ArchiExpo e-Magazine - #23 - Seaside, Poolside - ArchiExpo e-Magazine

Seaside, Poolside

This issue takes you into the summer season in fashion, with a special focus on outdoor furniture to consider for upcoming spacial design projects. We explore the floating garden in New York City, and offer insight on current connected products that exist for the garden.

We covered ArcheMENA where Dubai-based architects spoke about today’s design mind for the interior of health centers and clinics. Our Swiss-based journalist continues our In Time pieces with a handful of amazing artists during Art Basel. Our selection of goodies include a sensorized ceramic table top called SmartSlab, a bicycle made from ash wood, this summer’s innovative wine glass and more.

Hot Topic
Technology helps people enjoy the garden more.
Courtesy of Gardena

“Some people think technology shouldn’t be in the garden,” landscape architect Hay-Joung Hwang told ArchiExpo. “But it’s a way to help people enjoy the garden more without harming it.” As a “smart home” extension, home gardens become practical with connected devices. South Korea-born, U.K.-based Hwang is excited to...

Hot Topic
The waterfront is mirrored by several outdoor furniture brands
Courtesy of Dedon

About an hour’s drive north of bustling fashion capital Milan, the serene terrace of the new Lake Como hotel Il Sereno nestles into the forested foothills of the Alps. Il Sereno, the second Sereno hotel, is scheduled to open this summer, 10 years after its predecessor, Le Sereno St. Barth, was designed by Milan based designer and architect Patricia Urquiola.

Il Sereno features an infinity pool running along 60 feet of lakefront. Urquoila, who has designed for leading architecture and design firms such as B&B Italia, Kettal and GANDIABLASCO, furnished the poolside space and the hotel’s restaurant terrace with modern, organic-inspired simplicity. Urquiola collaborated with French landscape artist Patrick Blanc to create vertical gardens blending the hotel’s outdoor spaces into the foliage of the mountain side.

Patricia Urquiola Il Sereno

Il Sereno, exterior space design by architect Patricia Urquiola.

As summer heats up, you don’t have to be at Lake Como to spend a little more time by the water. Il Sereno’s feel of elemental simplicity on the waterfront is mirrored by several outdoor furniture brands, creating this season’s releases in earthy tones. These brands have been focusing on bringing the indoors outdoors by engineering special materials.

First & Finest

The lounge chair from Sebastian Herkner’s Mbrace collection for German company Dedon has a cozy feel, good for cocooning as the sun goes down and the air cools. The chair combines teak and typical Dedon fiber, developed in 1990 by Bobby Dekeyser and stated as being the world’s first and finest synthetic resin fiber.

Dedon fiber is weatherproof, durable, environmentally friendly and supple. It can be woven into various artful patterns,” said designer  Sebastian Herkner in conversation with ArchiExpo.

Bobby Dekeyser’s goal to create a new kind of garden furniture, turning the garden into an outdoor living room, turned reality. From 1990 to 2016, the Mbrace collection expresses the “first & finest” in style and material. The base of the lounge chair is made from teak wood and the seat is triaxial open-weave. The lounge chair features a low and wide back, making it a tempting place to curl up. The Mbrace collection also includes a higher backed wing chair, a rocking chair and an ottoman. See featured image.

Omega Outdoor

Also bringing armchair comfort out-of-doors this season is Spanish company Expormim with their Twins set designed by MUT designs, founded in 2010 by Alberto Sanchez. These two armchairs of slightly different shapes compliment each other, but also stand up on their own with contemporary class.

The high resistance aluminum frame and base are finished with polyester powder. The seat is upholstered in Omega Outdoor, a technical fabric developed exclusively for Expormim by Danish company Gabriel.

“We wanted something resistant as well as comfortable and beautiful. Omega Outdoor fit all these conditions. The 3-D mesh effect along with the fresh colors, like paprika and turquoise, made it perfect.” Sanchez told ArchiExpo.


Expormim MUT Designs Twins archiexpo

Twins by MUT Designs. Courtesy of Spanish furniture brand Expormim.

Teak Wood

The Gio chaise longue was designed by Italian architect and furniture designer Antonio Citterio for B&B Italia. The teak frame is coated in a silver-gray finish, giving it a lived-in rustic look and reflective quality.

The chaise’s high-density polyester fiber cushions are available in a variety of earthy plant and mineral colors, from whites to beiges, browns to slates. The 2016 Gio collection also offers several complementary teak pieces including outdoor tables, chairs and sofas.

