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SHARE Future Projects Awards

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Architectural awards are offered many times for what has been accomplished.

SHARE Future Projects Awards will highlight what has not been realised yet but will be – architectural ideas that find themselves in the most joyful stage for those who built up the future, labelled as the “project.”

The international jury will propose and award the most valuable projects, supporting their development and drawing attention towards the near future.

Celebrating excellence in unbuilt or incomplete projects, this awards programme showcases projects from Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia with the winning projects honoured at SHARE X Forum, Bucharest on November 2020.

  • All entries will be published in the official SHARE Future Project catalogue, which will then be distributed to all SHARE Forum delegates.
  • Entries are assessed by a renowned international jury, providing invaluable exposure for your practice.

To register for SHARE Future Projects competition, click here.

CATEGORIES

Public Architecture;

Commercial & Offices / Refurbishment in architecture / Industrial;

Residential Architecture;

Hospitality & Interiors.

WE REMIND YOU THAT UNTIL THE 17TH JANUARY 2020, MEMBERS OF AAA ASSOCIATION 2020 CAN REGISTER FOR FREE ON THE EVENT.

For information about procedures to become a member of AAA Association click here.

To register for SHARE TIRANA 2020, click here.

Montessori method in design

A different way of approach on the educational section is the Montessori approach, which guides children to discover their needs involving body and mind. From our early stage of existence we notice that we have the ability to absorb with greater ease much more things, and as we get older this ability fades out. That is the reason why we start attending school from our early years, as the age between six and twelve is considered as calm and conductive to learning. This is a method that gives children the freedom to explore their own needs through senses and special learning materials. It is not based on a pre-defined curriculum which would possibly cause the reaction of the child, but it gives them the chance to construct their selves within a ‘favorable environment’.

The Montessori Method was found in the early 1900s by Dr. Maria Montessori, the first woman in Italy to receive a medical degree. Her main contributions in raising and educating children were the preparation of a natural and life – supporting environment, their observation in living freely in this environment and the continuous adaptation of the environment in order that the child may fulfill his or her greatest potential, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

An underlying principle of the Montessori school is that children will naturally engage in a self-directed learning process. The children are expected to learn more from the environment and from each other than they do from the teacher. For this reason, very little time is spent engaging in whole-class lectures.The teacher lets the student spontaneously divide themselves into small groups and supervises while the children work together to complete an activity. It is through this hands-on, self-directed process that Montessori believes children will receive the most knowledge. General life skills are far more important in the Montessori Method than the mastery of an outdated academic curriculum, and this offers to the Montessori kids a natural and healthy adulthood.

Following Montessori Architecture, the designer has few principles that have to be applied on the specific school in order not only to empower the Montessori approach but also be accepted by the Montessori Organization as a registered Montessori school. Initially the prepared environment should follow a guideline which introduces the following:

· Beauty
· Harmony
· Simplicity
· ‘A Place to Live’
· Objects Should Be Prominent

Following that, this Architecture follows and the next environmental attributes:

  • Spatial, which provides the liberty of movement and the shape and size of the classrooms. The “L” shape was best because it allows the greatest actual separation of activities and the most pronounced inside corner. Its asymmetrical quality allows for a sense of wondering and is more edge-focused instead of center-focused.
  • Aesthetics, which aims to a simple decoration, a pleasant, newer, and well-maintained facilities that have a positive effect on learning. Also, the rooms have to be artistically beautiful as according to Maria Montessori “Beauty both promotes concentration of thought and offers refreshment to the tired spirit”.
  • Lighting is very important for the performance of students, and especially Day lighting enhances learning and improves health
  • Color: Color has an influence on blood pressure and behavior. Warm colors increase the blood pressure and muscular activity while cool colors lower both. Also, studies have shown use of nature’s colors, i.e. blues, greens and browns; create a comfortable, relaxed environment. Color schemes in classrooms should be light and natural and use of bright reds, yellows, and oranges should be limited. They can be effectively used in learning materials to provide more interest. Generally bright colors are best used with learning materials and art. White walls allow all colors to be seen without the color bias of a colored background. Large areas of warm colors such as red, yellow or orange should be avoided.
  • Thermal attribute is also vital for the smooth and productive behavior. According to specialists “Under ideal thermal conditions, students worked faster and produced a higher percentage of correct answers in the morning.” Also, students learn more and retain the knowledge longer when living in an ideal thermal environment.
  • Acoustical: Noisy environments tend to result in “poorer auditory discrimination and less tolerance for frustration by children”. Also, high noise levels adversely affect teaching time. In Montessori classrooms we are very aware of the noise level and its effect on learning. Sound absorbing materials can enhance the quality of the learning experience.
  • Air quality and natural ventilation helps the interior of the classrooms to be clean and succeed a good air flow through open windows
Montessori School - Estudio Transversal

Beyond these attributes there are another five keys that each classroom should has:

  1. Outside environment: Ideally, each class should have at least two walls facing the outdoor environment, which again ideally should be a natural setting of gardens, forest, or fields. At least one door should lead outside, allowing children to freely go in and out to a prepared outside environment.
  2. Observations: Montessori classrooms should have plenty of natural light brought in through loads of attractive windows that can be opened to allow the air to flow. In classes designed for younger children, windows should be selected that reach down to almost floor height or mounted lower to the floor to allow small children to see outside without stretching. Observing the outside environment is important as well as watching the other children in other classes.
  3. Cubby area: each child should have a small private space for him/her to keep their personal belongings. This enriches the idea of individuality and accountability.
  4. Kitchen: a small sink and a small fridge should be provided for each classroom
  5. Storage: storage spaces are important for each classroom separate and also as a whole. There, children can keep their homework, models, or whatever is dealing with throughout the day.
Montessori Kindergarten ArkA

All the above approaches are vital for the application and success of the Montessori Method. The ideas are important and followed silently in order to get the result Maria Montessori once aspired. Color, lighting, air quality and size of the classrooms, outside activities, materiality, and surrounding environment, are issues that are important in order to give a more complete and persuasive result to parents, children and teachers.

