Design

3Novices:L’Abri renovates Montreal home with slatted timber floors and walls

Canadian build-design studio L’Abri has outfitted a home in Montreal with thin slats of wood that create floorboards on the upper level and form a partition in the foyer.

Rivard by L’Abri

The Rivard project involved turning apartments in an early 1900s property into a contemporary single-family home. The layout is reconfigured with a centralised living space that covers the entire ground floor, with a back terrace and car port.

“The original bunk apartments, largely partitioned, give way to a spacious modern residence,” said L’Abri.

Rivard by L’Abri

The interiors are characterised by their original high ceilings and new windows throughout. Walls and cabinets are white, with concrete floors adding to the bare aesthetic.

L’Abri redesigned the space with a focus on “maximising open spaces, spatial cleansing and finesse of detail”.

Rivard by L’Abri

The front door is designed with a large glazed portion and is surrounded by other windows. It opens onto a foyer, created between a small bathroom in front, and a slatted timber partition with a built-in bench to the right.

Rivard by L’Abri

A living room is located on the other side of the screen, and flows in a fully white kitchen with a central island. In the rear, an outdoor patio is accessed from a minimally decorated dining area, where built-in cabinetry matches that found in the kitchen.

Rivard by L’Abri

This main living space spans the length of the house, from street to back terrace, and features a handful of large windows that flood the pared-down interiors with light.

A newly designed staircase, constructed of light wood with white rails, leads to the upper floor.

Rivard by L’Abri

Here, the hallway is covered in slatted timber flooring to form a footbridge, which filters light from a large skylight down through to the kitchen below.

Rivard by L’Abri

The master suite, two bedrooms and a detached bathroom complete the first level. The master bedroom has 10-foot-high (three-metre) ceilings that follow the roofline, as well as a small balcony that overlooks the street.

A external spiral staircase connects the back yard, the upper-floor hallway, and a roof deck with an outdoor dining table.

Rivard by L’Abri

The residence is located in Plateau-Mont-Royal, a tree-lined area of Montreal that is dotted with quaint townhouses, popular cafes and bars, and small galleries.

Recent interior renovation projects elsewhere in the city include a single-family home from the 1950s with updated surfaces inside and out, a light-filled townhouse with a slated metal staircase, and commercial space transformed into a family home with pink and teal accents.

Rivard by L’Abri

Also based in Montreal, L’Abri comprises a four-person team of Francis Labrecque, Francis Pelletier, Nicolas Lapierre and Jennifer Tu-Anh Phan. The studio has previously completed a two-storey timber house for a young carpenter in rural Quebec.

Photography is by Jack Jerome.

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3Novices:Exhibition of Instagram images celebrates one year of Canadian design

An exhibition in Toronto brings together 365 photographs of products by Canadian designers, which were posted to an Instagram account one per day for the past year.

The 365 Days of Canadian Design exhibition is the brainchild of Toronto-based architect Joy Charbonneau, who wanted to find a way to celebrate contemporary Canadian design after the country’s 150th birthday last year.

She set up the Instagram account @marianadesigncanada as a way to curate the best furniture, ceramics, lighting and illustration she found. The architect, who works at Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, launched it on 1 January 2017 under the alias.

By posting a new picture everyday, Charbonneau accumulated the 365 images that are now printed and on show at Artscape Yongeplace – a cultural hub in the Canadian city – as part of this year’s Toronto Design Offsite Festival.

Among the selection is the curved Boomerang Sofa by Yabu Pushelburg and glass sphere pendant lamps by lighting brand Bocci. The two studios, who are both also based in Toronto, each have multiple products in the collection.

Work by younger brands and designers includes a pale white table lamp by MSDS and a shelving unit with a tapered wooden frame based on snooker cues by Jamie Wolfond, founder of homeware brand Good Thing.

During the project, Charbonneau aimed to uncover work by emerging designers in the country. Her favourites include Vancouver artist and designer Ben Barber and Quebec-based Simon Johns, whose designs were posted on both days 323 and 351 respectively.

In the exhibition, all the pieces are accompanied by their official name, the designer or maker’s social media handle, and hashtags that pick out materials and style. Rather than the square image format often associated with Instagram, the photographs are presented in a range of proportions more suited to the design they capture.

Charbonneau said that over the year, the account’s following grew from her intimate circle friends in her local design circle to reach a wider audience. The account currently has 883 followers and the most popular posts, including the last image posted on day 365, gain an average of 100 likes.

