Tag Archives: Selda

New photographs reveal the feat of engineering behind the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s dome

These photographs by Luc Boegly and Sergio Grazia show the complex engineering of the vast dome that is suspended over the galleries of Jean Nouvel’s Louvre Abu Dhabiin the United Arab Emirates.

Meetings between the French architect and engineers Buro Happold began in 2007, with the architect laying out his vision for an art gallery like nothing the world had seen before.

Nouvel wanted to create a cluster of buildings arranged like a traditional Middle Eastern souk out in the water of the Persian Gulf, under a dome that would appear to float above it.

“He tends to start with words, he writes a paragraph or two about a project before he even sketches something,” Andy Pottinger, Buro Happold‘s associate director and lead structural engineer on the project told Dezeen.

“Often as engineers we chuckle when we’re asked to make things float,” he said. “But in this case we took it very, very seriously, and really tried hard to make it look like something that’s just nestled down on the top of the buildings.”

Another core part of the Nouvel’s vision was a “rain of light” from the sun that would filter through the dome onto the plazas and galleries below.

“The light was like a material for us that we had to facilitate,” explained Pottinger.

To add to the challenge, the architect wanted no visible lines of strength for the dome of the gallery on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island. For Buro Happold, which typically works on stadium projects such as the Etihad Stadium expansion or the Bristol Arena, this meant putting much of their usual design programming to one side.

Instead the engineering team began exhaustive rounds of digital modelling, trying to devise a dome that could deliver Nouvel’s dream. Unlike a “true” dome, the Louvre Abu Dhabi dome does not push down around its circumference, but rests on just four supports.

“The supports are about 110-metres apart and they form a square below the circle of the dome when you look at it on plan. That was vital because that brought symmetry into the equation,” said Pottinger.

“At first, to be honest, much of what we were doing wasn’t successful. We would create geodesic type approaches, with triangles forming the dome, or orthogonal approaches, where you had a square grid,” he added. “None of that was working, it was clashing with the base pattern that Jean Nouvel had wanted to express.”

The breakthrough came with the 23rd model, where the team started again with a blank slate and drew that base pattern on the dome as a starting point, adding only what was completely necessary.

The result was the layers of steel cladding that tessellate out, with no straight line longer than 10 metres anywhere in the design. Iterations of the pattern could also achieve Nouvel’s lighting vision by altering the layering of the pattern at different points in the dome.

“The architect would talk to us about what sort of light they would like on the plaza or above the galleries and give us maps of luminance,” explained Pottinger. “We would run with those and we’d apply it to our software and adjust the thickness of the cladding or the size of the cladding to create the right porosity.”

The dome design cracked, the engineering team had to contend with the extreme environmental demands of building a gallery on the man-made Saadiyat Island, with a hot desert climate and in an earthquake zone.

To earthquake-proof the dome, each of the four supports have curved surface spherical bearings that allow the structure to shift beneath the dome as the earth shakes whilst the isolated structure remains still.

The sliding bearings also allow the dome’s steelwork to tolerate the shift in temperature from hot days under the desert sun to cooler nights.

“What they also do is they allow the dome to breath in and out, as we call it,” said Pottinger. “Temperature forces are almost impossible to resist, but what these sliding bearings allow it to do is to expand out by about 180 millimetres during the day and then to shrink back in overnight.”

Rather than fight the climate and geography, Pottinger and his team embraced it. “I’ve gone along the lines of it being about the elements, the earth, the sun, and the sea,” he said.

Few structures in the world are built out on to the water on reclaimed land, and even fewer hold priceless collections of art. To incorporate water into the design, Buro Happald looked to places such as Venice for inspiration.

“In an ideal world as engineers we would want to keep the perimeter of the building as simple as possible because it makes things less complicated to design in the case of things like shrinkage and the cracking that that leads to that might lead to a water ingress,” he explained.

“But again, we had to embrace the fact that Jean Nouvel wanted it to be like an Arab souk in the water, and that means the water has to come in.”

The architect’s vision met, the engineering team’s final challenge was to consult on the security measures required for a building that houses both permanent art collections and receives highly valuable works from around the world.

The security measures are shrouded in secrecy, but Pottinger revealed that art is brought into the building through a system of tunnels.

Despite so many seemingly conflicting demands on the engineering team, Pottinger retained a clear sight of achieving a finished structure true to Nouvel’s original vision.