Montessori Kindergarten - L&M Design

Source: The Montessori approach and principles by Christina Demetriou

HIGHLIGHT: ARTAN RAÇA

Artan Raça was born in 1964 in Tirana, and graduated from Civil Engineering Faculty of Tirana with a Architecture degree in 1987. He has worked until 1993 as an architect near the Institute of Construction of Urban Design Studies, Tirana. After that, he established the studio Raça Arkitektura based in Tirana and began his career as freelance in the field of architecture and architecture design, activity that continues until today. Since 2013, he has been a visiting professor at Faculty of Architecture, Polis University.

Among 120 projects realized, the most important are the collective housings, such as the “Yellow Palace”in the street Hoxha Tahsim, which was nominated for the European Award Mies van der Rohe 2013 in Barcelona. Some of his works have been praised and highlighted by different international professional magazines in the recent years. The “Yellow Palace”was chosen in 2008 to be the front page of the professional architecture website Europaconcorsi. Selected works were analyzed in the book of Andrea Bulleri: Suspended Contemporaneity, QUODLIBET STUDIO 2012, Italy, as well as in magazines AREA 118, and Paessaggio urban – Urban Design 6/2011.

The Yellow Palace, 2002

The Yellow Palace is a rather small and intimate facility if compared to the other buildings constructed over the recent times in Tirana. It is a “palazzetto” for six households, each in a floor of 120 m2, while its ground floor is reserved for shops. Being such, it risked being more of a private object, rather a property of the ones living there, than an asset of the city. Therefore, the architectural intervention, through a plastic treatment, aimed at transforming this small building into a public landmark, a sign for the road it was located into and for the entire city.

Residence Building

This apartment building was designed with the intention to be in harmony with the surrounding buildings, since the location where it was going to be built had an already established physiognomy with its red brick buildings built prior to the ‘90s. As such it should have a simple and unobtrusive design for that zone, with straight lines, but using also a contemporary architectural play to show the time of its construction. Built with a reduced budget, like many other buildings, it too could not escape the improvisations made by the investor, which affected also its final architecture.

Twin Villas, 2010

It was the first time in about 70 years from the construction of King Zog’s Villa in Shiroka, on the banks of Shkodra Lake, that two Albanian investors decided to build two individual holiday villas, using a real architectural design and an architect. In the motley of illegal constructions without any architecture design, built on the slope of Taraboshi Mountain in Shiroka, overlooking the fascinating view of the lake, this project was too inspiring to miss. Hence, the design of these two villas was focused on capturing the view of the lake, orienting all its interiors on that side.

Lingoto Center, 2011

Lingoto Center  was designed and intended to be an offices building. Nowadays a private university is ‘sheltered’ in its premises. Placed on a narrow and long parcel this object wants to express with its movement ‘matter, “physicality” and “sensuality”. In turn this movement is as an adaptation to the context and the objects “hitting” it on both sides. Its floors plan is conceived as an open space, to unify and extend the work surface, placing work stations at the edge and in ‘touch’ with the nature.

Titanic, 2012

This facility is built on the Adriatic coast on the Shkëmbi i Kavajës beach, where the Titanic restaurant was located. Situated facing the sea, it is meant to house residential apartments as second homes and for vacation.

If we would summarize the basic concept of this project in few words, it is a response to conditionality, which is also the basic idea of our studio’s work. The building is conditioned by the urban study of a maximum of 4 and 6 floors, with a central placement on the parcel. The main architectural idea intended to use these “restrictions” to create a “deconstruction” of the volume where the two upper floors are pulled inwards on three sides, which makes the 4-floor volume more readable. The volume interpretation has taken into account minimizing the impact on the surrounding environment, making not a palace, but a “palazzina”.

ICK – Innovation Centre Kosovo

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ICK – Innovation Centre Kosovo
Office
Maden Group
Maden Group
Prishtina, Kosovo
Constructed
2019
346 m2
2
Creative Fields

ICK is an innovation centre that supports the professional advancement of young individuals and groups, a feature that tends to appear in the architectural design of their offices.
The ICK office design project is a renovation of an existing space: a residential building that should be converted into an administrative building, and will be linked with the existing ICK offices on the neighbor building.
The need for growth is reflected in the project concept, presenting a design that goes beyond frameworks.

The challenge of designing the space lies in the style that characterizes the interior design of the existing building.  Existing forms in the interior space are inspired by classical architecture, but decorative elements are not contextualized in time and material context, thus representing what architecture theory knows as kitch.

The design reflects an innovative intervention that meets the requirements and challenges the existing spatial context, willing to propose its abstraction without intervening in the existing form.
The concept is based on the need to give color and life to a space dedicated to young people. The decorative elements, especially those on the ceiling, are challenged through color.

The concept finds inspiration in the art of Yll Xhaferi, a young artist from Kosovo. His paintings show a variety of colors in a canvas with large dimensions, so the ceiling in the project is trated as a canvas on wich a color composition is painted, inspired by Yll’s palette. The color is also transmitted through the walls, pouring over their decorative elements.
Through this concept diferent architectural styles and periods of intervention are overlaid.

The furnitures are designed in contemporary style, with elegant shapes and soft colors, giving the impression of a clean environment. While some old school furnitures are placed in certain places and are also painted in the same style as the ceiling.

Each space is characterized by greenery, representing today’s approach in archictecture, and the verve and dynamics that dominate the nature of work at ICK.
The new offices are separated on two floors (first floor 194 m2 & second floor 152m2) and accommodate a co-working space, a multifunctional space with an amphitheater, a meeting room and the director’s office with offices for the rest of the administration staff.

10 Tips on how to be productive this New Year

As the new year came in very quickly, people around the world are beginning to reflect on another year passed. Many of us are setting New Year’s resolutions, but, as it always seem to happen, those very resolutions are soon to be broken and forgotten by most just weeks or days into the new year. If one of your resolution is to be more productive this new year, you have to do specific things that will increase your productivity.  Below we bring you some awesome ways to make that happen.

Image by Jeff Sheldon
  1. Stick to a rigid sleep schedule

Set a time you want to wake up every morning (including weekends), count backwards seven or eight hours, and stick to it – every day. This way you will be more refreshed and ready to get things done.

2. Create a morning routine

The idea behind a replicable morning routine is to establish at least some semblance of normality in our crazy, ever-changing lives. Start your morning routine by completing the bare essentials, then add more or less important items over time, till it becomes a routine.

