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Canadian firm Mason Studio has designed this hotel in Toronto to feature an abundance of local flavour, including decorative archways and a nod to the city's famous albino squirrels.

Located within a former Holiday Inn in the city's trendy Annex neighbourhood, the 188-room property marks the first outpost of the Kimpton hotel branch in Canada.

Local interior design firm Mason Studio completed Kimpton Saint George as an ode to the Toronto's layered architectural and artistic heritage.

The lobby strikes a balance between the Annex's bohemian spirit and the affluence of greater Yorkville with its display of craftsmanship.

Numerous millwork arches are intended to "visually guide guests throughout the space, while paying homage to Toronto's diverse architectural style and eras".

A bright 100-square-metre meeting space called the Peregrine Room, meanwhile, contrasts the moody tones of the lobby lounge to "reinforce the concept of distinct neighbourhoods within the city."

The apartment-like guest rooms continue to relay the story of Torontonian culture and design with bespoke furniture, many of which are curved or rounded, record players with Canadian vinyl, and locally-crafted decorative objects.

Inside each of the room's oak-and-rattan armoires is a white resin squirrel figurine by art duo Greatbeard – a playful nod to the city's famous albino squirrels.

Among a sea of beige are accents of greens, blues, golds, are greys that reflect Canada's vast expanses of untouched nature.

Vintage black-and-white photographs from a couple's vacation to Toronto appear at each guest entry – a reference to the city's post-war history.

The main entrance features a black wood awning punctuated with pin-like lights spelling 'Kimpton' in Braille lettering, which takes cues from the once-omnipresent marquee signs throughout the district.

Toronto-based group Arts and Objects aided in internalising the Annex's eclectic character by curating locally-produced art in the guest rooms, as well as an ethereal hand-painted landscape that backdrops the marble reception desk.

Additional features of the property is the 10-storey geometric owl that Mason Studio commissioned prolific street artist Birdo to paint on the west facade of the building.

The Kimpton Saint George joins a number of boutique accommodation that has recently opened in Toronto. Others include a property that StudioAC has outfitted with plywood furniture and a former strip club that Design Agency into hotels.

The post Mason Studio designs Kimpton Saint George hotel as "homage to Toronto" appeared first on Dezeen.

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Brazilian firm Solo Arquitetos sourced red-hued stones from a local quarry and repurposed bricks from a defunct factory to build this vacation home near Brazil's Paranapanema river.

The holiday home is located in Alvorada do Sul, a small municipality roughly 500 kilometres from São Paulo. The owners previously owned a factory, which was demolished and provided the building's raw material.

Solo Arquitetos, a studio in the nearby city of Curitiba, paired this material with stones found on-site that play off the red brick hue already available to them.

"The private volume was finished using stones extracted from the site before construction, adding a beautiful layer of the red colours from the region to the project," the architects said in a project description.

The property called Casa do Lago, which translates as lake house, comprises two longitudinal volumes that are offset to provide "movement and independence".

The first, which is closest to the street, contains the home's three bedrooms.

"The highlight is the main suite, which overviews the property and the river, framed by the opening in front of the bed – a deserved private belvedere for the owners," said Solo Arquitetos.

This mass was built using the local red stones, while the other was built using bricks. Visitors enter the home between the two volumes, into a small vestibule that links each side.

The public volume is organised with an open-plan layout. Clerestory windows as well as a floor-to ceiling glass wall overlooking the back yard provide plenty of natural light.

These glass panels open onto a covered wooden deck that extends deep into the owner's long and narrow plot. The architects describe this space as a "pavilion" that provides space for socialising, eating, and cooking.

"The open plan allows not only a dynamic use of these spaces, but also an unblocked view to the river from anywhere inside," said the architects.

Landscaping in the garden includes a swimming pool and an open-air chapel. The simple structure was built using the same red stones, along with timber rafters that span the space and could allow it to be covered if needed.

Earthy tones feature throughout the space, and are found within dark wooden accents that complement the brick and stone used for the exterior. The master suite, by contrast, features white-washed walls that give the space an airy feel.