The 365 Days of Canadian Design exhibition will remain on show at Artscape Yongeplace, 180 Shaw Street, until 27 January 2018.

It is among a number of exhibitions taking place across the city as part of this year’s Toronto Offsite Design Festival. Others include an all-women show, and homeware designed for merging home and work lifestyles.

The event also coincides with the Interior Design Show Toronto, taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, where New York design brand Pelle is launching a set of small pendants and sconces.

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3Novices:Competition: win a book about tiny “nomadic” homes all over the world

Dezeen is giving two readers the chance to win a copy of Nomadic Homes, a book featuring a selection of moveable compact dwellings around the globe.

Nomadic Homes by Taschen

Nomadic Homes: Architecture on the Move is written by Philip Jodidio and includes examples of homes that have been designed to move from place to place.

A majority of the projects are floating houses or prefabricated units, and tend to be small in scale.

Nomadic Homes by Taschen
Angled units rest against the frame of Carl Turner’s Floating House. Photo by Carl Turner Architects

Spanning 44 pages, the illustrated book is published by Taschen, and includes photographs and descriptions of the housing designs.

Graphic designer Russ Gray created colourful drawings for the book, seen on the cover image and various pages inside.

Nomadic Homes by Taschen
Mikael Genberg built the Manta Underwater Room for snorkelling in Pemba Island north of Zanzibar. Photo by The Manta Resort

Projects featured in Nomadic Homes are based on “homes on the move around the world,” and range from floating units, to rustic cabins and quick set-up pods.

Example include the Underwater Room, constructed from an open-air timber frame in Zanzibar by Mikael Genberg, and Portage Bay Floating Home by Ninebark – with a rooftop deck and sizeable indoor living space.

Nomadic Homes by Taschen
Francis and Arnett used weathering steel to craft a boxy unit on wheels. Photo by Epic Retreats and Owen Howells

Also among the pages is Carl Turner Architects‘ narrow two-storey Floating House, the plans for which are available to download via an open-source website.

Nomadic Homes by Taschen
Tentsile Tree Tents’ blue design hangs from ropes above the ground. Photo by Andrew Walmsley

Homes from in the rugged outdoors include a metallic Ecocapsule pod by Slovakia-based design firm Nice Architects, which is designed for its users to live off-grid for a whole year by converting sunlight and wind power into energy.

Nomadic Homes by Taschen
Light wood interiors feature in the cardboard base of Fiction Factory by Wikkelhouse. Photo by Yvonne White

“What we discover throughout is that the nomadic spirit of our hunter-gatherer ancestors is very much alive in the modern world,” said Jodidio in Nomadic Homes.

A unit clad in black timber and weathering steel is placed on top of wheels, and built by Brooklyn studio Francis and Arnett. Animated Forest is designed for glamping in Wales at Epic Retreats, and based in Snowdonia.

Nomadic Homes by Taschen
A gabled roof with hardly any windows defines the ÁPH80 unit by Ábaton. Photo by Bureau des Métiers

The book also surveys tent designs for travelling on foot, like a triangular tent that perches above the forest floor and hangs from tree trunks by London-based Tentsile Tree Tents.

“What more contemporary thought could there be than to seek nothing so much as to move, to grow perhaps, but always to move,” said Jodidio, who has also worked as an editor at Connaissance des Arts for over 20 years.

Nomadic Homes by Taschen
A egg-like unit designed by Ecocapsule rests along a riverbed overlooking snowcapped mountains. Photo by Ecocapsule Holding

Natural landscapes are not the only locations of these mobile homes. In Copenhagen, a geometric black unit by N55 rests on stilts above the street.

Another residence, by ÁPH80, is designed to be placed on a flatbed and transported by semi-truck.

Nomadic Homes by Taschen
Six triangle windows bring light into the hegaxon Walking House by N55. Photo by N55

Other examples address the varied construction options for alleviating crises, particularly housing refugees and redeveloping war-torn areas.

The Shelter Units for Rapid Installation (SURI) by Suricatta System, and designs by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban are used as case studies.

Nomadic Homes by Taschen
Shelter pods by Spanish studio Suricatta Systems are designed for fast set-up

The book includes interior designs as well, like the timber-wrapped living spaces of Fiction Factory by Wikkelhouse in the Netherlands.

