Math professor Dr. James Stewart, who is also a former violinist with the Hamilton Symphony Orchestra near Toronto, Ontario, has made millions writing calculus textbooks. When he decided to spend most of his fortune on a residence, he could have used any architect anywhere in the world.
Instead of an international star, he selected the then-relatively unknown pair, Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe of Shim Sutcliffe to create his residence in a ravine in the posh Toronto neighborhood of Rosedale.
Stewart was not looking to build just a residence, though. He also wanted a private concert hall and lots of curves. Other than that, he gave the architects unprecedented and probably never-to-be-repeated freedom. No schedule, and no design restrictions.
A decade after the initial discussions with Shim and Sutcliffe, the $24 million US, 18,000-square-foot Integral House was completed. It does, indeed, have a multitude of seductive curves, massive amounts of floor to ceiling glass and a spectacular staircase. And, Dr. Stewart now gives concerts and throws parties and costume balls in his 150-seat concert hall.
The house exudes a patina, a classic semi-Scandinavian simplicity that makes it seem older, more established and mature than a brash, brand-new house. There’s a lovely sense of dynamism as well, as if the building were in motion, rolling along ever so slowly, or perhaps just coming to stillness after a long architectural journey.
The fantastic staircase is really a commissioned work of art, a collaboration between the architects, glass artist Mimi Gellman, and structural engineer David Bowick. It is constructed of hand-blown blue glass rectangles that are supported by cast bronze clips and stainless steel cables.
The house has already been on the Architectural Digest annual Toronto tour and it has become a part of the city’s must-see architecture. In a Wall Street Journal article, Glenn D. Lowry, director of New York's Museum of Modern Art, was quoted as saying: "I think it's one of the most important private houses built in North America in a long time. Tuija Seipell
Seriously one of the greatest mountain bike edits you'll ever witnessed. Impressive filming and riding.
The song is by Radical Face - Welcome Home
Creative duo Kirsten Rutherford and Lisa Jelliffe from London’s Brothers & Sisters agency drew our attention to their current poster installation “Making the invisible visible” that hit the streets of London this past weekend.
It is a collaboration with the Berlin-based, three-person photographic street art collective Mentalgassi in support of Amnesty International.
The London poster campaign is specifically in support of Troy Davis, a man described as having “been on death row for 19 years in the USA, despite serious doubts about his conviction.”
The posters, depicting a close-up Davis’s face, are mounted on fence railings that disguise the posters so that the face behind the bars is revealed only when viewed from an angle. View the video.
The three posters are located at 4-7 Great Pulteney St, 21 Great Pulteney Street, and 5 Berners St (all W1). - Bill Tikos
We are cautiously nursing a glimmer of hope that even the most corporate of the corporate world could start taking design seriously. And that they could really start understanding and taking advantage of the effects that great head-office design has on staff creativity, productivity and comfort; which, in turn, leads to either staff loyalty or revolving doors. And, most important, that all of this inevitably filters down to how the customers experience the company.
Some banks in Australia are giving us reason for this hope. We observed Macquarie investment bank’s new harbourside office building in Sydney some time ago.
We are now looking at the ANZ Centre in Melbourne’s Docklands and our hopes rise up further. Designed by Melbourne-based HASSELL, the massive “urban campus” occupies 130,000 square metres and is the location of the daily grind for 6,500 people.
The design centers around a common hub that on the ground level includes cafes, a visitor centre and public art. Throughout the campus, 44 individual hub spaces connect to quiet working zones.
The floor plan maximizes flexibility and daylight penetration, and fosters collaboration and varying work styles. About 55 percent of the work area is collaborative space and the remaining area is dedicated desk space.
HASSELL won the 2010 World Architecture Festival’s Interiors and Fitout of the Year award for ANZ Centre. The World Architecture Festival is an annual three-day event held in Barcelona where the Awards this year attracted a record 500 entries from 61 countries. - Tuija Seipell
Le Bar 228 at the grand Le Meurice hotel in Paris is often topping the city’s “Best bar” lists. The reason may be the 50-plus whiskies on the list, or the 300 or so specialty cocktails, including the “228 or the “Starcky.” Which leads us conveniently to yet another possible reason: the opulent and masculine interiors, nicely re-imagined by Philippe Starck.
Le Meurice is a palace hotel overlooking the Tuileries Garden. For two centuries, it has been one of the most elegant hotels in Europe, and one with close ties with the artistic and creative world. Starck was invited to awaken this sleeping beauty from its slumber and he did it by infusing a sexy, modern dynamic yet letting the powerful 18th century magnificence re-claim its glory days. Starck’s skilful touch is seen throughout the hotel, not just in Le Bar 228.
Le Meurice is part of the Dorchester Collection of luxury hotels group of hotels that includes among others The Beverly Hills Hotel, Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan, The New York Palace, 45 Park Lane in London. - Bill Tikos
The Moscow-based Podium Fashion Groupl is involved in numerous fashion ventures, but what caught our eye is the Podium 1 jewellery store in Paris (at 334, rue St.-Honore, Paris 1er, right across from Colette). The tiny shop (50 square metres) oozes glamour and old money, patina and luxury.
