Moss converts Chicago corner shop into art gallery, apartment and its own studio

Architect Matt Nardella has turned an abandoned bodega in Chicago into his home and studio, arranging spaces around a courtyard he created in the centre.

Nardella runs Chicago-based architecture and design firm Moss with his wife Laura Cripe, who oversees the marketing and business development.

Logan Certified by Moss Design

The architect and his team transformed the 6,000-square-foot (557-square-metre) grocery store between Diversey and Francisco Avenues, northwest of Downtown, into a complex they named Logan Certified.

It includes a workspace and a showroom for the studio, Nardella and Cripe’s residence, another small apartment, and a furniture and art gallery.

Logan Certified by Moss Design

The existing bodega stretches from the street at the front to an alley beside, and abuts neighbouring buildings at the back. Nardella stripped out a chunk at the rear to create a patio between the new offices and the showroom – where Moss displays its custom woodwork – as well as the apartment.

Logan Certified by Moss Design

“Being constrained by the configuration and a desire to create outdoor space, we created a courtyard by carving out a portion of the building,” said the studio.

The courtyard provides a central entertaining area for the complex. Bricks saved during the demolition now form a wood-burning pizza oven, and the base of a barbecue used for events and socialising.

Logan Certified by Moss Design

New walls are covered with horizontal cedar siding to offer a “nature-in-the-city feel” and feature large windows.

“The studio and the showroom share the courtyard and the large windows bring in plenty of natural light and warmth during the winter,” Moss said.

Logan Certified by Moss Design

Two-person desks run down the long and narrow studio, which follows many that architects and designers have completed for themselves. Rough brickwork is paired with white-painted walls to brighten up the space.

A similarly pared-back palette is chosen for the couple’s apartment, again joining a host of self-designed homes inhabited by architectsJohn Pawson’s minimally styled London house and the skinny Rotterdam residence of Gwendolyn Huisman and Marijn Boterman are among examples.

Logan Certified by Moss Design

The main space inside Nardella and Cripe’s residence is open plan, comprising a kitchen, dining room and three different seating areas, including two sculptural wooden chairs that face a wood-burning stove and a reading nook in the corner. A long sofa in the third is accompanied by a table topped with a slab of elm wood, designed by Moss.

The studio also created the custom woodwork in the space, including kitchen cabinets, a dark wooden wine storage mounted on the wall, and sliding wooden doors that open into the master bedroom and en-suite bathroom.

Logan Certified by Moss Design

The rest of the ground floor is occupied by the art gallery, located in the northwest corner to face out to the street.

A volume was then added to the first floor to form a small loft apartment that Nardella and Cripe rent out. The studio was able to add the extension after removing the part of the building to make way for the courtyard. This meant the floor area ratio – a correlation between the building’s total floor area and the piece of land it is built on – was kept within limits.

Logan Certified by Moss Design

Accessed from the street by a staircase, the one-bedroom apartment has a glazed sliding door that opens onto a private terrace covered in cedar. Custom cabinetry makes the most of space inside the kitchen and living room, with a ladder leading up to the bedroom and bathroom on the mezzanine level.

Logan Certified by Moss Design

“We wanted to create a unique rental dwelling space, differentiating from the typical condo and three-bedroom flat apartment layout so prevalent in Chicago,” said the studio.

A mix of oak, walnut, and other hardwoods that has been restored and repurposed from local Illinois barns forms the flooring across the flat.

Logan Certified by Moss Design

On the exterior, the south-facing slope of the extension’s pitched roof is fitted with solar panels. The walls are clad in black aluminium composite panels to match the black-painted, cinder-block walls below.

Built in 1910, the structure was previously covered in metal panels that had gradually worn away. Moss stripped these off and left the blocks underneath exposed. The brickwork walls of a second extension added in the 1950s were preserved.

Logan Certified by Moss Design

Across the entire building, the team replaced windows and insulation across the entire building, and added a heating system underneath the flooring.

“We preserved as much of the existing building shell as possible, while adding modern materials and energy efficient elements,” said the studio. “The exterior of the building is a mixture of old and new.”

Photography is by Carmen Troesser.

