Design Picks Light as a Feather “I was inspired by an image of drifting leaves in the gentle breeze and a silhouette of a curved stem of a calla lily,” says Kiyomi Suzuki, designer of the lithe Cherche Midi chair. It is created from a piece of woven carbon fibre that it is ten times stronger than steel but weighs only a sixth of aluminium at 960g. Available at Kokuyo. cherchemidi.info kokuyo.com.my
Electric Glow Niche Modern was born when Jeremy Pyles and Mary Welch couldn’t find the ideal lighting fixtures for their accessory store and made their own. The hand-blown glass lamps are identified by their mesmerising hues and visible bulbs and filaments – the latter a romantic throwback to Thomas Edison’s era. Featured here is the Pharos, inspired by the Alexandrian lighthouse of ancient Greece. Available at Grafunkt. nichemodern.com grafunkt.com
Neat Curves Sonia’s Songe vanity units provide a sleek and flexible solution for hiding bathroom clutter. With their generous proportions, rounded corners, nondescript handles and seamlessly integrated sink and countertops, they appear more like furniture pieces than utilitarian products. One can choose to have the countertop and vanity body in either similar or contrasting colours. Available at Interior Affairs. sonia-sa.com interior-affairs.com.sg
The Perfect Host Guilio Lucchetti’s Ape aperitif set has everything thought out for a fuss-free tête-à-tête: the bowls and wooden canapé board have steel stands for easy serving, the freestanding toothpick-holder fits well into the petite olive bowl, the spoon has a special hollow ideal for picking up peanuts and a steel container hides bits of waste out of sight. Available at the Alessi store at ION Orchard. alessi.com
Sophisticated Serving With its skin of weathered walnut and smoked glass, the Mist minibar presents a mysterious and sophisticated allure. Designed by multidisciplinary design studio CuldeSac for Puntmobles, it is accessed by sliding open the top like one does a jewellery box. The minibar also comes with a small wooden serving tray and storage space beneath for glasses. Available online at Living Space. livingspace.com puntmobles.es
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Light Mechanics Screens for Sleeping Vico Magistretti’s inspiration of the Tadao bed for Flou is “a wooden window blind that rolls up”. This imagery translates into a slatted wooden base that continues up to form the headboard. Previously only available in natural cherry or beech wood, one can now choose from sand, dark grey or blue shades. Available at Xtra. flou.it xtra.com.sg
Ruben Lighting’s Hunter table lamp is a clear expression of function and tactility. A flat steel base holds up the minimal arms and lampshade, their adjustable properties expressed by joint details in brass. It was created by Niclas Hoflin who designs all the lighting fixtures for the small Swedish company that was set up in 1951. Available at Danish Design Co. rubenlighting.com danishdesignco.com
Creamy Contours Moroso’s Panna (‘cream’ in Italian) armchair looks like a cross between a delectable dumpling and a cream puff. Designed by Tokujin Yoshioka for Moroso, it feels just as comforting, with enveloping armrests and a skin of springy quilted fabric. Contrasting coloured piping further emphasises its plush form. Available at Moroso.
Pop Wood The influences of Andy Warhol’s pop art have reached far and wide – this time into the realm of finishes. 14 Ora Italiana’s Uonoun® range infuses technicolour into what appears like timber boards but are actually grès porcelain stoneware tiles with wood grain patterns. The resulting cartoon effect injects humour and fun into space. Available at GF+A. 14oraitaliana.com gfaglobal.com
Bang & Olufsen’s new B&O Play brand caters to the digital generation. Its first product is the Beolit 12 portable music system, which provides quality sound on the go by streaming music wirelessly from your Apple device. Sleek and robust, the aluminum cube is a tribute to the brand’s popular Beolit transistor radios from the 1960s. It is available in dark and light grey, blue and yellow. bang-olufsen.com
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PEOPLE In Conversation
Knud Erik Hansen
A Family Tale Interview by Luo Jingmei Images courtesy of Space Furniture unless otherwise stated
A conversation with Carl Hansen & Søn’s owner and managing director Knud Erik Hansen is just like the iconic Wishbone chair – comfortable, honest and inspiring. Knud Erik Hansen is a born storyteller. Barely past introduction, I’m already told the tale of how English Admiral Lord Nelson’s bombardment of Copenhagen led to the planting of oak trees to build up the navy. Some of these trees now go into making the classic furniture Carl Hansen & Søn is known for, the most famous of which is the sculptural Wishbone chair designed by Danish architect Hans J. Wegner in 1949. >Did you know Hans Wegner personally? Knud Erik Hansen (KEH): Yes, I knew him. He was a first-class craftsman, a fantastic carpenter. He was also an introvert, a typical artist – not one to give interviews or brag about the things he had done. But when he was together with the craftsmen and carpenters, he would really [talk]! >What was Danish design before Wegner? KEH: Very heavy, [using mainly] mahogany wood. Kaare Klint and Finn Juhl – the first of the modern designers – started simplifying this old, traditional furniture, stripping them of all complications of carvings. Then came Wegner, Børge Mogensen, Arne Jacobsen, who reduced them to the simplest forms. Today, they’re classics. You can buy a Wishbone chair from Sotheby’s in London for more than what you paid for. This is good, in one way or another, because [the chair’s] a good investment. For the Chinese community, it’s excellent – you can enjoy the chair for 50 years, then go to an auction and get more money! (Chuckles) 0 4 8
April May 2012
Designed in 1960 by Wegner, the rotund yet sleek Oculus chair was put into production in 2010
The Shell chair, designed by Wegner in 1963, makes a sculptural centrepiece
>Do you think you’re going down the
Hans J. Wegner was inspired by portraits of Danish merchants sitting on Ming dynasty chairs in the design of the Wishbone chair
fashionable route when you put colours onto the classic Wishbone chair? KEH: (Laughs) We did this because it turned 60 years
>Is this the case for many of
old. We wanted to show the Wishbone chair is still
Carl Hansen & Søn's furniture?
