Summer ending means only the beginning of a new year for art, design and architecture. We take you to Paris on a full excursion around the city and inside the celebrated fair Maison & Objet. Work and school days might get you sleepy, so we focus on finding you some of the best fabrics for the bedroom by exhibitors seen at the fair. We talk to Italian designer Roberto Sironi about his work curating the exhibition for online platform Maison & Objet and More (MOM)—we also highlight several new products exhibited by MOM. Catch more on Ramy Fischler—M&O’s designer of the year—, a renown interior designer who is also involved in the development of Nu!, a zero -waste corporate catering service based on local and direct produce sourcing. Through the many design districts and architectural jewels of Paris, this issue has much to offer.
A screening room on rails! Designer and architect Cristina Celestino transformed the historical tram of 1928 into a traveling “cinema” which circulates the Brera Design District. Celestino tailor-made the interior of Corallo to reflect her aesthetic preference of precious materials, references to the past,...
We dig into the theme of this year’s Salone del Mobile which splits into three categories: classic, design and timeless luxury.
Last week, the city that holds the global title of de facto design capital was once again hit by storm, with the 57th edition of Salone Internazionale del Mobile. Held April 17-22 in Milan, the 2018 fair drew some 300,000 visitors from over 165 countries – all keen to soak up the vast array of new contemporary furnishings. This year, more than 2,000 exhibitors showcased their wares at Fiera Milano, Rho—while above-average temperatures brought a taste of premature Summer. ArchiExpo e-Magazine was live on the scene, gleaning the hottest launches from all the show’s offerings. Here are a few of our favorite finds.
Classic: Tradition in the Future
Brushing the dust off long-forgotten designs continues with great success. In many cases, traditional craftsmanship only needed a few light touches for a modern upgrade and 21st-century appreciation. Case in point, in tribute to the 100th birth anniversary of designer and architect Achille Castiglioni, Zanotta reintroduced the Albero flower pot stand, a striking tree-like form sprouting with plant pedestals originally launched in 1983.
Marta Zanotta, marketing and communications manager for Zanotta, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, told ArchiExpo e-Magazine:
These days young people are less into status symbols and more trying to find their own personality and passion to express in their home.
Italian lighting manufacturer Flos also celebrates the Castiglioni milestone, unveiling two humorous lamps for the occasion. The Ventosa can be stuck via a suction cup on nearly all surfaces while Nasa, a wire reading light, can be clipped into just about any place—including the nose (which Castiglioni demonstrated, an old photo proves).
Carl Hansen & Søn dug down into its expansive archives to uncover a 1952 design by Hans J. Wegner. Not produced since the late 1970s, the upholstered CH71 lounge chair and CH72 two-seater sofa have a section of unexpectedly exposed solid wood on armrests, in the form of handles.
The CH71 lounge chair and CH72 two-seater sofa by Hans J. Wegner for Carl Hansen & Søn. Photo courtesy of Carl Hansen & Søn.
Design: Functionality and Innovation
The days of that frustrating conundrum – form or function? – are numbered, products in the Design category prove. A playful and youthful new brand by Spanish firm Gandia Blasco descends with a bang on the outdoor category, which all too often sacrifices style for weather-proofing. Diabla creatively focuses on outdoor furniture at an economical price, while introducing fresh young designers and offering products online—a first for Gandia Blasco. Alejandra Gandía-Blasco Lloret, Gandia Blasco’s deputy director of creative and communication told ArchiExpo e-Magazine:
This is our way of keeping in touch with a lot of young designers all over the world. And since we just produce small collections of individual objects and no large collections, we can experiment.
Gandía-Blasco Lloret had two of her own contributions to the first collection: Pilsy, a small portable lamp shaped like a handbag that can be charged wirelessly and Valentina Outdoor, a casual and elegant furniture system that is also lightweight and therefore portable – expanding location possibilities. For soft pool- or beach-side seating in an arena that isn’t usually so cushy, there’s the weather-resistant Donut stool by Japanese designer Mikiya Kobayashi inspired by the trademark form of the deep-fried pastry.
