Nathalie Wolberg Frame #49


Saint-Ouen „ 2006


Drifting in Space The transparency

of the hammock allows light to filter

through to other levels.

Nathalie Wolber






Jaime ma maison: All metal

furnishings were purposedesigned

for this domestic

interior and provided with a coat

of epoxy paint.

Here at Frame, we're not in

the habit of displaying domestic

bliss alongside commercial installations,

public spaces and other

non-residential interiors. An

exception to the rule is a dwelling

that had the entire editorial

staff gaping in amazement. French

architect Nathalie Wolberg's home

is unique. Her residence and

workplace are located in a shoe

factor y built in the 1950s, which

currently accommodates nine

live/work apartments. Wolberg's

eye was drawn to a three-level

unit at the west end of the factory.

Tackling the job with a vengeance,

she even replaced the concrete floor

on her way to creating an

ingenious play of light and space.

Setting the tone in a surreal anti

rather spare environment are

soaring views, sliding walls,

movable furniture, an organically

shaped stairway and surprising

lighting accents in hot pink and

chartreuse. Key to the strength of

the rooms is their organization or,

better said, their lack of any definitive

organization. Everything

is movable. Slightly tilted metal

screens on wheels can be used to

divide the main space into smaller,

more intimate areas. Furniture

defines the room. Eve-catcher is a

gauze hammock. Linoleum covers

both floor and bathroom walls.

Artificial lighting integrated into

furniture, walls and ceilings can be

modified to match the mood. `The

apartment is a reflection of m y

personality,' says Wolberg. `As

an architect, I'm looking for the

best way to make a space that

underlines the character of the

occupant.' A worthy pursuit. But

who could possibly be unhappy


Alexandra Onderwater

Photography by Gaelic Le Boulicaut


Welcome to

Pill Paradise

According to the architects at Grazbased

PurPur Architektur, their design

for a pharmacy in the Austrian town

of St. Pölten is 'a metaphor for a

pharmacist's gown'. Like colourful pens

protruding from the breast pocket of a

snow-white jacket, bright packages of

medicinal products fill niches in the

white walls of the pharmacy. lmitation

leather covering both counter front and

display walls makes the interior look

even more like a garment. On the whole,

however, the pharmacy seems closer in

st y le to an iPod than to a cheap. protective

uniform. Everything here is slick.

smooth, streamlined and minimalist. In

the zigzagging wall slits, lit from behind,

drugs presented like designer objects

form the only colour accents in an

otherwise blindingly white interior. The

slanting edges of the niches contrast

with the curvaceous overall shape of the

display walls that embrace the retail

space. Ostensibly, the resulting blobby

layout of the room corresponds to the

flow of people at the shopping centre, `

sucking' customers into the pharmacy.

Behind the sales area are a more linear

but no less minimalist office and a full y

automatic storage room that is netlinked

to the counter. Shoppers outside

can look through a glass wall at a grabber

arm selecting medicines from a glass

shelving system. Sci-fi technology meets

pill-art aesthetics à la Damien Hirst. The

pharmacy has been elevated to the status

of attraction, and drugs have become

lifestyle objects.

Anneke Pokern

Photography by Hertha Hu haus

From iPod to iPill: PurPur

Architektur has come up with a pill

dispensary in St. Pölten that has the

clean-lined clarity of an iPod.

Eva Schaap

Photography by Maurizio Marcato


Guy Zucker


New York City

Back to


Guy Zucker has redeemed linoleum.

Not an easy task, but it looks effortless.

With New York City's Delicatessen — not

a cornedbeef-on-rye joint but a clothing

shop — Zucker has created an interior of

unsurpassed resourcefulness and crisp

good looks. Using onl y grey and

yellow linoleum and cardboard tubes,

the designer has sheathed the 84-sq-m

space in a thin 'garment' that fo r ms the

store's furniture: display racks, fitting

room, cash desk and display window.

