SPA ANNEX DESIGNED BY PATRICK JOUIN AND SANJIT MANKU

20 February 2017

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Oh this Spa annex had me at hello ‘beams and concrete’. It’s a recent addition to the family run Hôtel des Berges in the Alsace region and designed by Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku who previously redesigned the hotel’s Michelin stared restaurant.

To cater for mind, body and soul what better addition could there be to a family run hotel in a picturesque French village with a Michelin stared restaurant than a spa for guests who seek total relaxation in harmony with nature.

The building itself is inspired by the region’s large old barns and the structure is timber frame and concrete with chunky beams and untreated materials being used throughout. I like the deliberate choice of showing the building’s structure rather than concealing it with plasterboard. In particular the pitched roof in the generous five junior suites upstairs where the construction is fully exposed. A trend which I’ve noticed more of recently – see my post on the three mountain huts restaurant in Switzerland.

My favourite bit has to be the pool area though which is just perfectly and discreetly lit by the sunlight flooding in through those wooden slats across the window. What could be more relaxing than watching dispersed sunbeams dance across the water!?

 
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spa annex, mind, body, soul, relaxing, restful, harmony, nature, pool, french, alsace, pitched roof, exposed beams, untreated materials, discreet, michelin stared restaurant, hotel des berges, architecture, space design, Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku

spa annex, mind, body, soul, relaxing, restful, harmony, nature, pool, french, alsace, pitched roof, exposed beams, untreated materials, discreet, michelin stared restaurant, hotel des berges, architecture, space design, Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku

spa annex, mind, body, soul, relaxing, restful, harmony, nature, pool, french, alsace, pitched roof, exposed beams, untreated materials, discreet, michelin stared restaurant, hotel des berges, architecture, space design, Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku

spa annex, mind, body, soul, relaxing, restful, harmony, nature, pool, french, alsace, pitched roof, exposed beams, untreated materials, discreet, michelin stared restaurant, hotel des berges, architecture, space design, Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku

spa annex, mind, body, soul, relaxing, restful, harmony, nature, pool, french, alsace, pitched roof, exposed beams, untreated materials, discreet, michelin stared restaurant, hotel des berges, architecture, space design, Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku

spa annex, mind, body, soul, relaxing, restful, harmony, nature, pool, french, alsace, pitched roof, exposed beams, untreated materials, discreet, michelin stared restaurant, hotel des berges, architecture, space design, Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku

spa annex, mind, body, soul, relaxing, restful, harmony, nature, pool, french, alsace, pitched roof, exposed beams, untreated materials, discreet, michelin stared restaurant, hotel des berges, architecture, space design, Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku

spa annex, mind, body, soul, relaxing, restful, harmony, nature, pool, french, alsace, pitched roof, exposed beams, untreated materials, discreet, michelin stared restaurant, hotel des berges, architecture, space design, Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku

spa annex, mind, body, soul, relaxing, restful, harmony, nature, pool, french, alsace, pitched roof, exposed beams, untreated materials, discreet, michelin stared restaurant, hotel des berges, architecture, space design, Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku

spa annex, mind, body, soul, relaxing, restful, harmony, nature, pool, french, alsace, pitched roof, exposed beams, untreated materials, discreet, michelin stared restaurant, hotel des berges, architecture, space design, Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku

spa annex, mind, body, soul, relaxing, restful, harmony, nature, pool, french, alsace, pitched roof, exposed beams, untreated materials, discreet, michelin stared restaurant, hotel des berges, architecture, space design, Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku

 

 
ARCHITECTURE & SPACE DESIGN | Jouin Manku Agencies
MORE INFORMATION | Hôtel des Berges
PHOTOGRAPHY | Nicolas Mathéus with thanks
 
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ABSTRACT | THE ART OF DESIGN

18 February 2017

 

I’m currently glued to Abstract the new Netflix documentary series that showcases eight leading designers talking about their life, work, ideas and thought processes; from architect Bjarke Ingels, illustrator Christoph Niemann, set designer Es Devlin, interior designer Ilse Crawford, graphic designer Paula Scher, photographer Platon, automobile designer Ralph Gilles and Nike shoe designer Tinker Hatfield.

Each episode focuses on one designer and stands as it’s own film subtly implementing the subjects design sensibilities. The director cleverly lets us see through the eyes of Christoph Niemann giving an insight as to how he perceives the world around him and makes sense of it through illustration, trying to find just the right amount of ‘abstract’ on a scale from one pixel to a life like illustration. What really resonated with me was how he takes time out to experiment and play with shapes and objects, not looking for a solution but testing and simply enjoying the process. I feel in our result drive society this is something we all need to do more of.

Architect Bjarke Ingels is another hugely inspirational character who seems to have no fear but a helluva lot of passion for his art. More is more for him and his architecture design practice is appropriately called BIG – short for Bjarke Ingels Group.

