue to be sated, says Williams, given the apparent political consensus that public spending must be minimised. Some balk at the increased involvement that firms are having on the arts. The long-running BP/TATE partnership has recently come under vocal critics from environmental lobbyists. Williams’ view on corporate involvement in sponsoring the arts, however, is relaxed. “I think commercial interests have to become more involved and there’s clear benefits to them – in 74

Design Exchange


This spread: Marlowe Theatre. PHOTO: Jim Higham

ways that are more profound than solely advertisement credits -- to engage with the arts”. The political will to finance large projects through the public purse is simply not there, says Williams. All this means that those building the new generation of arts buildings must – and will – get inventive in their funding models. “They’re going to be dealt with creative, interesting ways. The human race is fantastically innovative at finding innovative ways of dealing with complicated knotty problems. It is shifting and it will continue to shift. Who knows where it will end, but it’s an exciting part of the journey. “ In the last few years the gallery experience has changed significantly, says Williams. “Museums in particular have had this renaissance, from going from this dusty thing full of relics to being this great day out that you go to with your family or friends or on school trips, it’s something you really want to go to, it’s become an exciting thing to do.” ¦



Design Exchange


This transformation will continue apace, predicts Williams, as the possibilities opened up by digital technology are fully understood by artists, gallerists and public alike. “There will be the diversification of the arts experience outside the structure of the building,” says Williams. “You could go on from that and say, well are all these buildings relics? As an architect I don’t think so – more and more people want to live in cities”. And what does Williams see as the future for arts buildings in an increasingly digitally-connected age? He’s reluctant to play soothsayer and make any hard-and-fast predictions on the future of the gallery, but he sees that the growth of our digital lives will merely lead to different demand for physical sensation. “There is this kind of interesting thing about the physicality which our human sensory group seems to need,” he says, citing the resurgence of vinyl records in an era dominated by MP3s, and the continuing survival of the book format. Williams is upbeat and eager to see how this will unfold, and how his practice, his peers and the new generation of architects, curators and other parties will make themselves part of this new environment. “I remain incredibly excited and optimistic about architecture and its role in finding the next generation of important cultural buildings. I’m optimistic about the way people, audience, visitors engage with culture. And I’m optimistic that we’ll find a mechanism to pay for all this”. And with that, the stairwell of the RSA in which we’re seated, fills up with a cohort of conference attendees, filing through on their way to lunch. Our time is up. de

Left page: The Novium Museum. PHOTO: David Grandorge Right page: The Unicorn Theatre. PHOTO: Helene Binet


manufacturer s of the finest, hand finished timber Flooring in the world

585 King’s Rd, London SW6 2EH


+44 (0)020 7736 7900


#CreativeCrossPollination #Tweetalk in 140 Characters #Hashtag

Q1: What does it mean to you?


Join the #Tweetalk @demagazine

#CROSSPOLLINATOR: JiaXuan Hon Curiosity, inspiration, admiration, judgements, conflict, lies, confrontations, resolutions, and a version of honest truth as a gift to you – @idanceinbetwee @blackwingedc W:



It’s about unanticipated results. – @FrancisBitonti W: #CROSSPOLLINATOR: Anita Fontaine A type of collaboration where creatives dress up and behave like bees? – @liketotallynita W:

The Renaissance saw the convergence of many fields and its happening again today. People across fields have to speak each others' languages. – @edwardperello W:

#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Brigitta Zics Scientists and technologists. A catalyst of my art is often the unconventional merger of expert knowledge of diverse fields. – @cognitiveloop W:

#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Di Mainstone A #futurist mode of doing, #making & learning where disciplines merge to produce #hybrid #creatives with the vision to see beyond boundaries – @HumanHarp @DiMainstone W: W:



words: Martin Guttridge-Hewitt — images: Ossip van Duivenbode

ZUS Rotterdam: Kristian Koreman & Elma van Bozel redevelopment re-imagINEd: How neo-localism can solve Rotterdam’s real estate crisis 80

Design Exchange

There is a Dutch saying – a flea in your skin. It’s like a pain in the ass,” quips Kristian Koreman as he explains his firm’s relationship with the bureaucrats in City Hall. Something of an architectural rebel, in 2001 he founded ZUS alongside longterm partner and fellow architect Elma van Boxel. Like most in the field, their practice makes money by pitching for commercial work. But, unlike the vast majority of similar organisations, staff at the Rotterdam-based business also regularly undertake unsolicited projects to show the local government how a more holistic, community-focused approach to redevelopment and city planning can be more beneficial than the alternative. In turn criticising the standard modus for town planning, we quickly ask if ZUS is the pain in the council’s ass, or vice versa. “Oh no, we are definitely more the pain in their ass.” Yet the results to date are difficult to contest. Housed in a once-derelict, unloved office building in a blighted and difficult to access area of downtown, just minutes from the central train station, Koreman and van Boxel have managed to turn this decrepit space into a thriving micro-economy. By re-imagining the old interior, occupancy levels inside have now reached some 95%; an astonishing statistic considering the surrounding streets are overflowing with empty real estate. Inside Het Schieblock, a flexible floor plan has allowed a wide range of media and creative start ups to choose a size of space to suit their needs. Units are built to order, with walls erected and simple, functional fittings installed based entirely on individual specifications. The definition of multi-purpose, the concrete edifice symbolises another way of redesigning and re-appropriating. Needless to say, though, it hasn’t been an easy ride. “We were educated with the idea that a landscape architect is one role in a waterfall structure of designing cities. First the urban planner lays out the pattern, then the architect adds buildings, and the landscape architect can fill the space between. We didn’t think that was showing any respect to the very nature of a city, the complexity behind the structure of public and private spaces, and the politics behind it all. That was our intuition at least,” explains Koreman. “As a young firm run by two people just out of university we didn’t have clients constantly at our door. So we started to produce our own work, and found we were able to address issues like multi-disciplinarity and crossover. Of course, we have to deal with the reality of working commercially, but these other types of projects keep us sharp on how we can navigate between the ideals we have and cherish for the city, and how we can implement them within a real context. ¦




Design Exchange


“In a normal situation you will be confronted by the question from the client, and you have to solve the problem. Here we can go one step back and ask what the problem is, and who the client is. For us, the very notion of urbanism is synthesizing all these contrasts – rich and poor, private and public, inclusive and exclusive, big and small. We feel a city emerges because of these contrasts, and have an obligation, as citizens, to address such issues, along with the ability to visualise how they can be addressed.” The idea of restructuring an area based on a democratic view of which demographics should benefit, rather than which demographic, certainly makes sense in an era where big money gentrification has become the negative norm, irrespective of the social cost. Fringed by high rises typical of Rotterdam’s desire to attract multinationals, Het Schieblock is a benchmark example showing this perspective can also be profitable. And it’s only really the beginning. Outside the main entrance, a six lane ring road ensured pedestrians were restricted to one side of the mega-street until the completion of the Luchtsingel; a new bridge spanning the urban highway, providing access to developments and districts opposite. Constructed from sustainable materials, and crowd-funded (with individual planks of wood sold at €20 a pop, each now bearing the name of the donor), the project will be fully completed imminently, offering both improved access and boasting a new recreational area in the shape of a park set on former wasteland. Left page: Top image Neo Localism sign in ZUS HQ. Bottom image, a top down view of Luchtsingel, and the proposed urban green space.