The Donut stool by Mikiya Kobayashi. Photo courtesy of Diabla.
Likewise, Italian lighting manufacturer Foscarini kicks off production of its first outdoor collection. A supersized version of its popular coated fiberglass Twiggy lamp by Marc Sadler is one highlight, and an elegant edition to a garden oasis. After an innovative revamp of manufacturing processes, the four-meter high lacquered fiberglass composite, painted metal, and aluminum Twice as Twiggy Grid bends with the wind and incorporates less material. Sadler told ArchiExpo e-Magazine:
Experimentation often opens up new worlds to new adventures. We redid parts of the machines and the programs and were able to make the machines smaller and more efficient.
Once again blending style and function, Zanotta’s aluminum alloy and polyurethane Elipse chair by Patrick Jouin is distinguished by the circular cutout in its back. “Elipse looks perfect from any point of view, even from the rear, and you can easily carry it,” Zanotta explains.
The Elipse chair by Patrick Jouin for Zanotta. Photo couresy of Zanotta.
Czech designer Lucy Koldova’s high-backed Chips lounge chair, which premiered in Germany at IMM Cologne’s experimental home Das Haus 2018, will now be produced, along with an ottoman, by bentwood furniture company Ton. Framed by hand-bent wood, Chips has an oversized backrest made from perforated fabric—for a statement piece that Koldova describes as “visually light yet intentionally oversized.”
Luxurious yet Contemporary
Luxurious materials remain a driving force. The upholstered high-backed chair Asko by Patrick Jouin for Erik Jørgensen is available in a buttery leather, for example. Six different marbles can be paired with the slim brass pipe base of the flexible Palladio coffee table by husband and wife duo GamFratesi. A play on geometry and material produced by Porro, the table is available as three different models—circular, rectangular, or trapezoidal—that stand alone or tuck in together as a family.
Solid oak is a rare material when it comes to office cabinets. However, the Chess range of sheet metal cabinets by Konstantin Grcic for Italian manufacturer Magis employs it on handles across all models and on recessed pedestals, lifting the cabinets off the floor. Developed in collaboration with Fami, an Italian firm known for its high-quality metal cabinets, Chess is offered in powder-coated white or wine-red finishes.
Designed with a nod to Gregori Warchavchik, the Russian-Ukrainian architect credited with kickstarting modern architecture in 1920’s Brazil, the Casa Modernista upholstered sofa by Nipa Doshi & Jonathan Levien is part of Italian manufacturer Moroso’s new home collection, an expansion of the Modernista series which launched last year. With its deep seat and brushed steel base, the Casa Modernista sofa surprises with a dash of femininity in the form of central buttons.
The Casa Modernista sofa by Nipa Doshi & Jonathan Levien for Moroso. Photo courtesy of Moroso.
Choice is also a luxury, the minds behind Moroso know. Therefore the Chamfer sofa by Patricia Urquiola for Moroso is available in five different versions, varying in depth as well as length. It’s named after the sloped edge of its form.
The Chamfer sofa by Patricia Urquiola for Moroso. Photo courtesy of Moroso.
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September—Italy’s tile fair Cersaie selected the mosaic manufacturer Sicis as the winner of this year’s award for the most colorful booth. The company’s new Vetrite Gem Glass series captivated the public through a magical pizazz.
Sicis uses special techniques and processes to combine gemstones and glass in order to create an enchanting allure. Thirteen unique looks with swirling veins or ripples, transparent and opaque, are available. They can come in various finishes including solid, chromo or opalescent. The solid version has a pure white base; the Chromo reflects brilliant colors through a mirror and chrome plated effect; opalescent plays with texture to give a translucent effect.
Read more on all the goodies found at the fair here.
In outdoor public spaces, lighting plays several important roles from illuminating the pathway at night to becoming an architectural tool. Simultaneously, it often faces infrastructure and light pollution challenges. Several recent projects demonstrate lighting’s flexibility in its capacity to embellish an architectural space or let the night stars shine.