With a change of season, change of

mode or change of the owner's heart,

this garment can be easily removed

and replaced, permitting the interior to

keep pace with the mercurial fashion

industry. Not least, the entire project cost

a mere $3000: $2000 for labour and

$1000 for materials. By cutting. folding,

rolling, stacking and wrapping his

materials, Zucker transformed

pedestrian, ephemeral, ready-made stuff

into something fine, reminding us, as

our mothers once did, that it is not

clothes that make the man. 'Fashion

design is a creative field that has

managed to completely merge with

contemporary life,' the designer sa y s. '

If we want to learn from fashion

design, we have to change our

expectations. If we don't expect all

architectural products to become

monuments, if we can invest less in

"high- end" materials, we might be

able to give more importance to the

quality of design than to the cost of

material — and to give more importance

to the designer than to the contractor.'

Shonquis Moreno Photography

by Nomi Yogev

Wrap It Up: Guy Zucker sheathed New

York boutique Delicatessen in

cardboard tubes and linoleum,

transforming the space into a

striking shop.


Flight of


Sailing through space above

fluff y white clouds, head filled with

dreams of your final destination,

only hours away. What a pity that

the interior of the aeroplane - rigid

rows of chairs, white-napkinned

headrest, drop-down tray nearl y

resting on knees squeezed into an

already cramped space - does so

little to embellish those dreams.

Last year in September, at Verona's

Abitare il Tempo trade fair,

designer Simone Micheli

introduced a fresh take on the (dis)

comforts of air travel. His stand,

which incorporated part of a

Brazilian aircraft, the Embraer

Legacy, proved that flying can be

fun. Micheli's stand was divided

into a waiting area and a cylindrical

cabin space. Within the

latter, round wall lamps and light

projections of clouds passing by

replaced the customary 'windows

with a view of the skies'. Rather

than standard rows of seating,

visitors sank into luxurious easy

chairs, each surrounded by a generous

amount of space. Although

the almost magical view of a

vast blanket of clouds beneath

the plane is not part of Micheli's

design, his sensory environment

filled with light, sound and

colour is sure to promote dazzling

dreams. Despite the initial period

of acclimation required to get used

to such a different style of air

travel, Michell is convinced that his

futuristic design will catch on. 'We

need great works like this one,' he

insists, pointing out that his

interior is the result of 'truth,

creative explosion and guts'.

Back to the Future: Visitors to Simone

Micheli's stand at Verona's Abitare il

Tempo trade fair were catapulted into the

future by an aeroplane furnished to

stimulate the senses.

Eva Schaap

Photography by Maurizio Marcato

Eva Schaap

Photography by Maurizio Marcato


Have a


Studio Limit

Betting Office


Frame a49


Betting culture takes a leap

front the tired image of a smokef

ugged, seedy office to a light, bright

space in Berlin that is splashed with

super-sized sports graphics.

Adrenaline-fuelled shots include a

tennis pla y er mid-serve and

Formula One cars careering

round a track. To ensure immediate

recognition, Viennese design outfit

Limit focused on a few easily

identifiable images with high

recognition value, injecting the

space with strong signage. The

images notch up extra impact

through their sheer size in relation

to the surrounding space. Glued

foil graphics appear to be bursting

front the walls. spilling over bands

of 'go faster' style stripes, which

run along the upper and lower

edges of laminated wooden

panelling lit from behind. A twotone

palette seals the bookies,

known as StarBet, with a strong

visual identity. Flat-screen TVs

placed high along one wall make for

compulsive viewing during major

sporting events. After spotting a

recent project by Limit in an

Austrian newspaper, the clients

asked the team to design their office

in Berlin. The shop is the first of a

planned series to be rolled out in

several German cities. Limit

crafted the graphics in

collaboration with partners and

experts in the field, Section D.

Romana Schweng of Limit, who's

not been tempted to bet, sees the

project simply as 'shop design for a

specific industry'. But feel free to

wager a fiver on StarBet proving a

favourite, especially with young


Charlotte Vaudrey

Photography courtesy of Limit Architects

Place Your Bets; Punters, geed up by

dynamic graphics showing seemingly

successful athletes, place bets in a

bright betting office in Berlin designed

by Viennese design outfit Limit.