3. Develop a new non – architectural hobby

It can be yoga, hiking, dancing or anything that can help you escape the everyday life and the most important, helps your architectural side.

4. Create an inspiring studio

To stay focused clean out the clutter in your office and complete with a desk and decorations that foster creativity. You can try Feng Shui too. Gather your favorite candle scents, oils and crystals for the new year. It helps you to find balance and harmony in your working space.

5. Prepare a playlist of music that motivates you

Studies say that classic music helps in developing the brain, but you can put songs of any genre on the list if they motivate you.

6. Attend  architectural conferences

Research  architectural conferences you’d like to attend this new year. You can start with the 3rd edition of Share Tirana 2020 on this 11th February.

7. Establish an agenda

Keep your ideas, projects and meetings organized. An agenda keeps you on track with the sequence of topics to be addressed, and it helps in ending the meeting on time.

8. Take breaks and travel more

You can start as simply as turning off your computer earlier in the day, avoiding emails after a certain time, or going for a relaxing walk after work. The point is to take your mind off work for a few hours every day. However, when it comes to subtle textures, atmospheric spaces and beautiful details, there is no substitute for traveling to experience architecture in person. Cities in Albania are full of hidden gems just waiting for you to cast your critical eye over in 2020. Whether it is a simple walk around the block or a plane ride to the other side of the world, travel more this year!

9. Write a “Love-To-Do” list

Add the things you love to do to your list. This may sound counterintuitive, but it serves as an outlet to keep you happy and your creative juices flowing. By scheduling time to do things you enjoy, can make you more productive in the long run.

10. Get things right the first time

Most people are wildly distracted these days, and this leads to mistakes. Become a special performer by having a mindset of doing what it takes to get it flawless first. This unleash your productivity and saves you days of having to fix problems.

SHARE TIRANA 2020

The Albanian Architects’ Association (AAA) is pleased to invite you to the event SHARE Tirana 2020 – International Architectural and Engineering Forum. The third edition will be held on the 11th of February.

We officially announce that the registration has opened for this edition and it can be made here.

Members of The Albanian Architects’ Association (AAA) 2020 can register for free within the limits of the places available until the 17th of January.

 

SHARE Tirana 2020 Forum Highlights:

A leading conference programme with outstanding architects who present their recent international awarded projects;

Thematics: Interior Architecture / Design&Furniture / Lighting Design/Facades/Roofs/ Insulation/ Landscape;

International debate ‘Transforming the world through architecture”;

SHARE Future Projects Awards on four categories: Residential; Offices and working spaces; Hotel – SPA – Restaurants, Public Spaces and Urban Development

An exhibition of innovative architectural solutions, products, and services;

Networking and social events like architectural tours, practices visits, and cocktails & conversation meetings;

You are welcome to be part of the event.

About Share Tirana 2020: https://share-architects.com/share-tirana-2020-about/

About Share Architects: http://share-architects.com/about-us/

Angel Beauty Salon

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Angel Beauty Salon
Beauty Salon Interiors
Molos Group
Molos Group
Prishtina, Kosovo
Constructed
2019
– m2


Kosovo-based design firm Molos Group created a contemporary, yet raw, beauty salon following its brand identity and theme of ‘angel’. Located in Prishtina, the salon is tastefully decorated with elements referencing wings and feathers, resulting in elegant interiors. The space was reconstructed from an old house and storage space, into a practical working space that hosts a variety of beauty services, including spaces for training and workshops.

Molos Group used a natural material palette, that includes rustic wood, natural stone, metal and lots of greenery. From the outside, the facade is made out of glass bricks, which gives a beautiful visual effect that creates magnificent refraction inside, but also distorts shapes, light and colors from the outside. From the outside, the salon greets guests with an elegant,  four meter tall door, followed by a console reception, built from 200-year-old barn wood, which is supported by a massive natural stone.

Golden hand-made feathers hang from the entrance’s high ceiling, creating beautiful reflections and shadows. The main waiting area has a minimal aesthetic, all in soft blush pink, with a natural stone base for the crystal-clear seats. Upon entering, guests discover soft pastel colors and elegant arched doorways that lead them inside a gold rose space. The main staircase hall contrasts with the unique rail, all in white, that divides the space with patterns and art.

The glass curtain behind the pedicure area is built with around 4,000 empty nail polish bottles, curving around to provide natural light and also privacy. It curves around the custom designed seats, accompanied by handmade stone sinks. The hair and make-up area has a unique vibe, with wall mirrors in irregular shapes that are linked together to create a visual representation of wings. The standing mirrors also mimic the shape of wings, which are supported by different shapes of natural untouched pieces of stone, and completed with a golden rose drawer on the side.

The hair area is separated with custom-made dividers that are made of hairdresser scissors. The stairs in the hair and makeup area are built around the tree, starting with 3 steps that are engraved in a natural stone, and continues with an elegantly curved stair built by wood and metal. As guests climb the stairs, they see the unique shapes of the window blinds, visualizing the opening and closing of the wings. The sinks in different bathrooms were all left in the natural form that they have been found in nature, only polished on the top.

5 most liked projects on Pikark

2019 has been a year full of new and successful architecture projects, starting from houses, apartment buildings, museums, schools, hotels, interior design and more. To celebtrate the new year eve, we are taking a look back at the most liked projects of the year on Pikark. Despite their diversity, there’s one thing all of these projects have in common: great architecture. Can you guess who takes the top spot?

Upper Qeparo revitalisation by Klaudio ÇURMAKU & Kristi NAÇO - The most liked diploma project proposal
  1. Servete Maçi Primary and Secondary School by Studioarch4

2. Kulla e Arnume by Plis Atelier

3. Gatsby eat&drink by V arkitekturë studio

4. Park Gate by X-Plan Studio

5. Cantilever House by Markingplan architecture

Ciot Showroom

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Ciot Showroom
Showroom
Createur Studio
Createur Studio
Troy, Michigan
Constructed
2019
51,000 sqft
4
Carlos Jordan

We worked closely with the owner of Ciot Detroit to come up with an exterior design for the new gallery and showroom in Troy, Michigan. The 51,000 sqft showroom can house 11,000 natural stone and engineered stone slabs.
We worked through various design strategies that utilize the latest fabrication technologies for the stone facade to come up with a concept that is captivating and innovative. The monolithic stone sections mimic, the quarry process where large chunks of marble are cut into blocks to then process into slabs and other various custom pieces.

