We cannot take our eyes off the eerie umbrella-holding human figures that dangle seemingly in mid-air in the 7,000 square-foot (650 square metre) office of ad agency Fold7 Farringdon (Clerkenwell, London).
The figures were created by Czech artist Michal Trpák who has used similar humans-with-umbrellas themes, most notably in his large-scale work, Slight Uncertainty, installed in an office complex in Prague in 2012.
In Fold7’s office, the humans float in the entrance area of the ad agency’s premises located in a refurbished 1980s office building. The sheer volume of the space gives the artwork the visual open air it requires in order to appear fun and inviting, as intended, rather than spooky and menacing.
Fold7’s founder Ryan Newey and Paul Crofts Studio acquired the art as part of the design of the swanky digs for the 45 Fold7 employees. A large part of the space is unassigned and functions as an open plan with various options for employees, clients and projects to move around as needed.
Fold7’s slogan, “Welcome to the Fold,” greets visitors in the form of a massive sign by Voodoo Design.
Paul Crofts Studio was established in 2003 in London by furniture design graduate, Paul Crofts, and it is known for creating interiors as well as customized products and furnishings.
Ryan Newey’s career began with the creation of the Ted Baker brand that was the founding client of his firm. Since that time, his Fold7 agency’s clients have include British Airways, Carlsberg, Disney, Nike and Reebok. - Tuija Seipell
Andee Hess, founder of Portland, and his Oregon-Based Osmose have done their magic in Miami where they have helped revive what was a tired Coral Gables neighborhood bank by turning it into Small Tea, a tea boutique concept by Daniel Charles Joseph Benoudiz.
Small Tea extolls the benefits of real human connection via the consumption of tea under a canopy of 1,250 boxes wrapped in abaca or manila hemp, a type of banana-tree fiber used for baskets in some tea-growing areas.
We, of course, notice the elegant use of wood and wood slats, and oval and rounded accents, all of which helps evoke a tranquil sense of order and serenity.
Last fall, Hess and Osmose helped Portland’s Stumptown Coffee establish its swanky presence in New York’s Greenwich Village with reclaimed church pews and other previously loved pieces creating a great been-here-forever atmosphere. - Tuija Seipell.
Contextually it’s pivotal, an artistic exploration of the metaphysical, developed in the digital; all rhymes aside, Los Angeles based artist Anthony Gargasz,’s new collection ‘Metallic Faces’ simply cannot be ignored for these three reasons.
Fifteen years ago there was no such thing as ‘Photoshop art’. The thought that art could be generated on computers would have made traditionalists cringe.
However, what Anthony has managed to achieve by using his background in digital design is breathtaking and its art in the finest sense of the word.
His work is far more than simply ‘generated’, instead it’s an array of elaborate details carefully constructed, layer upon layer to create clean and unique imagery.
Anthony follows the exact same artistic progression as somebody who paints, sculpts or draws yet the main point of difference is that his tools are a keyboard, mouse and drawing tablet.
Essentially it’s digital collaging and in the same way architects and other designers are moving into the technological age, so are artists. This is why Anthony’s work holds such contextual importance because he is using such a widely spread platform in a unique manner to create beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces.
It’s a process which has allowed him to collaborate with the likes of Paramount Pictures, VH1, Sony Pictures and Nickelodeon; designing key art.
His work does what good art should do, it takes familiarity and makes you question it. In relation to ‘metallic faces’ he uses the familiar organic form of the human head, giving it mechanical and architectural qualities.
There is a real juxtaposition of the familiar and unfamiliar in this collection. In one sense the overall form is clearly a human face yet then you begin to question if it really is as you study all the small details that hold similar properties to a luxury car design, e.g. liquid fluidity and metallic solidity.
In many ways these pieces are on a similar frequency to Joseph Kosinski’s 2010 remake of the 1982 hit ‘Tron’. Kosinski used objects people would be familiar with, however repurposed them, gave them digital qualities and this in turn forced the viewer to consider what life could be like in the not too distant future.
Anthony Gargasz has done exactly this by repurposing the human face and giving it digital qualities.
Another unique aspect of Anthony’s work is the movement each piece seems to have, despite it being a still print. Each individual element meticulously flows into another through a variance of colours, shadows and tones; as to suggest some sort of motion far beyond being passive.
