Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pinch Design.

I am starting to seriously subscribe to the thinking that if a couple have the same passion and goals, they could make most things a success. One of these couples that have that proven formula is Ooma Bannon and Russel Pinch. They have made Pinch Design one of the leading design houses in UK.

Born in 1973, Russell Pinch graduated from Ravensbourne College of Design, London. After graduating he worked as Sir Terence Conran’s design assistant and in 1995 he became a Senior Product Designer for the Conran Group. Here he was responsible for developing a diverse range of products for the Conran shops and restaurants and many of the designs for the Conran Collection, Conran’s benchmark homeware collection.

After 5 years with Conran, Russell co-founded The Nest, a multi-disciplinary brand design agency with clients including British Airways, MFI, WHSmith, Rip Curl and Selfridges.

In 2004 a return to furniture design beckoned and PINCH, a furniture, product and interior design company, was born. The first collection of furniture was launched at 100% Design, London to great acclaim. Pinch was awarded the Blueprint/100% Design Best Newcomer award and the Design & Decoration Furniture Award 2005.

Oona joined PINCH full time in January 2006 to run the business and manage projects. Having spent 6 years in the design industry, first account managing at The Nest followed by 4 years as Account Director at branding agency Bloom, she brings a wealth of consumer understanding as well as passion for developing and delivering projects. She works closely with Russell to develop briefs, hone the concepts, design the colours and select the fabrics. She also reviews boutique and luxury hotels for Mr & Mrs Smith.

Ooma Bannon and Russel Pinch.

Pendal Sofa.

Harper Dining Table.

Alba Console.

Yves Writing Desk.

Vigo Triple Shelving Unit.

Twig Bench.

Twig Wall Panel.

Maiden Table.

Egg Tables.

Furrow Console.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More pictures of The Greenhouse by Joost.

More pictures of the installation.

The exterior.

The bar counter.

The interior.

A clearer picture of the savaged wood floorboards and recycled crates chairs and tables.

How they serve their food. Note that the change is returned in a huge jar lid and the flowers are in a can.

The strawberry wall.

Different views of the exterior.

The rooftop garden.

The herbs and vegetables that are also used in the food they serve.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Greenhouse By Joost.

In my industry, the "green" term has been thrown around and on everyone's (especially government organisations') lips. It's been on everyone's minds especially more in the last decade. What do we understand by the term "green"? 

Maybe not everyone understands it as well as Joan Pick (a 68 year old granny in UK) who has the smallest carbon footprint in UK. She never heats her flat and eats all her food raw. She has avoided travelling on any form of motorised transport since 1973. Instead, she travels on foot, jogging 12 miles a day across the suburbs of southeast London. Only twice has she broken this self-imposed code: in 1991, when she dislocated her shoulder and paramedics insisted on taking her to hospital in an ambulance; and this year, at her mother's funeral, when she agreed to travel in the hearse. Her Morris Mini Millenium has been sitting in her garage since 1972.  She has even given up watching television in 1975. 

Her only luxury is boiled water - for tea, which she takes with condensed milk, and for washing - and a pair of trousers that she recently purchased, in a sudden fit of unbridled consumerism, from Marks & Spencer. Otherwise she makes her own clothes.

After reading about her, I've wondered if I could be like her. I could possibly expire without the car or telly. One thing I can do is to do my little bit by using my leftover (juiced extracted, not fully) lemons to clean. They make excellent household cleaners for sinks, shower screens and stoves (those that you would usually use chlorine to clean). Moreover, they leave behind such a fresh, pleasant smell. Is it much? No. But I am big on not overcooking. Food waste is one of the biggest contributors of greenhouse gases.

I love what Joost has done to inspire others with their green ideas. Last summer at the Federation Square in Melbourne (yes I am so proud of Melb), Corina Baldwin of bttb and installation artist, Joost Bakker collaborated on a project entitled, The Greenhouse by Joost. It is a "Greenhouse" made entirely out of recycled  and recyclable materials. Even the chairs, stools and drinking vessels  are made from old street signs, crates and jars. The greenhouse ran as a public bar, cafe and a gallery, and its walls were adorned with art from David Bromley. 

The rooftop garden is made up composting vats, a burgeoning veggie patch, rows of bay trees in recycled CHEP bins and buzzing-alive bee-hives. The growing wall has rows and rows of strawberry plants in pallets. 

The greenhouse opened for the entire of summer and has just finished it's run at the end of January. It will be deconstructed and moved to Sydney then to the Milan Furniture fair. 

Joost's greenhouse magazine.

The explanation of how a crate is transformed into a chair. The one on the left is a strawberry plant.

The finished greenhouse at Federation Square.

