It does not happen often that a design has me speechless, but this desk-bed-loft construction just did. Naoto Mitsumoto and Naoko Hamana of MihaDesign were asked to renovate an old 770 sq apartment that was constructed in 1957. The designers were asked to propose a solution for the owners – a husband and wife with 4 kids – who desperately needed to come up with a creative use of the limited space. Who would think of putting boxes into this small apartment that not only serves as cozy bed-nucks but also offer a desk space above the beds. The kids can quietly read or study while comfortably dangling their feet above their beds. This is brilliant! Unbelievably brilliant! Read more.
If I lived on my own this is how I would want to live. Completely clutter-free. No visual noise whatsoever. The owners of this sleek NYC apartment wanted a place where every boot and book, every single little thing could be hidden away; they wanted something that would make the most out of their 715 square feet.
I especially love (!) the concept of the friendly Black Hole, a flexible zone which can be annexed to the living room or bedroom, or optionally kept closed as a large walk-through closet space depending on the needs. It’s big enough to gobble up anything they need to hide.
Hat tip off to Dash Marshall, the architect/designer.
(I know, I know some of you might say that this is too sterile! Live and let Live!)
Does the exterior of your house need repair? Ever thought of using LEGO to patch up holes and cracks? That’s exactly what the agents of dispatchwork do. Jan Vormann is the force behind this refreshingly fun public service. Whenever a space needs repair, Jan or one of his volunteers all over the world, jump into action and fix it with LEGO pieces. Made me laugh!
Somebody should send an agent to 10 Jay street in Brooklyn. There’s plenty of patching to do!
(thank you Charlotte)
Here’s a blog post that makes want to jump up and run to take the 6 train:
“New York’s famous City Hall subway station, one of the most gorgeous gems in the world of mass transit, has been closed for decades but now it can be viewed again by in-the-know riders of the 6 train.
Although it’s not open to the general public, there’s a way in-the-know New York subway riders can still see this famous and beautiful architectural glimpse at the city’s past. The 6 train used to make all passengers leave the train at the Brooklyn Bridge stop, but no longer.
If you have a little extra time, you can stay on the train and view the City Hall Station as the train makes its turnaround.”
I can’t wait. Can NOT wait to do this.
The Minka post over at Subtraction caught my attention: Khoi points us to a very promising trailer for a documentary about a 250-year-old farmhouse in Japan that was restored by an American journalist and his adopted Japanese son.
“In Fall 2007, Princeton Architectural Press published ‘Minka: My Farmhouse in Japan,” the memoir of retired AP foreign correspondent John Roderick. Moved by the story of this remarkable house and the memories it contained, and with seed funding from the Graham Foundation, we began work on a documentary film about John, his adopted son architect Yoshihiro Takishita, and the 250-year old house they shared. John died in March 2008 at the age of 93. ‘Minka’ is a meditation on place, architecture, memory and the meanings of home.”
The filmmakers have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds to complete the movie. With your help, they can finish the film! No donation is too small, and they’re offering some great rewards. Please check it out here.
I just pledged $50 over at Kickstarter. If they reach their goal, and finish the movie, my name will be on the film’s website and I’ll receive a digital download of the film.
(Is Kickstarter simply the best thing that has come out of the web in the past few years? YES!)
I had the pleasure to enjoy a cup of coffee with Rob Walker a few days ago here at swissmiss studio. I am a fan of Rob’s creative endeavours, thinking and writing. You might have read about his book Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are or his wonderfully poetic project called The Significant Object. During his visit Rob told me about his latest project called Hypothetical Development.
Rob explained that he kept walking by a construction site that sported one of those fancy 3D renderings of what’s soon to come. After months of walking by the site, and nothing happening, it was clear that obviously this was just a bunch of hot air.
The idea for The Hypothetical Development was born. Why not pick interesting sites and come up with Hypothetical Development renderings? Consider it a new form of urban storytelling.