To Boldly


Journey with ET through an

unknown planetary system in search of

alien life Last winter, the Science of

Aliens exhibition at London's Science

Museum invited us to do just that. The

exhibition attempts (albeit in vain) to

answer one of mankind's most

fascinating questions: 'ls anybod y else

out there' Created by design studio

Urban Salon, the child-friendly show

consists of four themed zones: Alien

Fiction, Alien Science, Alien Worlds and

Alien Communication. Greet ing visitors

at the entrance is a nearly 2.5-m replica

of the Alien Queen, but to make it all

less frightening for little ones, her

welcome is followed by a 'play-proof

display of five cylindrical plastic tubes

that introduces a two-headed teddy bear

and the lovable alien star ET. Sound

artist Janek Schaefer and Alien Worlds,

a collaborative association between

Berlin-based designers Art+Com and

Channel 4, made sound-and-image

compilations that fill each themed

zone with a unique atmosphere. A

particularly striking component of the

exhibition is an imaginary planetary

system and its inhabitants, a world

crafted with the use of tables clad in a

layer of interactive, touch-sensitive skin.

Stretching across the ceiling, the tables

whisk observers into regions wholly

unanticipated. Dee Hallinger, project

manager at the Science Museum, says

they hoped to provoke questions about

the existence of other worlds. Her

answer to the exhibition's central

question 'With all certainty, yes.'

Beatrice Galilee

Photograph tr y Gareth Gardner

Alien-Nation: The Science of Aliens, an

exhibition at London's Science

Museum, puts visitors in touch with

worlds and creatures as yet unknown to



Hollandse Nieuwe



What to


A gathering of girls primed to

party. Simple Hardly. Clothes are

strewn everywhere: bed, floor,

lampshade, chair. Chaos escalates along

with the clamber to get a place at the

mirror. Finding the right outfit – not to

mention hair, make-up and

jewellery – appears to be a problem

only time can solve. Dutch design firms

Bearandbunny and Hollandse Nieuwe

put the frenzied fuss in front of the

mirror and the just before leaving the

house' jumble into their design of the

XX by Mexx shop in London. Their

concept resulted in a girly pink space

full of frills, glitter and a chaotic, totall y

in-your-face air of confusion. 'The shop

looks untidy, but that's exactly what

prompts the customer to keep searching

for the perfect combination; explains

Hans Reineke of Hollandse Nieuwe.

Seemingly unrelated styles hang in

no particular order on a rail that

meanders throughout the store. AIso

on the rail are various items meant

to emphasize the 'just before' idea,

such as Polaroid pies suggesting

possible combinations. The large

fitting-room area at the centre of

the shop is the outlet's most striking

feature. Here, as at home, girls gather to

mix, match and manoeuvre for the best

spot. Thanks to unexpected materials

and finishes, such as rubber coatings

and iridescent paint, the largely classical

furnishings add to the desired `

bedroom effect'. The profusion at XX

b y Mexx doesn't make your choice any

easier – it just makes you want it all.

Marlique OuwOuwendijk

Photography by John Maatman

Girls' Night Out: Designers of London's

new XX by Mexx shop crafted a chaotic,

girly, in-your-face space that represents

the younger woman's bedroom.

40 Hild und K


lounge Munich


The room holds 14 people, but

11 would haye been a more appropriate

number. As one of the VIP

lounges at Munich's new Allianz-

Arena stadium, it is occupied on

match days by a local concrete

company. Situated on the east curve

of the fifth level of Herzog & de

Meuron's building, it offers a

perfect view of the action during

matches and a meeting space that is

sure to impress clients at any time.

