Wallpaper* News Feed http://www.wallpaper.com Design Interiors Fashion Art Lifestyle - Wallpaper* News feed EN Copyright (c) 2015 Wallpaper* <![CDATA[Audi's Prologue marks the first step in a new design evolution]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/lifestyle/audis-prologue-marks-the-first-step-in-a-new-design-evolution/8298 The Prologue exudes an easy elegance. With its long wheelbase, wider track, low cabin and intricate 22-inch wheels, Audi's latest design study is a graceful car. It is more than just a concept though - the Prologue expresses the marque's new design language. As such, it's also a pretty good indication as to the look, the feel and the technology to expect in the upcoming exclusive Audi luxury coupé. Furthermore, with a 605hp 4-litre petrol V8 feeding the quattro all-wheel-drive system, the Prologue is, according to the company, 'the sportiest car in the luxury segment'.

The car, revealed to us at a pop-up venue in Milan, takes Audi's clean design aesthetic to another level. In the past decade the German car maker has worked hard to establish a recognisable look with a distinctive single-frame grille and precise, sculptured surfaces. Now it's time to move on and the Prologue is the first evolutionary step that should see a greater dose of differentiation between its models.

We caught up with Audi chief of design Marc Lichte to find out more...

Wallpaper*: You came to Audi from Volkswagen in February, bringing a fresh perspective. How do you see design developing?

Marc Lichte: Audi has to be sporty, progressive and sophisticated, and these core brand values need to be emphasised even more in the future. A big part of the history is technology. This is something we want to emphasise in exterior and interior design.

W*: Can you explain how you have evolved the single-frame grille design, first seen on the A6 ten years ago, and now the recognisable face of Audi?

ML: The single-frame has been one of the most important steps for Audi design and it has taken ten years to establish this as the face. Therefore a revolution at this stage is dangerous so we have evolved the shape by making it more horizontal, by extending the width of the grille adding volume to the car.

W*: You say all future Audi cars will express the quattro drive system.

ML: Our competitors have rear-wheel-drive cars, so they stress the rear wheels. We are quattro. Quattro is more than a drivetrain concept - it is one of our most important brand values. Expressing it is about balancing the proportions and emphasising all four wheel-arches.

W*: This is a highly advanced car, taking the TT's virtual cockpit a step further, yet the technology remains invisible.

ML: As cars become more advanced, technology has to become more visually subtle, almost invisible as in the Prologue where we integrated the displays into the architecture.

W*: How will you differentiate between the compact cars, saloons and SUVs?

ML: This will include the proportions of the single-frame, so that the A8 will have a more dominant, proud grille than, say, the A1.

W*: Will the electric Audi you've been working on be a radical design?

ML: Yes, but it is still top secret! The only thing I can confirm is that in the same way we will differentiate A, Q and R, we will differentiate our future e-models.

<![CDATA[Van Cleef & Arpels' padlock watch steals the show at SIHH 2015]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/watches-jewellery/van-cleef-arpels-padlock-watch-steals-the-show-at-sihh-2015/8350 Watch marques are prone to re-issuing their classic models with new design ticks. At last week's Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva - the first major watch fair of the year - the reappearance of Van Cleef & Arpels' 'Cadenas' watch (French for 'padlock') made a welcome return.

Created in 1935, the Cadenas is a shining example of hardware as high jewellery. But it's always hard to improve on a design classic, a challenge that Van Cleef & Arpels' CEO and creative director Nicolas Bos was faced with when he and his team sat down to re-imagine the bracelet-watch for 2015. 

'It has nothing to do with what we know as traditional watch design,' he says. 'We have a heritage of creating bold, innovative objects; transformable jewels, such as our 1950s Zip necklace, which can be deconstructed into several pieces,' says Bos. 'For 2015 we tried to alter the angle of the Cadenas' dial, but then we realised the watch was too difficult to read.' 

As Bos says: 'The Cadenas has a distinctive personality. It doesn't have a round dial and does not sit flat on the wrist.' There is a Cubist influence in its raised faceted case, at odds with the gently curving bracelet. But that geometry is purposeful: the dial was angled to allow women to glance at their wrist without appearing to read the time, a social faux pas in the early 20th century.

'Effectively, we sought to improve the shape of the Cadenas but realised we couldn't,' says Bos. Rather, the team enhanced the watch's readability by enlarging, slightly, its oblong dial and applying 12-hour markers to the crystal cover, making it easier to read. The original double snake chain bracelet remains, as does the hoop of the 'lock', carefully considered to soften the graphic edge of the dial.

The clasp is also updated, with two small ceramic beads inserted to make a more secure fastening. 'We revisited the whole clasp system so that the bracelet makes a satisfying click sound when you fasten it - a technology more in keeping with today,' says Bos. 

