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The rise of keyless entry

How smart is your front door? p. 36

29 chairs, lights + LOUngers

What we saw and loved in Milan p. 92

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jul ⁄ aug 2014


2014 AZ Awards

The best architecture and design


Meet the

13 stand-out

winners and

36 finalists

for the 2014

AZ Awards



48 Architecture

The top five, in residential,

landscape, temporary, and

commercial projects

62 design

Innovations in furniture,

lighting and products

70 interiors

Spectacular commercial and

residential spaces

78 concepts

Visionary unbuilt competition

entries and prototypes

82 A+ award

Exemplary student work

44 The judges

The five industry experts who

made the tough choices

62 82

jul ⁄ aug 2014 21


jul ⁄ aug 2014


show report

92 Milan Furniture Fair What Tacchini, Arper and

27 other big-name brands launched this year

42 Et Cetera The MoMA Design Store and

Kickstarter’s novel collaboration, and more

show report

34 Where Are They Now? A look at five new

projects by past AZ Award winners

36 Focus Smart new ways to lock your front

door, plus stylish door hardware

38 Touch Wood Panya Clark Espinal explores

the invisible space between art and design


98 Light + Building High-tech options that took centre

stage at the world’s premier lighting show

40 Calendar Bjarke Ingels’ giant maze;

the Louis Kahn show in London; Raymond

Moriyama’s $100,000 prize; and more


Material World

30 Letter from the Editor

102 Media Shelf Books, films and websites: what

we’re reading, watching and downloading

104 Advertiser Index

105 Boldface Movers, shakers, winners and

green do-gooders

106 Trailer Capture the light

33 Pumping up the volumes Neutelings Riedijk

Architects’ cultural hub is studded with style

89 Intelligent surfaces From kinetic shades

to climate- responsive cladding

on our cover

Inside the Livraria Cultura

in São Paolo, designed by

Marcio Kogan of Studio

MK27. The spectacular

bookstore, photographed

by Fernando Guerra, won

this year’s AZ Award for

Best Commercial Interior.

22 jul ⁄ aug 2014




Project: Fly Condos, Toronto, ON

Interior Design: Munge Leung

Engineering, Fabrication & Installation of Columns: Eventscape Inc.

Architects: Graziani + Corazza Architects

Developer: Empire Communities



jul ⁄ aug 2014



with you,


you go


→ azuremagazine.com



Light Style We’re always scouting for great

in ter ior products, and in August we will round

up sensational lighting ideas, such as Werner

Aisslinger’s double-shaded Aspen pendant

for B.Lux.

Clean Slate All summer long, we’ll look at

inviting summer homes and cottages that offer

an escape from the city – for example, the slateshingled

House in Kings Cross by Bortolotto

Design Architect.



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Anne, the creative director, and the two loves of her life: Jacob and Michel. Michel is designed by Antonio Citterio.



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Vol. 30 – No. 233 jul ⁄ aug 2014

Editorial Director

Nelda Rodger


Catherine Osborne

Creative Director

Karen Simpson

Managing Editor

Diane Chan

Associate Editors

David Dick-Agnew, Erin Donnelly

Copy Chief

Pamela Capraru

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Rachel Pulfer, David Theodore, Adele Weder


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Matthew Furtado, Will Jones, Paige Magarrey, Terri Peters,

Carolyn Pioro, David Sokol, Catherine Sweeney, Jeanne Tan

Associate Art Director

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Web Coordinator

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26 jul ⁄ aug 2014 azuremagazine.com

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28 jul ⁄ aug 2014 azuremagazine.com

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letter from the editor


↑ AZ Award prototypes at the Azure office. Each year, the winners’ trophies

are handcrafted in a unique material, including Caesarstone (2011); glass

by Jeff Goodman Studio (2012); and a combination of wood and Caesarstone

(2013). This year’s A and Z were fabricated in Italy from reconstituted wood

manufactured by Alpi.

Master of Architecture 2014 Graduate Jamie Schwadel, Architectural Designer

at BAC Practice employer Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc. (C7A), and Master

of Architecture 2011 Graduate Kirsten Lawson, Associate AIA, Architectural

Designer at C7A.

85% of BAC grads are employed at

the time of program completion


∙ Master and Bachelor of Architecture

∙ Master and Bachelor of Interior Design

∙ Master and Bachelor of Landscape Architecture

∙ Bachelor of Design Studies


∙ Master of Architecture

∙ Master of Design Studies in Design for Human Health

∙ Master of Design Studies in Historic Preservation

∙ Master of Design Studies in Sustainable Design



∙ Certificate Programs, Workshops, and Individual Courses


One advantage of establishing an awards program is seeing it take

off. When we launched the AZ Awards over four years ago, nothing

seemed certain. Prizes form such a large part of architecture and design

culture that they have practically become an official season, when PR

firms (or in-house marketing desks, or interns) sift through the many

possibilities to determine which ones to enter, what documentation is

required and which deadlines loom. Icon magazine recently joked that

there were enough awards out there to warrant an AWRDR app, which

would help firms play the odds, based on their submissions’ “thrill”

factor, or how much it might cause “competitor jealousy”.

Amid a crowded field, the AZ Awards have continued to grow in

stature and numbers. This year, 652 entries poured in from 36 countries,

from as far away as El Salvador and Lebanon. In part, the increased

global reach reflects what this year’s jurors told us, as others have in the

past: that peer recognition is vital to attaining professional excellence,

and it can be difficult to achieve. At no other time can a group of experts

step outside of their own practices and honour the great work of others.

While the 13 winners and 36 finalists exhibit a rich diversity, two

themes emerged on jury day: sustainability remains crucial to great

design; and endeavours that surpass expectations – visually, socially,

budget-wise or with unbridled invention – will always earn judicial

respect and admiration. As juror Ron Arad observed, “I look for things

that make me jealous, and that make me wish I had come up with the

idea myself.”

In light of those themes, it comes as no surprise that the award for

Best Architecture Under 1,000 Square Metres did not go to a starchitect,

but to Kikuma Watanabe of Japan, for his school in an impoverished

area of Thailand simply constructed from bags of earth and sticks of

bamboo. As well, Brian Richer of Castor Design in Toronto won Best

Lighting Design, for a lamp that uses an expired Apple adapter to draw

power. Not all of the recipients fit within these two themes, but if an

app were created for beating the odds at winning an AZ Award, designs

that make an impact on the world and change it for the better have the

leading edge – something to keep in mind for 2015.

Azure congratulates all of the 2014 winners and merit award honourees,

and many thanks to our esteemed jurors: Ron Arad, Diego Burdi,

Jamie Gray, Patricia Patkau and Charles Waldheim.

Catherine Osborne, Editor

30 jul ⁄ aug 2014 azuremagazine.com

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pumping up

the volumes

Neutelings Riedijk Architects’

cultural hub in the Netherlands

is studded with style

BY jeanne tan

Three cantilevered,

metal-clad structures

crown a layered glass

and brick facade.

The Eemhuis, designed by Neutelings Riedijk Architects of Rotterdam,

never quite sits still. There is a movement of people, a play of lines and an

interweaving of functions. This lively energy, combined with a strong urban

presence, befits the building’s role as the new cultural heart of Amersfoort.

The innovative project unites four local institutions – the city library,

the regional archives, an arts school and exhibition space – as part of a

re develop ment scheme to boost local cultural life, and revitalize this former

industrial district an hour’s drive from Amsterdam. Looking back at the

four-storey structure from the new Eemplein urban square, it literally pops

out: the tripartite facade of brick and glass crowned with reflective, futuristic

structures would be hard to miss.

The layered exterior reveals the 16,000-square-metre centre’s stacked

program, organized organically by purpose. The library resides on the open

lower floors, while the arts school is perched on top, with each department –

theatre and dance, visual arts and music – housed in one of the cantilevered

metal structures. Anchoring the new community hub are the archives at

the building’s core.

While each institution has its own space, the fun happens where they

intersect; the interchange between visitors and resources is palpable.

“Instead of viewing the institutes individually, we looked at their activities to

find the similarities,” explains Eric Thijssen, project leader at Neutelings Riedijk.

This overlap is most impressive in the entrance hall, where a grand reading

room invites visitors to step up to the library and the archive above. Multiple

routes allow them to navigate at their own tempo. Wandering through the

Eemhuis uncovers a wealth of surprises, with hidden nooks, balconies and

dramatic views as the reward.

Rich, textural materials take on visual, functional and symbolic roles here.

The striking studded metal skin evolved from the desire to express and

differentiate the public function of the building from the surrounding residential

and commercial structures. Glazed black bricks on the exterior echo the site’s

industrial heritage and establish urban coherence, while great swaths of

warm oak, a traditional Dutch material, unify the interior.

The Eemhuis has quickly become a beacon in the community since its

opening this past spring. “We wanted to create a volkspaleis, a palace for the

people, and stimulate all types of use. It’s a place where everyone is free to

enter,” says Thijssen. “You’re not obliged to do anything here. What makes us

most proud is when people come and just want to stay.”


jul ⁄ aug 2014 33


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just in

where are

they now?

We tracked down some winners

from the first AZ Awards to find out

what they’ve been up to since 2011

BY David dick-Agnew


Just weeks after Molo’s Softlight claimed

the first-ever AZ Award for Best Lighting,

the Vancouver design firm headed to Japan

to open Nebuta House, a paper lantern

museum dramatically clad in ribbons of red

steel. Molo’s relationship with the country

is ongoing; in March, Softlights featured

prominently in a performance by the

National Ballet of Japan. molodesign.com

↓ Matter Design

Brandon Clifford and Wes McGee’s Ply Shelf, a computermodelled

design for a plywood shelf, took the prize for

Best Furniture. The Boston studio continues to devise

elegant products and structures using advanced fabrication

methods, including its La Voûte de Lefevre installation,

a honeycombed, vaulted structure composed of 287

CNC‐routered plywood cells. matterdesignstudio. com


This London studio won Best Temporary Project for an installation created

for Dunhill, one of a slew of eye-popping retail concepts it has worked on

for such top fashion brands as Burberry and Nike. More recently, it crafted

a travelling pavilion for Samsung that immersed visitors in a blue-tinged

world of inflated bubbles. campaigndesign. co. uk

→ Alex Josephson

After graduating from the University

of Waterloo, Alex Josephson – the first

student to win the A + Award – started

Partisans with Pooya Baktash. Since

then, the partners have let space-suited

models wander through the offices of

Extuple, a futuristic environment they

recently completed, fitted with glass office

partitions and a wavy, sculpted wooden

ceiling. The duo is also among the teams

at work on Union Station, Toronto’s central

rail hub, now undergoing a major overhaul.

The new station will bring to the city’s

south-end more than 14,800 square

metres of space for food, shopping and

culture. partisanprojects. com

↑ Ju-Hyun Kim

The New York architect grabbed the jury’s attention,

winning Best Unrealized Concept for his Metropolitan

Vertical Amusement Park, and he is still thinking big.

One of his latest schemes addresses megastore blight

in Manhattan’s Lower East Side by topping several

blocks of big box outlets with an artificial mountain.

The green-scaped terrain would provide space for

outdoor sports, a mountain bike route, and habitat for

birds, trees and butterflies. juhyunkim. com

photo courtesty National Ballet

of Japan, by Takashi Shikama

34 jul ⁄ aug 2014


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Entry systems today are smarter

than ever. When high tech comes

knocking, will you answer the door?

BY erin donnelly

Forward thinking is a critical design tool today. By the

time a product rolls off the assembly line, technology has

already advanced, creating a potentially endless struggle

to keep up with the Jetsons. However, it seems product

designer Yves Béhar, of Fuseproject in San Francisco,

stays one step ahead by keeping an eye on the future. This

spring brought the release of his latest venture, the August

Smart Lock, a streamlined design that aims to be “safe,

simple and social.” It’s the brainchild of California innovator

August, co-founded by Béhar with Jason Johnson, a veteran

of start-ups and tech companies such as Dolby, and Global

IP Solutions (since acquired by Google).

The lock is one of several devices vying to gain a foothold

in the smart-home market, similar to what Nest has done

with its app-controlled thermo stats. Among the competitors

is Kwikset’s Kevo Bluetooth lock, sold for $240, which

opens with just a tap. Lockitron, based in Mountain View,

California, has a smart option priced at $195. It is now in

production, thanks to a crowd-funding initiative that raised

over US$2.3 million. Other concepts include the Off door

handle, which allows you to switch off electricity and gas

connections as you exit; and Grabit, which uses an ergonomically

placed thumbprint reader.

Some of these high-tech systems employ the same

security encryption as online banking, and like car entry

systems many products offer a Bluetooth-enabled autounlock

feature. They also track comings and goings, a

debatable “benefit.” Going back to August’s three tenets

of safe, simple and social, one marvels at how a lock can

be “social.” August and Lockitron’s models let you send

invitations to friends so they can access your house, and

for others to download the app to open the lock. Whether

we need our door locks to do all of these things remains to

be seen. August Smart Lock, $215, august. com

Street Smart Architects get a handle on hardware

This cylindrical handle, part of Tom Kundig’s

collection for 12th Avenue Iron, is available in a

range of sizes and finishes including glossy

red or white, and wax-finished blackened steel.

From $155, 12thavenueiron. com

Among Olivari’s latest collection is the uniquely

proportioned Conca, from Patricia Urquiola,

which lends a surprising visual weight. In chrome,

matte chrome and Superinox satin. From $160,

olivari. com

Italian-Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi crafted

this handle for her own home. Now in production by

Izé, this model is faithful to the original details,

and it comes in all of the company’s finish options.

$435, ize. info

36 jul ⁄ aug 2014 azuremagazine.com

art dept



Camouflaging a full dining set,

Panya Clark Espinal’s installation

plays with perception

BY shannon anderson

↑ Each component of

Lost in the Wood lines

up perfectly within the

overall composition.

when it comes to art, everyone is well acquainted with the

rule “Look but don’t touch”, but artist Panya Clark Espinal trades

social convention for communal interaction with her sculpture

Lost in the Wood, a collaboration with architect Nathanael Gray.

The dynamically rendered piece contains a fully functional

dining set that visitors can touch and even use, further breaking

down that invisible barrier. When it debuted at Toronto’s

Christopher Cutts gallery last spring, people hosted culinary

gatherings within it. Fabricated using two plywood screens

and felt flooring as a base, the entire installation, including the

table, stools and place settings, is adorned with the same

wood plank graphics. The earth-hued “planks” are reminiscent

of Brit designer Richard Woods’ architectural works with real

and painted timbers. Indeed, Clark Espinal’s piece straddles the

realms of art and design, beauty and functionality. “I wanted

to make art that could engage people in a different way,”

she says. “It’s an attempt to let them step inside an artwork,

let it be fluid and transforming.”

Fabricated using high- and low-tech methods – laser

cutting and 3‐D printing, hand-painted surfaces and hand-cut

floor ing – Lost in the Wood plays with anamorphosis: when

viewed from a particular spot, the furnishings appear to flatten

and become camouflaged, playing with the concepts of what

is tangible and what is accessible. The gallery installation is

just a launching pad for the work: envisioning future encounters,

Clark Espinal imagines everything from partnerships with

restaurants to a banquet in a farmer’s field. For the artist, “It’s

a bit of an experiment.”

38 jul ⁄ aug 2014 azuremagazine.com

design is possibility

© 2014 Shaw, A Berkshire Hathaway Company




July 4 to september 1

big maze at the national building museum

Washington, D.c.

With 34 projects in the works, few firms are generating as much

interest these days as Bjarke Ingels’ BIG. This summer, the Danish

firm’s playful installation at the National Building Museum in

Washington, D.C., is sure to create buzz. The giant maze, which

measures nearly 19 by 19 metres, will fill the institution’s Great

Hall with a unique take on a traditional labyrinth. Ingels imagined

the concept, featuring 5.5-metre-high walls around the perimeter,

as a reversal of the typical maze configuration. The walls drop

gradually toward the centre, so that once the core is reached a

360-degree view of the path opens up, revealing the way out.