With its overly obvious football

theme — including floodlight-style

lamps, walls covered in Astroturf

and white lines everywhere — the

interior by Munich architects Hild

und K balances on the fine line

between kitsch and class. As

project leader Carmen Wolf

explains, a small competition was

held for the commission. 'We

weren't at all sure whether the

owners of the company would like

our idea. It's a traditional family

business. But, unexpectedly, the

director's mum of all people was

really enthusiastic. So we won.' The

grass wall that separates the

conference room from a small

pantry 'brings the stadium into the

lounge', according to the architects,

who see the room as `a side

chapel in the cathedral of football'.

On a more pragmatic level, white

lines and frames on the wall indicate

drawers containing amenities

such as a plasma TV, a minibar

and food-warming trays. During

matches, when excited guests

would rather stand than sit — even

in chic Panton chairs — the sixsegmented

table can be dismantled

and reconfigured to make higher

bar tables.

The Grass is Always Greener:

Footballers may be reluctant to play on

artificial grass, but you won't hear the

VIPs in this grandstand lounge


Anneke Bokern

PhoMography by Michael Heinrich


Attack of the


The interior of Kunsthaus Graz (

see Frame 37, p 108) isn't exactl y

what exhibition designers would

call a tabula rasa. Marta Malé-

Alemany and Jose Pedro Sousa of

ReD Architects soon realized this

when asked to design the exhibition

M-City/European Cityscapes. 'The

exhibition was a great challenge,

because we wanted the design to

emerge from the context,' says

Malé-Alemany. `But we also wanted

to transform the space.' Opting for

an unusual solution, the

Barcelona- and Porto-based

designers concentrated their

intervention on the ceilings of the

two galleries involved. Inspired by

Oscar Niemeyer's ceiling design for

the Brazilian senate, they hid G00

neon lights behind flag-like covers

on the first floor. White flags of

different sizes, produced with CNC

laser-cutting technology, turn the

ceiling into an inverted topograph y

and subtly guide the visitor

through the exhibition below by

denoting walls or corridors. On the

second floor, six big cones —

inserted into and suspended from

the undersides of nozzles that

bulge from the biomorphic façade

— serve as projection rooms for

films. All cones have the same

shape, resulting from sheathing

four hoops in textile, but the

length of their middle segments

varies in response to ' ceiling

height. Each cone is slightly tilted,

allowing visitors to slip

underneath as though they were

huddling under a huge umbrella.

Nice Nozzles: Created by ReD

Architects, giant cones attached to

the undersides of the nozzles that

characterize Kunsthaus Graz drop

down to form compact screening


The shiny, silver-coloured outer

surfaces of these giant umbrellas

reflect light from the spiralled

neon lights in the nozzles, while

black interiors create an appropri

ately cinematic atmosphere.

Anneke Brokern


courtesy of ReD

44 Toneri

co Installation



As homo symbolicus, man

devises signs and symbols to mark

certain events and rituals. Repeated

use down through the ages has

made many of' them so interwoven

with the things they represent that

they have become instantly

recognizable — the evergreen as a

symbol of Christmas, the Star of

David as the 'logo' of Judaism and

so on. The impact of such symbols

is largely responsible for their

continuing existence and for the

introduction of new signs and

symbols. Following this train of

thought, Yoneya Hiroshi, Kimizuka

Ken and Masuko Yumi — who

together form Japanese design

studio Tonerico — have crafted a

representation of the human brain

and its capacity for memory. Based

on the appearance of a computer

matrix and featuring vertical st r

ands of exquisitely shaped steel

numbers, their prizewinning

installation, Memento, is a

physical manifestation of both

human and computer memory.

Cascading like raindrops or silvery

sunbeams, the numbers resemble

the ornaments found in Japanese

Buddhist art. 'Understanding the

true nature of an object is what

design is all about,' says Hiroshi,

who wanted to create something

that transcends the physical and

that 'evokes a variety of images and

fantasies'. Exhibited at Gallery le

bain in Tokyo, Memento was also

shown at last year's 100% Design

Tokyo as well as at the Salone del

Mobile in Milan, where the installation

won the Design Report

Award 2005.

Elegant Integers: Tonerico's

Memento interprets human memory

as a cascade of numbers borrowed from a

computer matrix.