HIGHLIGHT: The Albanian House

The project “The Albanian House” consists in the documentation (descriptive, visual and geographical) of the most representative and characteristic houses of the main Albanian cities and villages. It represents research on the main architectural features of these dwellings, their history, the changes they’ve gone through, over the years and their current state.

House on Sotir Peci street

The most characteristic typologies of houses that testify to a certain socio-economic development in Albania, from the second half of the 18th century, to the first half of the 20th century, from the houses recognized as traditional or vernacular (master-crafted) houses as well as houses after the second half of the 19th century, designed with architects and reconstructed to meet the demands of a more contemporary lifestyle (e.g. the genesis of the contemporary city houses).

House Angonate

The website-platform is a result of, combining theoretical architectural research on the main housing typologies together with practical fieldwork, through interviews with local people and visual documentation of their today-condition, through photography. Starting with literature-based research (link here) brought a more crystalized understanding of the areas of focus, in Albania, where more variations of potential house-typologies could be found. Even though the risk of not being able to find those potential houses on the field was prominent, mostly from relying on a sort of outdated academic documentation and the lack of maintenance of these houses through the years, bringing their decay and further on their demolition.

House Oso Kuka

The main intent is to highlight the features of this very authentic architectural typologies, in both geographical entities: cities and villages, with their different and unifying features, like their facade-treatment, plan organization and volumetric composition, their organization in independent or residential ensembles, the presence of traditional special equipment of production (the house being back then, the place for both living and working), etc.

House Shuk Lamthi

The platform is in an evolving state, where the main data and website-structure was created during the first four months of the project implementation but is still open to further improvement and enrichment in materials, therefore many more houses are waiting to be included on this public platform, which hopefully will pay a small tribute to these hidden treasures and the collective memory related to them. The implementation of the project was supported by the Swiss Cultural Fund.

House Cac Dollani
House Ceva

A very important part of the project are the visits and ethnographic interviews done with local people from the neighborhoods nearby and the houses’ family members themselves. Apart from the more academic information, the descriptions of these houses contain also information related to people’s memories about them, therefore this information is more dense and rich in layers. Since a house is a more intimate and personal space, some of the families were very welcoming and curious and eager to share their knowledge about the places they have inherited but in some cases, it was difficult to gather information.

House Xhevat Gjana

Some of the places visited, from where the houses were mapped, are: Shkodër, Shirokë, Theth, Tiranë, Krujë, Kavajë, Elbasan, Durrës, Berat, Gjirokastër, Dukat, Bujanë, Vuno, Korçë, etc, organizing 2-3 days expeditions in each one of them and apart from noticing all these architectural treasures and their richness in details and historical importance, we also noticed a certain emergency situation related to their conditions for a very considerate number of them. 125 houses were mapped, number of houses found only through literature 91, number of houses found through the terrain-expedition 52, number of photos uploaded on Wikimedia Commons 2028.

Ethnographic Museum of Durres
House 'Zekate'

Since there is a lack of information about this houses online, the need to make this knowledge, all this information more public more accessible for everyone, in one structure, that uses open source platforms, was crucial and urgent.  Added value of the project is the fact, it uses open source platforms that permits to everybody to contribute to its continuity through writing on Issues in Github (link at the website-bottom).

The main intent, is to pay a small tribute to these hidden treasures and the collective memory related to them.

Albanian House Interiors

Links

Website: https://thealbanian.house

Link with all photos:  https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:The_Albanian_House

Bibliography for the description: https://thealbanian.house/bibliography

Project manager: Jora Kasapi

Project assistant: Sonia Budini

Gifts Ideas for Architects

Architects and interior designers can be difficult to buy gifts for. They pay so much attention to detail and style that it’s intimidating to get them anything. Are you looking for the perfect festive gift for the architect in your life?  Whatever you have in mind, we’ve come up with a guide to the best architecture gifts that the architects and designers are sure to love.

Joseph Dalton
  1. Lego

Which profession would allow you to play with Lego as a legitimate source of inspiration? Architects can use their imagination in this game, which is designed to provide them a perception of real life buildings.

LEGO Architecture Studio 21050 Playset

2. Leather case

Keep their commute just as stylish as their designs with a leather laptop carrying case that’s large enough to fit cards, pens, pencils, and essential cords along with their laptop, tablet, or sketch book. Or, if they already have a large bag, a smaller folio that’s just large enough for a phone, a few writing tools, and a notebook might be all they need.

INSIDEgift

3. Business Card Holder

A minimal matte black pocket business card holder looks far more sophisticated and professional than fishing around through a bag and pulling out a crinkled card.

Partstock Premium Ultrathin Business Card Holder

4. Architectural model

An architectural gift guide wouldn’t be complete without a lovingly recreated mini version of a building everyone knows and loves. An architectural model of their favorite city from above will help keep them inspired and liven up their living or work space. If they have a favorite famous building, a simple white model of it would also make a great addition to their art collection.

Chisel & Mouse

5. Illustrated Cards and Art prints

What says ‘holiday cheer’ more than an illustrated hollyday card? And what could be more architectural than an illustrated buiding print? Find a copy of their favorite building or structure and you’ve just secured yourself best gift of the year.  Go for a more simple look with some minimal prints of famous houses and buildings from around the world.

Yoni Alter

6. Books

Although there’s plenty of architectural and interior design inspiration online, there’s something special about holding an actual book and flipping through its pages. Regardless of their tastes or style you’re sure to find an architectural book that they’ll enjoy. A beautiful book full of beautiful monochrome interiors will not only inspire the interior designers in your life but will add a touch of elegance to their coffee tables as well.

Small Architecture Now! by Philip Jodidio

7. Desk Accessories

With all the time they spend sitting at a desk sketching, planning, and emailing, it’s important that your architect or designer love their space and the things they create with. Help them create the ultimate desk space with some minimal and functional office products. A concrete desk set with a pen holder, tape dispenser, and phone stand will help keep their space clutter free and stylishly organized.