For the claustrophobic, the hall’s balconies offer a complete aerial

view of the interactive installation. nbm. org

July 9 to October 12



Like so many great artists, Louis Kahn had few opportunities

during his lifetime to share his work with the world: he died

nearly bankrupt in 1974. Yet decades later, he is continuously

cited as a significant influence in today’s architectural field;

his projects have been realized as recently as 2012, when his

Roosevelt Memorial was constructed in New York. His legacy

is fully celebrated in this exhibit at London’s Design Museum,

with original models and drawings, as well as rare film footage

and photos of the 20th-century icon. designmuseum.org

to august 10

tapas: spanish design for food


From the ubiquitous jamón ibérico to colourful pans of

paella, Spain takes its beautiful food seriously. The Design

Exchange delves into this zest for gastronomic design,

in a unique exhibition courtesy of curator Juli Capella and

organizer AC/E Acción Cultural Española. With more than

150 food-related objects – including Enoc Armengol’s

Panpaati, a whimsical table and chair setting fabricated

entirely from bread – this exhibition is sure to whet your

appetite for culinary art. dx. org

The Moriyama RAIC International Prize

submission deadline: august 1

This exciting new Canadian award, which rivals the Pritzker

Prize by matching its $100,000 purse and global reach, was

established by architect Raymond Moriyama and the Royal

Architectural Institute of Canada to promote architecture’s

role in transforming society. Through his career, Moriyama –

renowned for the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, and

Toronto’s original Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, among

many other cultural icons – stayed focused on humanistic

values of social justice, equality and inclusivity. This award

aims to keep those altruistic ideals alive in contemporary

practice. raic. org

upcoming fairs




Halls of tabletop accessories,

home furnishings and seasonal


tendence. messefrankfurt. com



Fine furniture, ceramics and more.




Concepts for experiencing

the home, indoors and out.

homimilano. com



An annual event that

includes 100% Design.





Aisles of tiles and bath fittings.





Luxury contemporary furniture

and lighting from across Italy.




Interior design catering to the

West Coast. idswest.com


HIGH POINT market,

North carolina

Housewares and home furnishings.


40 jul ⁄ aug 2014 azuremagazine.com






Enjoy the grandeur and sophistication of yesterday

complemented by the modern sensibilities of

today. GROHE’s Grandera collection reconciles

opposite geometric shapes, circle and square, in

one harmonious look. The result is flowing feminine

forms with defined masculine edges. Thanks to Grohe

StarLight ® technology, the fittings retain their shine

and resilience while Grohe SilkMove ® technology

guarantees easy movement of the handle and precise

temperature control for years. Timeless, simple and

yet extravagant… relax and take it all in. GROHE.CA

et cetera


Rens and Desso’s latest

rug collection gives

out-of-date pieces new

life via a manual dyeing

process. Varying reactions

between fibres and vibrant

pigments result in a

unique palette each time.

$1,480, rens‐ desso. com



Part of a limited edition

by Marcel Wanders, this

sculpted floral pouffe is

realized in soft polyurethane

foam. Hortensia

is also available in a white

version called Magnolia.

gufram. it


PAOla c.

Jaime Hayon’s architectural

collection of vessels

atop metal stands, in

ceramic, glass, aluminum,

copper and silver plate,

is inspired by the Roman

Empire and includes pieces

such as the Colosseum II

fruit bowl. paolac. com

↑ Floating SKATE RAMp

Pro skater Bob Burnquist

teamed up with California’s

tourism board to bring

this dreamy concept to life.

Engineered to remain

stable on water, the wooden

skate ramp here appears

to float on crystal-clear

Lake Tahoe.

visitcalifornia. com


MoMA Design Store has

partnered with Kickstarter

to offer a suite of crowdsourced

inventions, such as

Velvetwire’s Powerslayer,

an energy-saving charger

that turns off automatically

once a device is fully

powered. $98,

momastore. org



This whimsical steel and

ash wood structure stows

glasses as chandeliers,

and plates in a stepped plot

to represent a stair case.

A winner in the European

A’ Design Awards, it was

devised by Bangkok studio

Partly Cloudy Design.

compiled by erin donnelly

Skate Ramp photo courtesy of visit

california and 9mphoto

42 jul ⁄ aug 2014 azuremagazine.com

Meet the judges

our fourth annual AZ Awards jury






Our illustrious judges

convened in Toronto on a

cold February day to evaluate

the 652 entries to the

fourth annual AZ Awards.

Their final selection of 13

winners and 36 awards

of merit reflects just how

sophisticated and intelligent

architecture and

design have become, from

schools constructed out

of earthbags to buildings

that bloom in the desert.

1 diego burdi

Along with Paul Filek,

Diego Burdi helms

Burdifilek, the Toronto

interior design firm

behind such stellar

hospitality and retail

environments as the

W Hotel in Atlanta; and

the flagship Joe Fresh

boutique in New York,

located in a historical

building on 5th Avenue.

2 patricia patkau

Patricia Patkau is

co-principal of Patkau

Architecture in Vancouver.

Her firm has won

dozens of accolades,

including two AZ Awards,

one for Cot tages at

Falling water, now under

construction. She is an

Honorary Fellow of the

American Institute of

Architects and the Royal

Institute of Architects.

3 charles


As the landscape

archi tecture chair at

Harvard’s Graduate

School of Design, Charles

Waldheim knows what

goes into creating smart

green space. He helped

to advance the discipline

of “landscape urbanism,”

which describes

landscape as a path to

order within cities.

4 Jamie gray

Jamie Gray is the owneroperator

of Matter, a

leading furniture and

accessories retailer in

Manhattan that specializes

in launching young

talent. In 2010, he began

manufacturing products

by some of his favourite

designers, under the

label Matter-Made.

5 ron arad

London-based Ron Arad

designed such postmodern

classics as the

Rover chair, made out

of an old car seat, and

the flexible Bookworm

bookshelf for Kartell. He

is also an architect, and

in 2010 he completed

the Design Museum

Holon outside Tel Aviv,

where he was born.


44 jul ⁄ aug 2014 az awards annual azuremagazine.com




presented by:




sponsored by:

GE Monogram

Urban Capital

George Brown College

TD bank group

gala Partner:

carpenters local 27

strategic Partners:

Alpi, extreme reach Mijo, Henry of Pelham, HÔtel Le Germain,

Lowe-Martin Group, ninutik, Peroni, terroni, V2Com






Newswire ⌐ Fil de presse

design • architecture • lifestyle

az awards annual jul ⁄ aug 2014 45







We are industry focused, offering

field education and leading in applied

research and design innovation.


George Brown College’s Institute without Boundaries (IwB)

among the top four urban design schools – Azure Magazine

George Brown School of Fashion Studies ranked 24th out of

the top 50 Fashion Schools in the world – Fashionista.com

Best Booth and Best Student Work in the Creative Class

Awards from IDS 2014

Best in Show at the 2014 Level Up Student Games Showcase

Winner of the 2014 Canada Goose/Sporting Life

Student Jacket Design

Finalists in the 2014 Télio Canada’s Breakthrough Designers


Ubisoft Gallery Finalist in 2014

Winner of the 2013 Unisource Design and Print Excellence

Award for Catalogues and Books

Five Applied Arts Magazine Student Award winners in 2013

Three Advertising and Design Club of Canada Student Awards

in 2013

Three RGD Student Awards in 2013



Art & Design Foundation

Graphic Design

Interaction Design and Development

Game Development

Game Design

Advanced Digital Design

Design Management

Interdisciplinary Design Strategy

(Institute without Boundaries)




Fashion Techniques and Design

Fashion Management

Fashion Business Industry

International Fashion Development

and Management


Jewellery Essentials

Jewellery Methods

Jewellery Arts

For more information on the Schools of Design and Fashion

Studies, or to become a valued member of our award-winning

design community, please visit www.georgebrown.ca/AD/

or call (416) 415-5000 ext. 2137.


the winners’


Each year, we

ask industry

experts to weigh

in on hundreds of

project and product


from around the

world. The point?

To celebrate

the talents who

inform, improve

and beautify our

lives. Here are the

49 winners and

finalists for the

2014 AZ Awards.

PHOTO BY Chris Chapman, set design by jentry chin

az awards annual jul ⁄ aug 2014 47




Cliff House

Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

Firm: MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple

Architects Team: Brian MacKay-Lyons

with Kevin Reid and Talbot Sweetapple

The East Coast firm has earned an international

reputation for its contemporary

approach to traditional materials, and

to characteristic Maritime architecture.

MLS has earned over 100 awards since

principal Brian MacKay-Lyons founded

the studio in 1984. mlsarchitects.ca

“monumental modesty” is how Brian

MacKay-Lyons describes Cliff

House. Expressing a drama utterly

suited to its breathtaking surroundings,

the house is the first in a

series of projects to be built on a

privately owned property on the

Atlantic coast. Measuring just

89 square metres, it is a triumph in

every aspect – a stunningly compact

building crafted using a frugal

palette of glass, wood, aluminum

and steel, and realized without

breaking the bank.

The skeleton forms the primary

boxy volume, which sits on a galvanized

superstructure anchored

to bedrock, the engineering of

which enables the house to rest

two-thirds of its mass above solid

ground. Inside, a conventional

framing system is left exposed, to

the point of almost being ignored;

after all, it is the panoramic views,

visible from three sides of the great

room, that the house intends to

exploit. Beyond this central space,

kept warm by a wood-burning

stove, there is a compact service

core with an open kitchen and a

bathroom, a sleeping perch above

and not much more.

For those who have sat in the

great room, vertigo constitutes a

part of the experience. Toronto

writer Larry Gaudet, who first

wrote about Cliff House for Azure

in 2012, noted, “It’s as if it has

slipped from its foundation and

is about to topple forward.…

You’re both drawn to the windows

and repelled by them. You have

entered the guts of the thing, and

it’s only after you settle down, after

your heartbeat normalizes, that

you say, now this is amazing.”

“For such a small project,

Cliff House has impressive

grandness. The entrance is

a simple abstract box, and

then inside you are hit with

a rich topography of rock.”

Patricia Patkau, juror

az awards annual jul ⁄ aug 2014 49

Location: Sangkhlaburi, Thailand

Firm: D Environmental Design System

Laboratory Team: Kikuma Watanabe

with Erika Izumi, Yusuke Kataoka,

Miku Okazaki, Syunya Takahashi and

Hidehiro Tamaki

D Environmental Design System

Laboratory of Nara, founded in 2007,

explores the life-changing potential

of earthbag design. Projects similar to

School Floating in the Sky have been

built in Uganda and Jordan. d-ken.info



< 1,000 square metres

school floating

in the sky

“You can see immediately that this

building works perfectly. It has an

inspiring connection to place that we

can all recognize and relate to.”

Patricia Patkau, juror

Travel guide books describe

Sangkhlaburi village as a place to

go if you want to stay clear of other

travellers. It is located in a remote

part of Thailand near the Myanmar

border, and its most notable landmark

is a 400-metre-long wooden

bridge. It is quiet in Sangkhlaburi;

it is also poverty stricken, and in

2012 Kikuma Watanabe decided to

improve the lives of the disproportionate

number of children there

who have been orphaned because

their parents were unable to keep

them. To do so, he asked the children

to draw their dream school. One

drew a flying ship, which became

the basis of School Floating in the

Sky, a two-storey structure made

from earthbags and bamboo.

Watanabe, who is also a professor

at the Kochi University of

Technology in Japan, has built other

structures like this before, and he

taught the locals how to assemble

the school’s three domed volumes

by filling sacks with dirt. An internal

grid of steel bars was also added

to ensure earthquake resistance.

The rounded volumes create

cool, dark interiors, a respite from

the region’s intense heat. The top

level, made of bamboo, functions as

a Buddhist room and learning area.

Since its completion, the school has

become a multi- functional space for

the entire community, and it has provided

young minds with a compelling

idea: good design can change things,

even when all you have is dirt.

50 jul ⁄ aug 2014 az awards annual azuremagazine.com




The citydeck

“Green Bay is not a design epicentre,

but Stoss has used its design intelligence

to help the city recuperate its waterfront

and, in turn, open it up to future

development. That’s very appealing.”

Charles Waldheim, juror

Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin Firm:

Stoss Landscape Urbanism Team: Scott

Bishop and Chris Reed with Caroline

Aragon, Tim Barner, Cathy Braasch, Nick

Buehrens, Steve Carlucci, Jill Desimini,

Adrian Fehrmann, Susan Fitzgerald, Carl

Frushour, Hiroshi Hatae, Jana Kienitz, Lisl

Kotheimer, Shannon Lee, Kristin Malone,

Bryan Miyahara, Chris Muskopf, Graham

Palmer, Megan Studer and Sarah Wright

Established in 2000, this Boston firm’s

portfolio includes projects both small and

large, from a rubber-surfaced playground

in Quebec to a plan that would revitalize

Detroit via public spaces and sustainable

infrastructure. stoss.net

it is every heaLThy city’s dream to boast

of a waterfront defined by extensive

boardwalks, quaint cafés and public

seating that invites citizens to relax

and enjoy the view. Yet waterside

projects require that rare alignment

of creative vision, good governance

and public consent.

In Wisconsin, it took Stoss

Landscape Urbanism three years

to complete a three-phase waterside

master plan that has given

downtown Green Bay a remarkable

new lease on life, and without bigbudget

spending. A meandering

boardwalk made of hard-wearing

ipe wood now runs for over

400 metres along the formerly

neglected Fox River. To further

animate the promenade, Stoss

terraced the walkways and added

elevated lookouts anchored by

concrete-filled pipes. It also created

floating docks, brought in during

the summer to let boaters moor

their vessels there. Integrated,

too, are various kinds of seating

options that include long and

short benches, and inviting chaise

lounges, ideal for sunbathing or

stargazing. Beneath the ipe planks

is another ingenious feature, a

stormwater management system

to help control seasonal flooding.

Completed in 2012, and at a cost

of US$14 million, the project is now

filling in with bustling restaurants

and pubs, and with joggers and

dog walkers populating the deck.

Plantings of ginkgo, elm and

Kentucky coffeetree are also starting

to mature. The latest sign that

CityDeck is a resounding success?

Residential development is now

under way in a part of Green Bay

that was lost to the city before.

az awards annual jul ⁄ aug 2014 51



> 1,000 square


Vol Walker Hall

and The Steven

L. Anderson

Design Center

Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas

Firms: Marlon Blackwell Architect and

Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects Team:

Marlon Blackwell, Mark Herrmann, David

Jaehning and Joe Stanley with Meryati

Johari Blackwell, Jonathan Boelkins,

William Burks, Angela Carpenter, Craig

Curzon, John Dupree, Conley Fikes,

Laura Lyon, Sarah Menyhart Bennings,

J. B. Mullins, Bradford Payne, Michael

Pope, Kimberly Braden Prescott, Stephen

Reyenga, Reese Rowland, Michelle Teague,

Jim Thacker, Christopher Thomas and

Wesley Walls.

Marlon Blackwell’s eponymous studio

in Fayetteville builds thoughtful, economically

styled projects that range

from houses to retail interiors. Polk

Stanley WilcoxArchitects has offices in

Little Rock and Fayetteville, and it draws

from decades of experience in institutional

design, particularly in health care

and education. marlonblackwell.com,


When vol walker hall first opened its

doors in the 1930s, it was a library.

Since 1968, it has been home to the

University of Arkansas’s architecture

school, and though its stately

presence is beloved the building

had reached its limits, especially in

providing adequate studio space for

a growing student body. Only new

construction could fix that problem,

so local firm Marlon Blackwell

Architect partnered with Polk

Stanley Wilcox Architects to bring

the old hall into the 21st century.

