Tag Archives: Design

Design: The History Behind “Two-Up, Two-Down” London Row Houses

From a CityLab online article:

From the outside, London’s row houses have an eclectic variety of ornament, and they range in scale from palatial to boxy. But inside, they are pretty much all configured the same way. That’s because from the late 17th century up until the First World War, most residential buildings here cleaved very close to a model found across English cities: the terraced house, known in its most condensed, emblematic form as the “two-up, two-down.”

Two-Up Two Down London Row Houses CityLab Josh Kramer 2020

For a city that’s long been the repository of vast commercial, imperial, and industrial wealth, this might seem a very modest template. However, it is one that can be easily scaled up, points out Edward Denison, associate professor at the Bartlett School of Architecture and author of The Life of the British Home: An Architectural History.

“What’s extraordinary, in London in particular, is that you can find very grand houses in places such as Carlton House Terrace, with vast rooms and very high ceilings, that are still essentially two-up, two-downs with extra floors added,” says Denison. “Then you go to working-class terraced housing in places like Greenwich, and find a very different scale and quality of fittings, but essentially the same configuration.

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Health: New Stanford Hospital Features “Patient-Centric” Design (Video)

Precision Health puts the patient at the center of the health care paradigm, and at the newly-opened Stanford Hospital, the patient was the focus throughout the design process.

Learn more about how the building’s design combines with the latest medical and communications technology to put patient wellness first: http://stanmed.stanford.edu/2019fall/…

Classics: Famed Italian Car Designer “Pininfarina” Turns 90 (1930 – 2020)

Pininfarina Logo

On May 22nd (1930), Battista “Pinin” Farina founded Carrozzeria Pinin Farina in Turin. The company was designed to build special car bodies for individual customers or in small production runs. The Corso Trapani plant had 150 employees on a covered area of 9250 square meters. In June, the following news appeared on an automobile periodical: “And now the popular nickname “Pinin” used by the whole of the Turin motoring world when talking about Battista Farina, was officially about to become used throughout the country, as a result of the recent Company changes which led to the founding of S.A. Carrozzeria Pinin Farina“. At the Paris Motor Show Pinin Farina exhibited Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Isotta-Fraschini and Fiat cars. The Lancia Dilambda, the first official Pinin Farina special, appeared at the 1931 Concours d’Elegance at Villa d’Este. His first accomplishments in the 1930’s included the Hispano Suiza Coupé and the Fiat 518 Ardita.

Heritage-1939-AlfaRomeo-8C-2900-CabAero

In the Thirties the car was a good that was reserved for a minor élite, almost a plaything for a narrow circle of bold, blasé youngsters. Yet Pinin felt sure that these unlikely, noisy jalopies, which also happened to be expensive, would change quickly to become outstanding and entirely respectable tools of individual mobility. One of the early ads says: “Luxury and grand luxury cars”.  Cars were destined to ruling houses, diplomats, maharajahs and even some Middle East sheiks who were beginning to collect some of the first oil royalties, for actors and actresses, more foreigners than Italians. Pinin wrote: “In September I sold a Dilambda spider cabriolet to the Queen of Romania, I began to have some of the nobility amongst my customers”.

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Pinin immediately embraced the cause of modernity and aerodynamics. In his view, it was the most natural way (in so far as it was the most respondent to the “nature” of the object) of solving the problem of the autonomous and original formal identity of cars. Aerodynamics, he was to write in his memoirs, was the “form of speed”. At the 1935 Milan Motor Show Pinin exhibited the Alfa Romeo 6C Pescara Coupé aerodinamico. One year later, the Lancia Astura Cabriolet tipo Bocca: elegance and craftsmanship for a small series of streamlined, richly finished cabriolets which introduced the unprecedented notion of the legitimacy of making a certain number of replicas of a custom-built model. Then the Lancia Aprilia Aerodinamica was built, a revolutionary berlinetta where an astonishing Cx of 0.40 was intuitively and empirically achieved. Aerodynamics was no longer a symbolic element, a metaphor of speed; it had now become a real standard of efficiency.

