Cassina marks 90th anniversary with installation exploring its past and future

A spaceship-style shelter, and oversized “sofa island” and virtual-reality experiences all featured in furniture brand Cassina‘s Milan design week exhibition.

Cassina 9.0 exhibition by Patricia Urquiola
An area of the Cassina 9.0 exhibition, which was decorated in pale pink, explored what the future might hold for domestic life

The Cassina 9.0 installation – shown at the Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli during Milan design week – showcased pieces from the company’s archive and explored what the future might hold for domestic life.

Cassina 9.0 exhibition by Patricia Urquiola
This section of the exhibition featured historic Cassina furniture, projected imagery and virtual-reality experiences

An area decorated in pale pink – seemingly the colour of the moment – showcased historic furniture, alongside projected imagery. Chunky virtual-reality headsets were on hand to offer “interactive, engaging and ironic experiences” based on Cassina‘s products.

Cassina 9.0 exhibition by Patricia Urquiola
Cassina also created an open-plan living space with bright green walls and curtains

A separate area, marked out with bright green walls and curtains, functioned as an open-plan living space, with a “sofa island”, created by Italian designer Piero De Martini in 1975, at its centre.

More VR headsets offered an alternative experience of the space, and a chance for visitors to immerse themselves in collages created by Finnish artist and architect Martti Kalliala.

Cassina 9.0 exhibition by Patricia Urquiola
A “sofa island” designed by Italian designer Piero De Martini in 1975 featured in the centre of the green space

At the top of the building, the brand recreated a rocket ship-like mountain shelter – the Refuge Tonneau – which was first created by French architects Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret in the 1930s.

Cassina 9.0 exhibition by Patricia Urquiola
At the top of the building, Cassina installed a spaceship-style mountain shelter called Refuge Tonneau

Elsewhere, Cassina filled a reading room with Konstantin Grcic‘s Soft Props sofas, which were also unveiled at Milan design week. In the evenings, the space hosted talks, and visitors were encouraged to rearrange the modular sofas as beds.

Cassina 9.0 exhibition by Patricia Urquiola
Refuge Tonneau was first created by Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret in the 1930s

“As the architectural historian Beatriz Colomina explains, the 21st century will be the century of the bed, and thanks to technology we will be able to conduct so much more of our life from a horizontal position,” explained Cassina.

The entire exhibition – curated by Patricia Urquiola, who was appointed the brand’s art director in 2015 – is themed around the brand’s upcoming This Will Be The Place monograph, which will be published by Rizzoli in September 2017.

Cassina 9.0 exhibition by Patricia Urquiola
Cassina also created a reading room filled with Konstantin Grcic’s recently launch Soft Props sofas

Fashion label Marni also created an immersive installation at Milan design week to showcase its collection of woven furniture, while SHoP architects set out to offer a moment of solace to visitors with a terracotta enclosure.

Photography is by Omar Sartor.

The post Cassina marks 90th anniversary with installation exploring its past and future appeared first on Dezeen.

Tents create guest bedrooms with panoramic views at Peggy Deamer's New Zealand retreat

The main living areas of this compact holiday home near New Zealand‘s Kaipara Harbour are arranged perpendicular to a platform that provides space for three tents used to accommodate guests.

House in Kaiwaka by Peggy Dreamer

Yale School of Architecture professor Peggy Deamer often works in nearby Auckland and wanted to build herself a simple and affordable rural retreat that was easily reachable from the city.

House in Kaiwaka by Peggy Dreamer

When cycling around the Kaiwaka area one weekend she came across an ideal plot and decided to develop a design informed by the common practice of New Zealanders visiting and camping at the summer houses of their friends.

House in Kaiwaka by Peggy Dreamer

“I have very little disposable income so this [house] needed to be as modest as possible,” explained Deamer.

“I could only afford a ‘shed’ with one bedroom, but wanted to make sure that friends and family could visit. The solution was to build a platform that could hold three tents that would be the guest bedrooms.”

The main part of the house features a straightforward mono-pitched form influenced by a prefab property that Deamer almost decided to buy and install on the site.

