Is Mia Yoga in Moscow the beginning of a new minty-green period for Harry Nuriev, the reigning monarch of Instagrammable design?
Indeed, we are all drawn to the New York and Moscow-based artist, designer and architect’s ever-changing colour preferences and bold choices.
Individual pieces of furniture, architectural environments, and most recently, even fashion. It seems that this spring, images of Nuriev’s work have popped up everywhere.
However, right alongside the shocking colours and re-imagined scavenged pieces, the 34-year old and his Studio Crosby have also produced balanced, subdued and elegant interiors, such as Mia Yoga in Moscow.
In Nuriev’s work, we are seeing a new kind of minimalistic approach where a singular, sometimes bright and sometimes subdued, colour directs and inspires, challenges and expresses whatever it is that the designer is going for in each case.
Perhaps the bright work is the more Instagrammable, but it is his other work that creates lasting impressions and really showcases his talent.
About Mia, Nuriev’s office tells The Cool Hunter, he says that “It is very fresh, it is tuning not only into the spiritual and physical, but also to the aesthetic practice.”
He has treated the interior with a light hand with outlines and piping reigning in the overall minty hue that evokes freshness and calm and doesn’t attempt to draw attention to itself.
But in his student years in Moscow, Nuriev was, not surprisingly, all black. Then came the long pink period that started around 2014, and was highlighted at Sight Unseen OFFSITE in 2016. His eclectic Williamsburg apartment is famously bright blue (with strong pink accents).
This spring, it was purple, headlined by a Chewbacca-esque shaggy chair in neon purple and featured in Opening Ceremony’s SoHo store in New York.
Nuriev’s clients include ASICS, Boston Consulting Group, Cushman & Wakefield, Gorky Park and Nike. There is no doubt we will be seeing a lot more of his work in the decades to come. Tuija Seipell.
By combining truffles, minimalistic restaurant design and nature, architects Mariana Garcia Oliveira and Filipi Oliveira created a beautiful pop-up restaurant at CARACOR 2018 for Tartuferia San Paolo in Brazil.
The 60-seat, 200-square meter (2,152 sq.ft) temporary restaurant has all of the characteristics of considered, minimalist design, yet it also has a distinctly lush, rich feel.
Using mainly wood and glass, and allowing the nature outside to be the only decorative component, the husband and wife team and founders of mf+arquitetos have conjured up a balanced, serene atmosphere.
The natural feel fits well with the theme of CASACOR São Paulo 2018. In its 32nd edition, the popular interior design, architecture and art exhibition is themed this year around the idea of The Living House (A Casa Viva ).
The show takes place at the Sao Paulo Jockey Club from May 22 to July 27. It includes 82 interiors from houses, studios, apartments and lofts to lounges, dining rooms and bathrooms.
The key challenge for the designers of Tatruferia CASACOR was to fit all of the components into the small space including the tables, seating and the shelving for the products.
“It was a great challenge to fit all of the customer needs into a smaller space,” Filipi Oliveira tells The Cool Hunter. “But we managed to create a comfortable and cozy layout with our architecture and pure lines and natural materials.”
The nature-loving milieu of Tartuferia CASACOR is not only a perfect fit for the show’s theme, it is also typical for the designers, and a constant focus for the founders of the Tartuferia San Paolo group of restaurants.
It was restaurateur/entrepreneur Lalo Zanini and his love of Italian truffles that brought him together with business executive Carlos Eduardo de Almeida and finance expert Rogério Aneas Buldo.
In 2015, this cooperation led to the establishment of Tartuferia San Paolo that currently has two permanent locations in San Paolo and one in Cuirtiba. Additional restaurants are planned in the near future in Goiânia and Recife, and internationally in the next few years, says Zanini.
The company also sells 25 different truffle and other related products including oils, salts, preserves and gift sets in their restaurants, online and at more than 100 other locations. Tuija Seipell.
As books are perfect for online shopping, bookstores have failed to attract shoppers back although they have offered cozy reading nooks and trendy cafes, author readings, special events and discounts. As a result, many cities have lost most of their bookstores and many libraries are busy reinventing themselves.
Yet, it seems that not a day goes by without an announcement of yet another massive bookstore opening in China. Clearly, things are different in China and there’s an active interest in investing in bookstores.
On World Book Day this April, another large and ambitious bookstore project opened in Shanghai. Sinan Books at Sinan Mansion on 517 Fuxing Middle Road is an outpost of the 15-year-old London Review Bookshop.
The project is the result of cooperation and inspiration by the key players at Shanghai Book Fair (that has partnered with London Book Fair for many years), the Shanghai International Literary Week, the London Review of Books, the Shanghai Writers’ Association and the Shanghai Century Publishing Group that is affiliated with Shanghai Book Traders, the only entity that can legally import foreign books.