“There are also spin offs from Het Schieblock happening just around the corner too. Behind us, they are working on a new music venue in an abandoned building, for pop and house music-club meets venue meets cafe. Out the front, two vacant buildings are being completely redeveloped as a kind of updated model of Het Schieblock. They will be higher end, but fuelled by the same idea of multi-disciplinarity, flex-space and co-working. This is all undeniably a result of what we have done here,” says Koreman. From what would be dubbed a DIY or pop-up office solution if it were here in Britain, to the complete overhaul of an entire district, but one where the emphasis is placed on a variety of end users, this is all the product of what the ZUS team have termed Neo-Localism. A tongue in cheek reference to the neo-liberal economic perspective that was at the centre of urban investment pre-financial crisis, it’s a logical description for a school of thought that prefers neither big nor small ideas, but instead insists on delivering what is needed, affordable and fit for purpose. A universally agreeable notion, it does, however, come with a warning tag. “We have had interest from a range of countries in the way we work, including the UK. But I always tell them that it’s really hard to compare this context with another. Especially London. It’s not comparable at all, in fact. There is such high pressure on development and growth in London and many UK cities, and a huge influx of capital. That’s not the case in Rotterdam. So there’s a big disclaimer there. Really it’s about finding a specific model to fit the specific situation. Nevertheless, the lessons we are learning fundamentally can be applied anywhere.” de



words: Jo-Anne Bichard

Academic Exchange The Royal College of Art


Design Exchange

Creating active knowledge exchange between academic research and professional practice is essential to help generate not only enhanced economic performance, but also explore new opportunities for creative output and new developments in creative practice.Â



ost professionals in architecture and design will have completed first degrees in their chosen discipline, many will go on to further develop their knowledge and practice with a more focused Masters, and a few will continue further still with a PhD in their chosen specialism. Many of those who undertake the latter will then turn full circle by teaching new students, the next generation of thinkers and practitioners, whilst undertaking their own research that will contribute to the thinking and practice in and of architecture and design. Academic research provides an essential link in our knowledge economy. But to have a greater impact on a discipline’s knowledge and, as academic research is publicly funded, wider society, there needs to be an active exchange between academics and the industries in which their knowledge and research can contribute. This is an essential driving force for a number of design schools. One of the leaders in the field is the Royal College of Art’s Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design. Since 1999 the centre has been actively working in partnership with industry through its Research Associate programme in which industry or a consortium of partners are matched with a RCA graduate to investigate a set brief. The key aspect of this investigation is that the design research is inclusive and involves users in the process. Design research can be from an architectural, product, industrial, service or interaction design perspective and based around the centre’s key themes of Age and Ability, Healthcare and Work, and the City. Projects will often generate design guides as an output to inform designers of the research and the findings the project generated, as well as peer reviewed academic publications for the academic community.

Within the Centre’s Age and Ability lab, design researcher Katie Gaudion has been working with young people with autism and their carers, in partnership with the Kingwood Trust, to explore through co-design the different sensory needs of these users. Her work has incorporated product and environmental perspectives and has delivered a number of design guides,

including; Green Space, Outdoor Environments for Adults with Autism, and Exploring Sensory Preferences, Living Environments for Adults for Autism. Katie has taken this work full circle and is now in the final stages of completing her PhD research. The Healthcare lab focuses on working with clinicians to understand the major challenges facing the delivery of safe and effective healthcare. Research Fellow Jonathan West worked in collaboration with clinicians to understand the genesis of medical error and was the lead author on Designing Out Medical Error An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Design of Healthcare Equipment in The Design Journal. Senior Research Associate Gianpaulo Fusari has outlined the work in Redesigning the UK Emergency Ambulance, published in the Journal of Medical Devices. In addition this collaboration between the users also extends to wider university collaborative work, such as the Helix Centre in collaboration with Imperial College London. The Work and City lab explores the challenges of working and living in our cities. In partnership with Haworth, Imogen Privett has worked with theatre designers to understand what lessons might be learned, and knowledge transferred from stage design, that could improve

the psychological wellbeing of working in an office. This work also extended to exploring the phenomenon of pop-ups and how they might influence workspace design, as well as the requirements of extreme team workspaces. The findings of these projects have been consolidated in a new publication by Centre’s Director Professor Jeremy Myerson and Privett in the book, Life of Work. Privett’s work is now also extending back into her practice with her PhD research. Challenges facing the urban infrastructure have been explored by Senior Research Associate Gail Ramster in understanding the tensions between service providers and users, most notably demonstrated in the provision of public toilets. Her work, Public Toilets: An Inclusive Design Guide, helped formulate the need for the integration of information on provision that could be updated by providers, accessed by users and developed in collaboration with the Nominet Trust, creating The Great British Public Toilet Map. Beyond The Helen Hamlyn Centre’s industry collaboration, further knowledge exchanges are taking place at the Royal College of Art. The Creative Exchange funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council brings together the RCA, Newcastle University and Lancaster University, with other arts and humanities academics and business partners, to explore the themes and opportunities of Digital Public Space. Current work has looked at rethinking the planning process, and the effects of cycling near misses. Other exciting new collaborative processes are also emerging. ArcInTexETN is a consortium funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 initiative, comprising The RCA, Heriot-Watt University, Eindhoven University of Technology, Vilnius Academy of Arts, The Berlin University of the Arts, University of Borås, Philips, and AB Ludvig Svensson, in partnership with Heatherwick Studios, Haworth Tompkins, and Audejas UAB. The consortium will provide an early career training network to explore sustainable forms of future living through research driven by design thinking in textiles, architecture and interaction design. The consortium is currently recruiting early career researchers for its PhD programme with candidates drawn from across the EU, in a transnational collaborative programme. These examples highlight how current academic research undertaken in architecture and design departments generates new knowledge. But it is essential for knowledge exchange to take place between industry specialists, and that research is communicated not only to other researchers, but also



#Tweetalk in 140 Characters #Hashtag

Q2: What kind of people and industries do you exchange ideas with?


