wanted LIVING BY DESIGN J U LY
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What becomes of deferred renovations?
F O R
For over 60 years, Salone del Mobile (or the Milan Furniture Fair) has shaped the global design conversation and, after a hiatus, it was back last month, reimagined under the stewardship of Maria Porro, the first woman to perform this role. Our décor director Leana Schoeman was there and shares the best of the fair on p. 24. In our previous issue, Justice Malala spoke about the concept of “revenge travel” after being grounded by lockdowns for so long. This issue, I dream of “revenge renovations”, inspired by a love for tinkering and deferred home improvements. IMAGES SUPPLIED
bought my first home just over 15 years ago. This was not only a significant financial commitment but also a personal dive into uncharted waters on the relationship front, as I had signed on the dotted line with my then girlfriend. Thankfully, she was gracious enough to upgrade me to husband a few years later, so the latter risk paid off. The financial gamble was a more complicated matter. We bought in Orange Grove — an old Joburg suburb with a rich history, charming properties on an upward trajectory (if somewhat rough around the edges), and an irresistible proximity to the famed Super Sconto Italian grocer/ deli that satisfied my prosciutto and espresso cravings. The home itself sat on a sub-500m2 plot, and had wooden floors, huge bay windows, a modern bathroom and kitchen, and thick walls that could undoubtedly tell a roaring tale or two about its varied previous inhabitants. The tales it could dish about our time there would certainly warrant a bottle or two of something strong to fuel the dramatic gasps and laughter (the incidents at that one New Year’s Eve party alone would have you on the floor). We loved that house, and had dreams of knocking down walls, extending rooms, landscaping the backyard, and doing all manner of home improvements. Our home’s old charms sat snugly alongside my mid-centurymodern and art-deco obsessions and our furniture reflected this. I fancied myself as quite the decorator, and my tortured wife would often come home to a rearranged chair or two, and yet another “new” old thing taking pride of place. My enthusiasm for furniture and accessories didn’t quite translate into a follow-through on the structure, and years later — after brushes with crime and life changes (two had become four, among other things) — we sold the house sans renovations. I still wonder about what magic we may have created there, working with the right design professional to realise it. Such a person may well have been Alexander Opper,
“My enthusiasm for furniture and accessories didn’t quite translate into a follow-through on the structure, and years later… we sold the house sans renovations”
an architect, artist, design educator, and writer of this month’s The Read (p. 16). Had Opper chosen to take on the project, it would have been as much a business as a personal decision, because he had in fact sold us the house, after doing some work on it himself. I suspect, from the sustainability message in his essay talking up the art of bricolage — very much in line with what we have been banging on about here for a while — he would have encouraged us to look at sustainable methods and materials, reusing and recreating as much as possible. The writer and editor Kojo Baffoe has had to recreate himself a few times in his life. Your design taste, he argues (p. 13) is something you develop over time, shaped by the things that colour your personal biography and fashion your identity.
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Flowerball, a work of bricolage by Heath Nash
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Ti i s e t s o M o t s o e n e n g H E A D : A DV E R T I S I N G S A L E S E b e n G ewe r s GROUP CEO Mzi Malunga G E N E R A L M A N AG E R : L U X U RY Y vo n n e S h a f f 0 8 2 9 0 3 5 6 4 1 ( s h a ff y @ a re n a . a f r i c a ) AC C O U N T M A N AG E R J o h a n n e s b u rg Ta m a r a N i ch o l s o n 0 8 3 6 0 4 0 9 4 9 ( n i c h o l s o n t @ a re n a . a f r i c a ) AC C O U N T M A N AG E R We s te r n C a p e Samantha Pienaar 082 889 0366 ( p i e n a a r s @ a re n a . a f r i c a ) AC C O U N T M A N AG E R D u r b a n Gina van de Wall 083 500 5325 ( v d ewa l l g @ a re n a . a f r i c a )
Wanted is available wit h Business Day nat io nwid e. Subscr ip t io n enquir ies: 086 052 5200 PR INT ED by Paar l Med ia fo r Arena Ho ld ings, H i l l o n E m p i re , 1 6 E m p i re R o ad ( cnr Emp ire and Hillsid e ro ad s) , Par ktown, Jo hannesburg, 2193
16 The argument for un designing our cluttered, throwaway world
18 A holiday home that celebrates sculptural architecture
Milan’s Salone del Mobile does its 60th anniversary in style
Four new car designs that push the envelope
A contemporary take on traditional Greek & Cypriot cuisine
C o v e r : P h o t o g r a p h e r , Va l e n t i n a S o m m a r i v a ; S e n g u t a b l e a n d D u d e t a r m c h a i r b y P a t r i c i a U r q u i o l a f o r C a s s i n a
WAT C H E S
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Gary Cotterell is Wanted’s Watch Editor
rand Seiko was a welcome newcomer at Watches & Wonders (W&W) this year, literally setting the perfect beat with its captivating Kodo Constantforce Tourbillon, the brand’s first mechanical high complication and “a first for horology”. With its quiet confidence and grace, it was as though Grand Seiko had always been part of the fair. Yet, inside its elegantly modern shrine-like booth that reserve was barely able to mask a tangible fervour. And excited they all should be, for the Kodo is remarkable. During W&W, I met Junichi Kamata, Grand Seiko’s senior manager of design for the new Atelier Ginza in Tokyo. We were joined by the delightful Robert Wilson, executive marketing consultant and my go-to living encyclopaedia on all things Seiko and Grand Seiko. It took Kamata’s team of designers, engineers, and craftspeople 10 years to develop the T0 Constant-force Tourbillon, a concept
Shadow play movement revealed in 2020, and then bring this to life in a finished watch this year. Part of this team was movement designer Takuma Kawauchiya, who created the T0, which he and his collaborators evolved into the smaller and even more accurate Caliber 9ST1. A professional musician before joining Grand Seiko, Kawauchiya expresses his passion for music through the unique beat of the Kodo. The name Kodo, meaning “heartbeat” in Japanese, was inspired by the unique sound made by the motion of the coaxial tourbillon and constant-force mechanisms. “The sound of the escapement [vibrating at eight beats per second] and the onceper-second impulse of [the constant-force [mechanism] create a precise rhythm that
in musical terminology resembles a 16thnote feel or semiquaver,” he said during a presentation at W&W. “Do” — from the martial art of judo or the tea ceremony sado — is “the way” and “a fundamental aspect of Japanese culture that... reflects a determination to achieve perfection”, Seiko Watch Corporation president Akio Naito said during his keynote address. Kamata reminds me that Grand Seiko timepieces are exemplary of this philosophy. With its characteristic pared-back “Grand Seiko Style” design codes and focus on quality and precision, this is a brand that resonates with a world seeking to restore balance. Kami (the gods) are truly in every detail. In design, “light and shadow are equally appreciated, as is the harmony between the two”, says Kamata. These values are evident in the way each Grand Seiko watch reflects the delicate balance of light and shadow across all elements of a timepiece, he adds. In the Kodo, this is highlighted in the subtle shade gradations, facets, and textured finishes. The 43.8mm case is 12.9mm thick and constructed from Platinum 950 and Grand Seiko’s Brilliant Hard Titanium elements. The Grand Seiko Kodo Constant-force Tourbillon has an accuracy of +5 to -3 seconds per day (when static for 48 hours). It also has a 70-hour power reserve and is water-resistant to 100m. Limited edition of 20, around R6-million each, grand-seiko.com or Treger Group 011 089 6000
Grand Seiko Kodo Constantforce Tourbillon
Big Bang Tourbillon Samuel Ross captures
his love of bold colour, material innovation, stark geometry, and urban design. Inside is the HUB6035 Manufacture, self-winding micro-rotor, and skeleton tourbillon. POA, hublot.com
BREITLING NAVITIMER COSMONAUTE The Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute was the “first Swiss wristwatch in space” and the first watch designed at the request of, and in collaboration with, an astronaut. Scott Carpenter wore his unique timepiece as he orbited the Earth three times during the Mercury-Atlas 7 mission
in 1962. His watch was a variation of the Navitimer aviator’s watch, featuring a 24-hour dial so that he could tell day from night in space. Breitling has issued this modern tribute Cosmonaute in a limited edition of 362 pieces. POA, breitling.com or Breitling Boutique 011 883 2286
BULGARI OCTO Elegant, wafer-thin, and featherlight on the wrist, the
HUBLOT X SAMUEL ROSS Award-winning, crossdisciplinary British designer and streetwear superstar Samuel Ross brings his unique style to the world of watchmaking. As expressed through his luxury fashion label A-Cold-Wall*, the limited-edition 44mm satin-finished titanium and orange-rubber
Bulgari Octo collection
is an icon of contemporary watchmaking and the holder of eight world records. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the collection and, to celebrate, Bulgari has released two “sketched” dial editions inspired by creative executive director Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani’s first drawings for the architectureinspired timepieces: the 40mm Octo Finissimo Automatic with small seconds and the 42mm Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic 10th Anniversary with sandblasted titanium cases. POA, bulgari.com or Bulgari Boutique 011 883 1325