Masaaki Takahashi

Photography by Nacása & ParMners


Watch This


A prominent corner location in

London's Carnaby Street has

housed a Casio store for many y ears,

but the interior of the old shop has

undergone something of a

metamorphosis. The transformation

was instigated when Londonbased

design studio Brinkworth

won a three-way creative pitch to

refit the Casio store. Brinkworth's

design director, Carl Nichols,

reports that since 'the brand had

gone a little quiet recently', the

brief gave the studio the chance to

do something new. Brinkworth's

role in visualizing and transferring

vibrant graphics from Casio's

advertising campaign, dubbed

Germ Creative, to real surfaces in

the store was crucial to the

revamp. The resulting illustration-like

foil features flowers,

birds and butterflies, with large

maple-meets-hemp leaves bringing

a sharper edge to the whimsical

design. The foils flow seamlessly

from wall to floor in flamboyant

swirls. The latter is as white as

the former, a surprising decision

given the commercial preference

for darker-coloured and less

quickly dirtied floor surfaces. As

the impact of the design lies in its

germ-like infection of the whole

volume, however, it makes aesthetic

sense to set the full extent

of the pattern against the same

neutral white background. The

tableau is reflected in repetitions

appearing on the shop-as-storewindow

glazing and in the mirrored

glass of blue display plinths,

where merchandise is shown off

under thick, faceted glass topping

the square blocks. The graphic, illustrational

motif injects a playful

zest into the store, making it an

imagination-driven space.

Infect Me: In the transformation of

a London Casio shop into a playful

space, Brinkworth adapts vibrant

graphics from the watchmaker's

recent ad campaign.

Charlotte Vaudrey

Photography by Louise Melchior



When product and furniture

designers AdmirJukanovic and

Martin Buschle were asked to

design the interior of a space that

was to function as showroom, press

room, conference room, banquet

room, bar and retail space,

they handed the directors of

German power company EnBW the

bare bones of their proposal: a sheet

of white paper and a mirror. `They

asked us to design an egg-laying,

wool-growing, milk-giving pig, and

our answer was a mirror and a

sheet of paper. It must have

come as a shock, but they liked our

final presentation and proposal.'

Although energy has no tangible

form, the designers interpreted the

effects of energy in their plan for

the multifunctional space at

EnBW's headquarters. Like the

paper that made up half of their

original presentation, the space is

entirely white. The main feature — a

winding, perforated white wall — is

made of translucent Corian. LEDs

in the wall are connected to three

cameras on the outside of the

building, which record the

movements of passersby and

reflect them, by means of moving

LEDs, onto the perforated wall: the

architectural equivalent of `the

sheet of white paper'. LED strips

lining the top and bottom of the

wall fill the space with various

colours of light. 'We not only visualized

energy in our design, but

also created a multipurpose space

that can be used for a wide range of

activities and events.'

Eva Schaap

Photography by Luc Borgly

Whiter Shade of Pale: The Corianpanelled

ceiling of a multipurpose

room for power company EnBW in

Berlin has curving corners that make

ít look as though it's melting. LEDs

in the openings emit a soft light.


The Stuff of


`Every advantage has its disadvantage'

is a much-quoted comment

attributed to Dutch soccer

player and coach Johan Cruijff. The

truth inherent in this contradictory

statement recently became

crystal clear to architect Sanjay

Puri, designer of the interior of

Bombay's largest movie-theatre

complex, Cinemax. 'Cinemax consists

of two large, centrally located

auditoriums flanked on either side

by two smaller ones – a plan that

makes the space extremely linear,'

explains Puri. 'The lobby varies in

height from 2.5 to 8.5 metres, and

the total length is HO metres.

Although it's a large space, the

layout produces a feeling of walking

through a narrow corridor:

Variations in height caused major

problems for the architect, particularly

in the lobby. But Puri had

already proved the veracity of

Cruijff's maxim at Capital Hill (see

Frame 41), a Mumbai hotel with a

Mondrianesque lobby featuring

teak frame-and-sheet panels. To

unify the spaces at Cinemax, he

designed an undulating,

curvilinear ceiling that connects

lower areas to higher areas in one

fluid line. Large windows are

screened by freestanding panels of

frosted and clear glass, which both

obscure the view and allow

natural light to enter the interior.