Join the #Tweetalk @demagazine


#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Robert Hasty As a retailer I have experimented with fashion designers and art curators; as a brand, Michel Roset picks up ideas and working with academics, philosophers and materials taken industrial design – @lignerosetcity W:

Curiosity, inspiration, admiration, judgements, conflict, lies, confrontations, resolutions, and a version of honest truth as a gift to you – @idanceinbetwee @blackwingedc W:

#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Brigitta Zics Scientists and technologists. A catalyst of my art is often the unconventional merger of expert knowledge of diverse fields. – @cognitiveloop W:

#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Ghislaine Boddington Artists, designers, creatives, researchers, academics, educationalists, journalists, producers, strategists, policy makers, futurologists – @GBoddington W:

#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Anita Fontaine fashion, digital, research, advertising, music video, film, sculpture, architecture, videogames, art! – @liketotallynita W:

#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Robin Rimbaud - Scanner Everyone from globally recognized commercial brands through to students, from architecture to film scores, fashion to rock bands – @robinrimbaud W:


Di Mainstone

words: DAVID MORRIS — images: Jesse D. Lawrence

SoundArt Human Harp film #PlayTheBridge

EXCHANGE SELECTED BY DAVID: DI MAINSTONE This is a Design Exchange update on sound artist Di Mainstone and the Human Harp project. In our previous edition we featured early sketches of Di’s vision for a musical installation on Clifton Suspension Bridge. Since then, Di and her team have created a musical kit which is part mechanical and part digital that can play the suspension rods of Bristol’s iconic crossing like a giant harp. de This spread: Stills taken from the film #PlayTheBridge by Di Mainstone & Jesse D Lawrence, featuring Movician George Hampton Wale.

See #PlayTheBridge FILM @HumanHarp 88

Design Exchange


“There are hidden sounds in unexpected places – bridges, pylons, submarines – I love to give these lost vibrations a voice. Collaborating with engineers from Arup, we have just developed giant mechanical ‘bridge-bows’ that clip onto suspension rods or cables and trigger their low frequency vibrations. Using digital technology, we have found a way to turn these sounds into music. #PlayTheBridge our new film, shows the movician (bridge player) controlling the tone and pitch of the sounds generated by the rods of Clifton Suspension Bridge via two retractable cables tethered to a body harness. Next, I plan to take our new instruments on a road trip across the USA, popping-up and attaching the Human Harp to unusual industrial structures in unexpected places. Imagine all the intriguing musicians that we can collaborate with along the way…” Di Mainstone.



Design Exchange



Photography: Abandoned amusement park in Berlin



Previous spread: Images taken by Agnese Sanvito at Spreepark in Berlin. This spread: Spreepark and below Agnese Sanvito.

EXCHANGE SELECTED BY DAVID: AGNESE SANVITO London based architectural photographer Agnese Sanvito documents elaborate and quirky projects for architectural practices and structural engineers. Her photographs enhance the geometric patterns of buildings in striking tones with an acute awareness of natural light’s movement.


Design Exchange



or Design Exchange, Agnese presents one of her personal bodies of work, Spreepark, the abandoned amusement park in Berlin which last year was up for sale on eBay for 1.62 million. Inspired by Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker, this series of images shot in bleak light highlight an earthy scene of desolation. Here nature wraps around and reclaims the man made structures, continuing Agnese’s ongoing exploration with the changing urban landscape. de


Shadow (XiaoXue) Tian

words: Shadow — images: COURTESY OF XIAOXUE

The subversive force of the found image


y aim is to discuss the fragile quality of the photographic object, but also the equal fragility of our lives, our history and our memories. These things are so easily lost with the passage of time; what we see in the present is only a fragment of a distant memory. My concept is rooted in my everyday life. I often visit car boot sales where I find many precious objects that have been lost and abandoned by their owners. I decided to seek out family photograph albums. The photos contained in these albums depict anonymous people and have mysterious backgrounds. 94

Design Exchange

As I collected more albums I was surprised at the similarities I saw between them: the subjects' postures; the themes of the photos; their compositions; the number of individuals depicted; and the backgrounds these figures were set against. The memories of these albums are woven together through these common elements, which lead the viewer to experience a new world and fantasy. Curiosity surfaces about the unknown memories that exist within this world, and about the resonance of collective memory. I wish to explore this physically through the process of knitting together two overlapping images to constitute a new picture, and a new world behind it. de


EXCHANGE SELECTED BY Nissrin: XIAOXUE XiaoXue exhibited at the China Design Centre, London. The China Design Centre showcases the unique design vision emerging from a country with a long history and rich culture, and whose dynamic economy is generating a new wave of talent in Architecture, Art and Craft, Furniture, Products and Materials.


#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Brigitta Zics Mainly emerging technologies but with a mindful awareness to avoid pure novelty. The concept determines the use of a technology. – @cognitiveloop W:

#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Francis Bitonti 3D Printing, these days we are focusing hard on developing techniques for printing with conductive printing. – @FrancisBitonti W:

#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Edward Perello CRISPR is the hottest thing I work on. Its a next-generation genome editing technology that lets you modify genes in unprecedented ways. – @edwardperello W:

#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Ghislaine Boddington Collective collaborations + convergences of body + tech – telepresence, motion capture, virtual worlds, wearables, robotics, sense tech – @GBoddington W:

#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Di Mainstone A method called body-centric design – building my digital sound sculptures around the body of a dancer, then testing, playing and enhancing – @HumanHarp @DiMainstone W: W:

#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Robin Rimbaud - Scanner My practice thrives on advances in technology, ways of painting with sound, of accessing seemingly impossible sonic territories and communication networks – @robinrimbaud W:


Design Exchange

#Tweetalk in 140 Characters #Hashtag

Join the #Tweetalk @demagazine



Q3: What new technologies and techniques do you use?

The Floor is Yours

Fuse 2014, Fields 9515 and 6218

FUSE... Seamless Design For samples please email: or telephone +44 (0)1235 554848

#CROSSPOLLINATOR: JiaXuan Hon With the one that I least expect to work with. I’ll tell you why when it happens! – @idanceinbetwee @blackwingedc W:

#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Brigitta Zics Working with CERN. I think of it as one of very few environments offering exceptional circumstances and with these limitless boundaries. – @cognitiveloop W:

#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Francis Bitonti I don’t have ideal situations like this every client and collaboration is an opportunity to do something amazing if that weren’t the case I wouldn’t take on the project. – @FrancisBitonti W:


Design Exchange


#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Anita Fontaine I would love to collaborate with the MONA museum in Tasmania and make an exquisite multifaceted installation for them. – @liketotallynita W:

#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Ghislaine Boddington

Co-creations with sense enhancers from diverse backgrounds leading to user led experiences for deeper consciousness + visionary solutions – @GBoddington W:

Collaborating with a stranger that I meet on a journey to a new place. Our paths serendipitously collide and we create in a free way. – @HumanHarp @DiMainstone W: W:

#Tweetalk in 140 Characters #Hashtag

Join the #Tweetalk @demagazine



Q4: With whom and why?

