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Footwear brand Birkenstock has worked with design studio Vinson & Co to create a showroom inside a grandiose Paris apartment, where shoes are displayed in living-room-style spaces.
Nestled amongst the high-end boutiques that line Paris' Rue Saint Honoré, Birkenstock 1774 is a dedicated space for the brand to present special projects and collaborations.
It takes its name from the year that Birkenstock was founded in Germany.
The 170 square-metre showroom occupies a 19th-century apartment, complete with ornate panelled walls, stone fireplaces and wooden parquet floors.
London-based studio Vinson & Co – who were charged with developing the showroom's interiors – allowed these features to serve as a backdrop to the brand's shoes, simply adding a selection of new and vintage furnishings to complete the space.
"Birkenstock's brief was to keep the showroom simple, full of light, neutral and with handmade finishes – they wanted a space that gives them flexibility," Nick Vinson, founder of the studio, told Dezeen.
"I deliberately left the patina of age visible – to me these qualities are very consistent with a Birkenstock sandal, which age well."
An oak table perched on a wheat-coloured woven rug now centres what would be the apartment's living or dining room. Various models of shoe are displayed on chunky, four-legged stools dotted around the room's perimeter.
A couple of pairs have also been placed intermittently on the dividers of a timber bookshelf by Italian designer Achille Castiglioni.
The illusion of extra space is created by a floor-to-ceiling mirrored volume.
Doors lead through to an adjacent room that has been dressed in much the same fashion, except here the central table is surrounded by worn leather chairs created by Italian architect Mario Bellini in the late 1970s.
Dancers at the Origen Festival in the Swiss Alps will perform around nine unique columns 3D-printed in concrete by students from ETH Zurich.
The masters students produced the columns using a new process, developed at the technology school, that allows for the fast 3D-printing of concrete structures completely without formwork or any other kind of mould.
The pillars were 3D-printed using a new technique developed by ETH Zurich students
Titled Concrete Choreography, the series of structures took less than two-and-a-half hours to print in the lab using an industrial robot arm that extrudes concrete in precise layers.
"This can reduce the ecological footprint of concrete construction by entirely removing the formwork and by using less concrete," PhD researcher Ana Anton, one of the teaching team at ETH Zurich's Digital Building Technologies unit, told Dezeen.
"We are able to strategically place the material only where needed," she added.
The nine pillars took less two-and-a-half hours to 3D-print
It also allows for completely bespoke designs, incorporating complex patterns that are only achievable through high-resolution 3D-printing — the layers of concrete the robot places down are just five millimetres thick.
For Concrete Choreography, the students aimed to create fluid-looking forms that showcased the idiosyncrasies of both the material and the process.
Their work extended to the inner structure of the columns, which had to add strength with minimal material.
The fluid forms are intended to showcase the materials and the process of production
"What makes our concrete printing approach outstanding is that we address both material efficiency and the aesthetic potential of this technology," said Anton.
The speediness of the process is helped by a special fast-setting concrete mix, developed by another research group at ETH Zurich.
Once completed, the 2.7-metre-tall columns were transported by truck and installed at the site — an outdoor terrace in the Julier Pass, part of the Albula Range in the Alps.
The 2.7-metre-tall columns were transported by truck and installed on-site
Anton said that Origen Festival founder Giovanni Netzer wanted to create "a bold interplay between cutting-edge research and culture" with a "novel aesthetic".
During July and August, the Concrete Choreography installation will double as a stage for performances.
The pillars will provide a stage set for dancers at the Origen Festival
"The columns will create the opportunity for the artists to dance in between, in front, around, to hide, climb and interact in many ways with this unique, monolithic architecture," Anton told Dezeen.
"Each column has his own character and dynamics, just like the dancers."
The stage will be in place throughout July and August
The students involved are all part of ETH Zurich's Master of Advanced Studies in Digital Fabrication and Architecture.
