Steps by Geof Ramsay

Steps by Canadian product designer Geof Ramsay is an exploration into the idea of reinvention. By re-conceptualizing objects that were originally designed for one purpose, we find alternate or multiple uses. In stripping the stair of its more cultural and metaphorical meaning, and allowing the essential structure of the stair become both the practical and the aesthetic value, Steps re-orients us to the idea of the stair and how we use it. Steps transforms the staircase’s iconic form into multi-functional seating by incorporating a seat back to the second “tread.” In doing so, Steps form becomes both a seat with two end-tables and two seats with one end-table.

Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 9 July, 2014

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App Hanger designed by MATI and Artico by Sovrappensiero For Incipit

Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest ones: what happens if a coat hanger is rotated upside down? The elegant shape of a bird appears. App is a hanger made of turned oak whose shape is reminiscent of the silhouette of a seagull in flight. App: a poetic decoration for your walls that won’t fly away.

Coat rack with coat hanger form, with three hooks, in turned oak worked with multi-axis numerically controlled machines, finished with wax, with central hook in three finishes: black, red, turquoise; equipped with reinforced wall attachment plate.

More on Incipit here.

Posted by Michelle Lesser at 8 July, 2014

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Peggy Guggenheim Cafe by Hangar Design Group

On June 4 the new Peggy Guggenheim Café was inaugurated at Palazzo Venier dei Leoni in Venice: a redesign project inserted in a unique museum context such as Peggy Guggenheim’s home.
The history of Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, the extraordinary unfinished 18th century building overlooking Canal Grande in Venice, is interwoven with the history of 20th century art. From 1948 to 1979 it was the home of the great collector Peggy Guggenheim, who welcomed artists, collectors and art lovers. In 1980, a year after her death, the building was transformed into one of the most precious museums dedicated to 20th century art.

Working in such a stratified architectural context, full of historic and artistic references, requires entering on your tiptoes. Therefore, the museum café renovation project, designed by Hangar Design Group, started from the need to reorganize the museum layout that leads the visitor to the café. A design premise based on the in-depth study of a benchmark and the need to harmoniously join retail and museum functions, considering the particular location of the space in the building.
Inside Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, the Peggy Guggenheim Café is situated on the veranda facing the internal garden – the green heart of the building – and in front of the museum wing dedicated to temporary exhibits. An obligatory passage, perfectly integrated with what still remains of the coziest and most intimate museum wing, also in terms of volumes.

Reorganizing the space revolves around the dual purpose of, on one hand, emphasizing access to the temporary exhibits through a more rational layout and a portal housing a digital poster, which is also visible from the outside, and on the other, making the space leading to the café and adjacent bookshop more fluid.
This is how a new zoning was redefined, according to the different uses of the space, from a fast lunch at the long counter overlooking the garden to a private lunch in a more concealed space, to a relaxing break in the more intimate room inside. The transition to the exhibition area was highlighted by a large white portal that is inserted in the 18th century architecture, underlining its proportions and articulating the space.
Subsequently, the furnishing was chosen. The formal leit motif is the stylistic essentialness that characterizes the interior design. The minimal counter, custom designed by Arclinea to combine functional efficiency and formal rigor, stands out in the bar area. Tables and chairs, by Desalto, meet the same criterion of light elegance, almost vanishing away. Square shapes were favored to optimize the modularity of the private areas, while round tables elegantly furnish the tearoom, the coziest part of the internal area.

The color scheme consisting of white for the walls, with travertine marble and Istrian stone inserts, or yet again for the furniture, is essential to the choice of exploiting natural light as an element of continuity with the open space of the sculpture garden, an integral part of the exhibition space. The sole concession of color is dark green on the window frames, which introduce the greenery of the outdoor space.
Lighting the space is the “Peggy” light installation, a lamp specifically designed for this space by Hangar Design Group and made by Vistosi. With shapes and black and white inspired by modernism, “Peggy” evokes the spirit of Calder’s mobiles, incorporating the levity and lightness of a rational and elegant mark.
On the walls, large black and white portraits of Peggy show the great collector in her home, commemorating her artistic heritage and giving visitors an unmistakable image of the star of the 20th century. An identity-making memory and iconographic call, also highly visible from the garden across the veranda, the image of Peggy invites the visitor to enter and linger in her rooms.