Pininfarina Design  90 Years.jpg

Pininfarina website

Art & Innovation: “Gweilo” Scupltured Lighting By Partisans Design, Toronto

Gweilo is a new collection of custom lights by PARTISANS. Inspired by the idea that light itself could be harnessed and manipulated to create a physical sculpture, PARTISANS developed a design that alters light at its source. Gweilo reimagines illumination to architectural effect.

As spectral sculptures that fold and bend like light rays themselves, the pieces function as accents, dividers, or centerpieces, gracefully delineating space to create an
ethereal atmosphere.

Gweilo Lighting Sculptures Partisans Design

Each Gweilo light is handmade using thermoforming, a technique that allows etched optical grade acrylic sheets to be custom-shaped while they are still in their hot plastic
state. The sheets are heated to just under 400°C, at which point they become molten and pliable. They are immediately removed from the heat source and sculpted to produce a
variety of distinct folds and curves. When the metal extrusion containing an embedded LED strip is affxed to the cooled sheet’s edge, light is diffused across the etchings, amplifying the luminescent output. The result is an infnite set of silhouettes and sizes that emulate the vital movement of light.

Website 

 

 

Best Design & Food: “KILN” Thai Restaurant, London (Dan Preston LTD)

From a Spectator Life online article:

KILN Soho London Thai Restaurant Designed by Dan Preston LTDWith just four tables, a few counter seats and no reservations, getting a spot at Kiln can be a challenge. But it is one that is absolutely worth the wait.

Chosen as the UK’s Best Restaurant in the 2018 National Restaurant Awards, this Soho hotspot specialises in a roadside barbeque style of Thai cooking. The kiln it is named after is the hulking stove which dominates the restaurant. On it sits countless rustic claypots from which wafts a tempting mix of palm sugar, sweet basil and hot charcoal.The 22 seats along the steel counter are the best in the house, as you can watch the chefs scrupulously chopping, flipping and searing ingredients – most of which have been picked or caught just a few hours before.

Dan Preston LTD Design Studio London
http://www.danpreston.co.uk/

At less than £7, the baked glass noodles with Tamworth pork belly and brown crab meat is probably the best value dish in London.

To read more: https://life.spectator.co.uk/articles/the-five-best-thai-restaurants-in-london/

Top Hotels: “Gorgeous George Hotel In Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town’s Gorgeous George hotel exhibits the best of local design says interior architect Tristan du Plessis, in this video produced by Dezeen for the AHEAD awards. Gorgeous George, which was named Hotel of the Year at the 2019 AHEAD Gorgeous George Hotel Cape Town South AfricaMiddle East and Africa hospitality awards, is a 36-room renovation of a pair of historic buildings in downtown Cape Town, South Africa.

 

The project was the most heavily-awarded hotel at the ceremony, also taking home awards in the Renovation, Restoration & Conversion, Suite and Visual Identity categories. Located in downtown Cape Town, Gorgeous George is a boutique hotel designed for both visitors and locals to enjoy, according to du Plessis.

“We set out to create an urban hotel, a hotel that became the lounge for the local neighbourhood,” he says in the video interview, which was filmed by Dezeen in Dubai on the day of the awards ceremony.

New Books: “Small But Smart – Design Solutions For Mini Homes”

Small but Smart Design Solutions for Mini Homes by Chris van Uffelen December 31 2019This volume presents a large variety of sophisticated solutions for mini houses in terms of architectural style, construction method and interior design. Whether portable or prefabricated, newly built or reused, rural or urban, they all meet the highest technological and sustainable standards to literally reduce their owners’ ecological footprint.

By living in a large ceramic tub, Ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes was one of the first people to promote a simple lifestyle as a protest against a corrupt society – one could call him an unwitting pioneer of the current tiny-house movement.

Small but Smart Design Solutions for Mini Homes by Chris van Uffelen December 31 2019

However, today small living is not necessarily connected to an alternative or even anarchic lifestyle – it simply makes things easier, more economic and eco-friendly to focus on what is really needed in life without compromising quality.

To read more and/or purchase: https://www.braun-publishing.ch/en/interior-design/small-but-smart.html