We have encountered their inspirational work repeatedly throughout the last few years, but only recently became aware of the extraordinary Copenhagen-based headquarter and Studio Store of Danish multidisciplinary design firm Frama. A little under four years ago, the firm traded their industrial space for the former home of the St. Pauls Apotek (pharmacy) which was established in 1878, respecting all of the building's original woodwork and architectural elements, using it as a canvas to create something radically new. The synergy between the past and present elements of the space is a direct manifestation of how Frama defines their main interest within the creative field as a dialogue between two opposite poles; classical and contemporary approach – between digital and analogue production. In addition to their earliest interest of producing beautiful understated products — designed in-house, next to commissions to other Nordic creatives — in recent years a new focus on interior design was added to their activities, showing that remarkable signature of blending old and new materials, contexts, and influences within every project. The inspirational level of multidisciplinarity in the complete output of the firm today, makes the Studio Store more than just a 'showroom' for their product, but forms an incredible Gesamtvision for Frama's aesthetic design discourse and ideology. And it is exactly this, beyond that we really appreciate their design vision, what makes Frama one of the firms we feel is spearheading creation with a contemporary mindset. When in Copenhagen, make sure to directly step into their universe located at Fredericiagade 57. [ Continue reading ]
...,staat for Cartier at De Bijenkorf in Amsterdam
With Joachim's decision to merge Atelier Joachim Baan with his frequently collaborator, creative design agency ...,staat, and myself taking a position at the newly formed Amsterdam-based cinema juggernaut New Amsterdam Film Company since the beginning of 2017, there very likely will be a significantly broader scope of projects we worked on that will be passing in review here. (Next to all the exciting exclusive Another Something projects that will take shape in the coming months, of course.) The first hugely exciting project (that Joachim worked on) comes from ...,staat, who just presented an extraordinary creation for French luxury house Société Cartier at their corner window at luxury department store De Bijenkorf. [ Continue reading ]
We've been appreciating the work and creative vision of Berlin-based duo Jacob Klein and Nathan Cowen, better known as Haw-Lin Services, for many years and last month they returned —after last Summer's exhibition 'Shows You' at the HVW8 Gallery— with another inspirational project. Created in collaboration with a second duo we hold in high regard; Geckeler Michels and Schroeder Rauch, the Haw-Lin guys were responsible for the complete redesign of Berlin's reopened No74 store, which became adidas’ first select store worldwide when it opened its doors in 2008, followed by Parisian No48 in 2013. The new vision for the Berlin store brings a fresh elan, combining clean displays in sharp lines in a toned down color palette, complemented with floating linear lighting that both represents Haw-Lin and adidas perfectly — resulting in a rich minimalist space with beautiful silent details, which above all puts focus on what's on display: the broad variety of different lines being designed under the adidas umbrella. [ Continue reading ]
Next to other Japanese frontrunners in interior design who have inspired us deeply over the last few years; names like Yusuke Seki, Jo Nagasaka of Schemata Architects, SIDES CORE and the ever-inspirational Nendo, Masamichi Katayama's legendary Wonderwall design firm is a name that was still clearly missing in our online reflections of what moves us in the creations of others. Fortunately, with last August's presentation of 'Wonderwall Case Studies', we can finally show our appreciation for their incredible vision, which this Summer was honored by Gestalten with the very first comprehensive exploration of the work, process, and mind-set of what is one of the most influential interior design firms in the world. The release of the compendium not only celebrates Katayama’s 15-year old prolific and profound body of work, but also honors the designer’s 50th birthday. Wonderwall’s East meets West approach to retail design has produced integral successes like the development of a inspirational brand space for Lexus; to the global flagship design of Uniqlo, that has become something of a benchmark in its field — the book presents rich documentation on eleven milestone projects out of a portfolio brimming with international projects, exciting collaborations, and an impressive list of clientele. Visual essays showcase the Wonderwall working culture. An in-depth profile, written by the M+ design curator Aric Chen, provides insight into Katayama’s early years, education, key influences, and major professional achievements. And a final catalog section presents a visual overview of twenty-three additional agency projects, highlighting Wonderwall’s reach and renown.