Nomadic Homes is also available to buy from Taschen for $70 (£50).

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Competition closes 16 February 2018. Two winners will be selected at random and notified by email, and their names will be published at the top of this page.

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3Novices:Surface Design Show returns to London to showcase latest material trends

Dezeen promotion: this year’s Surface Design Show will return to London’s Business Design Centre from 6 to 8 February 2018, presenting the latest materials for architecture and interior design.

The Surface Design Show is the only event in the UK to focus solely on interior and exterior surface materials. It provides architects, designers and suppliers with the latest trends and innovations.

This year’s event will see over 170 exhibitors present “the very best” in surface design, from hand-crafted surfaces to the latest technological advances in architectural lighting.

The opening night features a live debate, titled: A crisis for the next generation – is London just for the wealthy?

Chaired by Peter Murray, chairman of New London Architecture, a panel led by RIBA president Ben Derbyshire will discuss the issues facing young Londoners as they seek to become homeowners.

The programme for Wednesday 7 February includes a debate on design for transport, featuring Priestman Goode chairman Paul Priestman and Julian Maynard of Maynard-Design. There is also a discussion about designing the dream home, featuring TV presenter Naomi Cleaver and architect Carl Turner, and a lighting talk from Light.iQ creative director Rebecca Weir.

The same day, Phil Coffey of Coffey Architects will host the PechaKucha evening, along with a panel of 9 speakers from top architectural practices.,

Other highlights from this year’s show include Surface Spotlight Live curated by Treniq, the international interiors network, and Colour Hive, which forecast colours and trends.

Light School returns to the Surface Design Show for a fifth year. Presented by The Light Collective and supported by the Institute of Lighting Professionals, it informs attendees on pioneering examples of lighting design in architecture.

The event also includes an awards programme. The Surface Design Awards will be announced on the final day, revealing the best examples of surface design in the UK and abroad. There are 13 prizes on offer, and each is judged on a range of criteria, including the type of surface, the use of materials and the overall aesthetic.

Register to attend the show for free via the Surface Design Show website.

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3Novices:Pair of London skyscrapers by Zaha Hadid Architects split opinion

Zaha Hadid Architects’ plans for two soaring skyscrapers at Vauxhall Cross could be the firm’s first foray into a mixed-use project in London, but the design is proving controversial.

The architecture firm submitted plans for the two towers, measuring 185 and 151 metres respectively, at the end of 2017.

The architects claim the scheme could bring 2,000 jobs and 260 new homes to the area, but critics are opposed to the height of the towers and the plans to demolish the existing public bus station to make way for private development.

Vauxhall towers by Zaha

Connected by a ten-storey podium, the development would include offices, retail space, a hotel and apartments. Until now Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has only designed public buildings in London: the London Aquatics Centre and the Serpentine Sackler Gallery.

Renders show the two rectilinear towers rising from the fluted podium, with soaring floor-to-ceiling glazing in between a grid of oblong arches and indents to accommodate for outdoor terraces.

The Vauxhall Cross Island area has been identified as a “key regeneration site” by Lambeth Council and the proposed podium footprint would occupy what is currently a patch of scrubland covered in billboards in the middle of the Vauxhall Gyratory.

Permission had previously been granted on appeal to Squire & Partners in 2012, when it re-submitted plans to build towers 41 and 31 storeys high. The local council had refused the original 46 and 23 storey scheme.

Vauxhall towers by Zaha

However, the ZHA proposed towers are 53 and 42 storeys, with the Architects’ Journal reporting that campaigners have accused the architects of “attempting to add more height by stealth”.

ZHA said that the scheme “works with the height of the other proposed developments in the area” and that it will “sit better within the context of the emerging Vauxhall cluster” than the previous design.

The area is part wider Vauxhall, Nine Elms, Battersea Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF), which has allowed for the proliferation of tall buildings along the western stretch of the River Thames’ south bank.

Further down the river in Nine Elms the new Kieran Timberlake-designed American Embassy almost caused an international incident when US President Donald Trump tweeted that he refused to cut the ribbon because it was in an “off location”.

Vauxhall towers by Zaha

Along with fears that the two skyscrapers would overshadow the area, the ZHA proposal’s footprint encroaches on what is currently a major bus stop and the subject of an ongoing controversy.

Designed by Arup Associates, the Vauxhall bus station’s singular canopy of cantilevered arms are a local landmark and cost £4.5 million to build. It was only completed 13 years ago.

