Where Architects Live: 2014 Salone’s Special Exhibition – Milan Design Week

We normally see the work architects do for other people, but how about their own homes? To answer that question this year’s Salone del Mobile‘s curator, Francesca Molteni, organized the event’s special exhibition entitled Where Architects Live to give us a peek into the lives of some of the greatest Architects of our times, such as David Chipperfield, Zarah Hadid, higeru Ban, Mario Bellini, Marcio Kogan, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, Daniel Libeskind and Studio Mumbai/Bijoy Jain.

The interactive exhibition space invites visitors to experience the Architect’s private space’s through real-life videos, images, sounds, comments and reconstructions. While normally visiting the Milan Fair can get hot and noisy with thousands of people everywhere, the special exhibitions are my favorite thing every year. For those who are also braving their way into the Italian capital of Design for next week’s mega event, this exhibition promises a little (generally well deserved) “pause” during the visit.

From the organizers: 

“Where Architects Live” is an original installation, inspired by leading contemporary architects’ own concepts of the domestic space, conceived as a cultural accompaniment to the Salone del Mobile.
The exhibition has been specially devised for the Salone, providing an exclusive glimpse into “rooms” designed by eight of the world’s most respected architectsShigeru BanMario BelliniDavid ChipperfieldMassimiliano and Doriana FuksasZaha HadidMarcio KoganDaniel Libeskind and Studio Mumbai/Bijoy Jain.

We use to see only the work architects do for other people and for other people’s lives. But where do architects live, or rather, what are their homes like and in what way? Exact reflections of their distinctive design styles or complete one-offs? Or something else entirely? “Where Architects Live” is a response to these questions and to natural curiosity, but it also aims to broaden the vision of domestic architecture itself.
The concept underlying the event rests in the conviction that, of all design disciplines, domestic architecture is the most predisposed to evolution and the most suited to experimentation, given its capacity to conjugate architecture and design.

An iconic and paradigmatic reading of the architects’ “rooms,” within the context of the home as a theme, will trigger crosscutting reflection on the modes, experiences and trends of contemporary living.
The curator of the event, Francesca Molteni – who curated “Design Dance” with Michela Marelli (2012) and “A celestial bathroom” (2010) – has been privy to the private homes of eight of the greatest exponents of the architectural world, filming the exteriors and domestic spaces and recording an interview with each of them on the visions, triggers and decisions that have steered their design and professional careers. She and the architect and scenographer Davide Pizzigoni, who has been exploring representational space and working with leading international opera theatres, have devised a project thatrecreates the private “rooms” of Shigeru Ban, Mario Bellini, David Chipperfield, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, Zaha Hadid, Marcio Kogan, Daniel Libeskind and Studio Mumbai/Bijoy Jain by means of real-life videosimagessounds, comments and reconstructions. The result is an interactive exhibition space that unveils the architects’ visions of living, their choices and their obsessions.

8- 13 April
Opening hours: 9.30am – 6.30pm
Milan Fairgrounds, Rho
pavilion 9
Entrance with trade fair pass

Via Cosmit Press Room

Images via Dwell 

Panorama Staircase in Rotterdam: The Elastic Perspective by NEXT Architects

Sitting on a hilltop in the suburbs of Rotterdam, this modern day sculptural Belvedere tricks visitors into thinking they can unceasingly walk around it. The Elastic Perspective by Next Architects Located in Carnisselande, a suburb of Rotterdam, the pre-weathered Corten steel staircase, designed by Amsterdam based studio NEXT Architects, presents an unique point-of-view over the city’s skyline. Although endless in appearance, the structure is based on the form of a Mobius Strip which means that the surface of the pathway loops around underneath, making it impossible to walk continuously around the entire periphery. The Elastic Perspective was commissioned as part of a local art initiative and, although located in an industrial precinct, this winding installation provides a highest point where is possible to contemplate Rotterdam’s skyline thus revealing its poetic lightness.

