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interiors Architecture design

W ArchitectS’ deSign jOurney SimpLe FActOry by penciL OFFice ArmAdiLLO hOuSe by FOrmWerkz ArchitectS StudiO jOb’S pecuLiAr deSign LAnguAge


living redux neri&hu reinterpretS SpAtiAL reLAtiOnShipS Jun/Jul 2012


Design Picks

Office Comfort There’s a reason why Josep mora’s egoa chair for stua has been around for more than two decades: its ergonomic and fuss-free design has the seat and backrest ingeniously hinged to adapt to different users’ weight and positions. Available at stylecraft.

A Bucket of Light

Waves in the Wall Wallpaper isn’t the only way to adorn the wall of a commercial space. Wovin Wall® is a collection of lightweight wall and ceiling tile systems that provide alternative decorative and acoustical solutions. The Ripple, for one, is a smaller-scale range with a dual-curved tile system that creates a sense of depth. The play of colour and layers can also be accentuated with backlighting. Available at Infinity.

A graduate of central st. martins and the Royal college of Art, London, sébastian bergne has applied his clean and tactile style to products for brands like Authentics, muji, Lexon and Vitra. For French lighting brand Forestier, this design language translates into the Array bucket, a table lamp with a form as familiar as it is whimsical. email Forestier for orders.

New Traditions gifu-based furniture company Nissin started out in 1946 producing the wooden handles for shovels and sickles. While its catalogue has changed, its practice of skilled craftsmanship has not. What has resulted are beautiful pieces like the Aurora – a graceful sofa with matching low tables. Available at Atomi.

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Fold and Go objets Nomades is a range of foldable furniture referencing Louis Vuitton’s original bespoke commissions for 19th century jet-setting aristocrats. Included in the range are a christian Liaigredesigned travelling desk, a salt- and chlorinated-water-resistant leather hammock reinforced with gilded rivets and an origami-inspired leather stool by atelier oï, all of which can be folded into elegant, compact packages when wanderlust strikes.

Fine Metals The new collaboration between Ilse crawford and georg Jensen is a match made in heaven, with the former adding her sensual touch to the latter’s tradition of fine craftsmanship. Aside from stainless steel, copper, brass and black glass have been applied to the range of vases, bowls, boxes and a unique candleholder with a base that spreads out into a languid golden pool.

Tranquillity in Nature

Personal Work create your own private environment with modules from bene’s Parc range comprising flexible club chairs, causeway (benches, fences, walls and cupboards of various heights), Toguna (a circular, acoustically screened, semi-open compartment to facilitate intimate meetings), Wing seats with lateral headrests for visual and acoustical privacy, and the technology integrating Idea Wall.

The New Black Wolf adds to its range of reputable kitchen appliances the option of a new black glass finish for its e-series built-in ovens. The sleek, handsome exterior perfectly matches the aesthetics of a modern kitchen while functions like dual convection fans and ten cooking modes ensure the perfect home-cooked meal. Available at Kitchen culture.

A lack of green thumbs shouldn’t stop one from incorporating some botany in the home. Aside from insects, birds, animals and toile de jouy imagery of the Napoleonic France adorning their textiles, Timorous beasties also has a series of beautiful linen plant prints like bamboo, bonsai and Japanese Tree (pictured here). Available at bode. June July 2012

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GreenTeam Interviews by Rachel Lee-Leong and Luo Jingmei Images courtesy of Luo Jingmei unless otherwise stated

Five design practices celebrate green product ‘heroes’ with installations at Space Furniture.

In partnership with Cubes magazine,

Space Furniture invited five local designers in April to each create an installation around a ‘green hero’ – a high-quality, sustainably manufactured classic. Part of their ‘Green Space’ initiative to highlight sustainable issues in the industry, the diverse results were unveiled at the Space Asia Hub on 12 April, kicking off a month-long celebration of Earth Day (on 22 April). Here, we speak to the designers.

sTuDIo TeRRe Designed in 1950, Hans J. Wegner’s iconic Wishbone chair is fully biodegradable – from the sustainable Danish hardwoods to the paper cord seats. Studio Terre’s simple-looking plywood cube played with notions of “reflection, refraction and illusion” with mirrored surfaces, video recording and miniature models. >What were some of the ideas behind your installation? Terence Chan (TC): We highlighted certain portions of the chair so certain characteristics are enhanced. We were very conscious about creating an [installation] where you needed to explore. On the next level, we wanted to record it so you could actually see somebody [else] exploring. It’s almost like a puzzle, which is a fun thing. >The box can be pulled open. How does this relate to sustainability? TC: We didn’t want [this installation] to go to waste. [Space Furniture] can pull it apart into different portions for different environments – a lighting installation, a kitchen counter or a display area.