“One of the absolutely overriding things we had to do was to find simplicity amongst the complexity. If we didn’t do that it wouldn’t be buildable,” he said. “So many projects in this day and age actually get quite dumbed down in the latter stages.”

A timelapse video shows the eight-year construction process behind the gallery, which opened to the public in November 2017.

Photography is by Luc Boegly and Sergio Grazia.

Source: www.dezeen.com

Ames “by Selda Design”

Selda Design Gallery presents its new handmade designer furniture line Ames “by Selda Design” in our design studio in Amsterdam at the Johan van hasseltkade 204. The new line can be delivered in different color combinations. Our products are known for it’s high quality and guarantee.

Moveable wooden screens are set into concrete facades of Mokyeonri Wood Culture Museum

This museum in Incheon, South Korea, is dedicated to teaching visitors about wood and features moving timber screens that create effects similar to dappled sunlight filtering through trees.

Seoul architecture studio Soft Architecture Lab designed the Wood Culture Museum for a site in Incheon Grand Park, where the Korea Forest Service operates a large arboretum.

Soft Architecture Lab’s proposal won a competition organised by the city and the forestry service for a building that provides facilities for the large number of visitors who come to explore the arboretum’s diverse plants and trees.

In its response to the competition brief, the studio sought to move away from the more typical timber museum buildings used to house exhibitions about wood at the organisation’s other sites.

Instead, the Mokyeonri building incorporates wood into its architecture in ways that provide visitors with a multi-sensory experience of the material and where it comes from.

“The project name, Mokyeonri, means a harmony between trees from different roots,” said the architects, “which identifies an architecture of a series of spatial experiences sensing the diverse attributes of wood.”

The building features a striking, angular form, with a pointed corner facing the adjacent car park extending over an entrance incorporated into a glazed surface on the ground floor.

Cylindrical pillars support a pair of concrete slabs that form the floor and roof of the upper level. The interactive wooden screen occupies a void between these two surfaces at the corner of the building.

The screen is formed of six-sided “leaves” made from a hardwood called merbau and attached at a single point to metal frames.

The wooden panels are arranged in pairs fixed together at one end by springs. When the wind blows, they close up slightly before gently regaining their original position.

The effect of the subtle movement combined with the shadows cast when the sun shines is evocative of the dappled light in a forest.

On the opposite side of the upper floor, a similar screen is positioned around the edge of a deck that can be seen from inside the building’s main circulation area.

This screen incorporates a pulley system driven by a motor so the distances between the vertical elements can be manually adjusted.

Drawing the leaves together creates broad gaps that increase light levels and views inside, while opening them out again produces a more even, permeable surface.

This same technique is applied to a screen that forms a gate set into an angular concrete frame protruding from the eastern end of the ground floor.

Drawing the moveable elements of the gate together using the motorised pulleys provides gaps through which visitors can pass to reach a paved courtyard.

The museum is described by the architects as “the first public project of kinetic architecture in South Korea”, and aims to enhance the visitor’s perception of the sun and wind through the actions of the moving surfaces.

A double-height void containing a staircase connecting the two floors is topped with a ceiling featuring Japanese cypress battens that extend downwards in regular rows.

The wooden sticks partially conceal utilities integrated into the ceiling and form another surface that appears to alter in appearance as the viewer moves around within the space.

Alongside a lobby and reception desk, the building’s ground floor contains facilities for teaching and conducting woodwork, including a workshop with an adjoining preparation room, an instructor’s waiting room, storage and a dust-collection space.

The stairs ascend to an upper floor housing a children’s wood museum, playground, seminar room, toilets and outdoor spaces at either end, one of which is designated as a playground and the other as an observation deck.

Photography is by Shin Kyungsub.

Source: www.dezeen.com

Casa Xixim by Specht Architects opens up to Tulum’s jungle and ocean

Bedrooms at this holiday villa in the Mexican resort of Tulum open onto expansive terraces overlooking the tropical forest and beach.

Casa Xixim serves as a fully rentable guesthouse for large groups. It was squeezed onto a thin site by New York studio Specht Architects, which created a contemporary architectural aesthetic with white walls, timber panels and local stone.

“This villa hotel, on a narrow lot fronting a protected bay in Tulum, Mexico, is designed to be fully self-sufficient, and to work in concert with its unique site,” said the studio.

With a mangrove marsh to the west and the beach to the east, the property is accessed from the road through a grove of palms.