Kami in every detail
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Fusing art and spirituality, ceramicist Andile Dyalvane’s primordial vessels have garnered him international acclaim, and most recently he has been named as a finalist for the 2022 Loewe Foundation Craft Prize
Back to the source production
PHOTOGRAPHER HAYDEN PHIPPS/SOUTHERN GUILD STOCKIST SOUTHERN GUILD SOUTHERNGUILD.CO.ZA
Andile Dyalvane, Embo (Origin), 2019, POR, Southern Guild
STAY LO NGER
IN R E SID E N CE .VILLA S/ P R OP E RT IE S/ B E YOND
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orm, function, and sustainability come together in Issey Miyake’s latest female fragrance, L’Eau d’Issey Eau & Magnolia. With the delicate magnolia flower as the scent profile hero, it stays true to the brand’s affinity with the element of water to create a velvety soft, luminous fragrance with notes of bergamot, magnolia, and sandalwood. In keeping with Issey Miyake’s minimalist, Japanese-inspired design, the juice is housed in the signature L’Eau d’Issey inverted-flute bottle (made of 20% post-consumer recycled glass) that’s topped with a wooden spherical droplet made of ash. Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey
Eau & Magnolia EDT 100ml, R2 035
EAU & MAGNOLIA
They say “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” — but no one says it can’t be supersized. Chanel’s iconic glow-harnessing makeup collection is about to re-enter your arsenal with a new iteration that’s bigger and better than ever. Whether you’re heading to a European summer or just want to maintain your skin glow through our local winter, the Les Beiges collection has you covered. It now comes with a never-donebefore oversized design for the Healthy Glow Sun-Kissed Powder, an oversized kabuki brush, and an extra-large, multipurpose Illuminating Oil in 250ml. Chanel Les Beiges Oversize Healthy Glow SunKissed Powder in Sunbath, R1 540; Chanel Les Beiges Oversize Kabuki Brush, R1 025; Chanel Les Beiges Huile Illuminatrice, R1 640
DAWN OF RADIANCE
a Prairie does not disappoint when it comes to pairing technologically advanced formulations with impeccable design, and the newly launched Nocturnal Balm is no exception. Forming part of the Pure Gold Radiance ritual, this re-energising balm takes inspiration from the radiance of the setting sun enveloping the Swiss peaks and the waters of Lake Geneva. The balm’s nutrient-rich formula uses La Prairie’s exclusive Pure Gold Diffusion System to help re-energise, strengthen, and restructure devitalised skin during its nightly replenishing process. The product design is built to last and stays true to the brand’s sustainability commitment with replaceable glass vials and a three-layered vessel with sliding covers housing a marble massage stone used in the energising ritual to stimulate microcirculation and lymphatic flow. La Prairie Pure Gold Radiance Nocturnal Balm 60ml, R21 040
IMAGES OSMA HARVILAHTI AND SUPPLIED
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LONG LIVE VIRGIL 03.
MALÌPARMI future is green, X ACBC The so step into a more 05.
sustainably innovative world with the latest sneaker collaboration from Italian fashion brand Malìparmi and Italian B Corp footwear company ACBC (Anything Can Be Changed). B Corp entities voluntarily meet higher standards of transparency and accountability. Merging
Malìparmi’s design aesthetic — which partners nature, culture, and craftsmanship with technical innovation — with ACBC’s sustainable business practices aimed at reversing climate change, the Malìparmi x ACBC SS22 Re-Volution Capsule collection is a game changer. The three sneaker designs — Rebel, Remix 3S, and Rewind — all incorporate Malìparmi’s colour story and compositions that use animal-free materials. Malìparmi X ACBC Re-Volution Capsule sneakers, R8 000, Catherine Gaeyla, cgfashion.co.za 011 447 2550
veryone loves a good coming-of-age story — especially if it comes fashioned in Louis Vuitton. The Louis Vuitton Pre-Spring 2023 Men’s Collection gives us one last vibrant burst of creativity from the late creative director Virgil Abloh, with a collection of menswear pieces that merge his love of music and design. The first chapter of the collection, The Concert Goer, sees boyish, oversized silhouettes, thrift-store-inspired textures, vintage finishes, and shorts-suits. The second, The Music Student, constructs a coming-of-age silhouette with suiting layered with sportswear. louisvuitton.com, available end of October 2022
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1. Pomellato The Iconica necklace, POR, is the epitome of contemporary Milanese chic. The asymmetrical, handmade links paired with the random pattern of the diamonds — formed by a method known as “snow setting” — make for an understated elegance. The collection shows respect for the planet by ensuring that all gold comes from certified sustainable suppliers. BHH Boutique V&A Waterfront and Hyde Park Corner, bhhboutique.co.za
Bold design choices make these pieces both graphic and gorgeous
Shimansky Boutique shimansky.co.za
3. Graff The Graffabulous collection is made up of more than 80 one-of-a-kind pieces — and each one is spectacular. While the collection features an array of white and yellow diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires, it was the radiant-cut Fancy yellow-diamond ring, R6 550 000, and the 14.79ct diamond and white-gold bracelet, R4 250 000, that caught our eye. graff.com
2. Shimansky As a first-time entrant in the Instore Design Awards for diamonds, Shimansky Jewellers achieved top place for its full eternity emeraldcut ring designed by owner and founder Yair Shimansky. The bold and contemporary East-West eternity band, from R78 000, forms part of the Saturn collection and is available to order in 18kt yellow gold or white gold. 4. Louis Vuitton The Idylle Blossom Collection pays tribute to the iconic Monogram Flower, the signature of Maison Louis Vuitton since 1896. The 14-piece collection celebrates its 10th anniversary with new interpretations of the original designs. These playful pendants, rings, earrings, and ear cuffs can be worn alone or stacked and layered. Idylle Blossom reversible stud in yellow and white gold, R35 500, and in pink and yellow gold, R31 500. Louis Vuitton V&A Waterfront and Sandton City, eu.louisvuitton.com
DOWN TO BUSINESS
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Kojo Baffoe is a seasoned writer, author, broadcaster, and former editor of three magazines
wards ensured that there was ample sunlight, which has an impact on the healing experience of patients. In an interview with World Architecture Community, renowned Ghanaian-British architect and designer Sir David Adjaye echoes this thinking: “Our first principle is a desire to locate the project in the context of the place, in terms
Design as the sum of all influences Context broadens when one engages with all the elements that make up a person
any moons ago I had the opportunity, for two years, to be one of the MCs at Design Indaba, which brought to Cape Town designers from an array of disciplines — music, fashion, art, furniture, architecture, and product design. I recall being particularly struck by Rwandese architect Christian Benimana’s work on the Butaro District Hospital in his home country. Benimana spoke of how the design of the maternity and general
of its geography, but also in terms of its story, in terms of the narrative of the place, in terms of a kind of the sense of culture of the place.” I am often told that my interests are haphazard and a little schizophrenic. I always choose to view myself as eccentric, even though it seems one needs to be rich, famous or both to be considered such — I am neither, but there’s still time. I will say I lean towards the “rich” more than the “famous”, simply because, the way I see it, riches would
allow me to truly submerge myself in my eccentricities. Anyway, the other day I shared my Pinterest boards (it isn’t just for wedding inspiration, random hobbies, and recipes) with a friend who epitomises the word “creative”. (Please note that I do not use it as a noun, but rather an adjective.) I have boards on book covers, sneakers, men’s fashion and accessories, art, product design, architecture, interior design, T-shirts, and figurines, and many more. His first comment was that, if one wanted to get a picture of my “design aesthetic” and interests, all one had to do was go through Pinterest. I grew up in the home of a Ghanaian man who had lived extensively in Germany. When we went out, I would be forced to wear proper clogs, corduroy trousers, and a pink, tie-dye Ghanaian shirt with wide sleeves. I hated it. I wanted to wear my North Stars, shorts, and a T-shirt. The décor at home was a mixture of African — masks, a zebraskin-covered drum/coffee table, fertility dolls — and European — I mean, we had a room divider with a full tea
set on display. When I entered the media space as editor at a couple of men’s magazines, I got into the whole suit thing because it was expected, amassing a collection of ties that would put your average “English gentleman” to shame. In time, however, it felt uncomfortable; like a performance that didn’t quite reflect me, the man brought up with pan-African ideals. This coincided with, finally, a shift in African design, across spaces. Design that reflects and draws upon, as Adjaye observes, geography, story, narrative, and culture within a contemporary context. Now, when I look through my wardrobe, or around my house, or at the art I’m drawn to, or at the jewellery that I wear, there is a clear thread: the marriage of all my influences, from the cultures in which I grew up to the creativity that inspires. The skull rings with the Ghanaian beaded bracelet, the suit with a Kenyan kitenge, and Adidas shelltoes. In a way, my father’s forcing me to engage with all the elements of who I am has influenced how I navigate my world — and the world of design.
