Georges Zigrand's Blog

Knockin’ on heaven’s door

Church door, star shaped
Star-shaped entrance door of a village church in Luxembourg. I really like the way the star-shaped pattern is radiating outwards from the central metal fitting, using a fairly simple profile of wooden boards. Almost psychedelic…

3D signage

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3 dimensional signage rarely works, unless you have a distinct layout or feature in the area –  as it is the case on the Golden Lane Estate in London with the Great Arthur House. Despite a slightly unfortunate implementation this original cast iron signage seems timeless, has weathered well and is astonishingly clear.

The Golden Lane Estate, just next to the better known Barbican, was built in the 50’s and is one of the rare examples of fine modern architecture in London.

Window dressing

Posted in Colours, textures & surfaces, Street furniture & public realm by zigideluxe on 06/02/2015

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Hartlepool shows the way

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Very robust and beautifully simple coastal path signage between Hartlepool Headland and Crimdon Dene, North East England

Lego style outdoor furniture for the almost grown-ups

Conventional tables and chairs wouldn’t have worked that well for the terrasse of my local hangout. The cultural centre Carrérotondes in Luxembourg, with its concerts, exhibitions, kids theatres and parties required a flexible way of sitting (and drinking). The Lego principle gives plenty of options on how to configure the modules, leaving it up to the user and the moment to choose how to use them.
Materials: Custom designed male & female rubber connectors combined with water resistant low-cost plywood.

Photo © Sven Becker

Photo © Sven Becker

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Chainsaw massacre

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Tree & chainsaw = very nice steps

A beautiful ride

Posted in Branding, Street furniture & public realm by zigideluxe on 21/04/2014

Anybody who lives in London knows the difference between mediocre and fine public transport design. The classy post-war route master got replaced 10 years ago by terrible double decker buses made from cheap materials, ugly colours and a few poor ‘design’ elements until the once again beautiful and specially for London designed new route master finally made it in large numbers onto the streets last year or so.
The new route master (designed by Thomas Heatherwick) shows that good design can make all the difference in the experience of traveling on public transport. Besides the important iconic outside design and the fuel efficient engine my point is that beautiful detailing and good quality finishes are also essentiel.

Especially in cities where the private car usage is still an option (like in Luxembourg, where I’m from) and where you want to get people out of their own cars you have to create an alternative that is not only faster, cheaper and more ecological but it also needs to be a beautiful ride. If the public transport experience is mediocre because of poorly designed interiors & exteriors (with maybe some customised colour scheme if you are lucky), then people will still want to use their own cars..

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Photo © Thomas Heatherwick

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Outdoor furniture – extra bold

Designed for outdoor spaces like nature reserves, parks & forests, this seating range is composed of large & chunky shapes with very simple profiles. The large – single piece – wood parts are made from locally sourced oak trunks with a simply sawn finish to resist weathering and vandalism. Due to its thickness, the wood can be sanded down if damaged but can also happily live with the added texture.
The wood profiles and tubular powder coated steel tubes are both an integral part of the structure and form objects with a strong visual contrast between natural and man made materials. The simple & sculptural shapes should integrate well in natural environments, yet stand out enough to be noticed for its quality.

Outdoor furniture range Outdoor park bench Outdoor lounge chair Outdoor picnic table

Have a seat and enjoy

The City of Luxembourg commissioned us to develop an furniture and colour guidance manual for the terrasses on one of it’s most prestigious squares in the city centre.  After many years of wild west behavior of the restaurants and cafés, using mostly cheap looking plastic furniture, branded umbrellas, primary colours and endless clutter the city wanted to clean up.
The new scheme, involving a selection of muted colours and more attractive furniture typologies has now been implemented, giving the square a more dignified and calm appearance while focusing on the quality of the space, the trees and the architecture.
One of press critics wrote at the time that we want to take colour and life out of the City, thankfully the chap in his all red training outfit plus hat has turned-up on my photo (on the right) to prove that it is not furniture & umbrellas that are creating a colourful city life!

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Fair games

Just finished a signage & wayfinding project for the Olympic Games of the Small Nations of Europe, held in Luxembourg this year. Very refreshing to work on a fast and short term project for a change. In collaboration with Luxembourg based Designbureau. Client: Comité Olympique et Sportif Luxembourgeois

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Ingenious low budget playground

Posted in Products & furniture, Street furniture & public realm by zigideluxe on 19/06/2013

A resourceful approach to create a playground in Corfu… and I bet it ticks all the boxes of safety standards too!
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Ponts & Chaussées

Some fine (and proud) signage on a depot of the Luxembourg civil engineering agency.

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A new bus shelter for Luxembourg-city

Based on an existing JCD shelter designed by Norman Foster we fine-tuned & adapted the design in collaboration with the city and JCD to better fit todays user needs. Over 250 shelters will be installed / replaced the next couple of years across the city’s bus network.
With a user-centered approach the team developed a new back-lit independent totem that regroups a number of information that is easy to read, even from a distance. The same logic applies to the glass panel on the opposite side where we also re-grouped passenger information usually spread randomly all over the shelter.

Last but not least, in close collaboration with the city’s own topographical service and the graphic design agency Monopolka, we have designed a new map of the city with the entire bus network overlapping in a clear, geographically accurate and user-friendly design. More on this soon!

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No street art please!

Posted in Colours, textures & surfaces, Street furniture & public realm by zigideluxe on 31/12/2012

EGGBOX_soundwallNot only that it is sound absorbing and weathering friendly, it also is tag and graffiti proof. Keep those egg cartons!!

Thank you for your service

Barcelona street plate celebrating a traditional restaurant
I can’t speak Catalan but this plate set into the paving in front of the long established Deli/Restaurant ‘Can Ravell’ in Barcelona says something like: ‘In the name of the City of Barcelona – in recognition to Ravell for its many years of service to the city’.

The plate seems to regroup many symbols of trade and craft and I suppose the City of Barcelona sets these plates in front of their most long serving, authentic and traditional businesses that make the city so special. What a great initiative! And the food was even better!!

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