the most elegant and suitable dining room chair you
KEH: You can only do that with very few pieces.
can get. We wanted the young people to buy it, so we
The Shell chair was impossible to sell [when first
decided to introduce 12 new colours. You have people
released] – they were far too avant-garde. In 1997,
in Denmark saying to the shop assistants, ‘We want
they sold at Sotheby’s for about SGD$25,000.
to look at the dining chairs but not the Wishbone chair
I told my brother who was running the
because our grandfather, our father had it.’ Then they
business at that time that he should start
see a [coloured] Wishbone chair and they buy it.
producing it again. He did, but it was only
>And after they sit on it, they realise how
in the last seven years that people have
comfortable it is…
started buying it. Now it’s moving very
KEH: Yes, yes. Your guests fall into it like this
fast, especially in the United States,
(Hansen lounges languidly into the chair), and then
because they call it ‘Smiley’. (Laughs)
they never move. They don’t go to the sofa. You can
It’s an optimistic chair!
sit in this, turn around, talk to the person next to
>Why didn’t you go straight into
you and still have a backrest. It’s a very comfortable
your father’s business when you
chair. Very seldom you can sit in a chair for dining
first started working?
and also as an easy chair.
KEH: My father died when I was ten years old, so I
>The chairs are not exorbitant, but they are
couldn’t do that. My mother continued the business
still relatively costly.
although she had no formal education. A few years
KEH: If you look at what you get for your money,
before my brother took over in 1988, we bought a
what kind of craftsmanship [goes into it], you get
sailing boat, but we couldn’t sail together – when he
a very affordable chair. And it’s because we make
wanted to go starboard, I wanted to go the other way. I thought if we couldn’t sail together, we probably couldn’t run a business together. So I went into the East Asiatic Company, a trading and shipping company – I’m shipping-
a fair amount of these chairs – if not, you’d have GRAPHIC ICON:
Erik Knud Hansen at Space Asia Hub against a painting by artist Jarl Witzke featuring the Wishbone chair
The Wishbone chair’s seat is hand-woven with 120 metres of strong and durable paper cord
to pay double. There are some other Wegner chairs produced by other Danish companies that don’t have an export market. They make only 200 chairs
educated. That was 15 years ago. I’ve lived in Singapore, Hong Kong and China. In 2002, I told my brother I wanted to sell my shares in Carl Hansen and start my own business. He said, ‘Why do that? I want to retire. You can take over if you like.’ So I agreed to try. >Compared to other brands, Carl Hansen & Søn releases only a few new designs every year… KEH: It’s not a lot [compared to] the Italians, but what we bring out are icons. The Italians are good at meeting the demand – that’s correct – whereas we have an educational role. We say our designs can’t change so you have to love it, and this takes time. [But] this is something Singapore is ready for now. You’re thinking about design, about architecture. And because you have so much glass, steel and concrete around you, you need some tranquillity. You come home from work to relax, and you need to do that with natural materials, not cold glass and plastic. photo Credit: Luo Jingmei
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attraction Text by Rachel Lee-Leong Images courtesy of Space Edge
Space Edge solves a coupleâ€™s apartment woes with a strikingly bold storage concept.
