Beautiful Infinite Blue Hotel – Sorrento, Italy

Being in a state of quarantine, my planned excursion to Italy had to be put on hold. Actually, as everything has a way of turning out alright, I’m ok with that because it gives me more time peruse wonderful stories about Italy that I previously never seemed to find time for. I’m discovering some of the hidden treasures that I’ll take with me…some this September. And if September shall come and go and still I cannot fly to Europe? Well then, I shall peruse even deeper until the time comes when I can. Below is a story from Cereal magazine for all to peruse and enjoy.

“I STAND ON A BALCONY WITH TILES LAID IN DIAGONAL STRIPES, LOOKING OUT INTO THAT INFINITE BLUE UNTIL I AM SUSPENDED IN IT.”
Infinite-Blue-portrait-3-696x928
White concrete frames a square of uninterrupted blue. The cloudless sky, the iridescent Tyrrhenian sea, even the land stretching out either side — pastel-painted Sorrento to the left, Vesuvius to the right — is cast in a haze of blue. An impressionist’s dream.
Infinite-Blue-portrait-2-1-696x928
swooning over this blue tile

The concept of infinite blue was architect Gio Ponti’s driving inspiration when he built Parco dei Principi, his slice of 1960s modernism on a coast of faded antiquity. When it opened in 1962, the hotel was something new for ancient Sorrento: a clean-lined, contemporary edifice on the tufa-stone cliff. Inside, the bright, wide-open spaces were pared down and decorated entirely in white and blue.
Infinite-Blue-portrait-1-696x928
Ponti was commissioned to build Parco dei Principi when his friend and colleague, the Neapolitan engineer and hotelier Roberto Fernandes, bought the neighboring property, the ballet-shoe-pink 18th century Villa Cortchacow. The villa was originally owned by the Count of Syracuse and then by a Russian prince, who had a mock Gothic castle half-built in the grounds lest his cousin, the last tsar of Russia, should come to stay. Ponti’s challenge was to transform this — perhaps thankfully — unfinished castle.
Infinite-Blue-landscape-2-1250x833
Gio Ponti was one of the most pioneering architects of the mid-century, with an extraordinary portfolio of buildings that championed forward-looking principles. He was driven by the ideas of transparency and lightness. His diamond-shaped Pirelli tower in Milan soars; his ethereal Taranto Cathedral in Puglia, delicate as a paper cut-out, is known as ‘the Sail’. “He loved to create little spaces of lightness, through elements in the design,” says Caterina Licitra Ponti, his great-granddaughter, a passion for her great-grandfather’s work alive in her eyes.
Infinite-Blue-portrait-4-696x928

And so in Sorrento, as in Taranto, he uplifted the castle’s solid stone walls so that the new building seemed to hover above the clifftop, wrapping the interior in a white concrete skin, perforated with spaces that allow the light and the sky to penetrate the framework. On approach, through verdant subtropical gardens, the blue of the sea is visible all the way through the glass-walled ground floor.
gio-ponti-hotel-parco-dei-principiOf all Gio Ponti’s 100-odd buildings, Sorrento is the only hotel where you can still stay, fully immersed in his art — for as well as the building itself he designed every last detail. He was not just an architect, but a designer — of interiors, furniture, industry, cars — an artist and a ceramicist, a writer and a teacher; and at Parco dei Principi his passion for so many disciplines converged in one triumphant paean to modernity.