Their first move was to scoop

out the structural core, leaving

the perimeter untouched on three

sides. On the western edge, they

added a four-storey volume that

matches the original building’s

dimensions, a gesture that lets the

twin structures complement each

other’s similarities as much as

express their differences.

In other hands, the addition

could have become a jarringly

futuristic bauble, out of synch with

the campus’s regal surroundings.

But Blackwell’s firm has a sharp

eye for clean-lined, modernist

forms. The new wing, called the

Steven L. Anderson Design Center,

corresponds to the original beaux

arts building in visual weight,

and both are clad in limestone. The

reimagined western facade injects

a fresh layer of contemporary

design: its curtain wall is veiled by

slats of fritted glass angled to funnel

daylight in while blocking out the

late afternoon sun.

The centre now houses that badly

needed studio space, along with

a lower-level auditorium lit from

above by second-floor windows.

Traffic flows freely throughout

the two buildings via a glassed-in

corridor with two sets of stairs.

The narrow passage also doubles

as a chamber for filtering in natural

light. Even on the interior, old and

new are juxtaposed, but neither

vocabulary overwhelms the other.

It’s not often that such subtlety can

be so commanding as well.

“This is an extraordinarily deft

project in the way it respects

what’s new and what’s old. It’s

precisely of its place and could

not be anywhere else.”

Charles Waldheim, juror

52 jul ⁄ aug 2014 az awards annual azuremagazine.com

az awards annual jul ⁄ aug 2014 53




open housE

“There is a lot of joy in this project, it’s

a crazy idea that has actually been

realized, and that in itself is delightful.”

Ron Arad, juror

Location: York, Alabama Artist: Matthew

Mazzotta Team: Curtis Oliveira, Jegan

Vincent De Paul and Cory Vineyard

Matthew Mazzotta is a conceptual artist

engaged in public art with a social good.

He is also a lecturer and a graduate of

MIT, with a master’s of science in visual

studies. Among his other noteworthy

projects is Park Spark, a receptacle tank

installed in parks that transforms dog

waste into usable methane energy.


the recession thAT began in 2008,

fuelled as it was by predatory lending,

left swaths of America with

blighted properties and abandoned

homes. How might such spaces be

revived and repurposed, and how

can such fractured communities be

rebuilt? Artist Matthew Mazzotta’s

answer is Open House, a unique

collaboration with the Coleman

Center for the Arts and the good

citizens of York, Alabama.

The project emerged out of

conversations Mazzotta had with

the people of York, a town of just

2,854 located near the Mississippi

border. Their discussions focused

on what kind of public venue the

town might need, and Mazzotta

came up with Open House, an

in gen ious house-shaped structure

that unfolds from the roof down to

become five rows of bench seating

with an open-air stage.

The inventive design requires

four people, a hand winch, and a

couple of hours of teamwork to

reveal itself. The resulting theatre,

which seats up to 100, can be used

for anything from film screenings

to theatre performances to commun

ity meetings.

The metamorphosis of Open

House is fascinating to watch, as

the facade of the tiny clapboard

house cracks open between the

front door and a window, and as

sections begin to roll outward,

forming seating like church pews,

all semblance of the house having

disappeared. Mazzotta reused

scraps of wood from a house that

had fallen into decay, but he left

intact the trademark pink cladding,

a small reminder to those who

knew the house before its demise

that something good has emerged

from the abandoned wreckage.

54 jul ⁄ aug 2014 az awards annual azuremagazine.com


of merit








> 1,000 Square Metres

1 Regent Park Aquatic


Location: Toronto, Ontario

Firm: MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller

Archi tects, Toronto

Beyond its condo-strewn skyline, one

of Toronto’s most impressive recent

transformations is taking place in

Regent Park, a once-notorious housing

project that is transitioning into a

vibrant mixed-use community. This

aquatic centre serves as its heart,

inviting in both long-time residents

and newcomers. Clad in black zinc

panels with a green roof, the lowslung

2,600-square-metre building

is generously glazed: a raised, glasscovered

spine runs along its axis,

and a “dorsal fin” of a skylight brings

light into the swim halls and change

rooms, with double sliding doors off

the main pool area leading sunbathers

to the park-side terrace. Inside, the

faceted wooden ceilings bring a

sense of grandeur to the morning

swim. mjmarchitects.com

2 Valencia Waste

tReatment Plant

Location: Valencia, Spain Firm: Israel

Alba, Madrid Team: Israel Alba with

Mónica Domínguez, Zina Petrikova,

Laura Rojo and Ines Steuber

Through their thoughtful architecture,

the four long, parallel structures that

constitute this waste treatment plant

achieve the facility’s central tenets:

to connect with its environment, and

to engage visitors. The sculpted buildings,

which process 450,000 tonnes

of waste each year, sink at one end

into the rising topography and receive

ample natural light inside. Visitors

can enter via a plaza dotted with local

orange trees to tour the plant and

learn about energy conservation.


az awards annual jul ⁄ aug 2014 55



of merit




3 Elena Garro Cultural


Location: Mexico City, Mexico Firms:

Fernanda Canales and Arquitectura

911sc, Mexico City Team: Fernanda

Canales, Jose Castillo and Saidee


A balustraded mezzanine seen through

triple-height glazing hints at this striking

cultural centre’s former life as an early

20th-century home. Once inside the

concrete volume, visitors are surrounded

by soaring bookcases that establish the

modern identity of the must-visit bookstore,

just one of the new volumes

that local firms Fernanda Canales and

Arquitectura 911sc wrapped around the

old residence in the southern Coyoacán

district. fernandacanales. com,

arq911. com

4 WMS BoathouSE

at Clark Park

Location: Chicago, Illinois Firm: Studio

Gang Architects, Chicago Team: Jeanne

Gang with William Emmick, Jay Hoffman,

Mark Schendel and Christopher Vant Hoff

Capturing the rhythm of rowing in its

exuberant roofline, this boathouse by

Studio Gang symbolizes the Chicago

River’s evolution into the city’s next

recreational frontier. The 2,100-squaremetre

facility’s zinc-clad volumes are

dually oriented, toward each other and

toward the river, and their slate-shingled

peaks incorporate glazed clerestories.

In the interior, finished in warm Douglas

fir plywood and black locust wood,

one room is entirely devoted to indoor

training tanks. Yet this new Chicago icon,

with its 4,043-metre-long launch dock,

is for everyone, as seen in its generous

camp and community programming.

studiogang. net

5 CoMMunity Rowing


Location: Boston, Massachusetts Firm:

Anmahian Winton Architects, Cambridge,

Massachusetts Team: Alex Anmahian

and Nick Winton with Joel Lamere,

Sydney Schremser and Todd Thiel

56 jul ⁄ aug 2014 az awards annual azuremagazine.com



Recalling the tobacco barns and covered

bridges of New England, this handsome

rowing centre on the Charles River is

clad in composite wood-resin panels

and louvres rendered in subtly varying

geometric cuts. They are operable by

simple chain pulls to control light and

ventilation gain; the mechanism also

syncs with the geothermal heating and

cooling system to make the boathouse

an efficient, comfortable year-round

facility. A second, smaller pavilion is

clad in glass shingles. aw‐arch. com

6 Joseph L. Rotman School

of Management expansion

Location: Toronto, Ontario Firm:

KPMB Architects, Toronto Team: Bruce

Kuwabara and Marianne McKenna

with Luigi LaRocca, Paulo Rocha and

Dave Smythe

A cascade of lustrous volumes, the

University of Toronto’s new business

school campus has a 400-seat lecture

hall cantilevered from its second

storey, a bold gesture that telegraphs

the facility’s future-forward culture. Clad

in tinted glazing and Ductal concrete

panels, the remaining spaces house a

broad program of offices and research

labs, student lounges and study rooms.

However, it’s not all business all the

time: a twisting atrium staircase with a

pink accent brings a tailored flair to the

10-storey main building. kpmb. com


< 1,000 Square Metres

7 the screen

Location: Dichen Valley, China Firm:

Li Xiaodong Atelier, China Team:

Li Xiaodong with Martijn de Geus, Jerry

Hau, Renske van Dam and Ying Xin

A poetic brick lattice building greets

travellers on the Dichen Valley mountain

range. This 600-square-metre structure

contains offices and living quarters for

the workers who will maintain the route’s

planned viewing and resting platforms.

The open-weave facade pays tribute

to Chinese craftsmanship, and interior

screens in local bamboo continue the

expansive yet private feel. lixiaodong. net

az awards annual jul ⁄ aug 2014 57


of merit











8 ecohawks research


Location: Lawrence, Kansas Studio:

Studio 804, University of Kansas

Team: Dan Rockhill with Hayder Alsaad,

Max Anderson, Melanie Arthur, Liz

Avenius, Ryan Berry, Matthew Bethel,

Ashlee Burleson, Mark Hageman,

Hunter Hanahan, Kelli Hawkins, Hannah

Hindman, Owen Huisenga, Mike Kelly,

Rachel Mattes, Kate Medin, Mandy Moore,

Matt Patterson, Ryan Shults, Bryan

Stockton and Mark Zeitler

Every year, Dan Rockhill’s Studio 804 at

the University of Kansas gives graduate

students in architecture invaluable

experience by challenging them to build

one sustainable project from the ground

up. Most recently, the studio worked

with EcoHawks, a student-run group that

researches electric vehicles, biofuels,

wind turbine technology and more, to

build a new LEED Platinum facility. The

250-square-metre building incorporates

three volumes – two fabrication

areas and one open-air space – behind

a recycled-aluminum woven skin and

translucent shading system. The latter’s

insulated, aerogel-filled panels keep the

building cool, while solar panels and a

water retention system round out the

environmental features. studio804.com

9 assiniboine park


Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba Firm:

Peter Sampson Architecture Studio,

Winnipeg Architect: Peter Sampson

Wrapped in milled cedar and fronted

in mirrored glass, the three shipping

containers that form these attractive

public washrooms have completely

shed their humble beginnings. The

architects sourced the containers in

Winnipeg, where the Canadian National

and Canadian Pacific Railways abandon

a number of them each year, then they

prefabricated the units in a warehouse.

The 12-metre modules contain women’s,

men’s and barrier-free facilities, each

marked by a different colour. The mirrored

exterior reflects the surrounding

58 jul ⁄ aug 2014 az awards annual azuremagazine.com


trees and nature – playing up the notion

of relieving oneself in the bushes, while

presenting the park with an image of

itself. psastudio. ca

Landscape Architecture

10 folly forest

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba Firm:

Straub Thurmayr Landscape Architects

and Urban Designers, Winnipeg Team:

Dietmar Straub and Anna Thurmayr

The children at Strathcona School now

have the stars at their feet. In reviving

this paved play area, local landscape

architects Dietmar Straub and Anna

Thurmayr punched holes into the

50-year-old asphalt surface, then outlined

these geometric perforations

in bright yellow and red, and planted

some 100 trees inside them. To add rich

texture and provide ground cover for

the new plantings, they arranged bricks,

logs and stones inside the bases. The

budget-friendly, reanimated space, complete

with such objets trouvés as a rusty

cauldron and silvery wooden beams,

now gives a whole constellation back to

this low-income neighbourhood.

11 Mangfall park Rosenheim

Location: Rosenheim, Germany Firm:

A24 Landschaft Landschaftsarchitektur,

Berlin Team: Steffan Robel and Joachim

Swillus with Carole Blessner, Stephan

Huber and Joachim Naundorf

To reconnect Rosenheim to its rivers,

Berlin landscape firm A24 ingeniously

transformed 13 hectares of urban

waterfront in the city in Upper Bavaria.

The backbone of this brilliant scheme

is a 500-metre-long boardwalk, which

morphs from ramp to promenade to

landscaped steps leading down to the

water’s edge, and connects to eight

pedestrian bridges. While these bridges

link the riverbanks, the previously

buried Mühlbach creek was uncovered,

and guarded inlets along its path were

reimagined as urban gardens. A timbered

platform rises above tiered lawns, provides

a viewing platform to the Chiemgau

Alps, to the east. a24‐landschaft. de

az awards annual jul ⁄ aug 2014 59


of merit




Residential Architecture

12 Les Marais

Location: Wentworth-Nord, Quebec

Firm: Alain Carle Architecte, Montreal

Team: Alain Carle with Isaniel Lévesque,

Jean-François Marceau and Cuong Tran

Three beguiling structures in blackpainted

wood and red cedar rise up

from the wetlands of Wentworth-Nord.

Inspired by barns scattered across rural

tracts in North America, the two main

houses and the storage building play

with the iconic peaked roof, carving

into it and multiplying it in imaginative

ways. A section of roof is excised here to

create a semi-shaded terrace, and a wall

of cladding is stripped away there for a

majestic window wall. The 604-squaremetre

complex is connected by a blackpainted

wooden plateau, which serves as

a collective space for the occupants.

13 MaiDEn Tower

Location: Vorarlberg, Austria Firm:

Marte.Marte Architects, Weiler, Austria

Team: Bernhard Marte and Stefan Marte

Austrian architect Stefan Marte’s

add-on to his family home contains

three stacked bedrooms for his young

daughters. The interiors of the Rapunzelinspired

structure match those of the

main house, with simple birch plywood

surfacing and minimal accoutrements.

The Corten exterior stands in contrast,

evoking a suit of armour wrapped

around the all-glass east facade. The

three damsels can climb down and walk

through an underground passage to

reach the main house, or run outside

and splash around in the Corten pool.


14 Redux house

Location: São Paulo, Brazil Firm:

StudioMK27, São Paulo Team: Marcio

Kogan and Samanta Cafardo with

Suzana Glogowski, Beatriz Meyer,

Oswaldo Pessano and Mariana Ruzante

In a gated community on the edge

of a forest, this home rests on a plinth,

like a captivating object for display.

Sandwiched between the floor slab

60 jul ⁄ aug 2014 az awards annual azuremagazine.com










and the ceiling, four boxes house the private

areas, tucked behind vertical wooden

slats; and the public zones, encased in

sliding glass panels. The spaces between

these enclosures create open yet intimate

corridors. A gently cantilevered concrete

deck and pool add further drama.

marciokogan. com. br

Temporary Architecture

15 artinpublic

Location: Victoria, British Columbia

Firm: D’Ambrosio Architecture +

Urbanism, Victoria Team: Franc

D’Ambrosio with Bill Porteous

When construction hoarding goes up

in a high-traffic area, it can be a worse

eyesore than an open construction pit.

So designer Franc D’Ambrosio came up

with an enclosure that is as useful to

foremen as it is a delight for passersby.

His firm’s Big Red Box arranged all of the

outbuildings on a British Columbia construction

site (trailers, portable toilets

and other necessities) behind a bold

red wall. Slots carved into the wall give

workers access to fresh air and a view

to the street. Artist Bill Porteous was also

commissioned to paint a mural for the

construction fence. fdarc.ca

16 MirrorMirror tents

Location: New York Firm: Davidson

Rafailidis, Buffalo Team: Stephanie

Davidson and Georg Rafailidis with

Jia Ma and Aleksandr Marchuk

Easily the world’s coolest street festival

tent, MirrorMirror consists of just three

simple elements: a gabled, hinged roof

covered in stretched reflective Mylar

foil; foldable steel tripod frames; and

concrete block anchors – all deployed

in six minutes or less. After it was

chosen as the winning entry in a

competition by New York’s Storefront

for Art and Architecture, along with

the New Museum, the portable pop-up

venue enjoyed its first moment in the

sun during 2013’s Ideas City, where

it reflected the action on the sidewalk,

boosting the energy of the Bowery

event. davidsonrafailidis. net

az awards annual jul ⁄ aug 2014 61




Coil lamp

“Castor’s work is often lighthearted,

and you can see that in the Coil Lamp.