The path leads directly through the villa’s openable living room, past its swimming pool and a vegetation buffer, onto the sand.

Organised as a T-shape in plan, the building has two double bedrooms in its ground-floor wings and two more above the living space. Pullouts for children bring its maximum occupancy to 12.

The downstairs suites open onto decking, while the upper bedrooms have access to L-shaped terraces facing the landscape. Sections of these large balconies are planted to alleviate stormwater flow, and plenty of spaces to sit are provided.

A further outdoor space is located on the roof, shaded by rows of photovoltaic panels that help to power the home.

“These elevated viewpoints provide another way to experience the surrounding environment,” said Sprecht Architects, which has also designed a desert retreat in New Mexico.

Casa Xixim’s interiors, by Los Angeles-based Matthew Finalson, are kept simple to match the architecture. In the living area, louvered wooden doors slide back on two sides to open the space and provide cross-ventilation.

Lining the end wall are hand-painted tiles, which add a local flavour along with furniture built in the vicinity. “Tulum-based craftsmanship is emphasised, with intricate stonework for selected walls, and site-built furnishings throughout,” said the architects.

Accommodation options are burgeoning in Tulum, which is become an increasingly popular tourist destination. An art-filled boutique hotel in Pablo Escobar’s former mansion and a treehouse suite overlooking the jungle canopy are among other choices for visitors.

Photography is by Taggart Sorensen.

Source: www.dezeen.com

Single-room cabin by JacobsChang is set among trees in upstate New York

Manhattan studio JacobsChang designed this tiny blackened timber cabin on a shoestring budget for clients who built it in a forest in upstate New York with the help of their friends.

The structure called Half-Tree House, is located in the woods in Barryville, roughly 100 kilometres north of New York City.

It encompasses a single 360-square-foot (33 square metres) room built on a budget of $20,000 (£15,500).

“From the outset, the project outlined two formidable directives: to design a structure that can be constructed by two amateur weekend builders and to consider a budget of $20,000 ($50 per square foot),” said the architects.

“The topography presented a difficult challenge. In an effort to minimize sitework – in this case, shovels by hand – and to eliminate the need for large footings, retaining walls and pumped concrete, the architecture is lifted above the ground and relies upon support from the trees,” they added.

“The entire construction was performed by its two owners, and in the true spirit of New England barnraising, with a team of dedicated weekend support.””The entire construction was performed by its two owners, and in the true spirit of New England barnraising, with a team of dedicated weekend support.”

At one end of the structure, simple concrete footings are anchored into the ground, while at the opposite end the cabin is held up by adjoining trees via a specialised anchoring system called a Garnier Limb. This consists of a metal element bolted into a tree, which in turn supports the building’s wooden frame.

“The Garnier Limb is a patented slip-joint connection allowing the tree and the structure to behave independently,” explained the architects.

The diminutive cabin is just large enough to fit a bed, an armchair and a small area for preparing basic meals, with heating provide by a wood-burning stove.

Three floor-to-ceiling pivoting windows provide views to the woods, and let air circulate when they are open. The southern aperture also serves as the entrance.

The materials used were largely sourced from the property’s 60-acre site, including the wooden cladding, which is made from pines felled from the surrounding woods.

Traditional Scandinavian pine-tar was used for the outside, giving it a dark black colour. This contrasts the treatment inside, where the walls were whitewashed and the floors sealed to retain a natural tone.

Studio Padron recently completed a similar project, also in upstate New York. Called Hemmelig Rom, it consists of a one-room library and guest house that was completed with excess lumber from the construction of a nearby property.

Blackened timber cabins are enjoying a moment of popularity, with other recent examples ranging from a small lakeside cabin in Canada to a prefabricated model recently unveiled by Muji that will sell for £21,000.

Source: www.dezeen.com

“Chairless chair” is designed to provide support for active factory workers

This flexible exoskeleton, designed by Swiss studio Sapetti, allows its wearer to sit down whenever and wherever they need to.

The Chairless Chair, as it is called, is designed primarily for manufacturing environments, where workers are required to stand for long periods of time and where traditional chairs would be an obstacle.

The wearable exoskeleton allows users to walk around freely but have instant support once they get into a bending, squatting or crouching position.

This would reduce the number of instances where employees feel physical strain, so could potentially reduce absences and early retirement.

