Month: December 2012

A little bit of festive cooking from Alastair Hendy's Christmas House

A little bit of festive cooking from Alastair Hendy's Christmas House

var linkwithin_site_id = 519459; After a trip to Hastings, I recently wrote about my visit to Alastair Hendy’s Home Store and Christmas House. You can see the post here or read a condensed version below. Food writer and stylist Alastair Hendy has created a Tudor escape in the middle of Hastings’ Old Town. The Christmas House, or 135 All Saints Street, is one of the most complete Tudor houses in Hastings. Hendy has meticulously stripped it back to its original form, transforming the former town mortuary into a cosy haven of open log fireplaces and traditional enclosed wooden beds. Stepping into the low door, you really are taken back in time. For fives pounds entry fee, you get to see this lovingly restored project, plus a little tumbler of spiced mulled wine in the kitchen. The house is also the setting of Hendy’s fairytale, The Elves & The Baker, which is beautifully illustrated in an accompanying Christmas House storybook given on entry. And now that it is Christmas eve, I have set myself the task of cooking …

Phoenix Observation Tower by BIG

Phoenix Observation Tower by BIG

Danish architect BIG has been commissioned to design a dizzying 420 ft tall observation tower in Phoenix, Arizona. Visitors to the Observation Tower will be able to enjoy 360 degree views of the surrounding mountain ranges in downtown Phoenix. This colossal piece of work is conceived as a tall core of reinforced concrete with an open-air viewing deck at the top. A spiralling promenade wraps itself around the concrete structure, containing flexible exhibition, retail and recreational spaces, plus an unforgettable view. Images: courtesy BIG

French Film Club: Amour and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

French Film Club: Amour and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Two films that deal with love, loss and the aftermath of a stroke. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007, Director: Julian Schnabel) This is the incredible true story of journalist and former editor-in-chief of French Elle magazine, Jean-Dominique Bauby, who after a suffering a massive stroke is left with a condition called locked-in syndrome. The film is based on his French memoir Le scaphandre et le papillon and describes his life both before and after the stroke. Bauby is mentally sound but completely paralysed, bar his left eye, which he learns to communicate with by blinking. The entire book was written by Bauby blinking his left eyelid as a patient transcriber recited a frequency-ordered alphabet. The transcriber would write down the correct letter once Bauby had blinked once, and so, after an incredibly long journey, a book was formed ten months later. It took about 200,000 blinks to write and an average word took approximately two minutes. An incredible feat. The film, starring Mathieu Amalric as Bauby, charts his life in hospital at Berck-sur-Mer, chronicling …

Happy 100th Birthday Ray Eames

Happy 100th Birthday Ray Eames

To celebrate what would have been Ray Eames’ 100th birthday, here is a review of the film Eames: The Architect and the Painter, originally published in Blueprint Magazine on May 25, 2012. The film shows that the furniture designer, who died in 1988, was often overshadowed by her husband Charles Eames. Proving that the times are changing, and to celebrate her 100th birthday, Vitra has renamed a street at its Basel Campus after her. This new addition matches the already existing Charles Eames street. Vitra will also be screening a special edition of the film at their VitraHaus, the Herzog & de Meuron designed building on their campus in Basel. It all began with the moulded plywood chair. Voted by Time Magazine as the greatest design of the 20th Century, and conceived for a competition at MoMA in 1940 with Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames attempted to reinvent the very idea of the chair. They wanted to mass-produce compound curves without any upholstery, for which they first experimented with plywood splints for the wounded military …

Royal College of Art Cafe by Weston Surman & Deane

Royal College of Art Cafe by Weston Surman & Deane

Three architecture graduates from the Royal College of Art in London- Tom Surman, Joseph Deane and Percy Weston- have redesigned the school’s student union cafe. The cafe is sited in an old RCA building on the school’s Battersea campus in south London. The design is based around stripped scaffolding boards and reclaimed parquer flooring that form a warm wooden cafe, complete with bespoke kitchen units, shelving and tables.   Images: http://www.wsdarchitecture.com/