Step into this unprecedented insight of Masamichi Katayama's mind, that goes far beyond just the finished projects, giving a unique perspective on his and Wonderwall's extraordinary level of excellence. [ Continue reading ]
Although Saint Laurent’s visionary creative director Hedi Slimane left his position six months ago, the design of the just opened second Miami store, immaculately clad in white marble, located within the Miami Design District, seems to indicate that his artistic ghost still lives throughout the brand as it did for many years (until this day?) after he left Dior Homme. And why not, as it brought a distinct new elan to the (Yves) Saint Laurent label, which translated into record sales, a widely recognized brand and some highly inspirational elegant design explorations, particularly in the stores that were opened under the creative directing of Slimane. With Belgian creative director Anthony Vaccarello now responsible, new accents have been formulated in the visual language, steering away from the Slimane signature grunge influences which he mixed with modern rock and roll decadence, but in the design of this new Miami store, the Slimane touch, as seen for instance in the last year's opened new Parisian Saint Laurent store, feels as strong as six months ago. [ Continue reading ]
Last week, leading Canadian outerwear brand Arc’teryx started an ambitious new chapter for their inspirational Veilance collection. Through a new partnership with renowned creative architecture firm Snarkitecture, headed by Alex Mustonen and Daniel Arsham who aim to marry architecture and art with their joint endeavor, for the first time ever the brand opened a unique concept store experience in New York City — open for the public until January 8th, after it closes its doors for good again. Accompanying the new project in New York, Veilance introduces a new strategy in the grouping of its minimalist pieces of clothing: having created the new categories Wind, Rain and Cold protection systems.
From this new direction of thinking, Snarkitecture created a space that highlights Veilance’s multiple apparel solutions built from the highest performing materials and proprietary construction techniques. Conceptual, structural and innovative, the collaboration of Veilance and Snarkitecture delivers a progressive shopping experience, in our eyes giving another peek of where physical retail as a whole is unavoidably moving towards in the (near?) future. No surprise that this progressive creation comes from Arc'teryx Veilance, having led the way in hybridizing cutting edge technical features with future-proof aesthetics in their designs since its inception, now beautifully translated into a fitting retail experience. [ Continue reading ]
As shared by dezeen two days ago, we are very impressed by the second BMW Museum, which will be opening its doors very soon in Beijing, China. Beijing- and Frankfurt-based firm Crossboundaries’ design for the gallery space on the third and fourth flour of the BMW building brings forth the exclusiveness of the cars while it references the Chinese aesthetic heritage in an innovative but elegant way.
The museum exhibition starts on the third floor of the newly built building in the Chinese capital; entering through an grande, almost two floors high and bright area, which houses the reception zone, whose vertical surfaces are accentuated with horizontal lighting strips interpreting the motion of speed. Subsequently the visitor is being absorbed into a lower, more transitional lounge which was created as a cozy touch. The key feature in the design of the space are the hite, light and slightly transparent fabric banners are hung from the open ceiling on this floor. While the fabric’s verticality reduces the high ceiling to a more human scale, the vast amount of white textile surfaces indicates generority and the “Chinese red gate” as backdrop transmits an imperial feeling. The horizontal lighting strips continue into the main exhibition area and information walls, with integrated screens for multimedia presentations at the perimeter walls of the space. Projections can be also screened on to fabric banners in the middle of the space where seating areas are provided around the exhibition pieces, which adds up to a very impressive exhibition space, if you ask us.