Nine new Cadenas models have been launched but the yellow-gold padlock watch with mother-of-pearl dial - which harks back to that simple but brilliant 1930s vision - is the watch that gets our vote as best in show.

Watches & Jewellery
<![CDATA[Adidas' revolutionary Ultra Boost shoe is a tribute to urban running]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/fashion/adidas-revolutionary-ultra-boost-shoe-is-a-tribute-to-urban-running/8351 In the race amongst sports brands to claim they have the ultimate running shoe in their arsenal, Adidas has made a daring move ahead with its latest creation, Ultra Boost, which promises to deliver the greatest run ever. The culmination of two years of intensive research and development, the design is backed by some of the most cutting-edge technology, gleaned from the sports world and beyond.

Ben Herath, Adidas' vice president of design, running explains, 'We set out to create the greatest running shoe ever, which was a little bit daunting for a designer as a brief, but we kept going back to "How does this make you feel?" We really challenged ourselves to make each part [of the shoe] take on a greater role.'

Building upon its Boost running shoe that launched in 2013, Ultra Boost offers even more support, stability and comfort than its predecessor. Working with Aramis, an optical 3D deformation analysis system more typically used by companies like Nasa and Boeing to understand materials' reactions under strain, Adidas has tracked how the body moves while running in unparalleled detail. A runner's foot can expand up to 10mm or more in width and when not properly catered for this can result in injury, friction and other discomforts.

'We could see where the foot expanded and contracted, where the skin stretched or moved, and we could reflect that exactly in the design,' continues Herath. 'When you try it on, the shoe really feels natural, like an extension of yourself. That's what we are going back to.'

The Ultra Boost achieves all this with Adidas' 'Primeknit' body that accommodates the natural expansion of any foot shape. A revolutionary new construction of the heel, which sees the heel counter placed on the exterior of the shoe, supports the Achilles tendon without restricting it. Topped off with Adidas' Boost sole, made from over 3,000 individual thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) capsules (20% more than its first Boost shoe), Ultra Boost returns energy to the runner for a more springy and reactive feel. A stretch web outsole also distributes pressure while adapting to different foot strikes.

Launched in just one colourway, a rich medley of dark blues and black, Ultra Boost is just as easy on the eyes. The shoe is a tribute to urban running: 'More people are running in cities and we see the increasing urbanisation of sport,' adds Herath. 'We looked to the most energising moments of the day: sunrise and sunset. We wanted to capture these times, which are also when a lot of people are running as well. The colour of the sky just when it's changing from day to night is what we wanted to reflect here.'

<![CDATA[Loris Gréaud's trail of destruction at Dallas Contemporary]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/art/loris-grauds-trail-of-destruction-at-dallas-contemporary/8352 What would you do if you witnessed a piece of art being destroyed? It's this exact unnerving situation that the French conceptual artist Loris Gréaud put his guests through during the unveiling of his first major US exhibition, 'The Unplayed Notes Museum', at Dallas Contemporary. At the opening, the show - which occupies the institution's entire 26,000 sq ft space and spans sculpture, paintings and film - was destroyed by a band of seemingly normal guests - just as Gréaud had planned.

'I wanted to create a museum within a museum,' says Gréaud of the anarchistic concept, which saw the gallery's alarms go off and lights shut down as people violently overturned works, defaced paintings and smashed sculptures. He continues: '[The destruction] is a nihilistic gesture, but its more than just commenting on the art world. It's a way for people to confront their feelings of fear and desire. We've all wanted to act out, revolt and destroy something.'

Working with actors and stuntmen, Gréaud carefully choreographed the destruction that would take place in mere minutes, with numerous rehearsals taking place in the weeks running up to the big reveal. Of course, Gréaud first had to fill Dallas Contemporary's five gallery spaces, which he did with real work made over the course of a year.

Gréaud sought to create a new natural history museum of sorts and his creations weave together elements of botany, sexuality, chemistry and zoology. From a herd of unrecognisable animals surrounding a tree from Vietnam, its roots exposed in the air, to a brooding group of abstracted classical statues, the exhibit is pure Gréaud, whose work has consistently manifested itself as fearless, and mutli-faceted experiences. A cluster of towering angels, each six metres tall, stand in a stoic circle in one gallery. One lies smashed on the floor.

Speaking to us a few days before the opening night's debauchery, Gréaud said, 'I feel really proud of the work now that the installation is finished,' admitting that he was anxious about what would happen on the evening itself, despite having the full support of Dallas Contemporary. 'We destroyed one piece during a rehearsal, and it was really painful,' he says.

Post-destruction, the untouched exhibition is a provocative reaffirmation of the intentions and events of that one night. 'More important than the event is what's left,' Gréaud said after, stating that his ultimate intention was to focus on the show's two opposing states: perfection and destruction. Asked whether he would do it again, Gréaud's answer is a prompt no.