MAS DFAB in architecture and digital fabrication: ETH Zurich Teaching team: Ana Anton, Patrick Bedarf, Angela Yoo, Timothy Wangler Students: Antonio Barney, Aya Shaker Ali, Chaoyu Du, Eleni Skevaki, Jonas Van den Bulcke, Keerthana Udaykumar, Nicolas Feihl, Nik Eftekhar Olivo, Noor Khader, Rahul Girish, Sofia Michopoulou, Ying-Shiuan Chen, Yoana Taseva, Yuta Akizuki, Wenqian Yang Origen Foundation: Giovanni Netzer, Irene Gazzillo, Guido Luzio, Flavia Kistler Research partners: Robert J. Flatt, Lex Reiter, Timothy Wangler Technical support: Michael Lyrenmann, Philippe Fleischmann, Andreas Reusser, Heinz Richner Supported by: Debrunner Acifer Bewehrungen, LafargeHolcim, Elotex, Imerys Aluminates
This research was supported by the NCCR Digital Fabrication, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (NCCR Digital Fabrication Agreement #51NF40-141853).
Called Domore – a portmanteaux of "dormer" and "more" – the loft conversion has turned a difficult, low-ceilinged space into a bright workspace for the client, who has started to work from home.
Con Form Archictects made a simple yet dramatic move of taking a large slice out of the back of the roof and infilling it with glazing, flooding the otherwise cramped attic space with light.
Rather than blending in with the surrounding roofs, the new dormer window has been placed atop this new glass roof section.
The dormer is wrapped in anthracite steel cladding, subtly marking it as distinct from the tiled roofs of the surrounding buildings.
"The large opening facilitates an intriguing, tactile relationship with the existing prominent brick chimney and parapet, typically confined to the otherwise distant world of roofscapes," said the studio.
Continuing the existing stairwell, a compact folded steel staircase leads up to the new loft space, passing a small roof terrace accessible via a large rotating window.
For the study itself, areas of the existing brick wall and chimney have been left exposed, covered by a horizontal oak datum and shelving spaces, below which sit white wooden elements and a whitewashed floor.
A small bathroom has been squeezed in by stepping up the floor level, creating a distinction between the office area and a small, low-ceilinged space underneath a skylight.
"Domore proves that even in contentious locations, or tiny resultant spaces – more is possible," said the studio.
American firms Brooks + Scarpa and Studio Dwell have created a suburban Chicago home with an inner courtyard screened from the road by "vertical twisting columns" of brick.
The Thayer Brick House sits on a leafy street in Evanston, a college town just north of Chicago. Designed for an investment banker, the dwelling occupies a slender, rectangular lot bordered by more traditional houses.
The project was designed by California-based Brooks + Scarpa, with Chicago firm Studio Dwell serving as architect of record. Rectangular in plan, the house consists of airy volumes organised around a gravel courtyard facing the street.
A key motive for the design team was to build with brick, a material often found in American Midwestern architecture.
Rather than typical red brick, however, the team opted for Chicago common brick, which is made of local clay and comes in various hues.
Due to its rugged texture and inconsistent colouring, common brick has generally been inexpensive and abundant. The prosaic material was historically "used in places generally obscured from the street, such as side and back walls, chimney flues, and structural support behind facades".
"Conversely, the brick at the Thayer House is highly visible and featured as a prominent design element," said the team.
For the street-facing facade, the team created a distinctive screen made of bricks placed at different angles. During the day, the brise-soleil allows natural light to filter into the house. At night, it reveals golden light from within, giving the house a soft, glowing quality.
"The street facade is organised in vertical twisting columns to create an ever-changing pattern of opening and closing as light moves across and through the facades," the team said. "As the viewer passes by the home, the facade creates a moire-like pattern that appears to be constantly in motion."
Brick was also used for sidewalls and was left visible within several interior rooms. The rear of the house is wrapped in cement-plaster panels made of recycled Portland cement.
The home is fronted by a small yard filled with tall prairie grass. A diagonal pathway cuts across the yard, leading to a recessed front door. Visitors step into an office and sitting area, which leads into a glazed corridor running alongside the courtyard. The entryway also provides direct access to the courtyard.
Encompassing 2,800 square feet (260 square metres), the home is divided between public and private zones. The ground level contains a double-height public area, while a master suite and guest bedroom are located upstairs.
Throughout the dwelling, glazed walls provide views of the courtyard and usher in dappled light.
"Light seeping through the brickwork produces a shifting geometric pattern of light and shadow on the walls and floors of the rooms, circulation areas and neighbouring structures that alters throughout the day," the team said.
For the interior spaces, the architecture studios used a restrained palette of materials and colours, with an emphasis on sustainability.
Gypsum-board walls are made of recycled content and are formaldehyde-free. Wooden flooring consists of oak certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Non-toxic paint and "eco" tiles also were used in the home.
