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Outdoor Lighting Tips

We just passed a difficult and unusual time which on the other hand  showed the importance of the outdoor spaces in our home and the great value they have. As the summer is almost here, probably we will spend more time enjoying our outdoors or our summer houses backyards.

But let’s create a space that is appealing all the time, even when the sunlight fades away. In this article we will give you some tips to make your outdoor spaces even more appealing. Of course there are different types of outdoors and we will explain the different types of lights, where these fit best, calculate the light you need and how to create ambience.

Let’s start with 3 types of lighting you should have in your outdoor:

Ambient Lighting - EXENIA FLEUR Spike

Ambient, task and accent lighting

Ambient lighting can be achieved through hanging lights, post lights, and wall lights, creating the right atmosphere for you to hang out with friends and family. That subtle light that creates a comfortable and cozy atmosphere.

Ambient Lighting - EXENIA FLEUR Spike

Task lighting includes pathway lights, plus deck and security lights.  Not only esthetically they bring a great touch to the space but also are a must to ensure a safe walk in your garden/ balcony.

Task Lighting - EXENIA MARK Round
Task Lighting - EXENIA TRIM CC

And you can get accent outdoor lighting with landscape kits and spotlights. If you want to create a more theatrical view. If you want accentuate your beautiful olive tree, or your favorite flowerbed, use this kind of lighting.

Accent Lighting - EXENIA TRIPO
Accent Lighting - EXENIA WOLF Projector

Try to mix all these three layers together so you can have the possibility to create different views of the same space, but always consult with an specialist about the right amount of light in your space.

Exenia Outdoor Lighting

Plan and choose the right fixtures

Be conscious of your outdoor space, take the right measurements and be sure not to choose lighting fixture that are too big. If you are by the seaside be sure to choose more resistant materials and fixtures that can endure the humidity of a seaside. Each light has an IP number and The IP67 is great for outdoor installations allowing you to have lighting even in humid or wet environments.

Accent Lighting - EXENIA ROCK Outdoor

If you want to really create a bright spotlight, avoid grouping a lot of fixtures and instead position several spotlights with different angles toward the object, like a garden statue or topiary, that you want to illuminate. This will reveal silhouettes and layers that make for a dramatic effect.  Use earth like tones, so the focus goes to the greenery or the object that you want to illuminate.

Source: realsimple.com & exenia.eu

Hotel Dajti Reconstruction Project

After many years in total oblivion, and many controversies created, the reconstruction project of Hotel Dajti, one of the symbolic buildings of the capital, has finally started.

The Bank of Albania has selected Arch. Marco Petreschi, based on his experience of the realization and reconstruction of the central building of the Bank of Albania, where his project was the winner of the international competition.

ARCHITECTURE

The architecture of Hotel Dajti belongs to monumental rationalism, a modern architecture style of the beginning of the twentieth century which has operated for a very short time in Europe.

European rationalism by definition is not monumental, it was even against monumentalism. And only in the period of fascism was it possible to have a marriage of these two different things, which on one hand was monumentalization inherited from the classical period and on the other was rationalism which is submited to logic. These two architectures were comforted by each other only by the architects of Mussolini.

From the architect. The project implemented on the existing facility could not bypass the dialogue between its previous existence with the necessary new intervention, to allow the survival of the facility.

This dialogue was developed not only through the restoration of all characteristic elements that make a building a historic one, but also through the implementation of proper interventions through the placement of new facilities, which adhered to the characteristic elements that are able to maintain continuity with the original palimpsest.

Source: marcopetreschi.com

ArtSpace Home

When was Artspace Home born and who is the creative person behind this Brand?

Artspace Home was born in 2015 and was founded by Feridiola Berberi. Her connection with art began at the age of six. Feridiola has lived in Florence for 25 years, where she completed all her studies starting from elementary school, high school at the Florence Institute of Art, expanding her knowledge for a year in the restoration of two-dimensional works and then studying Industrial Design at the University of Architecture in Florence.

What contains your range of creations?

Along my artistic path I dedicated myself to various creations, including here a collection of minimal leather bags made entirely of leather, produced in Albania.

Which are the techniques that you use to do your art?

Usually, I use mixed techniques. Training at the art institute made me familiar with many different techniques including: acrylic, oil, egg tempera, painting on glass, painting on plexiglass, tromp l’oeil, fake marble, fake wood, quadrature, watercolors, ink, gold or other metals, serigraphy, wood carving, engraved zinc plates, printing with acquaforte, lithography, clay sculptures, two-dimensional sculptures, prints in fabric, etc …

Your art is very popular, and not only in Albania. In which countries is Artspace Home already located?