His unconventional way of designing and building large residential buildings has not only caused controversy amongst the world’s architectural elite but set a historic new benchmark and he seems to be inundated with commissions from all over the world. From museums to stadiums, office and residential spaces – he’s enthusiastic about it all and comes across as a down to earth guy with no airs and graces just a load of bonkers ideas which turn out to be not quite so bonkers after all. Ski slope on top of a power station anyone!?

What I love mostly about this documentary is that it shows the human side of these iconic designers who are leaders in their field. 70% of Christoph Niemann commissions are under intense deadline pressure, he admits he struggles every day to live up to his latest great idea. Paula Scher says designing a logo is the easy part, convincing everybody to use it is the hard part. Bjarke Ingels fearlessly builds cheaper and bigger than any competitor causing controversy.

These are themes widely recognised by any designer – certainly by me – and it’s comforting to find out how everybody has the same doubts, fears and struggles.

Designer or not – go watch!

 

Above | illustration by Christoph Niemann

 


 
 
MORE INFORMATION | Netflix, Abstract: The Art Of Design
PRODUCED BY | Scott Dadich, Morgan Neville and Dave O’Connor
 
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UNIQUE MIRROR TRAYS BY NOTRE MONDE HOMEWARE

16 February 2017

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Back in October Tiff and I organised a Function+Form Bloggers Tour to Antwerp discovering this hip city (here and here) and all it has to offer including designers and makers. One brand we were introduced to was Notre Monde who’s founder Dawn Sweitzer has been creating unique functional objects since 1997.

Her inspiration mostly stems from travel and nature featuring distinctive global patterns, textures and layers which are translated onto objects with traditional printing and hand-finishing techniques. Dawn is a self taught artist and now lives in North Carolina where she experiments with new techniques to give her designs authenticity and unique character.

She has distinctive ranges from the cheerful and luxurious Mystic Gold and Ocean Blue, to The Golden Hour and the vivid and elegant Tribal Quest inspired by tribal textile prints from Africa to Indonesia. Her mirror trays represent the core of her collection which also features complementary objects such as tables, frames and cabinets.

I was lucky to be given a light aged mirror which adds some much needed gritty-ness and eclectic flair to my home which I tend to keep very minimal. The antique effect on mirrors is a trend I keep seeing more and more of and which works incredibly well with darker interior colours and rich textures – see the velvet renaissance all around.

I’ve not decided as yet if I’m going to hang it up or keep as a tray for special occasions. I guess the beauty in it’s versatility is that I can do both.

 

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notre monde, mirror tray, tables, cabinets, objects, functional, unique, design, trend, antique, light aged mirror, inspiration, travel, nature, distinctive, global patterns, textures, layers, traditional printing techniques, authenticity, character, mystic gold, ocean blue, tribal quest, golden hour

notre monde, mirror tray, tables, cabinets, objects, functional, unique, design, trend, antique, light aged mirror, inspiration, travel, nature, distinctive, global patterns, textures, layers, traditional printing techniques, authenticity, character, mystic gold, ocean blue, tribal quest, golden hour

notre monde, mirror tray, tables, cabinets, objects, functional, unique, design, trend, antique, light aged mirror, inspiration, travel, nature, distinctive, global patterns, textures, layers, traditional printing techniques, authenticity, character, mystic gold, ocean blue, tribal quest, golden hour

 

 
MORE INFORMATION | Notre Monde Homeware
PHOTOGRAPHY | Annie Kruse
 

This post is sponsored by Notre Monde. I only work with products and services I truly love and all opinions are my own.

 

 
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THREE MOUNTAIN HUTS | PETER PILCHER ARCHITECTURE

13 February 2017

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Winter has Britain firmly in it’s grip and I’m dreaming of heading off to the mountains with the family for some snow. One place I’d love to explore is the South Tyrolean Dolomites and the Swiss resort of Oberholz where this gorgeous new mountain restaurant has opened up designed by Peter Pichler architects in collaboration with Italian architect Pavol Mikolajcak.

I’m fascinated by the structure of the three large huts facing slightly different mountains with the volumes flowing and connecting into each other. As the architect describes it: “The cantilevering structure grows out of the hill like a fallen tree with three main branches creating a symbiosis with the landscape. At the end of the branches a large glass facade frames the surrounding mountains from the interior of the hut.”

The exposed internal structure in local spruce helps you ‘read’ the buildings’ construction and draws you to the large window at the end of each volume. Somehow it reminds me of inside a whale, looking at it’s rib cage, not that I’ve never been inside a whale [obvs]. The textures and materials use inside are contemporary without compromising on local relevance with the use of spruce and concrete. The wooden chairs too are a modern take on the traditional, curvy Swiss chairs by squaring the backrest off and keeping a cut out to make it easier to move them around, only in this version it’s a lozenge and not a whimsical heart or leaf.

It’s a beautiful project and though I love skiing I wouldn’t be too upset if I had to spend my days in here looking out at the stunning scenery.

