30 June, 2010

Adapted church buildings: private residences

Sacrum and profanum, the holy and the earthly, as the opposites, can not exist simultaneously in the same space. The border is sharp, or... this is the way it used to be. What happens when the profane enters the realm of the sacred? How do these two worlds interact in restored church buildings?


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Church of Living by Zecc Architecten

An old Catholic chapel in Utrecht, transformed into minimalistic-style, spacious residence. The project was nominated for The Dutch Design Award in 2008.

The architects, Rolf Bruggink and Marnix van der Meer, decided to let more daylight inside and added roof windows. The interior was painted white, what intensified the perception of colorful light, diffused through the original stained-glass windows. A large window added behind the original altar provides the contact with the surroundings. Its abstract design, inspired by Mondrian paintings, corresponds both with the original windows and the sharp lines of the new, minimalistic interior.
The old furniture was re-used: church benches in the dining-zone are original and the table was made out of church benches as well.







































photographs: Cornbread Works, via: arch daily


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London residence

An old, three-nave church located in London, converted to a stylish residence with open-plan kitchen, spacious living-room and splendid mezzanine. The atmosphere of the sacral building had been maintained: the beautiful stained-glass windows and the original wooden roof preserved. 
Have a look at the floor design, seems very modern!























via: the shoot factory 

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Wooden church at Vancouver’s East End

I stumbled across a great article written by someone who actually lives in the 30's adapted church and describes all the problems that required to be solved while changing the building's function. You can read it at: Ouno Design blog.

























via: ouno design

18 June, 2010

Sacrum vs Profanum - church buildings redesigned

What happens with Genius Loci, the spirit, the soul of the place, when the building had been redesigned? And what happens when sacrum becomes profanum?


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The White Rabbit Restaurant & bar in Singapore

Charming restaurant housed in beautifully restored old chapel. The interior was redesigned from an abandoned church building by Takenouchi Webb. Visit the architects website and have a look at the photos from restoration.

www.takenouchiwebb.com










































via: Yatzer 


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Bookstore Selexyz Dominicanen in Maastricht

The bookshop installation was designed by Merkx-Girod Architects (Ewelyne Merkx and Patrice Girod). The architects aimed to emphasize the architecture of 13th-century Dominican church without destroying its unique quality. A monumental, multi-level "bookcase" was designed and asymmetrically positioned embracing the gothic columns of the main nave. Wandering between books, the visitors can experience the atmospheric, medieval interior and admire historical murals. The interior design concept was awarded The Lensvelt de Architect Interior Prize 2007.
I like the humorous accent, a crucifix-shaped table at coffee bar in presbytery. And note the amazing aureole-like chandelier! Playing with blasphemy?

www.merkx-girod.nl





































photography by Roos Aldershoff, via: urbarama


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Kruisherenhotel Maastricht

Housed in beautiful, 15th-century Kruisheren cloister and gothic church, the hotel seems to be a dream. Interiors, contrasting modern, designer furniture with historic murals and old stained glass windows, were created by Henk Vos.
I smiled at the motto of the hotel: "Design between heaven and earth". The exclusive interiors were proudly furnished with the works of Le Corbusier, Rietveld, Marc Newson, Piet Heyn Eeck and Philippe Starck. The light installations are by Ingo Maurer. Snobbish heaven!



17 June, 2010

Genius Loci. Tamina thermal baths and Les Bains des Docks

Genius Loci - the spirit of a place, it's unique, distinctive atmosphere. The term originates from classical Roman cult, where genius loci was the guardian spirit of a place.

"in architecture and gardening,… all must be adapted to the genius of the place, and… beauties not forced into it, but resulting from it’"
Alexander Pope


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Tamina thermal baths was designed by Smolenicky and partner architecture in 2009. It is located in Bad Ragaz, an area in Switzerland known for its famous natural springs. The building seems to be both modern and corresponding with the traditional architecture of the resort.




















photos by roland bernath and walter mair, via: designboom

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Les Bains des Docks is an aquatic complex in Le Havre (France). The centre was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel. As the architect said himself: “One enters a universe of whiteness and depths.”





























photos by Cl.Guillaume, via: designws

14 June, 2010

Surreal, on the phone

When Alexander Graham Bell invented the first phone, it was perceived by many as a mysterious object equipped with magical powers. Ironic, time likes to draw circles and again we end up longing for the imaginary magic, now enclosed in charming vintage objects, like these black bakelite phone lamps from Crosby Street Hotel, in New York.




...................................................................................................................................................................... The real bakelite telephone lamp was designed by lighting artist Alex Randall, as a part of the 'reclamation and renovation' series.

"The Bakelite Telephones were my first lighting piece and have been our best seller ever since. The phones are such wonderful pieces in their own right that it's wonderful to be able to return them to a useful purpose. I think people love them so much because like me, they remind them of past times. For me, I remember using my grandparents'. When they upgraded to a touch-tone phone my sister and I inherited the old phone for our playhouse. I remember all those times in there talking on the phone to the make-believe characters who were coming round for a cup of tea!"




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And the real surreal: Aphrodisiac Telephone by Salvador Dali, 1938.

11 June, 2010

‘Blah, Blah, Blah’ by Louise Campbell

‘Blah, Blah, Blah’ meeting room interior concept, like all the designs by Louise Campbell, is characterized by poetic, subtle, feminine attention to detail and seems to play with graphic outlines. The meeting room was created for Gl. Strand, Danish fine-art exhibition hall in the heart of Copenhagen in 2008. 

"Focus is on the enormous amount of words used during meetings, of which only a fraction are truly useful." 

Louise Campbell established her own studio in 1996, and works mainly with furniture and lightning design for companies such as Louis Poulsen, Zanotta, HAY, Royal Copenhagen, Holmegaard, Stelton, Muuto and Interstop.

At Copenhagen studio three guidelines rule: 
always start from scratch - find the core of the issue - dare to be different.

www.louisecampbell.com