danish paper.


Subtle, geometric, beautiful. These still-life vignettes by Jan Hardisty are a new series of limited edition, digital inkjet prints with the same modernist, unmistakably Danish touch by the artist (more of his works, here). Happy weekend.

Jan Hardisty, Goldmark Art.


a modernist in miniature.

What I like about this tiny, 40m2 Parisian apartment is that it is clean and contemporary and full of mid-century pieces but lacks any of the austerity that often comes with mid-century interiors. Bits of the original interior are evident – the timber floors, of course, and a deep door reveal that has been stripped of years of paint. In the kitchen the remnants of a doorway remain, given new life as a mirror frame, and corners of brickwork have been left exposed here and there. The changes of level and undulant cupboard depths all add to a feeling of space that belies the diminutive floor area. Materials and finishes are kept simple, with pattern and texture ensuring the overall feeling is relaxed and unpretentious.


40m2 apartment renovation by Charlotte Vauvillier via Plastolux

In the midst of my own home renovation, and thoroughly enjoying being able to choose my own finishes after years of doing it for other people… the only problem is, too much choice! I’m hoping to take photographs before and after and post them, if you would like to see..  Happy weekend.

where architects live.


As a voyeur of interiors, I love peering into other people’s homes. There is a departure between architecture and interior design and architects often don’t involve themselves with interiors, leaving the design to somebody else. An interesting thing then, to see architects’ own homes.  An exhibition in April called Where Architects Live looks at the private homes of eight world-renowned architects. 

Of those on preview, one of my favourites is the Paris home of Massimiliano Fuksas, an Italian architect known for his work in urban problems and the suburbs, as well as his ‘big’ architecture, Shenzhen airport, for example. A fabulous mix of materials old and new, original Jean Prouvé furniture, and masses of artwork, it feels at once calm yet vibrant. The home of David Chipperfield, as would be expected, is a more restrained affair – a concrete building in Berlin with simple, minimal space and one or two deep colours like the forest green sofa. Zaha Hadid’s home is unsurprisingly white, with lots of her own avant garde and Russian revolution-era inspired artwork and furniture. Mario Bellini’s home is bold, angular and dark-hued. I can’t wait to see more in April.


Photographs 1 + 2, Fuksas home, Aki Furudate


Photograph of Chipperfield home, Davide Pizzigoni


Photograph of Zaha Hadid home, Davide Pizzigoni


Photograph of Mario Bellini home, Davide Pizzigoni


Photograph of Daniel Libeskind home, Nicola Tranquillino

Where Architects Live,  Salone del Mobile, Milan 8-13th April 2014 via


slip house.

An apt successor to the concrete-and-pink gallery house of my previous post, Slip House comprises ‘a simple, sculptural form of three cantilevered boxes (or slipped) boxes’. The shifting planes break up the bulk of the building, adding to this sculptural quality. Largely constructed from glass, steel and concrete, these raw materials are evident inside and out. This is architecture in its raw form, designed by an architect as his own home. It was also an RIBA award winner -  best house in the UK for 2013. It is also nobly eco friendly, sustainable and energy efficient with triple glazing, solar panels and wildflower roofs all contributing to its performance.


The house is arranged over three floors with a large roof garden on top. Full-height glazing at either end together with an open plan layout (the perimeter walls carry the load) allow the light into the centre; necessary in an infill site with neighbouring terraces in close proximity. It has the requisite architectural details – shadow gap at the junctions between vertical and horizontal surfaces, and where elements of different materials conjoin. It is minimal in its use of materials and finishes, with an utterly retrained palette. 

Could you live here? It’s marvellously accomplished, but personally I find the purity a little relentless. I’m also not keen on the pinkish hue of the birch plywood, seen on much of the bespoke joinery, as it sits alongside the dull grey of the exposed concrete. I’d have to add some disharmony – lots of textures, some colour.

Slip House by Carl Turner Architects for sale, here. Photography: Tim Crocker

gallery house in concrete and pink.

A triple-height gallery housing a collection of prized paintings is concealed behind the wooden shingle facade of this house in Stuttgart. Like any well-designed gallery, the design is all about the internal spaces and how they play to the artworks that will embellish their walls. It is an inward looking house, with no long views. Rather, light and interior space are the game-players, allowing the artwork – a collection of old masters paintings – to take centre-stage. 


Gallery space and living spaces are separated. A massive concrete core, extending ever up through four floors, acts as the spine of the building, housing the stair, kitchen, bathrooms and services. Clerestory windows bring light down into the gallery, while dedicated spotlights recessed into the concrete core on opposing sides light the artworks. Skylights along the ridge of the roof allow daylight into the living zones. 

Walls are painted in a curious dark shade of pink, which works beautifully against the raw concrete. Joinery, doors and bookshelves slotted into recesses add texture and warmth.

Shingle house by (se)arch architekten, via  Photography: Zooey Braun

Another wonderful home and gallery space, here

happy weekend.


Seven architects from around the world – Alvaro Siza, Eduardo Souto de Moura and Kengo Kuma included, have created a series of site-specific installations and inserted them into the main galleries and front courtyard of the RA. More than just a shelter or a flashy building, architecture has the ability to shape and form how we feel everyday. We are invited to touch, climb, walk, talk, sit, contemplate. And more – as you enter the galleries, a sign orders you to tweet, and photography is encouraged. A rare treat in the rarefied environment of this grand institution. Definitely one for the littles… 

Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined until 6 April 2014
Royal Academy of Arts, London. More, here. Image via

butchers and bicycles.

First impressions are of an industrial and inviting creative space, all monochrome finishes and lush greens, regular, white tiled walls and poured concrete floors, dark stained wood, and functional furniture pieces.

Butchers&bicycles HQ_03-ohl.Butchers&bicycles HQ_09imagesb+b-ohl.

This showroom is home to a new venture and brand, Butchers & Bicycles. Based in the meatpacking district in Copenhagen – hence the name – three young design engineers have developed a new type of cargo bike, Mk1, where the cycling component is not compromised by the ‘cargo’ component. And it’s a beautiful piece of design. I’ve always loved the idea of a cargo bike but am terrified about using one in London, which has nothing of the bike-friendliness of other Northern European cities, like Amsterdam and Copenhagen. But living (as we soon will be) right next to the vast green of Hampstead Heath, it would be a fabulous way of getting the little one as well as the shopping from A to B. And for a bit more money, it even comes with an integrated electric motor… 


What do you think? Have you ever ridden a cargo bike? More, here. Photographs: Kristine Funch

More found objects, here