Gio Chaise Longue B&B Italia archiexpo

Gio Chaise Longue. Courtesy of B&B Italia.

Textile Layers

The Japanese-inspired Kumo sofa was designed by Lionel Doyen for Belgian company Manutti. Kumo, the Japanese word for cloud, describes both the airy shape of these outdoor sofas and their multiple formation possibilities.

The collection consists of two modules and a pouf that can be arranged for different spaces, intimately enveloping or opening to the elements. Kumo comes in a variety of colors including neutrals and organics, as well as brighter options, and accented pillows. Manutti Outdoor fabric range makes up the top textile layer, while Gore-tex interlining fabric sits just beneath.

Kumo sofa by Lionel Doyen

Kumo sofa by Lionel Doyen

Knitting Ropes

The Barcelona-based company Kettal released the Cala armchair during Milan Design Week 2016. Designed by London based firm Doshi Levien, the Cala redoes the 1970s classic Emanuelle chair with a sleeker shape and updated simplicity.

The peacock-backed seat is made from a coated aluminum frame and loosely knitted ropes that are reminicent of rattan. The ropes come in a variety of colors for customizing possibilities. The chair’s base can be teak legs or a coated aluminum pedestal.

The Cala armchair by Doshi Levien for Kettal. Courtesy of Kettal.

The Cala armchair by Doshi Levien for Kettal. Courtesy of Kettal.

100% Recyclable

Flat collection by Mario Ruiz for Gandiablasco. Courtesy of Gandiablasco.

Flat collection by Mario Ruiz for Gandiablasco. Courtesy of Gandiablasco.

The ever-growing eight-year-old Flat collection designed by Barcelona-based designer Mario Ruiz for Gandiablasco has a new 2016 addition. The Flat daybed adds relaxed socializing to the collection’s “contemporary lines and architectural character” as described by the Gandiablasco press release.

The daybed’s frame is aluminum and 100% recyclable polyethylene, and the cushions are polyurethane foam rubber. The large selection of removable covers are made from water-repellent fabrics and include several nature-inspired options.

Flat daybed by Mario Ruiz for Gandiablasco

Flat daybed by Mario Ruiz for Gandiablasco

Inside Out

To compliment the furniture, this season has also revealed new outdoor accessories. GANDIABLASCO released custom outdoor woven vinyl rugs by Dickson with high performance backing, as well as an outdoor LED lamp in thermo-lacquered aluminum designed by Fran Silvestre.

With these 2016 outdoor furniture styles and accessories, designers can create exterior spaces with earthy sophistication while experiencing comfort traditionally associated with inside the home.


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  • Al Mafraq Hospital by Stantec


    Hospitals and other healthcare-focused buildings are typically conceived as cold, uniform, joyless places. Faced with numerous challenges, those designing such spaces often seem focused on purpose rather than feeling, on function rather than form. Yet today, as patient-centric design is prioritized, a new type of healthcare architecture is increasingly putting people first.

    It was against this backdrop that the first day of ArchMENA 2016 (April 25-26) saw a panel discussion entitled “Creating state of the art medical facilities by solving the challenges faced by healthcare professionals and putting the patient first.” ArchiExpo caught up with three panelists and the moderator to get their thoughts on the discussion.

    A Human Space

    Today there is a growing awareness that healthcare spaces can play a key role in helping patients relax and heal. A growing number of architects are now adopting a holistic approach to their work, resulting in buildings that enhance interaction between patients, families and caregivers.

    Patients relate the quality of their medical care to the feel and experience of their surroundings,” says panelist Marwan Houry, A Dubai-based principal for professional services firm Stantec International.

    Cox Rayner Architects

    University of Queensland Oral Health Centre. An example of a warm and inviting interior design. Courtesy of Cox Rayner Architects.

    Houry points to the Stantec-designed Al Mafraq Medical Center in Abu Dhabi (now nearing completion) as an example. “The environment here will be centered on the patient experience,” he says. “This new hospital is designed according to several key concepts—efficiency and flexibility within the space, expandability on the site, and sustainability within an environmentally sensitive landscape.”

    “Healthcare spaces must be designed to mitigate the stress and anxiety typically associated with the need for medical attention,” says panelist Jeffrey Brand, principal at New York-headquartered Perkins Eastman.

