a-cero architects renovates the mocha house in madrid

sweeping concrete walls form the renovation to a home now containing spaces that can act in isolation or communally for hosting guests.

The post a-cero architects renovates the mocha house in madrid appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.


china paves the way for a new definition of urban farming

in an age of exponential population growth and the constant transition of our cities, china is forced to reconfigure the relationship between agricultural and urban.

The post china paves the way for a new definition of urban farming appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.


Haptic adds a pair of extensions to a Victorian home in west London

Slender batons of untreated larch cover two extensions erected in the garden of this semi-detached home in London, as part of a refurbishment and remodelling by architecture studio Haptic (+ slideshow). (more…)


Inspired at Blu Puts Student Work in the Spotlight

Radisson Blu Minneapolis _ Lobby 5 _ PHOTO CREDIT- Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.jpg

When Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown redesigned their lobby, they saw an opportunity to create a sense of place for their guests while activating a public space. They've partnered with the College of Design to create a new artist-in-residence program, Inspired at Blu, which will display student designs on a large-scale digital wall in their lobby. To give a number of emerging artists and designers the opportunity to showcase their work, Inspired at Blu will feature pieces from a new College of Design program every six weeks.

"This partnership provides a unique platform for our students to showcase their work in a public place," said professor Sauman Chu (Graphic Design). "The Twin Cities have a great tradition of embracing creativity and innovation, and I am glad that Radisson Blu is taking the lead to initiate the artist-in-residence program to further promote and showcase the importance of design."

A panel of design faculty, hotel management, and our graphic design advisory board selected senior Michelle Bowitz (Graphic Design) as the first artist-in-residence. The program will officially launch at 5:30pm this Thursday, March 26 at Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown. In anticipation of the opening, we asked Bowitz what Inspired at Blu means for her career and the hotel's guests.

Bowitz7 (1).jpg

What part of the residency is most exciting to you?

Having the opportunity to share my work at the Radisson Blu is extremely exciting. I find displaying or publishing work a vital part of every design process, especially in graphic design where we consistently design with consumers in mind. The ability to share my work and receive criticism is what keeps me growing as a designer everyday.

What do you hope Radisson Blu's guests take away from your work?

I hope individuals will see that a wide variety of techniques and styles are used in various forms of design. I think it's extremely important that we are aware of the designed world in which we live our everyday lives by appreciating even the smallest designed details and elements. Visitors of the Radisson Blu will hopefully take a minute or two to appreciate both the purpose of my designs and as well as appreciate the overall atheistic of my work.

What do you hope to do after graduation?

Identity and branding has always been a passion of mine. However, I am very eager to see what the graphic design industry has to offer and I'm excited to explore the vast possibilities. I only hope that upon graduation I have the opportunity to work for a design firm that creates great, innovative design.

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Photo Credit: Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Michelle Bowitz


bodrum’s mandarin oriental resort frames views of the aegean sea

designed by scape design associates, the practice has reshaped and blended the new luxurious resort with the surrounding scenic landscape.

The post bodrum’s mandarin oriental resort frames views of the aegean sea appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.


This Home Will Make You Want to Build Your Own Sauna

Modern home in Finland with sauna has custom birch cabinets and island in kitchen and a lofted family room

Carpenter Matti Salminen, a family friend, built the birch cabinets and island for the kitchen of a new home outside of Helsinki. The architect, Tuomas Siitonen, situated a lofted family room on the mezzanine above.

House M-M

The suburb of Oulunkylä, less than five miles north of central Helsinki, is home to a mixture of wooden villas, row houses, and concrete apartment buildings. On a sloping plot next to her parents’ home, Vilma and her husband, Juho, wanted to build a structure that could fit in with its surroundings but feel completely their own. Working with architect Tuomas Siitonen, the couple had a few requirements going into the project: The home needed to be made of wood, preserve the views from the house next door, and have a separate living space for Vilma’s grandmother. 