It’s more than just a series of conversation pieces, in fact each piece appears to be having an internal conversation with itself. How each element comes together and blends strikes a chord with the way music is composed or some sort of digital brain-storming process.
Is this collection the story of a bionic man? Is it some sort of futuristic exploration? Perhaps it’s a representation of how complex the human form is, either way the beauty is in looking at each piece and trying to decipher its true intention for yourself.
Anthony Gargasz has well and truly found his way onto the list of The Cool Hunters favourite artists and has been commissioned to complete three very impressive prints. Purchase from our online store here - David Mousa.
The work of an extraordinary artistic talent such as CJ Hendry deserves and demands more than plain white walls for its showcase.
That was the approach The Cool Hunter took right from the beginning with her meticulous hand-drawn art work.
TCH first introduced her in Sydney, Australia, as part of the Art Hunter experience in conjunction with Jaguar.
This was followed by her first solo presentation, a four-day exclusive art and food reception at a private luxury residence in Sydney.
Following that successful sell out debut, TCH has just launched CJ Hendry’s 50 Foods in 50 Days Gourmet Experience in Melbourne.
Every one of CJ Hendry’s pieces has been sold out prior to the three events, and such was the case with 50 Foods in 50 Days as well. Each of the 50 square black-and-white hand-drawn pieces, depicting photo-realistic French designer plates with various food items, was sold as soon as the series was announced. The hunger for her art seems to be insatiable!
The CJ Hendry Gourmet Art Experience takes place from March 27 to April 12 at 166 Gertrude Street in Fitzroy, Melbourne’s most interesting neighbourhood. The space used to be a paint store until Kalex Boutique Property Development transformed it into an event space.
To create an arresting milieu for the art and the food, The Cool Hunter briefed its go-to event designer extraordinaire, Sydney-based Natalie Longheon, to create a minimal monochrome gourmet food store stocked with the best packaged food products from Australia and around the world.
As usual, Natalie more than delivered. Dramatic black envelopes the viewer and draws all attention to the mesmerizing art and intriguing gourmet food. The dramatic launch event build and production was by Moth Design.
Catering for our opening was by Melbourne’s best caterer, Georgina Damm from Damm Fine Food. Black cones filled with Parmesan and horseradish gelato topped with caviar and flowers.
Coffee is provided by Melbourne’s coffee tasting specialists at Sensory Lab who created a pop up coffee store for the duration of the CJ Hendry experience.
Photography by Peter Tarasiuk.
CJ Hendry Gourmet Art Experience
166 Gertrude St
27 March - 12 April
Monday's - Closed
Tue to Friday - 12pm - 8pm
Sat/Sun - 10am - 4pm
Closed Good Friday and Easter Sunday - open Easter Saturday
Last November, TeamLab, a Japanese collective of architects, designers, artists, programmers and engineers, installed a large-scale retrospective of its work at the Miraikan National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo.
The two main interactive digital art exhibitions of the retrospective – “Digital Art” that toured the world in 2014, and “Learn and Play! teamLab Future Park” experience park for children – have been so popular at the Miraikan that the show has been extended till May 1, 2015.
In addition to the two exhibitions, the installation event has also included new pieces and components that have rotated from time to time.
One of the recently re-installed pieces is the interactive experience called Floating Flower Garden that involves more than 2,300 living and growing plants suspended from the ceiling.
The plants interact with the visitor so that the plants closest to the viewer float up while the others stay lower. This creates a cocoon or a personal, airy flowering “room” with the viewer at its centre.
The plants are constantly in motion reacting to the movements of the viewers. If several people approach an area simultaneously, the plants react by re-creating the space around them.
TeamLab describes the thinking behind this meditative space: “Japanese Zen gardens are said to have been born as a place for Zen priests to carry out training so that they can become one with nature. The garden is a microcosm of the vastness of the surrounding natural mountain areas where they gathered to train.”
TeamLab’s group of “ultra-technologists” is lead by 38-year-old CEO Toshiyuki Inoko who co-founded TeamLab in 2001. He is also currently serving as a creative industry private sector expert for the Cool Japan project by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. - Tuija Seipell
Two basic ideas – one gold and one black - result in dramatic impact in the new Gold Souk building at the Beverwijk Bazaar in The Netherlands.
