Art & Architecture

Urbis June - July 2019

Published bi-monthly, Urbis features stylish interiors, spaces and objects, fascinating places, interesting people, technology updates and car reviews. Through its sophisticated design, Urbis appeals to design-savvy consumers and style-makers, as well as design and architecture professionals.

New Zealand
AGM Publishing Ltd
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$10.21(Incl. tax)
$51.06(Incl. tax)
5 Issues

in this issue

1 min.

One of the many unexpected benefits of small spaces – and the cities that embrace them – is their ability to elicit a wider rejuvenation of the public spaces around those private domains. Generally, apartment buildings are full of insular homes and offer little opportunity for chance encounters between neighbours. By necessity – or, perhaps, market forces – this insularity brings about more hospitality spaces, libraries, co-working spaces, parks, community centres and other such areas that allow for people to mingle with strangers and create communities around their houses. Our Urbanists column is a strong testament to the importance of these kinds of public spaces when a city is headed towards higher density. One of our hot houses (page 44) also serves as an example of how small spaces can be more…

3 min.

JULIA GESSLER Julia went to university in London and moved back to New Zealand in 2017. She is the editorial assistant for Urbis and Interior. You wrote a piece on Andrea Serboli’s Barcelona apartment. What did you like most about it? I loved the playful nature of the apartment. If feels, to me, like a home-variant of a Japanese puzzle box; its secret compartment, like those in a ‘trick box’, is deftly hidden from unknowing visitors. What has been the most memorable place you’ve visited abroad? In 2016, I went on a solo trip to Iceland. The BBC reported that one in 10 people there will publish a book and it’s easy to see why; the imposing topography of the country is stunning and, with little effort, can serve as a wild, windy conduit to…

5 min.
mid-century mod

Richard Neutra’s VDL Research House, built in 1963, is considered a modernist masterwork. This year, almost six decades later, Kettal has collaborated with the late Austrian-American architect’s son, Dion Neutra, to re-interpret its rooftop penthouse. The result is a softly lit homage that’s cognisant of nature and clothed in striking past-meets-present good looks. Kettal is available from Studio Italia. studioitalia.co.nz TINY CABINS FOR INTREPID TRAVELLERS Winter isn’t all about hunkering down and leaving plans to embrace the outdoors languishing next to your summer-wear. British company Tree Tents has recently released the Fuselage: a cabin measuring a mere 3 x 5 metres, which can be transported in and assembled from kit form. It has stilted feet, which can adapt to any landscape, and triple-layer walls and an aluminium outer shell for added insulation…

3 min.
milan highlights

At Salone del Mobile, remasterings of shape, form, function and light introduce themselves to the world from the design capital. While, this year, some spoke softly, many were loud and fantastical, showing undeniable curl personae: from subtle bends to sinuous loops bordering on the recalcitrant. Organic silhouettes mirroring the geometries of the natural world were also at play, full of important narratives about creating designs with environmentally and ethically minded consciences. The finalists for the inaugural Ro Plastic Prize, whose entries – including an infinitely recyclable chair – were presented at design doyenne and gallerist Rossana Orlandi’s exhibition, pushed these critical conversations further. Elsewhere, strong graphic elements, almost illustration-like in form, made for striking installations, showing that a winning design formula might just be rooted in arts and crafts – a theory…

5 min.
the urbanists

The Morningside Precinct is an unabashedly bold new dining development built around the relics of a bygone curtain factory. Since it opened only last year in mid-November, of late, it has been a food and drink cache for those who know where to find it: behind the train tracks of Morningside’s purlieus industrial area, on the fringe of Auckland city. In this trove, the coffee and food are excellent. It’s also dripping with a much-touted cool factor – something that quickly grew with the help of the Precinct’s first tenant, Crave café (image 6). For the local coffee cognoscenti, this was of little surprise. The eatery’s previous haunt, located down the road, boasted a seemingly endless stream of weekend crowds. The appeal was not simply the fare but the fact that…

2 min.

OTTO JAKOB: RIPE FRUIT edited by Angelika Taschen, Hatje Cantz, $97 Postmodern painter turned goldsmith Otto Jakob has many interests and his jewellery designs – like his house, which is filled with artworks by Georg Baselitz and Andy Warhol, Gandhara heads, agate stones and insects cased in glass – are informed by many of them. With a fixed gaze on Jakob’s work and these multitudinous inspirations, Ripe Fruit is a monograph that peels back the layers of what seems like unbridled passion, only to reveal a fastidious and disciplined work ethic at play. Complete with an introduction by jewellery historian Vivienne Becker, it becomes, albeit unintentionally, an elaborate example of the nature of creativity. Every tiny, amuletic design in this book swings from the beautiful to the educational and then back again,…