Transportation

November 26 2011

It would seem a shame to take one of these black retro beauties out into the unforgiving streets of a Detroit winter. It might be best to display the hand-crafted Madison Street bike indoors, perhaps in the living room, nicely leaning against the mantel. It certainly deserves a place next to other pieces of art.



Detroit Bicycle Company founder, Steven Bock, builds each bike to order from the finest parts. For those who appreciate high-quality bike parts, all frames are made with Columbus SL CRO-Mo tubing and Nova lugs. The Madison Street's main attractions are the beautiful copper-plating of the Campagnolo and Cinelli parts, track rims with Vittoria Zaffiro tires and the inimitable Books leather saddle.



Each bike is customised, so prices vary, but we've seen complete bikes priced at $3,200 and up. - Bill Tikos



Music

November 24 2011
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News

November 21 2011

THANK YOU to our first half-a-million Facebook fans! We are excited about and challenged by your interest in what we do, your comments and your feedback!

With over 2.5 million page views per month on our site, the most popular articles generating more than 8 million views, 168,000 newsletter subscribers and 123,500 followers on Twitter, what else can we do but work even harder, and to say Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! - Bill TIkos

Illustration by Access Agency.

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Design

November 20 2011

Those in the market for a megayacht are already familiar with the 70-meter (229-foot) Numptia. There isn’t a luxury yachting magazine on the planet that hasn’t noticed it. Some at the upper end allocated as much as 25 pages of opulence-oozing imagery and painstaking scrutiny of every minute fact to this steel-hulled, aluminum-structured floating residence.


 
And those who didn’t get enough of Numptia in the printed media, had an opportunity to view it at the 21st Monaco Yacht Show in September, where it was hailed as one of the highlights among the 100 top meagayachts from around the globe.


 
The vessel launched in April in Genoa, after a three-year building process. It was completely custom-built for an unnamed Italian-born American businessman who wanted it for his multi-generational family.


 
Two specific things about Numptia have attracted the interest of the yachting world. Every aspect of Numptia was custom-created with the highest, most exquisite quality of design, materials, craftsmanship and functional performance. Even in the megayacht circles, this kind of grandeur and obsessive attention to quality and detail are rare.


 
The other unusual aspect is the fact that the owner selected a relatively unknown shipyard, Rossinavi Yachts of Viareggio to build it, and a little-known designer Salvagni Architetti of Rome to design the interiors.


 
Working closely with the owner, Achille Salvagni combined modern sensibilities with touches of traditional luxury to achieve a timeless feel of well-being. Every piece of furniture, every surface treatment, every doorknob and hinge was custom-designed for Numptia. Silk carpets woven in Tibet, solid marble in the steam bath, quartz floors in the galley, and an oval dining table covered in riveted alpaca nickel silver are just a few examples.


 
Exterior design of the vessel was completed by Design Studio Spadolini of Florence.


 
Numptia features lavish rooms for up to 12 guests and includes an impressive master suite, a VIP suite, three queen-size double cabins and one twin stateroom. The owner’s suite includes a bedroom, TV area, reading room, his and hers dressing rooms and a bathroom with the solid-marble bath. Numerous common areas, sundecks, a spa deck plus crew accommodations and all behind-the-scenes space complete the spacious picture.

Numptia is available for charter through Burgess for about $646,000 per week, and for sale for an undisclosed price, rumored to be around $85 million. - Tuija Seipell

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Offices

November 18 2011

Last year, we covered Macquarie Group's massive Sydney headquarters designed by West Hollywood-based Clive Wilkinson Architects. Earlier this year, the same two players completed another spectacular office project, this time in London.



Macquarie, a global provider of banking and investment services, gathered up its various divisions from several buildings under one roof in the brand-new Ropemaker Place. Macquarie occupies 217,500 square feet (20,207 square meters) on six floors in the 20-storey, LEED Platinum building designed by Arup Associates.



Wilkinson's team took its cues from the new trend of transparency in financial services and balanced that with the more traditional and practical needs of prestige and privacy.



The beautiful, open space is a triumph of simplicity. A skillful and meaningful use of bright colour, combined with the all-white inner structure gives the open plan a sense of delight and order.



The centerpiece is the open atrium where the bright red steel staircase and upper-level steel catwalks link the various floors in a visually stunning way. The sculpture-like staircase, with its underside also painted red, is the focal point of the entire space and symbolizes not just openness but connectedness as well.



Privacy and prestige are evident in the more secluded client areas, where the traditional pinstripe lines appear in several iterations in ceilings, partitions, environmental graphics and other visual cues.

Exquisite furnishings, such as the purple Tom Dixon seating in the upper-level guest relations and reception area, exude prestige with modern sensibilities.

The traditional boardroom is furnished by existing furniture from previous offices, including Eames chairs and walnut-veneer table.



Environmental graphics, by Los Angeles-based Egg Office, continue on the theme of transparency and privacy with vertical pinstripes the key visual element. - Tuija Seipell.

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Music

November 13 2011
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Design

November 10 2011

Korean architect Eun Young Yi’s proposal was selected in 1999 from 235 competition entries as the plan for the new central library of the City of Stuttgart.

The building of the 80-million Euro (about $108 mil. US) Stadtbibliothek am Mailänder Platz  began three years ago and the opening ceremonies took place last month.


