Material trend | Terrazzo

I don’t know if you’ve noticed that more and more terrazzo is used in high aesthetic renovations. Not only because we used it in our Room18 proposal, but I love it!!! I want it everywhere, on floors, walls, furniture, details! It’s so chic, bold, down to earth and architectural that with the right material combination it can transform a room. It highlights the general design of a space with a humble yet aristocratic way. I could say that terrazzo is the new cement that I hope is here to stay.

It’s not by luck that the best known brands have used it in their retail stores with high success. Valentino, Prada, Issey Miyake are some of them, presented at this post. Especially Valentino uses terrazzo at every retail store in the world, keeping the same style and giving us more chances for our jaws to drop! Here we see the New York, Rome and Paris’ stores, designed by David Chipperfield Architects.
See for yourselves below how the products come up like art exhibits or jewelry!

The size and color of the chippings varies so that we can have different styles and even combine them for a bolder result!

Of course floors, walls and other components aren’t the only way of using terrazzo. Furniture, counters, sinks and objects by it are very beautiful too! I absolutely love this minimal aesthetic, don’t you? Check out the kitchen here and the bathroom here.

Or how about almost the whole bathroom? I’ll take it! Extra points at the white, minimal accessories and the general minimal design.

Stairs also can have terrazzo and speak to our hearts directly…
Stairs on the left Stairs on the right

However, my favorite terrazzo application is at these spinning lightings! Mari Goga is the designer of them, Greek and inspired! I’m so in love with them, I’m already thinking how on earth I could have one of these…for now I only dream about it. Aren’t they super lovely?

Below you can see other applications in a different, even funkier way. Terrazzo can be colored of course and rule the room! I would be in a great dilemma which one I should use in a renovation, grey or colored…Which one do you prefer??

Photo links from top left to right: 1. Acne studio 2. Olivia Aspinall Studio 3. Prada store 4. Issey Miyake 5. Cafe Kitsune

 

You can check our ‘Room18’ entry in this post, where we used terrazzo on the half of the room and we nailed it! hehe

Room 18 | My team’s proposal

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I may present you my team’s submission for the international architectural competition Room18 that took place last month! We spent so much work and thinking in it, a lot of stress in the end to meet with the deadline but we enjoyed it a lot and I’m really proud of the result, so I share it with you!

The competition was aiming at rethink the usual living in a city hotel’s room, reinvent the conditions and make a pioneer proposal for the contemporary traveler. The place of the hotel was supposed to be somewhere in Greece, in a city.

So, we spent hours and hours of thinking and reading about what a traveler seeks nowadays, what we would like in our visits at hotels and what could be unconventional enough but not very crazy and risk our submission (this was a mistake apparently if u look at the winners!) Our pursuit was the stay to be integral part of the whole traveling experience. And we wanted the user to be able to personalize his stay in many levels, the space itself and the facilities through advanced technology. To be able to interfere with the staying conditions according to his personality and needs.

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Eventually, the concept was born slowly and I must say that only when we finished it we knew what it was! Our main idea was the room to be like an outdoor space, like a square or a house’s yard. With the natural light, sitting points on the ground or mantels, a touch of greenery, the open bathroom like you’re at your country house’s backyard and all these in an irregular layout.
However, we wanted to offer a luxury experience in this outdoor feeling so we used sophisticated materials and design. We used some traditional city house’s materials such as the wooden floor, the wooden panels to filter the light in fish bone motif, terrazzo in reference of the mosaic floors of Greek houses in the past, the skylight element in the bathroom with the climbing ivy, glass instead of wall partitions for transparency and clean feeling at the bathroom area and bronze for a shinny touch!

Key design element was the diagonal that runs the room, separates and organizes it and creates spaces, acute/obtuse corners and nooks. The diagonal alignments are very common in Greek traditional architecture, mostly in yards, terraces and open spaces.
Also, it contains all the facilities (wardrobe, suitcase place, seating bench, bedside tables, hugging the bed, desk) and has different levels. It’s like this diagonal takes the half of the room and swivels it so that the living area separates from the entrance and washing area while they still are in the same space. This light separation is highlighted by the different materials and the lower level of the living area and the obtuse angle where the bed prevails is like a hug that makes this space looks larger.

