Riverside Museum of Transport in Glasgow: Colour coded Inside and Out

The summer of 2011 saw the opening of Glasgow’s Riverside Museum of Transport, and in May 2012 it received the ‘European Museum Academy Micheletti Award’ in recognition of its status as ‘the most innovative museum for technology, work and social history.’ This development was the first major public building contract won by Zaha Hadid in Great Britain, where she now resides. The building is clearly in her personal style — a combination of powerful zigzag and sweeping contours — and now stands as an important landmark in Glasgow Harbour, once the vital location for shipyards and busy port traffic. The hope is that the new museum will form a link to Glasgow’s maritime history and engender new life in the old quayside areas, much of which is in disuse. The historic three-mast steel-hulled barque Glenlee sailing ship is anchored in the River Clyde in front

The Riverside Museum skyline is rather like the letter Z turned on its side, with the edge right on the outer margin of the site. The museum has a 36-metre glass façade to the river, with the zigzag roofline not unlike waves on the water. The windows are darkened to protect the exhibits from solar glare, yet reflect the local environment, the shimmering silver roof seeming almost to blend with the sky. The roof construction follows a gentle, wavy, partly angular line. The height and width of the individual roof sections vary along the entire length of the structure. A cut-edge ridge crowns the pointed roof. Zaha Hadid: “The most important thing is the overall flow – the flow of things, the non-Euclidian geometry – in which nothing is repeated; in brief, a reordering of the space.”

The museum also houses a cafeteria. ‘Twin’ chairs were selected for the outside areas – a robust item suitable for contract applications. This plastic-coated steel chair is from Brunner: fresh, lightweight and in youthful design and cast in a single unique style, it harmonises ideally with the technical ambience embodied in the museum. The Twin is finished in apple green, following the colour scheme systematically used inside the museum – from the lime-green hall to the luminescent green stairs, through to the many details presented in a wide variety of green tones. The multi-functional and weather-resistant all-round Twin chair was designed by Archirivolto, and in April was chosen for inclusion in Die Neue Sammlung (‘new collection’) – one of the biggest museums of industrial and product design.

New Opening: Twixt Boulders and Mexican Vineyards — the ‘Endémico’

Breathtaking location: the first Design Hotels establishment was opened in late June and is located at the heart of Mexico’s Baja California region, nestling on the slope of a secluded hillside in the leading national wine district. The design of the Endémico — taken from the Spanish ‘endemic’ — is highly appropriate for the beauty of the surrounding unspoiled landscape: the emptiness and seclusion of the desert, and luxuriant vineyard slopes.

The exciting outcome was 20 luxury residential cubes blending seamlessly into their natural surroundings; with private terraces having an unobstructed view of the Valle de Guadalupe. At night, guests may warm themselves in front of a traditional Kivas clay hearth, imbibe the local wine and gaze at the stars. In the swimming pool, guests soak up the seclusion while drinking in the view.

The tasteful interior design of the residential cubes was inspired by the rustic bareness of the immediate surroundings. Furniture is simple, yet elegant; in addition to the minimalist fittings and furnishings, but not at the expense of modern comforts and luxury.

Mexico’s Hotelgruppe Grupo Habita is operated by hotelier partners Carlos Couturier and Moisés Micha, both active supporters of the environment, society, business and culture in the regions in which they build hotels. For example, the environmentally friendly residential Endémico cubes are held clear of the ground on stilts, minimising their impact on the soil and landscape. The cubes are made of Corten steel and wood, so structures weather as time goes by, and were erected by a team of regional craftsmen, in cooperation with Gracia Studio.

Further information: designhotels.com/endemico

 

White is the Fitness Colour

Holiday time is here at last, but what about the weather? There’s no other choice, than to catch a ‘plane to the sunny south; or maybe, a hotel with a luxurious health centre and spa where you can ‘let it all hang out’, surrender to the luxury of health and beauty treatments and recharge the batteries. However, it takes the right good quality equipment and furniture to create the right atmosphere; the colour of choice is white, which has long since come to symbolise purity and clarity. It gives a room a generous and elegant appearance, and relaxes the eyes.

The new generation of spa furniture from Projectform is in-line with this trend but with subtle differences: ‘silk-white’ incorporates a light beige in the weave, while ‘seashell’ shimmers in unobtrusive grey. In spite of its enclosed shape, the compact ‘Lotus’ lounge-landscape appears lightweight and striking. By contrast, ‘Embrace’ allows for many combinations and arrangements of chairs, tables and stools.

The vast available range of choice extends from hot-stone massage to algae-packs and herbal baths, but in the final analysis the choice is a subjective one, just like one’s personal niche. If the lounge seats demand too much strength, maybe Projectform’s wellness couches are the answer. They combine functionality with design, adjustable head- and foot-rests, or ergonomically shaped couch surfaces, conforming with the entire body shape to guarantee a comfortable resting posture. The ‘Gardino-Geflecht’ (‘Gardino Weave’) is particularly suited for spa areas: it dries quickly, is easy to clean, strong, and has a long service life.

We proudly present the winners of the garden unique contest 2012 “Dining Outdoors”

A conference call was held between the six members of the jury and although it was tough, a decision was made for the best three. These three winners will have their ideas prototyped and displayed at the spoga+gafa in Cologne from September 2nd to 4th 2012.

The first prize went to the transportable “garden kitchen” Canorta by Reto Togni from Switzerland. It was judged by the jury to be “playing with the robust simpleness of proven systems in a useful way. Its unpretentious but reliable appearance encourages the user to take an invitation to the garden or courtyard as a spontaneous and straightforward action to tackle.”

The second prize was given to a subtle delicate ensemble of garden chair and table called LINEA by Marco Gottardi from Italy. The jury was persuaded by “the timelessness achieved through basic forms, which go back to classic outdoor furniture archetypes. Surprising interactions with their very own poetry can be expected through the intended Moiré-effect of overlapping strips of seat, backrest and table top.”

The third winner is the felt bottle cooler by Manfred Makedonski from Germany. The jury is convinced, that this cooler solves the problem at a picnic of toppling bottles on the meadow by “simple elegance” and “quality materials.”

For further information: gardenunique.de

Petals on the lawn! Red dot product design award 2012 for “shallow swing”

The design of “shallow swing” represents lightness and was inspired by the idea of petals on a lawn. The hand-crafted wooden frame curves gently and is glued together by hand with a lamination process that provides weatherproofing.

The wooden frame is covered with fabric. Gisbert Baarmann, the designer of this generously sized wooden form, calls it a “hyperbolic parabola”. A circular base has been twisted in a way which creates two pairs of high and low points opposite one another. “shallow swing” is a lightweight, dimensionally stable and yet elastic, transparent structure for dozing or gently rocking as well as offering protection from the sun.

“shallow swing” won the red dot product design award 2012. The jury´s statement: “shallow swing is a highly attractive piece of gardenfurniture for both sitting and rocking. It is the expression of an innovative design concept that brings together design and handicraft. shallow swing provides an effortless transition between the outdoor and the indoor worlds.”

Further information: shallowswing.de