Apartment Trocadero by Rodolphe Parente located in Paris, France
Apartment Trocadero by Rodolphe Parente located in Paris, France. The approach for the project was based on a deep respect for the existing architecture while emphasizing the significance of the existing volumes and creating perfect opportunities for the contemporary art and furniture collection to receive the attention they deserve. Alas, the result is not a contemplative or a “frozen space” – instead, the apartment is designed as a place that feels comfortable and dedicated to family life. A warm atmosphere is created resulting from a series of bold and ambitious stylistic choices, underpinned with noble materials.
Situated in Sao Paulo, Brasil, Pavilion (2013) by Metro Arquitetos Associados. Composed of two concrete walls and a steel structure as a roof. Besides a central rounded skylight, a gap between the roof and the walls allows for natural lighting. Placed in a 23,860 ft² (2,200 m²) garden, in a residential neighborhood in São Paulo. The main construction is a pavilion for the exhibition and storage of an important private contemporary and modern Brazilian art collection. It is a simple volume, with 18 feet (5.5 m) wide by 92 feet (28 m) long, made by two concrete walls and a steel structure as a roof. Besides a central rounded skylight, a gap between the roof and the walls allows for natural lighting. The pavilion has two different floor-to-ceiling heights. The second structure is a concrete cube that houses a guest room on two levels. As a complementary structure, there is an irregular wooden grid covered by glass, supported by only three steel columns, that covers an area of 860 ft² (80 m²)
Jean Prouvé once said that he liked his furniture designs to express “what the material thinks.
Jean Prouvé once said that he liked his furniture designs to express “what the material thinks.” In the case of his Standard chair, the use of bulky hindquarters with slim front legs states that as with most chairs, it is the rear two legs that take the most strain when someone sits down. The visual portrayal of the load-bearing qualities of a chair has the effect of giving the Standard a voice, raising its status from a meek, mute object to a proud and trusty servant. Jean Prouvé was a man with strong egalitarian beliefs. Despite a successful career, he was never tempted to leave his hometown of Nancy, France (where he was actually mayor for a time), for the brighter lights of Paris. As a designer was more at home producing pieces for schools, town halls, and even petrol stations than he was for private clients or upmarket boutiques.
His designs, as exemplified by the Standard chair, have a rugged yet lyrical charm, almost despite themselves. Indeed, this combination of Prouvés graceful, almost feminine feelings for form with his more macho approach to construction and choice of materials accounts much of the appeal of his work. The Stand=ard chair is sometimes referred to ads ‘Chair No. 4’, as it was his fourth attempt at creating a versatile office chair. Of course, now that offices are routinely equipped with swivel chairs, the Standard more often takes up residence in restaurants, cafés, and homes. It must be pointed out that the chair often now finds itself relatively refined surroundings. having been adopted by an educated, usually wealthy, design-literate elite since it was put into production again in 2002 by Vitra. (Ateliers Jean Prouvé, his manufacturing company, had stopped producing the chair in 1956.) Whether Prouvé himself would be pleased or appalled by this new fan baser we shall never know. But I would assume the latter would be the appropriate answer.
One of the most endearing aspects of the Standard chair, to contemporary consumers, is that, although it speaks the language of the Standardized industrial production, this is clearly a chair created by one man in a workshop, not on an office computer. Prouvé was known to prefer designing with materials and tools in front of him, as opposed to sitting at a drawing desk. Having started his career as a blacksmith, he never lost his love for getting his hands dirty. This is why the design for the Standard chair was continually being tinkered with over the 22 years that Ateliers Jean Prouvé produced it. Need, it was some years after it was first conceived that Prouvé altered the design to allow the chair to be easily dismantled for storage and transportation.
This is one of those original situations that you really shouldn’t try to improve on or try to bring it into contemporary culture. It’s like a classic film, that studios then try to make a sequel to, which (aside from the Godfather) almost always turns out terrible, and takes away from the original greatness of the first film. Once a classic always a classic, but let’s leave the Classic’s alone and be innovators of our own.
DUSSELDORF (2006) by Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners located in Düsseldorf, Germany | The Hardt
DUSSELDORF (2006) by Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners located in Düsseldorf, Germany. Bruno Erpicum was the architect entrusted with designing this warehouse conversion. It is now the home of a couple with a passion for architecture who were keen to make one of Düsseldorf’s rare ruins their own. The reconversion was closely overseen by the administrative authorities since this old factory in the city center miraculously avoided damage during the many bombings of World War II.
