Page 1

interiors Architecture design

Microsoft Singapore Office by HBO+EMTB Zarch Collaboratives considers the Singapore identity villa s by linghao architects Herman Miller shopin-shop By P.A.C.

The Galen retrofit

Formwerkz Architects challenges the archetypal office lobby in a pilot project by Ascendas Aug/sep 2012


Design Picks

Natural Ventilation

Summer Classic

With Haiku fans, the ubiquitous cooling mechanism is given a sensual touch. The motor and fan coils seamlessly merge into a sleek form while delivering silent operation, the latter of which provides a 90 per cent improvement in energy efficiency over other small ceiling fans. One can opt for a black and white version in Matrix composite or a more rustic, hand-finished, environmentally sustainable Mosa bamboo option. Available at Spectra Instruments.

There’s a reason why the Acapulco chair (named after the Mexican town of the same name) has come to be recognised as a beachfront staple: its rotund form comfortably cradles the user’s body while its open weaving of durable vinyl cords allows cool breezes through. Designed by an anonymous designer in the 1950s, the chair is available from Grafunkt in myriad sprightly, summery colours.

Chic Suspension Sceptics of fashion houses that foray into the interior design scene need doubt no more. Bottega Veneta’s new designs successfully transpose the brand’s intricate craftsmanship and elegance for the body into the living space. Of the new pieces unveiled this year is a sophisticated collection comprising desks, a dresser and a coffee table that seamlessly marries glass, thin bronze bands and “floating” lacquered intrecciato parchment leather storage units.

Soft Spa Wood Notes Mater (‘mother’ in Latin) was founded in 2006 with the intention of marrying timeless design with ethical manufacturing. The curious-looking Trumpet coat stand, for example, has nine discs for hooks made with woodturned dowels. These showcase the skill of the ‘kharaadi’ or woodturning community of Jaipur where it is made. Available at P5.

Stacking Order Minimalism takes on a new form with Keiji Ashizawa’s Sutoa (‘to store’ in Japanese). Abandoning all trances of the usual cabinetry shell, the discreet graphical steel frame holding wooden drawers doubles as the drawers’ slides while a slight gap between each drawer functions as a drawer-pull. Furthermore, the waterproofed interiors also make the Sutoa durable for the storage for everyday products. Available at Xtra.

Gessi’s iSpa collection aims for a more human-centric approach with morphologically simple and organic nuances in the design of its products: rectangular shapes are smoothened with round corners and Cristalplant® used for the sanitary ware is pleasing to both the eye and touch. The range comprises faucets, accessories, wellness systems, ceramic wares and a freestanding bathtub that comes with a multi-functional backrest. Available at Volume Five Home.

Floor Art

Frozen Motion Shell-Thin

Uniform Cooking

Some lights are designed to be purely functional. Others, like the Flos’ Biagio lamp, are works of art. Designed in 1968 by Tobia Scarpa (son of the renowned architect Carlo Scarpa), the lamp is carved from a block of Botticino marble. It makes for an enigmatic sculptural element with a delicate body reminiscent of an elegiac broken shell. Flos is available at Space Furniture.

Conceived 40 years ago, Gaggenau’s Vario series has been continually expanded and updated to meet changing kitchen needs. Now, for the first time, cooktops from the Vario 400 series with widths of 38cm to 90cm can be freely combined, together with specialised appliances like the grill, Teppanyaki, steamer and deep fryer. Thanks to the precision crafting of the 3mm stainless steel, the modules fit snugly side-by-side in an elegant composition.

0 2 0

August September 2012

The whimsical form of Menu’s Dropp! bowl captures our imagines with a form that mimics a “splash of paint frozen in time”. Used either to hold fruits or serve bread, the silicon bowl is a sure conversation starter during meal times. Available online at Scandinavian Design Center in six colours.

The new Chillida collection from Nanimarquina is the brand’s homage to the late Spanish sculptor Eduardo Chillida, notable for his monumental, abstract works. Translating a faithful retrospective of his work, drawings, engravings and collages onto plush, contemplative palettes of nudes and monochromes introduces art into the living room in an alternative way. Available at Bene.

August September 2012

0 2 1



Alfredo Häberli on the Moroso’s Take a Soft Line for a Walk swivel chair



The youthful Pampa kitchen is monolithic and streamlined, with subtle smiling handles

geometric patterns and sculptural forms. This year, aside from its fresh colour palette, the new Pampa kitchen system is defined by its wooden materiality and the sensual lines of its cabinet door handles – an elegant slit in the veneer that only barely suggests a grip for opening, an articulation he describes as “the smile of the handle”. “Pampa is a very big, flat piece of land in Argentina,” explains the Swiss-Argentinean designer.