The piece is intelligent and made with

an economy of materials. At the same

time, it taps into a Dutch sensibility, but

without being too Dutch.”

Jamie Gray, juror

Designers: Brian Richer with Jesse

Mykolyn and Kei Ng Studio: Castor Design,

Toronto, Ontario

Since 2006, Kei Ng and Brian Richer have

collaborated on various enterprises, from

products to art installations to the interior

of Toronto’s popular nose-to-tail restaurant

Parts & Labour. Their furniture and lighting

can be found at retailers such as Klaus

in Toronto, New York’s Matter, and Lane

Crawford in Hong Kong. castordesign.ca

Bringing new life to utilitarian

objects that no longer have a function

is something Castor Design

has mastered as few other greenconscious

product designers have.

Old fire extinguishers have been

sawn into colourful cup-shaped

pendants; used fluorescent bulbs

have been reconfigured to form

oblong chandeliers; and the Carrara

marble removed from the First

Canadian Place tower in Toronto

a few years ago has found its way

into the duo’s growing collection

of minimalist home accessories

and furniture. In their hands, what

is old, spent and burnt out is just

waiting to be reborn.

Coil Lamp fits in beautifully

with the studio’s unique artist ry

of retooling: it is modestly

con struct ed from a single piece

of machined aluminum rod, with

a copper-plated base and a custom

spring. To power the five-watt

LED, a magnetized Apple MagSafe

first-generation adapter snaps onto

the heel of the light. Assuming that

we all have one or more of these

now-redundant adapters still kicking

around, Castor doesn’t sell the

cord with the lamp. Rather, it offers

an original and wise way for buyers

to re purpose their own stash of

short-lived technology.

62 jul ⁄ aug 2014 az awards annual azuremagazine.com

“I’ve seen a lot of furniture

that is over-exaggerated

and over-animated. U Turn

is just the opposite. It has

phenomenal proportioning

and style that will stand

the test of time.”

Diego Burdi, juror




u turn chair

Designer: Niels Bendtsen, Vancouver,

British Columbia

Niels Bendtsen is one of those rare

creative talents with a head for business.

The owner and chief designer of the

furniture and accessories brand Bensen

also crafts pieces for such leading

manufacturers as Poliform, Montis and

Linteloo. bensen.ca

what more can be done to the tub

chair? Quite a lot, if you are Niels

Bendtsen, chief designer and

owner of Bensen, one of North

America’s leading furniture

manufacturers. Since 1981, he has

brought his Danish sensibility

for refined craftsmanship and his

Canadian pragmatism to every

piece of furniture that bears his

“other Bensen” name. U Turn is

no different, yet its tulip shape,

which allows sitters to tuck in their

feet when getting up, also gives

the chair a leaner, cleaner, taller

profile that takes any swivel chair

stumpiness out of the equation.

Mechanically, U Turn borrows

from the auto industry for its

smooth 360‐degree rotation; the

steel frame and elastic suspension

are held within a custom mould

injected with liquid foam to create

a supportive yet flexible seat. As

with all Bensen products, attention

to detail is no small matter, and

precision tailoring can be seen in

the flat-fell seams of the slipcovers,

which come in a range of hues and

fabrics, including leather and wool.

It is often said that the best

songs are the ones that seem familiar

the first time you hear them.

U Turn is just like that: its form

resembles what has come before,

but there is a confidence, too, in the

finely tuned adjustments that make

this archetype altogether new.

az awards annual jul ⁄ aug 2014 63





product design

net effect

carpet tile

“You get brownie points for attempting

to save the environment, but the question

is, how good are the results? I’m

convinced that Net Effect is not just full

of good intentions; it’s equally good

as a product.”

Ron Arad, juror

Designer: David Oakey, Lagrange,


David Oakey Designs has been a

leader in biomimicry since the 1990s,

and works exclusively with Interface on

the evolution of sustainable textiles.

davidoakeydesigns.com, interface.com

Ray anderson, the former chair of

Interface, died in 2011, but his mission

to “climb Mount Sus tain ability”

remains a motto for his company,

and for other modular flooring

brands that have embraced green

design as essential to bus iness.

Anderson would likely approve of

the Net Effect carpet tile collection,

launched last year by Interface and

designed to deliver exactly what he

preached to his green summit followers:

take nothing, and do no harm.

The tiles are the vision of David

Oakey, who crafted the elegant

patterns based on endless shades

of oceanic blues, from seafoam

greens to wave-cresting whites; but

central to the project is the nylon

used in the carpet’s makeup.

Interface and Oakey worked with

Net-Works, a conservation initiative

that gathers and reuses discarded

fishing nets from Danajon Bank,

the Philippines, one of the world’s

few double barrier reefs.

The aim is twofold: to remove

garbage from a fragile ecosystem,

and to provide an alternate source

of income to fishing. Rather than

the nets being tossed, the nylon is

reconstituted (along with other

recycled waste, such as carpet fluff)

into durable, dramatic flooring.

Net Effect represents something

much bigger than what one sees

when it is laid out on the floor: it is

a stellar example of the completecycle

thinking that Anderson so

profoundly understood.

64 jul ⁄ aug 2014 az awards annual azuremagazine.com


of merit

Design 1






Furniture Design

1 Bikini island

Designer: Werner Aisslinger, Berlin,

Germany Manufacturer: Moroso

Bikini Island turns seating into a rich

landscape, with daybeds, sofas, tables,

pouffes – even tubular frames that

support curtains and hanging planters –

joining like pieces in a vibrant puzzle.

It also introduces the multi-purpose

furniture popular in flexible office

environments to the living room, where

it attempts to move family living beyond

the mono-sofa layout pointed at a TV

screen. Variable heights and configurations

enable everything from working to

lounging. aisslinger.de, moroso. it

2 Kona

Designer: Miles Keller, Toronto, Ontario

Manufacturer: Dystil

In Toronto, the white ash species is

threatened by the emerald ash borer.

A furniture maker who has found creative

reuse for the felled trees, Miles Keller

has designed Kona, a chaise longue that

evokes another item typically made from

white ash: snowshoes. Named after the

Cree word for snow, Kona features a

steam-bent frame spanned by leather

mesh, which is CNC cut and held in place

using wooden wedges and slots, along

with copper rivets. dystil. ca

3 Stack buffet

Designer: Héctor Esrawe, Mexico City,

Mexico Manufacturer: Esrawe Studio

Stack Buffet is a study in contrasts,

between light and dark materials, clean

and chaotic elements. It was designed

in the studio of Hector Esrawe and constructed

with three types of lacquered

wood: walnut, oak and tazalem. Floating

atop a two-piece, cross-shaped base,

the console is anchored at one end by a

cabinet with two drawers that suggests

playfully haphazard stacked trays.

esrawe. com

az awards annual jul ⁄ aug 2014 65



of merit



4 jumpseat wall

Design Studio: Ziba Design, Portland,

Oregon Designers: Sohrab Vassoughi

with Dave Knaub, Mehdi Mojtabavi and

Paul Petri Manufacturer: Sedia Systems

Developed for the health care sector, the

JumpSeat Wall folds down to maximize

space in busy hospital hallways, patient

rooms and waiting areas. The seat is

attached to the wall by way of a fixed,

reinforced steel plate; and the front

panel (a spring steel core beneath flexible

plywood panels and slats, covered in a

66 jul ⁄ aug 2014 az awards annual azuremagazine.com


high-density foam cushion) relies on the

materials’ tensile strength to support a

person’s weight. When not in use, the unit

protrudes a mere 10 centimetres from the

wall. sediasystems. com, ziba.com


Designer: Giuseppe Bavuso, Milan, Italy

Manufacturer: Rimadesio

Fronted in transparent or lacquered

glass, this minimalist storage system is

so versatile that it suits any space, from

bedrooms to offices. The supporting

structure is secured to the floor and

ceiling, and equipped with hinged

doors from Rimadesio’s Ecolorsystem

collection. These single-tempered glass

finishes are available in various waterbased

paint tones, in glossy and matte

finishes, allowing for optimal customization.

An LED system illuminates the

interior, which is fitted with various fixed

modules (hanger bars and drawer units

among them) that lend the system an

architectural grandeur. bavuso-design.

com, rimadesio. com

Lighting Design

6 lightfalls

Designer: Todd Bracher, New York

Manufacturer: 3M

Through a sleight of hand dubbed the

virtual LED effect, a limited number of

LEDs power a sea of light in this physicsmeets-design

collaboration between

3M and designer Todd Bracher. The

bulbous forms of Lightfalls are covered

in reflective film to bounce the glow

from module to module, creating the

illusion that each one is self-powered.

The system comes in seven configurations,

complete with powder-coated

aluminum mounting hardware and

two light hues, and it can be arrayed

in myriad ways to light up spaces from

small alcoves to entire rooms. 3m. com,


az awards annual jul ⁄ aug 2014 67



of merit






7 halo light

Design Firm: Pensar, Seattle,

Washington Design Team: Alex

Diener and Kristin Will with Max Baker,

Chad Brinckerhoff, Jonathan Hadley,

Aaron Johnson, John Manthey, John

Murkowski, Andrew Royal and Trent

Wetherbee Manufacturer: Illumagear

Designed to help construction workers

to see and be seen at night, this hard

hat attachment by safety product

manufacturer Illumagear is exactly

what it sounds like: a halo of light

that illuminates individuals and their

workspace. The ring of LEDs – powered

by a 12-hour battery – repels dust and

water, can be spotted from up to 400

metres in all directions, and sets to

four different modes: full light, a bright

pulse mode, a task light (which is

brighter on the front), and a dimmed

mode for working alongside someone

else. Simple yet ingenious, the design

makes one wonder why nobody

thought of it before. illumagear. com,


Product Design

8 formwork

Design Firm: Industrial Facility,

London, U.K. Designers: Kim Colin

and Sam Hecht Manufacturer:

Herman Miller

The best things in life are stackable,

especially when it comes to workspaces,

where everything needs to be

within reach yet there’s no room for it.

Solving this problem in style, Industrial

Facility devised this easy-on-the-eyes

system of containers – a pencil cup,

a tissue box, a media stand, three

trays and two boxes – that pile on top

of one another in endless configurations,

and can be mixed and matched

in four neutral hues. But functionality

is the true star: such details as

cantilevered edges, removable lids

and cup holders maximize every inch,

while silicone accents secure smart

phones and tablets. hermanmiller.

com, industrialfacility.co.uk

68 jul ⁄ aug 2014 az awards annual azuremagazine.com

“Just having the commitment to create a

bookstore of this magnitude is fantastic.

It’s like a cultural department store, and the

books themselves are a mosaic art piece.”

Diego Burdi, juror

70 jul ⁄ aug 2014 az awards annual




livraria cultura

at Iguatemi

Location: São Paulo Firm: Studio MK27

Team: Marcio Kogan with Luciana Antunes,

Maria Cristina Motta, Diana Radomysler,

Mariana Ruzante, Mariana Simas and

Marcio Tanaka

Principal Marcio Kogan, who heads up a

team of 24, is best known for his elegant,

low-key residential spaces, including

V4 House, which won the 2012 AZ Award

for Best Residential Interior.


Bookstores have always been more

than just places to buy books;

they are also places to browse, to

hang out, to talk and read and think.

They are places where people

linger, and they are by nature fluid,

multi-use spaces. Those are the

ideas behind Marcio Kogan’s spectacular

interior for the Livraria

Cultura, in the heart of São Paulo.

A simple rectangle reached by

escalator, the 2,500-square-metre

store, located in a mall, has been

left open at its core, then wrapped

by two tiers of books tightly packed

within LED-illuminated shelving

units. The internal lighting makes

the volumes the focus, offering

an elegant contrast to the warm,

striated Perobinha wood that covers

the floor, the Freijó ceiling and

16 matching display tables. Nelson

Coconut Chairs, upholstered in

two shades of orange, invite visitors

to stay awhile. At one end, an

expansive stair leads up a walkway

that follows along the bookshelves,

serving as yet another area to sit,

talk, read or people-watch.

What is perhaps the most

ingenious aspect of the Livraria

Cultura, though, is the degree to

which its openness and coziness

enable it to be an ideal social

space for live music, book signings

or conferences. Its commercial

purpose (after all, it’s not a public

library but a bookstore) is discreetly

submerged, and the welcoming

design allows your mind to wander.

For that reason alone, you might

well end up wandering out with a

book – even one or two you hadn’t

planned to purchase. The culture

of bookstores, alive and well in

Brazil, is still all about discovery

and surprise.

az awards annual jul ⁄ aug 2014 71

Location: Bloemendaal, the Nether lands

Firm: i29 Interior Architects

Launched in 2002, i29 has won numerous

awards for its artful interiors, many of

which have appeared in Azure over the

years, including an office covered entirely

in industrial felt. Its portfolio also includes

retail shops, schools, hotels and even a

mobile unit. i29.nl

there is strength in numbers, or in

this case the abundance and

repetition of modest materials.

At Villa Bloemendaal, in North

Holland, humble plywood is elevated

to star status in an expertly articulated

interior by Dutch firm i29.

Well known for its ingenious use of

basic materials and dramatic colour

blocking, the studio has given a

two-storey house, designed in 2011

by Paul de Ruiter Architects, a theatrical

sense of character and style.

Via a simple palette, the interior

manifests into a white and wood

envelope punctuated by furniture

in black and grey. The confident yet

quiet scheme allows the exterior of

the villa, located in the Kennemer

dunes, to enter into the conversation.

Uninterrupted sightlines to

the outdoors are paramount to the

layout, and with no large visual

distractions to compete with the

views, the eye easily scans between

inside and out.

The most striking feature, of

course, is the pine panelling that

covers various surfaces, including

walls, sliding pocket doors, and

such room-defining built-ins as an

open fireplace in the living area,

and bunk beds in the children’s

room. Plywood usually gets

covered over, but i29 has treated

the utilitarian material as a

high-end finish, using the multidirectional

grain to give this villa

a cabin-like coziness – one that

matches the natural surroundings.

72 jul ⁄ aug 2014 az awards annual azuremagazine.com




Home o9

“This is a stunning interior: elegant, well

proportioned, and beautifully lit with

natural light. The wood finishing is a

bold move that warms everything up.”

Diego Burdi, juror

az awards annual jul ⁄ aug 2014 73


of merit





1 2

Residential Interiors

1 Through House

Location: Toronto, Ontario

Firm: Dub bel dam Architecture + Design,

Toronto Team: Heather Dubbeldam with

Johanna Bollozos, Oliver Dang, Lynden

Giles, Jacob JeBailey, Bindya Lad, Jason

LeBlanc and Suzanna MacDonald

For a client who wanted to transform

his old 135-square-metre home amid a

dense urban setting into a bright, modern

space, architect Heather Dubbeldam

carved out a sense of capaciousness via

an open plan and varied ceiling heights.

The L‐shaped interior also draws the eye

out to the intimate back garden, with

millwork sporting horizontal lines of riftcut

white oak, a fireplace clad in stacked

strips of felt, and porcelain tiles laid in a

striated pattern. The result is a pleasing

optical illusion: more space, same

footprint. dubbeldam. ca

2 Moore Park residence

Location: Toronto, Ontario

Firm: Drew Mandel Architects, Toronto

Team: Drew Mandel and Jowenne Poon

with Jasmine Maggs and Rachel Tameirao

In rebuilding a family home as an infill

on a Toronto street, Drew Mandel

sought to harmonize the structure with

its surroundings, and make it a warm,

light-filled haven for the owners. A

board-formed concrete wall frames the

backyard, capping views out through

the expansive southern glazing, while

transparent interior walls usher natural

light into all corners of the three-storey

space. Among the boldest moves: a

built-in fireplace that spans a wall, and

floors finished half in oak and half in

polished concrete.