Rotterdam-based Liong Lie Architects had the cool opportunity to design a brand new hall for the gold dealers and goldsmiths that offer their wares each weekend at the Goudstraat (Goldstreet) at the Eastern Market of the famous Bazaar.
The designers based the uneven shape of the building on a raw piece of gold. They covered the façade with gold-tinted panels with a triangle pattern. The panels are placed in different orientations so that the entire building sparkles and shimmers under different lighting conditions during the day and at night.
And how do you outshine all that glitter of wall-to-wall gold inside? You don’t. Instead, you stay out of the way. Liong Lie chose to paint every surface inside black giving the space a night-time feel and allowing the gold really shine. A mysterious “Arabian Nights” feel envelops the visitors as soon as they step into the building from the daylight.
The Bazaar in Beverwijk is a massive indoor public “fleamarket in overdrive.” With more than 2,000 shops and more than 60 food establishments in numerous halls, De Bazaar offers clothing, accessories, toys, food and even gold. - Tuija Seipell.
Humming puppy? That’s quite a kooky name for a luxe Melbourne yoga studio – the humming is a nod to the Arup audio engineer designed sound system that delivers an exquisite hum soundtrack around the yoga studio; the puppy is a nod to the ubiquitous downward dog yoga pose.
Clients leave a nondescript inner-city Prahran side street, climb a set of industrial stairs into the studio (known here as a shala) and enter a cocooned space where every detail of the design – custom lighting, soundtrack and interiors is geared towards preparing yogis physically and mentally for their practice.
Co-founders Jackie Alexander and Chris Koch wanted to create a different yoga studio experience – part day spa pampering, part ‘get on that mat’ yoga practice and worked with architects (and yoga practitioners) Louisa Macleod and Karen Abernethy and ARUP to create a new kind of studio.
The studio space features Silvertop Ash shiplap interior cladding that gives it a minimalist barn feel. Walls have extra layers of soundproofing to genuinely cocoon clients from the outside world. The 380 square metres yoga studio (known as a shala) features three tiers of mats, accommodating up to 39 students per class, soaring 10-metre high ceilings and engineered oak floorboards. Clients can book specific sanitized mats online before classes.
“Conceptually the preparation area (front of house) is intended as a 'refuge' - pure, simple and white with touches of timber,” says Louisa. “Whereas the yoga practice space is intended as a 'sublime' space, a universe of its own complete with pure black walls and linings.” The entire studio is sound proofed (well there is a pole dancing studio next door) and a Sonos system pipes in a specially commissioned soundtrack of soundwaves at 40hz - a frequency associated with ‘gamma’ brain wave activity and states of peak performance; it is meant to help people tune into the practice and not get distracted. Another layer of sound comes in the form of a 7.83hz, otherwise known as the Schumann Resonance that helps to 'ground' yogis during practice. Together they create an unmistakable hum that resonates throughout the classes. The shala is heated to exactly 27 degrees by a series of radiant heat panels too so it is all rather idyllic for yoga practitioners.
Clients can just turn up in their yoga gear – all props such as mat, belts, blocks, shower/workout towels and meditation cushions are supplied. Bathrooms offer five-star standards – fresh towels, toiletries, hair straighteners, driers even lockers with phone charging capability.
Amenities aside, real innovation here is the ingenious soundtrack. Co-founder Koch (an IT entrepreneur who created successful startup 1Form) had a “lightbulb moment” to add the gamma soundtrack to classes to stop people getting too distracted during their poses and tune into their practice. Humming Puppy also does the “afterclass”; offering chilled coconut water and warm green tea. Humming Puppy seems to have found a happy balance between luxury and simplicity. Says Louisa: “Luxury can be attributed to the generosity of space. This balance is maintained by a simple and raw material selection combined with fine detailing in the construction and the touches of more fine materials (brass etc.) in some of the fittings.”