This diagonal intention is already seen at the corridor at every door, creating a small hall/corner in the same materials to slowly introduce you to the room’s idea.

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Corner hall out of the room’s door – Corridor’s view

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Room’s layout

Some other details are: The façade’s perforated wooden panels, in fish bone motif, that let the natural light enter the room but through a filter. So that you can have all the view while being protected. In combination with the mantel seating nook besides you can have all the outdoors’s feeling in an interior safety and privacy. It’s what we call the “inside out” but in the opposite direction!

The wardrobe with the built-in mini bar make a sophisticated structure like posh large stones, in a monumental mood but with a light and airy touch of the suspended hanger. There you hang your clothes in the open so that you have your “back home” touch etc. Every user’s clothes will change the image of the room every time.

Technology. We used technology only in our minds because nothing can be seen in the room’s desing but it was a big issue for us, even in idea level. We’ve though that a vertical panel that integrates the TV will lead the user’s stay. This interactive glass touch screen will display various applications related to the room facilities, the communication with the hotel and the city guide-visit organizer.

Regarding the room facilities you will be able -except of interfering with the heat/air conditioning- load lighting programs, music programs, depending on the mood. Also, you can make appointments with the cleaning services of the hotel, set alarms and other facilities of room service, order a meal or whatever!

Regarding the city guide/trip organizer you will be able to organize your visit, sightseeing, shopping, hot spots of the town, the best bars/restaurants etc. through a set up guide by the hotel or another company like timeout or others or even by other users that saved some proposals by their visit. It would be great if you could choose what you’d like to do/visit and an app will create tours for you and proposes themed walks. Of course, you should be able to connect with your smartphone so that you can have the guide with you all day. It will be like an info portal expanded in wall dimensions that could make your trip super easy and fun!

I’m very interested in your opinions and very thrilled for comments! Feel free to share what you think!

Model

Sections 1 and 2

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Sections 3 and 4

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Our submission board, in Greek

 

 

 

Funny ceilings

It’s been a while that at some projects at work I propose a hanging system with stuff, to make a space more crazy etc etc…but until now this idea stays only at laughing point! So, after seeing the new Aesop store in Singapore (Someday I’m gonna make a post about how much I love Aesop stores’ design!) I decided to gather some realized spaces with such a design to get it out of my system! I made quite a tribute but they’re many!

From wooden sticks, to shoelaces, foam sticks and ropes, this hanging system above your head makes the room really really special. Depending on the material it can also offer sound absorption except the mysterious and even magical atmosphere. So here are my favorite examples from around the world, tell me what you think! Would you like to visit a store like this, or dine in a restaurant? Or even have a specific place at your work with a crazy ceiling?

Above it’s a pastry shop in Madrid that used this indulated pink canopy at the whole ceiling. I love the contradiction with the rough textured walls! I think this is my favorite example. I would be there every day eating pastry 🙂
Below, it’s an example of my country so it couldn’t be missing from the collection! Here, I think the ceiling adds on the freshness of the store and gives a special character.

Camper stores are known for their unconventional design, so they did in Melbourne with this bold red ceiling by 30.000 shoelaces!! Does a shoe store needs anything more? Extra attention on the mirrored columns in the middle that create a whole picture instead of dividing the room.

Below it’s a unique drugstore in Madrid that used this idea to some spots only. It reminds me of the sea anemones! Here, a suspended cylinders system (2, 3 and 4 meters long) is used that dialogues with the central gondola. 256 tubes are used creating a very personal identity for the shop!
See another sea anemone resemblance from the past!

Above it’s the Monsoon Club at the Kennedy center in Washington D.C., USA. It’s a multi purpose performance center that keeps the sitting level all white for the ceiling to shine! It’s like a suspended 3D carpet. Designboom says it better: constructed out of a system of colored threads, the undulating form organizes, defines and accentuates the space while holding and concealing necessary technical equipment. The visual pattern of the threads is influenced by traditional ‘dhurries’, a type of flat-woven rug in India. Cool, right?