Dallas Contemporary
161 Glass Street
Dallas TX 75207
United States

<![CDATA[Jean Nouvel's Philharmonie de Paris builds to a crescendo]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/architecture/jean-nouvels-philharmonie-de-paris-builds-to-a-crescendo/8331 On a Tuesday afternoon in January, the winter sun glinted off the Philharmonie de Paris as if it had been specially summoned to show off the distinct patterning of cast aluminium and reflective steel. Arrayed in an MC Escher-esque motif, the 340,000 tiles depicting abstracted birds are just one of several spirited and inspired features that define this concert hall as different from all others.

But if its architect (and former Wallpaper* guest editor), Jean Nouvel, deserves a round of applause, he was conspicuously absent from both the press preview and inaugurating concert attended by French president François Hollande. Voicing his dissatisfaction in Le Monde, he wrote that the building remains too incomplete to unveil and requires further architectural and acoustic assessments. To the extent that the rooftop, two restaurants and exhibition space will have staggered openings over the next few months, he has a point. Granted, the project makes its debut already two years late.

Even as a work in progress, the Philharmonie represents the realisation of a building designed to change the way people participate in orchestral music, whether owing to its location on the edge of the city, its outdoor public environment or its educational, rehearsal and cultural programming.

Most of all, the Orchestra of Paris has a dynamic new 2,400-seat hall to call home. Such a high capacity barely registers since the volume projects upward rather than outward in a traditional fan shape (as proof, only 32 metres separates the conductor from the furthest spectator, considerably reduced from 48 metres in the Salle Pleyel, the city’s principal symphonic venue). The other main consideration - one that is truly unique - is that concert venue is actually a hall within a hall; the exterior space one crosses to enter gives way to an undulating wall that enhances the intimacy while optimising the acoustics.

In the press notes, Nouvel describes the auditorium as 'reminiscent of immaterial waves and light', adding how the placement of the balconies creates the effect of suspending spectators in space. Indeed, when those spectators gaze to the ceiling, they see a swirling mass of biomorphic panels that strategically enclose the house and stage lighting. When they look across the hall, they see how the balconies have been framed in wood ornamented with a geometric relief. Everything serves a technical purpose.

'All the floating surfaces provide the lateral reflections [for the sound],' said Christopher Day, founding partner of Marshall Day Acoustics, the New Zealand-based company that previously provided the acoustics for the Guangzou Opera House, built by Zaha Hadid.

Beyond the lyrical birds in their lustrous shades of grey, Nouvel introduced a metal mesh that, like a theatrical scrim, makes the building appear impenetrable during the day (while not obstructing the view outward); at night, the interior light takes over and passersby can see inside.

As with the Musée du Quai Branly, the Nouvel-designed museum of indigenous art near the Eiffel Tower, the space around the Philharmonie is as important as the space within. Those not attending a concert or a class can linger on the steps or climb them to the rooftop looking point which, when it opens in the spring, offers a view of Paris far more eclectic than Haussmann’s uniformity. Up here, the vista encompasses the science museum with its mirrored geode, the former abattoir converted into a festival hall, Bernard Tschumi’s architectural contributions from the late 1980s, and the industrial suburb of Pantin.

The goal, said Philharmonie president Laurent Bayle, is for individuals and families from Paris and beyond (what urban planners now call Greater Paris) to feel that fine music can be accessible. Perhaps this explains the Nouvel-designed signage that rises above the building’s 37 metres (the maximum inhabitable height within city limits) to an additional 15 metres, broadcasting event news to those driving along the central ring road. If you’re stuck in traffic, you might be doubly tempted to purchase tickets for some soothing Satie.

Philharmonie de Paris
221 Jean Jaurès Avenue
75019 Paris

33 1 44 84 44 84


<![CDATA[Julien David teams up with Quiksilver to put a fashion spin on surf culture]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/fashion/julien-david-teams-up-with-quiksilver-to-put-a-fashion-spin-on-surf-culture/8344 As the influence of activewear takes hold of our daily wardrobes, a new collaboration arrives merging the lines between surfwear and high fashion. And it's eco-friendly to boot. 

Paris-born designer Julien David, who studied fashion at Parson's School of Design in New York, was a keen skater until he was seventeen. He still steps on a board occasionally, whether it's to surf or skate, but his ability to blend cool counterculture tropes into his catwalk designs caught the eye of surf giant Quiksilver.

David unveiled the first instalment of a three-year collaboration with the surf brand during his S/S 2015 show in Paris on the ripped bodies of pro-surfer Marc Lacomare and snowboarder Iouri Podladtchikov. The line of wetsuits, board shorts and rash vests reaches stores this month and is intended to function as a hybrid of high fashion and performance apparel. 'The shorts are highly technical piece of clothing, but I am happy for people to wear them anywhere,' he says. 