Work was his passion. Every moment was one in which to create. Her grandmother, Lisa — Ponti’s daughter — recalls him waking each morning at 6.00 am. He used to have coffee in bed while he sketched and wrote letters on a tray of his own design — daily correspondence to friends and colleagues about every devilishly intricate detail of his projects, right down to the tablecloths and tiles.
be41a619c5f66b28b19512c7797bb40f
In the lobby, blue and white glazed pebbles are set into the walls, their cool, shiny-smooth surfaces reflecting infinite depths of radiance, chosen, Ponti wrote, for their ‘lightness and grace’, their ‘reflexes of light and sky’. Down in the hotel’s subterranean levels, where there is nobody else about, I put my cheek to the cool of them. It is clear Ponti created this place not just to look at but to touch, too, so that his work would engage and bring delight.
Gio-Ponti-Design-Hotel-Parco-dei-Principi-Room-with-Terrace
On the bright upper floors, the hotel’s bedrooms are stripped back to the bare essentials, each element designed by Ponti in mid-century modern style and made in Italy: a bed, a chair, a footstool which doubles as a suitcase stand, and a dressing table facing the sea, where I sit and write this story on its smooth Formica top the color of the sky.
ponti2
Shaded from direct sunshine by the building’s perforated sheath, the room is cooled naturally by the shades of blue and white, and by the ceramic tiles underfoot. Of all Parco dei Principi’s carefully curated details, these ceramic tiles are perhaps the most enduring. Ponti made 30 different designs, all in the dark blue, pale blue, and white of the local seascape — some geometric, some figurative, featuring moons, stars and leaves. They are configured differently in each of the hotel’s 96 rooms.

gio-ponti-hotel-parco-dei-principi (1)
“I always think of the endless possibilities of the art,” Ponti observed, of creating these tiles. “Give someone a square measuring 20 by 20 and although people have been turning them out for centuries, there’s always room for a new pattern… There will never be a last design.” Here again, the concept of infinite blue. His dream was to make a permanent mark — infinite, like the blue of the sea and the sky.VFMLID=1074137304212f566e64500cfc882084ebdd0bb1c
I stand on a balcony with tiles laid in diagonal stripes, looking out into that infinite blue until I am suspended in it. Below me, a sailing boat cuts across the bay, its wake drawing a straight white line through the water. Above me, a gull hangs steadily for a moment, then soars away into the sky. Borne on the wind, light as air. Gio Ponti is everywhere.
parco-dei-principi-cliff-sorrento
tumblr_mpd1yaf1301rpgpe2o1_1280
DlrWwCpXgAAUGKl
Parco de principiGio Pontioktober 1997

Cereal magazine

Beautiful Apartment

This beautiful Stockholm apartment, recently featured in Residence magazine, has stunning interiors. The owner, Emma Blomquist, has renovated the turn of the century apartment to enhance the original architecture, in keeping with her love of quiet colors in earthy tones.

1

rimage (3)

rimage (4)

rimage (6)diing

rimage (11)

In the kitchen, the Three-Arm Ceiling Lamp by Serge Mouille hangs above a kitchen island in Carrara marble.

bath 2bath detailbath

bedroom

rimage (14)rimage (15)
door
detailskichen 2kitchenlivingmarble
rimage (9)
entryexteriorfloorfp

 

Photography by Elisabeth Daly 

A dream apartment, wouldn’t you agree?

Images via wrede.se

Beautiful Residential Home Design #1

Sensational, stylish, and startlingly unique—these homes are a cut above. There’s no doubt that one of my favorite places to uncover architectural treasures is on Dwell.com. It’s one of my go to places to admire the riveting spaces and simply admire innovative design. The stunning home below represents 1 of 10 projects that are the best in 2018. From a minimalist modern abode in the South of France to a jaw-dropping artist retreat that embodies indoor/outdoor connection, scroll down to see the first in a series of the best of the best.

Haiku Maui – Haiku, Haiku-Pauwela, Hawaii
Guggenheim Architecture + Design Studio 
Maui cottage

Inspired by the Scandinavian barn vernacular, this Upcountry Maui cottage and barn for Cloth and Goods’ Melissa Newirth and Crossing the Threshold’s David Johnson provides a peaceful minimalist retreat and respite for family gatherings. The 1,000 sf. long and low main cottage is sited to capture both mountain and sea vistas while the adjacent barn is designed to hold large family gatherings and act as a seasonal residence. Impeccably minimalist yet richly textured, highly efficient and livable environment with access to a variety of outdoor living zones.