Paola Navone did it also:

Above is another one of my favorites for it’s general ambience. Saul Zona 14 in Guatemala has a beautiful terrace in it’s exterior space! This colorful canopy IA made of 1000 pounds of thread hanging from a steel structure. The color palette of greens, blue and yellows adds to the surrounding natural environment.
The source of the inspiration was the natural production techniques still used by indigenous people in Guatemala. The drying process of hanging threads is part of highly traditional elements of craft culture. However this threads system isn’t only decorative; it acts as both solar shade and sound absorbing surface!

The last 3 examples are in more earthy tones, with the black color to dominate as the natural hue of the suspension stands out.
The first is the Basho Sushi House in Portugal. 8.400 sushi sticks were used (!) that kept the budget low while creating a clear scenographic statement. I find it very loyal to the Japanese culture as well: minimal, to the point, calm and sushi!

The next one is from Tsujita restaurant in Los Angeles, California. The piece of art ceiling consisting of thousand wooden sticks is a creation of the Japanese designer Takeshi Sano. His description is very interesting:
I put image of clouds for the ceiling detail. There is IZUMO shrine, one of the most important shrine in Shimane Japan. The clouds we can see there, has beauty but mysterious image. I wanted to show those images on this design. I put 25000 of wooden sticks, which was shaped like drum stick on the ceiling.
In order to increase a reality of clouds, I calculate the focal length between eye line and wooden sticks and use that length for the stick length. Also I made difference on the distance between stick each other so that to make a stereoscopic effect to wooden cloud. Not only for this project. I’m always challenging to create a space that coexist art and interior. At the same time, I’d like people to feel the delicate of beauty, which Japanese have, and Japanese atmosphere when they visit here so that they will think that they want to visit Japan.  I’d like to make this restaurant as one of an element for Japanese reconstruction.

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Tsuzita restaurant, Los Angeles

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Odessa restaurant, Ukraine – hanging ropes, another material that can be used

Who’s sleeping at work?

Hypnos_the-architecture-of-sleep_sleeperie_Clerkenwell_dezeen_468_5I got you! Are you one of us that feel sleepy at work and wish there were a warm nook to go for some minutes? Now, there is hope as in some offices there is a place for naps designed and made for the employees! The truth is that a lot of researches show that napping at work improves the productiveness (daaahh!) and more and more companies embrace it. Even if you don’t want to take a nap (I don’t understand why on earth you wouldn’t but if…) you want to withdraw for some minutes and rest a bit.
For all these thoughts, and because I’m in a situation where I work a lot, I collected some examples of napping spots at workplaces or furniture especially designed for the possibility of taking a nap as also. Just to dream a little because in my country at least we are miles away from it!

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Eventbrite – San Francisco Headquarters. A very simple nook with just a hammock and calming blue colors, dedicated to resting. I don’t know about the dog!

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Here, steps ahead, a whole building is made for naps! London’s first sleeperie feels us and encourages daytime naps and I couldn’t agree more! Read more here

However, in my opinion there is a catch with all of these facilities that make the working environment so friendly and cozy like you’re at home. Because you’re not at home but you’re working so many hours per day that your work becomes your home. So, “let’s make our offices more comfortable to be able spending more hours there”. It’s a sneaky, dirty catch, I’d say!

Lily of the Valley, Paris

Lily of the valley_Paris 01If I was living in Paris I would pass by this super cute cafe-tea room almost every day! At first it would cheer me up just by being there, then I would like to eat everything on their menu! Especially that cheescake I saw at some photos…
Lily of the Valley is a tiny tea bar but it’s quite eye-catcher despite its size! At first, what gives all the mind-travelling atmosphere is the flowery ceiling of course. Very imposing, don’t you think? Coated all over with false greenery, hanging coloreful flowers and keeping the rest of the space in white tones with romantic touches completes the fairy tail image. Floral fabrics, tea cups and tapestry in the bathroom, cute cake stands filled with delicacies. Also, very clever is the use of mirrors that reflects all this greenery and create reflections of light, making the space seem larger.
Designed by Marie Deroudilhe, a designer based in Paris, is located in the Northern Marais of Paris offers moments of joy to any passer by.