This brand is also known as “meHo Firenze” in 112 countries. It is me that stands behind the brand as an artist and Creative director. Last year, meHo was present at the Indecor Fair and at the Salone del Mobile in Moscow, Russia. The brand is currently active in Italy, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Kosovo and Macedonia.

You can also find my paintings at the Santa Maria Novella train station or at the Ponte a Nuccheri Hospital in Florence.

Your paintings are abstract. Where do you get your inspiration from, since you make new collections every season?

The paintings are designed as a collection of high fashion clothes. Each collection consists of passion, research, travel, studies on new furnishing trends, studies on natural elements that are stylized and transformed into abstract and material forms. I make 4 collections a year of 40 pieces each, where the color palettes change like the seasons.

The purpose of my art is to create harmony between the architect’s project and abstract art. Paintings should cover the walls and complete their work.

How can architects complete their creations with your art, where can they find you?

All architects can search the PDF catalog of collections and JPG images of various paintings, which are available and they can use them in their projects.

Would you share with us any of your creations and how can we tell if it is an original one?

My works are distinctive thanks to my relief and signature technique. If anyone who knows and sees one of my paintings in any interior, he/she immediately realizes that it is from Artspace Home.

Which is the future of Artspace Home? A world-renowned brand, will the range of its products or techniques be enriched?

Artspace remains a surprise every season. The only thing you should do is to follow me!

PIV House

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PIV House
Residential
Murseli Architects+Partners
Murseli Architects+Partners
Prishtina, Kosovo
Constructed
2013
– m2
2
Enrico Cano, Ilir Rizaj
Luca Gazzaniga Architetti, Joao Nunes-PROAP

A large, private villa on a hill that looks out onto the city of Pristina was used as an opportunity to work on the relationship between sparseness and decoration, also in relation to the habits and customs of the local inhabitants.

The allusions to traditional rural constructions led to thinking of the complexity of a house of this kind as the sum of different very simple entities, in scale with the context and related to the topography of the land and the sun path.

A study was made regarding the positioning of the simple volumes, to find the right spatial equilibrium in the formation of a micro artificial landscape of prisms, interstitial spaces and new views onto the landscape.

An irregular double-height element acts as the entrance and connects the principal functions of the house, contained in strong orthogonal spaces. A mobile system of timber panels offers protection from the sun and shades or closes completely the openings, accentuating the perception of the pure solids that with the wood create a warm and domestic atmosphere.

Three pavilions situated in the park reflect the local timber constructions: intermediary structures between the house and garden and places for the family to come together.

Isidoro Stool – Almex Contract Furniture

Stimulating for those who love design with strong colors, perfect for those who need organized spaces: Isidoro fits perfectly any stylish and modern habitat. 

Isidoro Stool from Almex Contract Furniture is stackable, lightweight, functional and durable. Realized by metal-polymer co-injection, this comfortable stool works perfectly even for outdoor intensive use. This design stool looks cute and youthful, ideally suited to the kitchen, but also to public spaces, as well as the terrace and garden.

Source: gaber.it

Dolce&Gabbana and SMEG Refrigerators

Two major creative brands from the worlds of high fashion and appliance design meet and merge, creating 100 unique and captivating refrigerators which artistically uncover beautiful stories from the heart of Italy.

Dolce&Gabbana and Smeg have teamed up once again, this time to design a number of special edition FAB28 refrigerator’s, transforming them into unmistakable works of art. The companies belong to two very different creative sectors but are united by strong values and a tradition for “Made in Italy” excellence. These values are rooted from growing up in Italian family life and the local area, and have instilled a deep respect for Italian tradition. Both companies are known for their creativity and this trait has allowed them to skilfully bridge eras of design as well as combine specialties in fashion, design, craftsmanship and manufacturing.

The result of this partnership is the special FAB28 Smeg refrigerator with unique Dolce&Gabbana styling. Each refrigerator features images hand painted by Sicilian artists. These include lemons, the trinacria symbol, cart wheels, medieval knights and battle scenes, all distinctive elements of poetic marionette theatre and Sicilian Cart. The primary images developed for each product are further embellished with classic floral motifs.

Source: smeguk.com

MODEL SCHOOL

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Model School
Educational
Urban Plus
Ilir Gjinolli, Arbenita Ymeri Rexhepi , Ardita Byci Jakupi
Prishtina, Kosovo
Constructed
2011
5600 m2
3

Model School is located in the northeastern border of the old city of Prishtina. As part of a brick factory, which is no longer operational, the location is no longer distinguished by any specific visual quality. Visual quality is given by the factory chimneys which affect the image of the location in general. These elements are considered as features that have generated the concept of location development.

Defining the general scheme for educational content has been dominant in deciding on the typology of the building. The project analysis are focused on innovative factors in the field of learning and socialization spaces. This is how the concept of “multiple yard” was adopted. The center of learning and leisure activities is a multi-purpose space – “inner square”, in which learning, leisure, sports, food and alternative learning converge.