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Minimalist Renderings of Colombian Street Vendors

L’artiste Felipe Bedoya crée des images visuellement frappantes des vendeurs de rue colombiens dans la série Los Caminantes (The Walkers). Chaque marchand est photographié, multiplié, réaménagé dans un tableau de personnages vendant des marchandises sur des chariots, des stands ou sous des parapluies, le tout dans une esthétique magnifiquement minimaliste. Plus de son travail ici et sur Instagram.

Wide steps lead to lake from Quebec chalet by Bourgeois/Lechasseur

Broad wooden steps lead from the living space of this Quebec residence, by local architects Bourgeois Lechasseur, down to the shores of Lac St-François.

L'Accostee House by Bourgeois Lechasseur architects

The L’Accostée home was built above the foundations of an existing chalet that the owners had been using for a long time, but had outgrown.

L'Accostee House by Bourgeois Lechasseur architects

“They decided to rebuild while preserving the natural surroundings and keeping the open space on the edge of the lake,” said Bourgeois/Lechasseur architectes.

L'Accostee House by Bourgeois Lechasseur architects

The site slopes down towards the lake, and the entrance is on the middle level of the five-bedroom home, which contains the main living and entertaining areas.

L'Accostee House by Bourgeois Lechasseur architects

After traversing an entry foyer, floor-to-ceiling glass walls in the open-concept kitchen, living and dining room provide sweeping landscape views.

L'Accostee House by Bourgeois Lechasseur architects

Wooden rafters of the structure are left exposed, creating a dramatic effect in the double-height spaces. “This contemporary house is distinguished by the expression of the wooden structure,” the architects said.

L'Accostee House by Bourgeois Lechasseur architects

In the centre of the plan, Bourgeois/Lechasseur laid out a U-shaped kitchen, which allows the owners to interact with each other and their guests while cooking. The master bedroom is also on the same level, occupying the eastern portion of the home.

L'Accostee House by Bourgeois Lechasseur architects

An expansive terrace occupies the entire southern facade, facing the lake, and is accessible from the living and dining area. From here, a broad set of steps allow the residents to wander down to the water.

L'Accostee House by Bourgeois Lechasseur architects

“This architectural gesture takes the form of an agora and becomes the cornerstone for the new house,” Bourgeois/Lechasseur said. The steps include some wider landings where residents can hang out and enjoy the waterfront views.

A flight of metal and glass stairs leads upstairs to the three children’s bedrooms, and down to a den, a home gym, and a guest bedroom at on the lowest level.

L'Accostee House by Bourgeois Lechasseur architects

There is also an indoor pool in the basement, which also has a visual relationship with the exterior. “Natural light sweeps over the wall at the end of the long pool, beckoning swimmers,” said the architects.

L'Accostee House by Bourgeois Lechasseur architects

Wood is the main material throughout for the home’s interiors, complemented by accents of steel and glass used for the structure. Outside, the architects chose a more subdued approach, with simple white cladding for most of the walls but with some of the wooden accents left visible.

L'Accostee House by Bourgeois Lechasseur architects

Bourgeois/Lechasseur was founded in 2011, and has offices in Quebec City and an outpost in the Magdalen Islands. The studio has also completed a geometric home designed to withstand its site’s harsh winds and a memorial to seamen that was built on the defunct site of a fish processing plant.

Photography is by Adrien Williams.

Project credits:

Architects: Bourgeois/Lechasseur architects
Structural engineer: Antoine Dorval
General contractor: Constructions des Grands Jardins

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Low-cost micro home is made from timber and scavenged materials

Invisible Studio built this mobile micro home at its woodland studio near the English city of Bath for a cost of just £20,000 thanks to the use of salvaged materials and locally grown timber. 

The UK architecture office built the 40-square-metre gabled structure called Trailer out of unseasoned timber sourced the woodland surrounding its studio, as well as materials saved from construction waste.

Trailer by Invisible Studios

“The project aims to provide a super low cost, versatile, useable space that could act as a kit of parts for any self builder to improvise around or easily adapt,” said Piers Tayler, architect and founder of Invisible Studio.

“While conceived as a domestic space, it could easily function as a workspace or something else.”