 
Yi has created a monolithic cube with two floors underground and nine above. Essentially all of the building, both inside and out is white. The main library floors circle an open-plan with the levels connected by open staircases. Books line the outer walls of each floor.


 
As a cool nod to the fact that the building is a storehouse of words, the word “library” is installed in four languages on the outside walls. On the North wall in German (the local language), West in English (lingua franca), South in Arabic (the language of ancient knowledge and of Stuttgart’s sister city, Cairo) and East in Korean (Yi’s native language).


Yi’s company, Yi Architects is based in Cologne and Seoul. Its work includes public projects ranging from museums and universities to offices and city plans. - Tuija Seipell

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Design

November 8 2011

Here at TCH, we started ACCESS agency for the sole reason of giving brands the opportunity to be BOLD, to do something more than what is safe, more than what is easy, more than what is comfortable, accepted, standard, just good enough.

We are excited to work with brands around the globe who seek us out for that reason. They ask us to shake them up a bit, create something unboring, something truly DIFFERENT

Those in the creative and even in the marketing fields will recognize the syndrome we are fighting against: Everyone wants a great idea. A great idea is found. Everyone is ecstatic. The idea goes through the system, though the layers of approvals, discussions and hesitations, and comes out unrecognizable, ordinary, safe and boring. We see this happen over and over.

Companies that do not have a Steve Jobs-like creative visionary at or near the top, have extreme trouble getting innovation of any kind approved or produced. Bold ideas just do not survive the system.

Recently, we were approached by Sephora’s great team because they had seen our work with MINI car wraps.

Sephora wanted to launch a same-day delivery service for online cosmetics sales in New York. We designed a series of six different head-turning MINI Cooper wraps for their fleet of six vehicles. We were going for bold designs that will really stand out in the busy New York street scene, among the taxis and delivery vehicles. We were gunning for big impact and quick recognition, immediate attention, a bold and cool vibe, something that would generate on-street buzz, even with only six vehicles.

They loved the ideas but in the end asked us to design a black-and-white style that was on-brand. We were sad to see the boldness gone. The black-and-white MINIs have been on the streets since July. - Bill Tikos

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Architecture

November 7 2011

Bridle Road Residence in Cape Town, South Africa, is a beautiful example of a sizeable structure that does not impose itself onto the landscape at the base of Table Mountain.


 
The single-family residence does not look massive or overly grand, but instead exudes a classic elegance with Scandinavian/Japanese lightness, precision and scale. The proportions and division of the walls and windows — including the “picture windows” overlooking the Cape Town harbor — create an openness without the feel of exposure.


 
Interior and exterior spaces are integrated seamlessly, which adds to the sense of site appropriateness — that this building belongs to this site.


 
The architecture is by Cape Town’s Antonio Zaninovic, known for his ability to let the landscape lead the architectural solutions. The Santiago, Chile-born, Zaninovic graduated from the University of Chile’s School of Architecture in 2000 and spent five years at Steven Harris Architects in New York before establishing his own practice in 2005 with Madrid, Spain-born architect, Ana Corrochano.


 
The interiors of the residence are by Lucien Rees of New York City-based Rees Roberts + Partners and the landscape by David Kelly of Rees Roberts + Partners.


 
The building and site feature several sustainable solutions including the self-cleaning outdoor pool, natural cross-ventilation, use of earth temperature as climactic moderator, use of heat-repelling glass, and maximal use of local materials such as poured finish concrete and balau wood.


 
The house and its landscape won an American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) 2010 Honor Award in the Residential Design category, - Tuija Seipell

Offices

November 7 2011

Horizon Media, founded in 1989, is the largest U.S. independent media services company. It is growing fast and needed a new space to accommodate its New York City staff that was scattered within ten blocks in three buildings and on nine floors.

Its new digs, designed by New York’s  a+i Architecture are a cool mix of industrial-scale open space – 115,000 square feet in total on three floors – and warm, inviting working environments.



Horizon’s new offices occupy the 14th, 15th and 16th floors at 1 Hudson Square on 75 Varick Street between Grand and Canal Streets. It is part of the Hudson Square Business Improvement District established in 2009 by Mayor Bloomberg and envisioned to attract media and creative organizations as tenants and to become a major creative hub.

The building was originally a printing factory with an impressive concrete structure, 360-degree views and high ceilings. With such good bones to start from, a+i further amplified the grandeur by cutting a wide staircase through all three floors.

This not only opened the light-filled space up even more, it also met another requirement: it helps the staff see the “hive” at work and connect and interact with each other.



This cohesiveness and interaction was an important goal for Horizon, especially because this is the first time its large headquarter staff was under one roof. The goal of taking fuller advantage of the proximity of the talent of all teams is also reflected in the number of huddle rooms, screening rooms and flexible spaces that have the latest technology to enable cooperation, interaction, brainstorming, presentations, video conferencing and client meetings.



The colour palette of the space is neutral with accessories, furnishings and millwork providing splashes of colour. The coldness of polished concrete and steel is softened by curving wood features made of maple veneer.



Horizon Media employs 500 people in total with additional offices in Los Angeles, San Diego and Amsterdam. a+i Architecture is a full-service architectural firm with projects ranging from workspace consulting, planning and design to retail and hospitality design. - Tuija Seipell