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DINNER ON DEMAND:
The dining table swings out from the Centrepiece when needed
The Centrepiece serves as the service core of the apartment
For the most part, storage solutions
Starting where the dry kitchen previously was, the Centrepiece
in homes tend to suffer the fate of bashful concealment; it is to be
stands in the middle of the room as a robust wooden sculpture.
the unseen servant to one’s living habits. And when it comes to
To say that it is a little unexpected of an apartment of this size
pint-sized apartments, the need for the least obtrusive of storage
is an understatement, but the Centrepiece justifies its presence by
solutions is multiplied exponentially. So it is a bit of an oddity
not only offering ample storage space, but also accommodating
that Space Edge’s solution to a couple’s need for clean, clever
a dining table that can be pivoted out as and when required.
storage involved creating a storage unit called the Centrepiece.
Extending to the back of the apartment, the Centrepiece
On all counts, the 1,152-sq-ft apartment at The Centris is typical of most new condominium apartments in Singapore –
simultaneously defines two corridors – one to the kitchen and another to the bedroom – and contains a host of other services.
replete with a full spectrum of programmes (living and dining
The rest of the apartment has been clearly delineated into
areas, wet and dry kitchens, bedrooms, a maid’s room, two
four areas: a TV area, a yoga room, a walk-in-closet-cum-study
bathrooms and a balcony) that its floor area could not afford. “You
and the master bedroom. “We would have preferred if we could
would walk directly into the dry kitchen counter when you enter
create a larger, more flexible plan, but the structural walls that
the apartment,” says designer William Chan of the original layout.
rise from the bus interchange below cannot be hacked away, so
The home owners Nelson and Ferlyn Chia had three main
we didn’t really have much of a choice,” Chan explains.
requirements listed down in their brief to Chan, the first two
Chan’s next best bet was to continue the idea of containment
being abundant storage and an easy-to-maintain apartment.
and concealment to maintain a neat and uncluttered appearance
In one fell swoop, Chan addressed these by reconfiguring the
in the apartment. This is seen in the TV wall that has been
apartment and incorporating an all-in-one core in its centre.
designed for maximum storage. Panels have been wrapped April May 2012
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April May 2012
Concrete, in the context of the city, has often been described as cold. This reconstruction by ip:li Architects demonstrates otherwise. Text by Luo Jingmei Photography by Jeremy San
A side entrance leads from the garden to the study and children’s bedrooms
Concrete pavers connect the lower and higher levels of the land
A rustic brick fence heralds the prevailing mood
How many ways can you add more space to an existing house? In Singapore, there appears to be only two – awkwardly attach rooms in myriad styles, or gingerly stick on a glass box should the house come with some history. But architect Yip Yuen Hong of ip:li Architects has gone and done things quite differently – by boldly and almost insouciantly encasing the existing house with a concrete shell. One of Yip’s recently completed projects, the bungalow at 19 Sunset Place is as familiar as it is arresting. Indeed, alongside neighbours comprising immaculate white cubes and decorative juxtapositions of French windows and tiled roofs, it is stark in form and raw in materiality, as if pulled from a sketch and grown from the ground. “The existing house didn’t have enough space to cater to the needs of the clients – a couple with two teenage sons, two maids and two dogs,” explains Yip. “But they thought the original house was quite charming and wanted to either keep it or [replicate] a new one.” The house, like some others lining the same street, was a 70s-type construction of old-school russet bricks and dark-stained timber strip wall panelling. A visit to the site left Yip enamoured and he decided to retain as much of it as possible. “Such materials are very hard to find nowadays,” he says. “I feel a great affinity for this sort of basic, raw materials like brick, plaster, concrete – simple things.” No surprise then that he has decided to leave the concrete shell unfinished, albeit textured with timber formwork patterns. “For me, concrete is very soulful and very malleable. You can do quite a lot of things with it.” April May 2012
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HEIGHTS OF STYLE:
Backlit patterned screens and mirrors bring a wow factor to the Loft Kitchen
Text by Narelle Yabuka Photography by Xin, Calibre Pictures and Ideas
The Grand Hyatt offers an alternative events venue by Super Potato thatâ€™s yet to be seen in the local hospitality scene.
The promise of a journey and a new experience is implicit in the interior design of any hotel. Often, the new and exotic are finely balanced with comforting hints of the familiar. For a hotel such as Singaporeâ€™s five-star Grand Hyatt, which caters to business and leisure travellers as well as those hosting events, a balance between the new, familiar, and luxurious is crucially important. Equally imperative for a hotel of this level of service is the need to meet a gamut of requirements and changing guest expectations through interior design. Certainly, during the Grand Hyattâ€™s four decades of operation on Scotts Road, those expectations have shifted dramatically along with wider social and business practices and lifestyle trends. Smartly recognising the changing needs of its guests, the hotel has opened an entirely new function venue. COMFORT LEVELS:
The Atelier spaces flank the lounge area on two sides. Wall-hung artwork features prominently
Full-height entrance doors heighten the drama of experiencing The Gallery and its mesmerising light and patterns
April May 2012
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