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TT H H EE RR EE A AD D
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UNDESIGNING THE WORLD text
A case for bricolage as a strategy for global repair
oes the world really need another “designer” chair? I’m easily seduced by beautiful things, such as the designer objects that tempt us all from sleek billboards or the glossy pages of magazines. Yet, looking at all the superfluous stuff that surrounds us and to which we keep adding, it becomes brutally clear that the designed world is saturated. What to do? In Langa, Cape Town, in a studio named Our Workshop, Heath Nash and his team of bricoleurs make wonderful items from unlikely things. They collect what others chuck out. Humble and cheap materials are reimagined and assembled to make new objects of unexpected beauty. At the same time, thousands of kilometres offshore, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) is growing. What connects these two disparate places? The GPGP epitomises how we overload the world with stuff. Let’s
Favela chair (1991)
be honest — all the billions of bits of plastic and other detritus comprising this eighth “continent” were, at some point, designed. This floating mess of thoughtlessly discarded things embodies the throwaway culture to which we subscribe so religiously. “Planned obsolescence” predetermines how businesses design artificially short lifespans into products. Buying a thing designed to be essentially irreparable — not if, but when, it breaks — makes us complicit supporters of this global church of waste. Enter the bricoleur — one who takes a designerly approach to working with what’s already in the world. Nash has built a career on preventing plastic waste from being, well, wasted. Bricoler is a French loan word meaning “to tinker or make do with what’s at hand”. It often leads to innovative design solutions that are not likely when employing a more engineered approach. Bricolage relies on acts of trying, testing, and playing. And serious play is what Nash and his crew do best. I enjoy the irony of these collectors collecting trash as a subversion of the term “collectible design”. This label is valued in a rarefied world where the goal is collecting rare and prohibitively expensive design originals. What’s soughtafter by a jet set of collectors is work by acclaimed (often dead) designers and pieces by a vanguard of contemporary designers. In the uppermost echelons of curatorial decision-making, collectible designs are deemed worthy of inclusion in collections such as those of MoMA in New York. As an example, the work of São Paulo’s Campana Brothers (Humberto and Fernando) exemplifies the global success of a studio of humble beginnings that now surfs the stratosphere of collectible design. For me, their potency as designers lies in the instinctive rawness at the heart of their earliest pieces, often chairs. These works, such as the Favela chair (1991), made from timber offcuts, are “inhabited” by flashes of observational and improvisational cunning. The downside of global recognition is that such designs become unattainable for most. This skewed notion of “value” is as old as the failure of the Bauhaus movement to make real its original intention of excellent and affordable “design for all” through mass production in collaboration with industry. A problem with conventional definitions is that “design” is generally traded as object focused. This object fixation isn’t helpful when it comes to repairing an overloaded planet and atmosphere. I work in the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Johannesburg. Part of my job is to teach design to aspirant architects.
“Buying a thing designed to be essentially irreparable — not if, but when, it breaks — makes us complicit supporters of the global church of waste”
“Design” is a slippery term that can align itself to, adapt, or morph into a set of responses appropriate for solving a given problem, large or small. Adjectives such as interactive, transformative, and transdisciplinary help us take design from limiting understandings of it, as artefact, and transfer its meaning into a networked and more far-reaching zone of problem-solving. Understandings of design have been dictated largely from the perspective of the West and North. Definitions are canonised and rarely sufficiently questioned. In the era of ubiquitous hashtags, #design is often misused — and almost as poorly framed as the word #curated tends to be. Bricolage offers us more open, sitespecific, and inclusive understandings of design. Since anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss (no, those famous jeans are not named after him) famously invoked bricolage in the 1960s as a lens through which to better understand how mythologies are structured, the term has been absorbed into new ways of rethinking various branches of both the sciences and the humanities. So, when it comes to ways of creatively un-designing the world by tinkering with and carefully reconsidering what’s already in it, I suggest thinking of bricolage as a critical mode of “unworlding”. As part of the urgent societal project of decolonisation — in this case, of design — I suggest a reversal of literary theorist Gayatri Spivak’s important colonial critique, via her haunting term “worlding” (the manipulation of the colonised space by the coloniser through acts such as mapmaking and education). “Unworlding”, I believe, opens a reparative decolonial direction towards the inclusive and coproduced reimagining of a postcolonial world. Considering the myriad chairs and other furniture already in the world, Studio Propolis — designer-makers working between Kenya and the UK — recently developed a highly poetic and enabling toolkit called “Furniture Doctor”. It comprises joining elements and patches that make possible the easy repair of stressed or broken furniture. There’s a beautifully tender image in a recent Instagram post by the studio. The photograph, taken in Nairobi’s industrial area, shows the broken leg of a cheap, moulded-plastic chair carefully stitched, by hand, back to its seat. This image bears testimony to new pluralistic understandings of design as reparative. It counters the wilful ignorance of throwaway culture and planned obsolescence and reveals a sensibility — particularly refined in the Global South — from which the North and West can learn a great deal. * Alexander Opper teaches in UJ’s Department of Architecture (@thematterofalexanderopper)
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Built over three stepped levels, this holiday home on the Garden Route combines sculptural architecture with simple, pared-back interiors
considered balance between context and function, this coastal holiday home has the sea at its front and the indigenous milkwood forest at its rear, with both continually present throughout its spaces. The dwelling responds to its location superbly well: it is situated in Buffelsbaai, which is next door to the Goukamma Nature Reserve and Marine Protected Area, with the wide curve of the bay hugging a pristine beach. During the summer months, this tiny enclave — there are just 200 or so houses, on small stands — swells in population size as holidaymakers converge on the Garden Route. This new home does something very different from the typical South African beachhouse theme — and is genuinely context-sensitive. Both architect Guillaume Pienaar and the client know the area intimately: the client had “spent many holidays in the original house over many years and knew exactly what they wanted” from their new home, Pienaar explains. As for himself, he has “spent time at this beach surfing since childhood — and I love this street”.
Architect Guillaume Pienaar and his son, Gabriel. At the centre of the house is a courtyard that allows light and air into its internal spaces and lets occupants keep all the interior doors open, day and night. This protected outdoor space is also much used on windy days during the summer months.
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Pienaar employed stepped levels to give the structure a sculptural aspect and used a restrained palette of materials — including maintenance-free off-shutter concrete — to create a house perfectly suited to its context and use.
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“I “I love love leaving leaving building building materials materials as as close close to to their their original original state state as as possible. possible. and and allow allow the the owner owner the the least least amount amount of of maintenance maintenance on on the the building, building, while while ideal ideal contrast.” contrast.”
