Tag Archives: World traveller

Served Chill

Cool tranquility is served on ice and in spades at Campari’s 24th international office. It’s one of the best HQ we’ve seen in a while, and is totally becoming of the Italian beverage company.

Opened in Toronto in November 2015, local design firm I-V spent eight months renovating the Liberty Village building, which has had many past lives including that of film studio and a foundry. Campari’s brief was simple – ‘create a space which captures the spirit of the company and inspires the people who use it’.

Fun Fact: Campari was traditionally dyed its famed red colour by the cochineal insect. The insect is found on the pads of prickly pear cacti in Central America, they’re brushed off, dried and crushed. True story.

The biggest challenge I-V faced was a complete shortage of natural light as there was not a single window to the outside world, (maybe one of the past lives included vampire’s lair). Four ginormous skylights were installed to flood the space – which boasts 40-foot high ceilings – with light.

The interior was then hit with a huge dose of fresh white paint and pastel pink accents (for which no beetles were harmed), by way of Tea sofas by Sancal on the mezzanine, and sleek Kinesit chairs by Arper around the 16-person boardroom table. Several multipurpose breakout areas are located off the mezzanine and provide public spaces away from the primary work zone where employees sit together in a shared office.

Campari Toronto boasts one truly spectacular bar which is used for cocktail seminars, hosting clients and family-style staff lunches. Its most eye-catching feature, which continues in the theme of creepy crawlies, is the counter which is covered in a pink speckled pattern called Bacterio, created by Italian designer Ettore Sottsass in 1978.

The overall effect is a nothing short of a marvel. I-V have created a magnificently beautiful and convivial office befitting of a brand that’s been bringing people together for over 150 years.

Cin cin!

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Taking it Outside

Summer is hot on our heels, and with that it’s time to shout out to all our favourite outdoor chairs. Life is just better when your furniture looks the part (after all what is function without serious form?). So wherever you use your chairs, be it alfresco dining or poolside, the following designs will be coveted by your friends and regarded jealously by your foes.

Complete versatility is the name of the game when it comes to parking your posterior; think strength (fibreglass injected polypropylene or metal rod is ideal), stacking (they’re easy to store when not in use), and UV stabilised.

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1. Antonio Gaudi’s famous building La Pedrera in Barcelona, is all curves and flair, so why shouldn’t its namesake follow suit. Light, strong and full of character, Pedrera stacks and comes in seven gorgeous hues.

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2. Typically Mariscalesque, Sabinas embodies a form all its own. Inspired by sand dunes and unfurling blooms, this stacking chair envelopes with comfort and style.

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3. Spritz is pure Hamptons (or Ibiza). Think white wooden fences and boxwood hedges, the clean lines and stunning colour range have us wanting to book a one-way passage. Stacking goodness which comes in an armchair version too.

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4. Wall Street designed by Eugene Quitllet (he’s so hot right now), couldn’t be further from the convention and stuffiness of the world’s most famous financial district. A bold statement, Wall Street has clinched its place as one of the year’s best designs.

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5. Ethel is carefully crafted to ensure structural strength, while the angles of the back, the curves of the seat, and the closeness of the wires are designed for comfort and utility. Simplicity and style combine in this contemporary take on modernist roots.

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6. Leaf reflects Arper’s design aesthetic; chic, beautifully resolved and so usable. Among other attributes, Arper without fail collate the most elegant colourways for their collections and Leaf is no exception, available in the colours of nature; leaf green, mocha and white.

 

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Red Dot Award Recognises Story Telling Gold

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LZF have added another feather to their illustrious cap as winner of a Red Dot Award 2016 in Communication Design for their Telling Tales campaign.

The three part campaign, inspired by Edward Hopper paintings and the 1954 film-noir masterpiece Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock, is set at night. The cover of darkness provides the perfect backdrop for loads of gorgeous lamps and the captivating nocturnal happenings of its characters.

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Valencia-based Masquespacio Studio art directed the campaign, alongside LZF co-founder Mariví Calvo. The ensuing images are beautifully arresting and pose more questions than they answer.

While lamps certainly feature in the photo-realistic scenes, they are not the solo stars of the show. The stories themselves are told from the perspective of an anonymous female voyeur as she imagines the lives of the people she watches.

The storytelling component of the campaign takes the reader on a journey, as author Grassa Toro explains “What is fantastic is not what you see, but rather when I imagine everything I’m not seeing… [from her building, the narrator of Telling Tales] sees very little, and imagines a lot.”

