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AZUREAZURE

AZURE March/April 2019

Lively, fresh, forward-looking, but also socially relevant — this defines Azure, the leading design publication covering the expanding world of international contemporary architecture and design. Each issue delivers readers inspiring ideas and cutting-edge innovations, from state-of-the-art green building to the latest in furniture and home accessories from around the globe.

Country:
Canada
Language:
English
Publisher:
Azure Publishing Inc.
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8 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

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material world

At the most recent World Architecture Festival, held in late November in Amsterdam, a typically illustrious lineup of design stars (Rem Koolhaas, David Adjaye, Jeanne Gang) held court on the festival’s main stage, while the architects whose work was nominated for awards (there were 535 shortlisted projects from 57 countries) gave live presentations to the international jurors deliberating over them in tent-like venues on the sidelines. Amid all the glitter and glad handing, however, a significant chunk of the festival floor was devoted to one of the most elemental aspects of design: materials. Called I Am Material, this dedicated pop-up space hosted by Material District showcased 100 building products from around the world. It was a prominent reminder that even the loftiest skyscrapers and most ambitious museum projects are in…

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we asked…

What was the most memorable part of your assignment for this issue? ANDREW BRAITHWAITE Writer, “Fjord Focus” (page 033) I visited Seattle’s Nordic Museum during an epic road trip from San Francisco to Vancouver Island. After touring the museum, I met my wife for a memorable foodie crawl through the city’s Old Ballard neighbourhood: dinner at the Walrus and the Carpenter, local craft brews at the Noble Fir, a tiki nightcap at the Hotel Albatross bar. Good thing I’d taken copious notes before we started drinking! What product designer are you most excited about right now? YUKI SUMNER Writer, “We Work with a Light Touch” (page 068) I just saw these beautiful little portable ceramic heaters, designed for off-grid communities by Mexico’s Estudio äCo. I thought that the design was bold and joyful, and I liked that…

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pointillisme veneers

Wood specialist Alpi has debuted two new veneers based on its inaugural collaboration with Atelier Mendini. Created in 1991, the original pattern features a polychrome motif evoking pointillist artworks by the likes of Paul Signac and Georges Seurat. Now part of the ALPIlignum collection, Pointillisme COL (a colourful solar-inspired veneer) is joined by Pointillisme B/N, a new “lunar” iteration in varying greys. For the relaunch exhibition, at Alpi’s Milan showroom, both products were displayed on a trio of monolithic cabinets conceived for the occasion by Alessandro Mendini. Inspired by “Without Colors,” a short story by Italian writer Italo Calvino, two of the models are named Qfwfq (shown) and Ayl, after characters who witness the introduction of colour to a dull universe. The third one, called Luna & Sole, features both the…

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space invaders

MARS Case Prototype The final frontier. Galaxies far, far away. The adventure of outer space and the untold mysteries of the universe have been inspiring works of film, fashion, literature, art and architecture for eons. Among the latest: Beijing firm Open Architecture recently dreamed up this 12-square-metre house prototype designed for a Walden-like escape to Mars. Stripping modern living down to its bare essentials, MARS Case packs a kitchen, a bathroom and mechanicals into a lightweight, 4.8-square-metre service block. One wall drops to the side, releasing a second, inflatable module. The spherical living space inside features an adaptable surface that transforms from a hard floor to a soft king-sized bed at night. openarch.com Anicorn x NASA This past fall, Hong Kong watch brand Anicorn teamed up with NASA to launch two super-exclusive designs…

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five things we learned from matteo thun

According to Matteo Thun, the Italian architect acclaimed for his innovative hospitality projects, the future “belongs not to concrete, but to wood.” It’s an assertion he doesn’t make idly. For one of his most recent projects – the nine-storey Waldhotel near Lucerne, Switzerland – Thun designed a pergola-style facade made of local larch. Over time, the wooden grid will be enveloped with greenery, causing the hotel to “disappear” into its forested backdrop. This kind of anonymous architecture is the way of the future, Thun tells Azure. Suppressing one’s ego in the service of design is just one piece of advice he has for his profession. 1 Think beyond official benchmarks. Many regions have their versions of certification, but they’re complex and expensive to meet. So, for Waldhotel, we invented our own standard:…

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fjord focus

By the early 1900s, approximately one-third of Seattle’s foreign-born population hailed from Nordic nations. These immigrants had made fresh starts in the Pacific Northwest, a land of familiar bountiful forests and rugged coastlines. Now local firm Mithun has crafted a bold and modern vessel for Seattle’s museum of Nordic history, organizing the structure’s double-height main hall to resemble a long, narrow fjord. Founded in 1980 in a red brick former schoolhouse, the Nordic Museum organized a competition in 2007 to design its new home in the historic Ballard district. Mithun, partnering with the Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa, won the commission. “Our entry was the very first thing I touched upon joining the firm,” says project architect Dustann Jones. “And then the economy drove off a cliff.” The resulting delays ultimately worked in…

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