HJGHeR Flos’ Kelvin LED lamp is made from recyclable materials, non-toxic paint and consumes only 8 watts. Inspired by Paul Scheebart’s Glasarchitektur, HJGHER’s ‘Glass City’ has two of the lamps poised within an abstract cityscape of mirror prisms representing street lamps, headlights or signboards. >What does your installation say about light and the city? Jerry Goh (JG): It’s a bit of a utopian idea where you just need one light source and you can light up the whole city. >Is it difficult for you to implement sustainable practices into your work? Justin Long (JL): We always begin with a sustainable consciousness. Unfortunately, how it develops or erodes often depend on budgets. The sad truth is that the worth of a project is not often valued by its considered use of the world around it. >What do you think is the biggest misconception about sustainability? JL: Sustainability is a result, not a value. It stems from respect for people, for materials, for all things.

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MiNiSTry of deSigN (Mod) Arne Jacobsen’s 1955-designed, stackable Series 7 chair for Fritz Hansen is an embodiment of good and lasting design. This year, the company implemented PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification)-standard regulations. Inspired by the chair’s economy of material usage, MOD juxtaposed it with 14cm3 wooden box – the amount of wood veneer used in each chair. >How did you end up with this design? Colin Seah (CS): We thought the visual contrast would be quite powerful. The other thing was that we didn’t want anything too serious and I’ve always been fascinated by words, so this is like a little haiku. >How did, if at all, this project cause you to think about sustainability differently? Photo Credit: sPaCe furniture singaPore

PeTer Tay STudio Patricia Urquiola’s Husk chair for B&B Italia uses both recycled and recyclable materials. Its components can also be fully disassembled in the future, simplifying the recycling process and minimising environmental impact. In a white cube, Peter Tay Studio juxtaposed surfaces.

CS: We were struck by how, since this chair was created, there have been eight million sold. The [design] is relevant still. For us, this is design sustainability on a much more interesting level than just using sustainable materials or manufacturing processes. [It is also] about ideas, not necessarily needing to have novelty each time.

>What were some of the ideas behind your installation? Peter Tay (PT): Similar to the Husk chair that comprises a moulded plastic shell and soft cushions, the space comprises two contrasting surfaces – the sophistication of the highly reflective mirrored container and a softer, more ‘earthy’ patchwork of recycled fabrics on one wall. >How does it relate to sustainability? PT: The patchwork feature wall is made of recycled, good quality fabrics that were about to be thrown away. This installation is a perfect way to give them a second life. The gunnysack bags were excesses collected from a local rice supplier. The timber strips used for the base and some of the mirrors are [leftover] materials from [current] projects.

TakeNouCHi Webb The 72-year old Emeco Navy chair is made from 80 per cent recycled aluminium. In 2010, a collaboration with the Coca Cola Company resulted in the 111 Navy chair, made from the same number of recycled PET coke bottles. Takenouchi Webb highlighted this fact on a simple stage of recycled materials and 111 bottles of coke. >How does your installation relate to sustainability? Naoko Takenouchi (NT): OSB (Oriented Strand Board) and MDF (medium-density fibreboard) are recycled materials. Also, the exhibition is only two weeks-long. We were aware of the short life span so we wanted to minimise material [usage]… Marc Webb (MW): …and make [the staff] drink the Coca Cola afterwards! >What is your personal take on sustainability in the design industry? NT: One aspect of [sustainability] is often people just try to meet a standard, so sometimes it is just on paper. And also, projects have a budget, constraints, etc. Sometimes it’s difficult – from your heart – to choose everything recycled or green. But for us, we create something nice that we hope is loved by people and stays [around] for longer.

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Tailor Made Text by Luo Jingmei Images courtesy of Antonio eraso co.

Architect Antonio Eraso’s sensitive touch is clearly present in the charming restoration and expansion of this home.