3 residence Freundorf

Location: Freundorf, Austria

Firm: Project A01 Architects, Austria and

Germany Team: Andreas Schmitzer with

Eleonora Gallenzi and Judith Schafelner

A pure white palette amps up the drama

in this family home, in the Austrian village

of Freundorf, which is already energized

74 jul ⁄ aug 2014 az awards annual azuremagazine.com


4 people’s



by its jutting, multidirectional footprint.

The 356-square-metre interior is a study

in less is more, with off-kilter columns,

stairs and windows anchored by the

showpiece fireplace. Its rectilinear form,

edged in concrete block, adds a layer

of sophisticated contrast while punctuating

the open concept space. A sunken

wine lounge a few steps down from the

kitchen, a spa and a cantilevered master

suite are among the standout features.

projecta01. com

Commercial Interiors

4 Auriga restaurant

and lounge

Location: Mumbai, India

Firm: Sanjay Puri Architects, Mumbai

Team: Sanjay Puri with Madhavi Belsare

Like dancing inside a work of origami,

the nightlife experience at Auriga is

enhanced by faceted walls, and pillars

covered in recycled galvanized iron.

Backlit by coloured LEDs, the foldedpaper

effect becomes electric at dusk.

Patrons can also head upstairs to the

restaurant, a more subdued affair with a

sloping ceiling of recycled plywood strips

fashioned into a mille feuille topography.

To create this enticingly cavernous hot

spot, local firm Sanjay Puri transformed

an old two-storey warehouse, removing

the exterior wall to craft an aluminum

facade whose frenetic geometry hints at

what’s inside. sanjaypuriarchitects. com

az awards annual jul ⁄ aug 2014 75


of merit




5 gamsei cocktail bar

Location: Munich, Germany

Firm: Buero Wagner, Vienna, Austria

Team: Fabian A. Wagner with

Andreas Kreft

This intimate cocktail bar in the

fashionable Munich neighbourhood

of Glockenbach places its mix ol o­

gists front and centre. Framed by

amphitheatre-style bench seating

on either side of the central bar

and accessed by folding doors that

connect the interior to the sidewalk,

Gamsei evokes the open, communal

spirit of a Bavarian beer hall. Crafted

in natural oil-finished oak, the interior

emphasizes a grid-like aesthetic,

where the vertical slats of the cupboard

doors are complemented by a

meticulous horizontal arrangement

of white ceramic bottles on shelves.

The boldest move: a grid of black steel

mesh above the bar that suspends

an array of the same handsome bottles

filled with house-made liquors and

syrups. buero‐wagner. com

6 LAX – Immersive

multimedia architecture

Location: Los Angeles, California

Team: Digital Kitchen, Electrosonic,

Fentress Architects, Moment Factory,

MRA Inter national, Sardi Design,

Smart Monkeys

Moment Factory has transformed the

new Tom Bradley International Terminal

at Los Angeles International Airport into

a magical multimedia extravaganza.

Leading a team of more than 300 contributors,

the Montreal studio designed

seven architectural-scale digital media

features. Evoking a railway station clock

tower, the seven-storey, LED-animated

Time Tower in the main departure hall

presents a digital dance performance

to mark each hour. Several “portals”

display video and sound effects triggered

by passengers’ movements. The

studio also produced over four hours

of continuous video, with images from

the golden age of Hollywood, to keep

even long-haul travellers entertained.


76 jul ⁄ aug 2014 az awards annual azuremagazine.com

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www.architonic.com/PRODUCT CODE

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“A building that uses heliotropism as

a response to climate change and as its

primary urban form is fascinating.”

Charles Waldheim, juror




Location: Middle East

Firm: REX Archi tecture, New York

Team: Alberto Cumerlato, Tomas Janka,

Gabriel Jewell-Vitale, Roberto Otero,

Joshua Prince-Ramus, Aude Soffer, Alex

Tehranian and Cristina Webb

Joshua Prince-Ramus founded REX in 2006.

Among the firm’s best-known projects is

the Vakko Fashion and Power Media Center,

in Istanbul, which involved building a new

structure that incorporated the skeleton of

an unfinished and abandoned hotel.


unlike many buildings rising in the

Middle East, this competition entry

for two sister media companies

shuns the desire to be the tallest and

pointiest. Instead, it looks to modernist

sobriety, with two identical,

flat-roofed towers. The twins, conceived

by REX of New York, are not

short on technology; they are full

of astounding features that make

cloud-scraping engineering seem

like a fad of the past. Most notable

are the facades, which blossom into

a traditional Islamic motif while

blocking out the sun’s heat.

The 14.5-metre-wide sunshades,

sandwiched between floors, open

and close like umbrellas. In under

a minute, they simultaneously

retract and bloom again, in keeping

with the sun as it moves across the

sky. The design also calls for clear

windows – a rarity in desert cities,

where heavily tinted green glass is

the standard.

Internally, the two buildings

provide 240,200 square metres of

office space that occupies the upper

levels, with broadcasting studios

and such amenities as cafés, lounges

and health clubs clustered below.

Larger studios that require full

blackness are located underground.

If the project did get the green

light, its blooming facades would

also serve as a massive media screen.

REX has envisioned adding powerful

LEDs to the cap of each shade,

turning the two towers into a jumbo

screen for live broadcasts.

78 jul ⁄ aug 2014 az awards annual azuremagazine.com

“I like things like this,

because without too

much effort the designer

did one thing that

changes everything.”

Ron Arad, juror









Designer: Scott Sullivan, San Francisco

Before launching Line to Line Design in

San Francisco, Scott Sullivan worked

at IDEO design consultancy in Palo Alto,

California. He has registered over 40

patents in his name. linetolinedesign.com

we are all slaves to time, and clocks

represent the degree to which

hours and minutes dominate our

lives. Scott Sullivan, the de signer of

Tangent Clock, wants to change

that love-hate relationship and turn

time into a beautiful sculpture. Built

around a central cylinder made of

three white disks, the hour and

minute hands are set at a tangent to

the curving form, and the cylinder

(rather than the hands) slowly turns.

Time passes fluidly and discreetly,

without the usual jarring ticks.

The fabrication of Tangent

Clock demanded some ingenuity:

the rotationally balanced hands

are made of lightweight plastics, to

minimize torque; and the clock’s

eight snap-together parts fit within a

package about the size of two hockey

pucks. With its design so considered,

right down to the box, it is just

a matter of time before Tangent

finds its way into production.

az awards annual jul ⁄ aug 2014 79


of merit




2 3

1 Taichung cultural center

Location: Taichung, Taiwan Firm:

Platform for Architecture + Research,

Los Angeles and New York Team:

Jennifer Marmon with David Burpee,

Ross Ferrari, Angus Goble, Youree Hong,

Josshuae Matias, Ruben Rodela,

Matthew Young and Leandro Yuang

In 2013, the Taichung city government

invited architects to put forth their most

daring visions for an expansive new

cultural centre. The tilted loop structure

by Platform for Architecture + Research

sought to integrate the programmed

elements of a library and a museum with

an outdoor gallery and an open urban

plaza. The structure’s form, replete with

ramps and stairs that create connections

throughout its stacked diagonal

orientation, produces a dynamic space

meant to attract curious passers-by

who drift into the central plaza. Clad in a

translucent skin of fritted ETFE and

high-performance glazing that encompasses

roof, ceiling, wall and terrace, the

cultural centre is oriented to optimize

natural light and frame views of the

nearby Taiwan Tower. p‐ar.com

2 ring House

Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Firm: MZ Architects, Kaslik, Lebanon

Architect: Marwan Zgheib

A perfect circle, this live-work concept

for a Saudi Arabian jewellery artist

sits within the artist’s family estate,

offering privacy and sanctuary through

its elemental shape. A ring wall punctuated

by a single narrow opening

creates a cocoon, bisected within by a

glass-enclosed level that contains the

residence’s functional spaces: kitchen,

atelier, bedroom. The concrete structure

includes a secluded rear patio with a

solitary planted tree, and a water feature

carved into the floor, evoking the placid

surface of a lake disrupted by a drop of

rain. mz‐ architects. com

3 Meditation house

Location: Jebaa, Lebanon

Firm: MZ Architects, Kaslik, Lebanon

80 jul ⁄ aug 2014 az awards annual azuremagazine.com


Architect: Marwan Zgheib

Like a giant rock nestled into the hillside

above Jebaa, Lebanon, this proposed

weekend retreat for a travelling businessman

feels both futuristic and primitive.

An isolated place for contemplation,

the two-level house has venting at front

and rear, rainwater collection, and an

open terrace oriented west toward the

Mediterranean. A stone staircase leads

through the cracked roof and up the

hill to the prayer hall, a diagonal shaft

oriented toward Mecca, carved into the

hill to offer an unadorned, light-filled

vertical space for solitary religious

communion. mz‐ architects. com

4 LUminous moon-gate

Location: Taichung, Taiwan

Firm: Form4 Architecture, San Francisco

Team: John Marx with Felix Lin and

Pierluigi Serraino

Also rising to the challenge set forth

by the Taichung city government for a

new cultural centre, Form4 proposed

a series of rounded volumes – chiefly a

10-storey library, ascended via a grand

staircase, and a horizontal museum – in

conversation with each other. Together,

they resemble giant eggs rolling along

the landscape, their curved building

envelopes encased in a metre-thick

cavity wall fitted with movable louvres,

providing passive ventilation and ample

surface area for solar panels. For the

architects, the iconic shapes symbolize

“a portal into heightened consciousness,

a lantern of knowledge, a cultural lung

for the city.” form4inc. com

az awards annual jul ⁄ aug 2014 81


A+ student


Smith Creek


“It’s amazing to see a project like this

go from design to fruition, and on such

limited resources.”

Jamie Gray, juror

82 jul ⁄ aug 2014 az awards annual


Location: Clifton Forge, Virginia

School: Design/buildLAB at Virginia Tech

Team: Professors Keith Zawistowski

and Marie Zawistowski with Bethel

Abate, Aiysha Alsane, Tyler Atkins, Justin

Dennis, Lauren Duda, Huy Duong, Derek

Ellison, Megumi Ezure, Katherine Harpst,

Ryan Hawkins, Catherine Ives, Anna

Knowles-Bagwell, Michael Kretz, Kyle Lee,

Jennifer Leeds, Stephanie Mahoney, Leo

Naegele, Margaret Nelson, Stephen Perry,

Fernanda Rosales, Leah Schaffer, Katherine

Schaffernoth, Amanda Schlichting, Ian

Shelton, Brent Sikora, Claudia Siles, Emarie

Skelton, Samantha Stephenson, Taylor

Terrill, Daniel Vantresca, Bryana Warner,

Samuel “Aaron” Williams and Samantha Yeh.

Design/buildLAB gives architecture

students hands-on experience, from

concept development to realization. The

program’s newest structure, completed

in June, is a field house for Clifton Forge’s

Little League team. designbuildlab.org

A PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE and an open stage

in Clifton Forge, Virginia, may be

modest in scale, but their impact

has been enormous. Besides adding

a vital community hub in place of

a brownfield, the double-barrelled

project has given the students of

design/buildLAB a chance to see

how urban renewal can re invigorate

a neighbourhood.

As part of Virginia Tech, the lab

places experiential learning at the

core of its architectural program.

The third-year curriculum requires

students to problem-solve real issues,

and a select group gets to don tool

belts and see their vision through to

completion. Over two school terms,

two teams realized the adjoining

projects and worked collaboratively

with the town’s residents.

The Masonic Amphitheatre,

com pleted in 2012, was built first.

Its cresting wave profile – made

from white oak, among other local ly

sourced materials – offers a simple

form for solving practical require-

ments, including an acoustic shell

to buffer the sound of a nearby creek.

To complement the venue, a 30-

metre-long bridge was constructed,

to shorten the journey between the

main street and the theatre.

With each new piece of infrastructure,

design/buildLAB is

helping Clifton Forge to realize its

own aspirations of becoming an

arts centre, with one small but

groundbreaking project at a time.

az awards annual jul ⁄ aug 2014 83


of merit

A+ Student







1 VÄÄrtus jewellery

Designer: Rowan Liivamägi,

Emily Carr University of Art + Design,

Vancouver, British Columbia

An elegant take on medical aids,

this collection of customizable

3‐D‐printed jewellery helps people

with arthritis perform basic daily

tasks. The key chain, for example,

helps to unlock doors, while the ring

buttons shirts and operates zippers;

and the double ring keeps a pen

or pencil anchored between fingers

and thumb to help with writing and

drawing. The sculptural items, in a

variety of materials and colours, are

designed to take away the embarrassment

often associated with

arthritic aids and instead empower

users to develop a unique sense of

self. rowanliivamagi. com

2 revitalizing bamyan

Designer: Safira Lakhani, University

of Waterloo, Ontario

Bamyan, in central Afghanistan, suffers

from an extremely arid climate,

causing it to rely heavily on foreign aid.

Yet this impoverished town can take

ownership over its land resources by

storing more water from snow melt.

This fundamental idea animates Safira

Lakhani’s proposal, which centres

on the implementation of light-timber

frames throughout the land to capture

snow melt and allow it to trickle down

into new underground cisterns.

Along this snow fence route, Lakhani

en visions greenhouses and multi-

generational homes that would honour

the local vernacular – and make the

community proud – by paying homage

to traditional mud brick courtyards

and cave typologies.

84 jul ⁄ aug 2014 az awards annual azuremagazine.com




The 2014 BMW i8 revolutionizes the shape of things to come

One hundred and twenty-eight

years after the automobile’s

invention, common thinking would

lead us to believe that all of

the revolutionary ideas about how

to improve it have long since

been discovered.

Here’s the thing, though: common

thinking doesn’t hold much sway

over the 2014 BMW i8.

The drive system of this plug-in

hybrid sports car is a potent

blend of electric propulsion and

internal combustion technologies,

pushed to their natural limits.

It’s the heart of the BMW i8 – a

heart that beats strong and fast.

As brilliant as the hybrid system

is, the structure of the car is

equally inspired. Only the most

advanced materials found

their way onto the factory floor in

Leipzig, Germany, including

carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic

(CFRP), aluminum, magnesium

and hardened thin glass –

building blocks known for being

super-strong, ultra-lightweight

and renewable.

The 2014 BMW i8 is an

automobile unlike any other, the

direct result of uncommon

thinking and an unwavering refusal

to be shackled by 128 years

of history.

The BMW i8 made its

North American debut in

Los Angeles in late April.


Sculpted shape, flowing lines

The BMW i8 was designed to showcase the future of

sustainable mobility, while maintaining the dynamism and

excitement that all BMWs are known for. Starting with a

concept introduced in 2009 called Vision Efficient Dynamics,

the design team updated and improved the original iteration.

The engineering brief called for a lightweight hybrid sports car

with radical performance and sustainability characteristics,

and the designers were tasked with fulfilling that mandate.

The result is a design focused on purpose and athleticism,

with aerodynamics and muscular proportions underpinning

every curve. Each visually arresting angle showcases an

innovative approach that goes beyond convention. Working

with such materials as CFRP, aluminum and thermoplastic,

BMW’s designers have created a form that ties these elements

together in a highly dynamic package. The i8 looks fast just

standing still, with fluid lines that appear to have been shaped

in a wind tunnel.



1 Stream flow and

layering principles are

used to create a sculpted

wedge shape that

is both futuristic and


2 Scissor doors open

up and outward

in a wing-like motion.

3 Signature design

features include a “black

belt” that runs from

front to rear over the hood,

the roofline and the

rear section.

4 The i8’s interior

is a new-age environment

where the occupants

are surrounded by an array

of high-pixel displays

and LEDs.



Two aluminum-framed drive modules, containing powerful, efficient

electric and gas motors, are mounted beneath the low-slung panels

of the front and rear sections. The brand pedigree is most evident from

the short overhangs and the long wheelbase, indicating that the i8 is a

true performer.

