Peter Zumthor and Bruder Claus Chapel- Architecture Stories #3

Bruder Claus Chapel is THE masterpiece by Peter Zumthor.

Its construction is quite spectacular: after building hand made formwork made out of 112 tree trunks, 24 layers of 50 cm concrete were poured over 24 days, in a technique that reminds the use of rammed earth.

Once the concrete was poured, the wooden frame was set on fire leaving a dark hollow cavity.

Glass cylinders were cast within the concrete, allowing light to filter inside. The result is spectacular and the feeling is that of standing in the middle of an old tree trunk which is covered in resin. It is just poetry at pure state.

Living Inspirations

A corner of  my living room. Enjoy!

My Ercol Tables

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I love Ercol Furnitures. It is a fact.

I got my pebble tables on Ebay, pure vintage shopping these days.

Ercol pebble tables have been a classic since they came out, and recently they have been selling a lot in Japan and Korea, making it so difficult to bid on a original vintage piece.

Their design is so pure and delicate, yet robust and with character, a true classic.

And how cool are these brass candles?

Made in China (Shanghai)

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These ceramics are so beautiful that I totally felt in love and made me run and sign up to ceramic classes. Don’t think that what I produced was as nearly as nice.

This one I bought in Shanghai, in Moganshan art district. Made in China for ceramics is totally a thumb up, but I was generally quite surprised to see how the quality of other design or clothing items from China has improved in the last few years.

What do you think?

Peter Zumthor and Therme Vals- Architectural Stories #2

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I will try to explain in words what pictures don’t do, specially when we are dealing with Peter Zumthor work.

Peter himself does not like books or photos to describe his buildings, as in effect we are talking about sensations and experiences.

Its architecture is simple: mass and voids. When we put down the materials, then we start talking, whispering or even singing: stone and water. How many forms or smells or colors can water take?

In Vals water comes on any possible form, be it vapor, snow, ice and drops. And even color and smell have their character, from pools of flower to ferrous pools.

And about stone itself, well it can be cold, oh so very cold, or warm and almost hot. Light can shine on it and reflect as a mirror, or it can get as dark as the bottom of a pit.

Get there in winter to enjoy the Therms at their best, and make sure you order plenty of cheese fondue and spatzli in one of the restaurants on the way back.

Irving Penn- When exposure was the only Photoshop

Irvin penn- balenciaga Sleeve, Paris 1950

Irving Penn was a true photographer with style.

His black and white silhouettes were like a very neat hand sketch. Very few bold lines, the rest was light and shadows.

Really, how cool are these pictures? I can’t stop watching them, so simple yet so full of details.

Just a quote that made me think:

“I think that b&w pictures are intrinsically finer than colour. I think that I have never seen a really great colour photograph.”

All pictures by Irving Penn (1917-2009)

The Serpentine Gallery and Sou Fujimoto

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Every year The Serpentine Galley invites one of the StarArchitect who still has not completed a project in the UK to build a temporary pavilion in Hyde Park.

Japanese Sou Fujimoto was The Chosen One for 2013.

Fujimoto reinvented the clouds, designing an ethereal steel structure that dissolves in the air. Perhaps to give people the thrilling sensation of walking in the clouds, he made the structure accessible to public, so that visitors can climb up and enjoy the breeze of Kensington Garden.

Kengo Kuma + Ma,YU – Architectural jewels

Accessories #1

Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has teamed up with designer Mayumi Ohmura to create this unique serie of jewels for Vendome Aoyama.

The design is beautifully inspired by Kengo Kuma’s own completed projects, to create a┬ádiverse selection where each and every piece is delicate and glamorous.