Brief description by the architects: The design consists of a circular stair which leads the visitor up to a height that allows an unhindered view of the horizon. The path makes a continuous movement and thereby draws on the context of the heavy infrastructural surroundings of ring road and tram track. While a tram stop presents the end or the start of a journey, the route of the stairway is endless. The continuity and endlessness have a double meaning, however. Because the stair is based on the principal of the Moebius ring, is has only one surface and can only exist as a three-dimensional object. Upside becomes underside becomes upside. The suggestion of a continuous route is therefore, in the end, an impossibility: Far away, so close. Because of its structure the shape of the object is hard to perceive; every perspective generates a new image with which the design is not only a contextual but also a very literal answer to the given context of the local art plan: an Elastic Perspective. Location: Carnisselande Client: Municipality Barendrecht Team: Marijn Schenk, Bart Reuser, Michel Schreinemachers with Joost Lemmens, Marieke Spits, Anne Ricard, Agata Piet Material: steel Construction: ABT adviesbureau voor Bouwtechniek Completion: june 2013

Source Next Architects // Photos Sander Meisner via Contemporist // Plans via Dezeen

Swing over a cliff At Casa Del Arbol

Oh monday morning! I think I speak for everyone here when I say that I’d much rather be swinging from a tree house in the middle of nowhere than doing pretty much anything I have to do right now.

This precious little treehouse, Casa Del Arbol, is a seismic monitoring station in Cantón Baños, Equador. Located on the edge of a cliff 8350 feet above sea level and on top of a tree, the wooden house is used for observing the Tungurahua volcano. Overlooking the astonishing views of an active volcano, the simple observation room is in itself breathtaking, though it doesn’t exactly seem to be the sight’s main attraction. Hanging from one of the tree’s skinny branches, with no harness, net or any safety feature of any kind, the fragile looking swing dares the more adventurous visitors to hang over the cliff. Certainly worth trying at least once in a lifetime, this swing seems to be great fun for anyone brave enough to give it a go!

Featured image via Places to See

Image gallery via Fubiz

The Black Desert House

Designed by Art Director  Marc Atlan, in collaboration with Oller & Pejic and Moderne Builders, The Black Desert House sits majestically in the Mojave Desert, only 30 minutes away from Palm Springs.

The Black Desert House

With minimalistic lines, black concrete, enormous mirrored glass panes and surrounded by over 100 kilometers of unspoiled landscape, the house integrates perfectly with the natural allure of its environment.

As one would expect, the interior was not left behind. Complementing the breathtaking views, pieces designed by some of the most prominent names of our time, such as the “Stool Ones” by Grcic, Marc Sadler’s “Giunco” floor lamp and Elizabeth Paige-Smith “Blow” orange side table, are combined in perfect harmony with the classic charm of Andrée Putman’s “Morgan” chairs, Warren Platner’s dining table by knoll and a couple of antique Louis XV silk & gilt armchairs.

Luckily for us, The Black Desert House is professional location rental available for fashion and editorial photo shoots, advertising campaigns, television commercials, movies and films. So we’ll be seeing more of this beauty again soon!

Here’s the description by the designer:

“Perched like a stealth bomber on a cliffside, at the foot of a dramatic outcrop of prehistoric boulders, the“Black Desert House” is a unique minimalist hideaway. Soaring panes of glass frame 70 miles of unspoiled Mojave Desert landscape; an ever-changing panorama of shade, color and light as the sun shifts westward. Articulated around a central courtyard, the 3-bedroom sleeping area opens onto the skewed rectangle of a deep, black-tiled pool. The surrounding terraced patio is sheltered between the house and the towering boulder formation which, after dark, is strikingly illuminated from below. ”

All photos © Marc Angeles, 2013.

Fun play! Colourful playgrounds designed by Monstrum

If you ever wondered what the world looked like inside the mind of a small child, I’d say these whimsical playgrounds by Monstrum come pretty close to describing it!

Founded in 2003 by Danish set-designers/artists Ole B. Nielsen and Christian Jensen, the Studio’s designs look more like theatrical settings than regular playgrounds, being composed of giant bugs, flowers, whales, castles, rockets, robots and anything else reminiscent of the truly fantastic world surrounding us. Much like our little ones’ imagination, the fantasy is infinite!

Every design by Monstrum takes into consideration not only the visual design and safety, but also the motor challenges of children in different ages. As such, they carefully consider each activity proposed and organize the playing areas according to age groups, creating a special universe in which younger and older children play alongside… And above all, they just look like so much fun!!

All images via Monstrum

FRIrom – a room for emotion

On the rooftop of St. Olav’s Hospital in Trondheim, Norway, relatives of patients in critical condition can retreat and find peace of mind inside this small structure – the FRIrom.