Pico Zoom

#CROSSPOLLINATOR: JiaXuan Hon Probably still fighting for something, but not for diversity and inclusivity because hopefully we'd be way past that then! – @idanceinbetwee @blackwingedc W:

#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Francis Bitonti I am more worried about the change I want to see in the work in the next five years. I want to bring design and materials into the information age. – @FrancisBitonti W:


Design Exchange


#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Anita Fontaine Somewhere in between the realm of consciousness, dreaming and outer space. I would love to help people gain a deeper understanding of reality, and enlightenment. – @liketotallynita W:

I hope to be more involved in the bio-design space and have my own laboratory-studio where I could work with others on novel organisms. – @edwardperello W:

#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Brigitta Zics To have established consistency and flow in my artistic inquiry & a pioneering body of work of experiential art. – @cognitiveloop W:


Join the #Tweetalk @demagazine

#Tweetalk in 140 Characters #Hashtag


#CROSSPOLLINATOR: Di Mainstone On a journey creating sonic sculptures in #abandoned #curious spaces.  And when I'm not doing that I will be designing musical gardens! – @HumanHarp @DiMainstone W: W:

Q5: Where do you see your work 10 years from now?

Surface choices to inspire your projects... E X C L U S I V E LY B Y C D U K

CD (UK) LTD t: 0113 201 2240 e: Follow us on twitter at

Images: Hexagon textured CorianÂŽ panel in Isokinetic Sports Rehabilitation Clinic on Harley Street, designed by Sonnemann Toon LLP Architects, fabricated by Wharf Solid Surface.

words: James Pallister — images: Courtsey of Perspective - Art in Architecture




utch artist Jan Hendrix has designed a spectacular addition to the Grade II listed Africa House as part of JM Architects’ refurbishment and repurposing of the building into a Grade A spec-office building. A fitting revamp for one of the grand early-20th Century properties built on London’s Kingsway, between Holborn and Covent Garden.

The building has retained its striking period façade, but inside has been transformed to provide a new full-height atrium with scenic glass wall-climbing lifts. The floors have been reconfigured around this atrium to provide light, flexible office space. Hendrix’s canvas was the large atrium at the centre of the building. Making the most of the interior glass lifts which take visitors up the ten floors of office space. Using the full height of the atrium, he designed a 30m tall installation. Hendrix has rendered large-scale copies of the structure of algae formations for his piece, which is called The White Sea. Twenty of these structures are placed along the height of the building. They are made in laser-cut Corian, a white acrylic composite material, and are placed in a vertical, overlapping formation. As well as getting moving glimpses of the piece from the lift, visitors can also get views of the work as they walk round the internal balconies. Hendrix was born in Maasbree in the Netherlands in 1949, he has since lived in France, Portugal, Norway, and Iceland, until 1978 when he moved to his current location in Mexico City. He has participated in both solo and group exhibitions around the globe, including Africa, Asia, Europe, Mexico and the United States. His work ranges from artist’s books, print editions, enamel installations, etched glass, and paintings, to large-scale architectural projects. ¦ 102

Design Exchange



This page: Africa House: Jan Hendrix, The White Sea.

Latterly, these large-scale architectural projects have been the main focus of his work and he has collaborated with Bernardo Gómez-Pimienta and Enrique Norten, principals of the design firm TEN Arquitectos. Hendrix was commissioned after an intensive research and selection process undertaken by the art commissioning consultants Perspective, on behalf of Africa House’s developers, Freshwater. de


Design Exchange

Fragments of Blue

Wall Sculpture Triptych by Denise mt Basso 500 x 500 mm x3 Living with Glass exhibition Vessell Gallery London in collaboration with Glass for Interiors Arts Council England

words: ANA ARAÚJO — images: ON CAPTION 106

Design Exchange



Da Nobis Hodie Incantum Quotidianum Give us every day our


daily enchantment

n opposition to mainstream trends in art, design and architecture, usually obsessed with the contemporary and occupied with a continuous reinterpretation, translation, reiteration (and therefore, confirmation) of the now, we find today a curious undercurrent of artists in these fields (amongst which I am myself included) that don’t seem to be at all concerned with reality. Their work may be interpreted as nostalgic, whimsical. Their position (political, social), naïve at best; if not alienated, or disengaged. It is not the first time in history we witness such an opposition. Around a century or so ago two remarkable women writers cultivated a long-term rivalry over a similar issue. Virginia Woolf, as we know, was then the model of the contemporary (or modern) artist; a woman of her time, a resolute feminist, a person of political and social convictions. Her rival, Vernon Lee, was instead someone who seemed to inhabit the otherworldly dimension of the supernatural: a wanderer in the territory of myths and fairytales. Referring to Lee, Virginia Woolf said ‘My head spins with Vernon Lee whom I had to review. What a woman! Like a garrulous baby.’ Lee didn’t seem to bother much. Accused by her opponents of being a bit of a snob, perhaps she just understood, quietly, that the values she promoted were somehow more profound and real than so-called reality. Intriguingly, her tales remain, today, incredibly relevant, vivid and stimulating. Lee’s art, old-fashioned from the start, doesn’t seem to date. One hundred and something years on, the work of Russian painter Timur D’Vatz seems to give visual form to some of Lee’s tales. Populated by languorous creatures and fantastic patterns they transport us to a world we know doesn’t exist but that at the same time we feel we belong to. What is this world made of? It is constituted by the wonders of our complex and diverse cultural baggage; a pandemonium of images, memories, stories and histories, disorderly imprinted in our souls (we feel as if they have always been there), and eventually organised– visually, linguistically, spatially, acoustically – by Art (in all its forms). Freud would call this pandemonium our unconscious: the source of our most profound pain and pleasure, the stuff we constantly struggle to make sense of. It was, I believe, in a similar spirit that a controversial German architect from the nineteenthcentury, Gottfried Semper, used to argue that the true function of art was not to translate reality but to destroy it; that this was the only way an artwork could be truly fulfilling. ‘Every artistic creation, every artistic pleasure, presumes a certain carnival spirit, or to express it in a modern way, the haze of carnival candles is the true atmosphere of art. The destruction of reality, of the material, is necessary if form is to emerge as a meaningful symbol, as an autonomous human creation.’ ¦


Previous spread: Antonino Cardillo, Crepuscular Green, Rome 2014. This page: Above Antonino Cardillo, House of Dust, Rome, 2013. Below image Antonino Cardillo, MIN Scultures at the Soane Museum, London Design Festival 2014.