The atrium aims to create a safe outdoor space, visually open that enhances the sense of security. The school concept also influences the creation of a sense of ownership within the school community, and provides visual concentration inside the building. Also the idea of being inside an enclosed space, with different angles of openings that give a feeling of prosperity.

The position of the library in the multi-purpose space as a ‘stimulus’ to invite the student close to the book, the visual connection to the gymnasium and the escalation of the indoor courtyard in the multi-purpose space and further in the open outdoor space, are characteristic features of the school which give a feeling of transparency and clear orientation to the building.

The project presents an example of how designing a building can be the result of a comprehensive design process.
Model School presents a ‘model’ of:
• Design process – involving participants in the design process (students, teachers, parents, external experts) through workshops.
• the first application of the School Design Guide
• as the first school designed for the new education system
• in terms of cooperation (central, local, community and experts)
• applying new concepts related to content positioning

Pierre Cardin Home: Sofa Trends in 2020

The 2020 trends in terms of furniture have a lot to do with the sensations and the relationship that must be created between object and person. Interior design trends are going in the direction that best expresses 3 fundamental values: materiality, functionality, modularity.

Below we represent you the Doimo Salotti sofa trends of the year by Pierre Cardin Home.

Leonard Sofa

Soft lines and a retro taste

Often willingly, tomorrow’s trends look to the past with respect and nostalgia. This year definitely consecrate the curves and enveloping lines retro sauce. A bit like Diomo Clark sofa by Pierre Cardin Home which combines retro style with modern design. An absolutely non-conventional elegant  sofa, which makes it unique in its kind. A comfortable sofa with feather cushions will be your perfect place for long conversations and moments of relaxation.

Clark Sofa

Velvet returns to the fore

Velvet fabrics have always represented a niche within the large panorama of upholstery fabrics. After a rising 2019, 2020 is also his lucky year. Warm, soft and to touch, velvet has always had a certain influence on our sensations. It conveys prestige and delicacy and in the brightest shades, or combined with a design sofa like Gregory, it can turn out to be decidedly modern.

Gregory Sofa

Material effect

3D textures have become in recent years a cross and delight for manufacturers of floors and furniture in general, but also for wallpapers. The wood effect, the concrete effect, the granite effect, just to name a few. To these we want to add metal, a great protagonist in 2020 and moreover, the combination of different materials for consistency and sensation will be increasingly appreciated.

The Baltic sofa offers a splendid example of what it means combination of different materials, with the ability, among others, to combine the leather frame with fabric cushions. Materials, textures in perpetual balance.

Baltic Sofa

Modularity

In 2020 modularity will become increasingly synonymous with versatility . If before, in fact, a modular sofa only had to respect the needs of space, now it takes on a wider and more complete meaning.

The sofa should be able to adapt to individual needs and everyday use. For example, the sofa Leonard , in which extremely different elements coexist, such as fabric seats and bookcases in wood and metal. Or sofas with independent elements and removable backs, such as Newton, able to offer personalized methods of use, free from what can be considered the “schemes” of a classic sofa.

Newton Sofa

Source: doimosalotti.it

Gaku Table Lamp by Nendo

Gaku reflects the ingenuity and playful spirit of its creator Oki Sato. Whether designing lighting, furniture, technology, or installations, Nendo always eschews convention, stripping the desired product down to its most basic form and then building it back up in a clever way. The interactive concept behind Gaku reflects Sato’s deep curiosity around objects and deft ability to reimagine everyday experiences.

When he sets out on a project, Oki Sato aims to create what’s never been created before. “I wish to design something that I can’t think of,” the principal of Japanese studio Nendo says. “If I can already imagine it, then it is less exciting for me.” In his quest to challenge himself, Sato dreams up innovative products and spaces across sectors that push the boundaries of design. His imaginative approach has led to the creation of Gaku, a bold modular lighting fixture for FLOS.

Five add-on accessories—a bowl, vase, key bowl, bookend, and mirror—adorn the basic structure of the lamp while turning the piece into a do-it-all tool for the home.

An ash frame, in a natural or black-stained finish, is the only constant component in this infinitely customizable design. Inside or outside the frame, different lighting features and accessories can be selected and moved around. Gaku, which means “frame” in Japanese, offers a glimpse into the personality and needs of the user.