The sea-facing veranda at the front of the house is the ideal spot from which to enjoy panoramic beach views on wind-free days. Pienaar designed the weather-proof concrete outdoor chairs to be permanent fixtures. They were built by the concrete formwork contractor who worked on the house.
The dining table was designed by Pienaar “to suit the space and… accommodate all 10 of the occupants of the house”. Constructed from hardwood with a Fenix NTM top, the table is surrounded by lightweight AP C chairs by Jasper Morrison for Vitra, and the entire dining suite can easily be moved, so it can be used in a number of places around the home.
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We used off-shutter concrete to create a textured feel the warmth of the wood used for doors and windows is an
As a result of this local knowledge and experience, the initial brief made complete sense to both parties. The plot has an east-west axis, with the beach views on the eastern side at the front, which in turn means that summer’s prevailing southeasterly wind also tends to strike this elevation of the home. Outdoor living at the front of the previous house was therefore often an unpleasantly windswept experience and the client was “looking for solutions” to this problem, says Pienaar, adding that they nevertheless “wanted as many spaces as possible in the house to have a view of the ocean”. Finally, the brief included five en-suite bedrooms, plus a large garageworkshop-storage area, required to house vehicles and trailers, as well as solar-power storage equipment.
Due to the linear nature of the indoor living space, built-in lounge seating was the obvious choice, and was designed by Pienaar “to allow for afternoon naps and reading” while on holiday.
o fulfil this multidimensional brief on the narrow site, says Pienaar, “scale was of the utmost importance from day one”, in order to prevent the building from seeming out of proportion in its modest locale. Also key was his sense of the necessary connection between the sea and the indigenous milkwood forest directly behind the plot. It was crucial, Pienaar felt, to “push the house as far back from the street into the indigenous milkwood forest and the sloped site” as possible. He adds that, following the build, “a collaboration with a local horticulturalist allowed us to plant further coastal thicket plants and milkwoods, with the aim of re-establishing the vegetation around the house, and between it and the public realm”. In essence, the house will gradually “disappear” into the rejuvenated natural forest. Additionally, to keep the scale of the dwelling under control given its beach-village context, the building has minimum 2 400mm ceiling heights throughout, with roof parapet walls omitted, and stepped massing used to mimic the site’s natural topography. The facade is raised above the garaging, immediately generating a level of privacy from the beach, and is split between a patio area and a large, angled bay window. This picture window “allows for a 180-degree view of the shoreline” from right inside the house, says Pienaar, creating “a very successful space internally” that is perfect for use all year round, and in every kind of weather. With public spaces at the front and “degrees of privacy and silence increasing towards the rear”, plus a large garage and storage space tucked underneath the living area, the house is built over three stepped levels, and is noteworthy for its sculptural aspect and thoughtful yet striking detailing. Light, views, and sea air are drawn through the building from east to west, assisted by the placement of two concrete “ears” — one on either side of the building, and serving the two bedrooms placed at the rear.
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At the home’s centre is an internal courtyard, which allows its occupants to keep all the interior doors open (day and night) and the building to ventilate naturally. The courtyard space is also useful on days when the wind from the sea is particularly strong. Throughout all the interiors, too, a restricted material and colour palette results in a marvellously pared-back aesthetic, and keeps seaside maintenance to a minimum. “I love leaving building materials as close to their original state as possible,” says Pienaar. “We used off-shutter concrete to create a textured feel and allow the owner the least amount of maintenance on the building, while the warmth of the wood used for doors and windows is an ideal contrast.”
ikewise, the interiordesign choices have been kept resolutely minimal and practical while meeting the requirements of holiday comfort. Customdesigned decor elements — built-in lounge seating, a round table created especially for card games or puzzle building, and a 10-seater dining table — combine with items that are either effectively fixed in place or easily moveable, as best suits their function and situation. The lighting design is another strong point, with off-the-shelf fittings deployed in ways that add up to much more than the sum of their parts. Explains Pienaar, “I prefer to limit the use of expensive imported lighting — you can use an everyday fitting, but design around it to give it a bit more ‘substance’.” For example, he asked the building contractor to use curved plastic salad bowls to create the concrete formwork for simple glass wall lights: the resulting smooth, reflective, integrated concrete indentations in the walls might house very basic fittings, but the lights as a whole have a luxe, contemporary feel. Combining a resolute commitment to architecture that respects its context with clever detailing and minimalist interiors, this house already has the air of a building that will become a landmark. Its overall form is, as Pienaar says, rather reminiscent “of an old Land Rover: very rugged and ‘boxy’, but functional”. And just as in that classic piece of design, here the air of honest practicality is overlaid with a simple and genuine charm. instagram.com/
Cut-out, half-circle voids in the top floor allow light and air into the internal courtyard and other outdoor spaces below, while also creating interesting interior perspectives.
“I love that you can ‘sculpt’ with wood by using timber frames and panels of various thicknesses,” says Pienaar. The minimalist interiors of the home make the architectural use of wood throughout a form of subtle decoration. An especially lovely decorative element is the custom-designed screen at the rear of the house.
On either side of the exterior, a pair of asymmetrically placed “ears” draw light, views, and sea air into the two bedrooms placed at the rear of the central floor — and painting the insides of the “ears” in a bold red shade has given them strong visual appeal as “punctuation” points, in addition to emphasising their usefulness.
ALL CONTENT BUREAUX
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SALON E R E B O O T E D: text
Our décor director Leana Schoeman shares some of the highlights at Milan’s Salone del Mobile held last month
01. Timeless minimalism: The Lost light, designed by Italian design studio BrogliatoTraverso for Magis, perfectly captures their goal to craft timeless objects that fit any context, and comes closer to being a sculptural installation than a traditional light.
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s Milan’s Salone del Mobile 2022 celebrated a whopping 60th anniversary a year late, after a two-year pandemic hiatus, we were fortunate enough to experience the iconic fair — with over 200 exhibitors in full force once again — and can report that it is still one of the best design events on the planet. This year was also the first time a woman was chosen as president. The head of marketing and communication at iconic Italian furniture brand Porro SpA, Maria Porro (38), brought a fresh and untraditional approach to the fair thanks to her background in theatre set design. In a brief interview during the fair, she gave us heartfelt words of hope for what she wanted to accomplish during her tenure, showing true devotion to the Salone family and its followers. With global product manufacturing returning to full capacity this year, we saw the launch of many exciting and brand-new collections and product releases. Here we showcase just a few that caught our attention during this crazy and wonderful week with (a rather large crowd of) our fellow dedicated followers of design. salonemilano.it
03. Organic contours: Cacti, a new collection of soft furnishings by architect Fadi Yachoui of Beirut’s Atelier L’inconnu, caused quite a stir at this year’s 23rd edition of Salone Satellite. Drawing inspiration from cacti, the collection embodies an inviting and organic aesthetic.
02. Lighting the way: Flexia, designed by Mario Cucinella, is a play on material, colour, and light with graphic shapes reminiscent of Japanese origami. Flexible wings can be adjusted to control light quality, while an acoustic panel section controls reverberation and absorbs soundwaves.
04. Creative strokes: This year sees another exciting list of creative collaborations by rug manufacturer cc-tapis. The Stroke collection by Dutch designer Sabine Marcelis is the product of envisioning a room as a blank canvas and a paint stroke as the starting point.
05. Material integrity: German brand e15’s hand-crafted pieces embody the beauty of sustainably sourced raw materials. The Ilma lounge chair by Finnish designer Jonas Lutz reignites our love of Scandi design, while the Stop onyx bookends celebrate the raw stone. e15.com
60 YEARS AND COUNTING
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DDEESSIIG GNN 08. Sculptural landscapes: One of the most impressive qualities of Belgium’s Atelier Vierkant when it comes to landscape design is the scale and material integrity of its fired-clay vessels. Its latest collection continues to deliver, with the faceted and textured Anthos and Amadas designs among our favourites. ateliervierkant. com
06. Understated luxury: The Roger sofa, designed by Rodolfo Dordoni in collaboration with Minotti, brings tailor-made comfort and design to a seating system aimed at open-plan living. The design offers a multitude of configurations and interpretations, executed with skilfully tailored craftsmanship.