For co-owner Jackie, the afterclass experience is key. “We wanted a place where people could hang out,” says Jackie. “We felt what was lacking in a lot of yoga studios.” There is a clear advantage in the architects genuinely understanding the end-users’ needs. Says Louisa: “The fact that we both practice yoga and have done so in many places all over the world definitely informed the design process as we know how a good yoga studio should function. We are aware of the rituals and how the spaces should flow.” - Emily Ross.
The recently opened Casa Cavia in the Palermo Chico neighborhood of Buenos Aires is an enchanting fusion of sights, sounds, tastes and eras.
Now operating as a brand new assembly of a restaurant, publishing house, bookstore, flower shop and perfumery, Casa Cavia is housed in what was known as the Bollini Roca residence, designed in the gilded age of the 1920s as a personal gift to the owner’s wife by the Spanish-born architect and artist Alejandro Christophersen of Norwegian parentage.
The founder and creator of the Casa Cavia concept, Guadalupe Garcia Mosqueda with book publisher Ana Mosqueda asked London and San Francisco-based KallosTurin Architects to restore and transform the residence into a modern cultural center, yet retain the essence of the historical building.
The architects retained the room proportions and numerous details but they also included modern elements throughout. The material palette includes white and green marble, brass, antique mirror, leather and terrazzo flooring – all inspired by the city’s cafes of the 1920’s and 1930’s.
Our eyes are drawn to the golden details, the arches and rounded shapes, the muted green seating and, of course, the flying books in the ceiling.
Our favourite section is the elegantly proportioned inner garden-courtyard with its small pool. It forces us to grieve the lack of such elements in today’s urban planning. Where, indeed, are the lovely urban inner courtyards of today that don’t feel like shopping mall food courts?
Ana Mosqueda’s Ampersand Publishing is the inspiration and anchor of Casa Cavia. It produces books but is also a center to exchange ideas, recalling the publishers of Europe and Americas at the beginning of the 20th century. There is a hall for classes, conferences and book presentations along with a library focused on the history of books and written culture.
Guadalupe Garcia Mosqueda has drawn in the best new Argentine talent to create and host the various parts of the concept that aims to showcase the best of Buenos Aires while promoting architecture, gastronomy, design, literature and art.
For the perfumery she brought in Julian Bedel, “the nose of Argentina” to offer the fragrances of Fueguia 1833 perfumes. Casa Cavia’s signature scent will be Biblioteca De Babel, named after a short story by Jorge Luis Borges about an enormous library of interlocking rooms housing a vast collection of books.
Costume designer and art director Silvana Grosso creates amazing floral impressions Casa Cavia’s flower shop Flores Pasión while Próspero Velazco presides over the pâtisserie and revives the neighbourhood tradition of high tea.
Pablo Massey, a protégé of Argentina’s top culinary star, Francis Mallmann, helms Casa Cavia’s restaurant, La Cocina.
We believe – and hope - that these kinds of charming yet also extremely functional and useful “unrelated fusions” of various activities and offerings are one trend that is growing around the world. The fact that Casa Cavia, in addition to providing a fertile mixture, also restores and repurposes an important building makes this project that much more fabulous. - Tuija Seipell.
Some of us go weak in the knees at the sight of a new bookstore or library. Such was certainly the case when we glanced at Cărtureşti Carusel bookstore, opened on February 12 on Lipscani Street in Bucharest’s historical Old Town, also often called just Lipscani.
The magnificent Chrissoveloni bank building, now owned by Jen Chrissoveloni, the great-grandson of the 19th century banker, created a magnificent starting point for the retail project. According to the Romanian media, the current owner invested 1 million Euro in the renovation and leased the building to the Cărtureşti bookstore chain for 10 years. The Cărtureşti brand added an additional 400 000 Euro in design, fittings and inventory, resulting in one of the largest and most spectacular retail projects in the area.
Our eyes tear up with the sight of a thousand square meters (10 764 sq.ft.) dedicated to 10,000 books, music and a bistro. Add to this the magical staircases, the incredible height of the space, the classy use of white and
wood, and we are delighted. The space lends itself well to events and gatherings as the heavily attended opening event proved.
The brand invited several designers to contribute ideas and eventually selected the “carousel” concept submitted by the Romanian Architecture studio Square One that has designed several others. - Tuija Seipell.
See also The New Stuttgart City Library in Germany