Signature “i” features include a “black belt” – a black section that

runs from front to rear over the hood, the roofline and the rear – as well

as interlocking and overlapping side panels. The side and rear views

show the stream flow and layering principles used to create a sculpted

wedge shape that is both futuristic and aerodynamic. The rear fenders

and overhangs are attached in an artful way that makes them appear to

float in mid-air, emphasizing the wide stance and fluid lines of the rear.

Adding to the drama are scissor doors that open up and outward in a

wing-like motion, revealing the CFRP that frames the passenger cell.

The interior incorporates a redefined premium philosophy that includes

sustainably sourced and treated materials, with uncompromising fit

and finish. The cabin of an “i” vehicle is a new-age environment where the

occupants are surrounded by an array of high-pixel displays and LEDs.

Each component and surface flows over long, elegant lines, reminding

occupants that they are experiencing a high-end sports car designed

with a sustainable future in mind.


Lightweight, agile and engaging

Until the arrival of the 2014 BMW i8, hybrid cars were

burdened with what critics would consider a key component

and a fatal flaw: the battery pack.

The critics were right, and they still are – to a degree.

Electrified vehicles run on batteries linked together to

provide an energy source for the motor. More batteries equal

more weight that needs to be accelerated down the road.

But there are other factors that the critics haven’t

considered. First, battery technology is charging forward at

a furious pace, and the lithium-ion battery pack in the

BMW i8 is a powerhouse. Second, the backbone of the car

is the result of a revolutionary weight-loss regime.

The platform consists of a CFRP passenger cell fastened

to an aluminum chassis. This design enables the BMW i8

to weigh in at just 1,485 kilograms, significantly less than the

average mid-size sedan.

With a lightweight, super-strong chassis as their starting

point, the engineers at BMW tuned the electric power steering

and the adaptive suspension system to a fine point. In the

process, they hit upon a fantastic compromise: a sports car

that doesn’t sacrifice ride comfort for cornering capability.

To improve matters, the battery pack is mounted beneath

the floor, in the middle of the vehicle. This design ensures

a low centre of gravity and 50:50 weight distribution, front to

back, both of which contribute to razor-sharp handling.

In the final analysis, the liberal use of lightweight materials,

especially carbon fibre, has served to make the BMW i8 a rare

vehicle: a hybrid sports car with true sports car capabilities.



5 The passenger cell

is crafted out of


plastic, significantly

reducing the vehicle’s

overall weight.

6 This sports car is

no gas guzzler: it achieves

2.8 L/100 km in

com bined city and highway

driving – and it can be

recharged using a

standard electrical outlet.

7 In sport mode, the

hybrid system taps

in to the full power

available from both the

electric motor and

the gasoline engine.

“We didn’t just want to make an

electric car, or a hybrid car.

We wanted to offer new mobility

that is at least as emotional,

and as fun to drive, as the products

we’re known for.”

Adrian van Hooydonk, director of BMW Group design


Pure performance, purity

of purpose

The plug-in hybrid powertrain of the 2014 BMW i8 comprises

two different energy sources. A 96-kW electric motor (131

h.p.) sends power to the front wheels through a two-stage

transmission. The rear wheels are motivated by a turbocharged,

1.5-litre, three- cylinder gasoline engine (231 h.p.)

linked to a six-speed automatic transmission. This gives

this unique sports car another unique attribute: true

all-wheel drive.

The hybrid system and its five distinct drive modes are

accessed via the Driving Experience Control switch, the

eDrive button and the shift lever, all located in the centre

console, all conveniently oriented toward the driver. Of

the five modes, eDrive and eDrive EcoPro are dedicated to

all-electric motoring. With eDrive engaged, the BMW i8 is

capable of travelling for up to 37 kilometres and attaining

speeds of up to 120 km/h, all with zero tailpipe emissions.

At the other end of the scale is the sport mode, triggered

by the shift lever, which signals the hybrid system to tap

into the full power available from both energy sources. In this

case, the BMW i8 can sprint from zero to 100 km/h in a

scant 4.4 seconds and achieve an electronically limited top

speed of 250 km/h.

In a stunning display of duality, this hybrid sports car also

boasts sparkling fuel consumption – just 2.8 L/100 km

in combined city/highway driving – and, of course, it can be

recharged using a standard electrical outlet.




with director of BMW Group design

Adrian van Hooydonk and Benoit Jacob,

head of design for BMW i

What separates the design of BMW i8 from

the parent brand?

Benoit Jacob: It was very important to show

the new brand, BMW i. It needed to signal

aesthetically that it differs slightly, but it must

also be recognizable as a BMW, so we struck

a balance. In the i8, you will recognize BMW in

the front, the kidney grilles, all those sorts

of elements. On the other hand, you will find

elements that are unique to the “i” family. With

a new brand like BMW i, you have a bit more

freedom, a little less dogma, which gives you

the opportunity to be more creative and

reactive to the challenges that are presented.

Adrian van Hooydonk: We wanted it to look

very different from the cars we’ve made so far,

because we felt that the technology was so

new. It can drive electric and has low to zero

emissions, it’s built out of carbon fibre, and all

of that is quite revolutionary. With that, we

felt we should make a very modern, futuristic

shape. We didn’t just want to make an electric

car, or a hybrid car. We wanted to offer new

mobility that is at least as emotional, as fun to

drive, as the products we’re known for.

The final product looks futuristic and still

somewhat conceptual. How did you stay true

to the original concept introduced in 2009?

Benoit Jacob: The i8 is probably the first case

in the automotive industry where the promise

matched the car delivered, and this was done

very quickly. I had enough experience to say,

“We have an asset. Why don’t we simply

develop it?” We strove to make it better, more

believable. This was a design we already

knew people liked. There were a few things to

be addressed – the proportions had to be

reworked according to a new package – but

it’s not so different.

The i8 is a halo car for BMW. Why is this car

so important?

Benoit Jacob: It’s a performance car, from

a design standpoint, but the car itself is also

a performance. That’s the idea of BMW i, to

make the impossible possible. This is actually

reflected in the design. It’s quite an engineering

marvel, so the design had to express that. It

would have been really disappointing to have

this super-high-tech product, a kind of future

car, with an extremely conventional design.

Adrian van Hooydonk: Well, I have to say

that this whole project is a dream come true.

Because we had complete freedom, the car

was designed to show that new mobility could

be striking and emotional. Thinking with the

right side of the brain, we were conscious of

the need to deal with sustainability, to bring

the emissions down, and we did do some

head-scratching. But the whole company was

behind it, because everyone was so excited

that this was the way forward.

Tell us about the importance of designing

an attractive sustainable car.

Benoit Jacob: I said to my team, “Let’s not

just design an electric car. Let’s design an

exciting car. And if on top of that it’s sustainable,

that’s even better.” It was important not

to just take the “Let’s save the world” approach.

Electric cars are often dull, looking like a

guilt-managed product where the beauty was

compromised. Our take is different: we want

to break through and bring sustainability

across in a serious manner, but it also has to

look special.

Adrian van Hooydonk: We know from our

market research that the number one reason

for buying a BMW is design. If you asked

car aficionados 10 years ago if they wanted a

hybrid or electric car, they probably would

have said, “No, I don’t ever want one.” Now,

even in countries like the United Arab Emirates,

where they have no notion that oil may one

day disappear, when they saw this car they

wanted it. This tells me that through design,

you can make something so desirable

that people want it, no matter the technology

behind it.


Material World



These automated and responsive systems

and intelligent products optimize buildings

while improving energy performance

BY Lian Chang



Alongside high-tech systems that automate

a building’s response to its occupants and

surroundings, nature offers its own mechanisms.

Inspired by the way scales on a spruce cone close

when wet and open once dry to disperse seeds,

German architect Achim Menges has designed

and built HygroSkin, a climate-responsive pavilion

for the Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain du

Centre in Orléans, France.

Collaborating with Oliver David Krieg, Steffen

Reichert, and the Institute for Computational

Design at the University of Stuttgart, Menges

employed a seven-axis robotic manufacturing

process to craft a structure that is high tech in

conception but low tech in action. Without the

sensors, actuators and software we normally

associate with automation, responsiveness here

is literally ingrained in the natural material and

computer programmed into its form. Making use

of the directionally dependent way that wood

absorbs humidity to swell across the grain, the

pavilion’s 1,100 apertures are made using a

composite veneer based on quarter-cut maple,

which self-forms into conical surfaces. Given a

shift from 30 to 90 per cent relative humidity –

that is, from sunny skies to rain – the petals of the

28 geometrically unique components straighten

and close within just a few minutes, with no

electrical input or external controls. Could this

smart use of common materials suggest the future

of intelligent building envelopes and weatherdependent

aperture control? achimmenges.net

Kinetic Shading

From interior blinds to exterior shades and louvred

pergolas, these programmable systems deliver automated

comfort and efficiency as well as manual controls.

Draper Omega venetian blinds can be installed on building

interiors and exteriors or within double facades, reducing

solar heat gain by up to 92 per cent. A custom control

option allows aluminum slats to be retracted, deployed, or

tilted in response to solar brightness and direction, wind

and temperature. draperinc. com

Marvin exterior shades are integrated into window casings

to create a retractable, concealable blind for residential

applications. The slats can be programmed to tilt open,

inviting the sun to provide more warmth and light during

specified times or lighting conditions, and to close

completely when shade or privacy are desired. marvin. com

Mechoshade MagnaShade, gold winner of the 2013 Neo Con

Window Treatments Award, is a super-wide motorized roller

system that offers shading or blackout in spans as large

as 12 metres; and it attaches via a patented floating mount

system with a shallow profile. Through software or simple

switches, MagnaShade works with lighting, audio/visual

and other building management control systems.


Skyco motorized shade systems can operate through

a wired network, wireless radio control, or distributed

sensors that don’t need to connect back to a centralized

location. Dye-sensitized photovoltaic cells, which absorb

sunlight like the chlorophyll in leaves, can be incorporated

to supply electricity to motors, even under low light

conditions in the morning or evening. skycoshade. com

← Suncoast Enclosures, an Alberta outfit, sells a

mod u lar louvred roof in powder-coated aluminum for

adjustable patio shading in residential or commercial

settings. Powered by a solar battery, the louvres can open

to a full 180 degrees, or close completely to keep you dry,

with an optional rain sensor or at the touch of a remote.


jul ⁄ aug 2014 89

Material World

Smart Glass

These high-performance glazing products combine

sleek profiles with unobstructed views, providing shade

via tinted effects and generating electricity.

Glass Apps’ Smart Film is a self-adhesive layer, available

in a range of sizes and colours, for applications on new

or existing glass. It creates smart windows that instantly

switch from clear to frosted, allowing for privacy while

admitting light. Once the switch is connected to any

building management system, the film can be automated

to respond to light levels, occupancy or a programmed

schedule. glass‐apps. com

Innovative glass SolarSmart self-tinting glass darkens in

bright sunlight, blocking heat, glare and damaging UV rays

without obstructing views. Powered and controlled by the

sun’s warmth, it requires no wires or controls. It also comes

as an insulated glass unit, ideal for windows, doors, curtain

walls, atriums or skylights. innovativeglasscorp. com

Onyx Solar’s low-E photovoltaic and insulated glass offers

four light transmission levels, from 30 per cent clear to

fully opaque. Generating 32 to 62 watt-peaks of electricity

per square metre, the glass reduces solar heat transmission

by up to 90 per cent in comparison with traditional

laminated glass. onyxsolar. com

↓ SageGlass electronically tintable insulated glass

units can be programmed to transition gradually from

dark to clear, or from one to 62 per cent light transmission.

Daylighting, glare and solar heat loads can be managed

based on occupancy, natural lighting levels, or a schedule

integrated via a zone-based building management system.

The units are fabricated to fit into a range of frame

types. sageglass. com

View Dynamic Glass progresses through four tint

variations to allow unobstructed views with reduced

solar heat gain and glare. These standard and custominsulated

units come in various sizes, and are automated

through solar tracking and environmental sensors,

building management system integration or an iOS app,

with optional wall switches for manual overrides.

viewglass. com

Ventilation and

Air Quality

From easy-to-install components for residential use,

to sophisticated systems for large corporate and

institutional projects, these products subtly simplify

ventilation control.

ABB As an open standard offering, the i‐bus KNX range

of hardware optimizes the interaction of all networked

building systems in corporate, institutional and high-end

residential applications, including heating and ventilation,

climate and energy management, as well as lighting,

shading, security and surveillance. KNX open-network

communications protocol technology is third-party verified,

and interoperable with the largest range of products

from manufacturers worldwide. abb. com

Broan NuTone offers UltraSense technology with 16 models

of multi-speed fans and fan/lights for operation based on

humidity or motion sensing in residential applications.

The units are simple to install, energy efficient – and

extremely quiet, at less than 0.3 sones, the lowest sound

rating possible. broan.com

KMC provides wired and wireless sensors, actuators,

valves, control devices, and software for full local and

web-based remote HVAC automation, to suit a host of

commercial and institutional applications. The company’s

latest line of carbon monoxide detectors boasts new

standard features, including a status indicator, a test

button and selectable alerts. kmccontrols. com

→ Velux VSS solar-powered skylights, intended for

resi den tial installation, are opened remotely to bring

fresh air indoors. A built-in rain sensor closes the skylight

in wet weather, as the no-leak warranty promises. No

additional wiring is required for the skylight, which comes

with an optional motorized interior roller or blackout

blind. velux. com

Daylight Harvesting and

Programmable Lighting

The most energy-efficient lamp is the one that’s

not on. These controls, fixtures and bulbs “harvest”

daylight by intelligently dimming or switching off

artificial illumination in response to levels of sunlight.

Digital Lumens LightRules software directly connects

intelligent LEDs to each other, through both a localized

network and a centralized connection, which enables

programmability and reporting capabilities. By sensing

occupancy and local light levels, each LED reacts from

moment to moment, to provide lighting as needed while

generating energy savings of up to 90 per cent for retail,

athletic, industrial or agricultural facilities.

digitallumens. com

Hubell wiSCAPE locally intelligent modules can be installed

in new or existing street lights. They control dimming,

sched ul ing and motion detection, and deliver maintenance

alerts to reduce energy consumption and light pollution.

Lighting levels can then be managed, based on occupancy

and activity levels, in exterior and public spaces such

as building complexes, campuses and urban or suburban

landscapes. hubbell‐automation. com

Lighting Science’s Definity Digital bulb series includes

the patented blue-enriched Awake & Alert, which boosts

users’ energy levels; and the reduced-blue Good Night,

used by NASA astronauts to curb light-induced melatonin

suppression. Combined with an intelligent control system,

these products gently and automatically enhance sleep

quality and daytime performance. lsgc. com

→ Solatube’s reflective tube systems passively capture,

amplify and diffuse natural light into interiors that can’t

accommodate window or skylight installations. Patented

Smart LED Systems, integrated within the tubes, employ

sensors and artificial lights to provide seamless, optimized

illumination, both day and night. solatube. com

Xicato’s XIM LED module is a 100-plus-lumen-per-watt

intelligent, networked and sensor-enabled light with

an integrated LED driver, dimming capability and localized

diagnostics. Because the technology is built into the

fixture, these modules are future-proofed in their

integration with building automation systems. xicato. com

90 jul ⁄ aug 2014 azuremagazine.com

J U N E 2 6 - S E P T E M B E R 2 1, 2 0 14

JANICE WRIGHT CHENEY, Widow, 2012, wool, cochineal dye, velvet, taxidermy form, pins, wood

TERRANCE HOULE, Iiniiwahkiimah, 2012, vinyl

Check out this acclaimed exhibition of work by 61 contemporary Canadian artists and collectives

presented in a collaborative, multi-venue format at Galerie d’art Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen,

Université de Moncton, Galerie Sans Nom, Moncton, Owens Art Gallery, Mount Allison University,

Sackville, and Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown.


