Art & Architecture

AZURE January/February 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.
Read More
8 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
we asked…

What was the most memorable part of your assignment? MARK TEO Azure ’s web editor, “Cersaie 2018” (page 041) After seeing thousands of tiles at Cersaie in Bologna, things can start to blend together. But there were a few from the show that continue to stand out, including 41Zero42’s Sunday collection (left). The combination of the subtle, neutral palette with the bold geometric pattern was so unique – and versatile, too. What famous residence would you most like to live in? ANA KARINA ZATARAIN Writer, “Pyramid Scheme” (page 050) I hate how terribly clichéd this will sound, but definitely Luis Barragán’s house and studio in Mexico City. I love the size of each space, the mix of textures, the way austerity is understood as a luxury. What appeals most, though, is the garden. I live in an…

1 min.
re/form carpet series

Before her untimely death in 2016, Zaha Hadid established one of the most recognizable styles in architecture. Cellular shapes, ribbon-like projections, pixelated landscapes and striated lines were the calling cards of her work. These same four themes have now been reinterpreted as two-dimensional patterns. Royal Thai, the commercial carpet brand specializing in products for high-end hospitality spaces, recently launched RE/Form, a collection of 22 designs inspired by Hadid’s charismatic works. Available in Axminster weaves as well as in hand-tufted versions, the series features vivid custom hues of turquoise, red and green. The graphics evoke projects like the Nanjing International Youth Cultural Centre in China, whose perforated facade is echoed in the textural Pixel family. The swerving stripes of the Striation design (shown) recall Hadid’s Chelsea condos at 520 West 28th Street…

2 min.
concrete drama

In 2004 – a decade before Galway was designated a UNESCO City of Film – a group of locals launched a plan to celebrate the Irish town’s love affair with celluloid via a new art house cinema. One recession, a change of contractor and a new owner later (among other hiccups), the Pálás theatre has flickered to life. Built on the site of a former Georgian house, the Pálás hosts three screens, a restaurant, a café and offices in a cast-concrete tower whose many sides make the most of a compact corner lot. Along Merchant’s Road, the facade of the 1820s building has been recreated (a planning requirement) and recast as an arched entrance. Architect Tom de Paor says he wanted the project to be provocative, to challenge the discourse in…

1 min.
unbreakable cycle

With the new year come resolutions. Promises to do better: to get more exercise, to do more for the environment, to get to work earlier. As if on cue, the Urbanized Bike has arrived to get you on the right path. Created by Bulgarian designer Hristo Tashev, the two-wheeler is touted as a maintenance-free machine that skips cycling’s current fixations – carbon fibre, disc brakes, electronic shifting – in favour of weatherproof componentry meant to withstand hostile conditions. You won’t find brake pads, alloy steel chains or even external derailleurs in this case. Instead, the 12.7-kilogram bike is built with internal gearing, a lube-free belt drivetrain, puncture-proof tires and a frame forged from aluminum – a material selected for its strength-to-weight ratio and resistance to corrosion. But though the Urbanized…

2 min.
deep cuts

Since graduating from Design Academy Eindhoven less than three years ago, Italian-born designer Guglielmo Poletti has been meticulously refining a minimal yet idiosyncratic aesthetic. He has added three pieces to his Equilibrium collection – the exploration of balance and tension that first put him on Azure’s radar (see November/December 2017) – and in the past year he has exhibited in Milan, Paris and London. Poletti captured our attention again at Cersaie, the massive tile expo held every September in Bologna, Italy. His Segments tile collection generated significant buzz and earned an ADI Ceramics & Bathroom Design Award for innovation at the show. Initially, Poletti admits, he wasn’t enamoured with porcelain surfacing. “It’s a field,” he says, “where everything has been tried.” For his first commercially produced line, Poletti had little interest…

1 min.
sweet relief

Innovations in tile typically centre on the size and thickness of slabs, cutting-edge digital printing techniques or the sustainable properties of ceramic. But at the 2018 edition of Cersaie another movement stood out, quite literally: the emergence of geometric 3D designs. A range of manufacturers, including Marca Corona, Atlas Concorde and Heralgi, unveiled high-relief collections that, instead of exploiting ceramic’s chameleonic abilities, celebrate its innately malleable qualities. These next-gen 3D launches take conventional texture to the next level with surprising patterns, topographic ripples and pops of vivid colour. Whether they’re employed in residential or commercial settings, the tiles lend tactile and visual appeal that invites users to reach out and touch their surroundings. DEKORAMI The tiles in this retro-inspired collection, designed by Marcante-Testa for Ceramica Vogue, are available in three patterns, in a…