upcountry-maui-cottage-and-barn.jpg
upcountry-maui-cottage-and-barn-lanaiupcountry-maui-cottage-and-barn-living-room (1)upcountry-maui-cottage-and-barn-master-bedroomupcountry-maui-cottage-and-barn-soaking-tub-in-master-bedroomupcountry-maui-cottage-and-barn-master-bathroomupcountry-maui-cottage-and-barn-workspaceupcountry-maui-cottage-and-barn-kitchenupcountry-maui-cottage-and-barn-living-roomupcountry-maui-cottage-and-barn-kitchen-and-living-room
upcountry-maui-cottage-and-barn-cottage-lanai-screen-detail.jpgupcountry-maui-cottage-and-barn-barn-living-space-and-loft-stair.jpgPhotos by Ryan Siphers

Guggenheim Architecture + Design Studio is a multidisciplinary creative atelier that integrates architecture, interior environments and brand direction. Studio is licensed to practice Architecture in the States of Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii

Beautiful London Architecture

Open House London has officially released the list of over 800 buildings open to the public this fall. This year, a range of exciting architecture is featured, including the new US Embassy by KieranTimberlake, Maggie’s Barts by Steven Holl Architects, and Bloomberg European Headquarters by Foster + Partners, the world’s most sustainable office building. Here is a must-see list of buildings to discover.

MaggiesMAGGIE BARTS
Maggie’s Centers are unique, welcoming and uplifting places with qualified staff on hand to provide free practical, emotional and social support for people with cancer, their families and friends. Maggie’s Centers are designed to feel more like a home than a hospital, with no reception desk, no signs on the wall, no name badges and a big kitchen table at their heart. This approach supports the informal relationships between staff and visitors, and is an important part of the unique support they offer.

Architect's photosArchitect's photosOpening

U.S. EMBASSY
The new U.S. Embassy, by KieranTimberlake, in Nine Elms reflects the best of modern design, incorporates the latest in energy-efficient building techniques, and celebrates the values of freedom and democracy. The Nine Elms district, a South Bank industrial zone under intense redevelopment, is a unique setting for the new Embassy. The Embassy stands at the center of this burgeoning area of London, with a public park containing a pond, walkways, seating, and landscape along its edges. Curving walkways continue into the interior of the building with gardens on each floor that extend the spiraling movement upward.

Kieran TimberlakeKieran TimberlakeKieran Timberlake has completed work on the US Embassy in London, a glass cube swathed in shimmering sails of plastic that is set on a plinth and surrounded by a moat-like pond on the edge of the River Thames.

The building, which replaces the previous Eero Saarinen-designed address in Mayfair, has been engineered to balance impenetrable security standards with a visual language of openness. The 12-story cube has a facade of laminated glazing enveloped on two sides with a transparent film of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), the same type of plastic use for the bio-domes in the UK’s Eden Project.

american-embassy--timberlake-col_16american-embassy-imberlake-hero_b-1704x959The “transparent crystalline cube” is intended to symbolize “transparency, openness, and equality”. The unusual form of the building’s facade is designed to minimize solar gain and glare while still allowing natural light in. The reflective facade shifts in color according to the weather and the position of the sun.

american-embassy-kieran-timberlake-col_8american-embassy-kieran-timberlake-col_6american-embassy-timberlake-col_13

ROYAL ACADEMY OF MUSIC – THEATER AND RECITAL HALL
The Royal Academy of Music’s Theatre and new Recital Hall project has created two distinct, outstanding performance spaces for Britain’s oldest conservatory. Designed for both opera and musical theatre productions, The Susie Sainsbury Theater sits at the heart of the Academy. Inspired by the curved shapes of string instruments, the 309-seat cherry-lined Theater has been acoustically refined to deliver excellent sound qualities. Within the old concrete walls, the Theater incorporates 40% more seating than previously through the addition of a balcony, as well as a larger orchestra pit, a stage wing and a fly tower. All seats have unimpeded views of the stage, while the larger orchestra pit allows for an expanded repertoire choice, from early to modern opera and musical theatre.

IanRitchie_RoyalAcademyMusic_RecitalRoom_01

IanRitchie_RoyalAcademyMusic_Theatre_10

BLOOMBERG EUROPEAN HEADQUARTERS
Bloomberg’s European Headquarters is the world’s most sustainable office building. Home to the financial technology and information company’s 4,000 London-based employees, its unique design promotes collaboration and innovation. In its form, massing and materials, the building’s exterior is respectful of its historic setting – a natural extension of the City that will endure and improve the surrounding public realm. Inside, its dynamic, contemporary interior is a highly specific response to the global financial information and technology company’s needs and embodies the organizations core values of transparency, openness and collaboration. Above all, the building sets a new standard in sustainable office design, with a BREEAM Outstanding rating of 98.5% – the highest design-stage score ever achieved by any major office development. The development uses 70% less water and 35% less energy than a typical office building.