Throughout the project, the team aimed to placed an emphasis on materials, both in terms of performance and aesthetics.
"The design examines the tension between materials, form and experience," the team said.
"Of particular interest is the idea of transcending traditional craft and elevating humble materials without trying to make them into something other than what they really are."
Design architect: Brooks + Scarpa
Brooks + Scarpa team: Lawrence Scarpa (lead designer/principal in charge), Angela Brooks, Jeff Huber, Arty Vartanyan, Chinh Nhan Nguyen, Cesar Delgado, Eleftheria Stavridi, Fui Srivikorn, Matt Barnett Architect of record: Studio Dwell Studio Dwell team: Mark Peters (principal in charge), Jonathan Heckert, (project manager) Landscape and lighting design: Brooks + Scarpa Structural engineering: Louis Shell Structures Civil engineering, electrical, lighting: Studio Dwell General contractor, specifications: Studio Dwell Client/owner: Robert Lipton
An exhibition of monumental geometric black sculptures by the late American designer Tony Smith on display at Pace Gallery in Manhattan brings together three works for the first time.
Source, Tau, Throwback is a three-piece installation at Pace of sculptures created by Smith during his career as an artist in the 1960s and 1970s.
The individual works – Tau (1961-62), Source (1967) and Throwback (1976-77) – possess "no traditional front or back". Each is made up of a combination of black-painted steel tetrahedrons and octahedrons, fused together as a single volume.
"The works in the exhibition epitomise the artist's characteristic black-painted aesthetic articulated in large-scale and mathematically-determined geometric forms," said the gallery.
They have been grouped together for the first time, filling the white gallery space.
Tau was designed by Smith for Manhattan's Hunter College and was to be placed outside to animate the environment.
It is constructed of tetrahedral steel volumes with acute and oblique angles in a cantilevered form resembling the letter T. The piece is finished in semi-gloss black paint.
Source is a more linear design that comprises two united sections that span more than 25 feet (7.6 metres). It is over nine feet (2.7 metres) tall, and was first exhibited in Kassel, Germany.
The final volume in the exhibit is Throwback, which features a hollow portion.
It was originally presented at Smith's first exhibition at Pace Gallery in 1979, where the volume was displayed as a painted plywood version and a smaller version in black-painted steel.
For the current show at Pace, the gallery has exhibited Throwback as Smith initially envisioned, rendered full-size and in painted-black steel.
Pace represented Smith's work up until he passed away in 1980. This is the first exhibition dedicated to him since the gallery began representing his estate in 2017.
Born in New Jersey in 1912, Smith developed his sculptures through his experiences in architecture and art. In 1937, he moved to Chicago to study architecture at the New Bauhaus under László Moholy-Nagy, but left to work for Frank Lloyd Wright.
He went on to become an independent architectural designer specialising in private homes, as well as spending time in Hollywood, California and Germany.
Smith later moved to New York City and became close with American artists Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko.
Working nine to five: Dezeen readers who participated in a social-media discussion about design education have divided commenters by claiming that the demands placed on architecture students is leading to mental health issues and, for some, thoughts of suicide.
"Students are being pushed to self-harm in pursuit of skills which they are then told are useless as soon as they reach the job market. Why bother?" asked Jon. "A technically based program built on learning the necessary tools, software, building standards and the fundamentals of project delivery would serve students far better."
Michael Wigle continued: "I could write a book discussing the problems with architecture schools. My biggest problem was the class discrimination I received from professors who felt I didn’t belong in the program because I had to work full time to support it."
"We can discuss architecture's long hours until we're blue in the face," responded Le Ego. "It still doesn't change the fact that if you want to get to the top of the profession, or any profession for that matter, working longer, harder and smarter than your peers comes with the territory. Seriously consider whether architecture is worth it if it's making you suicidal."
Arep agreed: "If you think that architecture isn't for you, then stop immediately. You can work any other job. I have never heard a farmer whining."
"I can only imagine how stinky and germ infested these could get," added Akpezi Victoria Ikede. "The design problem is very real though, hopefully more improvements are made."
"Without doors they'll be much less stinky than a standard cabin toilet that holds all the odour in, they're basically open air," replied India. "As they're one big piece of plastic they can be hosed down and sanitised regularly, too. I'd still be using my hand sanitiser, though..."
