Tag Archives: london

7 days 1 week: London in the sun.

12 Apr



design: iconic; graphic design.

10 Apr

A look at some of our favourite iconic, and not so iconic but equally as beautiful examples of graphic design . . .

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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.


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)



7 days 1 week: sun finally hits london.

7 Apr

Sometimes you want noise. Today isn’t one of those days.

Spring has most definitely sprung, london feels like it is slowly shaking off the dark cloak of winter and like a hunched old man trying to regain it’s posture for the heat of summer.

AP. decided to welcome spring by taking a stroll in one of the royal parks, which if you’ve ever been to London, then you’ll know they are a real treasure. In Paris parkland is few and far between, and grass you’re actually allowed to sit on is even fewer and farther, whilst in New York you either handle the bridge and tunnel club and head to the hamptons or take a risk in trying to fight for a space in central park. Not so in London. London treasures it’s open spaces like no other city, and the royal parks are a beauty in their own right!

It’s Greenwich park that occupies us today, and sitting here listening to the faint whirring and grinding of the muscled city in the background we can’t help but think there really is no other city in the world we’d rather be in right now . . .







art: Ian Davenport brightens up our walk home.

7 Apr

We can often be found taking a casual stroll away from the offices at AP. and dow to Tate Modern on London’s South Bank and one of the highlights on the way is the spectacular work by Ian Davenport in an otherwise grimey and unloved underpass – which got us thinking, just where else might we find his work.  Well look no further because the great striped one (yup, that’s our little nickname for him!) is quite prolific when it comes to painting the world in perfectly uniform bands of vertical colour.

Though what we missed out on from our London experience was the way on much of these works he leaves the stripes to puddle and muddle together at the bottom – now thats special! Enjoy.


architecture: waterhouse hotel Shanghai

31 Mar

As anyone who has been to Shanghai will tell you the Bund is where the action happens, and anyone can also tell you that the South Bund has, for some time, been the less glamorous side to be – well not any longer.

Like the South Bank in London, the left bank in Paris,the South Bund has enjoyed something of a renaissance.  There is no letting of the financial might of the chinese government and the money that was literally thrown at the the area along the Bund in time for the expo has brought a new lease of life to the area.  It is this new lease of life that see’s the Waterhouse hotel take form, and my what a form it is too.

Neri & Hu Design and Research Office, one of China’s leading architectural voices, entirely transformed the 1930’s building but maintained the original façade. Lyndon Neri explains the design ethos for The Waterhouse: “This is a hotel that puts the emphasis on the traveller in search of some meaning, and not just the luxury component of living.” A conceptual blending of the antique and the contemporary, The Waterhouse is a complex dissociation and amalgamation of interior and exterior as well as public and private spaces, leading to a unique and entirely new experience for guests and locals alike.


Most major hotels in Shanghai are in the vibrant Pudong district, missing the magnificent view entirely, whilst the Waterhouse puts that view at it’s very heart. The Waterhouse at South Bund prides itself on integrating into the traditional local environment while challenging its boundaries and distinguishing itself absolutely in order to provide each guest with an unforgettable experience.


topshop: Hostem London

28 Mar

The advent of shabby-chic has lead to the whole world seemingly looking to retro-victoriania as inspiration.  London more than anywhere else has taken this new design ideal to heart with everything from UK superbrand All Saints, through to mega-club Soho House building an international reputation on the back of it.  Nowhere in London does this live more than in Spitalfields the district at the heart of the City of London.  In this gentrified formerly run-down area of town is where we find the latest addition to our ‘topshop’ category.

Hostem the independent menswear store, envisioned by designer duo JamesPlum has transformed a dilapidated 3-storey townhouse into the City’s latest hot boutique using a mix of eclectic and discreet luxury.


7 days 1 week: radiation rains on Tokyo, detected over Iceland & London.

23 Mar

Following our earlier appeal many of you wrote in support of our friends in Japan.  Heavy set clouds moved across Japan raining heavy with radiation – sweeping across Tokyo, and the rest of the country infecting crops and making towns and cities uninhabitable.  Radiation from the stricken nuclear plant has now been detected as far away as Iceland, and was expected to reach London today.

Please read  our earlier post here and do all you can to help the red cross help those affected by the continuing fallout following the devastating effects of the Earthquake and Tsunami.



topshop: Liberty of London unveils it’s new ‘dining room’

22 Mar

One of our favourite stores in London is the amazing Liberty.  It’s a real Aladdin’s cave, a wonderful emporium stocking everything from high-fashion, cosmetics, accessories, through to gifts. It is this week’s new addition tough which has got us all worked up – the new ‘dining room’, stocking everything we ever wanted, and didn’t know we want for our kitchens and dining rooms – with interactive talks and discussions from the likes of renowned ceramic designer Emma Bridgewater, and pot throwing demonstrations from Wedgewood it looks like we’ve just found a new passion . . .


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