22 Design Studio

8. Watercolor markers, pens or pencil box

Good writing utensils are an essential tool in the architect and designer pencil box. Brass pens, pencils, and stands are an elegant gift that will help to create beautiful buildings, structures, and rooms. Elegant brass pens add a sophistication to any designer or architects arsenal of writing utensils and will probably result in elegant designs and ideas as well.

Watercolor markers give artists a more precise way of adding color to their designs and are much easier to carry around than sets of watercolor paints.

Ystudio
Watercolour Markers Set by Winsor & Newton

9. Creative+Fun books

Just because they’re adults working important adult jobs, doesn’t mean they don’t still enjoy a bit of creativity just for the fun of it. A coloring book is a great way to give your architect or designer an excuse to sit down, chill out, and create things that are just for them. It cities will give your architect a break from designing and instead let them paint the town.

Fantastic Cities A Coloring Book of Amazing Places Real and Imagined by Steve McDonald

10. Personalized accessories

Even if it is a t-shirt, a cushion, a coffee mug or pencils, translating drawings or architect’s quotes into textiles and accessories is always a good idea.

Zazzle

Source: contemporist.com

Murano in Arkspace

Venetian glass is thought to have been made for over 1,500 years, and production has been concentrated on the Venetian island of Murano since the 13th century. Today Murano is known for its art glass, but it has a long history of innovations in glassmaking in addition to its artistic fame—and was Europe’s first major glassmaking center.

photo by dotravel.com

Why is Murano glass  so special?  It is the glass powder used to create the Murano glass. The ingredients of the homogenous mixture of various substances in the form of a powder used to create Murano glass is a well-kept secret among the glass-manufacturers of Murano since centuries.  Everybody knows about it, but nobody talks about it in the island of Murano.

Owning a real Murano glass is truly a unique and special experience. When the rays of sunlight shines through the Murano glass and its colors become alive, then one can truly appreciate the ancient tradition of Murano glass making.

In addition to utilitarian objects,  amazing chandelier, lightings are created with Murano Glass, adding to your spaces a touch of class. You can find some of these pieces of art at our offices, at ArchiSpace, scroll down to know more :

Swing 275

The collection of Murano glass chandeliers Swing 275 is one of our collections that most differs from the classic Murano tradition: the design of this collection is closer to the natural shapes.

The decorative wavy elements that sorrounded the central arm recall some plants, the cups evoke the bluebell’s corolla. Two variations of the Swing collection are available in the catalogue, Swing 275 is the one with upward lights.

All the elements that composed the chandelier are made of blown glass, this confers to the lighting work a certain uniformity. This collection stands out not only for its design, but also for the colours available. Among the colours, it stands out the iridiscent amber, a particular shade of amber with iridiscent finishings, whose glares gives a magic atmosphere to the surrounding space.

Gatsby Naked

The Murano chandeliers Gatsby Naked collection is a special edition of the Gatsby collection. The structure of the chandeliers is the same of the Gatsby chandeliers, but here the plissè fabric truncated cone lampshades are susbituted with cups that diffuse the light in the sorrounding space.

These cups are handcrafted, their surface is decorated with the “rigadin” technique (blown glass with straight ribs on the surface). Their shape resembles that of the crown and the final element, contributing to the harmony of the whole structure.

The cups that sorround the light bulbs give even more lightness and transparency to the whole structure, turning the chandelier into an outstanding decoration object.

The Gatsby Naked collection can be customised in many ways, in order to meet customers’ requests; many different colours, sizes and models are available. The collection includes wall lamps, table lamps and floor lamps.

Capriccio

The blown glass chandeliers collection Capriccio 560 has the same structure of the 550 variation, but it differs from the last one for the position of the lights, which are downwards.

It is the best solution when the ceiling is not very high, without renouncing to the elegance and the magnificence of a venetian chandelier. As in many other collections by MULTIFORME, not only the structure but also the colours are innovative.

It is possible to customise the Capriccio 560 collection, choosing finishings, models, sizes and colours; the collection also includes a series of matching wall lamps.

Capriccio 550
Capriccio 560

Chapeau

The Murano chandelier Chapeau is one of the most appreciated chandelier among our classic models in the Multiforme TIMELESS collection. Chapeau is a classic and essential chandelier, it is handcrafted using high quality materials. This Murano glass chandelier is finished with handmade lampshades, and it is available in many different colours, sizes and number of lights.

The Chapeau collection includes chandeliers, table lights and wall lights. The big size chandeliers are perfect to be placed in stairwells, halls, meeting rooms and wherever an elegant decoration of the ceiling is needed. Chapeau is the perfect collection to decorate hotels or wide spaces, and whenever it is needed to minimise the costs without renouncing to a high quality solution. This is possible thanks to the high number of items available in this collection.

Simplicissimus

The name of this collection well express the essence of these chandeliers – superb simplicity. This collection of Murano glass chandeliers is the result of a research which harks back to the classic Murano chandeliers, with the purpose of re-elaborate them in modern terms.
Simplicissimus chandelier is made using high quality selected materials and finishings, it is a decoration product sober and of great value; and for this reason it is perfect to decorate both classic and modern spaces.

The Simplicissimus collection includes a wide variety of chandeliers, table lamps and wall lamps, each of these items is available in many different models, sizes and colours. It is also possible to customise the products on demand.

Coco

The glass chandeliers Coco collection takes inspiration from Coco Chanel, the revolutionary woman that has changed the fashion industry during the 20’s. In particular, this chandelier embodies one of her beliefs – elegance and style are based on simplicity.

The glass is manufactured using a particular technique, called “rigadin”, which allows to obtain straight ribs, conferring to the translucent surface a peculiar optical illusion. This optical effect, combined with the sheer silk plissè lampshades, contributes to the harmony and uniformity of the whole structure, which is a peculiar characteristic of each product of this collection – wall lights, floor lights and table lights.