Also in the Brazilian state of São Paulo, is a home wrapped in masonry blocks that create a "lace-like" pattern of shadows and an off-grid farmhouse by Studio MK27 that is covered with spindly Eucalyptus branches.

Photography is by Eduardo Macarios.

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A wooden hillside cabin on the island of Stokkøya, Norway, by Kappland Arkitekter is spread over multiple levels expansive views out to the surrounding countryside.

Cabin Stokkøya was designed to focus on two contrasting landscapes – out towards the sea to the west, and back at the dramatic green scenery to the east.

Designed by Oslo practice Kappland Arkitekter, Cabin Stokkøya is an all-year retreat for a family of five, with a series of simple, flexible living spaces.

"Perched on piles at the front and anchored on a concrete slab at the back, the building gently hovers on the slope, leaving hardly any footprint," said the architecture studio.

The stepped form of the building creates several levels, both in the interior spaces and on the decking along the eastern and western edges of the home. This allows the occupants to take advantage of both the morning and evening sun and helps provide shelter from wind.

"One can experience climbing and descending the slope, both indoors and outdoors," added the studio.

A central living, kitchen and dining area occupies a long block that runs parallel to the contours of the landscape, bookended by two bedroom areas that climb up the hillside.

A panoramic window in the living space looks out west towards the sea, while windows in the kitchen opposite provide closer, more intimate views of the hillside's vegetation.

Despite the relatively small footprint, these interior spaces are made flexible through the use of integrated birch furniture, serving a multitude of uses in each space by becoming bookshelves, steps and bed-boxes.

"The integrated furniture enhances the natural ways of inhabiting the different spaces," Kappland Arkitekter partner Kari Risvold Vikan told Dezeen.

"In the bed box it offers a generous, relaxing soft surface with a back to lean into so that one can enjoy the sea views. In the living room it is placed towards the back of the room, opening up the space towards the views."

The exterior of the cabin is clad in dark Royal-impregnated wood, chosen to relate to the colour of the surrounding rocks.

"It blends into the context, letting nature and landscape come to the fore," said Vikan.

"It also creates a contrast to the warm interior, where bright wood on the floors, walls and ceilings enhances the concept of a uniform volume."

Access to the house is provided by a walking trail to the north, where a small staircase leads into the gable end of the home and a small entrance area.

Simple cabins directed at natural views are a popular typology in Norway. Sanden+Hodnekvam recently completed Cabin at Rones, a concrete and wood cabin that creates minimal spaces overlooking a fjord. Atelier Oslo designed a cabin with a gridded timber facade that filters light for an outcrop in Skåtøy, Norway.

Photography is by Kappland Arkitekter.

Project credits:

Architect: Kappland Arkitekter
Design team: Kari Risvold Vikan, Fredrikke Finne Seip

The post Kappland Arkitekter perches Cabin Stokkøya on rugged landscape of Norwegian island appeared first on Dezeen.

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Jasper Morrison has enlisted 18 designers including Martino Gamper, Inga Sempé and Cecilie Manz to create benches for Fiskars Village in Finland, for its inaugural art and design biennale.

The London-based designer was invited by the organisers of the Fiskars Village Biennale to curate the installation, which involved placing public benches along the banks of the Fiskars River.

Keiji Takeuchi is one of the 18 designers that have created benches

The Social Seating benches were installed ahead of the event's inaugural edition, which opened on 19 May 2019. The festival emphasises the principles of diversity and sustainable development, which are encapsulated in a programme that brings together art and design.

Visitors have an opportunity to engage with work by almost 100 artists and designers who are selected by three curators, Jasper Morrison, Anniina Koivu and Jenni Nurmenniemi.

In a text in the festival's catalogue, Morrison suggested that the biennale format offers an opportunity to explore the less commercial aspects of design, adding that biennales can be viewed as "an antidote to the endless design fairs and design weeks which have proliferated in recent years".

Finnish designer Harri Koskinen made a simple bench from four sections of raw pine

The village where the festival takes place was developed around an ironworks established in 1649, which gave rise to the company that bears its name.