The Greenhouse while being constructed.

The greenhouse with its crowd and its growing wall.

Art from David Bromley behind the bar.

The seats made from old street signs.

The chairs made from old crates.

Coffee in a jar, anyone?

Drinks in old brown jars.

Green trivia.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ancient Aqueducts.

As an engineer and an avid lover of architecture, in my best opinion, the greatest feat of engineering must be the aqueducts. The Romans have set a standard unparalleled for over a thousand years after the fall of Rome. Many cities still maintain and use the ancient aqueducts even up to today, although these open channels have been replaced by pipes.

The Romans typically built numerous aqueducts to serve any large city in their empire, as well as many small towns and industrial sites. The city of Rome itself, being the largest city then, had the largest concentration of aqueducts, with water being supplied by eleven aqueducts constructed over a period of 500 years. Scholars even used its water supple to predict the size of the city. 

They served potable water and supplied the numerous baths and fountains in the city, as well as finally being emptied into the sewers, where they performed their last function in removing waste matter. The methods of construction are well described by Vitruvius in his work De Architectura written in the first century BC. His book would have been of great assistance to Frontinus, a general who was appointed in the late first century AD to administer the many aqueducts of Rome. He discovered a discrepancy between the intake and supply of water caused by illegal pipes inserted into the channels to divert the water, and reported on his efforts to improve and regulate the system to the emperor Nerva at the end of the first century AD. The report of his investigation is known as De aquaeductu.

Now you can find various aqueducts in many forms like a drain, pipes or even a canal. However, the ancient aqueducts are still a show of the love of design, painstaking effort and culture of a civilisation. They are the epitome of a great marriage in architecture and engineering.

Aqueduct of Segovia.

Aqueduct at Tarragona, Spain.

Valens Aqueduct, Istanbul, Turkey.

A Roman Aqueduct at Carthage, Tunisia.

Ancient Indian Aqueduct at Hampi.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct on the Llangollen Canal, Wales.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

7 Hubert Street, Tribeca.

I was surfing the net the other day and I chanced upon this unit that is for sale in Tribeca, New York City. If I had that kind of cash sitting around, I think I might haggle a little and buy it. Not sure if I am a New York kind of girl though but I am willing to try. 

This may just be the perfect penthouse unit in New York. I love the wrap around terrace, the enormous master bedroom and as they call it in New York, the great room (aka living and dining space). The current owner has great taste in lamps. I love the Louis Poulsen PH snowball lamps that he had picked out. Check out the lovely bathroom.

So how much greenback do you need to own the Penthouse at 7 Hubert Street? USD$14,000,000. 

Saturday, February 21, 2009

SLS Hotel, Beverly Hills.

What happens when Sam Nazarian (the night-life impresario behind SBE Group) decides to open his own hotel? He gets his friends together to open the most interesting place to "monkey" around. Hotel design by Philippe Starck, food by Spanish celebrity chef José Andrés, overseeing branding and design is Theresa Fatino (was the integral part of the founding team of the W hotel), and running the shop is MOSS. The fruit of that collaboration is the SLS hotel. A hotel with a grown up whimsical feel.

What is interesting about this hotel is that it has two lobbies. One for the public and another for guests who want the privacy. At the guest's lobby, there's Tres, an all day dining restaurant with lounge and cocktail service as well as 3 private dining rooms. The public lobby houses Bazaar, a swanky space which holds two tapas restaurants, a lively bar and the wall-less moss shop.

The 297 guest rooms are decorated with exquisite custom made furniture by Cassina Contract, they come with their own pillow menu, room service by José Andrés and not forgetting the Starck touch (stand alone bath tubs, hidden tv in a smoked mirror, his iconic lamps, etc). Out of the 61 luxurious suites, 7 of them are fitness suites (they come with Technogym Kinesis Fitness Equipment which allow guests to perform over 200 different exercises in 1 sqm). There are also 32 allergen resistant, Pure rooms. This hotel is sure to please any picky Beverly Hills diva.

The hotel logo.

The swimming pool.

The guest room.

The suite.

The living area of the suite.

The lounge area with a translucent stag.

The lobby with miniature apples for the guests and the Moooi Horse Floor lamp.

The outdoor den, part of the private guest lobby.

The lounge area.

Part of Bazaar.

The restaurant part of Bazaar.

Another part of Bazaar.

Another view of the restaurant. Yes it is a huge space.

Part of the Moss shop display, handmade gloves for sale.

The bar counter at the restaurant.

The lounge.

More pictures of Bazaar.

Employee attire designed by French designer Pascal Humbert. 
From left to right: Mens and Womens Room Service, Bazaar Server, Sommelier and Barmaid.