09. Sensory seating: Moroso’s recent collaboration with Swedish design duo Anna Lindgren and Sofia Lagerkvist of Front Design has elevated the modular seating system to a sensory experience. Pebble Rubble consists of seats and backrests that echo organic shapes. You can create your own unique configuration from infinite arrangement possibilities. moroso.it
07. Seventies revival: Le Mura, designed by Mario Bellini in 1972, was a high point in Italian design and has recently been rediscovered by Tacchini. Now, this iconic modular sofa has been reissued. It’s the ultimate statement 07 piece, no matter the colour, textile, or, evidently, time period. tacchini.it
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10. Nature in motion: Croatia’s Milla & Milli charmed us with its eco-luxury collection of furniture that derives its unique fluid shapes and materials from nature. The use of solidwood textures combined with Sahara Noir black marble and steel gives its Bloom dining table a timeless look and feel. The collection also includes coffee tables, a cabinet, and a sideboard.
11. A state of play: You can always rely on the Spaniards to bring some playfulness to the world of furniture design, and Sancal’s Loop sofa is no exception. It is available in soft “monocolourways”, and the rounded sculptural shape gives it a stylish retro feel. sancal.com
12. Carving a legacy: With a long history of craftsmanship, Zanat’s unique visual identity reflects a primitive Bosnian hand-carving technique. Its new collection brings this craft to life with seats, cabinets, and décor items that showcase new and unusual applications.
13. Cooking gets sexy: Fabita, which specialises in induction and vitroceramic hobs, has the design world buzzing over its new collection. Our favourite, the Battista induction hob by Adriano Design, is a compact personal cooking assistant that is freestanding and multifunctional. fabita.it
T H E P E R F E C T H O M E F O R YO U R F A M I LY A N D Y O U R F U R B A B Y. At City Centre, our luxury family residences come with one, two, three or four bedrooms, each spacious enough for king-sized beds as well as designer dog beds. There’s a Dino Park for the kids, a gourmet restaurant for date night, and 2000 acres of parkland paradise that the dog will love exploring as much as you do. City Centre’s Luxury Family Residences, now available from R2.6 million.
JOIN US FOR AN EXCLUSIVE SHOWCASE WEEKEND S AT U R D AY 2 3 A N D S U N D AY 2 4 J U LY. Bookings are essential for a personalised tour of City Centre, please email email@example.com or telephone 010 597 1170.
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WHAT IS ON EVERYONE’S RESIDENTIAL WISH LIST?
he R6.1-trillion residentialproperty market has shown some resilience since the hard lockdown. When normal activity resumed, homeowners thought long and hard about the meaning of life and started rejigging their residential accommodation by relocating, revamping or repositioning. The well-heeled set from Gauteng made a beeline down to the west and east coasts. These ex-Gautengers are largely choosing estate living and sectional-title developments for security and lock-upand-go benefits. Lockdown cabin fever inspired people to look for a “piece of land with some green and a view of the sky”. Security is always top of mind, and estate developers have the provision of this down to a tee. The product in demand is open-plan houses or clusters, with the
kitchen flowing into a dining/living room with folding doors that welcome nature in the glorious summer months. Kitchens are well appointed with standard highend finishes and appliances that went to private school (Miele, Gaggenau, Smeg). In most modern sectional-title units, the main entrance is through the kitchen and developers understand the need to wow the potential buyer with granite worktops, kaleidoscope splashbacks, and cabinetry that makes you feel you could pull off a Jamie Oliver cooking session. Interior designers play with the eye with clean lines that give a sense of space. Amplify that with an interplay of colour and light and you feel you are in a space where you can breathe. The openplan area is most often wood laminated, evoking a sense of natural material in the
built environment. The window frames looking out onto the garden are brushed aluminium at the coast or varnished timber inland. The aim is to frame the view of the garden. Landscapers are working miracles on patios and exclusiveuse areas as small as 20m2, creating a Zen-like space with large-format textured concrete tiles interspersed with washed white pebbles and manicured lawns. Bedrooms have become sanctuaries where the homeowner can retreat into affordable luxury. The room sizes need to be able to accommodate “royal” furniture (king- or queen-size beds). Feature walls bring depth to a room by using either a darker colour or greater texture such as wallpaper for contrast with lighter walls. The light choices range from LED downlights to bespoke bedside lamps
that create a focal point and frame the bedside. The practical need for storage lends itself to a creative interpretation of the dressing room to resemble a favourite boutique with good lighting and a fulllength mirror. Bathrooms, after kitchens, are designed to make a grand statement in terms of quality and tactile engagement. Beyond the “his and hers” twin basins, showers are sensory pleasure zones with high-pressure nozzles, shiny faucets, and a bench to sit on. Bathtubs are back in vogue for long soaks. Developers have upped their game in remembering that 100% of their customers are human beings who crave safe spaces that speak to their aspirations while meeting their basic accommodation needs.
If you want to build or buy a new home, this is what you should consider for maximum lifestyle and resale benefits
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here is generic, please-themasses car styling, and then there’s the non-Bryan Adams version — a more adventurous take that pushes the envelope and risks polarising opinion. I won’t forget how the BMW Z3 M Coupe’s oddball “clown-shoe” styling was derided when it was launched in 1997, only for many — myself included — to fall in love with the design as time passed. More recently, BMW started placing oversized kidney grilles on some of its cars to gasps of disbelief and jeering memes, but already the design is starting to find its way into the modern zeitgeist, much as happened with Audi a few years ago with its initially controversial single-frame grilles. Car designers face a tricky balancing act in designing cars that aren’t sterile and soulless, but at the same time won’t shock and horrify us — at least not for too long. Some succeed while others, like the gargoyle-ugly Ford Scorpio of the mid 1990s, are forever consigned to the “failed experiments” drawer. Here are four new cars that push styling thresholds and seem to get the balance right.
PUSHING BOUNDARIES Ugly as sin or a beauty to behold? These four new designs stick to the right
“The future of Mercedes’s high-performance division”
side of that dividing line 3. 1.Mercedes Vision AMG 2. Lexus RX 3. Range Rover Sport 4. BMW M4 CSL
MERCEDES VISION AMG Six “exhausts” glow red as the latest Mercedes-AMG car awakens, but there is no roaring V8 sound — and no emissions either. This is an electrically powered sports car whose taillights have been styled to make the Vision AMG look more like its fire-breathing, petrolpowered forerunners. What you see here is the future of Mercedes’s high-performance division, with the German brand going all electric in 2025. And the Vision AMG shows in spectacular style what electrification could look like at Mercedes-AMG while staying true to the brand aesthetic, says Philipp Schiemer, CEO of Mercedes-AMG. The dramatic four-door, four-seater coupé has a sleek body draped across a long wheelbase. It is recognisably a Mercedes-AMG with its distinctive Panamericana grille with vertical slats, and it has triple-LED headlamps arranged to look like the iconic three-pointed star. Both the silver-and-turquoise colour scheme and the 22-inch wheels with their aerodynamic cladding are nods to the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 car. LEXUS RX The spindle grille has become a staple of Lexus design in the past few years and has given the brand a strong visual identity. The extrovertly geometric snout, which has garnered its share of controversy, has been reimagined in the latest RX, the fifth generation of a vehicle that pioneered the luxury crossover segment in 1998. The grille is no longer recessed or surrounded by a chrome frame — instead it is integrated flush into the nose as a three-dimensional mass called the spindle body. On the sides the vehicle has become less origami-inspired, with the sharp geometric lines giving way to softer curves. The “Nike swoosh” daytime running lights continue to give the headlights a striking signature, while at the rear a light bar connects the wraparound taillights. RANGE ROVER SPORT A boxy design needn’t be old-fashioned or retro, as demonstrated by the new, third-generation Range Rover Sport. There’s nary a hard edge or protrusion to be found in this British SUV, which seems to have been smoothed out like a pebble in a river. Due for a local launch in late 2022, it has a longer wheelbase to improve rear legroom while the design is a cleaner, more aerodynamic evolution of its predecessor’s muscular proportions. The smooth lines are enhanced by flush-fitting door handles, contributing to a drag coefficient of just 0.29.