Bloomberg European Headquarters12

Bloomberg European Headquarters2Bloomberg European Headquarters.

Beautiful Brownstone Interior Renovation

ST. JOHN’S PLACE TOWNHOUSE RENOVATION

I am drooling over this newly renovated Brooklyn townhouse. I can’t get over the beautiful millwork – The details are stunning!

town house 1

This Spring Hatchet Design Build completed an intricate your-long renovation of a stunning townhouse Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights neighborhood.  Seeking to capture the classic-meets-modern essence of the home, they teamed up with Coil + Drift to style the space.

town h 2.jpg

Working along side Brooklyn studio Cold Picnic, Sorensen-Jolink styled the bright home using furniture and lighting from Coil + Drift’s latest collection as well as vintage pieces from Williamsurg’s Home Union and rugs by Cold Picnic.  The result is an elegantly-edited space that feels inviting and fresh while showcasing the homes restored beauty.

town h 5town h 4town h3town h 8town h 7town h 6town h 10Processed with VSCO with a6 presettown h 9town h 13town h 12town h 11town h 15town h 14town h 18town h 17town 16town h 15

All photography by Nicholas Calcott.

Beautiful Amazing Kindergarten

Today, I present one of those projects that takes your breath away. It is designed by Emmanuelle Moreaux and it’s a beautiful kindergarten full of color, a stimulating environment where kids can let their imagination run free. Every child should be so lucky to go to school to attend a learning environment like this.

colorful-nursery1

I love the use of color, a common feature that runs throughout the space. The school, Creche Ropponmatsu, is located in a residential area in Fukuoka, Japan. Emmanuele Moreaux designed this crazy, whimsical project – color is common theme throughout many of her projects. The result is amazing. Emmanuelle designed the architecture, interior space, logos and graphical signage, with a vision to open a new kindergarten where children can grow up freely in mind and body. Running behind the colorful grove, this kindergarten gives opportunity for children to raise rich sensibility by feeling many colors wherever they are.

colorful-nursery2

colorful-nursery3

THREE-DIMENSIONAL COLORS AND ELEMENTS
Color is apparent in every corner of the space. 22 colors were used in the 63m height trees on the façade. The branches appear to wrap the entire building, protecting it, perhaps, from the less colorful world outside. Collections of color jump out at one glance. On the facade, there are 22 colors used in 63 multi-colored trees of 4 m in height extend the branches rhythmically and wrap the building. While giving full-sized glass with a feeling of openness, by wrapping it with colorful trees, gives a sense of distance to the outside. Inside, 200 colorful boxes in 25 colors are lined up on the wall, where each one of them belongs to every child to stock their personal goods. Every time children use their own tools or get changed, they find and pick up the box of their color.

colorful-nursery4.jpg

colorful-nursery5

The stairs which connect the 4 floors is also full of colors, 18 different tones in fact. This creates an environment where kids are surrounded by diversity inside, outside and in common zones. Stimulation with colors and shapes is crucial for kids at this age – experts claim that color helps kids to develop their sensitivity and individuality.

colorful-nursery6

DETAILS IN THE LOGO
Colorful trees on the façade have been also included in the logo, a perfect representation.

colorful-nursery7.jpg

creche_01

creche_0

creche_ropponmatsu_fp

creche_ropponmatsu_fp_2

creche_ropponmatsu_elevation_3

Learn more about her colorful projects here 

Beautiful Workplace Design

GoCstudio re-imagines a century-old Seattle building to house digital product company

studio-office-seattle1US architecture firm GoCstudio has created an open office for a growing tech company that features original brick and timber elements, along with new enclosures made of ebony-stained plywood.