The village's historic buildings are heritage listed and Fiskars is now a significant centre for handicrafts that is home to around 600 inhabitants.

Morrison claimed his decision to commission a series of benches was based on the arrangement of the village's ex-industrial buildings along the banks of the river. As an object intended to be shared, the bench also reflects the biennale's theme "coexistence".

Martino Gamper made a seat out of recycled plastic

Morrison selected designers of all ages whose work he admires to create the seating solutions, which are placed along the river banks between the venues that house the biennale's main exhibits.

"The public bench is rare in the spectrum of furniture types," said Morrison. "It belongs to no one and is available to all; it stands as a symbol of community and enhances the quality of everyday public life."

"In terms of a design challenge, the bench offers infinite structural, material, expressive, and sculptural possibilities," he added. "We all know a good bench when we see one, and this makes them an ideal subject for an event of this kind."

Simo Heikkilä combined oak and steel to create a bench with angled backrests

Morrison provided the 18 designers with a simple brief to "design a bench for a Finnish village". He claimed this request offered greater clarity and freedom than the more complex and commercial briefs most designers are used to.

The designers responded to the brief with a wide range of proposals that represent distinctly individual interpretations of this simple and familiar object.

French designer Julien Renault used enamelled steel to create a minimal bench

Finnish designer Harri Koskinen created a simple bench made from four sections of raw pine wood, with the two main pieces angled inward slightly to create a comfortable and ergonomic seat.

Portuguese designer Hugo Passos's bench in oak responds to its location next a sturdy tree. The bench's backrest abuts the tree trunk, which acts as an additional support for users sitting on an extended section of the seat.

Maria Jeglinska introduces colour into the natural scenery with her blue bench design

Julien Renault from France developed a minimal bench in enamelled steel with a slender, curved seat, while Martino Gamper used sheets of a recycled plastic composite to produce a design featuring a dynamic angular pattern.

Finnish designer Simo Heikkilä combined native oak with galvanised steel to create a seating platform with angled boards slotted into a gap at the centre.

Stafford Schmool's bench features the words "I heart Eero Saarinen"

Other designers who created benches for the project include Aino Michelsen, Stafford Schmool, Jens Fager, Karin Widnäs, Keiji Takeuchi, Klaus Hackl, Maria Jeglinska, Michael Marriott, Michel Charlot, Sosuke Nakabo, Thélonious Goupil and Wataru Kumano.

The 2019 Fiskars Village Art & Design Biennale exhibitions are open to the public until 15 September. This includes a programme of events organised by local artists, designers and galleries presented alongside the main exhibits.

The humble park bench was also the focus of a previous project in a Stockholm suburb that saw international designers including Max Lamb, Scholten & Baijings and Philippe Malouin create "Superbenches" for a public park.

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Our Pinterest board is dedicated to interesting uses of weathering steel, including a California residence clad in weathered steel panels and a theatre complex in Denmark designed as a series of steel cubes. Follow Dezeen on Pinterest ›

The post Weathering steel is showcased on our Pinterest board appeared first on Dezeen.

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Andreas Martin-Löf Arkitekter has transformed the former Pharmaceutical Institute at the Old Technical College in Stockholm into light-filled apartments that feature historic decor details.

Designed by Swedish architect Gustaf Dahl in 1896, the heritage listed building has been renamed Lyceum and now contains 39 spacious flats with interiors that nod to its past life as a laboratory.

The retrofit forms part of a wider masterplan for the old university, where Andreas Martin-Löf Arkitekter has also overhauled the former Zoological Anatomy Institute. Local studio Hultman-Vogt has also redeveloped the site's Material Test Institute.

"The buildings belong to the old Stockholm university, which is listed as a historical landmark and has been under protection since 1935," founder Andreas Martin-Löf told Dezeen.

"The overall masterplan allowed the university buildings to be converted into apartments and a pocket park to be inserted into the old university courtyard."

Typically, each of Lyceum's apartments contains two single bedrooms and bathrooms, along with a master bedroom and office.

These encircle an open-plan living and dining area at the heart of the flat, which feature grand four-metre-high barrel ceilings.