When designing, David had in mind 'memories of the brand from the late 1980s and early 90s. There are anti-conformists vibes that I love and that drew me to the sport in the first place and now I'm putting forward the freedom of the spirit at that time. I also used a character from their archive prints called the "Ghetto Dog",' he adds.

His tuxedo trompe-l'oeil wetsuit is a stand out. 'I wanted to have a classy touch in the first season, mixing surf board shorts with tailored jackets. I also did this James Bond-esque tuxedo-inspired wetsuit. I had a 20 person live big band wearing it for the show, kind of a scuba jazz band.'

Much noise has been made about sustainability and eco-footprints in fashion lately and Quiksilver has been honing its eco-driven production methods along with innovative fabric finishes - one of the reasons David was keen to partner with the brand. 'As a smaller designer, it is difficult to have the resources to develop interesting eco-friendly fabrics and research new manufacturing methods so I wanted to ask the Quiksilver team to focus on recycled materials. It's not the main point of the collaboration but it's a bonus for the customer. It makes sense to be more economically aware it if you can.'

Quiksilver has therefore used recycled bottles to create waterproof stretch fabrics with an American company called Repreve, and plant based bio-rubber, as an alternative to neoprene for their wetsuits. Furthermore, the rash guards are made from recycled UV resistant poly-blend fabrics while t-shirts are 100 percent organic cotton. So will it soon roll out to include womenswear? 'Maybe,' he says, 'We have signed for three years minimum, so a lot can happen.'

<![CDATA[Fondazione Prada gears up towards the opening of its new OMA-designed home]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/architecture/fondazione-prada-gears-up-towards-the-opening-of-its-new-oma-designed-home/8349 A render of Fondazione Prada's new Milan venue. Courtesy of OMA and Fondazione Prada Announcing its much-awaited expansion, the Fondazione Prada will, from this May, compliment its beautiful 18th century palazzo in Venice with a brand new space in Milan by distinguished architecture superfirm OMA, headed by Rem Koolhaas.

Exploring architectural typologies linked to the display of art, the architects worked with a combination of new and existing buildings. The site, formerly a distillery dating back to the 1910s, is located in the Largo Isarco area in the city's south. The complex includes a dedicated children's space designed by a group of students from the École nationale supérieure d'architecture de Versailles, a bar created by director Wes Anderson, and an extremely generous 11,000 sq m of exhibition space.

Both the Venice and Milan locations will operate in conjunction, celebrating the opening with two thematically linked ancient art exhibitions curated by Salvatore Settis in collaboration with Anna Anguissola and Davide Gasparotto - 'Serial Classic' in Milan and 'Portable Classic' in Venice. The festive launch events will also include site-specific installations by Robert Gober and Thomas Demand, and screenings and a new documentary by Roman Polanski.

Fondazione Prada
Via Spartaco, 8
20135 Milan

<![CDATA[Tense Architecture Network's concrete residence in Megara has all angles covered]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/architecture/tense-architecture-networks-concrete-residence-in-megara-has-all-angles-covered/8329 Situated within the plains of Attica in Greece, this eco-friendly home by Athens-based practice Tense Architecture Network (TAN), is a simple, low volume with a grand view of the nearby Geraneia mountain range and the surrounding Megara region.

Take an interactive tour of Residence in Megara

The clients, an active and eco-minded couple, approached the architects for a house within their plot, which already contained 300 olive trees. Their plan was to make this their second home and split their time between Athens (their apartment in the Greek capital was also designed by TAN) and this, more peaceful, setting.

The structure's triangular plan is divided into four sections; two enclosed spaces and two open courtyards. The north-facing living quarters comprise an open-plan sitting, dining and kitchen area. A continuous glass façade ensures the living quarters make the most of the picturesque view (the living spaces are orientated towards the mountains) but a curved golden curtain provides subtle privacy when needed, as well as light control.

A smaller southern entrance at the opposite end faces the Megara plains and leads to the more private parts of the house. Here, an ensuite master bedroom is nestled next to a guest room with separate bathroom. Concrete walls, featuring vertical gaps that filter light in, carefully protect the sleeping quarters. A glass-enclosed corridor links the house's two distinct sections.

The concrete walls and flooring are stained with transparent earth-coloured paint throughout. Warm mahogany wood is used extensively inside for furnishings and bespoke furniture. The 10m-long, part-suspended dining table, kitchen and fireplace element is among the architects' favourites. The attached iron chimney also becomes a fully functioning hearth. The warm air is circulated to heat the house, contributing towards the project's low-energy credentials.

Two open-air courtyards, a nod to the ancient Mediterranean 'atrium' typology, connect the interiors with nature, also assisting in the house's natural cooling and ventilation. Designed both for energy preservation and visual effect, a green roof will help the structure age gracefully, progressively growing out and downwards in time.