Combining references to the old within a contemporary aesthetic, we can only hope for more interior design like this as this is what the future should look like... [ Continue reading ]
Oki Sato's Japanese studio Nendo is among those institutions that never cease to surprise and inspire us through their ever-evolving design vision and truly perfected holistic approach in their practice. The day before yesterday, to our great excitement, the studio succeeded to outstrip itself once again, presenting its biggest-ever project: the exterior and interior renovation of a department store in Bangkok that Sato believes represents a new way of shopping. Going by the name of Siam Discovery, the department store is operated by Thai retail and development company Siam Piwat, which invited Nendo to oversee the refurbishment of the interior and exterior of the 40.000 m² shopping mall on Bangkok's Rama 1 thoroughfare. The studio was tasked with implementing a radical vision for a new retail experience built around curated environments rather than the familiar branded concessions. Instead of categorizing products by brand, as is typical in traditional department stores, the different retail points present customers with a range of lifestyle experiences, including a digital lab, street lab, creative lab and play lab. The result is very likely the first real peek into the future of (department / multibrand) retail in which a physical location will need to have this level of experience to not totally loose its relevance as has become the trend in the last decade. We would literally fly to Bangkok just to see this with our own eyes. [ Continue reading ]
At the beginning of this year, a new specialty coffee bar named Voyager Espresso opened in a subway concourse in Manhattan’s Financial District, which we discovered last month through our friends of Superfuture. Architecture firm Only If was commissioned to develop an innovative architectural and interior design for its initial retail location in this unusual underground site. In contrast to the oh so familiar and saturated artisanal aesthetic of contemporary coffee culture, the shop’s design and material palette refers to the namesake spacecraft and scientific approach behind the Voyager. This resulted in walls which are clad in oriented strand board, transformed through the application of aluminum enamel paint. Work surfaces consist of black marble countertop, which refers to the texture of the walls. Elsewhere, perforated aluminum, copper, and black rubber are used. Without a doubt this forms one of the most interesting, perfectly executed industrial futuristic interior designs we have seen in a while, not to mention it being done for a coffee bar which is super refreshing to say the least. [ Continue reading ]
Designed by the great Yusuke Seki
From the moment we discovered the incredible kimono store Otsuka-Dofukuten in 2013, we became a fan of the creative visionary behind it: the incredible Tokyo-based designer Yusuke Seki. Since that moment we have been following his every move and amongst other things have asked him about what inspires him in life last year. This week Seki has released his latest project, which forms another incredible addition to his already impressive catalogue. Located in Tsubame-Sanjo, a blacksmithing town with over 300 years of history, Seki created the new shop for Tadafusa - an esteemed manufacturer of hand-forged knives - in which the notion of a cutting board shop is a thread woven deeply into the space's concept. Blending the existing building's exterior and an interior wall with his own design interventions, Seki re-envisioned the standard knife display case having created an extraordinary customer-knife interface out of crossed spruce lines. Commonly seen as a locked case of shallow depth with a large number of implements displayed vertically within has been given a more human scale, the sliding glass doors remain, but the 'case' itself is meant to be entered, not merely opened. The result is both highly aesthetically yet also promises a unique store experience due to the remarkable concept which inspired the specific form. Without a doubt Yusuke Seki remains an everlasting source of inspiration. [ Continue reading ]
Last week the oldest Parisian department store; Le Bon Marché, inaugurated an inspirational reflective room, created by New York designer Thom Browne whose Autumn/Winter 2015-2016 installation ‘Office Man 2′ dominates the complete second floor of the retail institution. Formulated as a conceptual variation on the designer’s presentation at New York Men’s Fashion Week last July, the dedicated floating space replicates a kaleidoscopic infinity effect of wall-to-wall mirrors illuminated by fluorescent tubes. The main twist of the Paris edition is not it’s lack of suited male models, but rather the surreal, still life install of more than fifty pairs of Browne’s iconic black leather wingtip shoes – each produced in genuine silver – which seem to reference the designer’s Spring 2013 men’s show. [ Continue reading ]