Sapetti designed the Chairless Chair for Swiss company Noonee, which describes itself as the world’s first supplier of “wearable ergonomic mechatronic devices”. The chair is its first product.

Said Sapetti founder Marc Sapetti: “With the Chairless Chair, Noonee’s clients can not only improve the ergonomic environment for their employees, by improving body posture, but also solve and prevent certain occupational health and safety challenges, and provide age-appropriate working conditions for their ageing employees.”

The chair frame can be adjusted to suit people of different heights and girths, and it can also be fitted to various work-safe footwear. It is made largely of engineering plastics like polyamide, chosen for their light weight and durability.

Sapetti developed the product over two years, together with engineers Zuhlke. The designers worked closely with employees of auto companies Audi, Seat, Skoda, Daimler, BMW and Renault to understand the needs of workers on the factory floor.

The possibilities of exoskeletons – or frames worn on the outside of the human body – as a form of aid and enhancement are being widely explored by designers and engineers.

Most efforts so far have focused on people with limited mobility. In 2014, American 3D-printing firm 3D Systems created a robotic suit that helps paralysed patients stand and walk, while earlier this year, Yves Behar revealed the Aura Power Clothing, which is fitted with “electric muscles” to assist the elderly with movement like climbing stairs.

Source: www.dezeen.com

Frank Lloyd Wright merged eastern and western architecture at Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel

Our Frank Lloyd Wright 150th anniversary series ends with the American architect’s best-known building in Asia, the now-demolished Imperial Hotel, where he combined his western design principles and a fascination with Japan.

After travelling to Japan in 1905, Wright developed a keen interest in Japanese art and architecture. He was therefore keen to win the bid to design The Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, which would replace the original wooden building that Yuzuru Watanabe completed in 1880.

Wright’s hotel, which is no longer standing, was completed in 1923 with the aim to showcase Japan’s modernity and entice western visitors.

The complex was arranged around a large courtyard and reflecting pool. Wings containing hotel accommodation flanked either side and extended towards the rear of the site.

Behind the pool, the main lobby building was made up of a series of staggered volumes that the architect designed to reference the ancient Mesoamerican pyramids that gradually step up into peak.


As a result, the hotel is one of the earliest examples of Mayan Revival, a modern architectural style that took cues from the architecture and iconography of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures.

At the same time, Wright was also using the forms of temples in Palenque – a Mayan city state in southern Mexico built during the seventh century AD – to build his Hollyhock House in Los Angeles.

The three parallel volumes that made up the hotel complex were linked by a perpendicular hallways and bridges, creating a plan shape that is often likened to an H – the logo of The Imperial Hotel.

Wright chose a mix of materials, including reinforced concrete and brickwork. Ōya stone, a Japanese volcanic tuff rock featuring hues of grey and green, also featured and was carved into decorative patterns by local craftsman to reference traditional Mayan designs. However, the building’s ornamentation and interlocking planes were also suggestive of historic Japanese architecture.

These materials remained exposed inside the three-storey lobby area, which featured a central atrium wrapped by two floors of balconies that host socialising areas.

Light filtered in through long, vertical windows that were placed to offer different views of the garden and the city beyond.

Shortly after its completion, the hotel survived the 1923 Great Kantō Earthquake, while many surrounding buildings were ruined. Its survival is often attributed to Wright’s foundations, which were set above ground to “float” on the mud.

Water from the pool was also used to put out fires caused by the quake.

The building also withstood the American bombing of the city during the second world war, but its foundations were left damaged. It was demolished in 1976 to make way for a new, modern high-rise structure.

The facade and reflecting pool were saved and moved to the Meiji-Mura architecture museum near Nagoya, where they can be seen today.

Throughout his career, Wright was fascinated with Japan, a country that he described as “the most romantic, most beautiful”. During his first trip, he started collecting Japanese woodblock prints and later set up studios in Tokyo.

The Imperial Hotel is the most well-known of the 14 buildings that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for Japan – the only country outside of America where he lived and worked. Just three projects remain: the Jiyu Girls School, the Tazaemon Yamamura House, and a part of the Aisaku Hayashi House.

Last week, on 8 June 2017, the 150th anniversary of the Wright’s birth was celebrated by the opening of a major retrospective exhibition of the architect’s work at New York’s MoMA, which includes a section dedicated to the Imperial Hotel. It includes 800 drawings of the project, as well as Wright’s illustrated Teikoku Hoteru book about the building, published in 1923.