Nominated for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture Mies van der Rohe Award 2015, the residence is a minimal, yet strong design, in harmony with nature.

<![CDATA[Design Awards 2015: our favourite spring/summer collections cut and pasted within a two-tone palette]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/fashion/design-awards-2015-our-favourite-springsummer-collections-cut-and-pasted-within-a-two-tone-palette/8339   

<![CDATA[Backstage at Milan Fashion Week A/W 2015: menswear collections]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/fashion/backstage-at-milan-fashion-week-aw-2015-menswear-collections/8353     

<![CDATA[Patek Philippe extends its influence on London's New Bond Street with the help of architects AW²]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/watches-jewellery/patek-philippe-extends-its-influence-on-londons-new-bond-street-with-the-help-of-architects-aw/8334 London's most prestigious retail corner just got a little more luxurious with the opening of fine-watch marque Patek Philippe's elegantly conceived new salon. Situated opposite Peter Marino's flagship Louis Vuitton store, Patek Philippe has extended it's original boutique at 15 New Bond Street store into the vast confines of number 16 next door, increasing its floor space five-fold from a tiny 85 sq m to a definitive 420.

Reda Amalou of Paris practice AW² has created an impressively modern emporium for this, one of watchmaking's most traditional houses, to such a well-considered point that its subtle glamour is a comfortable fit among the high gloss, high fashion maisons that surround it.

It marks a welcome new era in horological retail design that echoes the recent Marino decade of contemporary opulence that has transformed the high-jewellery retail experience for leading houses across the globe. Amalou has referred to classic Art Deco motifs and symmetric pathways to similar effect: number 16's pale gold concrete walls, pristeen cream marble flooring and hammered bronze details are classic rather than opulent.

The Bond Street boutique now houses the largest collection of current Patek Philippe models anywhere. Of course, servicing and repairs are a major factor for any fine watch house and so two watchmakers are ensconced in an impressive repairs lab on the lower floor. They look out onto a comfy library area that doubles as a waiting area. 

Watches & Jewellery
Patek Philippe
16 New Bond Street
London W1S 3SU

<![CDATA[Midcentury Italian lighting designs shine through at Galerie Kreo]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/design/midcentury-italian-lighting-designs-shine-through-at-galerie-kreo/8322 Didier Krzentowski and his partner Clémence founded their Paris space Galerie Kreo as a high-end design lab, a platform for new, functional design by leading lights and rising stars of the industry. The gallery – named for the word 'creation' in Esperanto – has quietly advanced the cause of collectible design with a string of major breakthroughs by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Martin Szekely and Pierre Charpin, among others.

Their new London gallery was launched last autumn as a way to be closer to British collectors and commissioned designers like Jasper Morrison and the duo Doshi Levien. Yet its latest exhibit puts a spotlight on the owners’ role as major collectors of midcentury lighting from Italy. The couple have collected Achille Castiglioni, Pierre Paulin and Pierre Guariche over three decades and have amassed the world’s largest collection of Gino Sarfatti lights. Hundreds of them: the Paris location could double as a lighting warehouse. Most of the models – Didier estimates 80 per cent – are no longer produced today, and samples of these have been singled out for a mini-exhibition at the front of the Mayfair space.

Sarfatti created his simple, soft spherical lights, harnessed together by lacquered-metal rings, in the line of research. Didier says he was a steadfast scholar of new techniques, prototyping new forms as soon as the latest bulb was available. You can draw a direct line from the designer’s methodology to the patron’s professional philosophy, and his efforts to nurture a new generation of like-minded collectors.

Lighting of this calibre, Didier says, is nearly impossible to find in top condition. 'It is completely minimal,' he says. 'It could be made today.' Most likely owners hold on tight and live with them for generations. He points out his most treasured piece: Sarfatti’s '2095/9' ceiling light from 1958, no longer produced. It comprises nine luminous glass orbs the size of a fist, shooting down 220cm from the ceiling in a spiral formation.

The Sarfatti selection is a prelude to 'La Luce Vita', a Cinecittà-inspired exhibition that mixes legends including Guariche and Vittoriano Viganò with new-ish work by Morrison, Charpin and Joschua Brunn. Apparently the era of Fellini’s La Dolce Vita coincided with major creative output by the aforementioned and their peers Joe Colombo, Giò Ponti, Joseph-André Motte and Robert Mathieu. Didier calls them 'cinematographers of our daily landscape'.

The contemporary work, accented by Paulin’s collectors-item 'CM 190' series of chairs, is no less classic. In 30 years, Morrisson’s 'Variation #6' stackable marble benches will likely confound collectors in the same way Sarfatti’s lighting is doing today; already Chanel has picked up several for the shoe display at its Bond Street store. François Azambourg has done a versatile mirror in a silvered blown-glass frame ('Miroir Estampé') that hangs from an adjustable wire.

