happy weekend.

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I love this image of a vertical garden, which could also read as a plan view; part of a mixed-use building in Japan by Kengo Kuma & Associates. The living facade is made of aluminium die-cast panels that serve as vertical planters. More, here.

More green inspiration on my pinterest board, here (I’m researching all things green for a current garden project in Brooklyn). And it’s Chelsea Flower Show time here in London.

Happy long weekend.

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mid century east.

Yesterday’s Mid Century East show at Erno Goldfinger’s marvellous Haggerston school was the usual trove of fabulous modernist finds. Apart from the pieces, what I love about the show is how everyone who attends is passionate about design. Dealers love what they do and love to talk about their wares. And, of course, the pieces themselves always come with a fascinating provenance.

A brief walk-through below, featuring just a few favourite pieces and their dealers; some known, others new.

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Mar-Den had the wonderful, on-end, angled brick wall as a backdrop in which to display, in the beautifully proportioned double-height space of the hall.

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Pink Flamingoes specialise in American design, and showed Eames classics in fabulous colours.

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Beton Brut specialise in architect-led design from post-War France, Italy, Netherlands and Scandinavia. I’m yet to visit their new showroom in East London but they have a very seductive  website in the meantime.

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Saunders Fine Art always tempt with their modern British and European art and also collectables.

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My favourite of the show was a pair of lounge chairs from the ‘50s, with a wonderful back-story, having been languishing with their original owners in the south of France until now. From The Kula.

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Lovely accessories at Fragile Design

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1934, named for Gerrit Rietveld’s ‘crate furniture’ series in 1934, has a tightly curated collection of simple, functional pieces.

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Gorgeous Vittorio Nobili Medea Chairs (and a few knock-out light fittings) at
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Dd you go? Any favourites? More mid-century show round-ups, here and here.

All images owl’s house london taken on my iPhone 5.

happy weekend.

Fred Ingrams2

Flowering Potatoes, Dairy Drove, Ten Mile Bank, Aug 2014
Acrylic on panel
116 x 123cms

Vanishing Lines is a current exhibition by the Norfolk-based artist (and friend) Fred Ingrams.

Painting en plein air, Fred captures the flat marshland typical of the region in vivid and dramatic colour.

Vanishing Lines, Art Bermondsey 183-185 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3UW
until Sunday 17th May 2015.

More images from the opening night on owl’s house london Instagram, here

today’s image.

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View from the penthouse of the wonderful Isokon building, from a private tour at the weekend.

Follow owl’s house london Instagram, here.

happy weekend.

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Christo
The Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy)
Collage 2014 in two parts. Pencil, charcoal, pastel, wax crayon, fabric, enamel paint, cut-out photographs by Wolfgang Volz and map
Photo: André Grossmann

He’s back, and I’m thrilled, being a huge fan. The Floating Piers is Christo’s first work since the death of his wife and collaborator Jeanne-Claude in 2009 (they were also born on the same day in 1935).

For 16 days in June 2016, Christo will reimagine Italy’s Lake Iseo. The work will consist of swathes of shimmering yellow fabric, carried by a modular dock system of polyethylene cubes floating on the surface of the water. The walkways will continue on land, connecting the mainland to the island of San Paolo. More, here

Other works by Christo and Jeanne-Claude include Surrounded Islands and, possibly his best known work, Wrapped Reichstag, completed in 1995. Happy weekend.

covert house.

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Covert House has been much acclaimed in the architectural press of late. It offers a successful case study for good design despite difficult site demands – the house is mainly underground, restricted by a 3.5 meter height limit and huge boundary setbacks. But equally successful to my mind is the interior. There is too often an overwhelming gap between architecture and interior, with architects neglecting the interior for sake of the big architectural expression, and interior designers having little if any influence over the outside form. Here, the architect owners have embraced both.

Concrete is used outside and in in various forms – cast in situ, left raw, highly polished. In its unfinished state, it provides the perfect backdrop. The imperfections – discolouration and mottling – show the effort and craft involved in making the structure. Light abounds, via light wells and the white and light reflecting surfaces. The effect is elegant and light-handed and the resulting spaces appear calm and domiciliary. Furniture is mostly mid-century and there is a mix of timbers used in the furnishings, and a timber lined bathroom. The only soft surfaces appear to be the upholstery fabrics.

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For me, concrete has always been the ultimate building material (more concrete inspiration, here). It can work very successfully in commercial interiors. Here, it is equally successful in a residential setting. What do you think? Would you live here?

Covert House by DHDSA, via The Architects’ Journal. Photographs: Christoffer Rudquist via

Another successful concrete house, here.