At night, LEDs behind the panels

emit blue and purple light. `Thus

the ceiling and the variations in

colour, form and light,' says Puri, '

have turned what seemed to be

disadvantageous differences in

height into the feature of Cinemax.'

Era Schaal)

Photograph y by Vinesh Gandhi

High Tide: In Mumbai, Sanjay Puri's

design of the Cinemax movie complex

has an undulating gypsum-plaster ceiling

that connects all areas of the building.

Puri designed interior, furniture and

freestanding panels.




Celebrating and showcasing

Singapore's rising

status as a design capital, the

DesignSingapore Council recently

staged 20/20 at the new Singapore

National Library. The installation

was a sequel to Vision 20/20 of

2004, a show featuring 20 designers

and their work, the subject

matter of a publication given away

to 2020 visitors to that event.

Even the packaging of each book —

a 20-cm-sq box —displayed the work

of top Singapore designers. `The

boxes were designed to look like

building blocks,' says Jackson

Than of Black Design, curator and

designer of 20/20, 'because we

believe the creators are the building

blocks of Singapore's design

future.' The 2005 theme, `Under

Construction', played on the

emerging nature of the Singapore

design scene. Again, 2020 boxes

were used, this time arranged on

and around an industrial conveyor

belt, within a space made of industrial

scaffolding. As an added

touch, the space was surrounded

by black and y ellow construction

tape, not only to mark off the site

but also to arouse curiosity. 'When

you pass a construction site,' says

Than, ' y ou're usually curious as

to what's happening behind the

tape and inside the barricades. We

positioned the tape to allow viewers

to peep through and catch a

glimpse of what's going on inside:

This device certainly seems to

have worked: although the installation

was up only during the inaugural

Singapore Design Festival,

all 2020 boxes were snapped up

before the end of the exhibition.

Penny Croswell

Photography by Tan Hai Han

Box Offer: Black Design built an

installation featuring 2020 boxes that

represents the future of design in



Garden of


The shopping theme park

that is Manhattan's Meatpacking

District seems to be evolving into

a condensed collection of geographies,

with Stella McCartney as a

graphically topographic

landscape, Alexander McQueen as

a glacier of crevasses and caverns,

and Balenciaga as a desert. Amidst

this variegated pla y ground, the

300-sqm Boutique Catherine

Malandrino, designed by

Christophe Pillet in collaboration

with the fashion designer, evokes

an image of the primeval garden

in which the rib of man first hit

into a notoriously eye-opening

fruit. Though Pillet denies the

existence of a specific metaphor

for the design, the space is too

evocative to escape categorization.

Instead of soil, visitors tread upon

slate and white marble. Displays

and surfaces are all abloom in

stainless steel, lacquered glass,

and enamelled and smoked

mirror. A hillock of a sofa has

sprouted an upholstered leather

sod, and garments hang in a

profusion of mossy knits and

leafy frocks from hedgerows of

racks. Sheltering it all is the Tree,

a chandelier pendulous with

Murano-glass bulbs, beneath

which a meandering path through

the shop is inflected with unexpected

moments in which bits of

merchandise seem to play a

whimsical game of hide-and-goseek:

an intimate hollow emerges;

a forest glade opens. The choice of

materials – hard, glassy and

reflective, but also rounded,

pendant and iridescentl y fragile –

suggests an ambiguous, industrial

handcrafting that mimics

complementary aspects of

Malandrino's fashions, which are

simultaneously statuesque and

sensual. 'We wanted; sa y s Pillet, '

to express a glamorous


Shonquis Moreno

Photography by Barbel Miebach

Golden Glimmer: A wandering wall

clad in gold panelling joins a

Murano-glass chandelier to give

Catherine Malandrino's Manhattan shop

a stunning air of chic.