"Well she is absolutely right," said To be or not to be. "It's humiliating, overpriced with hidden prices and it's opaque. I received my visa after my scheduled conference."
"The UK will consist of third world countries. And its people only have themselves to blame," added Aigoual48.
This commenter agreed:
"Blame the illegal immigrants not the immigration department," responded Michael. "As for her claims that 'South Africa welcomes people from the UK with open arms,' I think not. The South African immigration officials are dismissive, rude and arrogant."
"It seems wasteful and unnecessarily pollutant to fly thousands of miles to give a lecture when it could be done using video conferencing," concluded Robin.
"A few months ago he was adamantly against AI. What happened to 'AI is more dangerous than nuclear weapons'?," asked Steve Hassler. "I guess Neuralink got some top-notch back-engineered tech that his bank account couldn't say no to."
Gavin added: "Looks like someone has watched the film Upgrade!"
"I'd love to plant a virus in your brain or press the electrocute/execute key as long as you don't comply," joked Spadestick.
The high-tech Camden Road Sainsbury's designed by Grimshaw, and the housing complex built alongside it, have been awarded Grade II-listed status.
The Sainsbury's in London is the first purpose-built supermarket to be awarded a place on the National Heritage List for England, which recognises architecture that should be preserved.
The Camden Road Sainsbury's is built in the high-tech architecture style
Grand Union Walk, a series of canal-side terraced houses built by Grimshaw, has also been recognised by Historic England.
Both are part of the Grand Union Complex, a series of buildings built by Grimshaw between 1986 and 1988 for Sainsbury's on a former industrial site in Camden.
It is the first purpose-built supermarket to be given listed status
"The Camden Road Sainsbury's is an outstanding example of high-tech architecture in a busy urban setting," said Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England – the UK body that lists buildings.
"It is an unapologetically futuristic building which also sits comfortably alongside its historic neighbours – matching the scale of the 19th-century terrace opposite – and rightly deserves to be recognised for its architectural significance."
Historic England called Camden Road Sainsbury's an "unapologetically futuristic building"
Founder of Grimshaw and RIBA Gold Medal-winning architect Nicholas Grimshaw was one of the pioneers of the high-tech style of architecture that emerged in the 1970s.
It is characterised by highly engineered buildings that often use industrial components and clearly display their structure.
Grand Union Walk is formed of ten terraced houses and two flats
The Camden Road Sainsbury's is clad in aluminium and glass panels, with a visible steel frame. Inside, its gently curving ceiling trusses are designed to reference old market halls.
Cutting edge technology was applied to the design, including a fireproof coating for the frame that had been developed for military purposes. This also protects the structure from the emissions of the busy main road.
The homes are rare examples of residential high-tech architecture
Grand Union Walk is a rare example of high-tech style applied for residential use. The ten houses and two flats have an industrial aesthetic, with aluminium panels and porthole-style windows.
The horizontal ribs of the back walls match those to the rear of the Sainsbury's.
Grimshaw built the Grand Union Complex in the 1980s
The project is the latest Grimshaw project to be listed. Both the Financial Times printing works in the Docklands and The Western Morning News building in Plymouth are already listed.
Sleepbox has 16 bookable nap rooms that are available for hire for a minimum of one hour, to offers travellers a place to rest in privacy.
The 1,200-square-foot (111-square-metre) space in Washington Dulles International Airport, located post-security in the international concourse A, is filled with two rows of the bookable Sleepbox nap rooms.
The box-like units were designed by Arch Group in collaboration with local architecture studio 3877.
They are pre-fabricated with plywood and clad in white and grey veneers. The carpets are made from recycled nylon and the tiny spaces are completed with LED lighting.
The units are powered by a wall outlet and are designed as part of a plug-in hotel concept.
Wireless controls such as temperature control, privacy window tint, coloured mood lighting and Bluetooth speakers outfit each unit.
Each of the pods has a closable door, with a standard unit measuring 45 square feet (four square metres) and a compact room being 35 square feet (3.2 square metres).
The interior pieces are finished with plywood and have a built-in bed with flip-down desk.
Sleepbox works with an app that allows the rooms to be booked, unlocked and controlled with a mobile device. Rooms can be rented for a minimum of an hour with extensions of available in 15 minutes increments.
"Dezeen gave the vital push in first introducing our concept," said Mikhail Krymov. "Without this, Sleepbox would still be among sketches in our forgotten hard-drive."