Source: usa.flos.com

The howl of National Theater – Arbër Sadiki

“The attack on Dubrovnik – I’m horrified to say this, but I’m obliged to – has been deliberately directed on an exemplary beauty! The attackers seem like the madman who threw acid on a beautiful woman’s face, promising her a new, more beautiful one in return! ”

Bogdan Bogdanovic, The Ritual Murder of the City (Ritualno ubijanje grada), 1994

In the mid 90s, as I was reading Professor Bogdanovic writing about twentieth-century Huns, as he called his Serbian compatriots, who were ritually shelling the very centuries old city of Dubrovnik – a miracle of worldwide civilization, I had never thought that a quarter of a century later I would have to write about my own Huns. In fact, unlike the professor who wrote about wartime destruction, where enlightened minds are not usually the ones making decisions, I have to write in a time of “peace, democracy and Euro-Atlantic values”, when society is usually led by its brightest minds! This made the situation even more tragic.

I have often seen theatrical performances that kept me confused all the time. Not because they were vague, but because the hatred that occasionally occurred in him, I could not believe that he could think, let alone the human race. It seemed like a nightmare to me! I only needed the last scene, where good prevailed over evil, to make me believe that the whole show was real and that all the previous feats were just an illustration of the devilish nature and readiness of a certain individual. possess and are able to manifest it, but that they can never be triumphant.

The same thing happened to me during the whole destruction process of the National Theater building in Tirana. When they first came up with the idea of ​​demolishing the existing building to build a new one, I thought it should be a theatrical and sad overture to arouse the curiosity of the audience about the further acts of the show, but definitely on the last act the main character (the theater building) will triumph.

The darkness came from the idea of ​​demolishing the theater building, a darkness that followed the whole process, and it was the final act of demolition in the dark that made me understand everything. Those that are created in the darkness, act in darkness and disappear in darkness, are ghosts. So in this show we didn’t have to search for a human ending, because the human actor wasn’t a character at all. It was all about ghost shows. Screenwriter – ghost, directors – ghost, costume designer – ghost, scenographer – ghost, actor – ghost …, ghosts end to end. They came, terrified us, and fled into the darkness!

But ghosts don’t always come by themselves. Often, we invite them. I remember as a child my grandmother used to say to me: Don’t whistle at night because ghosts will come! If we turn our heads and look at our past, apparently we have whistled frequently at night. For fifty years we have whistled to a ghost that destroyed churches and mosques, libraries and homes, and above all, human dignity. Today and thirty other years, we are whistling to the remnants of these ghosts, as if they did not terrify us enough for the first fifty years! In fact it is even worse. We have created a model that our leaders would definitely be ghosts. They must come from the dark past, act in the dark, and keep us in the dark! It often seems to me that we are starting to like the dark! Let the ray of the light stop us! I wish that the sad smoke that our national theater released as it was fading out, which seemed to me like a common howl of: Mihal Popi, Liza Vorfi, Marie Logorec, Sander Prosi, Kadri Roshi, Sulejman Pitarka, Besa Imami, Agim Qiriaqi. .. told us:  ALBANIANS, FIGHT THE DARKNESS! DON’T HAVE FEAR THE LIGHT!

Author: Arbër Sadiki, Architect, Prishtina, 17.05.2020

Open Letter to Bjarke Ingels about Albania’s National Theater Project

Gjergj Bakallbashi, an Albanian-American architect, asks Bjarke Ingels to withdraw from the current project for the Albania’s National Theater in order to open the way for a competitive and fair process.

Dear Bjarke,

Through social media, I read about your stay in Mexico during the Covid-19 confinement, and your work on a master plan for the planet.

How inspiring it is to hear of someone, especially an architect of world stature, thinking of the work we do now as having a role to play in the next 150-200 years. The future is shaped heavily by our current decisions and projects, resources and outlook on it.

As countries begin to move out of the lockdown of the first wave of the virus, returning to normality seems to be the imperative of governments and people alike.

In Tirana, the city where we first met when you won the competition for the Grand Mosque of Tirana, and I was working for the City, returning to normal seems to be just not possible. The controversy of demolishing the building of the National Theater to replace it with a new one, designed by you, Bjarke Ingels, has the media, people, politicians, actors, foreign diplomats alike all stirred up.

Bjarke Ingels - Photo by Thomas Sweertvaegher

It is very likely that when the Italians built that building in Tirana, they were not thinking of the next 150-200 years. But how many buildings were built to do that during World War II, in a country like Albania?

Temporary structures often in such places gain historical importance because there were not that many like those at the time when they were built, and most importantly because of their history they have accumulated.

You are aware of all these, I am sure. What perhaps has escaped your attention is the lack of a public process regarding the future of the theater. There was no competition, no conversation, no public debate regarding its future. You, somehow, were asked to draw up a project, based on the premise that the existing theater should be torn down.

I emphasize that there was no competition held for a project of such high public importance.

We would be hard-pressed to find in any EU capital, or aspiring EU-capital, a project of such high public profile moving forward without an architectural competition, transparent public debates, and most importantly deliberations

You, as a de facto cultural representative of Denmark and of its EU values, should not forget the larger role that you play, not only as just an architect offering services to clients, but as a promoter of values, worthy of someone who thinks of saving the planet.

