Come and grow – the spoga+gafa blog » Articles by: Leif Hallerbach

Green Sculpture: The Biesbosch Museum in the Netherlands

For most visitors, the Biesbosch Museum is the starting point for exploring the Biesbosch National Park. Like a green sculpture the museum has been completely transformed and extended with a new wing by Studio Marco Vermeulen.

Both the new wing of the museum and existing volume are designed to minimize energy consumption. On cold days, a biomass stove maintains the building at the right temperature through floor heating. On warm days, water from the river flows through the same piping to cool the building. Sanitary wastewater is purified through a willow filter: the first in the Netherlands. The old and new sections of the museum are surrounded by earthworks and covered with a roof of grass and herbs. The roof adds ecological value, creating a sculptural object that reads as land art and, at the same time, manifests itself in the surrounding landscape.

Water safety was the key reason for the development of the Biesbosch Museum Island. As part of a national water safety programme, the 4450-hectare Noordwaard polder has been turned into a water-retention area. The Museum Island, which will be realized in the spring of 2016, is a freshwater tidal park that receives river water through a newly dug creek. A meandering path provides access to the island, which continuously changes in appearance because of the changing water levels.

Further information: biesboschmuseumeiland.nl and marcovermeulen.eu

Fama Sofas: Allrounder for the Garden

For over 40 years, Fama design is known for his high quality and innovation, which is also shown in their latest design. For the upcoming season the Spanish company offer the new Armchair „Arianne Garden“ for outdoor-areas – a guaranty for comfort and flexibility.

Arianne Garden has been created with outdoor living in mind. Single modules with a polyethylene base which can be placed together, individually or creating different shapes to adapt to the features of the garden. The back folds down to create a table and at the same time encases the cushions so that they are protected from all weather conditions, family pets, etc. The base is available in seven colours. The cushions provide a great comfort as well as a great variety of exclusive patterned fabrics.

Further information: fama.es

SCAB Design: New Seats for Outdoor Areas

SCAB Design represents the redefinition of the concept of design, a new artistic vision that finds expression in the Italian-made collection. The new chairs of the premium brand are characterized by simple and pure lines, for a sober and refined elegance.

One of the new chair collections is ‘Sunset’, a comfortable armchair ideal for outdoor use. Designed by the architect Luisa Battaglia, the chair made in technopolymer, is practical and easily stackable to be put away quickly and easily. Its ergonomic and practical shape includes a classic design with pure lines that intersect in a game of symmetries. ‘Sunset’ adapts to multiple contexts: the outdoor tables of a restaurant, the terrace of a city café or a domestic garden. It is available in several colours, which range from warm shades to cooler colours.

Another new chair by SCAB Design is ‘Ginevra’ with or without integrated armrests. The shell of the chair in organized shape offers excellent comfort. The material used, a technopolymer worked with air moulding technology, allows using the chairs in a variety of locations: in meeting and public spaces, at home or in the garden. The frame is available in a wide range of colours, for a game of combinations that will transform it easily.

Also new is the collection „Chloé”. Architects Arter & Citton sign the collection in „Chloé Mon Amour“ and „Chloé Trend“ line. The young and glamour look is reflected in the practicality of the material and is ideal for contract or outdoor use. The aluminium legs structure of „Chloé Mon Amour“ is expertly finished thanks to the coating, which highlights the elegant stretched of the line towards the foot. The „Chloé Trend“ is linear, with and without comfortable and elegant armrests, embraces modernity with simplicity and consistency.

Further information: scabdesign.com

Emu: Combination of Light and Pure Lines

The new collections of Italian outdoor brand Emu are a perfect balance between classic sophistication and innovation. The close collaboration between the brand and the designers Christophe Pillet and Stefan Dietz has been renewed.

Exploration of form, attention to details and the use of technological materials are the hallmarks of Ciak, the contemporary aluminium “director’s chair” by Stefan Diez. Simple yet sophisticated, Ciak is a perfect blend of function and design. The distinctive feature of the seat and matching footrest is the spiral shape of the aluminium framework and the transparent, high-performance technical fabric. The result is a solid, versatile, durable outdoor product, suitable for both residential and contract settings.

Also the close collaboration between Emu and the French designer Christophe Pillet has been renewed. Following on from the Round and Shade collections, the new Kira collection is a complete furnishing range, crafted in aluminium combined with a variety of materials: outdoor technical fabric for the seats and laminated porcelainfor the tabletops. The French designer has drawn inspiration from a combination of light, pure lines and elements with a unique personality, thus striking a perfect balance between classic sophistication and innovation, conceived principally, although not exclusively, for residential settings.

Further information: emu.it/uk

“Gardens of the Year 2016”: competition of Garten + Landschaft

The “Gardens of the Year” prizes were awarded for the first time this year. The winners have been determined since 16 February: architecturally clear lines, blossoming shores and expansive greenery received the award presented by the magazine Garten + Landschaft.

In addition to the magazine, Callwey Verlag and other partners are among the initiators of the competition for the German-speaking world. Sought out were private gardens that have been professionally designed by landscape architects or gardeners and landscapers. Called for were holistic concepts and a strong idea behind the use of plants, materials and products. From a total of 153 submitted projects, 50 made it to the final selection; the first place prize winner and three other projects will now be honoured with awards.

The first prize went to the Orel + Heidrich agency for the designing of an expansive house garden in Erlangen. The coherent spatial concept refers to the architecture of the residential building. An existing stock of pines was also cleverly integrated into the planning. The special atmosphere of the garden is characterised by the contrast of strict formal elements and luxurious perennials.

Three other projects were also honoured: the special prize of the jury went to the Design Associates agency, which supervised the renaturation of a wet meadow landscape in Seeshaupt. In the process, the ecological aspects of sensitive shore areas were especially considered. The special prize in the category “Green Architecture” went to a house garden in Bad Zwischenahn developed by Koch & Koch garden and landscape architects. An expansive villa garden in Meerbusch from the WKM Weber Klein Maas agency was convincing in the category “English Landscape Garden”.

All 50 projects including photos, plans and detailed product descriptions can also be found in a book appearing for the competition.

Further information: gaerten-des-jahres.com