House in Kaiwaka by Peggy Dreamer

“In the end, I designed my own house,” the architect told Dezeen, “but the efficiency and appropriate quality of the one I almost bought stayed with me; the core side being on the uphill, windy side, with the open side facing the view.”

The building’s layout accommodates a dining area, living room and bedroom arranged in a row, with bathrooms, kitchen and storage aligned in an adjoining parallel service pod.

House in Kaiwaka by Peggy Dreamer

Standardised materials including the corrugated metal cladding were chosen for their affordability and durability, as well as the architect’s desire to reinforce the rural shed typology.

“It was a case of the less bespoke for me, the better,” Deamer added. “If this house was based on the idea that it was a country shed more than a house, there was no need to be lavish or sentimental.”

House in Kaiwaka by Peggy Dreamer

The platform on which the tents are mounted was necessary as there is not enough flat land to pitch them otherwise.

The timber-decked structure is positioned perpendicular to the main house so they both offer panoramic views towards the nearby harbour.

House in Kaiwaka by Peggy Dreamer

Deamer sourced the canvas tents from the USA during the design process and chose them for their simplicity and affordability.

Each tent can accommodate two or three single beds and is tall enough to stand in. When not in use, they can easily be broken down and removed so the platform can become a sun deck.

House in Kaiwaka by Peggy Dreamer

“The tents make a one-bedroom house into a four-bedroom house when needed,” said Deamer. “I didn’t want guests in the tents to feel they are in camping tents, but rather in a real room.”

A large cylindrical corrugated tank at the lowest part of the site contains water that runs off from the building’s roofs, while a smaller tank positioned alongside the main house was adapted for use as storage.

House in Kaiwaka by Peggy Dreamer

Such tanks are a common feature on properties in the area. Rather than the standard concrete or plastic options, Deamer chose a product that she feels adds an attractive detail to the scheme.

The post Tents create guest bedrooms with panoramic views at Peggy Deamer’s New Zealand retreat appeared first on Dezeen.

ListenUp: Previously unreleased Prince, new music by Bibio, a rager from MC Bin Laden and more in our musical wrap-up


MC Bin Laden: É Grau Olha pra Traz e da Tchau
An incredibly catchy vocal sample sets up the simple rhythmic structure in “É Grau Olha pra Traz e da Tchau,” a vrooming track from Sao Paolo sensation MC Bin Laden, and it’s a great introduction to the……

Continue Reading…

OMA's XY 180 lighting can be used to create geometric patterns

OMA has combined rods with spotlights to create this linear lighting collection, presented by Belgian brand Delta Light during Milan design week.

The three-piece XY 180 collection is designed around a hinged fixture that allows different elements to be moved and connected together, so luminaires can be arranged in variety of geometric patterns.

The lighting is intended to reference OMA‘s architecture, in particular, the Dutch studio’s “fascination with point, line and surface”.

Dimmable tube lights create ambient lighting, while two different types of spotlight create more directed beams of light.

“As individual components, each part is familiar,” said the firm, which is led by architect Rem Koolhaas. “When assembled, however, they can take unpredictable and asymmetric positions.”

XY180 by OMA for Deltalight

XY 180 was presented as part of Delta Light‘s exhibition at Milan’s Palazzo Crivelli. Open throughout Milan design week, which took place last month, the showcase also featured new designs by Arik Levy and Dean Skira.

OMA’s lights were presented in a room bookended by mirrors, so its twisted patterns appeared to continue into infinity.

“It was our aim to take visitors on an experiential journey, merging light, form and architecture,” said Delta Light managing director Jan Ameloot.

XY180 by OMA for Deltalight

The lights are intended for workspaces, but would also be tailored for domestic or public areas.

“By exposing the luminaire, the light becomes the main feature, able to shift and generate into multiple configurations; a product that can contribute to the manifestation of space, not only by the light it emits, but also by its physical presence,” added OMA.

XY180 by OMA for Deltalight

Delta Light also organised a programme of talks during Milan design week, including one hosted by Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs, which included a presentation by Antonio Barone and Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli of OMA.