Also part of the puzzle, was the SINAN Reading Club that had since 2014 hosted book talks and signings every Saturday at the Sinan Mansion.
The Sinan Mansion, formerly Massenet Mansion, is one of several large mansions on what used to be called Rue Massenet (after French composer Jules Massenet), that used to be homes to opera stars, artists, government ministers and spies.
SINAN is the mandarin pin yin (“spell-sound”) or Romanization of Chinese characters for Massenet.
Wanting a more continuous cooperation with London and desiring a great bookstore in the downtown Shanghai area, the group of interested parties ran a pop-up shop in the area for 60 days in 2017.
It was such a success that the SINAN Mansion management team decided in January 2018 to allocate one of their best historical buildings to a new permanent bookshop.
Shanghai-based Wutopia Lab was chosen to transform the four-storey Building 25 into a multi-purpose house of books. They imagined the building as a human with the top floor as the brain, third floor as the eyes and ears, second as the heart and the bottom floor as the subconscious.
The total space of 640 square meters (6,889 sq.ft) includes in addition to the book shelves themselves a living room, reading rooms, a café, a recording studio, individual quiet rooms and open areas for exhibitions, readings, saloons and discussions.
We love the idea of resurrecting the cultural history of the area’s buildings and restoring an old structure by making it an active yet private literary sanctuary for the busy citizens of downtown Shanghai. Tuija Seipell.
One might think that a disco is the last place to look for design inspiration, but like everything else, time heals all wounds. What once was the latest craze, hip, trendy and edgy, became tired and schmaltzy and then often turned retro, cool and interesting again. Not only that, nightclubs have always reflected their time.
For those interested in understanding how nightclubs have both reflected and influenced popular culture, there is Night Fever: Designing Club Culture 1960 – Today. It is an exhibition currently on at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein in Germany.
In addition to giving a wide-ranging review of the design history of the nightclub scene, the exhibition also examines the cultural context in which clubs have existed and exist today.
Nightclubs are presented as mirrors of their time, as experimental hubs of interior design, new forms of media, alternative lifestyles and counterculture, and as places that are both secretive and highly visible where one goes to hide from prying eyes and at the same time to be seen.
From New York and Chicago to London, Berlin, Turin, Manchester, Florence and Forte dei Marmi, the exhibition follows the nightclub scene and its many famous players from the worlds of design, architecture, art, fashion and celebrity chronologically.
At the same time, the visitor experience is enhanced by several additional features including a music and light installation created by exhibition designer Konstantin Grcic http://konstantin-grcic.com and lighting designer Matthias Singer. Tuija Seipell.
The Ideas Lab in Shanghai, China, is yet another bold project by architect-designer Li Xiang, founder of X+Living. Her team for this project included Fan Chen, Yan Xiafei and Chen Xue.
The 1,100 square-metre (11,840 sq. ft) completely reconfigured space includes retail, research and office space for the massive Powerlong Group whose business interests cover, for example, real estate, hospitality, tourism, culture, arts, industry and information.
The aim was to create a space where the company’s researchers, office staff and retail customers could connect with each other and develop and experience information technology of the future.
The overall design theme is a fusion of the Industrial Age and the Age of Technology with a few ornate gothic visual elements added on for interest.
The designers used the visual and material language of the typical components of factory environments: elevated metal walkways, massive tanks, utility pipes.
The walkways function as walkways and staircases, the tanks become spaces for various technology experiences and experiments for customers, and the piping hides air conditioning, electrical wires and cables.
The rounded form of the tanks is echoed throughout the double-height space in arched windows and doorways, in the curving staircases and in the rounded shapes of seating.
Pipes and metal fittings are also used throughout the space.
The double-height space echoes the heavy-duty efficiency of vast, hard-working factories, yet the softly rounded shapes and the overall white tone with touches of muted pink create a friendly and playful atmosphere.
The upper level functions as an office and the lower level includes common areas and retail but the open concept allows everyone to be visually connected.
Unlike many pretentious and forced ‘lifestyle’ store concepts that attempt to combine products and services that do not feel natural together and/or have no real connection to each other, Patom Organic Living works.
It is located by a park in the Thonglor’s residential neighbourhood in the northern Wattana district of Bangkok, Thailand. Thonglor (also referred to as Thong Lor or Thong Lo) is a trendy district that has been attracting the creative crowd both as residents and as patrons of the restaurants, night clubs and interesting retail of the area.
Patom is essentially a small wood-frame glass box that is both a retail store and a 25-seat café. It sells certified organic body care products and organic foods provided by a network of farmers to which the owners have deep-rooted connections.
Patom also aims to raise ecological awareness and promote sustainable living through a series of workshops and farmers markets held in the garden by the shop.