National Theater Project by BIG

And saving the planet is not an effort one can do alone. Any master plan needs backing, not just of politicians, but of alike minds. In your case, of architects. Well, in Tirana, your project for the theater has a lot of architects and intellectuals discouraged and dismayed, that in a European capital things are done in an autocratic, manipulative way. You and your design is not associated with the optimism that you would hope, but with pessimism, and downright surrender of the belief in public competitions.

By choosing to withdraw from this project and to join in only when a competition process is in place, you will contribute more to the belief of a lot of people in a better future in Tirana, than your theater ever will in saving or making Tirana a better part of this planet.

You will have them believe that European values are possible in Tirana – not just European looking projects – and not just inside the EU, a place they see as an alternative to Tirana, when they should be seeing Tirana as an extension, a young one, of the EU.

We all cheered for you when you won the Grand Mosque Competition. We were sorry not to see it built.

Let us be hopeful that competitions and open values still belong to Tirana.

I asked architects to join my ‘plea’ and cosign this open public letter. They are afraid to do so because they think that they will not get their projects through in the Municipality, but will be branded ‘opponents’.

Hotel Graçanica

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Hotel Graçanica
Hotel
bnarchitects
bnarchitects
Prishtina, Kosovo
Constructed
2013
– m2
2
Atdhe Mulla

Hotel Gracanica is a project made possible by the investment of Wormser & Partner led by Andreas Wormser. The hotel investment is intended to provide a place for an archaeological park opposite relaxim “Ulpiana” and to encourage more tourism from abroad.

The architectural concept of the hotel is connected to “Parcour” spaces, which leads to a village with narrow, cobblestone streets, which is also associated with the atmosphere of a warm household. All this is summed up in a spatial constellation entirely through a minimalist architecture using simple lines and technical hand techniques of Kosovo. In addition, what sets this hotel apart from other hotels, is the journey guests take from the hotel enterance towards their rooms.

We have created a welcoming ambiance that is innovative and provides guests with their own unique paths towards their rooms. Some guests have to walk through yards, others through different special areas, and some need to take a brief walk outside and enjoy the beautiful scenery on the way to their rooms. As such, each walk towards the rooms is enjoyable, warming, and unique; feelings which transcend into the overall experience of every guest.

All internal and external areas have  a unity in the materialization. They give an impression as if the internal spaces blend outside with nature, and in the outdoor areas they feel protected as being within the facility.

In collaboration with Kosovar craftsmen and their techniques, we have achieved modern architecture while also relying on some old-traditional material and have utilized them in a new and modern form. The architecture includes work with wood, stone, and textiles. All floor coverings such as interior and exterior have been covered with terrazzo.

Freedom Stool – Almex Contract Furniture

A pure expression of velocity and high technical performance, Freedom is a futuristic designer stool, with sharp, flowing lines. In twin-color technopolymer, this barstool has a swivel seat with optional height adjustment. The various color combinations make Freedom suitable for any environment.

Freedom is a finalist at the FX International Interior Design Awards 2010, London UK.‎ Freedom Barstool won the Interior Innovation Award – IMM Cologne 2011 – Germany.‎ Designed by Stefano Sandonà, you can find the Freedom stool at Almex Contract Furniture.‎

Source: gaber.it

HIGHLIGHT: DAVID CHIPPERFIELD

David Chipperfield (18 December 1953) is a British architect and founder of David Chipperfield Architects (1985). The award-winning firm with over 180 staff is based in London, Milan, Berlin, and Shanghai. Before founding his own practice Chipperfield has worked in offices of Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, and Douglas Stephen. Nowadays he is teaching and lecturing worldwide. In 2004, Chipperfield was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).

Chipperfield is known for his minimalist approach in design with an expertise in museum construction and restoration. Some of the most well-known works include the Gridiron building at St. Pancras Square in London; the Musée des Beaux-arts in Reims, France; and the Neues Museum restoration in Berlin, winner of the 2011 Mies van der Rohe Award.

BBC Scotland Headquarters

Glasgow (2007)

The building’s design aims to encourage creative interaction between its many occupants by connecting all the workspaces. This is achieved by means of an imposing central atrium configured as a tiered sequence of steps, platforms and terraces crafted from local red sandstone. Circulation and communication through the building and between office floors is facilitated by this promenade, which not only offers informal meeting areas but also encourages movement between spaces, giving visual representation to the public aspect of the building.