Building in Light
The recently completed Marsa Plaza in Muscat, Oman, is the city’s first public square. Lighting designer Johannes Møjen of ÅF Lighting spoke to ArchiExpo e-Magazine—in a joint interview with electrical and lighting engineer Frederik Waneck Borello—who explained:
We designed the lighting to accentuate the architectural qualities and to add a new dimension during the dark hours.”
The pair collaborated closely with landscape architects Acme Architects. “We took part in the lighting design project from start to finish, including several trips to Oman to secure the quality of the installations and to finetune more than 300 light fixtures on the site,” said Borello.
Marsa Plaza in Muscat, Oman. Courtesy of AF Lighting.
“The primary design goal was to create lighting for people. The lighting creates a diverse environment where visitors feel safe, comfortable and inspired,” said Møjen. In order to achieve this, they created several lighting layers.
First, we designed a layer of functional lighting which facilitates easy wayfinding and provides a feeling of safety. Secondly, we designed a layer of lighting to create a sense of space and establish recreational zones where visitors can sit and relax together. Finally, we designed a layer of scenographic lighting with image projections and graphical representations of water depth-curves fitted onto the patterns of the pavement, and designed to connect the square to the marina and surrounding water.”
Light fixtures include the Miniwoody, Maxiwoody and Light Up by iGuzzini, ProFlood image projections by Philips, Castor bollards by Erco, LINEARLight FLEX Protect Advanced bench lighting by Osram and Instalight 3090 RGB marker lights by Insta.
In architect Peter Van Driessche’s INFINITI²³ tower, built for the Bruges Triennial held from May 5 to September 16, 2018,lighting helped to accentuate the tower’s form and the message about rising water levels due to global warming. The tower was composed of container-shaped quarters which could detach and function as independent units on the water.
Architect Peter Van Driessche INFINITI²³ tower. Courtesy of Delta Light.
Delta Light was responsible for lighting each container, including those placed on the water’s surface. According to Geert Christiaens, Belux Area Manager at Delta Light in a press release:
We designed thin LED sections so the color temperature changes according to the height of the capsule: the bottom containers have a whiter color light, cooler than those at the top where the color of the light is much hotter. Thanks to our CTRL DELTA system, we can change colors at any time via Bluetooth. The more the earth heats up and the sea level rises, the warmer the lighting becomes.”
London’s Alexandra Palace, built in 1873, is currently undergoing major restoration and lighting plays a role in bringing derelict sections of the palace to life. Architainment worked with Signify, formerly Philips, to light up its mast and tower. The lighting demonstrates the scale of the structure while allowing light changes for different events.
“Thanks to new Color Kinetics technology, the project was completed at only a third of the original budget.”
Architainment used the most updated PhilipsColor Kinetics LED fixtures to light the mast. Each fixture is DMX controlled allowing it to function independently or as part of a group. The age of the palace posed limitations on where fixtures could be mounted. The designers were able to avoid mounting luminaires on the mast itself by placing Color Kinetics Color Reach RBGW fittings at the base of the structure. The base of the mast is lit internally as well, shining light upwards through the tower’s latticework, while the upper part of the mast is lit externally allowing the upper and lower parts to be controlled separately which creates light uniformity. Thanks to new Color Kinetics technology, the project was completed at only a third of the original budget.
The historic center of Jaipur, India, also known as the “Pink City” due to the color of many prominent buildings, recently underwent a lighting makeover by Osram Lighting Solutions. Osram worked to highlight the unique architecture of the city while giving it new life when the sun goes down. The light design links cultural heritage with modern architecture. A total of 6,600 Osram LED luminaires light up a 6 km stretch which features 425 monuments. The project necessitated 30 different luminaires, 15 beam angles and eight color temperatures to achieve its design goal.