Arch Group installed two micro-units at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport in 2011. In 2015, Krymov moved from Moscow to Boston, where he did a research fellowship at MIT and founded Sleepbox as a tech startup with the aim of disrupting the hotel industry.
Ivy creates a green camouflage across the walls of this garden studio, designed by Melbourne architect Matt Gibson for a writer based in the city.
Writer's Shed is tucked into the corner of the garden at the writer's home, in Melbourne's suburban southeast. Taking up just 10 square metres, the small building offers its owner a cosy workspace with a view.
Gibson worked with landscape designer Ben Scott to design the planting scheme for the building. The aim was to make the structure feel like part of the garden.
They chose Boston ivy, a fast-growing but non-obtrusive climber, to grow all across its walls. This plant naturally shades the building, helping to passively cool its interior on hot days.
"Masquerading itself amongst the garden landscape and boundary fences, the shed is one with the landscape – a living part of the garden rather than an imposition on it," explained Gibson in a project description.
The studio has a simple, rectangular plan with one corner cut away. A desk wraps this corner, as well as the adjacent wall, to create a spacious work surface inside the studio.
A large window offers a wide view of the garden and the house, while a skylight overhead brings in plenty of natural light.
"Sitting inside at the desk, there's a certain inherent delight in bunkering down to look out to the garden and house beyond," said Gibson.
The architect describes the construction as a "rather simple, low-tech, modestly priced and modestly constructed solution".
Beneath the ivy is a "wetsuit" of Butynol, a synthetic rubber membrane that is both waterproof and naturally insulating.
Plywood provides the internal walls, floors and ceilings, as well as furniture, giving the interior a unified look. Alongside the desk, it was used to build two shelving units where the client can store plenty of books and files.
A hoop pine plywood was chosen, sourced from a sustainable plantation, to make the building more environmentally friendly.
The building has two entrances: a glass door that connects it with the garden, and a mirror-fronted door that leads out to a laneway behind, allowing easy access for visitors and deliveries.
Libeskind chose the pattern of the vertical panels and the striping on the walkway between them to echo the stripes of the prisoner's uniforms at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp – an internment and extermination camp operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during world war two.
The panels are mirrored on the reverse to reflect the surroundings and symbolise spiritual freedom, a theme of the installation.
"We can't understand the millions that were murdered in the Holocaust, but we can understand one person's story," said Libeskind.
"This exhibition brings the stories of the survivors into focus, while weaving their intimate accounts into the context of the camp and contemporary life."
Englander photographed survivors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp over the course of three years.
The 21 portrait subjects are of Jewish, Polish, Roman Catholic and Sinti survivors, who the photographer found through survivor networks associated with the Amud Aish Memorial Museum in Brooklyn, New York.
"The project asks an often thought of question, but never so purposefully explored in visual and discursive terms – 'How did a largely religious population maintain their sense of identity and culture in a Deathworld, called Auschwitz?'" said Englander.
"This place was structured to disarm any form of dignity and resistance. My work is a visual testament to the absolute endurance of human courage."
Each person's photo is displayed on a vertical panel set back from the main display and screened behind a black glass overlay etched with their first-person account of their experience in Auschwitz-Birkenau and how they sustained their faith.
The black glass can be opened on a hinge to reveal the portraits, which were taken in the subjects home and show some of them with their sleeves rolled up to reveal their serial number tattoo.
"Survivors imprisoned in Auschwitz- Birkenau drew on their most profound beliefs systems in the cruelest place on earth," said Lustiger Thaler of the Amud Aish Memorial Museum, who curated Through the Lens of Faith.
"Daniel Libeskind's design captures the past, present and future of survivor experiences and memories in conversation with Caryl Englander's moving portraits."
Through the Lens of Faith opened on 1 July 2019 in advance of the 75th anniversary of the camp's liberation in 1945.
Polish-American architect Libeskind founded Studio Libeskind with his wife, Nina, in 1989 after winning the competition to design Jewish Museum Berlin. He has returned to the project several times, building an extension and later an education centre.
Local executive architects: V!BES architects Local structural design: MM Konstrukcje budowlane Graphic design: Piotr Jakoweńko General contractor: GRAND Inwestycje Metal/glass/timber works: Ankora and Atelier Design Printer: Reijnders Engraving and Laser Engineering