This beautiful project was developed as a Master thesis at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The FRIrom is a wooden structure insulated internally, it has a wool-covered mattress and a large pillow, where visitors can sit comfortably and contemplate the skylight. By the entrance, a place for coats and shoes, indicate the room is in use ensuring the visitor’s privacy. The peaceful ambiance created by the minimalist interior is complemented by the pretty origami lights.

Architects: Maren Storihle Odegard and Sunniva Huus Nordbo
Completion: 2013
Address: Kvinne-barn-senteret, St. Olavs Hospital, Trondheim
Images via FRIrom and Arkitektur N

A hotel at the edge of the world: The Fogo Island Inn by Saunders Architecture

Although the edge of the North Atlantic doesn’t sound particularly appealing when planning a seaside vacation, this incredible little hotel and spa on the remote Fogo Island,  located off the Northeast Coast of Newfoundland, Canada – makes the idea rather tempting.


Owned by the local Shorefast Foundation, The Fogo Island Inn is part of a project aiming to develop cultural and economic resilience for this traditional fishing community. For this project the foundation comissioned Norway based architect Todd Saunders, a Newfoundler himself from only a couple of hours from Fogo Island.

The hotel has 29 beautifully decorated guest suites all  of which have ‘unbroken floor-to-ceiling views of the North Atlantic Ocean’. In addition to the spa, the Inn houses a library, an art gallery, restaurant, lounge, lobby and cinema. The Inn also works as a ‘hangout’ for the locals, making this place even more special. Definitely if the idea was to make it attractive to tourists and  promote the region, I’d say they are doing a fantastic job!

And here’s a brief description from Saunders Architecture:

A five star inn for the Shorefast Foundation on Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Canada. Using wood as the main material, Saunders designed the 29 room Fogo Inn as a means towards the island’s  economic and cultural survival, but also as a timeless piece of architecture, which would be ‘made just for Fogo’. The Inn includes a restaurant, directed by one of Canada’s best chefs, together with a lobby, a library, a small movie theatre and an independent art gallery on the ground floor; four floors of rooms above ground level; and a sauna and spa facility on the top of the building.

Credits: Todd Saunders with Ryan Jørgensen, Joseph Kellner and Attila Béres

Size: 4000 m2
Location: Fogo Island, Canada
Completion: 2013

Images Fogo Island Inn & Architecture Norway

House in Yagi with an Interior Courtyard by Suppose Design Office

I’ve always been a big fan of japanese architecture and, in particular, of Makoto Tanijiri’s Suppose Design Office. This family house in Yagi, Japan, was designed purposely as an “unfinished design” to be completed by its inhabitants. Much in the studio’s style, the architecture allows for a maximum integration between the interior and exterior spaces and even brings a traditionally exterior courtyard indoors.

In spite of the house’s unfinished look, the combination of concrete and wood creates elegant and airy interior spaces.

Photography is by Toshiyuki Yano.

Here’s a project description from Suppose Design Office:

The House of Yagi is designed with the idea of an incomplete/complete form. Unlike other projects, the final stage of construction for this house was not aiming towards a finish stage, but to let the owner experience the sense of completion after living here.

Interior space of the house is designed to maximise the interaction to its surrounding environment. Ground floor material remained the same as the original site, with a single tree standing in the centre to present a natural contrast with the surrounding area. Windows of the 1st storey are kept open without any window shield or glass and creates an interesting interaction with wind and rain.

All these elements are to enhance the experience of unlimited lifestyle that you may potentially have in this house, and minimise the boundary. Through this different interpretation of connecting the exterior and interior space, new ways of living can be explored by the client.

Location: Hiroshima city, Japan
Principal use: personal house
Site area: 155.60 sqm
Building area: 56.24 sqm
Total floor area: 112.48 sqm
(1F: 56.24 sqm 2F: 56.24 sqm)
Completion: June 2012
Design period: April 2011 – January 2011
Construction period: February 2011 – June 2012
Structure: RC structure
Client: a couple and children
Project architect: Makoto Tanijiri [Suppose Design Office] + Ohno Hirohumi [Ohno JAPAN]
Lighting: Original
Products: dining table
Flooring: 1F – masa soil, 2F – elm flooring + WAX (mat)
Internal Wall: exposed concrete
Ceiling: exposed concrete
Construction: Shinkou Kensetsu

via Dezeen