For the exterior they chose Siberian larch, a dense wood that changes with time to a silvery-gray color. The dip in the center of the roof preserves the eastward vista for Vilma’s parents next door, while the back of the structure—which is attached but with a separate entrance—was designed as a live-alone apartment for Vilma’s grandmother. 

The kitchen was one of Vilma and Juho’s major concerns when considering the interior design. With a shared passion for cooking, they wanted to maximize kitchen space while keeping the area open so they could chat with family or guests while preparing food. 

The couple enlisted the help of Matti Salminen, a family friend and carpenter, to customize the space. Using a cultivated variety of birch with a wavy grain, Salminen created a consistent, organic surface with plenty of storage and countertop space. The island is a  particularly clever way to make the most of a tight area: One side contains a built-in refrigerator and freezer; on the other, long shelves store glassware.

Across from the kitchen, floor-to-ceiling windows open up to an expansive terrace. As Siitonen explains, “The idea was to bring the greenness and garden into the house.” In the warmer months, the terrace becomes a second living room: the family moves a table and chairs outside to enjoy the long, sunny days of the Finnish summer. 

The loft-like space above the kitchen is a family room used mainly for playing music: piano, guitar, trombone, and drums. It also contains the house’s only television. Vilma wanted the main living space to inspire interaction, so the focal point of the living room below is a fireplace, rather than a media console. Similarly, the home’s three bedrooms are small but comfortable, providing a place for privacy while encouraging family members to interact together in the larger public spaces. 

On Sunday evenings, the family usually heads downstairs to their sauna. For Finns, sauna ownership isn’t luxurious; it’s a deeply ingrained part of the culture. Situated on the ground floor of the house, the sauna has easy access to the front porch, which is ideal for taking jäähy—a break from the heat to get fresh air. The kiuas, the stove that heats the sauna, is electric and can be set on a timer, making it easy to warm when Vilma and Juho want to unwind after a long day of work. The stove’s cylindrical tower of exposed rocks is both aesthetic and functional, allowing for different intensities of steam depending on where the water is thrown.

Because the sauna is beneath the living space, Siitonen proposed dark colors to create an underground, cave-like feel. Vilma points out that the “peaceful” darkness of the painted alder is reminiscent of traditional smoke saunas. 

From the warmth of a bespoke sauna, the seemingly endless Finnish winter doesn’t feel quite so tough anymore. Vilma’s tip: Add a drop of beer to the stove to conjure the smell of summer.


My Houzz: Playfulness and Practicality in a Maryland Family Home (20 photos)

“Our style in our previous home and when we moved into this house was relatively safe,” says Rebecca Carrera, owner of Beauty Bar in downtown Frederick, Maryland. “There’s nothing wrong with safe,” she adds. “Safe can be beautiful, but we definitely moved in a more...


Video: Robert Angell on the design process behind three of his interiors

Odds are you've seen the work of Robert Angell, even if you haven't realised it at the time.

The lavish teal-blue furnishings and ornate brass fittings of Kaspar's at the Savoy, the glamorous horsehair paneling, vaulted ceilings and marble mosaic floors of Piccolino Cicchetti or the clock at Tredwell's, made from dozens of bone-handled knives.

Angell says regardless of the project, the objective is always to exceed expectations.

We visited the designer at his London studio to explore the inspiration and design process behind three of his most prominent projects.


Richard Brine photographs the concrete “pillboxes” left over from the war

Photo essay: 70 years after the second world war ended, there are still over 6,000 defensive structures along Britain's coastline. Photographer Richard Brine has been documenting them (+ slideshow). (more…)


Invite Mining Bees to Your Garden by Planting Their Favorite Plants (9 photos)

Mining bees (Andrena) are a diverse genus of bees common in urban and suburban gardens. The majority of mining bee species are active in spring. Like most solitary, wild bees, mining bees nest in the ground and seek out a spot with little vegetation...


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Architect Mahmood Fallahian

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