Project: Peggy Guggenheim Café – June 2014
Designer: Hangar Design Group
Place: Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, Venice
Furnitures companies: Arclinea, Desalto, Vistosi, Mapei, Hausbrandt

Posted by Michelle Lesser at 8 July, 2014

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Tull Lamp by Tommaso Scaldera for Incipit

Italian designer  Tommaso Scaldera created a beautiful minimalist lamp for Milan-based design brand Incipit. The Tull Lamp, is a lamp of simple and refined design, available in two models, floor or pendant. Its design is a contemporary reinterpretation of the old lamps that are usually found in workshops. Thanks to the metal cage, the light creates spectacular shadow effects.

Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 7 July, 2014

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The Open Air Sculpture House by Marek Rytych Architekt

Marek Rytych Architekt created the “Open Air Sculpture” house located in the suburbs of Warsaw, Poland.

Through this house you can rush by and not even notice that you have trespassed a kind of a border. There is no threshold – literally and figuratively. Paved road, on which we step towards the entrance penetrates the interiors and comes out on the other side of the house, in the garden. It looks as if somebody threw a stone carpet on the ground. As if somebody has dictated hard conditions, has commended some risk taking. The project was designed in the company which specialises In the industrial architecture. It wasn’t an easy answer to clients’ order who are contemporary art collectors.

Elevation materials were used in the interior as its raw decoration. They cover the walls fading away the difference between the inside and outside spaces. The sheet metal appears in the dining room and in the bathroom. Wood and brick are in the hall, living room and In the sections for the guests. The kitchen wall with the stigmata of the bricklayer’s formwork next to the granite table tops and steel home appliances looks like a modern fresco. The stairs seen in profile reveal their ‘incompleteness’ – concrete pulp contrasts with the epidermis of the wooden floor. The roughness of the interior was important and needed here. This house is like a sculpture, like a painting and art likes enormous spaces and most of all it likes uneasy solutions. Because of this the ground floor of the house has been entirely opened. On the more than 100 metres area – only the screen wall slightly separates the living room from the staircase and the kitchen which is behind it. Many interesting views and perspectives are being created. Numerous windows of different shapes and a number of terraces put on different levels absorb the green surrounding of the house. There isn’t much furniture but they gently merge into the background, not interfering into living and artistic space.

The house is a three storey building designed on the undulating area. The roughness of the area was used in a way that in the cellar section immersed in the ground there are storage rooms and in the section which has access to daylight there are guest rooms. Above them there is a daily living section, and higher there is a private section with bedrooms and bathrooms. The L-shaped solid is differentiated by terraces put on different levels and by numerous bay windows thanks to which the interiors can be illuminated.

The elevation was covered by concrete brick, pine tree siding and titan-zinc sheet metal. All these materials emphasize the artistic sculptural play between separate architectural elements.

Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 7 July, 2014

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Ladder Designed by Charlie Styrbjörn Nilsson for Gebrüder Thonet Vienna

Charlie Styrbjörn Nilsson designed a ladder from a bent wood.

“With Ladder, Charlie Styrbjörn Nilsson uses the steam bent wood technique to create an interior ladder in which the solidity of the solid wood gives rise to a slender, light structure where the rungs, characterized by a rounded contour on one side, follow each other in a symmetrical manner and define the direction of ascent. Ladder is a versatile complement, capable of reinventing space with its unexpected presence, lending itself to multiple uses both in the living and in the sleep area”.

Photos by Jonas Lindstedt.

Posted by Michelle Lesser at 3 July, 2014

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Skidmore Passivhaus – Energy Efficiency Home by In Situ Architecture

This eco friendly house located in Portland, Oregon design by In Situ Architecture firm.

“Located in an existing neighborhood of post-war houses, Skidmore Passivhaus merges contemporary design with the highest level of energy efficiency. Providing a true live / work condition, two separate buildings address the program requirements while creating a unique indoor / outdoor space between. High levels of insulation, extremely airtight construction (tested at .32ach50), high performing triple glazed european windows, and a super-efficient heat recovery ventilator allow the structure to meet the stringent requirements of the German Passivhaus standard. Generous amounts of south facing glazing (.5 shgc) maximize the solar gains for most of the year, while motorized exterior aluminum shades can be lowered to block unwanted summer heat gain resulting in extremely comfortable temperatures year round. An extensive green roof helps manage all stormwater on site, while a roof mounted 4.32 kW PV array provides enough electricity to result in a near net zero and truly sustainable building”.

Photography by Jeremy Bittermann.

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Posted by Michelle Lesser at 3 July, 2014

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