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The Red Dot Award is deserved recognition for some highly ambitious publicity. As LZF co-founder Sandro Tothill observes ‘We are competing with communication and graphic design studios from all around the world. That we’re actually in that top fifty cadre of companies receiving the Red Dot Award in Communication Design is as much of an achievement for us as being given a Red Dot Design Award.’

Telling Tales is told in three volumes and will be published in an all-inclusive book for worldwide distribution:

Julie & Nelson – Volume I

Lana & John – Volume II

Ana & Silver – Volume III

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Flight Flies Right

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Some of UFL’s most esteemed projects have seen our furniture installed into airport passenger lounges and check-in terminals both globally and within New Zealand. Our on-going and established presence in such a specialised sector of the contract market presented a unique opportunity for UFL to develop our own beam seat which we aptly named Flight.

Flight has been placed into numerous airports, hospital waiting areas, and the Jurisdiction and High Courts in Auckland, since its inauguration some 10 years ago. Ideally suited to interiors where form and function are critical elements, Flight’s dominant feature is its beautiful timber mono-shell which is sustainably grown and FSC certified European Beech. The seats may be finished in a variety of elegant stains, timber laminate, frontal or fully upholstered in customer specified fabric, vinyl or leather.

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Versatility is among Flight’s main virtues; any seat along the span may be replaced with metal or High Pressure Laminate tables. Flight is available as a two, three, four and five seater unit and may be floor fixed for added security.

Power can be integrated, allowing passengers to work whilst sitting on Flight and charge their electronic devices. Back-to-back linking options can lock units together and Flight is available with end or intermediate arms.

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Flight provides a warm and natural aesthetic to waiting rooms and passenger lounges. Elegant and strong, the legs and arms are manufactured in pressure die-cast aluminium combined with a mild steel beam. The entire frame may be finished in chrome or double powder-coated in a large range of colours.

 

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Figueras International Seating

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UFL are delighted to welcome Figueras International Seating into our fold of European suppliers. World leaders in the design and manufacture of seating systems for theaters, auditoriums, and concert halls, Figueras have recently fitted out the magnificent Len Lye Gallery in New Plymouth with their Flex 6036 armchair. Designed by Patterson Architecture, the gallery which was purpose built to house the works of kinetic sculptor Len Lye, makes a profound statement and demanded furniture which was on par with its architecture.

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In 2014 Figueras was awarded the Spanish National Design Award for its work to date. This is the highest award in the field of design and innovation bestowed to companies in Spain. Figueras’s attention to creating quality designs which incorporate the latest technological advances, leverages their specialized engineering and design capabilities to produce innovative solutions like fixed and mobile seating systems, platforms, telescopic tribunes and mobile floors. Despite humble beginnings as a small carpentry workshop in Barcelona, the company have now completed over 40,000 projects worldwide and installed 10 million seats into such high-end projects as the White House Press Room, The United Nations in Geneva, and the Philharmonic of Paris. The product is now available for projects within New Zealand exclusively from UFL.

With the creation of new division Figueras Engineering & Consulting in 2006, the parent company consolidated its course of carrying out custom-design projects by offering comprehensive engineering solutions particular to the individual client. Each new seating system or model is developed to meet the needs of the project, with particular emphasis on making the most of available space. Figueras are experts in optimizing space and enhancing profitability through movable seating systems that allow a single space to accommodate a range of different uses.

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Salone del Mobile 2016

Nani_lattice_2As a group of furniture professionals at UFL, our muse is the international circuit of furniture fairs, of which Salone del Mobile in Milan is the absolute darling. We visit every year; to seek inspiration and draw from new trends, new ideas and new products. We see our role in the milieu, as that of curators; selecting only the choicest offerings from simply thousands of new items, bringing them home to New Zealand to share with our local cliental.

Salone de Mobile is growing. It seems like the industry is adhering to its former glory and this year Milan was simply bursting out of her skin. Outstanding events and happenings were woven into the entire fabric of the city, from tiny apartments in Brera to the historical buildings within the city’s centre. Even the post-industrial warehouses of Ventura Lambrate held startling exhibitions of new products, alongside the delicious art galleries and the main Rho fairgrounds themselves. Salone 2016 truly surpassed our expectations with the vast array of superb installations, breath-taking new releases and magnificent parties.

