marți, 23 decembrie 2014

House in Shintou by SNARK + OUVI

SNARK  & Ouvi: “After a 50 minutes drive from Takasaki city, Gunma, a place between village and city, you will see the building, having both residential and commercial spaces. The kind of highway that bypass load is located right in front of this site. Setting this road-side location as a key factor, we had to combine both concepts: a house and a store. To characterize the building as a store, it needed to hold a commercial presence. Therefore, we decided to make the whole architecture as a sign. The external space will collect attentions from outside. The internal space will frame the space.”

“The site was planned not to shut down drivers’ eyes on the road in consideration of being seen from the outside , after considering the wants we had to satisfy at the same time. To show the architecture, the shape factor, volume, and the plot was designed. We designed the commercial area on the ground floor and the residential area on the second floor. The ground floor has a wide opening, catching eyes from outside. The second floor has a hardly visible opening, preventing the passers-by from seeing inside.”

“From the windows upstairs, residents are able to see the magnificent view of the mountains surrounding around (Akagisan, Asamayama, and Myougisan). These windows help provide enough lights to the space.”







Info and images © SNARK  & Ouvi

House in Shintou by SNARK + OUVI

The Cake by “The diversity of images and forms presented in a 80 m2-main hall has only been achieved due to the fact that most of design elements have been handcrafted. In contrast with the piles of cakes of ideal geometrical form installed behind the transparent walls of the kitchen, every floor concrete tile has its wrinkle as each of 10.000 of them has been handcrafted. Yet altogether they make up a harmonized puzzled surface. Two high seating areas have their own dedicated color and tactile symbol. Rustic wooden surfaces with felt thin bar-chairs standing on metallic racks neighbor with velvet fabric of cozy bottle-green couches and sofas covered with a warm shade of grey. On a pale and color-muted background of the interior, a glossy pink sculpture looks extremely contrasting – just like a glazed cake on a white plate. Consistency in contrasts has been demonstrated in the mono-color toilets: pink, deep-green, yellow, reminding that simple solutions might yet look very unusual. Sun light walks in through the massive windows, fills up the whole space and reaches the opposite glass walls adding contrast to the beautifully carved wooden panels bar on its way.”









Info and images ©

The Cake by

luni, 22 decembrie 2014

A unique retail concept - Shoebaloo flagship store by MVSA

In the Shoebaloo tradition, the design of the Koningsplein flagship store features a unique retail concept that suits the high-end designer shoes and accessories on display. More than just a store, Shoebaloo offers a spatial experience where shoes emerge like precious treasures. The concept of many Shoebaloo stores presents a closed, mysterious display window that reveals little of what lies behind. At Shoebaloo 5 Koningsplein, in contrary, this world already appears open and transparent from the outside. The glass front has an elliptical bright white display window that gradually transforms into two openings that, from the street, view into the store. The display window glows invitingly.

A dynamic play of lines emerges from the openings in the display window, where varying heights of curving translucent surfaces, with integrated lighting, display the shoes. The store comprises two elliptical spaces that gravitate towards each other in the centre of the space. At the rear is the counter and a large vertical elliptic vitrine, both integrated into the contours. Behind the counter is a smaller display that houses accessories. The freestanding mirrors and seating elements were custom-designed for the interior.

The sinuous walls are clad with layers of pure white Hi-Macs, a solid surface material. Continuing the play of lines in the walls, the displays are fashioned from thinner layers of translucent Hi-Macs underlit with LEDs. The floor is composed of book-matched marble slabs. Two ellipses of white marble feature black veins. The middle section where the elliptical spaces start to merge is articulated in reverse in black marble with white veins. The dark ellipse ceilings feature a pattern of fluid, bright, glowing lines that twist through a starry sky.


Info and images © MVSA Architects

A unique retail concept - Shoebaloo flagship store by MVSA

Genesee Townhomes by Chris Pardo Design

Chris Pardo has recently designed the Genesee Townhomes in Seattle, Washington.









Info and images © Chris Pardo Design

Genesee Townhomes by Chris Pardo Design

vineri, 19 decembrie 2014


KISSMIKLOS: ‘My inspiration for the interior design was femininity, purity and an original salon atmosphere. Entering through the door the customer is greeted by an imposing space, its center is a monumental architecture object, a staircase that leads to the gallery. The structure is similar to a loom. The vast chandelier has the same effect, it hangs above the receptionist’s desk. Other parts of the interior have a classic style in mind. There’s also a cafe corner, where people can talk or read. On the Provence styled table there’s a plate that is usually used for cakes, here it’s decorated with colorful yarns. They look like macaroons from the distance. This association is on purpose, the connection of confectionery and fashion fits this place very well, subtle yet feminine. Up to date fashion magazines and books are making our waiting time much more pleasant with little architecture details like the drawers on the wall – functioning as bookcases. For children you can also find a swing here, it’s a really important point in the design, the place got its name from the owner’s daughter, Emmaroza. The space is mainly white, with yellow retro easy-chair and a yellow staircase.’