Oh, Canada is organized by MASS MoCA. The exhibition is curated by Denise Markonish and made

possible by the generous support of TD Bank Group and the Canada Council for the Arts.


O w e n s A r t G A l l e r y

milan furn





show report

sunny all week

Brilliant hues, bold shapes – and clear skies – took centre stage

at the 53rd salone del mobile in milan by catherine Osborne

can good weather recalibrate perceptions of what

constitutes good design? Milan’s exceptional azure

skies during the run of the fair, from April 8 to 13,

added a perkiness to the furnishings on display, along

with a bounce in everyone’s step, which has been

notably absent in a city stuck in the doldrums of a

dreary economy for years now. The cloudless forecast

also might have made saturated colours and brilliant

patterns seem more sun soaked than usual. At Moroso,

pink tones ruled, while Tacchini’s booth was awash in

blues and greens. At Arper, the soft seating and wooden

benches were upholstered in pure reds and yellows

from Kvadrat. Hella Jongerius’s sophisticated eye for

mixing textures in original ways showed up at Vitra

and Artek, and at Danskina, the Dutch carpet company

where she is now creative director.

While Kartell may have unabashedly presented its

entire collection in gold, surrounded in gold walls and

floors, many manufacturers played it safe with earthy

palettes. But novelty always finds a way back in. There

was Marcel Wanders flaunting his fantasy side with

upholstery covered in giant butterfly wings, and Philippe

Malouin’s all-foam chair, shaped like a flotation device

and wrapped in royal blue velvet – both of which were

refreshingly laissez-faire, and perfectly matched for

a forecast that said sunny all week.

92 jul ⁄ aug 2014

iture fair






1 HAPPy birthday, boURGIE

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of

Bourgie, Ferruccio Laviani’s bestselling

lamp, Kartell invited 14 designers to retool

the icon. Front Studio of Sweden stretched

the base like an extended neck leaning

in for a closer look. kartell. com

2 mind the gap

What gives the Jian lacquered aluminum

outdoor furniture collection, by Neri&Hu,

its poetic elegance is the narrow space left

between the legs and armrests. Available

through Gandia Blasco, in white, sand and

anthracite. gandiablasco. com



Arper has launched an impressive lineup

this year, including Zinta, a versatile

modular system with a deep seat for

casual reclining, and a backrest shelf that

gives sitters a place to park their coffee

mug or laptop. Various cushion and pad

options are available. arper. com

4 the nesTING hexAGon

The four cylinders that make up this

recliner also fit into one another to form an

ottoman. Conceived by Werner Ais sling er,

the seat was produced for Kvadrat as part

of an exhibit to debut the new Divina textile

collection. kvadrat. dk

5 brass tactics

Gold is gaining ground as a new metal

trend, but Tom Dixon has cham pioned

brass for a while. His Beat light col lec tion

now includes table and floor versions,

each sporting a conical shade made of

hand-beaten brass. tomdixon. net

6 foRM, fUN and felt

Last year, Offecct presented prototypes

of Jean-Marie Massaud’s asymmetric

Airbergs, and they were a media hit. The

unique elastic rib and spring engineering

has since been perfected, and the felt

beauties are now in production. offecct. se

7 lUNAR moDUlEs

Eva Marguerre and Marcel Besau’s

North light series, for e15, consists of two

metal circles joined at one point with a

light sandwiched in between. It’s a simple

gesture with tons of visual impact,

especially as a floor lamp. e15.com

8 sofTENING the edges

No one does glass furniture quite like

Glas Italia. Among its latest is Diapositive,

by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, who

added wood edging on the shelving units,

to lose some of the fragility associated

with glass. glasitalia. com

9 the lIGHTNEss of being

The Atoll lounger, designed by Patrick

Norguet for Tacchini, looks like a giant

palm leaf propped up on sticks. In fact,

an interior and exterior metal frame

absorbs most of the weight, giving the

recliner its super-lean profile. tacchini. it

10 the love nest

Marcel Wanders’ lust for bringing more

romance to our furniture never fails to

impress. Last year’s Nest collection, for

Moooi, now sports this stunning Flower

Bits textile collage of blooms and butterfly

wings. moooi.com

jul ⁄ aug 2014 93

milan furn




17 getting down to basics

In collaboration with London Art

Workshop, British artist Sarah Lucas

has produced a limited-edition of 14

brutalist-like pieces, including a partition

wall and bench sofas, all made out of

low-grade concrete and MDF.

sadiecoles. com


18 new wave effects

Doshi Levien’s latest for BD Barcelona

riffs on the wave effect of corrugated

metal. For this colour-block cabinet called

Shanty, which sits atop four brass legs,

each door opens in its own distinctive way.

bdbarcelona. com


19 cabinet fever

Rimadesio’s Self Up cabinet collection

continues to expand with 62 colour ways,

multiple size and shape options, and those

oh-so distinctive, aluminum-crafted

stiletto legs. rimadesio. it

11 mad men mod

Sé of London worked exclusively with

Slovenian designer Nika Zupanc for its

entire collection of ’50s mod sofas, bureaus,

vanities and accessories accented with

gold, including this delicate Full Moon table

light. se-london.com

12 the luxury of plush

Having given Francesco Bettoni’s

gener ously stuffed Mia chair a tryout at

the MDF Italia booth, we can vouch that

she feels as cozy as she looks – and as

elegant, with extra-thick decorative trim to

amplify the generous curves. mdfitalia.it

14 holy mollo

Canadian designer Philippe Malouin’s first

product for Established & Sons is the

Mollo chair, made entirely out of various

densities of foam wrapped in rich velvet

upholstery. Good luck getting up quickly

from this nester. establishedandsons. com

15 design within reach

Named the Benson and designed by

Rodolfo Dordoni for Minotti, this handsome

wood and metal side table with an elliptical

base has a swivelling round top, to position

it closer to a sofa without moving the

entire unit. minotti. com


13 branching out

Patrizia Bertolini has refreshed the classic

wooden armchair by cleverly extending

the four armrest spindles to just below the

seat pan. Designed for Adele‐C, Lina is

made of hickory and is available in natural

wood or with a black tint. adele- c. it

16 on the cutting edge

Architect Daniel Libeskind launched

10 new products during Milan Design Week,

each expressing his signature shard-like

geometry in some manner. The Web, a

double-sided bookcase for Poliform, is

made of Corian. poliformusa.com


94 jul ⁄ aug 2014 azuremagazine.com

iture fair




22 did someone say sleepover?

Trust Campeggi, the Italian masters of

multi-functional furniture, to come up with

Family, an ingenious storage solution for

spare beds: the four mattresses stack

inside a cabinet disguised as a chest of

drawers. campeggisrl. it


23 doing more with less

The most revolutionary feature of Leon

Ransmeier’s Chiaro chair, for Mattiazzi,

is found underneath. The joinery between

the legs and the armrest has been

simplified, reducing the number of parts

needed to make each chair. mattiazzi.eu

20 when softness counts

Almora, a conical chair with matching

ottoman for B&B Italia, sits on a fivespoke

base. It combines various materials,

including a curved oak head rest that

designers Doshi Levien upholstered with

a cozy pad of shearling. bebitalia.com



21 the look of tarpaulin

The latest addition to Living Divani’s outdoor

collection is the Kevlar-upholstered

Poncho, by LucidiPevere of Udine, Italy.

The designers took inspiration from the

trucking industry’s use of tarps tied down

with rope and grommets. livingdivani.it

jul ⁄ aug 2014 95

milan furn





24 the beauty of eco-thinking

Benjamin Hubert continues to explore

ways of using less when making furniture.

Shell, also known as Prop, designed for

Moroso, does away with the fabric and

filler that usually surround a sofa, leaving

the wooden framework as the finish.

The collection also includes a chair and

matching side tables. moroso. it


25 big wheeler

Lera Moiseeva’s Dot, created for

Casa mania, is like a Transformer: a table

one minute and a food cart the next,

able to be lifted and rolled to wherever it’s

needed. Made of solid ash and available in

black or white. casamania. it

26 head-turning light

Diesel Living’s partnership with Foscarini

has led to some stylish products, including

the Fork collection, now in a short-stemmed

version. The linen shade diffuses light with

an elegant softness, ideal for a bedside

table. diesel.foscarini. com

27 modernizing marble

Marsotto Edizioni works almost

exclusively in Carrara marble and with

international designers, including

Philippe Nigro of Paris, who has carved a

reception desk out of the distinctive stone,

complete with housing for cables.

marsotto‐edizioni. com


28 bent into shape

Designs by Nendo always carry a spellbinding,

almost magical lightness. For

Desalto, the Japanese studio crafted

seats with backrests made from a simple

steel curve. Finished in white, they look as

if they are made of paper. desalto. it

29 floating on clouds

Antonio Citterio, the maestro of sofa

architecture, has collaborated with

Flex form for 40 years now. His latest is

Wing, a two- or three-seater built with

blocks of down-filled cushions. flexform. it


iture fair

Hay and Wrong

The Cloud, a light

installation by South

African designer

Christopher Jenner.

for Hay’s pop-up

store in the

Brera district.

off site


throughout milan, masterful exhibits were on display

by the likes of philippe starck and christopher jenner

by giovanna dunmall

Philippe Starck’s

Zénith chandelier

for Baccarat.

Salone is so much more than the world’s largest furniture trade

fair. Every year, dozens of installations take over the city’s

grand palazzos, its rarefied libraries and its endless supply of

glamorous showrooms. This year was no exception, with French

luxury crystal house Baccarat inhabiting the ninth-century

Church of San Carpoforo and transforming it into a series of

opulent domestic scenes. Unabashedly romantic, the contrast of

glittering crystal and the church’s sombre stone walls made the

exhibit particularly mesmerizing. The highlight was Philippe

Starck’s 84-lamp Zénith chandelier, overhanging a sumptuously

laid table in the church’s nave. The effect was reminiscent of

da Vinci’s Last Supper – that is, if Leonardo were alive today and

had a penchant for shimmering crystal.

Equally striking was South African designer Christopher

Jenner’s Cloud, made up of 120 of his handcrafted Urbem lights,

whose bulbous shape was inspired by Milan’s street lamps from

two centuries ago. The suspended display was enveloped in a

mirror-polished stainless steel vortex that reflected the light in

all directions. Enthralling music by Max Richter intoned, while

wireless LEDs were programmed to simulate an electrical storm.

Less atmospheric but no less rewarding was the pop-up store in

the Brera district, produced by Hay of Denmark and its sister brand,

Wrong for Hay. Together, they showed off furniture, textiles,

glassware and lighting presented within sculptural arrangements.

In another area, products were shelved warehouse-style. The blend

of colourful and well-crafted wares seemed to hit the collective

zeitgeist. Everyone who bought an item got to take it home in one

of Nathalie Du Pasquier’s super-graphic retro-print totes that

harken back to her Memphis Group days.

jul ⁄ aug 2014 97






show report

tech talks

at frankfurt’s biennial lighting show, smart technology and

oleds HAD their moments in the spotlight by DIANE CHAN

with self-sufficiency and oled technology generating buzz in the

lighting world for over a decade now, it is fascinating to see

how design and the science of conserving light have melded

into a dramatic arena where star names are at the fore. At

Light + Building, the largest trade show of its kind, architects

Jean Nouvel and David Chipperfield, along with designer

Ross Lovegrove, showed off futuristic options. All of them are

visionaries who understand that the most important energy

requirement should be no energy consumption whatsoever.

Artemide, with its maze-like booth, displayed new options

from these top-tier players (Lovegrove’s Space Cloud was

inspired by the film Gravity ), along with Daniel Libeskind,

who was on hand to discuss the second iteration of his

Paragon lamp, launched last year.

Smart technology also reigned, with LG demonstrating

HomeChat, a messaging interface that performs such functions

as cycling lights to give the impression of an occupied home.

Philips also launched its concept for an ethernet-powered

system that connects light fixtures to a smartphone app,

allowing lighting and temperature to be adjusted accordingly.

What constitutes “the world’s first” may be debatable, but

Ribag, Osram and others are using the moniker for OLEDs in

lamp form. Flos, meanwhile, took the lead on another trend

with The Black Line ceiling spotlights, which seem to disappear

when not in use. Now that lighting and nanotechnology are

in high gear, the only limit is our imag inations.

98 jul ⁄ aug 2014


g frankfurt



1 office party

For Osram of Munich, Werner Aisslinger

designed a gem-like pendant equipped

with 16 super-efficient rect angu lar OLED

panels. Each one has a life span of 15,000

hours and is suitable for corporate or

hospitality environments. osram. com

2 downside up

FontanaArte outfitted its booth with the

adaptable Igloo, by Milan designers

Studio Klass. Up to 200 techno-polymer

modules snap together like Lego bricks

to provide up- or downlighting as needed.

fontanaarte. com

3 ducks in a row

Each of the LED lens modules – up to 14 in

one pendant – of Zumtobel’s Sequence

are adjustable via a smart device, catering

to multiple users. This surface-mounted

luminaire, in silver or white, combines

direct and indirect lighting. zumtobel. com


4 multiple personalities

Modular Lighting Instruments’ Médard

lamp house, in black or white, shines with a

sculptural organic base and a retrofitted

LED lamp. The tiltable spotlight also comes

in track- or surface-mounted models.

supermodular. com




5 small but mighty

Encased in aluminum, iGuzzini’s Trick is a

round, compact luminaire that starts at

just 45 millimetres in diameter. It produces

geometric effects with highly concentrated

lines, circles or decorative graphics,

or grazing light effects. iguzzini. com

6 get crackin’

Artemide’s suspended EggBoard nods

to musicians who soundproof practice

rooms with egg cartons. Made of soundabsorbing

recycled polyester, it emits a

soft down light. Available in green, grey and

white. artemide. com

7 disappearing act

The virtually glare-free silicone spotlights

of Flos’s Black Line disappear into the

ceiling when switched off. Rows of two to

12 LEDs emit narrow or flood beams.

flos. com

8 couch potato

Paired with a free app, Light Control is a

simple unit that enables users to manage

every Nimbus LED fixture in the house via

tablet or smart phone. nimbus‐group. com

9 out of this world

Four planes of perforated anodized

aluminum plates, in endless configurations,

make up Ross Lovegrove’s Space Cloud for

Artemide. The designer took his inspiration

from NASA photographs of Earth.

artemide. com

10 Move to the beat

For Luceplan, Francisco Gomez Paz of

Argentina designed the geometric

Tango LED floor lamp. It contains three

mobile aluminum shafts with elastomer

joints, which enable the light direction

to be adjusted with a gentle push.

luceplan. com

jul ⁄ aug 2014 99





14 cool and the gang

Ribag’s Oviso collection was among a

handful of direct OLED lamps launched

this year. Five times more efficient than

halo gens, operable with the wave of a

hand and cool to the touch, they come in

pen dant, wall and table models. ribag. com


15 escher-esque

The cubic facade of Delta Light’s booth

was inspired by its wall-mounted Forty‐5

LED cluster sconce. This simple white

design comes in two options for up- or

downlighting. deltalight. com


16 the flash

Belgian manufacturer Dark introduced

Coolcat, a ceiling-mounted or pendant LED

that features a contrasting rectangular

strip. Available in 15 finishes, including

mirrored glass, chrome and gold. dark. be



11 blank canvas

For OneSpace, Philips embedded

glare-free LEDs into a fabric that reduces

sound reflections and contains safe,

non-combustible glass fibre and

aluminum. The made-to-measure panel

provides homogeneous lighting for retail

and hospitality applications. philips. com

17 walk the line

Johto, by Belgium’s Kreon, offers dot-free,

homogeneous illumination. The LED mood

lighting system, in fixed or flexible styles,

boasts a lifespan of over 50,000 hours and

is ideal for office, residential and retail

spaces. kreon. com


12 eye spy

Danese’s Trix consists of an optical body

placed inside a reflector in aluminum,

transparent white or mirrored polycarbonate,

suspended from a double-jointed rod

that allows a wide range of motion.

danesemilano. com


13 easy glider

Fabricated from white-coated aluminum

and natural oak, the clever Slide table

lamp, by Belgium’s TossB, adjusts from

40 to 70 centimetres in height with the turn

of a knob. tossb. com

100 jul ⁄ aug 2014 azuremagazine.com

14th International Architecture Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia




Organized + Curated by Lateral Office

Canada Pavilion | Venice, Italy | June 7 - November 23, 2014

Thank you to our Sponsors and Partners!




