Zaha Hadid’s posthumous vision: Opus Office Tower

Although architect great Zaha Hadid “Queen of the Curve” left us in 2016, we are delighted to learn that her visions will continue to live on. Over the next few years Zaha’s plans will be completed for 30 more projects. The Opus Office Towers in Dubai are one example of her projects in progress. The interior office and apartments spaces will be based Zaha’s designs featuring her signature warm curves and open floor plans.

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The plan echoes our favorite project of hers the Heyday Aliyev Center in the Republic of Azerbaijan.  Her goal was always to encourage meaningful interaction, Zaha sought for her work “to be able to excite you, to calm you, to make you think.”  We aspire to carry her wisdom with us in our upcoming pieces for 2017.

We may not have had a chance to see it in person, but we hope you do! As always, please follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterest and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

IntoConcrete pen

With a new year beginning the want reorganize and update the office unsurprisingly follows. Without a doubt, we are very keen on stylish office supplies which led us to discover IntoConcrete. The design group based in Chicago, is known for its unusual treatment of concrete in all of their products which include jewelry and lighting in addition to office accessories.

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Unexpected use of a material always fascinates us and we are particularly intrigued by the rollerball pen.  The pen is sturdy yet streamlined plus refillable and would go beautifully with any office. It’s a great start, but we really we have our eyes on the full set.

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Sony Glass Sound speaker

The best design has some element of surprise, which is why we were delighted to come across the Sony Glass Sound Speaker.  This is the most untraditional bluetooth speaker we have ever seen.  The glass cylinder is able to transmit sound that is crisp and clear and is reported to capture the human voice with surprising clarity.   

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The aluminum base houses the speaker which is battery powered, while the glass top holds an LED filament that mimics candlelight. We appreciate how it harkens back to the old technology of a lantern yet has the latest light and sound technology within.  It is subtle, refined and casts a sound and glow that will compliment rooms of any style or period.  

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Manetti Shrem Museum of Art

The design of a museum can be a curious exploration. The structure needs to meet the needs of the art that will be displayed within yet it also should present itself with comparable style and innovation.  The Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis has risen to the challenge.

A new home for modern art at UC Davis.

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The most striking feature is the undulating rooftop canopy installation known as “The Grand Canopy.” The massive covering encompasses  50,00 square feet of the museum’s interior and grounds. The canopy will be the focus of the museums’s first exhibit SO – IL: museum as process.” The show will feature interactive models showcasing the intriguing practices used by architecture firm SO-IL to create the space.

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The origami-like folds inspire us.

The installation is comprised of hundreds of triangle shaped aluminum infill beams pieces fanning out at varied lengths to create the woven appearance. It can also be considered a symbol for open dialogue between the public and university. Additionally, the rolling silhouette was conceived to echo the surrounding topography.  Exposed glass ceilings reveal the duct work and electrical wiring allowing viewers to continue to enjoy the twisting forms of the canopy.

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If you happen to be visiting the Sacramento area this winter season we hear that it’s a must see. During this time of year when it feels like the sun forgets to come out in Chicago, the airy space is a refreshing reminder of sunnier days to come.

 

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Ash + Ash sustainable design

Recently, we came across Ash + Ash a home in Mount Tabor in Portland, Oregon designed by eco-friendly architecture firm Hennebery Eddy. Ash + Ash not only has lovely proportions, it’s also LEED certified.  The space includes rainwater recovery processing, transforming Oregon’s rainy days into safe drinking water.

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The wood covered interiors activate our creative thinking serving as a retreat from the hustle and grind of city living. Fingers crossed this beauty becomes open for visiting, perhaps on Airbnb… Large windows weave outdoor and indoor space together.

 
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Sleek solar panels are used as an energy source for the home including the solar heated pool.Recently, 2 Point Perspective, a Chicago based architecture firm specializing in LEED design, produced a particularly interesting project for Green Exchange in Logan Square.

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Ash + Ash piqued our curiosity and we learned that Chicago ranks  Number 1 for most LEED certified buildings in the country. What a pleasant surprise!

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Molekule air purifier

Have you ever seen a glamorous air purifier before? We certainly hadn’t until we came across this design by Postler and Ferguson. The London based studio collaborated with the tech group Molecule to create a streamlined take on a typically bulky utilitarian appliance.  We never thought an air purifier could be so covet worthy.

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Snarkitecture’s Slip Bench

Snarkitecture fuses architecture and art to create truly unique home objects. We are particularly inspired by the streamlined proportions of the Slip Bench.

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The bench is a true feat of geometry. It’s blocky center and descending form reminds us of mountains rising out of the ocean. Clean lines will always hold a sweet spot for us.

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Their thoughtful aesthetic is also reflected in their unexpected take on retail space for Richard Chai. We look forward to more of their dynamic work.

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Dynamics in Impermanence by Nicole Larkin

In its twentieth year, Sculptures by the Sea in Sydney made a roaring debut.  One submission with particular verve is Nicole Larkin‘s “Dynamics in Impermanence” at Bondi Beach.  The structure is made from birch plywood, stainless steel, and concrete and is then lit at night.

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Its location on a rocky outcrop allows the piece to interact with sea and sky and constantly changes depending on the time of day, weather, and climate conditions.  It’s viewers are encouraged to be part of the space as the colors and direction of the piece morph.

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The curves capture the rhythm of the ocean or can feel like the sun’s rays glimmering over the horizon at sunrise. We are reminded of how ephemeral nature is and find her sculpture to be both a representation and an anchor to counter it.   A combination that we appreciate in these fleeting times that require moments for mediation.

 

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TALISE by fferone

As a Chicago design firm, we cannot resist sharing the refined work of Felicia Ferrone a fellow Chicagoan.  Ferrone seeks to elevate everyday design to new aesthetic heights and this water jug soars. The jug fits any standard sized water filter and can also be used for other beverages.Talise water jug

The piece is made of Boroscilicate glass by master glassblowers in the Czech Republic. Her work is featured in the Art Institute of Chicago and she is currently the Director of Graduate Studies in Industrial Design at University of Illinois Chicago.  Needless to say our city is fortunate to have her talents in it.Talise Water Filter

Staying hydrated has never been so stylish nor the mundane of the refrigerator so elevated. You can purchase them through the Felicia Ferrone Shop, gifts need not go to others.

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Icefjord Center

As we prepare for the cold weather in Chicago, it is always nice to see beautiful architecture for frozen landscapes. As is the case with Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter’s concept for the Icefjord Center in Greenland. The concept includes a winding building that works with the landscape without intruding on the views. The roof acts as pathway and observatory, allowing guests new access to the gorgeous areas surrounding.

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Inside, there are educational areas to help teach current and future generations the importance of the environment.  The structure will bridge over the landscape, seemingly floating above the surface.

 

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This is definitely a place we would consider braving the cold for!   As always, please follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and‘Like’ us on Facebook.