The building's original giant windows designed by Dahl were restored as part of the project. Dressed with sheer, floor-to-ceiling curtains, these ensure the spaces are bright and filled with natural light.

Original niches in the walls that were previously host to bookshelves have also been restored and refitted with dark wooden shelving and writing desks.

This wooden detailing continues to run throughout Lyceum, with the intention of evoking the old laboratories and wooden furniture that once filled them.

This is most prominent in the kitchen, where wooden stools designed by Pierre Jeanneret and a giant breakfast bar take centre stage, alongside storage units that resemble fume cupboards used for scientific experiments.

Elsewhere, the apartments are all complete with a muted yet opulent material palette that Andreas Martin-Löf Arkitekter modelled on the existing aesthetic of the building, which has an off-white facade and inky-black entrance door.

Industrial lights and bedroom lamps that resemble bunsen burners have been used to dress living spaces, as well as Calacatta marble furniture and bespoke mirrors also designed by Martin-Löf.

Alongside the creation of the apartments, Lyceum's renovation also included the restoration of the building's existing staircases, entrances and facades.

Limestone from the same quarry as originally used was brought in to recreate the look of the former foyer and staircases, and the existing pillars and facade were repainted.

Andreas Martin-Löf Arkitekter was founded by Andreas Martin-Löf in 2008. Alongside Lyceum, other projects by the studio include an affordable housing block with chequerboard facades, a hilltop home that overlooks an archipelago and an exposed-bulb lamp that can be clamped to different surfaces.

Photography is by Erik Lefvander.

Project credits:

Architects: Andreas Martin-Löf Arkitekter AB Andreas Martin-Löf, Adrian Utrilla, Gregor Sutherland,
Constructing architect: Edgar Mann, Kristin Karls
Landscape architect: Johan Paju
Building heritage consultant: Stellan Ridderstrand
Client: Oscar Properties
Interior concept: Oscar Properties
Contractor: Oscar Properties Bygg AB

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Architecture practice HW-Studio took cues from the steps and plazas found in traditional Spanish architecture to design this residence in central Mexico.

Located in Morelia, a historic town in the province of Michoacan, the houses staggers down its sloped site to create a "horizontal line that highlights the sky and the mountains in the background".  HW-Studio dubbed it "The House that Hides Behind the Hill," for its unique relationship to the landscape upon which it is located.

The house's shorter name Casa Ja is a contraction of "Janitzio", an island in the middle of Lake Pátzcuaro, near Morelia. The area is known for its pre-hispanic and colonial architecture, and informed HW-Studio.

"We designed this house with the practical solutions of a pre-hispanic town like Janitzio," the architects told Dezeen. "The house was designed in the most vernacular way, based on proven solutions of traditional architecture, the terraces and stairs that we saw in Janitzio gave us the solution to build the house in a sloping ground," they added.

The property slopes down from the street, giving the illusion from the public way that the 500 square-metre home is much smaller than it actually is. Building the home into the hillside also allowed HW-Studio to create an interior layout with different floor levels, without building a tall structure.

"The house is divided into three blocks placed on different levels connected by wide covered and uncovered stairs that make up a continuous and fluid space," said HW Studio in a project description.

A white concrete frame forms the front facade, and is offset by black geometric volumes. These direct visitors inside through a broad pivoting door.

The architects wanted to avoid the flashy aesthetic of surrounding homes, opting instead for a more restrained approach instead.

The facade is covered with Recinto Negro – a volcanic stone that is commonly used in local construction.

"We wanted the house to be so intimate and silent that only suggested its presence, avoiding any presumption, exaggerated exhibition or the typical ostentation of the place where it is located," studio added.

The home is roughly shaped like the letter H - the architects located a courtyard in the centre, between the home's two parallel wings.

"The gardens, patios and squares organise the rest of the programme, [providing] a certain introspective, domesticated and silent nature," said the studio.

The residence, which contains three bedrooms, features a minimal aesthetic. This comprises black marble floors throughout, which contrast the plain white walls that were used for the interiors and exteriors.

"Its black stone interiors pretend to emphasize the cover and highlight that horizontal line on which the sun, the sky and the mountains would rest," it added.

