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October 2020

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.

Azure Publishing Inc.
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eyes on the prizes

Until the COVID-19 pandemic upended just about everything just about everywhere, AZURE had been poised to celebrate two important milestones in 2020: the magazine’s 35th birthday (which we marked with a special dual-cover May issue, released just before Canada’s lockdown began in earnest in March) and the 10th edition of the AZ Awards (which, given that a Toronto gala has been a hallmark of the prizes since day one, has made this special occasion a little trickier to fete). Like other planners of big events, we decided, once it became clear that a large public gathering wasn’t in the cards, to hold a virtual awards ceremony on September 18 (go to awards.azuremagazine.com for information on where to view it). Yet another cornerstone of the AZ Awards is the issue you’re holding…

cuadra mirror

In 1968, Mexican architect Luis Barragán completed Cuadra San Cristobal, the renowned residence on the outskirts of Mexico City. Defining its iconic courtyard, a fuchsia wall with rectilinear apertures graphically establishes a threshold between the home and the world beyond. Conceived for design firm VIDIVIXI, which recently opened a showroom in the Mexican capital, the fittingly named Cuadra mirror by New York’s Bower Studios was inspired by Barragan’s distinctive language. Measuring 1.2 by 2.1 metres, the piece consists of three slender appendages that recall the architect’s elemental forms. Subtle changes in its geometry and reflective hues give it a sense of depth, further emphasized by the solid wood frame that tilts to imply perspective. Fully customizable (it’s shown here in clear and bronze glass with a blackened walnut frame), the mirror…

modern luxury

“We’re cooking for a family of five,” says Ali Budd, “and we have our dream kitchen.” For the acclaimed Torontobased designer and her brood, achieving an ideal space came naturally. Budd’s expert eye ensured an optimal layout and note-perfect finishes, and her choice of JennAir appliances elevated the feel and functionality of the luxe yet hard-working space at the heart of the home. Marrying design and performance with technological innovation, JennAir appliances epitomize modern luxury. One of the brand’s distinct design expressions, the Rise collection of cooktops, refrigerators, range hoods and more is a powerful focal point in Budd’s home. “I love the warm detailing and the contours,” she says, highlighting the subtle touches — like the solid brass accents and knurled handles with asymmetric diamond grips — that bridge the…

shore thing

_Tacofino Kitsilano _Vancouver, British Columbia _September If residential interiors are self-portraits, restaurants might be considered landscapes. The owners of Tacofino were wise to this, creating a series of wildly atmospheric spaces on Vancouver Island and throughout Vancouver that mine the West Coast imagination. As the eatery, known for its locally inspired fare, continued its march across the region, co-founders Kaeli Robinsong and Jason Sussman enlisted Shiloh Sukkau, principal of Vancouver studio September, to broaden their coastal iconography. “It’s been a research project,” says Sukkau. “It’s allowed me to develop a language around materials and use them in a combination that’s really particular to the West Coast.” For their latest outpost in the city’s Kitsilano district, the direction shifted to Tofino, the town where it all began in the back of a…

building links

After encountering the work of designers Verner Panton and Ettore Sottsass during her time at University of the Arts London, Kusheda Mensah soon pivoted her attention from fabrics to furniture. “I was looking at what I was going to be making fabric for,” she says, “and I thought: This is really boring. I should start making the actual pieces.” She could hardly have dreamed that, one year later, her work would be showcased at SaloneSatellite in Milan. “I just applied with hope, a statement and drawings, and I got accepted,” Mensah recalls. Her eponymous line, Modular by Mensah, was then solidified; the British–Ghanaian designer hasn’t looked back. Out of her Peckham studio in South London, Mensah crafts objects informed equally by her surroundings, relationships and community. Noticing the discord between social media…

vine art

_Lahofer Winery _Dobšice, Czech Republic _Chybik + Kristof Hectares of vineyards dot the landscape of South Moravia, the Czech Republic’s capital of wine. Grounded in the region’s viticulture tradition (which dates back to the third century) and gracefully occupying a site on the outskirts of the town of Znojmo, Chybik + Kristof’s new Lahofer Winery is deeply connected to the area’s topography and history. “You couldn’t copy and paste this building somewhere else,” says Michal Krištof, principal of the architecture and urban design practice behind the 3,842-square-metre structure for one of the country’s largest wine producers. “It comes from these roots, from this society.” Consisting of three adjoining masses tied together by two courtyards, the winery is centred in a concrete, wood and glass main building that appears to rise above the…