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topshop: Nike re-opens underground sports store.

6 Jul

Shhh don’t tell anyone, but Nike has re-opened their underground sports store 1948 in Londons Shoreditch.  The store is in an area known for fashion hipsters and is around the corner from ultra trendy members club Shoreditch House, and rumoured new location of an East-London Prada store . . .

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Taking it’s architectural que from the railway arch it is situated in it balances clean lines with the occasional pop of linear LED lighting – feeling a little more like an Apple store than a true sportswear store we’re sure that this is going to be one of our favourite shopping destinations this Summer.

 

design: kossman.dejong urbanium pavilion @ shanghai expo

18 Jun

OK.  So we know it’s a little late . . . but good design should never go unrewarded, no matter how long it takes to get it, just ask Van Gogh.

The kossman.dejong designed urbanium pavillion shanghai expo is dedicated to representing the quality of life for families across the globe at the Chinese pavilion, and given that many of China’s billion strong population will have never travelled outside their state, nor have had much experience of life outside the ‘iron-curtain’ it would be no surprise that after visiting the pavilion they’d be itching to get out there and start using their passport.

Visitors are led through five areas in the pavilion: home, work, connected, learn and health, and each corresponds to a different aspect of family life. Every sub-pavilion has a different layout, using multiple projection screens, lighting and sound. Instead of building actual cities, the designers used everyday objects to build residential areas.

What has been achieved though is truly jawdropping stuff, we just wish we could go back and do it all over again . . .

AP.

design: APAP Open School / LOT-EK

16 Jun

Infamously known for their work with shipping containers (be sure to check out their Puma City check it here), American-firm LOT -EK has nearly completed the , in .  The containers are perched atop each other creating spaces beneath them for a public amphitheater, within them for educational functions and even on top of them for a long decked roof offering great views.

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Looks like we’ll be enrolling for summer school real soon . . .

AP.

topshop: Hermes Rive-Gauche

15 Jun

 

 


After one hundred and seventy years on the right bank, Hermès has decided to cross the Seine and embrace the future with a new store at 17 Rue de Sèvres in the ritzy Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood of Paris.  The new store has come to life in a building filled with rich history; a historical monument that was once home to the Lutetia swimming pool, a shining example of the Art Deco years.

 

In an almost serendipitous connection, Hermès as a brand identified with the restoration of a rich treasure; to bring in the new with maintaining respect and reverence to what has come before.  And so is the case with the luxury brand that has become eponymous with Parisian culture… Hermès is just as relevant today as it was in the heyday of the Lutetia.

In 2005 the pool was given landmark status and has since been considered a historical monument in Paris.  Given the importance of the building, Hermès had guidelines to adhere to in their renovation of the pool. The task at hand was given to Denis Montel and the RDAI agency, the architect firm that creates and designs all Hermès stores across the globe. “The idea was to develop a harmonious dialogue between the origins and the present. The aim was to restore a place that was naturally timeworn but also massively transformed in the mid- 1970s, to make it suitable for public use. We wanted to bring out the qualities of the existing architecture and recapture the spirit of the 1935 swimming pool, while offering a very modern expression of the Hermès spirit at this Left Bank location.”

AP.

 

 

architecture: how do you solve a problem like Mestia?

13 Apr

So.  You have a snow-laden town in Georgia, a country most famous for being a part of the former U.S.S.R, the trouble is they need tourists to bring in cash and to use the surplus natural resource they have – more than that the tourists they hope to attract have no way of getting to said snow-laden town.  So how do you solve a problem like the town of Mestia? Well in the same way as Bilbao which landmarked itself with a Guggenheim, and Dubai which has tried desperately to do the same with, erm, just about anything it builds . . .

The problem was solved with a remarkable architectural statement in the form of an airport.  The gorgeous structure designed by Jurgen Mayer H. Architects was completed in just 3 months which is remarkable by itself, combines the use of air traffic control tower and main airport terminal into one organic structure that flows seamlessly from mountain to building.

With the control tower seemingly leaning to one side as if bowing to fit in with its surrounding landscape this looks like one definitely to add to list of must-see’s in Georgia!

