Monthly Archives: October 2015

Where Art Meets Object

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Did you know that a large part of Vondom’s product range is planter pots? Which come in a huge array of sizes and finishes? No? Well let me show you.

Not just manufacturers of more traditional furniture items, these Spaniards have made a name for themselves with their planters from the get-go. Mainly because they have a plethora of great designs that cover a load of bases, and they’re all designed by super famous peeps, like JM Ferrero, Teresa Sapey, Stefano Giovannoni and Ramon Esteve.

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For instance if your brief was a planter pot so big that you could curl up and have a sleep in it, that could be illuminated to an array of colours, and watered itself, then look no further. I mean why shouldn’t a pot water its own occupant, we’re all busy people right? An optional self-watering system is included in all planters except those with a basic finish.

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That’s what make Vondom pots so perfect for shopping malls, resorts, hotels, offices and other public spaces. Staying true to form, these 100% recyclable planters are made from roto-moulded polyethylene and available in a matt or lacquered finish. Colours include; ice, white, black, bronze, steel, anthracite, red, pistachio, orange, kaki, navy, plum, taupe, ecru, beige and champagne, and as you know, all Vondom products are designed for outdoor use, even the illuminated versions.

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If a planter pot (that can double as a lamp) is up your alley, the illuminated versions come in translucent white matt polyethylene, with internal LEDs that may be operated by remote control and colours (white, red, green, blue, light blue, pink and yellow) can be selected or changed automatically.

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Nature is a source of inspiration for many of the designs, where soft, round curves reign as in Organic, Stones and Vasijas. By contrast Marquis and Faz combine geometric shapes to create highly textured and decorative pieces which make a huge visual impact.

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Not all Vondom planters heed a bigger is better theory, they also cater for those who have a penchant for nano maceteros, or little pots. High and low, round and square, pots and jardinières, the options are endless and allow integration into any environment.

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The Funny Farmer

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Our latest obsession is this guy, Isidro Ferrer, the Spanish surrealist illustrator and graphic designer who recently collaborated with LZF Lamps to create a madcap menagerie in miniature, aptly named Funny Farm.

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Produced in timber, with the FSC tick of approval, these strangely wonderful little beasties are sure to become a collectors’ items. There is Atom Ant, Big Bird, Dolly, Grumpy Goat, He & She Monkey, New Yorker, Mad Mouse, Octo, Penny Gwin, Ronny Rhino, Sheepdog, and Toro the bull to name but a few.

lzf-funny-farm-atomic-ant1LZF (formally Luzifer), long-time admirers of Ferrer’s work, had previously employed him to re-brand their logo in 2008, (a lamp with little horns and a forked tail of course). This time around, their brief was simple; there was no brief, no conditions, no rules, and no guidelines. Absolute freedom. For a man who had built a hugely successful career on reinterpreting ordinary, everyday objects and exploring their meaning through photography, sculpture and typography, this must have been a dream come true.

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In Ferrer’s words, “…On the one hand, I knew right away that I would use wood and that the richness of the colours of LZF’s lamps would be present in the project. On the other hand, I was looking to develop something unique and original, something completely different from what LZF had been doing until then. I began to experiment with the shape and the look of their lamps, and began to play with small wooden pieces inspired by the morphology of their products. My experiments led me to a peculiar, funny family made up of nineteen wooden animals, including, among others, monkeys, a fish with legs, elephants and rabbits. That was when I knew I had created the Funny Farm”.

LZF Octo Funny Farm by Isidro Ferrer & LZF LabFerrer is living proof that surrealism and the art of strange is literally alive and kicking in Spain, and although Dali may be the grandfather of the movement, it is not his exclusively. Ferrer views the world in a highly original way, yet it is also relatable, because his imagery is many things, including funny, playful and light-hearted. One cannot help but come away after an encounter with Ferrer’s work without seeing the world a little differently too.

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His career has been likened to the greats like Pierre Mendell, Armin Hofmann and Anthon Beeke, and he’s designed everything from posters to cultural branding, book illustrations for adults and children, comics, to cartoons for television and packaging. Recipient of the National Design Award, Ferrer’s most standout work includes that for the National Drama Centre, graphic design for the Luis Buñuel centenary and his work for the newspaper El País.