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Space Home

“pRObabLy IN my pRevIOuS LIFe, I waS JapaNeSe,” JeSTS

Antonio Eraso. “I’m really drawn to the aesthetics of the Japanese on all levels – graphics, packaging, sense of place and the craft.” A look through the Singapore-based architect’s portfolio, it’s hard not to disagree. From the immaculate golden metal-perforated ceiling that soars through One Fullerton’s Jing Restaurant (2008) to residential spaces with an almost Zen-like restraint, his spaces not only reflect a Japanese sensitivity, but also a bespoke touch. The Colombian-born architect first came to Singapore as a senior associate of New York’s Tsao & Tsao McKown Architects to oversee the development of Suntec City in 1991. Subsequently, he returned to the Big Apple, but a sabbatical trip around the world drew him back here where in 2002 he established his own firm. To date, much-publicised projects like Esquina Tapas Bar (2012), as well as the upcoming Pollen restaurant in Gardens by the Bay has seen his profile rise. One of his earlier projects is the extensive addition and alteration of a bungalow along Swiss Club Road. As with all his other projects, it bears Eraso’s sensitive and distilled design language. Nestled among lush landscape and set back from the road, the existing house, while charming, was not suited to the needs of its new occupants – a three-generational family with two children. Expansion LIGHT FLOw:

Openings to the living room were enlarged, bringing in more light and views GRaND STaRT:

One arrives via the ceremonial drivway to the original front portico

was necessary but, as Eraso shares, had to be done with restraint as the owners did not want the site to be overwhelmed. Like a skilful tailor, he stitched together old and new so seamlessly that it’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. Firstly, a new bedroom wing was added and the existing interiors re-organised. “The living area was a series of spaces that needed to be interconnected so what we did was open up walls in the existing structure without knocking them down,” Eraso explains. As a result, the spaces

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sPace F&B

Text by Rachel Lee-Leong Photography by Fearghal Hendron


Chow THe FoodgaRden oFFeRs a FoodcouRT expeRience THaT puTs THe pLeasuRe back inTo quick oFFice LuncHes.

The ubiquiTous foodcourT is usually the port of call for office workers in Singapore during lunch hour. Crowded, frenzied and often badly ventilated, it isn’t the most comforting or welcoming of spaces to be in. However, it is convenient and efficient, and for the

LiGhT be: An artificial skylight recreates the sense of eating outdoors

MiX uP: A varied palette of materials creates a richly textured interior

busy office worker who doesn’t have much time, it serves its purpose well enough. But mere convenience and efficiency doesn’t cut it for MGPA Asia Developments, the developer behind Asia Square. MGPA was looking to develop a foodcourt of the highest standards for their gleaming new office tower located in a prime spot within the Central Business District (CBD). “It’s a big part of how you sell your building [to tenants] – the lobby, the F&B. It all adds to the sexiness of the building,” says Joris Angevaare, design director at designphase dba, the firm that designed The FoodGarden at Asia Square. “The tenants in this building are all banks, law firms, and MGPA really understands the audience,” Angevaare adds, underlining the importance of having a foodcourt that matches the calibre of the building’s tenants. The FoodGarden is an anomaly in the world of foodcourts – it is spacious, airy, boasts top quality materials like granite and veneer, and has food offerings that go above and beyond your usual hawker fare. It feels more like a restaurant with multiple food offerings, if anything. But more than this, The FoodGarden is, as its name suggests, a veritable oasis of greenery for office workers. “We really wanted to create a psychological relief from the CBD,” says Angevaare. “It’s a really hard area where everything is concrete, straight lines, buildings. We wanted to create an oasis for people to get away to a much softer space. So we came up with the idea of a garden concept.” Playing on the idea of Singapore being a city in a garden, the design team thought of The FoodGarden as a “garden in the city”. Perched on the second floor of Asia Square, The FoodGarden overlooks the sheltered lobby (The Cube) of the building. “The Cube is a very large outdoor space that looks and feels like an indoor space. So we felt that we should balance that with an indoor space that feels like an outJune July 2012

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Profile for Indesign Media Asia Pacific

Cubes 56 preview  

Interiors, architecture, design, Milan design week 2012

Cubes 56 preview  

Interiors, architecture, design, Milan design week 2012