Seeing Is


How do you design a showroom

for virtual products And

make it appeal to a target audience

ranging from students to business

executives Frankfurt-based

communications agency Atelier

Markgraph solved the problem

with Future Zone, a highly

complex and technically sophisticated

showroom for T-Online,

Germany's biggest internet

provider. At T-Online's corporate

headquarters in Darmstadt, the

Atelier Markgraph team, headed by

Lars Uwe Bleher, transformed a 3'

0-sq-m space, divided into two

rooms, into a tangible presentation

of the client's 200 or so online

services and packages. In the first

room, which resembles a cinema,

visitors step onto a revolving

platform and are introduced to T-

Online in short film sequences that

sketch the firm's corporate image.

From there the y enter the walk-in

browser — a passageway of

translucent gauze strips onto which

the note-and-link aesthetics of the

Web are projected — which leads

to the second room. Here the

world of online services is

presented in the form of three

futuristic scenarios linking (home)

office and home. Lean Forward, for

instance, shows the possibility of

networking online services in the

office of tomorrow: a worktop with

files, pens and papers is projected

onto a 4-m-long tabletop with builtin

illumination. Visitors can

activate information sequences by

touching any of the virtual objects.

Bleher and colleagues Sonja

Donnert and Barbara Ackermann,

the trio behind both creative concept

and interior design, brought

Stuttgart-based Jangled Nerves on

board to devise the software.

Krishna Raderschad

Photography by Zooey Braun

Online on Show: Atelier Markgraph

brings the intangible world of Webbased

services to life in its

showroom for T-Online.

58 Gonzalez Haase




Frame *49



How to

Treat Acne

They move within the worlds of

art, culture and fashion. They have

offices in Paris and Berlin. And

they're partners in private life as

well. German architect Judith

Haase and French set designer

Pierre Jorge Gonzalez, who first

worked together on a project for'

Robert Wilson in New York, founded

Gonzalez Haase in 1999. They have

since gained a reputation for

designing art galleries. But whether

it's the interior of' a gallery, an

apartment or a boutique, the

starting point is invariably the

space itself. In the case of a retail

outlet for Swedish jeans-label Acne,

that space, located in Berlin Mitte,

was a century-old building whose

shabby-chic shell now embraces a

totally purist yet highly complex

interior. The focal point is a

monumental cabinet – used to

display and store merchandise –

that meanders through all three





ms of the shop at Münzstraße

Designed using the copy/paste

technique of a 3D modelling


program, the 'sculpture' also

houses fitting rooms and projection

screens. At night, shots and

films relating to Acne's current

collection are projected on aluminium-grey

screens that descend

from a superimposed 'technology

tank'. An amoebic multipurpose

unit of skin-coloured Corian forms

a reception counter near the entrance.

Composed of several levels,

it accommodates a concealed cash

desk at standing height and,

somewhat lower, a seating area for

trying on shoes. The icing on the

cake is the interpla y of natural and

artificial lighting, particularly the

stylized tattoo of carousel bulbs

that crowns the interior like

abstract chandelier.

Kris! na Raderschad

Photography by Thomas Meyer/Ostkreuz

Shabby Chic: Visible behind the

ageing stone frontage is an interior

with unblemished skin for a brand

called, ironically, Acne.


One Stroke

of a Pen

Located on the avenue

des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Le

Rendez-Vous Toyota is the Japanese

carmaker's largest European

showroom. Wanting to see its `

Today Tomorrow Toyota' tagline

translated into architecture, the

automobile giant approached

industrial designer Ito Morabito.

Better known by his `brand alias',

Ora-Ito, Morabito is seen by many –

including multinationals – as a

designer who symbolizes the

future. This comes as no surprise

when you hear him utter one-liners

such as, `What I like is the future'

and 'What appeals to me is

tomorrow.' Morabito's task in Paris

was to emphasize key company

values such as quality, design and

innovation. Calligraphy formed the

starting point. The designer took a

single stroke of the pen and

developed it into a 3-D screen

image, which was painstakingly

and perfectly manufactured in

Corian by Créa Diffusion. Morabito

chose this material for its flexibility,

its translucence and its silken

texture. The automobile showroom

is finished in 400-sq-m of Corian

that has been shaped, curved, cut,

polished and modelled. The fluidly

streamlined shapes allow the eve to

roam easily across both floors of

the showroom, which are

connected by a stairway (in Corian,

of course), as well as by an

enormous screen of LED lights.