Subtle Lighting For Dark Skies
Beyond lighting spaces and architectural forms, outdoor lighting design can also aim to limit light pollution and maintain dark skies. The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) advocates for outdoor lighting that allows for star visibility, consumes less energy and saves taxpayer money. In addition, more efficient, dimmer and targeted lighting can help preserve wildlife and ecosystems. According to the IDA website:
For billions of years, all life has relied on Earth’s predictable rhythm of day and night. It’s encoded in the DNA of all plants and animals. Humans have radically disrupted this cycle by lighting up the night.”
When the coastal Kingborough municipality in Tasmania added lighting at the end of last year to improve visibility for pedestrians and large boats, it was fitting that this home to several parklands follows IDA criteria.
“The project was designed with International Dark-Sky Association principles and recommendations to ensure a truly environmental outcome,” Landon Bannister, sales manager forSouthern Lighting & Distribution, told ArchiExpo e-Magazine.
Southern Lighting was responsible for adding the 12 new solar-powered poles and luminaires.
The VFL530solar powered lights from WE-EF are completely independent from the electrical grid and generate enough electricity to run for five days with no sunlight. The luminaries draw only 9 watts of power and comply with the IDA’s standards.
After nearly five years of meticulously restoring the Victorian-era Temperate House, the architectural team at Kew Gardens reached a key moment: They installed a giant rain-making machine above the building to simulate the infamous British weather and make sure that precious plants would be protected.
When the glass roof “leaked like a sieve,” in the words of head architect Aimee Felton, “it made us question whether we had chosen the wrong material, the specifications were wrong, or we needed to think again.”
“It made us question whether we had chosen the wrong material.”
With 15,000 panes of glass replaced, and a grand total of 69,000 individual elements removed and renovated, the groundbreaking £41m ($54m) project was never going to be plain sailing for Felton and her colleagues at Donald Insall Associates, a specialist conservation studio.
Their first step was to store hundreds of delicate plants in temporary arboretums, before building a huge tent, with space for three jumbo jets, to enclose the pavilion—a period masterpiece originally designed by Decimus Burton that opened in 1863.
Once builders had put up 180km of scaffolding, the glasshouse was stripped to its exoskeleton. More than a dozen layers of paint were scraped off and replaced with 5,280 fresh liters of cream white—enough to cover four football pitches.
A modern lighting system built from bespoke clamps and metal railings which run parallel to the original structure has been designed to avoid scratching that special fade-resistant paint job.
“A new, energy-efficient biomass heater for the winter months will also reduce emissions by 20 percent.”
The adaptable lighting rig also carries dozens of wireless routers, a crucial component to one of the most important innovations: A building management system for climate control. Clumsy manual wheels have been replaced by an automated program which monitors temperature and humidity levels to open or close windows, maintaining optimum conditions for the plants—and saving a huge amount of staff time. A new, energy-efficient biomass heater for the winter months will also reduce emissions by 20 percent.
Since the Temperate House reopened in May, visitor numbers have rocketed—and the building is well prepared, with new accessible entrances outfitted with ramps and electric doors, which improve the flow of air as well as people. Closed basements have been opened to house public toilets and staff facilities, while a kitchenette will cater for events.
Preserving the essence of Burton’s vision has been carefully balanced with practical upgrades. “You have to be quite pragmatic about the way you treat listed buildings,” explained Felton, “because there is no point cementing a building in one fixed time if it can’t be useful and produce what is needed for the modern visitor.”
After many more rain tests, engineers discovered the leakage problem had arisen because the windows were too straight—so their solution was to add a bit of simple, old-fashioned human touch. “This is essentially a handmade building, and, while it looks incredible symmetrical, each individual section is marginally different,” said Felton.
We’d just forgotten that each window had to go in at a slightly different angle. That’s what cracked it.”
Jody Miller-Young spent 30 years as a publicist in the entertainment industry, working with icons like Iggy Pop, Roger Waters, The Cure. Among several other professional activities, she is currently CEO of AxolotlFL, a custom surfaces brand.