    “Something as simple as a well-placed comfortable sofa with an adjacent table to accommodate a laptop, or an electrical outlet to charge a phone or power a tablet, can enhance the hospital experience for a staff member, patient or visitor.”

    taiwan dental clinic interior design

    Dental clinic in Taoyuan city in Taiwan by architect Germain Canon and interior designer Li Mengshu.

    Technological Focus

    The ongoing development of medical science and technology is also a huge driver for change within the field of healthcare architecture. Over the last two decades, advances in genetics, cell function and other aspects of human biology, complemented by progress in diagnostic imaging and interventional techniques, have revolutionized the nature of hospital care. Many conditions can now be treated out of hospital, or within one day.

    Going forward, advances in technology will continue to impact healthcare design.

    Hospitals and healthcare systems of the future will look very different,” says panelist Carson Shearon, principal and international strategies leader at American architectural firm CannonDesign. “They will continue to branch out and meet people where they are—outside of hospitals and clinics.”

    “Over the next decade I think we will see increasing demand for super-specialized healthcare facilities,” says panel moderator Bhakti More, an associate professor at the School of Design & Architecture at Dubai’s Manipal University. “The concept of medical tourism is also getting popular and will have an impact.”

    taiwan dental clinic interior design

    Dental clinic in Taoyuan city in Taiwan by architect Germain Canon and interior designer Li Mengshu.

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    Courtesy of interviewees

    The mere mention of Art Basel ignites excitement in the international art world, and this year’s 47th edition in Basel, Switzerland was no exception. With the work of more than 4,000 artists being exhibited, this year proved to be one of the most successful in the fair’s history.

    ArchiExpo accepted an invitation to hear Dutch artist Jan van der Ploeg talk about his first institutional appearance in Switzerland. His often-symmetrical work is large scale, but the complex architecture of one particular museum proved challenging.

    Artist Ariel Schlesinger pleased the architecture and design lovers of Art Basel with his giant white dancing sheets of polypropylene, exhibited in Unlimited. His initial idea came about by chance, but re-creating it on a bigger scale proved more problematic.

    Next stop: the Crowdfunding Lab with Glenn Phillips, curator and head of modern and contemporary collections at the of the Getty Research Institute in L.A. At a time when support for the non-profit sector of the art world is dwindling, he talked to us about the viability of a crowdfunding plan.

    kickstarter crowdfunding archiexpo artbasel

    Projects currently on Kickstarter.

    Meanwhile, nestled among the bustling gallery booths, we found a collection of debut projects by emerging artists in Statements. Here we discovered a multi-channel video and sound project by artists Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme. Their collaborative work details trips with young Palestinians returning to destroyed villages. We learned how a project of this type with sound, image and text is prompting museum directors to re-think how they can best accommodate such experimental installations.

    We spent the evening in the company of Swiss-based architect Benjamin Dillenburger who believes architecture has to explore digital technologies in a much more radical way. Geometric complexity is no longer an impediment he tells us as he talks about the project Digital Grotesque.

    Finally, our time at Art Basel drew to a close watching ships go by at the point where France, Germany and Switzerland geographically meet, and where the Swiss sound artist Zimoun was exhibiting. Ever wondered what 317 brown motorized bags in a shipping container sounds like?

    All exclusive information in the timeline below.

    *In Time: Interviews conducted and words by Gillian Millar; selection of interviewees by online managing editor of ArchiExpo e-Magazine, Erin Tallman and Gillian Millar.


    Portraits of Ariel and Glenn (credits are Galleria Massimo Minini and Art Basel respectfully)

    Portrait and lecture shot of Benjamin Dillenburger (credit is Torvioll Jashari)

    Photos of Digital Grotesque project are credit to Benjamin Dillenburger and Michael Hansmeyer


    Gillian Millar

    Gillian Millar is a journalist, broadcaster and filmmaker living in Switzerland.

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    Erin Tallman

    American artist Erin Tallman is a journalist for various online publications and is the Editor in Chief of ArchiExpo e-magazine. She has published three books, including her first novel.

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    Vanessa Liwanag

    Vanessa Liwanag, is an MBA alumni of the prestigious Mod’Art International in Paris and founder of Creative Talents Worldwide.

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    Hilary Edesess

    Hilary Edesess is a freelance journalist based in Marseille, France. She blogs about culture, art and urban design.

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    Alex Ulam

    Alex Ulam is a freelance journalist and design critic based in New York.

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    Daniel Allen

    Daniel Allen is a writer and a photographer. His work has been featured in numerous publications, including CNN, BBC, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, National Geographic Traveller, Discovery Channel.

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