The slogan across the facade of this church in Dieuze, northern France reads ‘vous aurez toujours des pauvres parmi vous’, which roughly translats as ‘you will always have poor people among yourselves’. That has for me more then one meaning and is brutally true..
The intricate relief sculpture is also fairly brutal, but fantastic at the same time. Also interesting is the fact that an artist ( Paul Gaudin, 1958) has been able to shape the main appearance of the building with his relief and glass design, and not an architect.
This water drinking fountain is the first of many to be installed in the City of Luxembourg. The scheme was initiated by the city’s own Service des Eaux and elaborated in close collaboration with the City Management, other administrations of the city and myself as an external design consultant.
After an in-depth research of existing drinking fountains across Europe we have identified this fountain as the most suitable product for Luxembourg. The fountain has initially been developed by the french designer Cécile Planchais for Eau de Paris and will also be rolled-out in Paris next year.
Besides the functional & hygienic qualities its subtle timeless design has convinced us to be the right choice for Luxembourg. The textured surface and distinctive shape blurs the boundaries of time, making it contemporary but also fit nicely in an heritage environment. Also, after two days in use in the city the form and shape has proven that its function and purpose is self-explanatory.
Embossing leather is another one of these crafts that are very difficult to still find but have a great creative potential. This very old, worn and grotty leather embossed folder almost blends in with the wooden desk and is getting more beautiful by the day.
Beautifully crafted natural materials have this quality of ageing well and are able to take the wear and tear of life. Something that many more contemporary materials and finishes simply can’t take.
Good craftsmanship is key to produce fine quality objects. Unfortunately, outside the luxury industry, they are hard to find. With labour costs going constantly up are we loosing all the fine techniques that made objects special? It seems a shame, but it motivates me even more to collaborate with skilled craftsmen on the next projects!
Outdoor ceramic tiles in the public realm always fascinated me, especially if they are in relief. They seem to be such a good solution for buildings, street furniture and walls. There is an almost endless scope of design options; texture, pattern, light reflection, colour ..etc. The slide show shows examples from Belgium (Ostend), Portugal (Cascais) & France (Le Tréport).
If any reader knows of other fine examples, please let me know. I would like to collect more images and hopefully I can post a more comprehensive collection of examples in the near future.
I have seen this type of benches before in forests and parks without really appreciating them. But the concept of a bench with a cast structure that mimics root wood, as disturbing as it looks, starts to grow on me. If you choose casting as a technique you can also open up to other shape typologies, no reason to keep the geometric language you pretty much have to respect if you fabricate something in any other standard way.
To then paint it in such a colour makes the bench almost eccentric, even if it goes against the initial idea of making the bench blend into its natural surroundings.
I also wondered if Maarten Baas came here on holiday one day…
I really like the look and feel of this cake shop. After seeing so many ‘design’ cake shops and patisseries I found it refreshing to see a shop around the corner from where I used to live that focuses on the cakes and not on an over-designed interior or branding. Even the signage is hand painted on the window.
Of course this is also becoming trendy and its not such a new idea, but it still feels honest and works very well with the idea of selling home made cakes. Also, I like the fact that you can create a beautiful shop with almost no budget and a trip to the brocante. I would love to do a project like that.
A very small but dynamic, elegant and highly versatile space commissioned by the Union Commerciale de la Ville de Luxembourg.
Primarily it is a place where visitors can get any shopping information (opening hours, retail services, maps, customised shopping trails …etc) the city has on offer. Within that primary task of giving out information it is also a place where the city’s retailers can celebrate particular themes and organise special events & exhibitions.
Furthermore, the second aim of the space was to establish best practice retail design with innovative materials and finishes. The floor is made from two coloured resin floor (made from cast Polyurethane). The grey brown floor is split in the middle by a central band of white that invites the visitor in from the outside. This band is then folding up to create a central display made from thermoformed partially back-lit white Corian sheets.
By contrast, all the walls are lacquered in a warm dark and super mat Nextel paint finish. This material, often used on control panels and dashboards, is hard wearing and extremely light absorbing to minimise light reflections and emphasis the artifacts & displays. Moreover, the lighting is kept low to focus on the displays and create a beautiful museum like experience.
Cramped into an area of only 50m2 the space is packed with multiple functionalities while keeping a sober and high-quality appearance.
A friend of mine has sent me the link to this very poetic and wonderful short film by director Ramin Bahrani and narrated by Werner Herzog about the tormented life of a plastic bag.
Take 15 minutes off work and watch it: http://www.futurestates.tv/episodes/plastic-bag