A Room for London by David Kohn and Fiona Banner set to stay

A Room for London by David Kohn and Fiona Banner set to stay

With the news that David Kohn and Fiona Banner’s A Room for London is set to stay for 2013, here is a republished article originally from January. A ballot for the first two months of 2013 has just gone live.var linkwithin_site_id = 519459; Perched on the roof of Queen Elizabeth Hall on the Southbank, A Room for London is an installation by David Kohn Architects and artist Fiona Banner. A design competition was set up by Living Architecture and Artangel, in collaboration with the Southbank Centre, to create a temporary room on the hall for two people to spend a unique night on top of a London architectural landmark. As the architects describe; “The proposal is for a boat, perched on the Queen Elizabeth Hall roof, that will appear to have come to rest there, grounded, perhaps, from the retreating waters of the Thames below. The idea evolved from narratives of travel and displacement in literature, in particular Joseph Conrad’s novella ‘Heart of Darkness,’ a story that begins beside the River Thames. The boat takes its …

Antony Gormley at the White Cube Bermondsey

Antony Gormley at the White Cube Bermondsey

var linkwithin_site_id = 519459; At the weekend I ventured south of the river (not my usual territory) to Maltby Street food market followed by a visit to the White Cube Bermondsey, where there was an exhibition of new works by Antony Gormley. The exhibition aims to challenge the physical possibilities of the gallery space with an ambitious larger-than-life model of his sculptures, which visitors can enter through a ‘foot’ and journey through its inter-connected internal chambers. Fabricated from 100 tonnes of weathering sheet steel, the work is both sculpture and building, human in form but at no point visible as a total figure. After seeing similar works of his at the White Cube in Hoxton, I was glad to see Gormley had taken it a step further and created more of an architectural intervention. The internal chambers demanded the visitor to adjust their pace and bend their bodies to its awkward heights, guided by fractions of light above. Another interesting room proved to be a space dedicated to Gormley’s working models from 2002 to the …

French Film Club: Les Bien-Aimes

French Film Club: Les Bien-Aimes

This 2011 film by Christophe Honoré starts in the mid-1960s with Madeleine, a young assistant in a shoe shop who ventures into amateur prostitution and meets a charming Czech man. The film follows the pair’s story and the story of their daughter, up until 2007, through their respective up-and-down romances from Paris to Reims, Montral Prague and London. Like Honoré’s 2007 film Les Chansons d’Amour, this is a musical, with catchy, romantic and humorous tunes. Starring Catherine Deneuve, Milos Forman, Ludivine Sagnier, Louis Garrel, Paul Schneider, Michel Delpech and Chiara Mastroianni. var linkwithin_site_id = 519459;

The long-awaited Address Book by Sophie Calle is finally published in English

The long-awaited Address Book by Sophie Calle is finally published in English

var linkwithin_site_id = 519459; I found an address book on the Rue des Martyrs . . . I will contact the people whose names are noted down. I will tell them, “I found an address book on the street by chance. Your number was in it. I’d like to meet you.” . . . Thus, I will get to know this man through his friends and acquaintances. I will try to discover who he is without ever meeting him. —from The Address Book by Sophie Calle Based on an address book that French artist Sophie Calle found in the streets of Paris in the early 1980s, this controversial book has finally been released in English. Perhaps Calle’s best known work is her 2007 Venice Biennale French Pavillion installation Please Take Care of Yourself, which has been exhibited worldwide. In 2009, Whitechapel Gallery in London organized a retrospective of her work. Having found a lost address book on the street in Paris, Calle copied the pages before returning it anonymously to its owner. She then embarked on a search …

Oscar Niemeyer 1907-2012

Oscar Niemeyer, one of the greatest architects of the 20th century and patriarch of Brazilian design has died at the age of 104, just ten days before his 105th birthday. He still had projects on the drawing board right up to his death, and had just released a collection with American shoe designer Converse. With a career spanning over half a century, Niemeyer won the 1988 Pritzker Architecture Prize, considered the “Nobel Prize of Architecture” for the Brasilia cathedral. Read an obituary by Jonathan Glancey on BDOnline and also take a look at a roundup of his best projects by moi here. Below is a little selection of the 10 projects on Building Design: Source: Wikimedia commons Teatro popular de Niteroi, Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, 2007 This €5 million building was completed when Niemeyer turned the landmark age of 100. The Teatro consists of 1000 sqm of indoor space, with a 350 seat auditorium and a 17,000 sqm plaza. A glass wall looks over Guanabara Bay, while large panels of yellow tiles cover the sides of the structure. According …