Lambeth Council has approved plans to demolish the bus station and replace it with a couple of facilities pavilions and scattered separate shelters for the bus stops.

Transport for London (TfL) will undertake a “land swap” with owners VCI Property Holdings, giving over a section of the land where the bus stop currently stands to developers in return for space to put the improved gyratory road system.

Vauxhall towers by Zaha

The plan has been contentious, with local residents and campaign groups angered by the council and TfL reconfiguring public facilities to accommodate a private project.

ZHA Architects has maintained that its proposal for the Vauxhall Cross Island site fulfils the brief and will help regenerate the area.

“The design responds to Lambeth Council’s aspirations for a district centre for Vauxhall by creating a vibrant new public square adjacent to the busy rail, underground and bus interchange,” ZHA said in a statement.

“This proposal will generate approximately 2,000 new jobs in the borough within a mixed-use design that includes a new public square, homes, offices, shops and a hotel – providing vital civic space, amenities and employment for the growing Vauxhall community.”

The podium will house the office and retail spaces, along with a 500-room Hilton Hotel. The shape of the podium will create a new public square and pathways to the bus stops.

Vauxhall towers by Zaha

The architects estimate the project will create approximately 260 new homes, which will be “a mix of private and affordable”.

Architect Patrik Schumacher, who succeeded the late Zaha Hadid as the head of ZHA, has previously divided opinion over his comments at the 2016 World Architecture Festival in Berlin where he argued that social housing should be scrapped and public spaces privatised.

In an interview with the Guardian this week, Schumacher admitted he’d been shocked by the backlash, which saw demonstrators picketing his London office. He maintained that “general lack of innovation and over-bureacratisation of the development process” have been major factors in London’s “affordability crisis”.

He also said he believed that London was “too low density” and that taller buildings would help meet housing needs and bring prices down.

Luxury residential tower developments have proliferated in the OAPF zone. Across the road from the proposed ZHA towers Dubai-based DAMAC Properties are building AYKON London One.

The 50-storey glass tower will have interiors designed by Italian fashion house Versace, and a two-bedroom apartment on the 41st floor comes with an off-plan guide price of over £2.75 million.

On the other side of Vauxhall Cross Island sits the St George’s Wharf development, which includes the 181-metre-tall Vauxhall Tower, the UK’s tallest residential building. The penthouse alone went for £51 million.

However, there could be signs that London’s lucrative market in luxury new build apartments being bought off plan and flipped for profit could be slowing down.

Property Industry Eye reported today that the city’s foreign investor market is “on its knees”, with overseas speculators struggling to raise mortgages or recoup their losses.

Mexico City is about to get its own ZHA residential scheme, with the Bora Residential Tower set to become the city’s tallest apartment building.

A planned supertall skyscraper for 666 Fifth Avenue in New York City is unlikely to ahead after designs for the site, which is owned by the family of Trump’s son-in-law, were rejected by the project’s partner.

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3Novices:MoMA announces exhibition exploring Yugoslavia’s concrete architecture

New York’s Museum of Modern Art will examine former Yugoslavia’s impressive concrete structures and bold urban planning visions during its communist years, in an exhibition opening this summer.

Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980, will present examples of the distinct style that emerged in the state that occupied the Balkans region of Central and Southeastern Europe for most of the 20th century.

Revolution Square by Edvard Ravnikar
Toward a Concrete Utopia will include examples of Yugoslavia’s huge public spaces, like Edvard Ravnikar’s Revolution Square (now Republic Square) in Ljubljana. Photo by Valentin Jeck, commissioned by MoMA

The exhibition will bring together over 400 drawings, models, photographs and film clips showing the region’s most impressive architecture, planned and constructed during the later part of Yugoslavia’s existence.

“The architecture that emerged during this period – from ‘International Style’ skyscrapers to brutalist ‘social condensers’ – is a manifestation of the radical pluralism, hybridity, and idealism that characterised the Yugoslav state itself,” said a statement from MoMA.

Sava Center by Stojan Maksimović
The exhibition will explore the distinct architectural styles and forms that developed across the state, as seen in the Sava Center, Belgrade, by Stojan Maksimović. Photo by Valentin Jeck, commissioned by MoMA

Yugoslavia provides a unique point of study due to its turbulent recent history. The country was initially formed after the first world war as the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes after territories lost by the Austro-Hungarian Empire merged with the Kingdom of Serbia.

