Art & Architecture

AZURE November/December 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.

Azure Publishing Inc.
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8 Issues

In this issue

2 min.
considered design

I was telling a colleague recently about how grateful I always am when, after settling onto an unfamiliar barstool in an unfamiliar bar, there’s a tiny hook under the lip of the bar on which to hang my tote or coat. “Oh, that’s considered,” my colleague said. “Did you say considerate?” I said. “Well, it’s that, too,” she replied. “But I said considered.” What she meant was that someone – a designer or manufacturer – had gone to the trouble of putting those hooks under that bar lip, had considered the likely needs of the patrons sidling up to it and outfitted the bar accordingly. As a frequent traveller (and, er, barfly), I am always appreciative of the design gestures – big and small – that make the experiences of…

1 min.
we asked…

Which hotel or restaurant project has blown you away of late? GIOVANNA DUNMALL Writer, “Haus Proud” (page 38) Sketch, in the Mayfair district of London. Its much-Instagrammed Gallery tearoom has a monochromatic pink interior by Paris-based India Mahdavi. Another highlight there is the toilet. Its cubicles resemble giant dinosaur eggs! What do you think distinguishes a great retail or hospitality space? ALEX BOZIKOVIC Writer, “A New Template” (page 70) A sense of place. A great retail or hospitality project embodies some quality of its locale and expertly distills it. Your Feedback Our September cover story on U.S. architect Jennifer Bonner’s distinctive Atlanta home (“Pattern Test,” page 64) generated a lot of buzz, especially over her liberal use of cross-laminated timber. Readers Steen and Charlene Petersen, of Nanaimo, B.C., wondered about CLT’s fire rating. “How safe is it,” they asked,…

1 min.
first + foremost

Niki Knobs and Pulls In architecture, as in fashion, accessories cinch the look. Consider the latest incarnations of Niki, a seductively streamlined collection of door and cabinet knobs from Melbourne-based hardware company Designer Doorware. The solid brass disks, ranging in diameter from 50 to 70 millimetres, offer oomph and variety in equal measure. Among the options available are flat or concave faces and circles with stepped, grooved perimeters. Half-moon pulls round out the line, which comes in a host of standard and special finishes, from a powder-coated satin white and hard-wearing gunmetal black (both shown) to an unlacquered polished brass. Whatever the final combo, though, one thing is certain: Pulling off instant room style couldn’t be easier.…

3 min.
5 things we learned from tamassociati

TAMassociati exists on a completely different plane from starchitecture. The Venice firm first caught the world’s attention in 2016, when it curated the Italian pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Under the theme of Taking Care, it launched a crowdfunding campaign to design and build a series of mobile facilities, including a not-for-profit medical clinic and a library. Now the studio – whose portfolio also includes Indian director Mira Nair’s Maisha film school in Kampala, Uganda (pictured top right) and a car-free co-housing development in Treviso, Italy – is garnering praise for its pro bono projects with Italian NGO Emergency. It has created permanent hospitals and surgery centres in places such as Sudan and Afghanistan and is completing a hospital in Uganda with Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Earlier this year, principal…

3 min.
a jewel restored

_Hotel Birks _Montreal, Quebec _Neuf Architects Forgive the obvious metaphor, but to describe the building now housing Montreal’s Hotel Birks as a one-time diamond in the rough couldn’t be more apt. For decades the edifice hid in plain sight, its magnificent 19th-century facade attracting a few admiring if fleeting glances from the passersby who noticed it as they hurried along bustling Saint Catherine Street. Yes, it did and continues to contain the namesake jewellery chain’s beautiful local flagship store, but the majority of the building was relegated to office, manufacturing and shipping functions, hidden from public view. And it did very little to animate elegant yet forlorn Phillips Square right next to it. What a difference two years and a $20-million renovation make. After hotelier Jean Salette acquired the building in 2016,…

2 min.
arch support

_Arcade _Kruibeke Bazel Rupelmonde Controlled Flood Area, Belgium _Gijs Van Vaerenbergh A few years ago, a new embankment was built along a controlled flood zone in the Belgian region of East Flanders, both reinforcing the system of dikes and seawalls designed to protect nearby towns from inundation and providing panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. But the feature, which is located in the Scheldt Estuary, just southwest of Antwerp, also bisected a historic route between one of those towns, Bazel, and the reclaimed land on the other side of the barrier. To restore and highlight that connection, the Flemish government’s Agency for Nature and Forest commissioned two Leuven-based artists known for their unusual overpasses, sculptural pavilions and other outdoor structures, Pieterjan Gijs and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh. Like many of Gijs and Van…