We have been following the very talented Japanese designer Yusuke Seki for a couple of years in which he is constantly taking his work to the next level, whether it was for the Interior Design Office in Tokyo, corporate clients such as AU or Sony, and his independent projects on design products and architectural space design, of which many have been exhibited at the Milan Salone, Designer’s block, the Tokyo Style Exhibition, Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair. After establishing his own studio in 2008, Seki has designed for a variety of spaces, from shops like his incredible design for the Kyoto-based kimono store Otsuka-Dofukuten and his work at Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten-gai, to candy stores and salons like his work for Kolmio+LIM and most recently the utterly incredible Maruhiro Flagship Store. With Seki being such an everlasting source of inspiration, we asked him what he finds inspirational in life. [ Continue reading ]
Two years ago an interesting ambitious new hotel/temporary housing project was presented to the world in Rotterdam and the West of Amsterdam. Given the moniker The Student Hotel, the concept bridges the gap between the ideal accommodation and a home, welcoming all types of guests: from travellers, (exchange) students, aspiring young professionals, or simply people who are young at heart. Given a bold colorful modern aesthetic with clear hints to the iconic American college campus, the first Student Hotel turned out to be a great success, with several new location in and outside of the Netherlands opening its doors. The latest Student Hotel opened its door this month in the city where it all started; Amsterdam, located right in the city centre, with basically everything worth a visit within walking distance. On top of all the leisure facilities available on-site, an iconic nightclub will be ready to host you at The Student Hotel in 2016. We feel this is the most iconic and beautiful Student Hotel till date, with a lot more in store for the concept in the future. [ Continue reading ]
We have been following the very talented Japanese designer Yusuke Seki for a while now and his latest project really took it to the next level. In April of this year Seki finished the new flagship store of Maruhiro - the leading producer of Hasami ceramics - in Nagasaki from an extraordinary vision. The designer’s work marries an architectural knowledge with the artisanal know-how of the region, and in so doing, creating an entirely location- and situation-specific experience with an extraordinary autonomous feel rather than that of a store. Seki's methods seek to amplify Hasami’s rich heritage. His minimal, yet immersive design interference; the modification in the level of the floor, not only utilizes the pre-existing space to alter the perspective and experiences held by the users until the present, but also gives birth to an entirely new sense of flow within ceramics. So inspirational! [ Continue reading ]
We are fans of the work of Japanese architect Jo Nagasaka / Schemata Architects and recently the Tokyo-based firm completed another gem: the new space for Japanese brand Cabane de Zucca. Located in the Daikanyama area, the interior of the new store shows a continuing theme from the other recently opened Schemata-designed Cabane de Zucca in the renown Sibura Parco. The Daikanyama store shows a strongly executed industrial aesthetic with sharp geometry and familiar materials. Yet, what we are most drawn to in this particular store is the unique subtle (concrete-like) texture on the walls, floors and ceiling, created out of different materials. Next to actual concrete, textured wood and tremendous chromate treated steel plates and frames were used showing a similar aesthetic. It's seldom that one sees such an extraordinary key element of a space integrated throughout different materials and furniture as superbly done by Schemata. [ Continue reading ]
We couldn't but notice the latest by Osaka-based design firm SIDES CORE, which came to our attention a week ago. The extraordinary project named re-edit is an incredible, minimally designed functional space - a salon in this case - without it being just plainly unfurnished and therefore lacking soul. Spot on, SIDES CORE succeeded gracefully in designing just the bare essentials, to create a venue for people to come, relax, get a haircut, and leave with hearts and minds feeling refreshed. As often is the case in recent years with beautiful new projects in Japan, the design made use of the existing features of an older building, which were beautifully transformed into its new function. Overhall SIDES CORE created an open, toned down space transcending a feeling of freedom and lightness in the salon - making it the perfect environment for clients to totally disconnect and rejuvenate after a hour or two. [ Continue reading ]
During his travels as a young man, the Spanish master architect Ricardo Bofill first encountered the major cement factory outside of Barcelona. An industrial complex from the turn of the century consisting of over 30 silos, subterranean galleries and huge machine rooms. After it got disused, Bofill bought the whole premises in 1973 and decided to transform it into the head office of his firm Taller de Arquitectura. Remodelling work lasted two years. The factory, abandoned and partially in ruins, was a compendium of surrealist elements: stairs that climbed up to nowhere, mighty reinforced concrete structures that sustained nothing, pieces of iron hanging in the air, huge empty spaces filled nonetheless with magic. Last Summer the Spanish filmmaker Albert Moya caught the magical place for Nowness on film in a perfect manner, making us want to visit Bofill's visionary work of architecture and interior design over and over again. [ Continue reading ]