Photographs of the project show certain quirky furniture accents, such as an antique gilded mirror in the living and room.

A few wooden accents break up the home's monotone palette. Staircases, doors, and cabinets bring some warmth to the otherwise neutral home.

HW-Studio, which completed Casa Ja in 2015, has also recently completed a market for the town of Morelia, nestling crisp white volumes for vendors in between historic stone structures.

Mexico has been producing several notable architecture projects recently. Dezeen rounded up 1o examples throughout the country.

Photography is by César Belio.

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Mexican designer Bandido Studio has created a pendant lamp with a textured charcoal grey surface created by heating up black enamel.

Puebla-based Bandido Studio created Aura's deliberately imperfect surface by heating a Mexican Peltre enamel coating to upwards of 700 degrees Celsius. The result is a departure from the studio's previous matt and glossy finished metal lighting products.

Co-founders Alejandro Campos and Joel Rojas, both graduates in industrial design from Tec de Monterrey in Mexico, experimented over the course of 15 months to achieve the desired effect.

They applied the porcelain enamel to various metals including aluminum, copper, and brass, but eventually settled on carbonising it to steel because of its strong hold and colour results.

The lamp's spotted design is created by sprinkling various concentrations of the porcelain enamel onto the steel. This process means that every lamp is unique.

"The porcelain melts where it is located leaving some glazed spots, and the steel grabs this carbon colour palette," Rojas said.

The studio decided to use Peltre – a porcelain enamel that is popular in the country due to its durability – because of its rich Mexican history. It is most commonly found in kitchen homeware products such as pots, pans, plates, and utensils.

"We wanted to recontextualise how this material has been used across the years, and explore how it could behave with a source of light," Rojas continued.

The studio designed the pendant lamp to either be hung individually or in a bespoke chandelier-like arrangement. The top half of the pendant is an elongated cylinder made from dark brown walnut wood that hides the wiring components.

"Aura balances materials with rich textures and a muted and dark colour scheme," added the studio.

Bandido Studio has recently created a lamp shaped like a mushroom and a table with a droplet-shaped marble base.

Photography by Bandido Studio.

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Ian Moore Architects has converted an old industrial building in Sydney to create Redfern Warehouse, combining a four bedroom house, an equine genetics laboratory and a garage for classic cars.

The brick exterior of the two-storey converted warehouse, located in the suburb of Redfern, remains largely untouched. But its interior has been expanded and reconfigured.

Locally based Ian Moore Architects stripped back the old warehouse structure, which had previously converted in the 1990s into an architect's office and art gallery.

The team then extended it with the addition of simple, contemporary elements designed to remain true to the building's industrial past.

"There was a strong emphasis on maintaining an industrial feel to the conversion," explained the architecture studio.

"The owners asked that there be no timber, marble or black finishes used in the new interiors."

The large timber roof trusses of Redfern Warehouses's original structure are left exposed and painted white, and the new additions are structured around them.

The programme is split horizontally across the warehouse's two levels, with the upper section housing the living spaces and the ground floor containing the garage, laboratory and ancillary spaces.

"The new work is complementary, but clearly distinguished from the original fabric through a rigorous application of the concept of retention, recycling and reinforcing the original form," said the studio.

"A series of refined and elegant new elements contrast with and complement the original, with no sentimental or nostalgic reinvention of a warehouse aesthetic."

Areas of retained brick wall are now framed by new, metal elements that mirror the trusses of the original warehouse, creating bright, open living spaces that look down into a small courtyard below.

The dividing walls in these living spaces all stop at the base of the trusses, turning the roof into a vast open space ensuring light penetrates the entire roof area and air circulates effectively.

"The upper level is divided on strict alignment with the existing trusses, with the bottom chord of the truss used as a horizontal datum," continued the studio. "All solid walls stop at this level, with clear glazing installed above."

To the north, at the upper level of Redfern Warehouse, a section of roof has been removed to create a planted outdoor terrace area that extends the living space, between this contemporary gable end and the brick wall of the adjacent structure.