Neues Museum

Berlin, Germany (2009)

The Neues Museum on Berlin’s Museum Island was designed by Friedrich August Stüler and built between 1841 and 1859. Extensive bombing during the Second World War left the building in ruins. The key aim of the rebuilding, starting in 1997, was to recomplete the original volume, and restore the parts that remained.The restoration and repair of the existing is driven by the idea that the original structure should be emphasized in its spatial context and original materiality – the new reflects the lost without imitating it.With the reinstatement and completion of the mostly preserved colonnade at the Eastern and Southern side of the Neues Museum, the pre-war urban situation is re-established to the East.

Kaufhaus Tyrol

Austria (2010)

The historic centre of Innsbruck along Maria-Theresien-Straße is characterised by a picturesque town structure, which has grown since mediaeval times. The Kaufhaus Tyrol as a large inner-city building integrates itself into the existing context with sensitivity and power. Structure is given to the long, stretched front through three façade sections which are at a slight incline to each other, continuing the historic structure of Maria-Theresien-Straße, which has grown irregularly throughout time. Colonnade-like façade columns with a large cross section form the main architectural characteristic of the building.

Amorepacific Headquarters

South Korea (2017)

The new headquarters for Amorepacific, Korea’s largest beauty company, is located in the centre of Seoul.The form of the building is both abstract and gestural. Focusing on a single, clear volume, the proportions of the building have been carefully developed around a central courtyard to maximise the effectiveness of natural ventilation and daylight. Three large urban openings connect this central void with the exterior surroundings, providing views over the city and the mountains in the distance and therefore establishing a sense of orientation and belonging. The design elaborates the social, cultural and professional ambitions of the company by combining the workplace with other communal activities.

Inagawa Cemetery

Japan (2017)

Located on a steep slope of the Hokusetsu Mountains, the Ingawa cemetery was laid out in terraces. A monumental staircase is the main axis of the entire project. It halves the cemetery and leads to the shrine at the highest point. The visitor center and chapel, also aligned with the central staircase, represent the counterpoint to the shrine. They are designed as a marked threshold between the outer world and a quieter space within for contemplation.

James Simon Galerie

Berlin, Germany (2018)

As a continuation of Friedrich August Stüler’s forum architecture, the James-Simon-Galerie serves as the new entrance building for Museum Island, completing the ensemble between the Kupfergraben canal and Neues Museum. Together with the ‘Archaeological Promenade’, it forms the backbone of the master plan that was developed in 1999 and adopted as the basis for all further planning on Museum Island. The architectural language of the gallery adopts historic elements of the Museum Island.

SMEG FAB28 Denim Fridge

Smeg’s 50’s Style range features unmistakably vintage designs whose classic, curvaceous lines and vibrant colours combine perfectly with cutting-edge technology. The original and best FAB28 coloured refrigerator is more than just a mere fridge. It dominates its surroundings, just like the sofa or lamp in your living room.

Smeg and Italia Independent have contaminated the icons of the past to produce a new style icon: FAB26 Denim Fridge.

FAB28 denim fridge

For over 60 years, Smeg have designed, and continue to design, appliances to adorn homes around the world, and Italia Independent, a brand of creativity and style, have contaminated two icons: the FAB28 fridge and denim. Is it art for art’s sake? No, it is creativity for the home, style for every day.

Combine and reinterpret. Using objects from the past and traditional ideas and stitching them together with style and refinement. These are the actions that have inspire the two Italian brands to produce not just objects, but items that have their own story to tell, their own way of being and communicating.

This is how the first fridge to be entirely covered in denim came into being. Not just any fridge, not the usual type of jeans.

Denim has always been a part of everyone’s imagination and communicates freshness and comfort, rebellion and style.

It goes with outsaying that in order to use it in a domestic context, the fabric, itself a mix of tradition and innovation, is treated with PLASMA, a nano-technology, which protects the surface of the fridge from splashes of water, oil, milk and fruit juices.

Source: smeg.com

Pierre Cardin Home

Pierre Cardin’s world is made up of many elements; it is classic but also avantgard. Fashion, accessories, details, furniture, magic textiles, softness. Such is the innovative world of Pierre Cardin Home.

Geometric and classic shapes in its products, related to fiber interweaving, artisanal forms and technology with the modern one to create unique lines, known all over the world.

Among others, Pierre Cardin Home, after establishing the status of a prestigious brand and being the exclusive provider of unique handicraft carpets and tapestries in Albania and beyond, continued its expansion into the production and supply of Pierre Cardin furniture and taking the exclusivity of famous brands in the furniture industry, mattresses, accessories, wall paper, etc. The materials used by Pierre Cardin consist of fibernatural, anti-bacterial and in harmony with your health.

Pierre Cardin, first came to Albania in June 2010, with a showroom in City Park. Over time, the Pierre Cardin brand became even more powerful in Albania. Today, this brand, developed at Pierre Cardin Home, a conglomerate of brands including Pierre Cardin and a number of other exclusive brands in the Interior Design furnishing industry from around the world.

