Pott Architects, Germany

September 13, 2008

Interior of a Pott Architects home in Germany (image: Rudi Meisel)

From Wallpaper:

Pott Architects is a small but very active and creative architectural practice, with an interdisciplinary approach. Founded in 2005 by Ingo Pott, a graduate from Berlin’s Technical University, the practice has already won several awards, including the Rudolf Lodders Prize – which Pott scooped at the age of 25. The Berlin-based architect has collaborated in the past with Norman Foster’s global team when they were working on the Belrin Reichtstag, as well as a variety of other projects in Germany and the UK. Following that, Pott worked in partnership with the architect Ulrich Harnann for four years before setting up on his own.

Pott sees architecture as much more than just a building. He therefore aims to create tailor-made solutions, depending on the specific demands of each commission and the requirements of each client, and always with the same high quality standards, creativity and a sense of experimentation. Residential design is a big part of the practice’s portfolio, with the featured Haus L in Glienicke being one of its most characteristic and expressive projects. This modern villa is situated on a slope in an extensive wooded site. Home to a lucky family of four, the structure appears to naturally grow out of the landscape.

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Eco-Friendly Product Design

September 7, 2008

Knives used from recyclable material

Consumers are more and more choosing “green-friendly” options in their purchases. Whether it’s because of trends or because of a real environmental conscience, the rise of the eco-friendy product cannot go unnoticed.

Here is a sample of some eco-friendly products with cool designs made from recycled materials.

Knives (image above)
Austrian Paul Kogelnig and Swiss Gabriel Heusser have crafted these bottle-openers out of old cutlery. According to them, “The future of mass production is mass customisation.”

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Design: A Cupboard from 1949

September 3, 2008

A cupboard by Charles and Ray Eames, Los Angeles, 1949

London’s Design Museum is hosting a design retrospective covering the years 1851-2008.

The show begins with London in 1851, the year of the city’s Great Exhibition, a celebration of industrial technology and design. “You have to start with London,” says Sudjic. “In the 19th century, London was the world’s biggest city. It was the capital that produced the Crystal Palace, and the whole idea of design, really.”

One of the exhibits centres on that Crystal Palace, the huge glass and iron structure built in Hyde Park that was the venue for the fair (and has since burned down). Sudjic and Clarke have secured from the V&A one of the early sketches for the building by its designer, Joseph Paxton – a rare treat. Sparkling alongside this is a claret jug by Christopher Dresser, regarded as one of the world’s first industrial designers. During his career, he acted as a consultant for companies creating swathes of mass-produced products, including textiles, wall coverings, ceramics, glassware and metalware. According to Sudjic, his combination of simple geometric forms and organic patterns gives his work a modern relevance.

Then comes 1908 Vienna, where Otto Wagner’s table for the headquarters of the Die Zeit newspaper exemplifies the creative atmosphere in the city at the time, as do the designs of Adolf Loos. Loos had participated in the competition to create a new headquarters building for the Chicago Tribune. Though his proposal, a huge Doric column 20 floors high, did not win, Loos declared that its “beauty would be a beacon for the architecture of the future” – and he was right.

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Seeing Berlin by Rooftops

August 15, 2008

Weekend Club
Berlin’s The Weekend Club

In North America Berlin seems to get a bad rap (Europeans know better). When listing off the best European capitals to visit, people will usually start off by naming the holy trinity of European travel destinations: London, Paris and Rome. Beyond that you’ll usually hear Prague and Budapest and maybe Vienna and Copenhagen shortly thereafter.

It’s really quite too bad since Berlin has to be Europe’s most underrated city for tourism. A tectonic fault line worthy of San Andreas during the Cold War, the city manages to balance the old (Unter den Linden) with the new, tradition with technology, art with finance. The city has long been a centre of the arts and especially a nucleus for architecture and design.

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Rem Koolhaas on the spectacle that is architecture and why Dubai, Russia, and China are the hot spots for it

July 23, 2008

Rem Koolhaas

Rem Koolhass tells us that Dubai, Russia, and China are the places to watch for forthcoming trends in architecture

Urbanist, architect, and architectural theorist, Rem Koolhass is a very excited man. Voted as one of the world’s 100 most influential people earlier this year, he is a man not shy to expound on his thoughts in the world of design and trends.

In a recent interview with Der Spiegel Koolhaas waxes eloquent on trends in architecture, on why sustainability is an empty catchword, and on what he wants to achieve with Dubai.

Koolhaas on where the future of architecture lies:

As far as the experience of building goes, the strongest impulse will undoubtedly come from China and the Middle East, and probably from India, as well. Things get more complex when it comes to thinking. The intellectual force of the West is still dominant, but other cultures are getting stronger. I expect that we will develop a new way of thinking in architecture and urban planning, and that less will be based on our models. There are many young, good architects in China. The unanswered question is whether our cooperation, this internationalization, will result in a common language of architecture, whether we will speak two different languages or whether there will be a mixture of the two.

Educatorium, Utrecht in The Netherlands

Koolhass’s “Educatorium” building in Utrecht, The Netherlands

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Hotel Palafitte – Neuchatel, Switzerland

July 21, 2008

Hotel Palafitte

Located on the banks of Lake Neuchâtel, the Hôtel Palafitte has 40 suites housed on stilts across the shallows. Designed by Kurt Hofmann for the Sandoz Family Foundation, the hotel is a haven for those visiting nearby Le-Chaux-de-Fonds.

Quite an original design :) Click on the link to take you to the website: Hotel Palafitte.

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China – home to the most exciting new architecture of the 21st century

July 17, 2008

Chinese National Centre for the Performing Arts

Chinese National Centre for the Performing Arts, design by French architect Paul Andreu

Flush with western dollars and about to stage its coming out party this summer at The Olympics in Beijing, China has remodeled itself with the help of the world’s best architects and designers. Bold, brave, creative, and yet humanistic, China is transforming itself at a pace similar to when the USA was bursting with the same self-assured confidence a century ago when it declared the 20th century to be “The American Century”. Kurt Anderson of Vanity Fair takes a peek at the visual delights rising in China in From Mao to Wow!