Moveable glass louvres surrounding the internal courtyard provide natural ventilation as well as sun-shading, and serve to further the industrial feel of the new spaces.

On the original brick facade, these glass louvres along with translucent windows provide privacy for the laboratory space, and give a hint at the modern conversion that has occurred inside.

Warehouse conversions are a popular means of creating new office or living spaces.

In Brussels, ZAmpone recently transformed a 111-year-old industrial building into a new office for creative agency BBDO, and a vast shipbuilding warehouse with its original machinery in San Francisco has been turned into a a startup's headquarters.

Photography is by Rory Gardiner.

Project credits:

Architects: Ian Moore Architects
Design team: Ian Moore, Emily Elliott, Maria Gutierrez, Danny Mathis
Main contractor: Elliott Projects
Structural engineer: Benvenuti SC
Landscape architect: Outdoor Establishments
Suppliers: Boffi, Caroma, Kaldewei, Viabizzuno, In-lite, Commcork, Dekton, Corian, Schuco, Living Divani, De Padova, Knoll, Magis, Zanotta, Artemide, Flos, Foscarini, Capellini, B&B Italia, Ligne Roset

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A huge converted grain silo in Shanghai was the setting for Prada's 2020 Spring Summer menswear show, designed by AMO as a hall of futuristic neon lights.

The show took place on 6 June at Silo Hall, Asia's largest silo building. A powerful reminder of Shanghai's industrial heritage, the building provided an appropriate backdrop for Prada's latest mens collection, described by the Italian fashion house as "a power of energy, provocation and freedom".

AMO, the research arm of Dutch firm OMA, transformed the industrial interior of the 80,000-tonne warehouse into an "illuminated vista" of bright blue lights.

The show took place in a converted grain silo building in Shanghai

A linear runway intersected the longitudinal axis of the monumental, labyrinth-like space, while guests were arranged in the central nave of the building in an amphitheater of circular seats that mirrored the shape of the silos.

Glowing neon lights complemented the hall's raw, industrial character and highlighted the geometry of the space, creating a "glowing enfilade" down the centre of the chamber.

A linear runway intersected the longitudinal axis of the silo areas

"Mindful of its history, at intervals, the installation of the 2020 Spring Summer Prada Men’s show and events is disrupted by reminders of roughness and industry, embedded in the fabric of the building," said the brand.

"These retain the original character of the building, and the echoes of a past," it added.

Blue lights complemented the hall's raw, industrial character

The words "I am no longer an artist; I have become a work of art" and "I feel myself a god" were played out on a voiceover as models walked along an expansive runway dressed in oversized striped shirts, double-breasted blazers and colour-block windbreakers.

Colourful backpacks and knee-length shorts added a boyish aesthetic to the Optimistic Rhythm collection, which had retro-futurist overtones that could be seen on jackets and tees featuring vibrantly coloured prints of cassette tapes and video recorders.

The lights highlighted the geometry of the space

This is the first time Prada has strayed from its Milanese stomping grounds –it typically presents its collections in the Fondazione Prada or its own Via Fogazzaro space in Milan.

The special Chinese location was chosen to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the twinning of the cities of Milan and Shanghai.

After the show, guests were invited to the seventh floor of Minsheng Wharf, where various dance, music, light and sound installations were taking place across multiple stages for a one-night-only takeover.

Models walked the runway in oversized striped shirts and double-breasted blazers

Performers in mirror-covered costumes and large-scale installations covered in neon lights continued the catwalk aesthetic into the afterparty spaces.

Booths upholstered in black and acid green eco-leather ran along the perimeter of a lounge bar for the after-show dinner, while a black lacquer recyclable curtain wrapped around the venue, which was outlined by a series of neon lights spanning the room.

Other looks included colour-block windbreakers

The longtime pairing between Prada and OMA and AMO grew out of a friendship between founders Miuccia Prada and Rem Koolhaas. AMO always designs sets for Prada shows.

This year's show saw AMO continue the neon trend from last year's catwalk design, which featured a grid that marked out spaces for guests sitting on inflatable Verner Panton stools, illuminated by strips of pink neon lights.

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