Charpin’s 'Mini-Eclipse' light is a pair of teal-green lacquered-metal posts, one with a mounted lightbulb. When the lightbulb orbits around its neighbour, the light is obscured and dims as a result. Not that you can really perceive of the effect in situ. The setting is far too brilliant.

Galerie Kreo
14A Hay Hill
London W1J 8NZ

<![CDATA[Mons' year as European Capital of Culture kicks off with new convention centre by Daniel Libeskind]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/architecture/mons-year-as-european-capital-of-culture-kicks-off-with-new-convention-centre-by-daniel-libeskind/8333 'It's not an expensive building but it's an elegant building and that's what we wanted,' says Daniel Libeskind. The architect is showing us around his latest project, a new convention centre - the Mons International Congress Xperience (MICX) - that is part of a wider regeneration masterplan for the pretty southern Belgian town of Mons, and the first of several projects planned for the city's year as European Capital of Culture.

Libeskind's signature style of colliding planes, canted walls and angular points (including a dramatic cantilevered prow) is very much in evidence here, but softened by the spiralling and overlapping curvilinear walls of golden brown anodised aluminium and tactile slats of Robinia wood at ground level that will eventually be transformed into a refined silvery grey. Inside, the play of contrasting geometries continues with intersecting recessed lighting tracks and inlaid stone pathways, spilling out onto the outside plaza in a combination of Belgian pierre bleue and grey concrete.

When Libeskind got the commission he knew a relatively compact footprint (12,500 sq m) would have to accommodate a multitude of different spaces and uses, including a large foyer, three auditoriums, a multi-purpose hall, meeting rooms, offices, a restaurant, an underground car park and a roof terrace - and do so for the fairly modest sum of €27m.

The new centre successfully draws in the public and the city with generous glazing and skylights that usher in views and daylight, reflecting activity back to the outside world. It also includes various entry points (including a processional external wooden staircase that leads to a public roof and viewing platform) and a series of framing devices that celebrate the medieval city of Mons and its imposing Belfry tower beyond.

The composition is intense and as with many a Libeskind project, the search for a straight line to rest one's gaze on may not bear fruit. The architect is known for his penchant for sharp points protruding into space and this scheme is no exception. Here, the cuts in the slanted walls, ceilings and railings, the etched patterns on the doors, the angular shape of the auditorium seats, the oblique lines of light created by the ribboned glazing, are part of a compositional whole, explains Libeskind, and about creating 'an ambience, an environment, a rhythm'.

There is no doubt to the project's complex level of detailing, texture and craftsmanship, variety of architectural 'moments' and dynamic quality of light. By Libeskind's own admission, this building is a 'machine that has to be used every day'.

Avenue Mélina Mercouri,
2 à 7000 Mons

<![CDATA[Driade takes us back to the future at its David Chipperfield-designed showroom]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/design/driade-takes-us-back-to-the-future-at-its-david-chipperfield-designed-showroom/8309 Italian design brand Driade has unveiled a new Milan showroom designed by David Chipperfield, heralding its inaugural creative collaboration with the architect who was appointed art director of the Italian design brand last year. The showroom - housed in a white, minimalist space - also serves as a space in which to showcase the company’s 47-year history, alongside temporary exhibitions.

Founded in 1968 by Enrico Astori, Antonia Astori and Adelaide Acerbi, the brand has chosen to inaugrate the showroom with an exhibition of pieces from its earlier days. Aptly titled ‘Early Years’, the show explores bold Driade designs produced in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Furniture by Nanda Vigo, Enzo Mari and Lella and Massimo Vignelli offer an encyclopedic overview of Driade’s eclectic production, which more recently has launched pieces by the likes of Patricia Urquiola (joint winner of our Designer of the Year), Fabio Novembre, and Ron Arad.

Driade has always dared to experiment and push aesthetic boundaries with its distinctly experimental design language, and ‘Early Years’ reveals a bright glimpse into its future while celebrating its past.

Via Borgogna 8


<![CDATA[Steven Holl Architects' dramatic expansion design for The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/architecture/steven-holl-architects-dramatic-expansion-design-for-the-museum-of-fine-arts-in-houston/8313 The city of Houston might be famously associated with the solving of tricky astronautical problems, but as of today, it's forging a new artistic legacy. The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston has unveiled its plans for a dramatic redevelopment of its 14-acre campus by Steven Holl Architects. With three-quarters of its funding already secured - that's a whopping $330 million of its total $450 million goal - the institution revealed a unifying master plan that will see the construction of a new art school and museum building, complemented by a cutting-edge conservation centre by Lake Flato Architects.

The new structures will blend harmoniously with the campus' existing iconic buildings by Mies van der Rohe, Rafael Moneo, William Watkin, and a sculpture garden by Isamu Noguchi. It will break ground in the coming months and is expected to complete in 2019.