Patom was designed by Bangkok-based Nita Yuvaboon and Prow Puttorngul of Nitaprow that the two founded in 2013. Both are graduates of the Rhode Island School of Design (Bachelor of Architecture and a Bachelor of Fine Arts) and Columbia University (Master of Science in Advanced Urban Design.).
To practice what they preach, Patom’s owners and designers selected reclaimed wood form the owner’s old houseboat, fallen tree trunks from the family farm and refurbished furniture from the owners’ collection.
Sitting on its 1,280 square metre (13,778 sq.ft) plot, the store is like a little jewelry box dropped into the grass. The transparent glass walls let the greenery of the surrounding nature in and allow the entire 110 square metre (1,184 sq.ft) space to function as a window display.
The transparent and eco-friendly design as well as the trendy location are contributing factors to why this concept works. But the real reason is that Patom is authentic in ways that most concept stores that cater to a similar lifestyle niche are not. It has real roots in the organic, earth-bound traditional Thai life.
In 1962, Patom’s owners’ grandparents bought 70 acres of land by the Ta-Chine river in the Nakorn Pathom province, an hour’s drive from Bangkok. Since then, three generations of the family have worked to preserve and promote Thai traditions while developing the land into a well-known tourist destination, Sampran. It offers cultural workshops, traditional cuisine, tours and eco-cultural activities, in addition to hotel and restaurant services.
Across the river is the resort’s own organic farm where they grow herbs, fruits and vegetables. Local organic farmers provide additional produce for the resort and make the Patom organic body care products for the resort’s Patom Organic Spa, and traditional Thai delicacies offered at the resort restaurants.
The family traditions, the resort, its farm and the local farmers are the source of Patom Organic Living shop’s products, and the reasons for its refreshing authenticity. Tuija Seipell.
For us lovers of minimalism and clean design it is quite astonishing how often we find ourselves commenting on something that is neither.
And when you add to that our inherent dislike or at least suspicion of anything pink, busy and over-the-top, it would seem unlikely that we’d ever give a nod to anything like The Pink Zebra of The Feast India Company.
Yet, here we are, quite fascinated by the concept created by Renesa Studio based in New Delhi, India.
The Pink Zebra is located in the Swaroop neighborhood of Kanpur (Cawnpore), the River Ganges-flanking industrial capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Most people outside India would know Uttar Pradesh as the location of the Taj Mahal.
The boldly repurposed, two story space occupies one of the oldest buildings in Kanpure and includes a lounge and bar upstairs, a dining area downstairs plus a covered terrace. The total restaurant area, including the terrace, is about 4,000 square feet (370 Square metres).
The owners Sagar and Jaivardhan Bhatia admire the slightly mad, distinctive visual language of the film sets of the multiple Oscar-winning American film director, producer, screenwriter and actor Wes Anderson (The Royal Tannenbaums, Isle of Dogs, The Grand Budapest Hotel).
New York Times staff editor Jesse Fox Mayshark has described Anderson’s films as having a baroque pop bent that is not realist, surrealist or magic realist but fabulist.
Combining this type of visual tone with the colonial British Raj history of the city, Renesa’s head architect Sanchit Arora and his team produced a kitschy-chic retro combination of modern and colonial, ornate and structured.
No-one would call the resulting expression timid, demure or subservient. It feels more like a protest or mockery; a delirious celebration of both the madness and joy of life. And you do need to be able to tolerate pink and zebra stripes to enjoy your visit to the Pink Zebra. Tuija Seipell.
Casaplata is an unusually fresh-looking, newly reimagined restaurant and cocktail bar in the old quarter of Seville, Spain.
While many renovations in the area have referenced the past and sought to express a historical revival, Madrid-based Lucas y Hernández-Gil avoided nostalgia and aimed for a fresh future-focused look.
The vision of the design team, enthusiastically approved by the young restaurateurs, includes brutalist grey concrete, exposed pipes and metal, but all accented with a soft, almost feminine pastel colour palette and rounded forms.
The result is a chic, minimalist and gently soothing space that bears the studio’s signature look of a white/monotone grey envelope, soft hues and rounded shapes as accents.
The designers say that they referenced the ‘poetic vision of everyday objects’ as expressed by the Italian painter Giorgio Morandi whose still life’s often featured granular, uneven grey backgrounds with everyday items, such as bottles, vases, pitchers and jars in muted, pastel tones.
Lucas y Hernández- Gil completed not just the architecture and design of the 100 square-metre (1,076 sq.ft) space that housed a café before but also designed the furniture and graphic design.
The complete transformation of the restaurant that now seats 70 patrons includes a false ceiling of silvery metal slats that absorbs noise and reflects light.