It was renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929, then the monarchy was abolished after the second world war and a communist government was established. This spurred many of the monumental construction projects and vast utopic urban plans, similar to those across the Soviet Union during the same period.

Telecommunications Center by Janko Konstantinov
Projects displayed include ambitious visions, such as Janko Konstantinov’s Telecommunications Center proposed for Skopje

In Yugoslavia, architects including Bogdan Bogdanović, Juraj Neidhardt, Svetlana Kana Radević, Edvard Ravnikar, Vjenceslav Richter, and Milica Šterić emerged as important figures – and all feature in the MoMA show.

Examples provided by the museum include the sculptural interior of the White Mosque in rural Bosnia, the post-earthquake reconstruction of the city of Skopje – based on Kenzo Tange’s Metabolist design – and the new town of New Belgrade’s large-scale housing blocks and civic buildings.

An economic and political crisis in the 1980s caused the breakup of the state, leading to the Yugoslav Wars in the early 1990s. But today, examples of the architecture can still be found across Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia – all formerly part of the state.

Building B9, Block 21 by Mihajlo Čanak, Leonid Lenarčić, Milosav Mitić, and Ivan Petrović
Concrete construction projects in Yugoslavia were on a vast scale, as seen in Mihajlo Čanak, Leonid Lenarčić, Milosav Mitić, and Ivan Petrović’s New Belgrade development. Photo by Ivan Petrović

With the exhibition, MoMA aims to introduce the “exceptional built work of socialist Yugoslavia’s leading architects to an international audience for the first time”.

Toward a Concrete Utopia is organised by MoMA chief architecture and design curator Martino Stierli, curatorial assistant Anna Kats, and guest curator Vladimir Kulić, and will run from 15 July 2018 to 13 January 2019.

MoMA’s current exhibitions include Is Fashion Modern? which closes 28 January 2018, and in May the museum will open a presentation of fantastical model cities by Bodys Isek Kingelez. Other shows to look forward to in New York include The Met’s Heavenly Bodies, exploring links between fashion and Catholicism, also beginning in May 2018.

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3Novices:Boris Johnson proposes 22-mile bridge to link England and France

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson has proposed building a massive bridge across the English Channel, which would see a second link created between Britain and France.

The idea for the 22-mile-long Channel Bridge was reportedly put forward during an Anglo-French summit that took place on 18 January 2018.

During the meeting, which was called to discuss issues including Brexit and immigration, Johnson is understood to have described the current underground tunnel connecting the two countries as “ridiculous”.

French president Emmanuel Macron agreed – saying “let’s do it”, according to a report by The Telegraph.

Bridge part of a series of “major projects” between UK and France

Johnson, who played a lead role in the campaign for the UK to leave the European Union in 2016’s referendum, tweeted: “I’m especially pleased we are establishing a panel of experts to look at major projects together.”

“Our economic success depends on good infrastructure and good connections. Should the Channel Tunnel be just a first step?” he continued.

If the project were to get the go-ahead, it would be one of the biggest bridges in the world and would.

Johnson’s plans met with ridicule from industry figures

But the foreign secretary’s suggestion has largely been met with scepticism and ridicule.

The UK Chamber of Shipping tweeted: “Building a huge concrete structure in the middle of the world’s busiest shipping lane might come with some challenges”.

Business Insider’s political editor Adam Bienkov remarked: “A reminder that Boris Johnson’s previous plans for public money have included an island airport in a birdstrike zone, the most expensive footbridge in history and a bus that was so hot inside it doubled up as a mobile sauna.”

The Guardian’s architecture critic Olly Wainwright jibed: “What are the odds that Thomas Heatherwick has already designed it?”, while architect Alan Dunlop told The Times it would be easier and less expensive to “just move France closer”.

But Ian Firth, senior vice president at the Institution of Structural Engineers, has said that he believes building such a bridge is “entirely feasible”.

“It has been looked at before,” he said in an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “Before the tunnel was built there were bridge options being looked at and of course it is doable.”

Downing Street denys plans for Johnson’s Channel Bridge

But Downing Street has since down-played rumours surrounding the bridge, saying that there are “no specific plans” and that Johnson had simply proposed the idea of a “fixed link”.

Johnson isn’t the first to propose an above-sea link between the two countries – transport officials submitted plans for one in 1981.

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