New LED daytime running lights are the slimmest yet fitted to a Land Rover and the taillights use surface LED technology on a production vehicle for the first time. These provide a crisp and contemporary look at night that is vivid and consistent when viewed from any angle. BMW M4 CSL Just when we started getting used to the supersized nostrils on the M4, BMW launches an M4 with colourful racing stripes. Call it cool or cartoonish, but if ever a road car looked ready for a racetrack brawl, it’s the new M4 CSL. Designed for the brand’s most drivingfocused petrolheads, it’s the first BMW to wear the iconic CSL badge since the M3 of 2003. It fills those shoes with its ready-to-rumble styling — and with more power and less weight than the standard M4 Competition. Available in Frozen Brooklyn Grey Metallic, Alpine White or Sapphire Black, the M4 CSL is 100kg lighter than the M4 Competition owing to lightweight M Carbon bucket front seats, the deletion of the rear seats, and the shedding of some sounddeadening material. Carbon fibre is used inside and out, including in the bonnet. The headlights have yellow daytime running lights, and the rear has a carbon boot lid with a ducktail spoiler as a nod to the previous M3 CSL. This will be a real collector’s car, with worldwide production limited to just 1 000 units, of which 15 will be coming to our shores from the fourth quarter of the year.
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Dispatches on all things cool, covetable, and conversation-wor thy
Garreth van Niekerk, co-owner of Always We l c o m e
The latest and greatest in super-smart gadgets
Not all design decisions deserve life everlasting
Michele Magwood reviews VF memoir Dilettante
TIME T R AV E L , O U Z E R I STYLE
A n e w C a p e To w n e a t e r y d i s h e s u p c o n t e m p o r a r y t a k e s o n t r a d i t i o n a l Cypriot and Greek cuisine
FF O OO OD D
THE HOT SEAT /
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process to create an elegant and refined yellowtail dish. Looking to the heartier mains, the youvetsi is a must-have. The traditionally lamb-based dish, here made with beef shin, arrives topped with a piping-hot roasted marrow bone. It’s absolutely scrumptious — a perfect winter warmer. The braised lentil and squid with green sauce offers a lighter yet equally enjoyable main. Classic Mediterranean flavours of lemon and olive oil result in a fresh yet filling dish.
Of the two options for dessert, the recommendation would naturally be to go for both. The traditional mahalepi (a Cypriot setcream dessert) is served with pomegranate, Campari, and clementine sorbet, while the Greek yoghurt cake is accompanied by vissino cherries and Jersey yoghurt. Pair the meal with a carafe or two of the barrel wine — created with Jasper Wickens of Swerwer Wines — or a bottle of something special off the fantastic wine list, which focuses on small-batch, local,
minimal-intervention wines. What I enjoyed most about Ouzeri is its seeming simplicity, however deceiving that may be. It’s contemporary without being contrived, authentic without being old-fashioned — it’s simply delicious, bold, and flavourful food with no fuss or frills, matched with fine wine and attentive, down-to-earth service. This is a space that lends itself to coming together, socialising, and unwinding. Sensational!
IMAGES JAN RAS
nspired by the taverns in Cyprus and Greece from which it derives its name, Ouzeri serves up a contemporary celebration of the two countries’ flavourful regional dishes and culinary traditions. Chef Nic Charalambous and team capture the spirit of comfort, community, and warmth of these age-old spaces while showcasing the beauty of the traditional dishes through their explorative and elevated approach to cooking. Situated at 58 Wale Street in the bustling foodie hub of Cape Town’s City Centre, the restaurant is a modern and contemporary take on the traditional Greek restaurant. The design, much like the food, is inspired by both Cyprus and Greece, drawing on Cycladic architecture — with its stark, plastered white walls and arched niches — together with influences from the old Cypriot cafes, such as the textured bar fringe, embroidered cushions, and mosaicked entrance. These modern interpretations are offset by some tongue-in-cheek touches, including a classic Greek column at the entrance and scalloped wall lamps, for a warm, welcoming atmosphere. When it comes to the food, the new eatery offers a redefined yet authentic expression of Cypriot and Greek cooking, with the chef drawing on the food he remembers from a childhood spent in his grandmother’s kitchen and that he got to know in his travels around the region. Concise and well-considered, the menu takes diners on a journey through Cyprus and Greece, highlighting regional favourites and traditional specialities. The similar-yet-different styles of cooking are showcased in each spectacular plate. While loosely divided into snacks, mezze, and larger mains and desserts, the menu is best suited to ordering and sharing among the table. Start with the snack selection, with the tastiest taramasalata piped onto crispy chickpea fries, the fried mussels and a moreish walnut skordalia, and green olives, which arrive warm with an aromatic spicy citrus, coriander, and paprika oil. Next, go for a host of the mezze plates. The eliopita — a traditional Cypriot olivestuffed bread — is topped with anchovy and served with whole cloves of roasted garlic that are meant to be squeezed out and slathered onto the umami-rich bun. The halloumi is not to be missed either. This Cypriot staple is served with the traditional sides of cucumber and tashi (a tahini paste). Simple yet beautiful. In a twist on the traditional pastourma, the chef uses elements of the curing
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DOOLHOF BLOEDKLIP 2O12
rare Mauritian rum meets a decadent dessert wine in a combination that has never looked or tasted this good. Aged in French-oak casks for at least six years, this limited-edition tipple was then taken one step further — aged in second-fill Sauternes casks for an additional three-and-a-half years. As part of the exclusive Highveld Aging Series, the unashamedly round curves of this bottle hint at the smooth, rounded palate that awaits, imbued with decadently rich flavours of dried peaches, orange marmalade, tobacco leaves, festive spices, and salt-cured rosemary. Available at select retailers nationwide, only 275 bottles have been produced, each retailing for about R1 695.
Wade Bales is a wellknown wine négociant and merchant
This month, we pay homage to bottle designs and labels that not only innovatively package their precious contents but also elevate them to the next aesthetic level
CHAMAREL 2012 SAUTERNES
WORLD FIRST FOR WATERFORD
If it’s true that we first eat with our eyes, our first sip is at first sight too...
BEST IN SHOW
The single-malt Glen Scotia 25 Year Old hails from a relatively unknown distillery, and yet has achieved some very cherished accolades, including being named Best in Show and 2021’s Best Whisky in the World at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Aromas of sweet vanilla and clove-studded oranges lead to notes of red apple, caramel, ginger, and sea salt on the palate, while its oak case alludes to its decades-long maturation in the finest American-oak barrels. It has only recently become available in South Africa (in very limited numbers), so you’ll have to act quickly to secure a bottle. Recommended retail price is R8 000 a bottle.
he House of Ruinart was the first established house of champagne in 1729, and yet, despite its proud past, the estate is refreshingly future focused too. Breaking with tradition, Ruinart’s Blanc de Blanc second-skin case is an innovation that’s sure to make a splash. In an effort to reduce waste, the house has done away with ornate gift boxes for its premium Blanc de Blanc and instead has created an entirely recyclable, eco-designed second skin. Composed of 100% natural wood fibres, this contoured cloak effectively preserves the delicate contents inside — even maintaining its integrity for several hours when stored in a bucket of ice. R1 399 a bottle at select retailers.
oolhof’s Limietberg Exclusives range consists of a trio of rare wines created to best reveal the specific terroir from which each originates. In Bloedklip’s case, a malbec vineyard sits high up on a rocky slope. Like blood from the proverbial stone, the vineyard produces exceptionally low yields that express both the site and the malbec varietal itself in concentrated form. In our opinion, the illustrated label reflects the intense topography of the vineyard, evoking a stirring sense of the lifeblood that flows through us all. POR
WO LV E S OF WINTER
he acclaimed Waterford Distillery in Ireland has introduced the world’s first biodynamic whisky — Luna 1.1. This single malt is distilled from rare barley grains grown with ancient, regenerative farming practices using natural compost fertilisers and the rhythms of the moon. The result is a vibrant “living” soil that yields a pure, intense grain that truly embodies its terroir — all in pursuit of the ultimate natural whisky. The concentric grooves in the bottle pay homage to the lunar cycles integral to this whisky’s conception. R1 695 a bottle at select retailers.
hile it’s always wise not to judge a book by its cover, we recommend making an exception when it comes to this limited-release beer from Jack Black’s Brewing Company. Its striking label and darkened, stout-shaped bottle echo the contents perfectly. Brewed by the light of the full moon, the jet-black oatmeal stout offers a mouthful of butterscotch creaminess with just a hint of bitterness. While roasted malt forms the backbone, the addition of oatmeal and hops leads to a balanced, complex brew. Best savoured alongside a roaring fire and a pack of good friends. A four-pack is R120.