Speaking during the unveiling of the museum's plans, architect Steven Holl said, 'When I look at the whole project, I think it's probably the most important project that I will ever do as an architect. I'm very grateful to have this opportunity. It's not just a building. It's a campus and a public space that's enormously important for the city of Houston.'

The redevelopment of the museum complex has been a long time in the making. Back in 2012, Steven Holl Architects beat out two other practices to win over the museum's directors and board of trustees with a proposal that completely reorientated the brief that its entrants were set.

The original plan tasked architects to include a multi-storey car park in their design proposal, which Holl promptly ignored. 'When I first presented to [the museum], they asked me, 'Well, where's the parking garage?' There isn't any,' he laughed. "And that was the first thing that was supposed to be built. I think that's why we won. It was hard for [the museum] at first because it was breaking the rules of the competition, but over time they realised that was the way to go.'

No stranger to shaping museums or educational institutions, Holl's vision expands the campus and turns it into an integrated place that the community can also experience. It will provide increased pedestrian access with public plazas, gardens and reflecting pools, and improved sidewalks to facilitate circulation in the new complex.

His design for the new Nancy and Rich Kinder Building - a 164,000 sq ft museum for exhibiting 20th and 21st century art, is a translucent glass tube structure, punctuated by seven vertical gardens around its perimeter that will bring a sense of its surroundings indoors. A concave curved canopy, which Holl imagined as the imprints of Texas' big sky and clouds on the roof's surface, allows light to gently filter through to the 25 galleries inside in an organic way. Soft and fluid in contrast to the stone Moneo building and van der Rohe's steel and glass construction close by, Holl's design will hold its own.

On the other hand, his practice's vision for the new Glassell School of Art building is formed by a series of sandblasted concrete panels, placed at dynamic verticals and angles. The L-shaped construction features a ramped amphitheatre that leads up to a walkable rooftop garden, where visitors can enjoy dramatic views of the newly unified campus. In addition to opening onto Noguchi's sculpture garden and providing added outdoor space for programs and performances, the 80,000 sq ft building also sits atop an extensive underground parking garage. Putting two layers of parking underground allowed not only to not build a parking garage, but also to expand the sculpture garden.

The Glassell School of Art building marks the first phase of the master plan and will begin construction in August. 'With this project, I'm making architecture, social space and public space that's so large, it's shaping urban life and the nature of the city,' says Holl. 'The city is the greatest human artefact. One of the wonderful aspects of being an architect is that every once in a while you get a chance to work on the scale of a city. It's the accumulation of these pieces that makes something special.'

1001 Bissonnet
Texas 77005
United States

<![CDATA[Menswear mecca Pitti sees a fresh A/W 2015 line-up including Marni, Hood by Air and Olivier Saillard]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/fashion/menswear-mecca-pitti-sees-a-fresh-aw-2015-line-up-including-marni-hood-by-air-and-olivier-saillard/8311 After a tough couple of seasons, Florentine menswear trade show Pitti Immagine Uomo returned in strong form this January. A scheduling clash with the thriving London Collections: Men had prevented many from attending - and, potentially, put off some designers from showing.

That logistical hiccup has been resolved this year and, to top things off, the Pitti board pulled in one of its most acclaimed names in a while as guest designer - Marni. Founder Consuelo Castiglioni recently celebrated her label's 20th anniversary, so it made sense that she opted to do something special with her A/W 2015 menswear collection.

Marni normally shows in Milan with a small presentation of clothes on hangers, so a catwalk show, held at the Museo Marino Marini, was an exciting prospect. The venue provided a source of inspiration to Castiglioni, who drew on its successful juxtaposition of the tradition with architectural innovation. The result was a confidently modern collection that playfully riffed on the past - see those Seventies flares and cheerful retro prints.

Naturally, fur formed a key part of the collection, though Castiglioni used it with a light-hearted touch, nodding to her label's reputations for offering something a little off-the-wall and unexpected. Gilets came in bright multi-coloured dyed sheepskin - a modern day technicolour dreamcoat - as backpacks came furnished in goat hair. This playful spirit extended to the tailoring - Castiglioni was inviting the suited and booted Pitti peacocks to mix things up by showing broken suits in clashing checks.

While a celebrated Italian label like Marni may have felt like an expected choice for Pitti, Shayne Oliver's New York-based label Hood by Air, the other main guest designer on schedule, was more of a surprise. Oliver's streetwear brand, founded in 2006, draws on music culture and has a forceful reputation for challenging expectations surrounding gender, sexuality and masculinity. He's hugely popular with young fashion enthusiasts and his HBA branded t-shirts spawned a legion of fakes. However, Hood by Air is fast becoming part of the establishment.