Source: https://www.multiforme.eu

Hotel “Privilege”

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Hotel “Privilege”
Hotel & SPA
DEA Studio
DEA Studio
Tirana, Albania
Constructed
2012
2.600 m2
4

GBa Studio sh.p.k., Archimed SPS, Kejsi 05, Forma Studio Architecture& Interior

Hotel “Privilege” located in the Southeastern periphery of Tirana, right in a slopy hilly terrain with an open distinguished visual impact from Tirana ring road. The 28 room hotel is designed in 4 above ground floor and 2 underground floor dedicated for the SPA, as a response of the Client program. The facade introduces a simple modern language in its geometry, trying to be as friendly as possible to its potential clients and not only …

HIGHLIGHT: CHARLES AND RAY EAMES

Charles and Ray Eames are among the most important American designers of the 20th century. The Eameses are best known for their groundbreaking contributions to architecture, furniture design, industrial design and manufacturing, and the photographic arts.

Charles Eames was born in 1907 in St. Louis, Missouri. He attended school there and developed an interest in engineering and architecture. After attending Washington University in St. Louis on scholarship for two years and being thrown out for his advocacy of Frank Lloyd Wright, he began working in an architectural office.  In 1930, Charles started his own architectural office. He began extending his design ideas beyond architecture and received a fellowship to Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, where he eventually became head of the design department.

Ray Kaiser Eames was born in 1912 in Sacramento, California. She studied painting in New York before moving on to Cranbrook Academy where she met and assisted Charles in preparing designs for the Museum of Modern Art’s Organic Furniture Competition. Charles and his partner’s designs, created by molding plywood into complex curves, won them the two first prizes.

Charles and Ray married in 1941 and moved to California where they continued their furniture design work with molding plywood. During World War II they were commissioned by the United States Navy to produce molded plywood splints, stretchers, and experimental glider shells.  In 1946, Evans Products began producing the Eameses’ molded plywood furniture. Their molded plywood chair was called “the chair of the century” by the influential architectural critic Esther McCoy. Soon production was taken over by Herman Miller, Inc., who continues to produce the furniture in the United States today. The other partner, Vitra International, manufactures the furniture in Europe.

Birthday House Hallmark Cards

CASE STUDY HOUSE 8: EAMES HOUSE

In 1949, Charles and Ray designed and built their own home in Pacific Palisades, California, as part of the Case Study House Program sponsored by Arts & Architecture magazine. Their design and innovative use of materials made the House a mecca for architects and designers from both near and far. Today, it is considered one of the most important post-war residences anywhere in the world.

CASE STUDY HOUSE 9: THE ENTENZA HOUSE, 1949

“Case Study House 9, also known as the Entenza House, was designed for Arts & Architecture publisher and editor John Entenza as part of his innovative Case Study House program. The property is situated on a primarily flat parcel on a bluff in Pacific Palisades overlooking the Pacific Ocean, at 205 Chautauqua Boulevard. The design of Case Study House 9 exemplifies the concept of merging interior and exterior spaces through glass expanses and seamless materials.

GRIFFITH PARK RAILROAD, 1957

The Eames Office designed the station, rail yard, and graphics for Griffith Park Railroad, including concessions tickets, posters, and signage. For the station house—painted in olive drab, red, and black—they gained inspiration from Victorian railway architecture and typography. They also built other architectural elements and props to the same scale as the train (one-fifth life size).

HERMAN MILLER SHOWROOM

Throughout the 1950s and into the early 1960s, the Eames Office designed the building and installed the interiors and furniture groupings for Herman Miller’s Los Angeles showroom.  Charles and Ray designed much of the new furniture introduced in this period, including the Eames Plastic Armchairs and Side Chairs, and a variation of the Eames Folding Table. The husband-and-wife team enlivened the showroom spaces with a vast array of objects. Integrated within the furniture displays, one could find anything from toys, plants, and tumble weed to sculptures, folk art, and photo murals.

THE KWIKSET HOUSE

In 1951, the Kwikset Lock Company of Anaheim, California, commissioned the Eames Office to design a low-cost, prefabricated house. Charles and Ray planned to construct it with off-the-shelf parts and hardware. This would allow Kwikset to manufacture the house in quantity and sell it as a kit; this stemmed from the Case Study Program’s idea of normalizing industrial, postwar materials in residential building. The hope was to allow postwar families and indiviuals to live in a “modern” way for an afforable price tag with a reduction in materials and time spent building. The Eameses proposed a one-story house, modular in plan, with a curved plywood roof and exposed beams. The interior had an open plan with a large living room that opened out onto a garden.

THE MEYER HOUSE, 1936 – 1938

The Meyer House has five bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms, a tennis court, and a greenhouse. Eames and Walsh made custom furnishings for the home, as well as decorative glass, murals, and other site-specific artworks. In it, Charles seems to have been exploring curves: a circular library/study opens off a landing on the main stairwell, while a set of nested curves related the back terrace and its view of the gardens to the echoing form of the dining room.

MAX AND ESTHER DE PREE HOUSE, 1954

The Eames Office designed this house in Zeeland, Michigan for Max De Pree, his wife Esther, and their two children. The Eameses designed the house entirely of timber. The front façade is a modular grid while the back has a long, second-story balcony that looks onto a garden and wooded area leading to a stream. The office designed the house in the same spirit of economical construction as the Kwikset House.

REVELL TOY HOUSE, 1959

In the late ’50s, the Eames Office designed a model house kit in ¾-inch scale, completely furnished with miniature Eames furniture and accessories. Designed for a toy manufacturer named Revell Company, the kit was to include a system of modular units of structural grids and panels made by Revell out of injection-molded plastic. Charles and Ray designed the rooms and spaces in varying sizes that they could be built into one, two, three and four-level structures.

Source: https://www.eamesoffice.com/

“Syri i Qiellit” Memorial

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“Syri i Qiellit” Memorial
Memorial
X-plan Studio
X-plan Studio
Tirana, Albania
Constructed
2019



Concpted as a medium solution between the memorial and the pavilion, this object aims to turn into one of the key and landmark points of the Artificial Lake park. The philosophy of the spatial conception of the object lies in the transparent relationship of the moving process in it, starting from arrival in the object, moving to the filtering space and arriving at the central inspiration space, which is also a compositional center of architectural formulation.