Pierre Cardin Home’s philosophy since the beginning of its journey has been to offer products and premium brands, for Albanian customers who do not prefer the “usual” but are always looking for unique and luxurious products. So in these 10 years, we were not satisfied only with the Pierre Cardin brand but we took over the distribution of a number of other iconic brands in the interior industry responding to either the demands for a modern, urban style or even the classic, luxurious and incredibly elegant ones.

Products and Services

Products and services you can find at Pierre Cardin Home include:

1. Carpets (acrylic, industrial work)
2. Natural bamboo carpets that are classified: 50% handicraft and 50% industrial production
3. Craftsmanship (100% natural fibers of silk, bamboo and quality wool first, made entirely by hand)
4. Furniture – Everything for home furnishing, in classic or modern style from well-known brands such as DoimoSalotti, Sedit Italia and Zebrano.
5. Wall papers.
6. Dining accessories, dining tables and decorative accessories.
7. Bedding from the well-known brand Valeron.

Everything is conceived and produced with the maximum dedication of artisan masters, realization of projects personalized from A to Zh according to the wishes of the clients, with the most elite materials. The quality and longevity of the products you find at Pierre Cardin Home, come precisely as a result of the use of these first quality materials and the latest production technologies.

Living Now – BTicino

The new BTicino wiring devices is unmistakably Living but has been completely renewed in terms of aesthetics and functionality.Living Now with Netatmo has been designed to suit all homes. It can be used in traditional systems, or installed to show all its innovative potential with connected smart systems.

Research and innovation are at the root of the Living Now project, in which every component has been developed with unique technical solutions to guarantee reliability and security. All the main technical solutions are patented, guaranteeing a superior-quality product.

The minimalist design, with attention to every detail, features a unique and distinctive shape, with perfect surface flatness and alignment between the various switch elements.

With Living Now with Netatmo, you can turn off all lights and lower all blinds simultaneously with a single command and use the dedicated app to change any connected devices in the scenario afterwards.

You can monitor the status of your home remotely via your smartphone and receive notifications in case of any alarm event. Moreover, thanks to the “presence simulation” function, you can also programme light and shutter activation as if you were at home.

You can find the Living Now by BTicino in every Abiesse store and control the whole house in just one click.

Source: bticino.com

Staircases – The history

Staircases are one of the richest architectural elements in terms of formal possibilities, one of the most complex to solve geometrically, and one of the most demanding at the functional level. Staircases usually acquire an important role, as they are an opportunity to define a special transit between floors. The staircase is thought as a space beyond the mere function even in domestic spaces. Stressed between its formal resolution and the need for functionality, the staircase has had different roles throughout history. Here are some historical examples that also reflect what they meant for their designers and their users.

The function of the spiral Gothic staircase

Medieval architects had a preference for spiral staircases. These stairs occupied very little space, allowed to place exits or doors at any point of their route, they were easily illuminated, and were easy to execute.

The oldest medieval spiral staircases were formed by a carved stone core, which gave form to the structure, surrounded by a circular wall also made of stone, like a tower. Inside the castles, the spiral staircases multiplied, apart from those that reached all the floors, some began to be built in the thickness of the walls, communicating only two floors, as overlapping apartments.

For a medieval architect, the staircase was functional, in no case was thought of as a theatrical element inside a palace. The great rooms of the castles were always located on the ground floor, so the stairs were usually only used to serve private areas.

A staircase of the fourteenth century in the Château de Châteaudun drawn by Viollet-Le-Duc

Andrea Palladio and the introduction of the idea of comfort

The four books of architecture, published by the Italian architect Andrea Palladio in 1570, is an extensive treatise on elements, standards and architectural examples, profusely illustrated with drawings by Palladio himself.

Among other architectural elements, the book includes several examples of stairs that, for the architect of the Veneto province, are no longer just a means of ascending or descending the building. Comfort becomes a fundamental aspect, and for this reason, the human being is taken as a scalar reference to design the stairway, which becomes less steep and deep. The architect continues to keep the stairs enclosed between walls, they do not establish visual connections with the living spaces: they are just one more compartment among the other compartments or rooms of the building.

I quattro libri dell'architettura by Andrea Palladio

The staircase as a sculpture

Michelangelo’s proposal for the commission given to him by Pope Medici Clement VII, the Laurentian Library which would preserve the valuable codices of the Medici family, can be considered the beginning of a second stage of the Italian Renaissance. Michelangelo used the classical elements of architecture, but instead of arranging them according to the canon, he used columns, pediments and corbels in an expressive way. The wall disappeared, clogged with disproportionate architectural elements, out of scale, and in a truly anti-constructive organization. The central steps were designed convex and changing in width, while the outer sections were built straight. The whole became an expressive element like the statues of the Italian artist.