AP.

7 days 1 week: London in the sun.

12 Apr

 

AP.

topshop: Marc Jacobs brings a little something extra to Tokyo

10 Apr

Tokyo has long been known as a retailing haven, not least for the mega-cutting edge technology and high spec finish most retailers adhere to when opening there – the world (well, ok, perhaps just us) was agog at the new Herzog and De Meuron store for Prada, and it seems like they have a young upstart facing them across the street too . . .

Marc Jacobs has opened literally across the street in our image, above, you can see the Prada store on the left, and Marc Jacobs glowing on the right.

Designed by Stephan Jaklitsch Architects, does he have a store that embodies his love of everything Japanese aesthetics.   The 2,800-square-foot space, which sits on a side street in the ritzy but charming Tokyo neighborhood of Aoyama, is a retail spin on the Japanese obsession with packaging: Although the interior looks like some other Marc Jacobs spaces, with sleek fixtures displaying brocade skirts and bottles of Bang, outside it’s a visual feast. The building’s mix of the traditional and the unorthodox—including striated levels topped off with a ghost wall, known as a kosakubutsu in Japanese—is at home on a block that includes a giant Prada store and a gemlike Cartier shop (although neither can boast an Award of Excellence from the American Institute of Architects, which the Marc Jacobs store received this past summer).

AP.

design: Barbecoa makes BBQ sexy, really!

8 Apr
Tom Dixon has had a hand in designing some of the most iconic furniture and lighting of the past decade – but its his interiors through company design research studio that really shine.
The latest of these for British chef Jamie Oliver‘s latest venture Barbecoa in the City of London are truly spectacular, and more importantly than that for a restaurant overlooking St Pauls cathedral, the space entertains whilst providing a beautiful foreground for Christopher Wren’s magnificent background.

AP.

architecture: Ma Yansong’s towers are absolute!

8 Apr

Ma Yansong has had an impressive career for a man so young.  Born in 1975 he is now founder and CEO of  MAD Studio, since 2004.  Born in Beijing, and graduated from the department of architecture in Beijing architectural engineering institute, he went onto study in America, gaining a Master’s degree in architecture at Yale University where he also won the Samuel J. Fogelson Prize for design.

His most notable commission so far has been the Absolute World a residential condominium twin tower skyscraper complex in the five tower Absolute City Centre development in MississaugaOntario.  Absolute World Tower 4 was dubbed Marilyn Monroe by Sam Sibai during the announcement of the winning design, because it “looked like Marilyn Monroe”

If only all skyscrapers were made to look this curvaceous and organic.

 

AP.

design: Thomas Heatherwick to design London 2012 Olympic cauldron.

7 Apr

Beijing 2008 will go down as the Olympics of spectacle, but already the London 2012 Olympics could be billed as the design Olympics.  With the Olympic park masterplanned by ForeignOfficeArchitects, the Olympic Stadium designed by HOKsport, the aquatics centre by Zaha Hadid, and the velodrome by Hopkins Architects.  It seems Locog have left nothing to chance by working with the best in their field . . .

It seems they have wanted to push this even further though by the appointment of Danny Boyle he of Slumdog millionaire fame to oversee the Opening ceremony, ensuring they are both artistic and relevant – promising to be “epic and intimate“.

Organisers have also announced the designer of the iconic Olympic cauldron.  The cauldron is the iconic emblem of the games, ensuring the spirit of Olympus watches over every modern games, and usually becomes the very symbol of each host city to the millions of television viewers across the globe – step forward to the challenge then Mr Thomas Heatherwick.

You may recognise Heatherwick from earlier projects including the British pavilion for the Shanghai expo (above) or the sculpture ‘B of the Bang’ erected for the Manchester Commonwealth games (below) – if the cauldron looks anything like these two earlier projects then we could be in for something truly special indeed . . .

And here we take a brief look at some earlier cauldrons from the Olympic movement . . .

top row: 1976 (montreal, canada); 2010 (vancouver, canada); 2004 (athens, greece)
bottom: 2002 (salt lake city, USA); 2000 (sydney, australia); 1992 (barcelona, spain)

 

AP.

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