Design Exchange


Semper’s carnival-esque spirit pervades the whole oeuvre of Sicilian architect Antonino Cardillo. His Crepuscular Green gallery in Rome evokes the setting of an ancient sacrificial ritual. Egyptian? Greek? Roman? It doesn’t really matter, because once these ancestral images are deposited in our unconscious they are emptied of their historical specificity; as in our dreams, the only link that remains is the emotional one. In a similar guise, Cardillo’s MIN sculptures, inspired by the homonymous Egyptian god of fertility, gives shape to what could be regarded as a contemporary image of a talisman; a symbolic magnet, an object imbued with magical properties. Not to mention his most well-known work, House of Dust (also in Rome), an allusion to the religious settings of Duccio and to other masters of the Trecento. A similar process is followed in my two pieces shown here, Rembrandt’s Hand and Ladies of Savoy. Paying tribute, respectively, to the illustrious Dutch artist and to the lives of the remarkable women of the well-known Savoy family, these pieces try to retrieve the emotional density contained in these two cultural moments and to translate it into new spatial artefacts. Rembrandt’s Hand (in collaboration with Willem de Bruijn) responds to the simple brief of refurbishing a domestic living room of a Dutch family based in London. Ladies of Savoy (in collaboration with Roberto Costa) is an ornamental pendant installed in the foyer of a residential block in Belo Horizonte, Brazil – in a building that happens to be named ‘The Savoy Villa’. Notably, it is not only a process of restoring ancestral and idiosyncratic images (historical, fictional) that defines this type of work. It is also a process of restoring ancestral and equally idiosyncratic techniques and materials. Vatz’s work combines the processes of gilding and stencilling with acrylic and oil painting. Cardillo’s gallery reinvents the Florentine rusticated stone surface in cement (a Roman material) while also making an oblique allusion to the textured ceilings of the Italian Baroque. Rembrandt’s Hand included a laborious bronze cast of the hand of an eleven-year-old girl (the client’s daughter); while Ladies of Savoy combines elaborate handcrafted metalwork with the assemblage of vintage jewellery, accessories, cutlery and crockery. One could say that common to all the works pictured here is an implied assumption that humans are complex creatures who experience diverse temporal and spatial conditions, real and imagined, simultaneously. The Greek philosopher Aristotle used to say that the role of Art is not to portray life as it is but rather to describe how it could be (or how it could have been). Maybe this is, ultimately, what these pieces are trying to do, an idealized reconstruction of the past looking to build a more hopeful future. de

This page: Ana Araújo & Roberta Costa, Ladies of Savoy, Belo Horizonte, 2014.


Whoever said power sockets had to be dull?

pluto because life isn’t one sided

Come and see the new range of PLUTO including our superfast USB charger at Telephone: +44(0)1924 367255

words: Martin Guttridge-Hewitt — images: KILIAN O'SULLIVAN 112

Design Exchange



ow do you inspire young minds? What’s the best way to fuel both academic prowess and creative thought amongst Britain’s future finest? It’s likely that these two questions were mused over for some time before the headmaster of Uppingham School issued his brief for a brand new science centre to Orms Architects. The answer was relatively simple; develop a state of the art building, inspired by and paying homage to, the renaissance, that needed to last 100 years, have proven energy efficiency and green credentials, and create a working space that gives students the opportunity to truly flex their mental muscles. The practical applications of these requirements were less straight forward. Nevertheless, what has been achieved matches the needs perfectly. Situated in the school’s Western Campus, a new quad has been built that looks to link the various disciplines currently being taught in the facility, providing a hub for the sprawling Uppingham estate. Meanwhile, a three-story brick clad wing has been finished, providing no less than 15 laboratories, three preparation rooms, three departmental offices and additional support spaces.

UK #7 Rutland

Uppingham School Science Centre ORMS Architects

The labs themselves are sized at a generous 110-square metres, and have been designed with flexibility in mind. This allows for room changes, with each capable of hosting a class within any one of the three main sciences – physics, chemistry and biology – despite the respective demands differing wildly. The prep areas have been housed centrally to all the teaching spaces, allowing easy access to all, with the circulation route connecting the various spaces allowing swift and experiment set-ups in between lessons. A new atrium makes the overall building’s purpose clear. Biology is referenced through an attractive aquarium, the periodic table nods to chemistry, and a stunning installation based on Foucault’s pendulum is suspended from the top of the three story structure, giving a clear indication that physics is on the syllabus. Elsewhere, and a stairwell denotes the helical shape of DNA strands, and the internal facade is a darkened adonised bronze developed in collaboration with artist Daniel Sturgis. The result being a dramatic entrance to a building that’s not just fit for purpose, but conceived with a focus on encouraging young minds to embrace their studies. A far cry from the old magnolia-coloured tiled ¦


walls of days gone by. The idea of theatrics is continued in the working spaces, too, with chemistry primarily located on the ground floor to allow passersby a view of experiments in action, ensuring there is always something to look at even outside the typical teaching situations.


Architect: Orms Architects; Feature Stair: Spiral Stairs; Pendulum: Smiths of Derby; M&E: Derry Building Services; Cast Stone: Evans concrete; Curtain Wall: Shuco; Lab Furniture: LabFlex; Aluminium Cladding: Keyclad; Soft Furniture: The Furniture Practice; Specialist Furniture: James Burleigh; Stone: Finnemore.


Design Exchange

The final aspect of the brief – sustainability – has been met in two key ways. Firstly, the building itself has been made from high quality, durable materials that are proven to weather and wear well, cutting down both costs and waste in the long run by minimising the need to refurbish and replace. In addition to this, Passivhaus air tightness principles have been employed via Part L modelling, maximising the use of natural daylight and ventilation in teaching and public spaces alike. All in all then, a successful venture, and a development fit to nurture the scientific leaders of tomorrow. de


This page: Above, the teaching spaces visually connect with the new Quadrangle. Below, views through the buildings connect the science centre with the wider school.


words: Alice Fawke — images: COURTESY of Peter Landers


St. Martins LOFTS Darling Associates 116

Design Exchange

This page: Artwork of a former Central St. Martins student hangs on the wall referencing the building’s past. Right page: On both images names of Central St. Martins alumni have been reinterpreted as artwork in the communal corridors.




arling Associates have designed thirteen original loft style apartments in the former Central Saint Martins School of Art in Charing Cross Road, London. The premium apartments occupy four floors above the new Foyles bookstore designed by Liftschutz Davidson Sandilands. Darling’s design of the apartments respects the rich architectural and artisan history of the building, while providing characteristic loft-style living. Each generously proportioned apartment is intentionally minimalist and paired down to highlight the building’s essential character, and to create a sense of calm at the heart of London’s vibrant Soho district. The living and dining spaces in the five east-facing duplex apartments are double height volumes that exploit the light provided by the original high studio windows. Large terraces connected to the three lateral apartments and the two penthouses have been designed to provide unique roof level views westwards across central London. ¦

This spread: Paired-down wall finishes offer gallery-like conditions.