gocstudio_seattle 2.jpgThe office is located within the upper floor of a 100-year-old building in Seattle‘s Capitol Hill district. Encompassing 14,000 square feet, the space serves as a second office for Substantial, a digital product studio.

gocstudio_seattle 3.jpgThe company had occupied a portion of the floor since 2013, and decided to take over the full story when its neighboring tenant moved out. Local firm GoCstudio was charged with overhauling the entire floor, to read as one unified space.

gocstudio_seattle 4.jpgThe challenge was to create a cohesive open-plan workspace which retained the feel of the original Substantial space and would maximize the existing character of the building – exposed brick walls, old-growth Douglas Fir beams and roof decking, and the beautiful warehouse-style window walls.

studio_5.jpgThe architects worked closely with the client to understand day-to-day operations, as well as the company’s love of hosting parties. Their research led to the conception of the office’s signature element: The Forum, an assembly area for social and business activities.

studio_6.jpg

A large aspect of Substantial’s working practice is the hosting of public and private events thus creating a large social space that could be multifunctional was an important factor in the design of the expansion.

studio_7.jpgThe social space was situated near the entry staircase and looks toward a large reception desk faced with a steel door from the old office. The room is illuminated by a large skylight.

studio_8In the kitchen, the team installed two bars made of cross-laminated timber planks, along with several black dining tables with colorful chairs. Employees can be found working here throughout the day.

cstudio_9Surrounding The Forum are conference rooms, with walls made of black-stained plywood and large panes of glass. Additional enclosures were inserted on the north side of the floor. A large portion of the office is given over to open areas with versatile workstations.

The space is filled with natural light, thanks to large floor-to-ceiling glass on three sides of the building. For the first time in many years, views are opened up through the building, from east to west.

studio_10

Other projects by GoCstudio include a low-lying winery that blends with Washington’s natural terrain, and a floating wooden sauna that can accommodate up to six people.
Project credits:
Architect: GoCstudio (Jon Gentry, Aimée O’Carroll)
Builder: Montlake Associates
Lighting Designer: KMJ Design, Kathy Justin
Owner: Substantial
Photography: by Kevin Scott
Read more 

 

Beautiful Hotel Interiors

Located in a brutalist former bank headquarters in Stockholm, Universal Design Studio’s latest project, the At Six hotel, is home to one of Europe’s most significant hotel art collections. The London-based studio carried out a complete interior renovation to create the 343-room luxury hotel in the Swedish capital’s Brunkebergstorg Square, and also designed a new entrance. The scheme includes 10 floors of guest rooms, a penthouse suite, a 100-cover restaurant, a wine bar, cocktail bar, a 2,000-square-metre events and flexible work space, and Scandinavia’s first slow listening lounge.

hotel-at-six-standard-room

The art collection is curated by Sune Nordgren, formerly of the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.

art

The gorgeous monochrome interior contrasts shades of warm grey and highly textured natural materials with soft furnishings and classic furniture. The aim was to reinterpret the brutalist aesthetic of the building and the immediate architectural landscape of Brunkebergstorg Square. “A palette of sawn stone, blackened steel, fine timber and polished granite lends a sense of permanence and authenticity to the new interior,” explained Universal Design Studio.

hotel-a2

“Moving away from the uncompromising and unforgiving aesthetic characteristics often associated with the brutalism – the brief was to create a desirable, fashionable destination,” said the team. “Design is focused on humanising the architecture, bringing a sense of desirability and luxury to a brutalist building not often associated with these traits, turning the hotel into a contemporary version of a metropolitan grand hotel.”

hotel-3.jpg

Pieces of contemporary and classic furniture are complemented by specially commissioned pieces created by local makers and established Scandinavian designers. Custom lighting by Rubn is installed in each guest room, and local glassmaker Carina Seth Anderson has created a series of sculptural, hand-blown glass vessels for the lobby as well as tabletop pieces for each dining table in the restaurant.

six 5

The handrail of the grand white granite staircase in the hotel’s lobby was wrapped in leather by a local saddle maker, while a communal table in the wine bar was carved by local artist Lies-Marie Hoffman from a single Swedish elm trunk. Bedrooms feature timber wall panelling and marble credenzas that run the full length of the room. The hotel is one of four 1970s buildings that occupy Stockholm’s Brunkebergstorg Square. The buildings were built during a government initiative that aimed to replace much of the city centre’s belle époque grandeur with brutal modernity.