Or as they explain it on their site:
Members of this Hypothetical Deveolpment begin the narrative process by examining city neighborhoods and commercial districts for compelling structures that appear to have fallen into disuse —“hidden gems” of the built environment. In varying states of repair, these buildings suggest only stories about the past, not the future. What this means is that they will put huge signs with illustrations/graphics of what soon is to come on this site outside various locations in New Orleans.
Take the Museum of the Self as the first example. (Rendering above) I can’t help but think about how much these futuristic hypothetical developments would make me chuckle.
I just backed the project with $50. It’s only $1,200 shy of meeting it’s goal. Let’s help Rob and his team make this happen.
Designed by Dutch architecture firm Hofman Dujardin, the DLA Piper office is a playful space intended to accentuate the variations in sunlight throughout a typical working day. What does that mean? The side of the building that receives the most sunlight is balanced with cooler tones, while the side that receives the least is compensated with warm tones. Meanwhile, the giant gradient of carpet connects the four main meeting rooms, while also creating a simple and clear sense of orientation within the building.
(Thank you Rion!)
I just listened to a super interesteting live interview with Mike Davidson over at 5by5.tv. In this interview that was held by Dan Benjamin Mike mentions the blog that he kept up while building his dream house. I am impressed how generously Mike shared his insights on what it takes to build a house. What an amazing resource for anyone who is in the process or about to undertake such a construction endevaour.
We desperately need one of these Floating Pools outside our studio.
+ Pool is an initiative by a group of architects and designers to build a floating pool in the rivers of New York City… and they need your help. The project was launched with the ambition to improve the use of the city’s natural resources by providing a clean and safe way for the public to swim in New York’s waters. This site is the culmination of Concept Design for + Pool and they are looking to build a team of interested organizations and professionals to continue the development of the project into a buildable proposal.
Their next step is to partner with local cultural, developmental and environmental groups to raise public and private interest, identify civic potential and approach the municipality, while working with engineers, planners and specialists to refine the social and ecological performance of + Pool.
To find out more, contact them at email@example.com.
(thank you Michael)
I am a big fan of the Things I learned series and often keep going back to the Archicture School Edition. I just noticed that they now have one out with the following title: 101 Things I Learned In Business School.
(How much do I love Kindle? With the click of a button the book appeared on my iPad. With the exception of beautiful art/photography books, I have no interest in purchasing ‘real’ books anymore. You?)
Porter Fanna Architecture has an impressive 505 sf loft apartment in their portfolio that made me look. They definitely thought of everything to make this small space work. Oh, did we mention they have a little kid? Hidden computer desk, built-ins that also serve as staircase to the loft bed, hidden toy storage, crib in a walk-in closet etc.
Impressive! Check out all the images here.
(thank you marc)
(thank you sorella)
Last summer, visiting Art Basel, I had the chance to get a tour of the Vitra museum and the various buildings surrounding the factory. And while there, I got to see the VitraHaus by Herzog & de Meuron in construction. Thrilled to see it finished in all its glory now. I can not wait to go and see it in person. Stunning.
I would have no problem moving into Jon Pawson’s house immediately. I love his minimalist approach to decorating and interiors. And I share his love for white. In fact he says: “There are 50 different color shades of white, And you could probably only see them in an empty room.” For John Pawson, architecture is all about reduction. I agree.
This is officially the fireplace (and room around it) of my dreams. It’s part of ‘Raumstation Irnharting’ in Gunskirchen / Austria by x architekten (AT).
Dear readers, I am looking to find architecture firms (or design firms in general) that managed to successfully incorporate a blog into their site. Do any come to mind? Would you mind to leave urls in a comment below? Thanks so much!
What was Manhattan like 400 years ago, before the first settlers arrived? Designed by Abbott Miller, the new exhibition Mannahatta/Manhattan: A Natural History of New York City at the Museum of the City of New York reconstructs the ecology of the small wooded island originally known as Mannahatta (“island of many hills” as the Lenape Indians called it) before it became one of the most densely built places on earth.
I can *not* wait to see this exhibit, designed by Pentagram.