Lily of the valley_Paris 02 Lily of the valley_Paris 03 Lily of the valley_Paris 04I love also some materials and details that complete the romantic-natural look as the “ruined” graphic floor that gives an aged, retro touch and the white painted stone wall on the one side. I think it couldn’t be cutter, like a small oasis in the city. I already imagine myself eating brunch with a friend on a Saturday! Any of you that lives in Paris go for a visit and tell us how it was!
Tres jolie je crois!

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Photography by Julie Ansiau

Outdoor Rugs for a cozy patio

See how a rug can give so much style! Moroccan ambience to your patio. Mamounia sky for The Rug Company

See how a rug can give so much style! Moroccan ambience to your patio. Mamounia sky for The Rug Company

Now that the weather is real hot (at last I could say!) we want to spent our summer afternoons and nights outside, and we should. I’ll show you today how a rug can be used for these spaces and upgrade them a lot! I don’t know if you have a patio, a balcony, a backyard or nothing but these examples will give you some joy for sure! If you do have an outdoor space at your house after this post you’re gonna go for some shopping! Maybe you’re used to see rugs and kilims only inside the house but I assure you they are great for your patio too! They add some color and warm feeling that make you want to stay outside all the time. If you put also some floor cushions and lounge armchairs, if you have plants and flowers (greenery always gives many points) and maybe a beautiful tray with refreshments you’ve made a small paradise! Enjoy…

You can overdo it of course with rugs! If you have a lot of space get bold! Beldi Rugs have a lot of them

You can overdo it of course with rugs! If you have a lot of space get bold! Beldi Rugs have a lot of them

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Beautiful balcony with a cat! Love it just because of the cat… Carpet of natural fibers is a very good idea for an outdoor space. Source unknown

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Boho style with rug and cushions. Extra feautures the lantern and the built mantel. via interieur designer

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Black and white balcony. A cozy sofa with some cushions and a rug, nothing more. via oh what a room

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Light and airy with pops of color through disctintive furniture. I love it! Source unknown

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Boho style and fairytail atmosphere under the trees! I have no words for this patio… source unknown

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Black and white balcony with almost nothing! Ikea products with inspiration. via deco crush

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And if you don’t want to put a rug outside, if you want this idea with a twist, why not painting one? Brilliant! See here how to.

Home office of the week

workspace vogue livingHello again! I lost my Monday-date with the blog but I’m here today for it. The truth is with all the latest political developments in Greece I don’t have clear thinking to do anything. Not to mention working!! I have a real hard time to focus and some drawings waiting to be done!

However, I’m still trying and that’s why I thought to be inspired by a workspace like every week. This home office has everything I need for this: Rough wooden desk, very simple, design armchairs because we may be simple but our aesthetic can be hidden! Sky blue color on the wall to keep us calm and delightful like the summer sky and some irrelevant statues on the desk and some art posters to keep art and construction on the table! I shouldn’t forget to mention the fantastic sleek and chic grey floor that fits perfectly with the classic carved wooden panels around! Let’s work now…(?)

Photo source: Vogue Living

Office of the week

rafa kids deskWhen did Monday arrive again?! Bring weekend back! Or bring the next weekend now… I imagine, I could compromise with this desk though. I could do some work in such an environment if you insist… This K desk, designed by Rafa-kids is just an eye treat, so chic and delicate, simple enough and very practical! See here for more details, there are no screws or connectors outside, its finish is very smooth and it can be closed or open depending on how you want to use it. I like its multifanctionality. Also, in total white in an environment like that – parisian appartment for example is just perfect! Did you notice the book titles on the surface? Design and Architecture, of course! So, have a smooth Monday and a happy working week! Good morning!