Last year in May, he was included on LVMH's 'Special Prizes' awards list, so it made sense for Pitti to extend its seal of approval, even if the suits decorated with floor-length hair extensions and bondage-style trousers he showed will unlikely find a ready market amongst Florence's sartorial brigade. That said, Oliver was clearly using the platform as an opportunity to progress rather than simply shock - his focus on tailoring rather than casualwear was new and felt appropriate for Pitti.

Then for those looking for something slightly more cerebral, Olivier Saillard and Tilda Swinton staged their new performance - the final in a trio of collaborations. Entitled 'Cloakroom', it saw Swinton invite the audience to 'check in' their coats with her, sparking a variety of semi-improvised sequences that seemed to play on the emotion and history our clothes become embodied with as wear them. The message was Pitti perfection.

<![CDATA[Letter from Taiwan: we report on the island's latest architecture projects]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/architecture/letter-from-taiwan-we-report-on-the-islands-latest-architecture-projects/8307 Construction is booming on the island of Taiwan. A number of recent, high profile competitions in the region have led to several major commissions that involve work by a wealth of well-known international architects. The result? A wave of new, architecturally inspiring public and private buildings are starting to take shape across the island.

Infrastructure projects (such as port terminals) are key to the island's development, but many of the most prominent building sites dotting Taiwan are for cultural or leisure schemes. Among them is the much-awaited Taipei Performing Arts Centre by OMA - which scooped a Wallpaper* Design Award this year for Best Building Site - and the innovative Taichung Metropolitan Opera House by 2013 Pritzker Prize winning Japanese architect Toyo Ito (also, the winner of our Best Building Site award in 2014).

Local housing is also getting a boost, with international names, like the dynamic Danish practice BIG and US architecture heavyweight Richard Meier, contributing with concepts designed to balance the East Asian island's distinct local qualities - such as its traditional architecture, tropical and subtropical climatic conditions and natural landscape - with a contemporary approach and the growing Taiwanese cities' urban character.

Meanwhile Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto is set to provide the island with a shiny new landmark; Taiwan Tower's steel body will include a striking 300m-high floating garden and an observation deck, inviting locals and visitors to explore the urban landscape beyond.

<![CDATA[Kinetic artist Jesús Rafael Soto is feted with a duet of retrospectives in Paris and New York]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/art/kinetic-artist-jess-rafael-soto-is-feted-with-a-duet-of-retrospectives-in-paris-and-new-york/8301 At Emmanuel Perrotin’s Paris gallery, visitors appeared to be lingering around the artworks more than usual. One cannot just stand and stare at Jesús Rafael Soto’s highly technical constructions. 'Pe

Galerie Perrotin Paris
76 Rue de Turenne
75003 Paris

<![CDATA[Fashion-driven watch brands chime in on London Collections: Men]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/watches-jewellery/fashion-driven-watch-brands-chime-in-on-london-collections-men/8306 The link between men's fashion and timepieces is becoming stronger thanks to a flux of younger watch brands who are making their mark on the London Collections: Men with their latest collections.

Swatch, overall partner of the event, made its intentions clear last year when it announced a three-year partnership with the British Fashion Council. This year, the brand unveiled its latest collection, Gran Turismo, at Victoria House in Bloomsbury Square. The homage to the golden age of racing heroes remains faithful to the fun, quirky spirit the brand is known for, twisting a classic racing aesthetic with metallic accents, brake-inspired dials and vivid colours.

Young brand Orolog also used the occasion to showcase its new pieces. It's led by acclaimed designer Jaime Hayon, whose admirably diverse clients include Baccarat, Fritz Hansen and Bernhardt Design. ‘LC:M is important to us as it has rapidly established itself as a key platform for emerging trends,’ says Orolog cofounder Ian Lowe. ‘Hayon’s creative activity perfectly reflects the increasing crossover which is happening across these fields.’ The latest collection elegantly combines materials and colours in unexpected ways - steel case chronographs come with steel hands, dials and sub-dials in differing shades of blue, while combinations of grey with blue and green dials are set off by matt black cases.

For Uniform Wares, it was the parallels between LC:M and its own brand that appealed. Cofounder and creative director Patrick Bek says: ‘London is the home of progressive menswear and the show is the perfect place to exhibit our progressive collection.’ The brand will be showing the C-Line and M-Line collections, both elegant families of watches that celebrate sharp angles, perfect symmetry and carefully considered proportions. For Bek, simplicity is key and he advises those considering their first watch purchase to: ‘Keep it classic. A stainless steel case with polished accents will never look out of place.’ Most importantly? Relax and have fun. ‘Once your first watch is out of the way, it's a lot easier to experiment with style.’

Watches & Jewellery
<![CDATA[Backstage at London Collections: Men A/W 2015]]> http://www.wallpaper.com/fashion/backstage-at-london-collections-men-aw-2015/8354