six 6

Although the high-rise building was originally designed by Swedish architects Boijsen & Efervgren as a hotel, it ended up functioning as the headquarters of Swedbank, never fulfilling its intended purpose. Now owned and operated by Petter Stordalen of Nordic Hotels & Resorts, the hotel is at the centre of a wider regeneration programme that aims to transform Brunkebergstorg Square into a social hub within the city.

six 8

six 7.jpg

hotel 4

Six-hotel-by-Universal-Design-Studio-Stockholm-Sweden-07

Beautiful Interior Architecture

Indigo-Slam-Smart-Design-Studio-Yellowtrace-02

Indigo Slam, designed by Smart Studio, was completed earlier this year and observing this extraordinary sculptural concrete building from the outside is evidence enough that something very special lies within. There are simply no words to describe the impact of this extraordinary house. There is a distinct calming sense that happens here as if entering a luxury spa, whereby you are instantly transported into a different world. The space compresses as a low and narrow corridor, before suddenly opening into a spectacular stair hall. Let’s just say it’s epicness of the central void – the soaring ceiling, the majestic staircase, the sheer scale of… well, everything really, balanced so beautifully with a highly restrained approach to materials and detailing with a monastic quality.

Indigo-Slam-Smart-Design-Studio-Yellowtrace-08

Indigo-Slam-Smart-Design-Studio-Yellowtrace-06 Indigo-Slam-Smart-Design-Studio-Yellowtrace-07 Indigo-Slam-Smart-Design-Studio-Yellowtrace-08 Indigo-Slam-Smart-Design-Studio-Yellowtrace-09 Indigo-Slam-Smart-Design-Studio-Yellowtrace-10 Taking it’s name from a crime novel, Indigo Slam transforms a former Simona warehouse site in Chippendale into an inspiring residence for Australia’s most prominent art collector and philanthropist, Judith Neilson. The Client’s brief called for something extraordinary – a piece of sculpture to be lived in. The team established a unique language of cutting, folding and stitching together for designing the building skin – something once flat becomes three dimensional and something once blank creates and enfolds space. This language is carried throughout each aspect of the design – from the concrete facades, to how the marble in the kitchen is sculpted and shaped, light switch or tap installed, to the planes and curves of the vaulted ceilings. The sculpted concrete facades of Indigo Slam are alive to the changes brought by light, shade, sun and cloud, providing the new urban park across the road with a lively backdrop to public life. The serene living spaces and monumental halls within create a dynamic spatial interplay of spare interiors in which the main decorative element is light.

Indigo-Slam-Smart-Design-Studio-Yellowtrace-17

Indigo-Slam-Smart-Design-Studio-Yellowtrace-11 Indigo-Slam-Smart-Design-Studio-Yellowtrace-12 Indigo-Slam-Smart-Design-Studio-Yellowtrace-13 Indigo-Slam-Smart-Design-Studio-Yellowtrace-14 Indigo-Slam-Smart-Design-Studio-First-Floor-Plan-Yellowtrace-3 Indigo-Slam-Smart-Design-Studio-Site-Plan-Yellowtrace-1 Indigo-Slam-Smart-Design-Studio-Ground-Floor-Plan-Yellowtrace-2 Indigo-Slam-Smart-Design-Studio-Second-Floor-Plan-Yellowtrace-4  Indigo-Slam-Smart-Design-Studio-Section-Yellowtrace

The brief was for Indigo Slam to last 100 years. Materials are selected to wear and endure, with each fitting designed or selected to continue the language of overall design concept, occasionally adding a small element of surprise to the finely grained interior.

P.S. If you are so inclined, you can read a fantastic article titled ‘Designed From The Inside Out’: a conversation between William Smart and Heidi Dokulil, giving further insight into this fascinating project.

Images and drawings courtesy of Smart Design Studio and INSIDE World Festival of Interiors 2016. Photography by Sharrin Rees

Source: http://www.yellowtrace.com.au/indigo-slam-smart-design-studio/