OMA ranked at number 12 on the inaugural Dezeen Hot List, a countdown of the most newsworthy names in architecture and design. The firm’s past homeware designs include a collection of rotating, sliding and motorised furniture for US brand Knoll.

The post OMA’s XY 180 lighting can be used to create geometric patterns appeared first on Dezeen.

Kris Provoost photographs the most flamboyant architecture of China's building boom

OMA’s trouser-shaped CCTV tower and Herzog & de Meuron’s Bird’s Nest stadium feature in this photo series by Kris Provoost, which documents the “weird architecture” China has tried to ban.

Architect Kris Provoost, who lives and works in Shanghai, spent seven years creating The Beautified China photoset. In it he captures some of the more unusual projects created by world-renowned architecture practices during the country’s recent construction boom.

Beautified China by Kris Provoost
The Beautified China photography includes OMA’s CCTV tower, nicknamed “big pants”

The series, which focuses on the buildings’ details rather than context, includes Zaha Hadid Architect’s complex for real-estate developer Soho China, completed in 2014, and Herzog & de Meuron’s National Stadium.

Better known as the Bird’s Nest, the stadium opened in 2008 and hosted track and field events as well as the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympic Games.

Beautified China by Kris Provoost
Zaha Hadid Architects’ pebble-shaped Wangjing Soho towers in Beijing also features in the series

The Belgian architect also included Rem Koolhaas’ CCTV headquarters in Beijing, which opened in 2012, and famously sparked president Xi Jinping to call for an end to “weird architecture” in the country.

The OMA founder defended his project – which has garnered the nickname “big pants” – and told Dezeen that the building played an important role in “conceptualising, liberating and realising structure that did not exist in China before”.

Beautified China by Kris Provoost
Provoost has focused on details, capturing the latticed nest-like exterior of Herzog & De Meuron’s National Stadium

“The CCTV headquarters is definitely a unique project, both from engineering point of view, but more so from an city image building point of view,” Provoost told Dezeen.

“Having lived and worked close by for many years, it has amazed me every time I looked at it. There has never been a moment of lost interest,” he added.

“I will never forgot riding on the expressway at golden hour, and seeing the sun rays peak through the large opening. There is no building that can play better with sun rays than the CCTV headquarters.”

Beautified China by Kris Provoost
As well as one of the four main domed structures that make up Zaha Hadid Architect’s Galaxy Soho

But Provoost said the series also marks a change in the architectural style in the country, with architects moving away from these bold, landmark designs towards proposals more focused on context.

“The photo series marks the end of a very flamboyant architectural high point of the architectural scene in China,” he said. “Since 2016 or 2017 there is a visible shift, sort of away from this iconic architecture into a more ‘context-aware’ kind of architecture.”

He cites Zaha Hadid Architects’ 46-storey Leeza Soho Tower, which will feature the world’s tallest atrium, as an example of a more “rational” approach.

“In my opinion, the change in architectural style has to do with maturity. There was a time of exploration on a very large scale. And with this exploring came a sense of awareness that was not present at the beginning, or had at least less importance at that time,” said Provoost.

“There came a realisation that cities can not expand indefinitely. With this realisation came the notion to look back at its city centres. Is this flamboyant architecture still necessary?” he added.

“There is however still a clear race vertically but nowadays there is a noticeable difference in the perception of conservation instead of complete replacement.”

The “newest kid on the block” in the series is the Bund International Finance Center – Theater by Foster + Partners and Thomas Heatherwick, which was completed last year.

Other projects include Zaha Hadid Architects’ International Youth Centre in Nanjing – a vast cultural complex made up of two glazed skyscrapers that morph out of a perforated concrete base.

The post Kris Provoost photographs the most flamboyant architecture of China’s building boom appeared first on Dezeen.