The spaces flow naturally from the outside into the interior of the object and vice versa, utilizing the surrounding area for various social-cultural activities in function of poetry. The facility, alongside the memorial commemorating the 1989 tragedy, which took the lives of 23 people, most of whom were students of the Tirana Agricultural University, doctors and pilots, aims to turn into a social hub for young  writers in Tirana, and for park attendants.

Symbolically, the object metaphorically expresses the connection between the two worlds through the form and compositional center, the coldness of the wounds through the sharp materials such as corten steel, letters and poetry through the 23 vertical metal panels that make up the object, the serenity and infinity through the use of reflective materials and through the angle of inspiration. The continuous reflection of the sky through the human scale reflective surface, gives an approach between real and surreal, between paradise and earth.

The effects created by the materials, light and nature, provide different and relaxing moments in every day of the year and every season. The pavilion does not interfere strongly by disrupting the harmony of nature, but adapts to the park and becomes part of it.

Zen Gardens

Zen gardens, also called Japanese rock gardens, appeal to people who like carefully controlled settings of raked sand or rocks and precisely clipped shrubs. If you’re more likely to find serenity in the natural look of a woodland setting and find peace when surrounded by wildflowers and soft-textured plants, you should think about a more traditional or natural garden. Zen gardens emphasize the principles of naturalness (Shizen), simplicity (Kanso), and austerity (koko).

In the sixth century, Zen Buddhist monks created the first zen gardens to aid in meditation. Later, they began using the gardens to teach zen principles and concepts. The design and structure of the gardens have been refined over the years, but the basic structure remains the same. Creating zen gardens is a great way to reduce stress, improve your focus, and develop a sense of well-being.

How To Create A Zen Garden

Carefully raked sand or gravel with precisely placed rocks are the main parts of a zen garden. Sand raked into a round, spiral or rippled pattern represents the sea.

Place rocks on top of the sand to make a soothing pattern.
The symbolism of the stones in a zen garden is one of the most important design elements. Upright or vertical stones can be used to represent trees, while flat, horizontal stones represent water. Arching stones represent fire. Try different layouts to see what natural elements the design calls to mind.

You can add plants, but keep them to a minimum and use low, spreading plants instead of upright ones. The result should encourage introspection and meditation.

A zen garden can also contain a simple bridge or path and lanterns made of rock or stone. These features add a sense of distance, and you can use them as a focal point to aid meditation.

There are different Zen features that you can use. That could be a stone lamp, a statue and anything that you can add that is visually appealing. Just see to it that your organization and arrangement of these items look good.

A zen garden should not contain a pond or be near a body of water, but not all Zen gardens are totally dry. Some would add some water features or even place their Zen garden near existing ponds and other waters. Water gives positive energy and would even let the positive energy stay in it. That is why it can also be a good feature in your Zen garden.

Add some light to your garden. This can make it look interesting during the night. Also, the lights and shadows it can create will make it look even lovelier. This will also let your garden standout.

Source: gardeningknowhow.com

Eclisse by Artemide

An icon of Italian industrial design by Vico Magistretti, for the lighting company Artemide in 1965, the Eclisse lamp is a delightful combination of round shapes, simple surfaces and 1960s spirit.  Inspired by a miner’s lamp used by the hero Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, the lamp is composed of a fixed outer shell and a moveable inner shell.

Eclisse is an avant-garde balance between form and function, design and utility and it won the Compasso d’Oro Award in 1967. Manipulation of the inner sphere creates the effect of an eclipse allowing the user to add bright light or subtract for a diffuse glow – the name Eclisse is Italian word for eclipse. Eclisse in part of the permanent collection of the most important design Museums, amongst many the MoMa in New York and the Triennale Design Museum in Milan.

10 Christmas and New Years Eve Decorating Tips

The holidays are fast-approaching, but there’s plenty of time to get festive. And while each year brings its own Christmas traditions, your decorations can always use a refresh. Whether you keep it neutral with a pared-down aesthetic or lean into major glitz, we’re certain you’ll find something to make your spirits merry, bright, and beautiful. Infuse your home with the beauty of yuletide, thanks to these 10 brilliant ideas.

Tuft and Trim
  1. Aim for the glitz

A pale palette of rose golds and pinks allows this holiday vignette to handle glitter galore, with a heavy flocking, coordinating ornaments, even pillows and presents to match. Fill your home with a golden glow by opting for golden lights on your tree, garland, and more, you are instantly setting the mood for festivities while crafting a cozy atmosphere.

Ashley Luengo - Modern Glam
Tuft and Trim

2. Bring in icy blues

A winter color palette of icy blues and snowy whites proves to be the perfect pairing when it comes to Christmas decor. This mantel design brings cool tones to the holiday season.

Kacey Gilpin

3. Add a rustic flair

A tree dotted with delicate string lights, a mantel adorned with lush needle pine garland, and a rich berry red flower arrangement ties the look of a rustic theme together.

Douglas Friedman

4. Keep it neutral

You don’t need color to dazzle up your home for the holidays. Mix a variety of finishes like gold, mercury glass, and champagne to create a chic and elegant look. Neutral christmas decor keeps the space soft and inviting, while still creating a festive atmosphere.

Tuft and Trim

5. Make white your base color

In this holiday vignette, a white fur tree dressing, white walls, and plenty of fake snow make for a wintery wonderland, and make the bold pops of red even more dazzling.

Craftberry Bush

6. Gift with greenery

Ditch the usual ribbon and top your gift with a pretty piece of greenery. It’s an unexpected but beautifully rustic look, as shown in these gift wrappings.

Abi Dare - These Four Walls

7. Opt for modern and minimalist ornaments

Give your tree a fun, minimalist twist with geometric gold ornaments, and if you’re big on holiday decorating, but short on square footage, a mini tree allows you to get festive without overwhelming your home.
To maintain the simplicity of a minimalist home, opting for simple, geometric decor is a no-brainer. The white metal tree, graphic pillows, and triangular table accents are understatedly festive.

My Scandinavian Home
Getty Images

8. Go natural

Take inspiration from nature for your decorating scheme. Use fresh evergreen boughs, garlands, and wreaths combined with in-season citrus like lemons, tangerines and oranges. It will give your home a beautiful natural look, and it smells heavenly.