Design Exchange



All lofts have been designed with the highest quality industrial style interiors, using materials in their raw form to showcase their natural beauty. Fine-crafted custom-made elements – from concrete and stone basins to blackened steel single-piece balustrades and joinery – make this scheme a unique residential destination. Feature bookshelves and libraries have been designed into every apartment to reference the Foyles bookshop below. The open plan living arrangements are complemented by full-height custom-made doors which blend into the walls to visually de-clutter the interiors and enhance the overall impression of space. The stark white gallery-like units are effectively a blank canvas on which the new owners are encouraged to display their personal art collection and, perhaps, revive the ambiance of the old classrooms. In the entrance to the building and on the apartment floors, Darling Associates have referenced the building’s famous past as the home of Central Saint Martin’s College. The lobby hosts an art installation displaying the names of notable alumni. This concept is carried throughout the upper corridors with photographs of past students at work and their artworks displayed on the walls. The Foyle family have acquired four out of the 13 total units, with a view to merging these into a single and unprecedented duplex apartment. Darling Associates have been commissioned to deliver the scheme. de


Design Exchange

This spread: All apartments have high quality finishes with an industrial feel.


Design inspiration from the least likely places in the world. 20% off subscriptions to Makeshift Quarterly with promo code DEMAG


A Bright, Bright Future.

Introducing our multi-award winning 2016 range of D-ILA Projectors. Quite simply, it’s the ultimate expression of cutting-edge technology in home cinema projection, designed for enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike.

However, that is just a tiny part of the staggering amount of technology incorporated throughout the 4 model range. To explore in more depth what a D-ILA projector could add to your home cinema system visit

DLA-X5000 available in black or white finish

They are fully compatible with the next-generation HDR content as you would expect. But coupled with that they comply with the latest HDMI/HDCP 2.2 standards to enable full spec 4K signal input. The range topping DLA-X9000B features a huge dynamic contrast ratio of 1:1,500,000 and delivers a brightness of 1,900 lm. That means it has a peak brightness 3 times that of a conventional cinema.

words: Martin Guttridge-Hewitt — images: Morley von Sternberg

UK #9 Manchester

Manchester Town Hall Complex Simpson Haugh & Partners and Ryder Architecture 124

Design Exchange



ith ten organisations involved in one of the UK’s biggest collaborative renovation projects, it’s not without good reason that Simpson Haugh & Partners and Ryder Architecture are proud of their achievements in the modernisation of a North West England landmark. Taking some four years to complete, the sensitive approach to bringing Manchester’s Grade II-listed Central Library and Grade I-listed Town Hall into the 21st Century is the result of successful co-operation between the architects, Heritage Project Management, construction giant Lang O’Roarke and several other firms. A sensitive project, with the old 1930s interior no longer fit for purpose, and suffering from a distinctly mid-20th Century vision of ‘patching up’, were it not for these efforts there’s every chance the building would now be falling down around staff and visitors. With the brief including a reduction in carbon emissions (achieved by some 41% upon completion) and the creation of a space in which end use leads design, the collaborative effort achieved these ambitious plans by combining craftsmanship with technological processes. Heritage England, for example, was initially unconvinced at proposals to cut through six floors of a priceless Romanesque icon when proposals were made to fit a new staircase and provide lift access to specialist collections in the Library, but with exemplary use of BIM concerns were swiftly replaced by an eagerness to see the vision realised.

Left page: Rates Hall in Manchester Town Hall Extension. This page: Manchester Central Library’s domed Great Hall.

A new, open-plan area featuring displays of rare manuscripts, a central cafeteria and meeting point, plus the British Film Institute’s only significant digital archive outside London (offering visitors the chance to watch on-demand highlights from one of the world’s most impressive movie and television collections), replaces a once-inaccessible archive area. A feat in itself, given the old book stacks doubled up as structural supports, this has helped convert public accessibility in the Library from 30 to 70%, making an impressive 10,000m2 open to all. Aside from obvious but tasteful additions, one of the biggest achievements of the project is the preservation of the building’s finest assets. The domed Great


This page: Top image, the new archive area in Manchester Central Library. Bottom image, Manchester Central Library’s domed Great Hall.

Hall, ¦ which stands at the epicentre of the radial structure, remains untouched – a vision of the past in a building now fit for the future. And the aforementioned supporting stacks are still visible at the periphery of the lower level, giving a glimpse of how the old archives once looked in comparison to today. Meanwhile, by allowing more light to enter the building, the art-deco fittings and painstakingly detailed interior design details now appear as new. Dominating St. Peter’s Square, in the heart of Manchester, Central Library sits alongside the equally impressive Town Hall. But, whilst access has always been possible between the two for staff, this is now possible for the public too. By moving the City Library section below ground, the connection from one structure to the other has become a working area. A definite plus point when you have a climate like North West England, this also means breathtaking assets like Rates Hall, a curved hallway once all-but-forgotten having fallen victim to yet more piecemeal repair work, have now been restored to former glory. The impressive faux-marble walls and floor line a corridor where the emphasis is once again focused on visitors – couches punctuate the walkway, with media desks at various intervals offering access to remote council services. A place to work, relax or soak up the tangible ambience, ensuring the two focal points in this city with a strong reputation for progressive design combined with heritage are both fit for purpose, and in keeping with the local ethos. de


Design Exchange

words: Alice Fawke — images: Quintin Lake

UK #10 Cheltenham

The Wilson. Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum

Berman Guedes Stretton 128

Design Exchange




rchitects Berman Guedes Stretton, known for their beautifully crafted modern interventions in heritage properties, have designed a contemporary extension for the existing Wilson Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum; plus a new café, the Guild at 51 shop, open archives and outreach spaces. These additions increase and improve the space, creating a high-quality venue capable of attracting world class touring collections. One example being Rodin’s The Kiss, which was displayed in the new atrium for the re-opening. The Wilson is in a conservation area, on a site featuring several Grade II listed buildings that Berman Guedes Stretton were able to carefully retain and integrate into the new complex. The architects designed the new extension to complement the existing structures, while ensuring there was a clear distinction between the different architectural periods. The design achieved this through bold but refined features such as full height voids with oversailing bridges that connect the new and old building, and the use of robust materials such as concrete and stone that are also typical of the arts and crafts period. The most striking feature of the extension is perhaps the unmistakably contemporary full height glazing at each end of the building. Slim and elegant Brise Soleil span the glazing to facilitate a softer, filtered internal light and a comfortable internal temperature. Externally, the strong grid and horizontal panels moderate the appearance of the large plates of glass. Overall, it feels as though the new building has taken the old museum by the hand, and gently guided it into the modern world. The result is a family of premises that are unique in themselves, but inherently belong and work together to form The Wilson, Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum. de

Previous spread: Left page, dramatic and modern internal gallery spaces contrast with the building’s history. Right page, huge windows on the north façade frame the internal galleries.