Stairs and imperial power

Imperial stairway is the name given to a staircase with divided flights. The first section, the lower one, is central and is divided at half height into two symmetrical sections, which join again on the upper floor. The imperial staircase is one that receives the public ostentatiously, showing a huge scale. It is said that it was in El Escorial in Madrid where it was used for the first time.

The Jordan Staircase at the Winter Palace was a main point to receive the guests, and to make explicit the immense power of the Tsars.

Jordan staircase - Winter Palace of St. Petersburg

Status, gaze, fashion and social class in stairs

After an architectural competition, the proposal of the young Charles Garnier, 35 years years old, who had barely built, was chosen unanimously to design the Palais Garnier in Paris, completed in 1875. The Opera can be considered as the synthesis of the Second Empire style, and the place par excellence for the pomp of the Parisian bourgeoisie. Charles Garnier had designed a spectacular space eclectically decorated, with great chromatic diversity. Unlike the disdain with which the access areas in theaters of the time were treated, Garnier attached great importance to them. These stairs were the true heart of his theater. A place to see and be seen.

Paris Opera Garnier Staircases

Modern art, abstraction and Stairs

The Palácio do Itamaraty, in Brasilia, inaugurated in 1970, is the name of the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil. The building was designed by Oscar Niemeyer, the architect of the city, and was thought as a presentation of Brazil to the visitor. The Palace has one of the largest public art collections in Brazil.

Inside the 220 square meter main hall on the ground floor, free of columns, a spiral staircase 2.3 meters wide ascends helically. The staircase is stripped of elements. Stripped of the structure, it appears to fly magically. With no guardrail, as it had no purpose. It becomes pure geometry, solely form.

Oscar Niemeyer Staircase

Source: agi-architects.com

SMEG Showroom

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SMEG Showroom
Showroom
archistudio
archistudio
Tirana, Albania
Constructed
2019
– m2
1

This project consists of a showroom and as such, we have tried to epitomize the principle of evaluating the products on display. In this case, the architecture is a tool or a bridge, discovering the content of the products.

Smeg itself is an iconic product, and I can say that it is the only brand of kitchen equipment in the world, which combines a modern technology, implemented in the world’s leading architecture, as well as in art.

This passion has made it possible for the design of Smeg products to have the signature of some of the most famous architects in the world today, such as Norman Foster, Renzo Piano, Mario Bellini, Guido Canali and Marc Newson. And not only that, a whole line in this company is designed by the fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana, other products are  dressed in fabric from the well-known jeans company “Denim”, or iconic Smeg products that are inspired by Fiat 505.

The project modestly represents the model of a “modern kitchen” as much as a “kitchen workshop”, as the most rationalized and creative space in a home.

It is designed as a “kitchen workshop” or design laboratory, a customized space where customers, designers and architects can coordinate and combine design concepts with passion for design and architecture.

There is a harmonized climate of bureaucratic passions and the company’s own inspiration – it contradicts the philosophy of the 50’s, the arched shape in both retro and extravagant atmosphere, pop art, aesthetic minimalism and perfect artistically models, so that the products are easily turned into stars of the kitchen that we designed.

I believe in the superiority of sensory qualities as well as experimental materials in architecture, in this regard we have tried to aestheticize the details through maximum attention.

In this project we have requested and implemented natural materials such as concrete, steel, bronze, wood and glass. The surfaces and refinements of the materials have been refined. We tried, through the stylization of harmonizing materials, to allow strong contrasts in form and content, in color and light.

In the designing process of showroom architecture, we relied on two criteria: service and memory, which are related to experience.

“Service”, because the objects in the interior, like the buildings, fulfill a certain function: “They must serve to people.” A product should communicate with its surroundings, among other things, and allow users to interact with it.

“Memory”, because the idea and the project represent a long conceptual history, the study of forms, functions, and feelings. The value of a product cannot be fully understood if it is not fully experienced personally.

We tried to turn the experience in this showroom into a seminar model – because so is the product. They are not just “Refrigerators” – the artistic ability has turned them into something else, and we have been inspired by that.

acquamarina chair almex contract furniture

Acquamarina Chair – Almex Contract Furniture

Relaxing, foldable and easily transportable. Acquamarina is an outdoor chair from Almex Contract Furniture, characterised by a cool perforated pattern on the seat and high back. It can be adjusted to four positions and is equipped with a comfortable headrest.

Its punctured style adds character and functionally promotes rainwater runoff. The headrest is a bi-material with a rubbery texture that’s semi-rigid but soft to lay back into. Made in Italy from UV & weather resistant polypropylene & fiberglass resin, the entire chair is foldable for storage over winter or transport from home to bach, or glamping location.

Source: nardioutdoor.com & bydezignfurniture.co.nz

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