Tobi Fairley

9. Dress up the mantel

Spending time with family and friends by the fireplace is what the holidays are all about. Since all eyes will be on it for Christmas, dress up your mantel with everything from garland to red candlesticks. Just don’t forget to incorporate some of your favorite accessories as well.
Your home may lack a mantel, but that shouldn’t mean stockings are a no-go this year. This modern living room features Christmas stockings hung from hooks, which not only solves a common holiday crisis, but also serves as cute wall decor.

Getty Images
Getty Images

10. Bring cheer into your bedroom

Whether you’ve run out of places to prop your garland, or want to rest your head surrounded by the Christmas spirit, this elegant bedroom is decorated appropriately festive without feeling overwhelming.

Jennifer Holmes

Source: elledecor.com

HIGHLIGHT: SOU FUJIMOTO

One of the most creative and influential architects today, Sou Fujimoto (born 1971) is a Japanese architect. Born in Hokkaido in 1971, he graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1994, and established his own office, Sou Fujimoto Architects, in 2000. He is noted for delicate light structures and permeable enclosures. Renowned for his highly conceptual contributions to the world of architecture, Sou Fujimoto has developed a signature style that combines visually arresting geometric forms with the restraint of a true minimalist.

In addition to his architectural feats, Fujimoto uses his keen sense of geometry for large-scale art installations like The Cloud in Tirana in Albania and London’s Serpentine Gallery, Inside/Outside Tree at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and Forest of Light, an interactive exhibit at Salone del Mobile.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion

The annual pavilion at London’s Serpentine Gallery in 2013 was made from white steel and polycarbonate panels, with a three-dimensional matrix-like design that appeared light as a cloud when viewed from afar. At 41, Fujimoto was the youngest architect to design the popular open-air structure, which functioned as a multipurpose space complete with a café.

 Also known as “The Cloud” and relocated to Tirana in 2016 (and renamed Reja), the structure is inspired by organic shapes present in nature. Once again, the man-made and nature merge, in an “artificial nest”. Formed by 20mm diameter steel bars, it is a flexible, semi-transparent structure, where visitors become an integral part of nature and the landscape yet at the same time remain protected inside.

Final Wooden House

Using only large beams of cedar and panes of glass, the Final Wooden House in Kumamoto, Japan, looks like a perforated cube from the outside, only to reveal that the lumber is cut at varying lengths and specifically arranged to create small but functional nooks inside. Finished in 2006, the structure is designed to be used as a short-term residence, complete with a bath in the corner.

Children’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Completed in 2006, the Children’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation in Hokkaido, Japan, is designed as a series of seemingly randomly placed boxes that connect to create interior spaces with serene expanses and more protected-feeling alcoves. The layout is meant to mimic that of a city, where any area can become an impromptu place for meeting or playing.

House N

This modular private residence called House N, completed in 2008, was designed as three nested concrete structures, not unlike a Russian doll. The outermost box features a garden area, deck, and open windows; the middle layer contains the kitchen and bath; and the innermost box holds the bedroom, dining room, and living room.

House NA

Glass walls and staggered platforms of white steel characterize House NA, a home in Tokyo with a layout that offers inhabitants a similar experience to living in a tree. Surrounded by a dense urban landscape, the dwelling was completed in 2011 and offers just a few private spaces—like the bath—in the otherwise open, scaffolding-like construction.

Musashino Art University Museum & Library

Completed in 2010, the Musashino Art University Museum & Library was designed to be one continuous spiral bookcase whose 30-foot walls feature shelves on both the interior and the exterior. Encased by a grid of glass panels, the structure contains a grand staircase that doubles as an auditorium, not to mention a collection of approximately 200,000 books.

House O

House O in Chiba, Japan is a weekend house for a couple located on a rocky coast two hours drive from Tokyo. The site is a rocky stretch facing the Pacific Ocean with approaches sloping down to the water level.

Tokyo Apartment

Tokyo Apartment is a four house-shaped apartments stacked on top of each other. Each apartment comprises two or three rooms connected over different levels by ladders and stairs both inside and outside the building.

HSG Learning Center

Sou Fujimoto envisioned a structure consisting of multiple cubes on a grid that take into account the proportions of the neighboring residential area. Varying from 3.5 to 18.5 meters above street level, the cubes offer a total of 7,000 square meters of floorspace. Rooftop terraces are planted with greenery, while indoor and outdoor spaces are connected with transparent surfaces. Internally, the structure is designed so that the layout of the rooms can be changed repeatedly.

L’Arbre Blanc (The White Tree)

This project is a striking housing development in Montpellier, France (2018): a building with a unique shape that suggests continuous movement and hosts 120 apartments spread over 17 floors. The hundreds of balconies, combined with the curved form of the structure, give the overall building a distinctive appearance like a huge tree. Each apartment has large terraces, which are double the indoor area, perfect for this Mediterranean city with a mild climate, where the locals can enjoy an outdoor lifestyle blended with Japanese references and a new, contemporary architectural form.

Source: architecturaldigest.com

Rwanda Chapel – Everyone’s space

Rwanda chapel competition, 2019
Location: Rukomo, Rwanda
Co-owners: Adonis Rexhepi, Leart Miftari, Blerim Bajraliu, Arber Sadiki
Honorable mentions!

The whole idea was leaded toward of creating one universal free space. Human being by the fact of his existence has the undeniable right of participating on the space, wherever. This principle oriented us toward the building which is opened for everyone, without doors, barriers… It is closed as much as it’s necessary to protect users from atmospheric conditions, but deeply opened and accessible anytime by anyone.

Despite the fact that building is dedicated to the particular religious Christian community, the religion symbols such as cross, were not treated in the formal way. This symbol comes very naturally shaped by the main architectural elements such as walls and ceiling.

The vertical gap in the frontal wall of prayers hall and horizontal one in the ceiling, within the inner space is  perceived as the three-dimensional cross. This approach when the symbols are not coming as physical artifacts placed within the architectural space but they came as the direct result of architectural approach, makes it possible to avoid the risk of telling the story through formal religious artifacts by giving such a duty to the architecture speaking through pure architectural elements such as walls and ceiling are.

The building is materialized on red pigmented concrete regarding to be familiar with the local traditional mud bricks, but with very better constructive characteristics that whole construction of the building requires, at the same time.