Design Exchange


This spread: Right page, the contemporary building slots seamlessly into the historic streetscape Above, new and old are connected by a central circulation exposing the full height of the building Below, the new cafĂŠ


Changing the Sight of Sound High clarity, room filling sound with no visual impact T: 01480 354390 W: E:





An Architect. — Lets Exchange!

Design Exchange has been collaborating with Architects for many years and we would love to share our knowledge and network with you.

Give us some information on your project, large or small, residential or commercial.

We will search our community and match you up with three of our most suitable architects for your project.

Pick your architect, arrange a meet up and then start the project.

Visit our website and subscribe to our community to access regular talks and events in London and beyond.

words: Emma Rosling — images: JOSÉ CAMPOS

MIGUEL, Azore islands PORTUGAL #11 SÃO

THE ARQUIPÉLAGO Contemporary Arts Centre João Mendes Ribeiro + Menos é Mais Arquitectos 134

Design Exchange


he Arquipélago Contemporary Arts Centre is a museum of art, culture and performance relating to the historic roots and contemporary life of its location on São Miguel, the largest and most popular of the Azores. At first glance, The Arquipélago appears slightly intimidating, with a mix of dark asphalt, grey concrete buildings and naturalistic, stone walls. However, once you see the bright white render of the newly added structures, it becomes clear that the design aesthetic encompasses both shadow and light, old and new. The contrasting relationship between these buildings is what makes this project inherently unique: the space it occupies being a former tobacco factory. Menos é Mais Arquitectos and João Mendes Ribeiro designed the new layout of the 12,000m2 complex:

“New buildings are placed next to the existing ones in a serene manner, underlying the architectonical memory of a given period and the new addition”. The public square dividing the buildings provides a physical link between the two, inviting the spectator to enjoy both energies. There is always something breathtaking about the prospect of what once stood in a place you are now occupying. Inside, the spaces encompassing the artworks are just as important as the works themselves and form part of the overall display. ¦



The history embodied within the beautiful texture of the volcanic stone walls juxtaposes the manmade finish. These differences in aesthetic reflect São Miguel's diverse scenery – from lakes and beaches to mountains, hills and lush plains. Known as The Green Island, the incorporation of sustainable measures reflects this reputation. The density of the concrete walls allows modulation and heat dissipation techniques to be used and a rainwater harvesting system is also in place, meaning water can be recycled for the bathrooms.

Previous spread: The exterior of The Archipelago Arts Centre. This page: The incredible interior space for the Art.

Nominated for the European Union's 2015 architecture prize – The Mies Van De Rohe Award – the design portrays the namesake of the accolade’s own values. He liked spaces to speak for themselves, and was known as the pioneer of the phrase “less is more”, which is definitely the case here. The traditional and abstract edifices are representational of the art work and performances inside, as well as a microcosm of the society we live in. Architecture, music and fashion are a clash of past trends and new designs, amalgamated to create the contemporary world all of us inhabit. de


Design Exchange





AN INTERIOR DESIGNER. — LETS EXCHANGE! Design Exchange has been collaborating with Designers for many years and we would love to share our knowledge and network with you.

Give us some information on your project, large or small, residential or commercial.

We will search our community and match you up with three of our most suitable designers for your project.

Pick your designer, arrange a meet up and then start the project.

Visit our website and subscribe to our community to access regular talks and events in London and beyond.

s310 taper with its subtle use of interlocking shapes taper has a distinctive undercut detail set on a square tubular frame

join our mailing list to receive product release notifications in 2015 or browse the easy to use navigation on mrf’s new responsive website today

new responsive website

words: JAMES PALLISTER — images: Zooey Braun


Stuttgart Germany

B10 House Werner Sobek Architects

This spread: Left side image the Prefabricated timber units being put in place. Images of the 85m2 living space. 142

Design Exchange


Sobek adds to this development of houses with an updated eco-friendly structure that builds on German Passivhaus standards. Sobek’s Activhaus principles enable the house to generate twice the energy it consumes, derived from sustainable energy sources, meaning it can be a net contributor to the grid. At Weissenhof the house uses the recouped power to fuel two electric cars and a neighbouring address, built by Le Corbusier, which is now home to the Weissenhof Museum.


In an interesting twist on the usual post-occupancy study, Werner Sobek Architects is moving two PhD students from the University of Stuttgart to its recently completed addition to the legendary Weissenhof Estate, in the German city, where they will live and document their experiences. The firm’s plot contains the only remaining of the houses built in 1927 to form the complex masterplanned by Mies van der Rohe. The development was built for the Deutsche Werkbunde exhibition, and features homes designed by Le Corbsuier and Pierre Jeanneret, Walter Gropius and Bruno Taut. The scheme was the cradle of what became known as the International Style.

The 85m2 residence is built in prefabricated timber and took just one day to assemble. The intentions are for the building to not only fulfill the highest demands of user comfort, but also generate more energy than is needed to run the house, producing zero emissions in the process, and be returned fully to the materials cycle at the end of its life. Depending on the outcome of the post-occupancy study, the project could become an exemplar for energy-efficient high-density housing, suitable for a global rollout. The research project will run for two years, after which the building will be demounted. de


words: Emily Mullan — images: ©Simon Maxwell PHOTOGRAPHY


London UK

Residential Extension Feix & Merlin


ith London’s property market amongst the world’s most competitive, statement homes are fast becoming the norm. So when a residential project really catches the eye you know those responsible have given careful consideration to their work. As is the case with a brand new extension designed and finished by Feix & Merlin, an architectural firm based in the UK capital. The property is a former-warehouse, which has undergone a spectacular transformation to become a living space and artist’s studio, making the most of modern materials and period aesthetics of the original address. The most striking alteration is the installation of huge Crittall-style glazing, which spans the width of the extension to the back of the building. Not only is this a sign of a contemporary architect’s vision at work, it serves a tangible purpose, welcoming much-needed natural light into the interior, which, thanks to the old industrial purpose, would have been sorely lacking. ¦ 144

Design Exchange



Previous page: The view of London from the living space of the former-warehouse and the huge Crittall-style glazing. This page: The bespoke stairway and the roof garden.