Source: www.dezeen.com

Apple unveils “breakthrough home speaker” to rival Amazon and Google

Apple has revealed its voice-controlled HomePod speaker, a competitor to smart home devices Amazon Echo and Google Home.
Apple announced the launch of HomePod today at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.The Siri-enabled speaker links up with the Apple Home app, allowing users to control their connected smart home devices by voice, without touching their iPhone or iPad.

Users say “Hi Siri” followed by their command to trigger Apple’s intelligent personal assistant to change the light setting, pause the TV or close the blinds.

But it is on sound quality that Apple hopes to distinguish HomePod from the dominant smart speakers on the market. The tech giant says the speaker produces a high-quality sound that puts it on par with “un-smart” home music systems like Sonos.

Speaking at the conference earlier today, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing Philip Schiller said that the device will “reinvent home music… just like the iPod reinvented music in our pockets”.

“Apple reinvented portable music with iPod and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes,” said Schiller.

Measuring just under seven inches tall and featuring rounded mesh covering, the speaker includes an Apple-designed woofer that allows the volume to be turned up without distortion, as well as seven beam-forming tweeters at the base that offer directional control.

Other features include a room-sensing technology that will automatically adapt the sound to the size of its location.

Siri has will also become a “musicologist”, learning users’ music preferences and answering questions like “who is the drummer?”.

Apple has faced criticism for playing catch-up rather than leading in the smart speaker market, which has been pioneered by Amazon since it launched the Echo in late 2014. Recent versions of the product include the Echo Look, which incorporates a camera so it can judge your appearance, and the Echo Show, which incorporates a touchscreen.

Google launched its own take on the smart speaker, Google Home, in 2016. Both devices can act as hubs for the smart home, controlling other smart home products, from lighting and heating to doorbells and electronics.

Recently launched connected home devices include Philippe Starck’s smart radiator valves, which allow users to remotely control the temperature of each room using their voice, and Yves Behar’s home security system that can let visitors into a home even when no one is there.

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference continues until Friday 9 June

Source: www.dezeen.com

Taiwan apartment by HAO Design caters to both kids’ and parents’ tastes

HAO Design navigated the chasm between classic and contemporary design to complete this apartment in Pingtung City, Taiwan, for a conflicted family of four.

The Taiwanese studio was brought on board while the new-build apartment was in the pre-sale stage to design interiors that would satisfy both the Hsu parents and their older children.

The parents wanted a “classic” style for the 165-square-metre, three-bedroom home. The children’s tastes veered towards the contemporary and eclectic.

To cater to their desires, HAO Design went for white walls with decorative panelling and cornices. The team also added an arch across a wide living-room window overlooking parkland.

“Even though the ‘classic style’ is typically associated with the complex and resplendent, we selected the spectacular view outside the window as our point of departure and gradually veered toward the decision to leave the entire interior space ‘blank’,” said HAO Design.

“We proposed to create an environment of serenity and comfort by employing pure white as the primary backdrop,” the studio continued.

“To elegantly exhibit aspects of classical design, we utilised symbolic elements and simplified the complex lines by interpreting classical beauty with a modern approach.”

The apartment is filled with touches that cater to each member of the family’s personal tastes.

The boy’s room is finished with leather and metal details, like belts holding up the bedhead. The girl’s, meanwhile, focuses on “cosiness” with cement-textured walls and furniture designed to resemble stacked suitcases.

The parents’ bedroom, which includes a dressing room separated by sliding doors, continues the bright white walls of the living space. However, it has darker wooden floors and lighter wood panelling in a “leaf-vein” pattern that extends across the ceiling.

Each room has an en suite, and a fourth bathroom is located off the main living areas.

The personalisation of space continues into the open-plan living area, where a dividing partition – holding a TV on one side and music paraphernalia on the other — can be swivelled 360 degrees.

This allows members of the family to use the equipment either in the main living area, or in a smaller nook with a single lounge chair.

The personal details extend to the bench on the balcony, which has a built-in footbath so “Mr Hsu will be able to fulfil his dreams of enjoying the scenery, without suffering from the winter cold.”

Marble tiles feature amply throughout the home, including vintage Serpeggiante marble on the dining tabletop.

“All of this ultimately culminates in a home in which each individual is able to locate their preferred space and place for comfort and contemplation,” said HAO Design.