Across from the coachman’s passageway are some garages that stand in front of the entrance court. The court is dotted with screens that flank the entrance and seclude off the “day patio”. The history of the city is reflected in the glass panels, reminding you of the building’s heritage. A facade made entirely of glass stands completely independently of the old structures, showing off their immense scale. The building is now protected against the elements and complies with energy performance requirements. The study opens boldly onto the garage and gym. The gloss painted furniture designed by architect Bruno Erpicum reflects the structural elements. A vast white space devoid of any accessories houses the sleeping accommodation in the conversion; the rotating door appears to be floating in the air. An enormous living room is arranged between the pilasters that are displayed with pride. The artist’s design highlights the existing brickwork that supports the flagstone roof; here again, the wear inflicted over time is openly displayed. The architecture unpretentiously magnifies the materials.
The kitchen is arranged in the exterior deambulatory. The bedroom is housed in a “white box” that has been perfected with the utmost care. It is encircled by a “night patio” illuminated using zenithal light that sweeps across the surrounding brickwork. The light itself becomes a material, rebounding off the objects it touches and reminding us of the building’s history. The walls of the bedroom are perfectly smooth, whereas the bathroom is surrounded by rough pilasters (p. 106-107). A flow of natural light is ensured by the night patio, a space created by the removal of the roof around the edge of the bedroom. Pieces of raw concrete were used to create the bath, shower, and washbasin. The starry ceiling over the Turkish bath completes the composition.
Sam Shahid’s Apartment in Greenwich Village, “As an art director, Sam Shahid composes pictures that make you stop and look: a young couple, nude, on the back of an elephant; a tangle of men engaged in a game of sexual Twister. His provocative advertisements for Calvin Klein, Banana Republic and Abercrombie & Fitch stirred controversy throughout the ’80s and ’90s, paving the way for a more open-minded approach to branding and inspiring countless imitators drawn to his spare aesthetic. Shahid, in his uniform of khakis and a crisp white shirt, describes his style as American Pure. I always use the words ‘simplicity’ and ‘direct’, he says.
To enter Shahid’s three-story prewar apartment in Greenwich Village is to understand those words, and to get the sense that success has bought him something else: silence. In a way, it is a reaction to the demanding whirl of fashion. He has created a nearly empty setting in which even his most soul-satisfying possessions — books, art — are banished from sight behind doors that blend seamlessly with the walls. It’s as though he has chosen to contain his passions in order to clear his head and, at the same time, draw out the openness of the space.”
Grid (2016) by APOLLO Architects & Associates located in Japan | THe Hardt
Grid (2016) by APOLLO Architects & Associates located in Japan. The client for this project has a large art collection and wanted to start a new chapter in life with his family in a house with museum-like qualities that would take advantage of this collection. The neighborhood surrounding the site is quiet, so in order to keep noise to a minimum and not create an intrusive feeling, we proposed a single-story reinforced concrete structure. Like the exterior, the interior features a monochrome color scheme that serves as a good background for artwork. The building and finishing materials were also carefully selected and kept to a minimum, giving the spaces an austere atmosphere.
The layout is extremely simple, with a family room in the center, a courtyard adjacent to that, and a master bedroom, children’s room, and hobby room occupying the wings on either side of the courtyard. While this symmetry gives the house a Western-style formality, the design also disrupts the symmetry in classic Japanese style by including steps and a private courtyard on only one side. The family room facing the courtyard has a high ceiling and clerestory windows that run on the north and south sides. The natural light that pours through these windows is partially blocked by eaves that extend out 6 ft (1.8 meters) and have thin outer edges that give the building a light, floating feeling.
The room’s coffered ceiling, divided into a 13 ft² (1.2 m²) lattice, resembles the architecture in temples and sukiya-style structures, which are inspired by the elegance of the classic teahouse. In addition to serving the structural purpose of supporting the weight of the roof, the ceiling turns the building itself into a piece of minimalist artwork. By integrating the client’s meticulously curated collection of artwork and designer furniture and lighting into the architecture, the spaces express individuality without being overly busy. As a result, the building becomes a “house with museum-like qualities” rather than a museum in the shape of a house.
Carriage House (2010) by David Adjaye located on The Upper East Side of NY | The Hardt
Carriage House (2010) by David Adjaye located on The Upper East Side of NY, because, of course. The house belongs to the fairly tasteful collector, Adam Lindemann and his wife Amalia Dayan. Let’s be honest with ourselves, the house is a private museum, at once exhibitionistic and secret. A gallery for Lindemann’s collection occupies nearly the whole ground floor, and the house wraps itself around the art, much in the way a house with this level of collection should. A glass bridge offers a view of Maurizio Cattelan’s dead Pinocchio lying in a pit below. The living-dining room accommodates Damien Hirst’s vast painting of hugely magnified cancer cells, sprinkled with shards of glass and razor blades. One of the highlights, besides the art, is the vertiginous stack of bedrooms; at the top of the tower, one of Andy Warhol’s “Electric Chair” silk-screens hangs across from the master bed. The collection is serious. So is the house.
Photos by Lyndon Douglas & David Adjaye
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