All posts tagged: Architecture

Maison Louis Carré by Alvar Aalto

Inside Maison Louis Carré by Alvar Aalto

Maison Louis Carré – Finnish architect Alvar Aalto’s only remaining building in France – is a modernist architectural masterpiece situated about an hour outside of Paris. Open to the public from March to November, it’s a must-visit, Scandinavian gem for architecture and design buffs looking to get a deeper insight into his design process. As an avid Aalto fan myself, I’d already visited his home and studio in Helsinki, and was keen to step off the beaten tourist trail of Paris and step inside another Aalto interior, which combined architecture, furniture and design into a total work of art. The house is located in the remote village of Bazoches-sur-Guyonne and was the home of French art dealer Louis Carré. He acquired the sloping site in 1955 and the following year met Aalto at the Venice Biennale while the architect was supervising his pavilion there. They immediately bonded over their love of fine things – fine art, good wine, the good life – and became friends for life. Carré commissioned Aalto to design him a house that could serve both as a private …

John Pawson's Life House for Living Architecture - a holiday home designed for moments of calm and reflection

Travel: John Pawson’s Life House for Living Architecture

Back at the beginning of August, we escaped for three nights of peace and relaxation to the Life House – a simple, contemporary holiday home designed by the architect John Pawson for Living Architecture. It was unlike anywhere I had stayed before, a retreat away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, from which to rest, reinvigorate and restore, all in the stunning, picturesque setting of the Welsh countryside. Set up to promote modern architecture, Living Architecture commissions some of the best architects to design houses in some of the most beautiful locations in Britain, a winning formula right? You might have seen Grayson Perry and FAT’s jolly A House for Essex, or the precariously cantilevered Balancing Barn in Suffolk by MVRDV, or wondered what that peculiar looking boat is doing perched on top of the Southbank Centre. They’re all available to rent, making the perfect getaway whether you have an interest in architecture and an appreciation for meticulous design, would like to experience what it’s like to live, eat and sleep in a space designed by a top architectural practice …

EGG at Dover Street Market by Jonathan Tuckey Design, image: Dirk Lindner

Egg at Dover Street Market by Jonathan Tuckey Design

If you’re a regular reader of my blog then you will know I’m a sucker for stripes and clean white walls. So when this light, bright space landed in my inbox I knew I had to share it with you all. Designed by London-based Jonathan Tuckey Design, it’s a space for fashion brand Egg at the newly opened Dover Street Market on the Haymarket, central London. Jonathan Tuckey worked previously with Egg on the refurbishment of part of its complex of shops on Kinnerton Street in Knightsbridge. Here though, he has created an intimate, white space with bespoke vitrines and display units that open up to present the light blue and striped items. A suspended grey ceiling and chunky string lights give the space an industrial feel, while brass details add a bit of detail and refinement. Made of stained chipboard, mounted on frames of dark steel, the display units were inspired by antique campaign furniture, especially old trunks and bureaus which could provide compact portable storage. One opens up to reveal hanging space for clothes and has mirrors on the doors. Says Tuckey: ‘Readily …

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Light loft living by Chan + Eayrs

I’ve recently been considering moving from my 1930s King’s Cross flat into somewhere new. I always find myself veering towards old, period properties for their unusual details, charm and little eccentricities. For me, new builds can so often be lacking in character, with generic, homogenous features and penny-pinching space standards. Not so for young, London-based studio Chan + Eayrs, which has branded itself as both architect, interior designer and developer. It has just completed its first project in New Cross, south east London. The New Cross Lofts are dreamy, with thought put into every little detail – from the exquisite herringbone brick exterior, that references surrounding Victorian terraces, to the cast concrete benches inside. Standing on the plot of a former garage on the corner of Pagnell Street and New Cross Road, the building comprises two work studios on the ground floor and two apartments above. A lofty winter garden connects the spaces and floods the spaces with light. A soft, neutral colour palette is seamlessly brought together with lime-washed oak floors, walls painted in Rolling Fog by Little Greene and exposed …

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Vipp's plug & play getaway

Wouldn’t it be nice just to getaway, escape the hum-drum of daily life and the rat-race of urban life? Well, Danish design company Vipp has done just that: they’ve created this sexy ‘plug & play’ 55 sq m prefabricated shelter. And they’ve thought of every little detail, from lighting to linen, from table to toilet brush, and from shelves to self dispenser. All you have to do is decide where to put it, if you have €485,000 to spare… Prefabricated north of Copenhagen, the simple steel grid supports a two-level space with a compact bathroom, sleek, dark-toned kitchen and living space as well as a cosy bed loft. Taking 6 months to produce but just 3-5 days to install, Vipp’s CEO Kasper Egelund describes it as ‘a battery-charging stations for humans’. The starting point for the designers was going back to basics; the landscape is purposely framed by two large sliding window frames and an all-black interior lets the outside do the talking. Chief designer Morton Bo Jensen says: ‘Vipp is rooted in the manufacture …