HAO Design was founded in 2013. Its past projects have seen it install swings and a slide in the kitchen of a family home, and rearrange another to give its residents the experience of “walking from the city into a country cottage”.

Source: www.dezeen.com

Glasshouse on stilts by Austin Maynard Architects extends Australian beach shack

Fed up with all the “McMansions” springing up along Australia’s Great Ocean Road, Austin Maynard Architects has restored an old beach shack and built a second, elevated building alongside it.

The brief was to give the clients – a young couple – a bigger home, with views of the the ocean. But the couple also wanted to protect some of the area’s architectural heritage, by preserving their historic beach shack.

The solution developed by Melbourne-based architects Andrew Maynard and Mark Austin was to completely restore the old cabin, and then construct a new building that hovers over its roof.

“Our challenge was to avoid doing what some neighbours, and many other people along the coast, have done,” they explained.

“We refused to have yet another Great Ocean Road shack sacrificed and replaced with a McMansion.”

“We do our best to avoid the simple temptation of demolishing and replacing,” they said.

“Where extensions are required/desired, we aim to retain and respect the existing shack and its scale.”

The Dorman House extension has a similar footprint to the original property, but it comprises two storeys to ensure it offers the best view available.

Unlike the modest cabin, with its monochrome-painted weatherboard exterior, the new building is made up of an assortment of contemporary materials, including large glazing panels, translucent polycarbonate plastic and richly toned ash wood.

A criss-crossing cypress timber framework provides enough support to allow the upper part of the structure to cantilever over the shack’s roof.

It is this framework that makes the building look like a glasshouse on stilts.

“The new living space does not protrude forward over the ridge-line of the old house and avoids dominating the original shack unnecessarily,” said the architects.

Inside, the shack is much as it was, with a lounge, bedroom and generous hallway at the front, although the old kitchen has now been replaced with an en-suite bedroom and a laundry room.

A large open-plan kitchen, dining room and living space occupies the new elevated part of the property. The owners have also slotted in an extra bedroom in the polycarbonate-framed space underneath – an area originally designed as for utilities.

“[The clients] loved it so much that they wanted it as their bedroom,” said the architects. “We added heavy curtains and huge sliding doors so that the space could have as much light and openness as they wanted.”

“They could leave it open on a moonlit night and sleep with the sea breeze rolling over them, or close it up and curtain it into darkness for a cool summer afternoon nap,” they added.

An assortment of materials also features inside the building. Ash lines the inside of the new living space, while the flooring in the bedroom underneath comprises raw concrete bricks.

There is also a spiralling metal staircase that connects the two floors.

“What could easily have been a white plasterboard box full of downlights is, instead, detailed and well considered,” said the architects. “It’s a space that exudes character and responds to the seasonal changes and hours of the day.”

“The lighting inside is very evocative, controlled so you can work or prepare a meal without flooding the space with light and compromising the view. Full-height windows on the northern side of the living space slide open to allow in the sea breezes.”

Andrew Maynard founded the architecture studio in the 1990s, and has completed projects including a periscope-shaped extension. He changed the name of the firm in 2015 to reflect the role of Mark Austin, who has been a key member of the team since 2007.

Other projects the pair have completed in Victoria – the Australian state that the Great Ocean Road runs across – include a house that hides a giant toy box under its floors and another comprising a trio of glass-ended boxes.

Source: www.dezeen.com

Fala Atelier uses new curving wall to reorganise Lisbon flat

Porto architecture studio Fala Atelier has overhauled a fragmented 19th-century Lisbon flat, creating a long narrow living area framed by a subtly curved wall.

The apartment is located on the first floor of a late-19th-century housing block overlooking the Tagus river.

Fala Atelier was tasked with transforming it into a two-bedroom holiday home for the client.

The original home was in poor condition. It was defined by several small rooms with little natural light, as well as an impractical outdoor bathroom.

In order to remodel the layout and make best use of the 60-square-metre floor plan, Fala Atelier started by adding the gently curved wall. This separates the communal areas from the more private spaces.

“We defined a very clear line,” studio co-founder Felipe Magalhães told Dezeen. “A curved wall, connecting both facades, separates the bedrooms, hall and bathrooms from the living gallery.”

By creating this “living gallery” containing the living, dining and kitchen area, the architects minimised circulation space and maximised natural light.