Trailer by Invisible Studios

Trailer is designed so it can be legally transported on Britain’s roads. A wheeled bogie was used to tow the base of the structure into place, then slid out from under the steel frame and used to transport prefabricated timber frames to the woodland site.

Trailer by Invisible Studios

At both gable ends interlocking polycarbonate panels allow natural light to fill the space, while window openings are cut into the longer sides and skylights set into the roof.

The structure is clad in corrugated fibreglass and steel, and the interior is lined in sheets of pre-used shuttering plywood. The joinery, including the two ladders, are made from plywood offcuts. The corrugated material overhangs at either end, creating a sheltered porch where outdoor shoes can be left.

Trailer by Invisible Studios

Inside, the rectangular plan has a living space that runs the entire length of the structure, with a gas stove in the middle. A toilet and a small cooking area are set either side in the in the wides part of the hexagonal structure.

Two ladders give access to two sleeping platforms at either end of the home, one of which is accessed via a wooden walkway suspended over the main space.

Trailer by Invisible Studios

All the insulation was scavenged, the doors were found in a skip, and the skylights set into the roof were obtained cheaply as factory seconds.

Rope handrails strung the mezzanine levels and walkways are made from offcuts of the blue rope used for one of the architects’ earlier projects, Studio in the Woods.

Trailer by Invisible Studios

All the new timber used was from the surrounding area of woodland that Invisible Studio manages as a sustainable resource for their projects.

The same timber was used by the architects for an earlier project called Visible Studio, a wooden workshop built on stilts with its own composting toilet built for free from offcuts and foraged parts.

Trailer by Invisible Studios

To make the milling process more economical, the team used a technique they described as “same section”, taking 125 millimetre-by-50 millimetre pieces and laminating them up into structural sections for the cross frames.

This was the second time Invisible Studios has used this method, having pioneered it in an earlier project in the same area called Ghost Barn, a prototyping shed made from their homegrown timber and corrugated fibreglass.

Trailer is now just one structure in the studio’s growing woodland campus. Invisible Studios self builds its projects using a team of unskilled local labourers including neighbours.ilar

In America, a company called Tiny Heirloom created a simsplit-level micro home on wheels that features a climbing wall on the exterior, and Escape Homes designed a trailer home that looks like a small two-storey wooden cabin.

Photography by Piers Taylor.

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Astonishing Sculpture by David Moreno

Le sculpteur espagnol David Moreno a créé à l’aide de centaines tiges d’acier et de cordes des oeuvres représentant des bâtiments. On aperçoit également des portes et des escaliers. Le plus ? Les touches de couleurs – rouge, doré, noir – de ces oeuvres. Le rendu est étonnant. David Moreno partage son travail sur Instagram et Behance.






Link About It: This Week's Picks: Experimental cities, self-driving cars, alien life and more in our look around the web

Link About It: This Week's Picks

1. Isle of Dogs’ Animation Teams Explains Their Stop Motion Process
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House-shaped windows puncture perforated-metal facades of Yokohama nursery

Japanese practice Hibinosekkei has completed a nursery in Yokohama, which features plywood-lined interiors and house-shaped openings set into its dark facades.

MK-S Nursery was designed by local architecture office Hibinosekkei to accommodate a classroom for pre-school children and an after-school childcare centre within a former residential building.

House-shaped windows puncture perforated-metal facades of Yokohama nursery

The project was overseen by the studio’s dedicated childcare division, Youji no Shiro, which has designed more than 500 children’s facilities including a kindergarten with a built-in obstacle course, and one with a small wooden playhouse inside.

The nursery in Yokohama is housed in a building that previously contained a residence and shop. The two-storey structure is located close to the main kindergarten facility and functions as a satellite base for the children.

House-shaped windows puncture perforated-metal facades of Yokohama nursery

The 40-year-old building had become dilapidated but its exterior was retained as part of a refurbishment that has altered the interior to incorporate two childcare rooms on each level.

New cladding that wraps around the existing exterior helps to update the aesthetic of the dated building. The metal surface is perforated with a pattern that evokes the constellations of a galaxy.

House-shaped windows puncture perforated-metal facades of Yokohama nursery

The dark cladding is interrupted by playful windows that echo the gabled forms of typical dwellings found throughout this residential neighbourhood.