If design is intelligence made visible, then these are some of the smartest gadgets yet
2. Sonos Ray
Huawei’s no stranger to foldable phones, having launched various iterations of the Mate X series over the past three years. Unlike the Mate X series with its bookstyle design, the P50 Pocket is a clamshell foldable available in a standard or premium variant, the latter being the one currently on sale in South Africa. Sporting a metallic-gold chassis designed by haute couture designer Iris van Herpen, the P50 Pocket Premium Edition has the same futuristic lines as her collections. Steve Jobs once said: “The design is not just what it looks like and feels like. The design is how it works.” Huawei’s clamshell foldable boasts striking, high-end design and some impressive specs. These include a larger battery (with faster fast charging) than the Z Flip 3 5G, a less noticeable
THE INTERSECTION OF TECH AND DESIGN
Brendon Petersen and Siphiwe Mpye
crease on the display, and a better camera array. One of the phone’s more unique features is the Ultra Spectrum Camera, which allows fluorescent photography (you can use it to see if your sunscreen has been applied correctly). The P50 Pocket Premium Edition comes in gold and ships with a charging cable, 40W charging brick, wired earphones, and a protective case. BP R28 999, consumer.huawei.com/za
While it might look like an exhibit at MoMA, Vespera is the latest smart telescope or “observation station” from Vaonis. Unlike traditional telescopes, which are cumbersome and have limited capabilities, Vespera is more adept than its relatively com-
pact size would have you believe. Beneath the sleek, modern design you’ll find an apochromatic quadruplet lens, Sony IMX462 sensor, 200mm focal length with
50mm aperture, and 1.6° x 0.9° field of view. Setup is fairly straightforward and requires you to switch on the device, wait for the light to turn blue, pair it to your Android or iOS device via the Singularity app, and let it calibrate itself using your connected device’s GPS. Once everything is set up, you use your connected device to view the stars. You can also track celestial bodies via the app and take images of them, which you can share via social media. Alternatively, you can connect up to five mobile devices to your observation station via multi-user mode to ensure that everyone gets to see the wonders of space right then and there. The Singularity app makes recommendations on what you can see based on your location and shows interesting facts and information about the stars you’re able to view. BP €1 499 on pre-order, vaonis.com
1. Huawei P50 Pocket Premium Edition
The new Sonos Ray compact soundbar is the latest product offering in the brand’s everexpanding range of quality audio products. The Ray is its most compact soundbar yet, and, at a more accessible price range, promises to provide a wider audience with crisp, punchy sound — as either the foundation of a new hometheatre system or, in my case, an addition to an existing multi-room system. It sets up quickly and integrates seamlessly for streaming that blockbuster or bingeing the latest season of Ozark. Typically, the ray delivers room-filling sound, with a new bass reflex system that centres your auditory experience on wellweighted bass while delivering on harmonised mid- and high-range frequencies. As is standard with all Sonos products, the Ray was tuned with the assistance of music, film, and other professionals. Speech has also been enhanced, offering greater clarity, and the “Night Sound” feature makes sure that those intense moments in your solo The Walking Dead marathon do not rouse anyone in the house from their slumber. SM R6 499,
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Garreth van Niekerk
The co-owner of design co-op Always Welcome on the charms of Murano glass and morning walks 4.
01. The one indulgence you would never forgo? A morning walk, typically around the botanical gardens near our home with my partner and two Pomeranians, Leonardo Vittorio and Hercules Theophilus — the three most adventurous beings alive. It’s an hour of being together, playing, and nature that I’ve come to treasure. And coffee, of course (preferably from Father Coffee, my favourite in Joburg). 02. What are your essential grooming and treatment lotions and potions? Living in Joburg sucks the life out of my skin and hair, so I can’t live without rich, juicy products such as RégimA’s Daily Ultra Defence, a lip balm (I like the classic lip-burn of Blistex DCT), and a good hand cream for the car. 03. If you had to choose, what is the single most sentimental object to you? My engagement ring, which was designed by my partner and made by my friend Geraldine Fenn from Tinsel Gallery. 04. What is your drink of choice? I love tequila, so typically it’s the most interesting tequila on the menu, accompanied by soda and fresh citrus. 05. When you eat out, where do you go? I love Dos Manos, at Pablo House in Melville — it has the best pizza, and view, in Joburg. 06. When did you fall in love with design? I studied architecture, then graphic design, and then classical studies and linguistics, so that’s when I started understanding design
across time and disciplines. But I think I fell in love with design when my parents built their first house and I got to experience as a young man how a space can grow from a drawing into something that shapes your life. 07. What is your favourite piece of furniture you own? Dokter and Misses recently recreated its Canteen table for me using a slab of live-edged yellowwood timber passed down to me from my late grandfather’s estate in Knysna that is really special. 08. What was the last object that you picked up on a shopping expedition that you instantly fell in love with? 1980s Memphis-inspired glassware from Murano Island in Venice. 09. A watch brand that you love? Patek Philippe. 10. How has the world of design changed in 2022? The pandemic has forced a lot of us to think differently about the way we work together, which is what gave birth to the cooperative model we built at Always Welcome — something that has grown from a store into a logistics system, materials and manufacturing network, and marketing platform. 11. The last place you travelled to that captured your heart? I recently curated an exhibition on the work of architect Peter Rich for the Venice Biennale and got to spend a month in Italy while setting things up. There’s nothing quite like Venice during the Biennale, especially at night when the visitors leave and you get to explore without the crowds. 12. What books are on your bedside table? I’ve inherited the library of architect and author Clive Chipkin after his passing (an immense gift from his daughter, Lesley Hudson), and so have spent the past few months cataloguing the hundreds of volumes. And I’ve just finished Voltaire’s The Princess of Babylon, which is probably one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read. 13. Which musician really appeals to you at the moment? Locally, I’m absolutely loving Easy Freak and Ami Faku, but TikTok is messing with me, so I’m listening to an inordinate amount of Doja Cat, FKJ, and Harry Styles. That is a bit wild but uplifting, nonetheless. 14. What’s next on your list of must-have items? Wanda Lephoto has just released these super-shiny mules that I absolutely need. I’m also lusting after a Field jacket from the Fields store. 15. The best gift you’ve received recently? The wonderful guys at Houtlander have given me a bookshelf that I use as a room divider. It has this incredible elegance — a piece I think every home should own. 16. An event that’s caught your attention? I recently attended the BMW Young Collectors’ Co., which was a beautiful collec-tion of people and stories.
