Room 18 | My team’s proposal

Room18 3D1_mbf

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

Model

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

Model

Sections 3 and 4

Model

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

Hanging ceiling 14_mbf

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

Damn you Patricia Urquiola!

So many and great projects! Every time I am surprised by the concept, idea and design of her creations, I just love her. I think that Urquiola’s interior design is always much of a novelty.
I especially adore her armchairs! Klara below is my favorite. Here are only some of her creations, just to make a point!

Klara armchairs for Moroso

Klara armchairs for Moroso

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Antibody armchair for Moroso

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Antibody armchair for Moroso

Banda Poofs

Banda Poofs

Banda Poofs detail

Banda Poofs detail

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Volant armchair for Moroso and vase for Kartell

tiles

Déchirer tiles by Patricia Urquiola for Mutina

 

 

Berlin Appartment

Berlin appartment 1_mbfThe other day I tried to post this appartment and something went wrong with the exploler and translated all the post in bad greek! It ruined the whole text and I had to rewrite it. I’m sorry for the delay of restoring it but I was super busy. This is what I was trying to write:
This apartment
excited me at the first sight! Especially the first picture is a perfect design synthesis! Maybe the whole style is more masculin but this does not bother me..I can imagine it with a handsome guy walking around and this is even better!
I don’t know what to mention first. The colors? It’s a pleasant twist from the total white style that seduced me last months, don’t you think? I like dark colors in general and I think that with careful use they can create a really dramatic feeling.
Natural materials and warm textures such as leather, wood, linen and metal are combined wisely and create an earthy yet luxurious atmosphere that makes you want to stay at home. For me that’s very easy, in any case, but in this house I could stay more!
Of course, I couldn’t forget to mention the furniture, statement pieces all of them!

Berlin appartment 7_mbf Berlin appartment 6_mbf Berlin appartment 5_mbf Berlin appartment 4_mbf Berlin appartment 3_mbf Berlin appartment 2_mbfYou can rent it here
Photos Suite 030

Treasure in Jakarta

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Three Buns restaurant is an new meat restaurant in Jakarta that caught my attention. It has something tropical and relaxing, like a shelter from the heat of the town, where you can eat amazing burgers as it’s said! Who wants more?? Like a giant greenhouse you have the impression to be in a cool, contemporary oasis where nature climbs over furniture and brings the outdoors in. What I like the most is the amphitheatrical position of seatings where you have full visibility of the kitchen at work and the whole restaurant. Also there is a self-service kiosk which makes the atmosphere more playful and relaxed.
Furniture with minimalist structure, japan style we could say, such as the bar and the seatings are combined with pal colours of nature and brightened by some playful, artistic details. One of them is the graffity behind the kitchen, created by some local, depicting a butcher with a bulldog-mascot of the restaurant!

Three-Buns-Restaurant-Jakarta-Foodie-33 Three-Buns-Restaurant-Jakarta-Foodie-4 Three-Buns-Restaurant-Jakarta-Foodie-2 SAMSUNG CSCYou can see another exotic restaurant here, in Mexico this time!

 

The great outdoors | Water

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As I have promised in the previous post about outdoor spaces here, another one would follow with the water element as a protagonist. Well, here we are, some great yards and gardens are here to impress you! I’m sure you will imagine yourself in everyone of them, relaxing under the shade, even with a cocktail in the hand!
In most of the caption links you will find the rest of the house which is also amazing.

Monteverdi. A fabulous house too, Tuscany

Monteverdi. A fabulous house too, Tuscany

Exotic relaxing space in Maison Palmeraie, Marocco

Exotic relaxing space in Maison Palmeraie, Marocco

Fabulous outdoor space - from my archive

Fabulous outdoor space – from my archive

Dipping pool with cacti garden - Philip Dixon House, California

Dipping pool with cacti garden – Philip Dixon House, California

Great spot great chairs - from my archive

Great spot great chairs – from my archive

Sandur Chair by Mark Gabbertas for Oasiq

Sandur Chair by Mark Gabbertas for Oasiq

Tranquillity in a mexican yard - from my archive

Tranquillity in a mexican yard – from my archive

When the chairs make the difference - From my archive

When the chairs make the difference – From my archive

Why not a bed by the pool? - from my archive

Why not a bed by the pool? – from my archive

The great outdoors

Sutherland Street, PaddingtonStanic Harding Architecture

Now that the weather has sweetened and we start sitting outside I thought that this is the time to drive you crazy with some photos! I’m sure you will love these outdoors spaces, as I loved them too. As you can see in the most photos, the key element is – of course – plants. Trees, bushes, flowers, cacti, everything! The other thing is that usually, you don’t need much to make a gorgeous patio, some nice cushions, furniture and keep it simple. Of course, if you have the divine space under a big tree you are super lucky. Enjoy!