Casaplata is located in a residential area with shops that is close to La Encarnacion Square and its Metropol Parasol https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropol_Parasol, a set of six massive wooden ‘parasols’ designed by the German architect Jürgen Mayer, completed in April 2011 and considered the world’s largest wooden structure. The locals call the controversial structure Las Setas de la Encarnación (Incarnation’s mushrooms). Tuija Seipell
If you don’t like pink – the so-called Millennial Pink or any other hue of it – or if you don’t like chicken or lobster, then MaMa Kelly restaurant may not be your first choice in Amsterdam.
But, then again, you may choose to behave like the co-owner and designer of the place, Rein Rambaldo, and say “Why not?” and give it a try.
MaMa Kelly Amsterdam is a 1,000 is square-metre (10,763 sq ft), 230-seat thoroughly pink restaurant that serves only chicken and lobster and is located at the Olympisch Stadion in Amsterdam’s outskirts. Too large, too kitschy, too limited a menu, too far away. Not exactly a recipe for an immediate restaurant success. But the owners were willing to take risks.
Rein Rambaldo is the founder of The Hague-based restaurant design firm De Horecafabriek.
After many years developing and designing restaurant concepts, Rambaldo and his wife, Willemien, joined forces with experienced local restaurateurs, Singha Witteman and Bas Bloemink, and created the first MaMa Kelly in The Hague in 2010.
It is slightly smaller at 800 square metres (8,610 sq.ft) and seats 200 guests, but the menu is equally limited and the location equally unlikely. MaMa Kelly The Hague is located in an industrial area outside The Hague in an old cigarette factory. Funky industrial vibes, exposed pipes, blue-tone interior.
Rambaldo explains that the success of the first MaMa Kelly is due to the solid concept but it is also due to the operational and marketing style of the owners. The tightly-run ship relies heavily on social media, especially Instagram, in its promotion. It also relies on a highly technology-driven operation – from constant monitoring of guest and staffing levels to supply and cash flow.
They selected chicken as one of the key menu items as it is a widely accepted favourite. Then they chose lobster as a counterpart that is gaining popularity in Dutch restaurants and decided to base their menu on these two ingredients.
With the operations and systems well in hand, the owners decided to expand to the Amsterdam area. The pink MaMa Kelly is the result of that decision.
Apparently, pink is Willemien’s favourite colour, and as most restaurant decisions are made by women, the team decided to go for it. Why not? They had also encountered a few pink restaurants in their research that inspired them.
And to keep things interesting, Rambaldo says that there is secret bar in MaMa Kelly Amsterdam. It is only available for groups, and it is the only part of the restaurant that is not pink.
While we will not put pink on our favourite colours list any time soon, we do commend the team behind MaMa Kelly Amsterdam for being bold and solid in their approach. The world already has enough confusing restaurant concepts. Tuija Seipell.
A large, new restaurant, Gaga Chef, is turning heads in Shenzhen, China.
Not only is the interior elegantly understated, the Gaga (Shenzhen GAGA Catering Management Co.Ltd) brand’s latest concept also involves a rotating cast of international chefs and visual artists.
Gaga Chef was designed by Coordination Asia,the Shanghai-based design and architecture firm that has completed several other restaurant concepts for the Gaga brand.
The new eatery is located in the new MIXC Shenzhen Shopping Center, where high-end brands vie for the attention of affluent shoppers and diners. The brands that have stores in the center include Prada, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany’s and so on plus Gucci’s and Prada’s largest stores in the Asia-Pacific.
The 490 square-meter (5,275 sq.ft) restaurant has seats for 150 guest inside and 42 on the outdoor terrace.
Coordination Asia’s founder and design director, architect Tilman Thürmer, created the concept with key team members Vega li and Yu Yin
According to Thürmer, Gaga is an owner-managed cafe/eatery brand, established in 2013. He says that Gaga is Shenzhen’s most successful eatery for fusion cuisine with 12 restaurants so far.
Coordination Asia has designed each concept and won awards for several, including a Red Dot for the Wongtee Plaza in Shenzhen. Gaga has up to now remained in Shenzhen with its various concepts but is now expanding to Shanghai, Thürmer says.
Gaga Chef is, however, completely different from the other Gaga concepts. Our favourite aspects of Gaga Chef are the cool large-scale lighting installations – all created by Coordination Asia, as well as the lovely collection of seating.
The chairs all have a similar, slender-legged, light profile yet they come from three European design houses. They include Strike by Arrmet, Cyborg Club by Magis and the Beetle Dining Chair by the Danish Gubi.
Coordination Asia is currently developing the visual artist program with Brownie. Photographers to exhibit in the first year are Chinese, New York-based Fan Haoran, Jiaxi & Zhe and the Welsh Daniel Alford. The first visiting chef is Joel Bennetts from Sydney, Australia. Tuija Seipell.