1. Johannesburg Style, Architecture & Society 1880s-1960s, Clive Chipkin 2. Houtlander bookshelf 3. 1980s Memphis-inspired glassware 4. Field jacket, the Fields store 5. Harry Styles, Harry’s House 6. High Shine Mule, Wanda Lephoto x Dakotas
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Michele Magwood is an awardwinning literary critic
The heady heyday of Vanity Fair
this extravagant, excitable world stepped a 21-year-old college dropout named Dana Brown, who worked behind the bar at the restaurant the Condé Nast staffers frequented. He was a slacker, caring only for his punk band and living hand-to-mouth on the Lower East Side. But he was handsome and agreeable and soon part of the team who catered small dinners in Carter’s apartment. Carter liked his openness and humour and, against the incensed advice of the HR department, hired Brown as his PA. A boy who had never used a photocopier. But could he party. Dilettante (Ballantine Books) is his amusing, self-deprecating memoir of his rise from PA to deputy editor of the magazine at its zenith. Subtitled True Tales of Excess, Triumph, and Disaster, it’s a delirious story of bad behaviour but hard work, too. He gives us fascinating
IMAGES J VESPA/WIREIMAGE AND SUPPLIED
Dana Brown’s memoir is an amusing, gossipy peek behind the covers of the ultimate glossy
hroughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, the Western cultural world was ruled by glossy magazines. And the glossiest of the glossies were those produced by Condé Nast: thick and heavy with shiny paper, fragrant with interleaved perfume samples. High up in the New York sky, the devil in Prada reigned at Vogue while other titles proclaimed on subjects such as architecture, food, interior design, and men’s fashion. But everyone knew that the real jewel in the Condé Nast crown, the ne plus ultra, was Vanity Fair. VF, as it was known, had been reinvented in the 1980s by the Valkyrian Tina Brown, who bedazzled it with celebrities and a delicious mix of high and low culture, blending scandal with serious reportage. Its circulation rocketed. When a virtually unknown Canadian editor named Graydon Carter was earmarked for the august New Yorker magazine, a by now bored and hungry Brown had a hissy fit, grabbed the New Yorker for herself, and tossed Carter VF. Carter was a literary man who edited a satirical magazine, what did he know about celebs? But he settled in for 25 years and what would be the golden age of VF and magazines in general. Movies were booming, a new generation of stars was rising, and, crucially, European fashion houses were going global. That meant advertising. Lots of it. And money. Lots of it. Into
Left: Graydon Carter
insights into the workings of the magazine. Carter revered his writers and gave them space on the pages — it was what set VF apart from other magazines. It was the age of stars such as writers Dominick Dunne and Christopher Hitchens, and photographer Annie Leibowitz. Stories were worked on for months with limitless budgets and were often spiked at the last minute. Only the very best got into the pages. They took risks — no one had ever imagined, let alone tried, a three-panel gatefold cover, but Carter pulled it off for what became the famous annual Hollywood Issue. And that begat the infamous VF Oscars party. Brown has wonderful anecdotes about the VF parties, of refusing an incandescent Donald Trump entry, of the designer Marc Jacobs screeching at him at the door, cocaine flying from his nostrils. Magazines were awash in money, and shoots would feature dozens of assistants and assistant assistants. Chauffeured town cars were summoned, private jets were hopped on, and many, many meals were expensed. Brown heard tales of editors paying their rent, kids’ school fees, nannies, even prostitutes and drug dealers, and then getting those charges reimbursed. The company gave editors low-interest loans on fancy apartments. After all, they were the most important ingredient in the company’s success. “We had a role in the culture,” says Brown, “and that was to be curious, to have taste. It was a 24-hour job, constantly looking for the next thing, the next great actor, the next great book, film. What’s going to be hot. We worked hard at it.” So powerful were these tastemakers that the important magazines moved the needle on popular culture, their arbitration setting trends or killing them. But ultimately, it couldn’t last. Brown sets out what he calls “the four horsemen of the magazine apocalypse”: the financial crisis, the iPhone, Facebook, and Twitter. Magazine editors have been replaced by algorithms, he laments. “There’s no discovery any more, we’re constantly fed stuff — ‘if you like that then you’ll like this’.” Now everyone is posting, tweeting, tagging, creating their own ecosystem. “We used to BE the ecosystem.” The magazine world as we knew it is long gone, and VF now is a thin, humourless, and slightly earnest shadow of its former self. Thankfully, for those of us who miss the wit and sharp writing of the old VF, Carter has started an online magazine called Airmail Weekly. Every Saturday it lands in my inbox containing what he calls “old school rigor and new school smarts”. In a sea of mediocre content, it’s a beacon.
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Rivonia Road, so possibly the classical sculptures haven’t arrived yet. Anyhow, in an effort to kibosh my ranting about this brick blight, my sister suggested listing design that is great. The antithesis of the woeful wall, in other words. She meant items that make our hearts sing, and not just because they look great but also because they’re clever, considered, and improve life — such is the measure of excellent design. And, surprise, surprise, chatting about a swirl of superb swipe-able screens and Scandi pillows was diverting. I’ve been writing about design for 20 years, so perhaps it has disproportionate importance in my life. That said, have a look at the design I love below, and then do your own list. It will remind you of the brilliance of human creativity, the joy that small things can bring, and that really, great design is all around. Just not on South Road.
Sarah Buitendach is contributing editor to the Financial Mail.
Beyond the wall
The Anglepoise lamp. This British icon, designed in 1932 by George Carwardine, is everything you want in a task light. No wonder they never go out of fashion. Maasai shuka cloth and Welsh woven blankets. Innumerable cultures boast their own fabrics, but these two bold and graphic examples have my textile top spots wrapped up. Apple product synching. You copy a paragraph on your iPhone, you click “paste” on your MacBook, and voila — that same paragraph appears on your computer. BMW’s head office and Circa Gallery.
THE FUNDAMENTALS The number of people depicted on the album cover of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967).
The number of different pieces of wood required to make a violin. One of the world’s most expensive violins, the Vieuxtemps Guarneri, sold for $16 million at auction.
The amount in dollars earned by New York state each year from graphic designer Milton Glaser’s logo, which has become a pop culture icon since its design in 1977.
4 600 000
The price in Swedish krona fetched by the Bengt Rudadesigned Cavelli armchair in a 2021 auction. This is the highest amount yet spent on an Ikea product.
30 000 000
The year that designers Ray and Charles Eames came up with a utilitarian seating system for Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. The Eames Tandem Sling Seating range has now become ubiquitous in offices and terminals across the world.
A NUMBERS GAME
The percentage of Italian families who own a Bialetti moka pot. The aluminium coffee staple was designed in 1933 and an estimated 330 million units have since been made.
It is a jaded person who no longer thrills at driving past these Highveld architectural highpoints. Hans Hallen’s 1984 Midrand masterpiece for the German automotive brand and the studioMAS 2009 slatted space for Everard Read in Rosebank are both buildings in the round that are roundly brilliant. Reebok Classic Leather white trainers. The OGs from 1983 — otherwise known as the perfect, just retro-enough white trainers. They go with everything. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. Real books are magic, but so is not being crippled by the weight of a new hardback while lying in bed reading. Margaret Calvert’s road-sign system. South African-born Calvert designed the UK’s road-sign system with Jock Kinneir in 1965. We all understand the clean, pictogram-based traffic signs she developed — including the “roadworks ahead” and “children crossing” signs — because South Africa adopted much of what they’d created for our roads. Design Indaba. Calvert spoke at the Design Indaba conference in 2016. For almost two decades, from 1995, the Cape Town event was one of the most important global design gatherings, attracting everyone from architect Sir David Adjaye to the man who designed the I “heart” NY sign, Milton Glaser. Founder Ravi Naidoo’s annual African assemblage of the most important design thinkers in the world was the design trick of the century. It is missed.
The price of the Coca-Cola logo — it was drawn by Frank Mason Robinson, the company’s bookkeeper. The logo is an example of Spencerian script, the American de facto writing style for business correspondence before the adoption of the typewriter.
ver the weekend I drove through Sandton, and it left me foul. It wasn’t the bananayellow Lamborghini that cut in front of me that did it, nor was it the overwhelming digital billboards flashing images of local “celebs” and Kim, Kourtney, and the krew. Rather, a strange new complex going up on South Road was the trigger. If you’ve travelled down that drag recently, you’ll know which one I’m talking about. If not, look out for the homage to quasi-Roman precastconcrete balustrades, and you’ll see what I’m on about. This is Tuscany meets Miami Beach in the most perplexing manner. And that’s just the good bits. The development is also being ensconced by a wall so archaically and gratuitously decorative that it may have formerly been a prop in a medieval re-enactment village. Indeed, as walls go, you’d only be able to find one more over-the-top on First Road, Hyde Park. But it’s still early days for the new rampart rising just off
The amount in pounds spent on the design of BP’s sunflower logo. Another £132 million was spent on rebranding vans, manufacturing plants, and 28 000 petrol stations.
The price in dollars of the Louis Vuitton Urban satchel, which is made of Italian leather and recycled items such as water bottles, cigarette packs, and chewing-gum wrappers.