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The Padre Rubinos Institute

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Famous philanthropist Amancio Ortega, founder of Spanish fashion label Zara, established The Amancio Ortega Foundation in 2001. The foundations purpose is to endorse charitable projects within Spain, offering assistance to the country’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens. Particular emphasis is placed on education and social aid, like food, medicine and housing.

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Recently the charity built The Padre Rubinos Institute in A Coruña, a multi-purpose municipal centre which is a haven for those in need. The Institute provides a wide range of community services, including a day centre for the elderly, a playschool, classrooms, multipurpose areas, public parks and even a hostel.

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Folk by Rafa Garcia

Designed by Elsa Urquijo Arquitectos & Tattoo Contract, the designers have achieved with the institute what every community space should be but so often isn’t; serene yet functional, with an overall air of tranquility. The designer’s specified white both internally and externally, with contrast provided in the form of natural wooden accents within the building, and landscaped green spaces with grass and trees outside, all of which harmonize to create a feeling of peace and well-being.

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In such a multipurpose building, the furniture needs to be adaptable. Sancal collaborated with the Institute to include some of their most functional yet elegant pieces. Designer furniture is not something that jumps to mind when one thinks of a public space founded by a charitable foundation, but that’s part of the reason this Institute is such a success, and proves that designer furniture and architecture is not the sole right of the wealthy and privileged.

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Furniture includes the fun Party sofa by Luis Eslava, quirky cool Tab Tables by Nadadora, the popular Folk sofa by Rafa Garcia and the comforting Soul armchair also by Garcia.

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Soul by Rafa Garcia

Although solemn social issues oversee the reason for this building, the overall design refuses to walk in these shoes. The Padre Rubinos is one altruistic space that is fresh, modern and beautiful to behold.

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Tab by Nadadora

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Philharmonic Szczecin

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It’s not surprizing the ethereal Philharmonic Szczecin in Poland, stole the show at the Eurobuild Awards 2014, where it was named Architectural Design of the Year. Rising like a feather-light iceberg from the utilitarian port town it occupies, the Philharmonic appears to almost float, whilst surrounded by the heavy nature of the neo-gothic buildings which make-up Szczecin. By day the edifice is ghostly pale, almost austere, in its multi-gabled beauty.

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Designed by Estudio Barozzi Veiga from Barcelona, the building is a remarkably unique piece of architecture. The iconic façade is constructed of profiled white anodised aluminium which can be lit with an array of coloured lights and in a myriad of compositions.

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The interior spans four storeys, which includes a huge spiral staircase, a symphonic hall, a chamber hall, rehearsal halls, music shop, cafe, spacious foyer, artists’ dressing rooms, storage rooms for instruments and offices. The hall boasts superb acoustics, as you’d expect, due to the special geometry of the walls and ceiling, and the grand opening of the new hall took place at the inauguration of the 2014/2015 artistic season.

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Italian furniture manufacturer Arper, have placed furniture into the project, mainly seating upholstered in rich plum tones which work beautifully against the white interior. Lighting is subtle and pretty, in rose hues, illuminating and pulling forth what could otherwise be dark recesses in the space like the stairwell and the bar area.
For lovers of architecture and acoustics, the Philharmonic is an absolute must-do for anyone who happens to finds themselves in Szczecin.

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Desert Storm

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What are the quintessential elements for a Miami-inspired beach club in Western Australia to be boss? Well, it needs to be fun, fabulous and fresh, with a great vibe and flow between spaces. Architect Frank Iemma and interior designer Jenlin Chia of Oldfield Knott Architects have achieved all this and more at the Matisse Beach Club in Scarborough.

Six rainbow-inspired cabanas stand like painted ladies, an ode to historic Australian beach huts on Victoria’s Brighton Beach, along one side of the pool. Available for hire, they are kitted out to provide an unforgettable entertainment experience for private guests.

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Complete with bars, meeting rooms, dining, DJ booths and dance floors, Matisse is further characterized by the Adan collection by Teresa Sapey for VONDOM. Vertex and Frame tables and chairs, and Faz loungers also add to this clever, irreverent space. By night the furniture is LED lit, a feature for which VONDOM are legendary for.

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If you fancy a jaunt to the Matisse, to lounge on designer furniture with cocktail in hand and your crew in tow, then let us know, we want to come too!

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