Alfredo Häberli’s personality, one only has to look at his

little bit of movement.” Häberli shares that the entire design of Pampa

But that’s not the only pink item around. A sweet

started with the handle. “Women really love not to

Barbie shade has been applied to the shelves of his new

have handles in the kitchen because of cleaning. It’s

Pampa kitchen system for Schiffini, displayed in the

complicated to have handles! This is a handle that tries

brand's Milan showroom where we meet.

not to be a handle – as less as possible! Then, I thought

Why pink? “I like it!” Häberli chuckles in amusement,

it’s time to do something in wood. That’s why I also

“It’s a little too pink, but that’s alright. [Anyway] this

showed a lot of wooden pieces in wooden houses. It’s

kitchen is more for young people, so I thought, ‘Yeah,

warm, cosy and homely.” He is referring to the set up he has done for the

At 48 years old, tall, slender, dapper and with a ready

showroom where two Pampa kitchens are each encased

grin, the man is quite the charmer. But more that that,

in a timber, pitched-roof frame. Surrounding the units are

there’s a playful air about him that translates quite directly

furniture, lighting and accessories, mostly designed by him,

into his designs. Of course, not everything is pink. It is only

and on the wall, there is a panel of random, wooden

an example that demonstrates that Häberli is not afraid to

pieces – a replica of the Eames’ stretcher,

inject fun – both in colour and form – into his pieces.

tools and furniture parts,

For instance, his Animals print for Kvadrat has

A sketch of the Pampa kitchen in the brochure

Schiffini in 2008 – a bold kit of parts combined with

“[Likewise], the idea of the handle is just to suggest a

why not?’”


Häberli first designed the Mesa kitchen system for

To get a clue of industrial designer bright, fuchsia name card.

Child’s Play

“This is a handle that tries not to be a handle – as less as possible!”

amongst others.

different creatures appearing during the night and day, while his tableware for Georg Jensen includes a peacockshaped pitcher and a carafe with a wooden spinning top for a cover. Meanwhile, the whimsical, big-eared shape of

Interview by Luo Jingmei Images courtesy of Alfredo Häberli Design Development Atelier

Alfredo Häberli’s lighthearted and whimsical creations are a burst of joy in the oft-too-serious world of design 0 5 2

August September 2012

one of his loungers for Moroso has been recently updated with fluorescent colours (Take a Soft Line for a Walk). But do not mistake Häberli’s work for childishness. More aptly, there is a child-like enthusiasm with which he approaches his projects that are all unpretentious in character and simple in expression. These, he brings to


Häberli designed the Pick Up trolley for Offecct for his then-young son to practise taking his first steps

even something as utilitarian as a kitchen. August September 2012

0 5 3

Space Office



Text by Narelle Yabuka Photography by Wison Tungthunya

Boon Design chooses architectural efficiency and novelty over ideas of permanence for its own office



A gallery and event space stretches out beside a meeting area near the entrance

20- and 40-foot sea containers form the basis of the building


t’s no longer unusual to see shipping containers far from ports and warehouses. Indeed, it’s becoming common to see these ubiquitous boxes used in ways that are far more sophisticated than the typical makeshift

or temporary shelter adaptations. Many highly considered designs for permanent sea-container structures have been emerging in recent years, spawning numerous web pages and even books. A good number of architects have been inspired by a deepening dedication to reduced consumption of building resources and energy. But of course, cleverly reinventing the sea container has the added benefit of attracting interest and building one’s profile. Adopting a “Lego block” method of building, Thai architectural practice Boon Design incorporated eight sea containers into its own office building in Bangkok. In fact, supplemented by steel framework, the containers form the basis of the building. Boonlert Hemvijitraphan, director of Boon Design, wanted to show his clients that anything is possible. But there was another reason why he took this direction: the rental status of the land his office occupies. His chief aim was the creation of a building that could be readily removed in the future.

0 8 4

August September 2012

August September 2012

0 8 5

Space Home


The house’s primordial form evokes a safe haven and cabin retreat


A vista of a tree backed by the waterway greets homeowners as they enter the house

There is something about building on Sentosa Cove that triggers tendencies towards the extravagant, the indulgent and sometimes, the downright odd. Owners and architects alike take architectural liberties that sometimes pay off, and sometimes don’t. MKPL Architects’ design of 28 Cove Way certainly belongs to the former. For sure, the firm took some architectural excursions beyond the norm. However, the design called for a going back to basics of sorts.

Touching Base Text and photography by Robert Such

This house in Sentosa Cove by MKPL Architects provides a tactile, contemporary twist on the archetypal housing form 1 0 4

August September 2012

Designed as a gathering place for a family of five, the house

of the political situation back home,” says MKPL Architects’ co-

stands sandwiched between a road and a waterway that hugs the

founder and director Siew Man Kok, referring to the client’s home

coastline. Comprising a living room, dining room, four bedrooms

country, Indonesia.

with en-suite bathrooms and a family room, the house overlooks

As the different family members each live and work

the waterway at the back of the property. On the first floor are the

independently abroad, the house serves as a place for the family

children’s bedrooms, two of which overlook the water. Kitchen,

to come together. In the brief, the client “asked for a simple

living room and the master bedroom are on the ground floor.

house where they can gather whenever they meet in Singapore,”

Intended as a retreat for the family – a couple and their three

he shares. As such, the pitched and slatted tropical hardwood

well-travelled children – the design of the two-storey bungalow

roof was designed to have a cabin-like appearance, suggesting a

mimics the archetypal form of a house with its gabled profile. An

temporary retreat.

off-form concrete shell imparts a sense of stability and security

“When the idea of the house as a safe haven and a cosy

– indeed, a “deliberate attempt to counterpoint the uncertainty

waterside cabin surfaced, the question of the [architectural] August September 2012

1 0 5

Cubes 57 preview  

architecture, cubes, cubes issue57, design, indesign, interiors, issue 57

Cubes 57 preview  

architecture, cubes, cubes issue57, design, indesign, interiors, issue 57