 

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swiss, mountain, restaurant, three huts, oberholz, ski resort, peter pilcher, Pavol Mikolajcak, architects, structure, spruce, traditional, textures, construction, concrete, wood, view, scenery

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MORE INFORMATION & PHOTOGRAPHY | Peter Pilcher Architects in collaboration with Pavol Mikolajcak Architects with thanks

 

 
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CARL HANSEN & SONS RELAUNCHES CH23 BY HANS J WEGNER

8 February 2017

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It’s not often that emailed press releases get me excited but this one made my ears prick up, Carl Hansen & Son are relaunching the CH23 chair by Hans J Wegner.

In case you struggle to distinguish your Fritz from your Carl Hansen (the former’s best seller is the Egg Chair by Arne Jacobsen and the latter’s is the Wishbone chair by Wegner) – or don’t even know what the heck I’m talking about – this is the Danish furniture brand started by master cabinet maker Carl Hansen over 100 years ago in 1908 that has been producing design icons to the highest standard in craftsmanship ever since.

I’m fascinated by the story of Wegner and Carl Hansen’s collaboration which started in 1949 to develop a unique chair series which in turn laid the foundation for an extensive furniture collection. During a short but intense period prior to the 1950 launch, the young furniture designer worked with some of the most highly skilled craftspeople at Carl Hansen & Son to create the CH22, CH23, CH24 and CH25 chairs – four designs with very different expressions, yet all bearing Wegner’s unique fingerprint and emphasis on high-quality craftsmanship.

Wegner was an accomplished cabinet maker himself and pushed the boundaries of Carl Hansen’s craftsmen by applying advanced design techniques such as steam-bent backrests, organic forms, complex constructions and seats made of woven paper cord and light coloured wood – all united in a simple and elegant expression – considered avant-garde at the time.

For us Wegner’s chairs are timeless and synonymous with Danish Modern, a style of minimalist furniture and homewares from Denmark based on the principles of Bauhaus modernism, creating pure, clean lines based on an understanding of classical furniture craftsmanship and coupled with careful research into materials, proportions and the requirements of the human body. Made from natural materials the chairs are durable and sustainable and even with their strong artistic expression clearly designed for everyday use.

 

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ABOVE | The relaunched CH23
 

carl hansen and son, master cabinet maker, furniture, denmark, danish, design icons, high standard, craftsmanship, natural materials, sustainable, durable, everyday use, hans j wegner, chair, CH23, wishbone chair, style, danish modern, bauhaus, minimalism, simple, elegant, steam-bending, trend, relaunch

ABOVE | Detail of the CH23
 
 

Two of these chairs – the CH24, also known worldwide as the iconic Wishbone Chair, and the woven CH25 lounge chair – have been in production at Carl Hansen & Son for over 65 years. The other two, the CH22 and CH23, which have been out of production for various periods of time, are now being manufactured once again.

With the current relaunch of the CH23 dining chair, all of the master furniture designer’s first four chairs are again part of Carl Hansen & Son’s extensive Wegner collection. The Danish furniture manufacturer is bringing renewed focus to the period that proved to be Wegner’s most productive – a period when the CH26 dining chair also took shape. Conceived in 1950 and closely related to the CH22 lounge chair, the CH26 was never put into production; the drawings were only discovered in Wegner’s vast archives last year. The elegant chair with organic forms has now finally been brought to life and added to Wegner’s first collection.

And as if you need convincing but check out the beautiful product photography and close ups of details of the chairs below as well as one of the master himself: Hans J Wegner.
 

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ABOVE | The relaunched CH23 dining chair
 

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ABOVE | All four design icons in a room. From left CH25, CH22, CH23 and CH24
 

carl hansen and son, master cabinet maker, furniture, denmark, danish, design icons, high standard, craftsmanship, natural materials, sustainable, durable, everyday use, hans j wegner, chair, CH23, wishbone chair, style, danish modern, bauhaus, minimalism, simple, elegant, steam-bending, trend, relaunch

ABOVE | Lounge Chair CH25
 

carl hansen and son, master cabinet maker, furniture, denmark, danish, design icons, high standard, craftsmanship, natural materials, sustainable, durable, everyday use, hans j wegner, chair, CH23, wishbone chair, style, danish modern, bauhaus, minimalism, simple, elegant, steam-bending, trend, relaunch

ABOVE | Wishbone chair in black and olive
 

carl hansen and son, master cabinet maker, furniture, denmark, danish, design icons, high standard, craftsmanship, natural materials, sustainable, durable, everyday use, hans j wegner, chair, CH23, wishbone chair, style, danish modern, bauhaus, minimalism, simple, elegant, steam-bending, trend, relaunch
ABOVE | Hans J Wegner at work

 

 
MORE INFORMATION & PHOTOGRAPHY | Carl Hansen & Son with thanks
 
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