Upstairs, the wannabe racing driver

can experience high-speed thrills in

a Formula One simulator, or just

admire the merchandise on display

in a squeaky-clean space whose

glacier-white surfaces are

punctuated by Toyota-red vehicles.

Today Tomorrow: Toyota is ready

for the latter with its imposing showroom

designed by Ora-Ito in the heart of


Chris Scott

Photography by Luc Boegly


I Bed,

Spies and


Various Designers

Hotel Rooms


Frame *49


Immediately upon sighting

the candy-pink building in the

midst of Bangkok's dusty concrete

jungle, one might guess that the

owner of the Reflections Hotel is

an artist. While chatting with

Czech designer and architect Borek

Sipek, Anusorn Ngernyuang

envisioned a new hotel with 28

rooms, each created by a different

artist or designer. The theme would

be `kitsch and hip', and the

designers would represent

Thailand, as well as countries

abroad. Trendy Thai artist Kon g pat

Sakdapitak transformed Room 210

into a clean white space punctuated

by colourful, pop-arty images

painted directly on the walls.

Another highlight. Room 410, is

the work of artist and (fashion)

designer Jitsing Somboon, who

made the hotel guest part of his

design by incorporating video

cameras that record the occupant's

ever y move, even in the shower.

The videotape can be taken along

as a souvenir. Accompanying

Somboon's Big Brother concept are

white walls that double as a canvas

for the artist's sparse but

imaginative drawings of what goes

in the whimsical hotel rooms of his

mind. Despite limited marketing

efforts, response to the hotel since

its opening last year has been

extremely positive. `This place

attracts guests from all over the

world,' says Ngernyuang. `We get

attention without even thinking

about marketing strategies or

public relations.'

Penny Criswell

Photograplx by Thom Jirarat

Candid Camera: Artist and (fashion)

designer Jitsing Somboon equipped Room

410 of Bangkok's Reflections Hotel with

video cameras that record the occupant's

every move. The tape is a Super



In Full


Tokyo's void+ is a small, whitewalled

gallery measuring just 2 x

2 x 3 m. Founded as a nonprofitmaking

space for contemporary

artists, it hosts three or four

exhibitions a year. Independent

curators, critics and writers are

invited to draw up a collaborative

programme. The third show of

2005 was devoted to Tokyo-based

artist, illustrator and designer

Kahori Maki (1962), who studied at

Nihon University's College of Art

and at the Arts Students League

in New York. Maki, who selects

themes for her projects only after

seeing their future settings, says

that the small box-like space

instantly brought to mind a

hakoniwa, or miniature Japanese

garden. Literall y translated as

garden in a box', hakoniwa refers

to the traditional pastime of

creating a small, mock garden in a

sand-lined box. At the gallery,

Maki covered walls, floor and ceiling

with graphic sheets printed

with computer-generated illustrations,

creating a tattoo-like effect

that was enhanced b y hand-drawn

sections. Decorative shapes and

plant forms, reminiscent of drapery,

swirled energetically over

wall, floor and ceiling, revealing a

paradisiacal universe in which

humans coexisted peacefully with

nature. Though the figures had a

somewhat blank expression, the

artist managed to avoid the negative

feel that impassive faces could

have lent the piece. If Georgia O'

Keefe had been born in modernd

ay Tokyo, she might have created

images like these.

Masaaki Takahashi

Photography by Yuichi Tanabe

and Toro Yokota

Swirl of Curls: Illustrator Kahori Maki

covered the white walls of Tokyo's

void+ gallery with graphic patterns

and portraits reminiscent of tattoos and


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