The rich feel is created through textured wallpaper, dark antique or aged wood furnishings, curved vitrines, thick-glass cabinets with hand-tooled iron pulls, plus a massive armoire standing on curled legs and sporting Gothic arches. The slightly mad and eccentric, yet visually cohesive neogothic interior and furnishings are by Moscow-based Artbureau I/1 (“one over one”) whose eight principals create both private and commercial interiors and architecture.
Podium’s Paris store is a space for one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted pieces created with rare or antique techniques by jewellery names such as Loree Rodkin whose pieces recently adorned Michelle Obama at the inauguration ball and Cher on the cover of Architectural Digest. Tuija Seipell
How about adding some shockingly bright neon colour to a vase made of the iconic Limoges porcelain and shaped in the classic tapered vase form? That is what French company La Tête Au Cube has done in accordance with their mission to be “slightly offbeat and completely off the wall.”
The clay comes from the Limoges area where the famous hard-paste porcelain has been manufactured since 1771. The “fluo vases” are also made in Limoges, hand-crafted and therefore each slightly different. Currently available in green, orange, yellow and graphite.
Jérôme Fischbach and Thierry Galloni d’Istria who established La Tête Au Cube in 2005 promise a neon pink fluo porcelain plate early in 2011. You can buy these beauties on their site and in selected stores in France.
Adele is back with a new single and album - turn up the volume and enjoy 'Rolling in the deep'. We can't get enough of this dark bluesy gospel disco tune. Here's also a dance remix.
Paris loves to show off. The recently re-opened Le Royal Monceau is by far the showiest hotel in which the TCH team has ever stayed. This is a storied hotel and a location with a fantastic, historical past, but the latest incarnation is reimagined by Philippe Starck.
We are not huge fans of Starck as we tend to consider him one of the somewhat “gimmicky” designers — together with Karim Rashid or Marcel Wanders — whose creations sometimes transcend time and become classics, yet at others appear like a flash-in-a-pan that you only want to see once. This kind of design is fun and quirky, but we get tired of it very quickly.
In Le Royal Monceau, Philippe Starck has created a classic. Two years after possibly the wildest ‘demolition party’ in history, Paris’ newest palace hotel is THE place to stay.
The location itself is a winner: Five minutes’ walk from Arc De Triomphe and Champs-Elysées.
The entry to Le Royal Monceau is super-grand, from the six doormen to the first glimpse of the foyer — it feels like you’ve walked onto the movie set of Eyes Wide Shut. The luxe-chic interiors are the grandest we’ve seen but it’s somehow magically NOT over the top. It works in Paris; it really works wonderfully.
The hotel’s point of difference is a serious commitment to art. It has its own gallery, Art District, with the inaugural Basquiat show, of works selected from Enrico Navarra’s collection. There’s also an art bookshop and a dedicated blog Artforbreakfast.
There’s also a whiff of rock’n'roll, with each room featuring its own guitar, with a portable recording studio available to guests. Trailblazing fashion multibrand, L’Eclaireur, will also host a show room in the hotel. Plus there’s a Clarins spa, Pierre Hermé desserts, a cigar smoking room, a cinema, an extensive garden.
The rooms are fantastic, and for 800 Euro a night, you’d want them to be.
We were upgraded to the hotel’s best suite on the top floor with an attic-style roof. We entered a room to find a service of croissants, macaroons, coffee, water, grapes and oranges presented in a way fit for a president. The room has a small lounge with a large mirror leaning against the wall like a painting. The mirror miraculously becomes a TV with a switch of the remote control.
While the bed with its Italian crisp linen is divine, the bathroom is a real eye-opener. It’s like ‘Studio 54 meets a Puff Daddy video’ or like bathing on the face of a Chanel diamond wrist watch. All mirrors on every wall. You either love it or hate it.
Le Royal Monceau has it all, including all the beautiful people. The in-crowd has found it and the breakfast room was buzzing with film directors, actors models, advertising gurus, fashion types ; everyone dressed immaculately looking like a tear-sheet from Paris Vogue.
Power meetings were happening over lunch and at dinner/drinks. The place was buzzing with the most flamboyant characters we’ve seen in a while and literally every night was busy. We can only imagine the vibe of this place when Paris Fashion Week comes along! - Bill Tikos
TCH has been active online for 6 years and sometimes it seems we forget how amazing it is that the community that follows us just keeps growing. Many of our articles are read by millions of people, and the numbers of regular readers, followers, friends keeps growing and growing.
To celebrate this community, we commissioned artist Fernando Volken Togni from Brazil to create a poster. It reflects the multicultural, multi-discipline, multi-everything environment of the cool world of TCH.
Fernando also designed one of our car wraps which will be available in 2011.