“By setting distinctive windows, passers-by can see inside and it makes it possible that people get to know the curriculum of this building’s programme,” said the architects. “It also gives brightness to the inside and a close relationship to the outside.”

The nursery is entered via a covered walkway facing onto a carpark at the rear of the site. A pair of entrances lead directly into the childcare rooms on the ground floor, while two more entrances connect with stairwells ascending to the first-floor rooms.

House-shaped windows puncture perforated-metal facades of Yokohama nursery

The interiors are all lined with plywood boards that lend the spaces a utilitarian yet warm aesthetic. Each room features house-shaped openings alongside operable square windows that can be used to provide natural ventilation.

The plywood surfaces incorporate built-in cubby holes, cupboards, audio-visual equipment and blackboards that help to optimise the available floor space.

Photography is by Kenjiro Yoshimi/Studio Bauhaus.

Project credits:

Architect: Hibinosekkei, Youji no Shiro、
Project team: Interior Design Farm, Kids Design Labo

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Soley Thrainsdottir creates sustainable cleaning tools using natural waste materials

Iceland University of the Arts graduate Soley Thrainsdottir has turned leftover materials like pine needles and horse fat into a series of cleaning tools and products.

Presented at the Design March festival, the Cleaning Strategies project aims to explore the potential of alternative local raw materials as sustainable cleaning tools.

Thrainsdottir focused on waste material from Iceland’s forestry and slaughter industries to create a brush, soap, cleaning spray and polish.

“On an industrial scale, various local raw materials are eliminated and ‘cleaned away’ without a critical assessment of their possible use,” she said.

Thrainsdottir wanted to conduct both practical research into industrial waste and philosophical research into cleanliness. She therefore began by defining phrases and words connected to the concept of cleanliness to look at the difference in perceptions of what is perceived as clean in humans and animals.

She also examined different cleaning rituals across the world, and the history of human cleanliness and cleaning products.

While researching waste materials, Thrainsdottir found that raw materials from felled pine trees and butchered Icelandic horses are commonly wasted or exported.

This led the designer to examine the various properties of these two resources, and how they could be used to create cleaning products and tools.

The disinfecting qualities of pine oil made it suitable for a cleaning spray, while pine ash was turned into a paste for polishing metal and glass, because of its scratch-free and antiseptic properties.

Meanwhile, horse hair was repurposed as a brush due to its durability and heat resistance, and horse fat was manufactured into soap.

“Cleanliness is considered desirable in our everyday life, and dirt and other elements are constantly removed from our surroundings,” said Thrainsdottir.

“In that context, we can talk of a culture of cleanliness that creates numerous chemical cleaning agents and tools, and the importing of mass-produced cleaning products made of water, plastics and matters of unknown origin.”

Many of the projects exhibited during this year’s DesignMarch – which took place in Reykjavík between 15 and 18 March 2018 – focused on sustainability. They included homeware made from recycled waste material and burgers made of mealworms and algae by IKEA’s research lab Space 10.

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Magnificent Images of Spewing Lava in Hawaii

Ces images intenses de lave coulant d’une falaise du photographe Michael Shainblum résument parfaitement la puissance de Mère Nature. Shainblum décrit ces images prises le Volcanos National Park d’Hawaii, comme «l’une des scènes les plus mystiques que j’ai jamais eu le plaisir de capturer». Depuis le bateau sur lequel il se trouvait, il a été témoin de ce scénario spectaculaire fait de lave et de nuages de fumée. Les couleurs changeantes de la lumière et un magnifique arc-en-ciel double viennent magnifier la scène. Voir plus de son travail, et suivez-le sur Instagram.

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Walmart files patent for drone shopping assistants
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Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology designed the soft mechanical fish to swim alongside real sea creatures and capture them with its integrated camera. Retail giant Walmart filed a patent for drone shopping assistants, which could aid with price verification and locating products in stores.

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Vatican City's first Venice Biennale pavilion to feature chapels by Foster, Souto de Moura and more
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Christopher Hawthorne leaves LA Times to become city’s chief design officer

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Moebe creates flexible shelving system that is held together by wooden wedges
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