Here are some of the highlights from Milano 2016:

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Guillermo Santoma’s Casa Magnificent

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Casa Horta, on the outskirts of Barcelona is home to interior and product designer Guillermo Santoma. The 3-storey building has recently been completely refurbished by the maestro who has wasted no time in transforming his space into a sculptural habitat.

The 1920’s building was completely gutted, revealing within its bones hidden volumes and original materials which had been covered by time and less design-oriented occupants. The interior possesses minimalist geometry that Santoma has emphasised with a transcendent colour scheme; pink for the bathroom and kitchen, bottle green for the lobby, blue for the walls and ‘skylight’, all accentuated by pure white staircases.

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At first glance the interior looks like a movie set or a still-life painting by MC Esher. The designer has furnished his home very sparsely, with just the necessities making the cut; a cook top, oven and sink in the kitchen and a toilet, wash basin and shower in the bathroom. There is a sky-light but it’s a painted onto the ceiling, with static pink clouds.

Santoma shares his philosophy on interior design, ‘A place to live is always transformed depending on the needs – the purpose is to live surrounded by something that represents you. Be throughout the construction process, day-by-day, or in the play, I’m continuously rethinking the space’.

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Ovolo Hotel Woolloomooloo

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No future trip to Sydney will be complete without a night or two spent at the new Ovolo Hotel in Woolloomooloo. Recently refurbished by HASSELL, the hotel which stretches along the longest timber-piled wharf in the world, is situated on the striking Sydney Harbour, a stone’s throw from the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Sydney Opera House.

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HASSELL have carefully renovated the original building, introducing plenty of modern luxuries whilst staying true to the historic roots of the structure. The interior design is bold and playful, the lobby features Sancal’s Nido lounge chairs in pastel pink upholstery and their REW sofa in pink or pastel blue combination upholstery.

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The hotel boldly bridges the gap between history and contemporary design. The furnishings complement the original fixtures of the property, with seamless integration of the Ovolo touch – all the little things that make effortless living a reality for the modern traveller.

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HASSELL is a leading international design practice with studios in Australia, China, South East Asia and the United Kingdom.

 

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Rock the Church

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The Rock Church or Temppeliaukio, located in the heart of Helsinki, is one the world’s most revered pieces of architecture and is a favourite haunt for tourists and design aficionados alike.

Despite its mass appeal today, the building began its life in a series of fits and starts, with no small amount of opposition by members of the public who saw the avant-garde design as blasphemous. The citizens of Helsinki wanted a traditional cathedral instead.

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Temppeliaukio, completed in 1969 is hewn straight into the bedrock below and can be entered from street level. The free-form, oval church hall bathes in daylight, which enters through the row of glass skylights between the rock wall and the dome. Reinforced concrete beams of different lengths support the dome, and the dome and gallery are lined with copper. The floor is polished concrete, and the pulpit is reinforced concrete, as is the base structure of the gallery. Water trickles from cracks in the rock and is conducted away along special ducts. An ice-age crevice in the rock serves as an altarpiece and the altar is of evenly sawn granite.

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Temppeliaukio’s origins go back to 1906 when the rocky area in the suburb of Fredrikinkatu was reserved for a church in the first city plans. It wasn’t until 1932 that a design strategy for Temppeliaukio was instigated by holding an architectural competition, however the project ground to a halt as the overseeing committee were unhappy with the results. A second contest was held in 1936 but the project was terminated by the onset of the Winter War. In 1961 a third contest was carried out and was won by architect brothers, Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen.

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The Suomalainen brothers also designed the interior of Temppeliaukio, whose colour scheme is inspired by shades of granite in red, mauve and grey. The benches are made of birch and the crucifix, candelabra and font were hand-forged by artist, Kauko Moisio. The textiles were designed by artist Tellervo Strömmer and the organ, built by Urkurakentamo Veikko Virtanen, was also designed by the architects. The building costs of the church, considered expensive at the time, were a moderate four million marks in the end.

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The 750-seat church now regularly boasts full services and is a celebrated location for concerts due to its excellent acoustics. There is a split-level platform for the choir and floor space is reserved for an orchestra. Interestingly Temppeliaukio has no bells, rather recorded bell tunes composed by Professor Taneli Kuusisto chime through the speakers on the exterior stone wall.

In 2004 Temppeliaukio became a protected building.

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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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