Gerald Sheff &

Shanitha Kachan


Gretchen &

Donald Ross





media Shelf

1 Buildings must die: a perverse

view of architecture

book by stephen cairns and jane m. jacobs






In 1830, Joseph Gandy, a draftsman in the architecture

office of Sir John Soane, painted the

design for the monumental Bank of England as a

ruin. It is not a morbid scene. Daylight illuminates

formerly intimate spaces; in a corner, people gather

in a newly created courtyard; and the stepped

foundation in the foreground seems to encroach,

ready to reclaim the stone for nature.

Can you imagine a designer now sharing such

a drawing – romanticizing the idea of decay? And

knowing that the client would appreciate it? In

Buildings Must Die, Stephen Cairns, of the Future

Cities Laboratory in Singapore, and Australian

academic Jane M. Jacobs (not to be confused with

the Canadian activist) challenge our modernist

sensibilities by presenting such concepts as

obsolescence, disaster and creative destruction

as design problems. They question the “vanity of

durability,” as well as our preoccupation with “good

form” and notions of value.

Should we ever let buildings die? Is there such

a thing as sustainable demolition? This provocative

hardcover’s well-known historical and contemporary

writers link unlikely designs, theories and

cultural references. From the U.K.’s X‐listing

proposals (which presented a demolition hit list of

unpopular buildings), to stills from the 1949 film

The Fountainhead, to R&Sie(n)’s experimental work

(the French provocateurs’ design for a museum in

Bangkok was inspired by decay and the “corrupted”

local biotope), each lends an unconventional context

to our current culture of renovation, rebuilding,

demolition and preservation.

One highlight is a reference to the British

reality TV series Demolition (2005), complete with

photographs of the then head of the Royal

Institute of British Architects, melodramatically

wielding a sledgehammer to begin tearing down a

modernist housing estate. The authors question

the discourse that presents these buildings as the

scapegoats at the root of contemporary social

problems – a way of saying nothing about greedy

economics and the widening inequality between

rich and poor. Blame the concrete!

As critic James Howard Kunstler argues, like it

or not, buildings tell us about ourselves. Architects

are taking a greater interest in the technological

and ecological concepts of “living” buildings; and, as

shown here, we should be critical and creative

when considering our attitudes toward time and

life cycle in the process and product of building.

You May Also Like: Subnature: Architecture’s Other

Environments, by David Gissen (Princeton Architectural

Press), a 2009 book that proposes theories

of pollution, nature, debris and other concepts not

usually found in the sustainable design discourse.

Terri Peters is an architect and writer whose Ph.D.

research examines how modern housing estates in

Denmark can be given new life through strategies

of sustainable transformation.


102 jul ⁄ aug 2014 azuremagazine.com

2 Sensing Spaces

Book Edited by Tom Neville and Vicky Wilson

For Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined,

an ambitious exhibition presented by London’s

Royal Academy of Arts, seven architects from

disparate practices were invited to create

immersive installations within the gallery halls.

Asked to reflect upon architecture’s sensory,

experiential and emotive qualities, they responded

with wildly distinct interpretations. Kengo Kuma,

for example, constructed a Japanese cypress–

scented pavilion from bamboo rods. The 192-page

hardcover brings these spaces to life with fullpage

images, complemented by interviews that

query the architects on the human aspect of built

environments. It’s an enthralling exhibition that

makes for a fascinating book. YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:

The Rem Koolhaas–curated 2014 Venice Biennale,

running until late November, which explores the

fundamentals of building. BY Catherine Sweeney

3 Codesigning Space: A Primer

book by Dermot Egan and Oliver Marlow

Space making in shared environments is often

driven by developers, with minimal input from the

people who will live or work in them. However, a

vibrant resurgence in co-design is deconstructing

that model and bringing more voices to the conversation.

In Codesigning Space, the founders of

London’s TILT Studio strike a balance between

theory and practice. Ten thought-provoking essays

are followed by 75 pages of practical strategies –

such as Image Blast, a way of collecting input by

crowd-sourcing mood boards – each illustrated with

successful projects. These take-home ideas make

this 144-page paperback from Artifice a valuable

resource for creating an outstanding space.

you may also like: WorkScape (Gestalten), a recent

book that profiles enviable modern offices by 3XN,

OMA and others. By Catherine SweenEy

4 made by hand

book edited by leanne hayman and nick warner

For years, handmade goods produced with traditional

processes have been returning to popularity.

Made by Hand, a 192-page softcover from

Black Dog Publishing, outlines the reasons in its

introduction, from the ecological (burning fossil

fuels to manufacture synthetic materials is

detrimental to the environment) to the economical

(although we often cycle through cheaply made

objects, more costly artisanal pieces can last a

lifetime). The final product need not be as oldfashioned

as the process. The book profiles 37

emer ging designers, from cobblers to eyeglass

makers, who are committed to using traditional

techniques to push contemporary design in

new directions. They include Kirsty McDougall,

who weaves tweeds to be turned into Converse

sneakers. Featuring detailed photography with

a nostalgic filter, Made by Hand will inspire you to

toss those ubiquitous mass-produced items and

invest in the past and the future. YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:

Handmade Nation, Faythe Levine’s 2009

documentary, which traces the new wave of the

American artisanal movement through interviews

with makers and curators. BY Diane Chan

5 The Wrong hoUSe

book by Steven Jacobs

It’s a given that Alfred Hitchcock was a visionary

filmmaker. Reading The Wrong House, one feels

that he was a visionary architect as well. Although

he never completed a building, the centrality of

setting to his process is evident in such classics

as Rear Window. In this 344-page softcover from

nai010, Steven Jacobs dissects 10 of the British

director’s sets, including the Bates Motel from

Psycho. Floor plans pieced together from the films

and surviving sketches are riddled with holes

and contradictions, which lends them a provisory

feel. The sense emerges that Hitchcock saw cinematic

“moments,” then devised structures in which

they could unfold – a method many architects

might employ today. you may also like: Architecture

and Film (Princeton Architectural Press), Mark

Lamster’s 2000 analysis of how the movies portray

architecture and architects. By David Dick‐Agnew

jul ⁄ aug 2014 103

advertiser index

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B&B Italia 25 Jenn-Air


BMW 85 - 88,108 Keilhauer 4,5

Bocci 32 Land Rover 43

Boston Architectural College 30 Ligne Roset 29

Caesarstone 107 Momentum 20

Ceragres 35 Nienkämper 17

Ceramics of Italy 8 Poliform 31

Cersaie 16 rc3 37

Confederation Centre of the Arts 91 Rubi 9

European Flooring 19 Shaw 39

Eventscape 23 Sheridan College 103

Fleurco 18 Venice Biennale 101

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104 jul ⁄ aug 2014 azuremagazine.com


coming in azure:


Designs that are

shaping the future

Plus +

Kitchens and appliances

to bring out your inner chef

show Reports from ICFF in

New York, NeoCon in Chicago

and the Biennale in Venice

and the winners are…

In May, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Royal

Architectural Institute of Canada presented this

year’s Governor General’s Medals in Architecture, at a

ceremony held at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. Recognized for

the outstanding designs of a dozen recently completed

buildings, the winners included Teeple Architects, for

the 60 Richmond East Housing Co-operative in Toronto;

Les Architectes FABG, for the revitalization of a gas

station in Verdun, Quebec, designed by Ludvig Mies van

der Rohe; and Patkau Architects, for Tula House on

Quadra Island, British Columbia.

RAIC also bestowed fellowships for outstanding

achie vement on 34 architects, including Halifax’s Graeme

Duffus; Sylvie Girard of Montreal; Siamak Hariri and

David Pontarini of Toronto; and Vancouver’s Lubor Tomas

Trubka. Bjarke Ingels and Antoine Predock received

honorary fellowships. The full lists can be viewed at raic.org.

The American Institute of Architects and its committee

on the environment have named their Top Ten Award

recip ients; the program celebrates sus tain able architecture

and ecological design. This year’s list honours Holst

Architecture’s Bud Clark Commons in Portland, Oregon;

Mithun’s Sustainability Treehouse in West Virginia;

and Snow Kreilich Architects’ U.S. Port of Land Entry in

Minnesota. The committee also selected a Top Ten Plus

Project for the year, awarded to a former Top Ten lister

that now has quantifiable data to prove the design’s

impact. The Iowa Utilities Board / Office of the Consumer

Advocate Office Building, by BNIM, made the original

list in 2012. Leading by example, the utilities regulator’s

headquarters consumes power at a rate of 81.5 per cent

below the national average, with a roof-mounted photo -

voltaic installation that provides 25 per cent of the

building’s energy needs. More details are online at aia.org.

In June, Phyllis Lambert, founder of the Canadian Centre

for Architecture, received the Golden Lion for Lifetime

Achievement at the Venice Architecture Biennale’s

Fun damentals opening. She was selected by the bien nale’s

board and 2014 curator Rem Koolhaas, of OMA. Lambert

is renowned for her role as director of planning for the 1958

Seagram Building in New York, which she commissioned

Mies van der Rohe to design.

This year’s Pulitzer Prize for journalistic criticism went

to architectural writer Inga Saffron, whose engaging

column, Changing Skyline, has been a weekly fixture in

the Philadelphia Inquirer for the past 15 years.

Patrizia Moroso, art director of Moroso, has received a

high honour: Italian president Giorgio Napolitano has

appointed her as a Cavaliere del Lavoro. The designation

recognizes the visionary collaborator, known for transforming

her family’s furniture brand into a leading name,

for her ongoing contribution to local industry.

The winners of the prestigious Cooper-Hewitt National

Design Awards have been selected by a diverse jury,

which included architect Tom Kundig and fashion

designer Anna Sui. Brooks + Scarpa Architects, of

Los Angeles, took the architecture design title; while

New York’s Roman and Williams Buildings and Interiors

won for interior design; LUNAR was named for product

design; and Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture

of San Fran cisco was recognized as well. E-commerce

giant Etsy took the corporate and institutional achievement

category; and a lifetime achievement award

went to Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar, founders of

the brand design firm Cher mayeff & Geismar & Haviv.

The recip ients will be honoured at a gala in New York

in October. See the complete list at cooperhewitt. org.

The Designs of the Year Awards in seven cate gor ies have

been chosen by the Design Museum, London. Curator

Gemma Curtin describes the program as “a condensed

and vivid selection of the last 12 months in design,”

and an insight into how the various disciplines can benefit

individuals and society. The awards are given in the

categories of architecture, digital, fashion, furniture,

graphics, product and transport; the winners for each will

now compete for the overall prize. These include the

Pro Chair Family, from Konstantin Grcic; James Bridle’s

Drone Shadows installation; and the Peek smart phone–

based eye exam kit, developed by Andrew Bastawrous,

Stewart Jordan, Mario Giardini and Ian Livingstone.

An exhibition at the museum presents the honourees until

August 25. Full details at designmuseum.org.

The inaugural Isamu Noguchi Award for Kindred Spirits

in Innovation, Global Consciousness and Japanese/

American Exchange was presented to architect Norman

Foster and photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto during the

Noguchi Museum’s spring benefit in New York. The

two were chosen for their work based on principles that

inspired the museum’s founder, a prominent Japanese-

American artist and landscape architect.

Movers and shakers

The Canadian Centre for Architecture has appointed

Giovanna Borasi as chief curator. She has been with the

organization since 2005, when she joined as curator of

contemporary architecture. In her new role, she plans to

make better use of the institution’s resources by unifying

research, acquisitions, exhibitions and publications.

Ilias Papageorgiou has been promoted to partner with

New York design office SO-IL. A graduate of Aristotle

University in Greece and the master’s program at Harvard’s

School of Architecture, he has worked at the firm since

its inception in 2008, and has led such projects as the

Shrem Museum of Art at the University of California, Davis.

As part of the 2014–15 Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts

Initiative, Pritzker Prize Laureate Peter Zumthor has

selected Gloria Cabral, partner in Paraguayan firm

Gabinete de Arquitectura, as his protege. The program

pairs young talent with leading artists in seven disciplines,

including architecture, for a year-long collaboration.

A complete list is online at rolexmentorprotege.com.

On the boards

Herzog & de Meuron has been announced as the architects

for the new Vancouver Art Gallery. With such past

projects as the Tate Modern in London and the De Young

Museum in San Francisco, the Swiss firm seems a

natural fit. It was chosen for its demonstration of “a deep

commitment to and respect for the rich history and unique

spirit of the gallery, our community, and our surrounding

natural and urban environment,” says gallery director

Kathleen Bartels. This is the firm’s first Canadian project.

In memoriam

Pritzker Prize Laureate Hans Hollein has died at the age

of 80. After studying at the Illinois Institute of Technology

in Chicago, the architect returned to his hometown of

Vienna, where he gained international recognition for his

small-scale work, such as the Retti candle shop. His

larger projects include the Museum für Moderne Kunst in

Frank furt, Germany. He also worked as a journalist and

an educator, and was known for products such as his tea

and coffee service for Alessi.

Italian graphic designer Massimo Vignelli has passed

away at 83. Renowned for his New York subway graphics,

he launched design firm Unimark International’s New

York branch in 1965. After resigning, he founded Vignelli

Associates in 1971, with his wife, Lella; their clients

included Knoll and American Airlines. Following years

of sharing his knowledge through books and teaching, he

donated his archives to the Rochester Institute of

Technology in 2008.

jul ⁄ aug 2014 105


Capture the Light

Phillip K. Smith III’s illuminating views of Coachella

For the first time since the Coachella Valley Music

and Arts Festival’s inception in 1999, this year’s

event poster announced visual artists alongside

long-celebrated bands and DJs.

Installed on the polo field that serves as the

main stage, Reflection Field justified the prominent

billing. The commission, by local artist Phillip K.

Smith III, comprised five mirror-clad steel frames

reaching over five metres into the sky. LEDs hidden

inside the volumes illuminated the mirrored shells,

with the tiny lights projecting gradients and

sequences of colour according to programming

created by Smith.

Besides rivalling the main stage, and per form ers

ranging from rockers Graveyard to vocalist Lorde,

the totems proved as thought provoking as any

song. By day, they acted as screens, virtually multiplying

hundreds of thousands of ticket holders;

come nightfall, the glowing beacons served as a

landmark. Throughout the event concertgoers

flocked to the volumes with phones outstretched;

yet after snapping selfies, they quietly beheld the

reflected sea of activity and the immense desert

enveloping it.

The monoliths inspired internal reflection as well,

perhaps most palpably at sunrise and sunset, when

the washes of LED light merged with images of the

crowd and the natural spectacle taking place over-

head. While this restrained introspection recalls

James Turrell, Robert Irwin and other modern

masters of perception, it also evokes much older

precedents, such as The Arnolfini Portrait (in which

medieval painter Jan van Eyck inserted himself

in the reflection of his subjects’ convex mirror),

suggesting that, regardless of time or medium, art

strives to explain our place in a wider world.

David Sokol writes about architecture and design

from his New York base. As an American studies

major at Yale, he spent a year obsessing over landscape

portrayals on glass in 19th‐century clocks.



106 jul ⁄ aug 2014 azuremagazine.com

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