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Dar Mim by Septembre architects

Paris-based architect Septembre has completed the renovation and extension of a traditional courtyard house in the historic heart of the city Hammamet in Tunisia (incidentally, as I write this post, I can’t help but hum along to Earth, Wind & Fire’s September… “do you rememberrr, the 21st night of Septemberrr, ba duda, badu, ba duda…). As January sets in, with its dark and wet weather here in London, this blindingly-bright home is the perfect remedy. It makes me want to book a holiday immediately, pack my bags and say goodbye to stormy England. The building itself was converted piecemeal over time, retaining a mixture of solids and voids that provide light and much-needed natural ventilation. The project organises the main living spaces around two open courtyards, creating a series of horizontal and vertical connections. All the woodwork and metalwork were made by local artisans, while traditional plaster and limewash has been used to create the whiter-than-white exterior walls. A two-story extension features a guest room and its own terrace accessed from a new staircase. There’s …

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A copper-clad community centre by Menzi Bürgler Architekten

There seems to be a trend at the moment for all things copper, from candles (I’m looking at you Tom Dixon) and planters to kitchens and bathrooms, and architecture is no different, as shown with this community centre in northern Switzerland. It has a fantastic copper roof, wrapping over its bulky concrete form, and punchy copper windows too. It is the new home of the Evangelical Reformed Parish, set in the existing graveyard of Wurenlos, and designed by Zurich-based Menzi Bürgler Architekten. The building was made of prefabricated wooden components, enabling the structure to take shape in just a few days. On the ground floor of the new building can be found a rectory and meeting room, while upstairs there are two rooms of different sizes, which offer space for events. The architect hopes that the copper and wood will naturally age over time, changing the expression of the building and how it fits in the landscape. Images: Rasmus Norlander, Zürich

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Converted Brooklyn loft by SABO Project

New York and Paris-based architects SABO Project has completely gutted this Brooklyn loft, located in a former die casting factory built in 1913. A series of new partitions, custom cabinets, glass enclosures and a new mezzanine now define the concrete space, creating private rooms without compromising on daylight. The building’s concrete ceilings and columns can now be seen in all their bare glory, while cabinets alternate as stairs and storage. The turquoise bathroom, a delight in itself, was designed around a diamond shaped ceramic tile, with no less than three colours and nine shades in the bold graphic pattern. All images SABO project

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Private house in Paris by architect Julie Rosier

Paris-based architect Julie Rosier has redeveloped a duplex apartment in the 14th arrondissement of Paris. She has flipped the apartment round so that the kitchen and living room have been relocated to the first floor and the bedroom and bathroom are now on the ground floor, providing more light from the courtyard behind. The kitchen is concealed behind a new grey and neon yellow box which wraps around the staircase and was inspired by the geometry of Mondrian, who also lived in Paris. Small window slots connect the stairs with the kitchen sink and worktop, while a dizzying mosaic backsplash carries the colour through the space. Elsewhere the small living room is divided up with white sliding doors to form an even smaller bedroom. All in all, a very clever space-saving solution.         

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I wish I lived here: a modern apartment in an old German farmhouse

This small project by Italy-based Francesco di Gregorio and Karin Matz inserts a contemporary wooden structure clad in over 3,200 tiles into a traditional farmhouse on the German island of Föhr. The former barn, used for hay storage, now has two new volumes, with a bedroom and bathroom in each. The bedrooms, painted in a dark turquoise, are described as ‘nests’ by the architect, in contrast to the light and airy living spaces, where more than 500m of polypropylene blue rope has been used to form a transparent division between the staircase and the apartment. di Gregorio and Matz, inspired by the traditional architecture in this rural environment, say: Föhr is an island belonging to Germany but first and foremost to Nordfriesland. The Friesians have their own language and culture. In the 17th century a school of navigation was founded on Föhr and many people sailed to Asia and North America.  Sailing to other countries brought back the tradition of ceramics and tiles from Asia. Being rich meant having as many painted Friesian tiles as possible on your dining room walls. Wood …