Traditional patio - pebble floor

Traditional patio – pebble floor

Traditional patio - fabrics that give all the style

Ibiza style garden house – fabrics that give all the style

Traditional patio - under the shade of reeds

Traditional patio – under the shade of reeds

Under the tree - deck

Under the tree – deck

Simple things. Nice idea for water element if you don't have the space

John Rocha’s house. Nice idea for water element if you don’t have the space

Cacti and butterfly chairs

Cacti and butterfly chairs

Cacti in the perimeter - love them

Cacti in the perimeter – love them. Anagrama, Montero

Minimal style - nice color combination

Finn Outdoor Collection by Norm Architects

Francis Brodi House, with Henry Matisse ceramic mural. Los Angeles

graphic pattern in the floor. Love the tranquillity here

Graphic pattern in the floor. Love the tranquillity here – Los Angeles

Pops of colours - swings!

Pops of colours – swings! by Paola Lenti

Pops of colors - floor cushions

Pops of colors – floor cushions. By Paola Lenti

Villa Kalos in Ithaca

00-Exterior

This amazing villa is located in the island of Ithaca, in Greece. It was an abandoned building before south African photographers Gerda Genis and Robbert Koene  decided to renovate it and use it as a guest house for holidays. The concept of Villa Kalos is to offer all those who like to spend their holidays in the countryside and are looking for an intimate environment on one side, yet furnished and completed with the top-quality details on the other, a place where all this is actually possible. Situated upon the terraced gardens that surround the home and the 6,000 square meters that the property occupies, overlooking almond trees and the olive groves dotting the nearby countryside, the only sound that can be heard are the goats nearby! Personally, I love the raw materials that are used and highlight the traditional architecture and structure of the building, leaving you with the simplicity and sincerity that is needed. I won’t say more, I leave you with the pictures…

01-Kourvoulia 02-livingroom 03-Dining-room 04-Kitchen 05-Bedroom 06-room 07-Villa-Kalos 08-Bathroom 09-bedroom-detail 10-Villa-Kalos 11-Exterior 12-Exterior

Ideal working day…

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Monday again and I am in the office trying to work in my computer. As I find it difficult to concentrate I am listening to the song of Peggy Lee “Black coffee”.

I love this song..it’s rythm gets me in the mood for working for some reason. And at this moment, I started to think that it would be better to be in a nice, quiet coffee house and work from there. Listening to music like this, don’t be distracted by the fuzz but at the same time be in an environment where people pass by, talk etc. So, I will present to you some coffee houses that could work for me and could mentally travel you as well outside of the office. As you will see I prefer dark colours and wooden furniture, maybe this atmosphere helps me concentrate, I don’t know!

Stable Cafe in San Francisco. Exactly this!

Stable Cafe in San Francisco. Exactly this!

I think this is a rendering but it could work for me

I think this is a rendering but it could work 

Balzac's Coffee in Toronto. Cozy atmosphere

Balzac’s Coffee in Toronto. Cozy atmosphere

ICI Epicerie in Bruxelles. Without the children please. Love the blackboard wall

ICI Epicerie in Bruxelles. Without the children please. Love the blackboard wall

From my archive. Love the floor and the old wooden furniture

From my archive. Love the floor and the old wooden furniture

From my archive. Love the materials, old wooden bar and the lightings above

From my archive. Love the materials, old wooden bar and the lightings above

Matto Bar & Pizzeria in Shanghai. It's more of a restaurant but it's style is totally working for me!

Matto Bar & Pizzeria in Shanghai. It’s more of a restaurant but its style is totally working for me!

Coffee house in Istanbul. Some colour and patterns could also work!

Coffee house or restaurant in Istanbul. Some colour and patterns could also work!

And of course, if it is to mentally get away do it right! The perfect place here in Sifnos, Greece

And of course, if it is to mentally get away do it right! The perfect place here in Sifnos, Greece

Situla Model Apartment

sit_5This is a very interesting apartment in Ljubljana, Slovenia, completed by GAO Architects.
I’ll copy some of the project description by the Contemporist where you can find more details about it.

Gao Architects designed the interior of the flat, based upon a story. Based upon a way of living an urban, dynamic and creative life in the core of the city. We associated the urban lyrics, colourfulness and liveliness of the passing trains with a sort of rough design of certain lofts which can imitate the modern way of living with it’s fusion of different decorative elements. They can reflect a very artistic way of living due to the choice of materials the architect makes.

We opened up the living area and divided it from the hallway with a slightly transparent curtain wall. The center of the kitchen, the kitchen counter made from oak tree wood, is most definitely the heart of the apartment. We used a construction pier as a base for the kitchen counter which is built around it and which serves as a multifunctional element, offering not only a surface for cooking and serving but also as a wonderful socializing area.sit_1 sit_2 sit_3

sit_4sit_6

Further on the main hallway divides the more private area of the flat into three separate rooms, thus being the bedroom, the guest room and a smaller bedroom ideal for teens or children. The walls of the hallway are covered in wallpaper displaying birch trees. This elements makes for a soft transition from a public to a more private part of the flat.

Each one of the rooms is defined with it’s own detail, such as a swinging chair, a boxing bag or a painting covering the central wall – but all of this comes together functionally with two large bathrooms and two wardrobes across the hallway.

sit_7 sit_8 sit_9The overall image of this flat with a view of the Ljubljana castle and the slowly moving trains covered in colourful graffiti, radiates a certain artistic, dynamic and contemporary way of living in the capital of Slovenia.

Interior Design: Gao Architects

Photography by Miran Kambic