Hypnotic Footage Showing How Simpkins Confectionary Makes Their Iconic Tinned Sweets

Simpkins was founded in 1921 after Albert Leslie Simpkin returned from the First World War. They began making glucose sweets using natural flavours and colours and quickly became famous for their sweets in travel tins. Today they still use traditional methods and recipes in small batches without artificial colours or flavours. Their products can be seen in the Made in Sheffield exhibition, on show at the Millennium Gallery until 8 Jan 2017…(Read…)

"Feather-like" screens front church in Taiwan by MAYU Architects

Rows of perforated aluminium shades intended to represent the feathers of an eagle shield the facade of this concrete and glass church in the Taiwanese city of Tainan.

Tainan Tung-Men Holiness Church by MAYU architects+

Tainan Tung-Men Holiness Church was designed by local studio MAYU Architects for a site surrounded by residential buildings in the city on Taiwan’s southwest coast.

The architects said building was prompted by an epiphany experienced by the church’s pastor, which also directly influenced the symbolism applied throughout the design.

Tainan Tung-Men Holiness Church by MAYU architects+

“This project originates from a vision that the pastor received from God,” said MAYU Architects. “[The church] symbolises an eagle as a biblical metaphor and is like an airport, serving as a boarding gate for non-believers to enter into God’s kingdom.”

Spaces on the building’s ground floor and basement level are dedicated to public functions including a coffee shop and a bookstore, which serve to invite the public into the church.

Tainan Tung-Men Holiness Church by MAYU architects+

The concrete building features a glazed facade that enhances its connection with the surrounding neighbourhood.

Metal screens fixed in front of this surface are twisted to soften the church’s appearance and create a flowing effect intended to resemble the soft and flexible feathers of a bird.

Tainan Tung-Men Holiness Church by MAYU architects+

“The aluminium perforated screens or ‘feathers’ on the church exterior pay homage to the eagle metaphor, connecting this contemporary architecture to the members of the church on the emotional level,” said the architects.

“Looking out from inside, the feathers form a sheer fabric that presents the secular world outside in a different light.”

The orientation of the screens is based on the mathematical Fibonacci sequence and each panel is rotated by two degrees in relation to its neighbour to create a smooth, twisting surface.

Tainan Tung-Men Holiness Church by MAYU architects+

To one side of the building, a glass-lined concrete staircase that ascends from the public spaces to the prayer areas above provides a bright and tranquil circulation route.

The top of the tower features a folded glass form that frames views of a large white cross outside as visitors ascend towards three prayer rooms on the church’s highest floor.

Tainan Tung-Men Holiness Church by MAYU architects+

The first floor contains a small sanctuary, the pastor’s office and a pair of classrooms, with the main sanctuary on the next level.

The sanctuary is housed in a double-height cast-in-situ concrete box featuring wooden flooring that provides a warm contrast to the cool, smooth surfaces of the walls.

Tainan Tung-Men Holiness Church by MAYU architects+

Soft light filtered through the perforated screens illuminates the space, which has a raised stage at the front and a wooden cross suspended in front of the windows.

A cantilevered oak staircase at the rear of the sanctuary leads up to a mezzanine level through a narrow opening lined with a vertical window that connects seamlessly with a skylight.

Tainan Tung-Men Holiness Church by MAYU architects+

The sanctuary space is overlooked by additional seating on the mezzanine level and by a window in the adjacent nursery area.

John McAslan + Partners and Triad Architects recently collaborated on a cathedral on the edge of a tea plantation near Nairobi, which also incorporates louvers into its design.

The post “Feather-like” screens front church in Taiwan by MAYU Architects appeared first on Dezeen.

The Sun Sneeze Gene

The Sun Sneeze Gene..(Read…)

Happy Little Cow Loves Head Scratches

Happy Little Cow Loves Head Scratches..(Read…)

Baby Hippo Braves the Deeper End of Her Swimming Pool

“Fiona is spending more time in the indoor adult pool and getting comfortable with deeper water. She porpoises, pushing off the bottom like a torpedo, up and down across the length of both pools and attempts water acrobatics. She has also figured out that she can keep her nostrils above water if she stands on her back legs, so you can see her walking upright at times. The water is about 4 ft deep now. Ultimately, she’ll navigate 7-ft-deep water in the indoor pools before trying the outdoor pool, which is 8-9 ft deep.”..(Read…)