By adding a fourth floor – served by the glazed window panels – a new level has been created to meet the occupier’s needs. Filled with daylight, this artist’s studio not only has a welcoming and airy ambience, but also acts as a tardis, with those large windows giving the impression of far more space than there actually is, eradicating any risk of things feeling too claustrophobic to support creative thinking. Exposed brickwork throughout adds a truly contemporary flavour, and one that nods to the original use of the structure itself – marrying both modern urban living and old industrial heritage in a way that satisfies both the 21st Century buyer, and the surrounding area’s conservation status. Perhaps the biggest selling pint of all, though, is the roof terrace, accessible via a new staircase, which provides a great space for entertaining guests, or simply spending an evening looking out on the city’s iconic skyline. The result being a dream home and base for a small business. de


Architect: Feix & Merlin Architects; Structural engineer: TALL Engineers; Main contractor: Bolster Inc.; Metal Framed glazing: West Leigh; Roof light: Glazing Vision; Pendants: Feix & Merlin Products; Flooring: reclaimed timber.


Design Exchange

words — images: Martin Guttridge-Hewitt


Beneath the banks 24 hours in Frankfurt


rriving in the centre of Germany’s financial heartland and a revelatory realisation dawns on us. Here we stand, beneath some of Europe’s tallest office buildings – continental headquarters for multinational companies boasting turnovers in the billions. Yet the airport – amongst the world’s busiest – and unspoilt countryside beyond are just a short 20-minute taxi-ride away. One look at the Frankfurt skyline suggests a huge, sprawling metropolis, but nothing could be further from the truth. With its downtown area containing institutions such as the European Central Bank, it’s easy to assume suburbia would continue into the horizon further than the eye can see. Instead, the area is more akin to a large town, with almost all places of interest within easy walking distance, that is if you don’t fancy jumping on the typically efficient and comprehensive underground system. 148

Design Exchange



Don’t think this means a city full of businessmen and void of culture, though. The marketing manager at the Frankfurter Hoff – the most prestigious five star hotel in town – is quick to point out the vast majority of guests are here for work, and the vast majority of those work in the financial sector. But, by digging a little deeper, a host of gems can be unearthed, revealing this to be one of the great unsung destinations in the nation’s crown. Perhaps a result of artistic, creative and historic powerhouses like Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne, which dominate the international tourist scene, either way it’s a crying shame more people don’t visit, not least with the prevalence of flights from Britain, and the beauty of the surrounding Rheingau region. We’re keeping things urban, mind, and begin our all-too-brief jaunt in the museum area. Over August Bank Holiday weekend this district (a loose definition if ever there was one) is home to the Museum Embankment Festival, or Museumsuferfest, which is definitely one for the diary. Put simply, a host of organisations based on the banks of the River Main – such as the Stadelsches Kunstinstitut (modern art), Deutsches Architektur Museum (architecture), Deutsches Filmmuseum (film), and Museum für Angewandte Kunst (applied arts) – open their doors late into the night, with a host of special events taking place, outdoor stages featuring musicians and DJs, and countless food stalls adding yet more reasons to attend. Away from the end of summer and there’s still plenty of appeal. Opting for the Museum fur Post und Kommunikation, which looks at the history of communication, inside we found a fascinating selection of artifacts and displays documenting how the way in which we spread messages has altered, accelerated, and, at times, regressed, both during and prior to the current information age. Perhaps not for everybody, another 19 museums make up the Museumsufer (Museums Riverbank), with a further ten located in other parts of the city, meaning you’re spoilt for choice. Amongst the most interesting found elsewhere, and certainly the most immersive, is the Dialogue Museum. Like the other branches based in global cities from Milan to Monterrey, Mexico, the idea is straight forward, albeit taxing and slightly disconcerting. Handed a stick upon entry, visitors find themselves plunged into complete darkness, and must navigate the interior without the power of sight, guided by staff who are all either blind, or visually impaired. The kind of experience that defies description, from beginning to end you will need around one hour, expect to feel truly out of sorts for at least the first 30-minutes, and look forward to the grand finale; eating treats and drinking tea in the pitch black, whilst discussing the difficulties those who really suffer from such disabilities encounter on an everyday basis. ¦

Previous spread: Floor to ceiling mural in one of Frankfurt’s towering skyscrapers, depicting famous city residents from the 20th Century. This spread: Downtown Frankfurt’s iconic skyline; a city constantly undergoing evolution and upwards development.


Design Exchange



Needless to say, there’s far more to Frankfurt than museums, although thanks to almostcomplete destruction during World War II those looking for abundant heritage architecture may come up short. That said, St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral, although damaged, managed to survive relatively intact, and represents a true local landmark that’s well worth paying some respects to. And the square around Romer – nine historic buildings that form City Hall – is truly pleasant, and an ideal place to sit, drink and people watch, giving the feeling of being in a European old town (in this instance reconstructed to match the original designs that date back half a millennium or so). The Alte Opera is another must-see. Once abandoned and left in ruins, public pressure led to a full reconstruction process, with performances recommencing from 1981, although to see an actual opera you’ll need to head for the New Opera. Outside, a prestige fountain acts as meeting point, and completes a picture postcard image of what these streets used to look like. Not necessarily the kind of city that fits in with the cliched ‘town of contrasts’ label, then, with modernity, glass and steel dominating the view in every direction, nevertheless, Frankfurt is a place that has a unique personality only really visible if you begin to look beneath the banks themselves, and into its beating heart. A fitting attitude for a settlement with a long history of individuality and resistance, which even went so far as to unplug Hitler’s microphone midspeech, before daubing anti-fascist slogans on one of the most prominent bridges crossing the mighty Main. de 152

Design Exchange

This page: The New Opera, one of the few buildings that could be saved following the city’s devastation during World War Two

Mollie Please contact us on +44 (0)1254 682421 /


A luxurious and satisfying design, displaying both classic and contemporary elements, Mollie is a versatile design that can enhance a vast array of interior style.

Design - John Coleman

Part of The Senator Group

Design Exchange 2015 #CreativeCrossPollination  

A Magazine about cross-disciplinary projects, and the exchanging of ideas in architecture, art, design, technology, sound, travel and the Fu...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you