The wall also created enough space in the centre of the curve to fit in the toilet and shower room that were originally outside.

Five hand-painted doors, each in a different shade of blue, punctuate the curved wall, leading to the bathrooms, two bedrooms and stairwell.

Each of these “hang detached from the floor like a set of monochrome paintings”, according to Magalhães.

Fala Atelier chose to tile the floor of the main space and the bathrooms in marble, while the bedroom floors are covered in ash plywood panels.

The architects also created a range of furniture pieces from different types of marble resting atop metal frames – including a kitchen unit, side table, shelving and chairs.

“Marble is a very affordable material in Portugal and as such we used it very often against the abstract white background because it creates a very intense contrast,” Magalhães said.

“Marble has personality, soul. Each stone is unique.”

Fala Atelier also reclaimed a small patio area at the back of the property by demolishing the outside bathroom. Accessible from the living area and one of the bedrooms, this outdoor space has a cement-covered floor and walls.

“The new courtyard-like space provides an exterior addition to the living room, natural but unexpected for an apartment on a second storey,” said Magalhães.

Fala Atelier has completed several other small apartments in the Portuguese city – one featuring a series of sliding doors and another with a curving wall.

Source: www.dezeen.nl

Anish Kapoor flaunts use of “world’s pinkest pink” despite personal ban from its creator

Artist Anish Kapoor has got his hands on the “world’s pinkest pink”, which he is legally forbidden from using.

British artist Stuart Semple created the fluorescent pink paint pigment earlier this year, in retaliation to “rotter” Kapoor buying the exclusive rights to the Vantablack pigment, said to be the blackest shade of black ever created.

The cerise pink shade is available to all artists except Kapoor, who is legally banned from purchasing it.

It is sold in 50-gram pots on Semple’s website for no profit, with a price label of £3.99. But customers must confirm that the “paint will not make its way into that hands of Anish Kapoor”.

They are obliged to agree to a legal declaration that states: “You are not Anish Kapoor, you are in no way affiliated to Anish Kapoor, you are not purchasing this item on behalf of Anish Kapoor or an associate of Anish Kapoor.”

But despite the ban, the Indian-born British artist – the highest ranking figure on the Dezeen Artists Hot List – has got his hands on Semple’s Pink shade – a reflective powdered pigment that repels light to effect a powerful fluorescence.

Kapoor posted a picture of his middle finger dipped in the paint to his dirty_corner Instagram account with the caption “Up yours #pink”.

Upset by Kapoor’s actions, Semple put out a call to find out how he stole the colour. He claims it was a “very shoddy inside job”.

“I was really sad and disappointed that he felt so left out that he needed to orchestrate some conspiracy to steal our pink,” he told Dezeen.

Semple also said he is determined that Kapoor should be punished for his actions, or at least apologise.

“We’ll be dobbing him in, he will be told off and hopefully that will teach him to share his colours in future,” said Semple. “It would be nice if he owned up, said sorry and gave me my Pink back.”

Instagram commenters were also disappointed in Kapoor, describing his response as “petty”. They have resurfaced #sharetheblack – a protest hashtag against Kapoor’s monopoly of the black shade.

Not admitting defeat by Kapoor, Semple has also created the “world’s most glittery glitter”, “the “world’s greenest green” and the “world’s yellowest yellow” and is urging purchasers to “refrain from sharing any with him or his associates”.

The paints are all completely sold out on Semple’s Culture Hustle online shop.

Semple posted a video mocking Kapoor on his own Instagram page last night, which records himself writing “I will be good… I will share my colours” 100 times in white chalk on a blackboard.

Kapoor’s Vantablack is currently the blackest substance known – so dark that it absorbs 99.96 per cent of light.

Made up of a series of microscopic vertical tubes, when light strikes the pigment it becomes trapped instead of bouncing off, and is continually deflected between the tubes.

It was developed by British company NanoSystems for military purposes and astronomy equipment, but the company allowed Kapoor to be the only artist able to use it.

The news sparked outrage among other artists, including English painter Christian Furr – who told the Mail on Sunday that he felt Kapoor was “monopolising the material”.

“I’ve never heard of an artist monopolising a material. Using pure black in an artwork grounds it,” he said. “All the best artists have had a thing for pure black – Turner, Manet, Goya. This black is like dynamite in the art world.”

“We should be able to use it – it isn’t right that it belongs to one man,” he added.

Source: www.dezeen.com