‘On the gallery you find a room where they adjust sizes of clothing. There’s a fitting room, yellow retro easy-chairs, and a shelf with the clients’ folders. A white curtain and a short corridor divides the space where the sewing room is. This area is reserved for the tailors. Under the gallery there’s the designer shop. Emmaroz produces several clothing items for fashion designers – so we decided that it should have a place where they can sell them too. At the front of the shop is the fitting room with a classical yellow piano chair, the restrooms with a sign above the mirror – you are beautiful -, and the sewing area. The interior design is a mash up of the 19th century classic style and the beginning of the 20th century, the usual salon atmosphere, mixing it with a modern architectural design. Szeged is a really pleasant and sweet town, with plenty of university students. We envisioned a place where tourists and design fans would also like to visit, even just for a photo. This tailor could find a way to be at any huge town’s fashion district, in Szeged it could become a meeting point for fans of fashion and design.’








Info and images © KISSMIKLOS


Hotel Minho by Vírgula i

Hotel Minho renewal and extension project starts from a building constructed in 2006, renovated in 2014 with new public areas and spa. The extension was designed to maintain the existing building’s architecture, despite its plain and common design, introducing a more effective image to the hotel. The solution intended to be very simple and in some spaces, highly introverted, retaining the existing structures and introducing the new areas in the floors below the main entrance. The green roof and the continuity of the existing exterior white walls are intended to decrease to the highest level the visual impact of the new constructions.

Pursuing a stronger relation with the site, local materials, constructive traditions and vernacular architectonic icons, the new extension used chestnut wood as one of the main features. This material, abundant in the surroundings, is used as the retainer of the new programs, being responsible for creating the limits of the new spaces. The wood boxes are the new element of organization of the hotel, creating the mood and the tone for the interior and exterior design, stating a strong continuity between every single floor. The project was developed to the smallest detail, integrating interior and exterior space, using efficiently the natural light, the visual philter of the inner patios and the design of several decoration items that might range from furniture, lighting or even the hotel sign system.

Hotel Minho architecture project determined the interior design as a strong part of the global architecture strategy. The difference between in and out, architecture as a shell and interior design as its core, was deliberately faded into one single solution. As mentioned above, because we were dealing with an existing building, the project intended to maintain the main features of the existing architecture on the outside, but working more freely on the inside. The materials, the furniture, the balance between finishes, the relation between the architectonic solutions and the mood tone of the interior design, were completely redefined by creating new ambiances for the hotel.

The wood volumes introduced in the several floors of the hotel, commonly going from the inside to the outside, link these two areas of the hotel and its surrounding. These volumes host the new hotel programs, such us the business areas, the spa treatment rooms, among others, all with very simple, plain, geometric and cladded in local chestnut wood, resulting in strong interiors, full of character, with the right tone of light and warmth. Because the hotel is located in a region where the woods, the river and the local traditions are the main attractions, the interior design intended to be very natural, seeming to be there since ages, opening its views to the best landscape of the surroundings or when not possible, opening itself to private exterior areas created by the new extensions. Its frequent the links established between modernistic details from the mid XX century to certain aspects of the architecture carpentry or furniture mercenary. The project rejected the trendy, the fashionable or the “hotel design” tendency. In fact, to achieve this, several items of furniture, lighting, upholstery and spa treatment features were developed by the studio in order to achieve the right visual impact that was demanded by this overall aesthetic.

The main inspirations were breathed in the Portuguese modern architecture and product design of the 60’s, as well as on the local vernacular architecture of the Minho region. International names as Arne Jacobsen, Alvar Aalto and local giants as Arménio Losa, Januário Godinho and Álvaro Siza, have strong direct and indirect influence in the work and some of them with furniture items introduced in the Hotel Minho project.

The wood used in all Hotel Minho construction items – interior and exterior cladding, ceilings, furniture, sign system – is Iberian chestnut wood, a common one in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula. The project invested in having the right balance between this main material and the other ones, always neutral and based on a white palette. Among these, white Carrara marble was used both in walls and flooring, as well in some special items such as suspended lamps, counters and washbasins. White walls, white lacquered panels, glass and mirrors were frequently used to accentuate the neutral element facing wood. The rest is up to the furniture and all the remaining decorative items. On this matter, besides the numerous items developed by the studio (more than 20 products, repeated to a total of 131 pieces), the project used many vintage items collected from local stores, remanufactured important furniture design items left behind such as the Pousada easy chair (1951) by Januário Godinho, and used many contemporary and modern products in accordance with the same principles: warm, elegant and efficient design. The furniture developed to the project have now evolved to a new collection called Bracara, developed between our studio and Portuguese brand Paularte and will be release in the beginning of 2015 into the international market, with new items reflecting over the same concepts.




Info and images © Vírgula i

Hotel Minho by Vírgula i