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Posts Tagged ‘Architecture’

I’m excited to report that New England Home magazine has launched a Connecticut edition and I’m so pleased to have been asked to contribute a piece for the premiere issue.

The magazine, which offers a sophisticated look at area designers, architects, products and artists,  is now expanding its focus to the exceptional design world to be found in Fairfield County.

In this era of rough seas for the publishing biz it does my heart good to see such a lovely and esteemed magazine float confidently through the flotsam.

Kudos!

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Last month Architectural Digest had a story about a NYC duplex renovated by fave design firm Shelton Mindel & Associates.  Lee Mindel and Peter Shelton worked with their senior interior designer Grace Sierra on this beautifully restrained project. They only had three months to turn this time-worn limestone duplex across from Central Park into a chic and modern family home.  Despite the limitations and challenges, the result is stunning! Ooh La La!

Photography by Michael Moran

Photography by Michael Moran

Photography by Michael Moran

Photography by Michael Moran

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Last night the 2009 Interior Design Best of Year awards were held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in NYC. One of my favorite firms among the merit award winners was Interior Design Hall of Famers, Shelton, Mindel & Associates. Their materials-driven approach combines luscious wood tones, metals and stone surfaces with crisp, clean and modern design to create that elusive comfy-yet-utterly cool balance that classic modernism is built on.  I particularly like these residential spaces:

Photo courtesy of Shelton, Mindel & Associates

Photo courtesy of Shelton, Mindel & Associates

Photo courtesy of Shelton, Mindel & Associates

Photo courtesy of Shelton, Mindel & Associates

Photo courtesy of Shelton, Mindel & Associates

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The latest issue of Litchfield Magazine just came out, with my feature story on The Sumacs, an elegant shingle style house in Washington, CT.  (To see the entire story, click here.)

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Photos by Michael Moran

With the help of Reese Owens of Halper Owens Architects, homeowners, Gene and Barbara Kohn applied their vision and skills as architect and designer to bring this house back from the brink of blah. They were wonderful hosts and I enjoyed working on this piece. Here are some excerpts:

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Built in 1894 for the illustrator and naturalist William Hamilton Gibson, The Sumacs is one of several significant “cottages” designed by renowned architect Ehrick Kensett Rossiter. Not withstanding some misguided attempts at modernization, this one hundred year-old structure was in good shape and retained most of its character-defining features. Fireplaces with glazed earthen-ware tiles, forty-eight different types of windows and elaborate turnings along the stairway are just a taste of Rossiter’s range of expression.


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A meticulous renovation was undertaken with the goal of restoring many of the original elements of Rossiter’s design while bringing the 6,600 square-foot house up to date.  Formica counters in the butler’s pantry, an echo of so many remodels that sacrifice the architect’s art in the name of practicality, had to be replaced; other mid-century built-ins needed to be removed. The bathrooms and kitchen were sorely inadequate so the kitchen was gutted and doubled in size by removing a mud room and two pantries.


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Several small rooms were reconfigured in keeping with Shingle Style architecture which prizes continuous volumes of space. Some of the original sleeping porches that had been closed in to create bathrooms (since there was only one installed when the house was built) were reworked. But they did keep a charmingly vintage though somewhat dubious elevator that was added not long after the house was built.

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Today, Interior Design Magazine’s Designwire Daily has a piece on two exhibitions which celebrate the 90th anniversary of a profoundly influential (and one of my favorite) design movements; the German Bauhaus school. “Bauhaus. A Conceptual Model”, is currently running at Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Baumuseum through October 4th, and the Museum of Modern Art will be hosting, “Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity”, from November 8 to January 18th. (See the entire story here.)


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Bauhaus (“House of Building” or “Building School”) was founded by Walter Gropius in 1919 and ran until 1933.  Its attempt at a “new way of living” combined crafts and the fine arts, with the idea of creating a total work in which all arts could be united;  a modern approach which reflected the social changes of the time.

Klaus Labuttis of the Dezignare Interior Design Collective (www.dezignare.com) writes: “The ‘New Man’ became the ideal, a concept that also expressed itself in living. The Bauhaus Design showed a simplicity with emphasis on straight edges and smooth, slim forms. The rooms were sparsely furnished, superfluous features were taboo. Shining steel was discovered as a material for furniture. The aim was to take advantage of the possibilities of mass production to achieve a style of design that was both functional and aesthetic. Objects were to be designed to have simplicity, multiplicity, economical use of space, material, time and money which looks as modern as anything in production today.”

◊ Bauhaus Style ◊

Furnishings:

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Adjustable MR Chaise Lounge for Knoll.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Adjustable MR Chaise Lounge for Knoll at 1st Dibs

Christian Dell (by Kaiser) Desk Lamp Circa 1930 at 1st Dibs

Christian Dell (by Kaiser) Desk Lamp Circa 1930 at 1st Dibs

1924 Marianne Brandt Silver and Ebony Tea Pot at Tecnolumen

1924 Marianne Brandt Silver and Ebony Tea Pot at Tecnolumen

1924 Wilhelm Wagenfeld Nickel plated Tea Cannister

1924 Wilhelm Wagenfeld Nickel plated Tea Cannister at Tecnolumen

Architecture:

1938 Walter Gropius house, Lincoln, Massachusetts

1938 Walter Gropius house, Lincoln, Massachusetts

Barcelona Mies van der Rohe Pavillon

Barcelona Mies van der Rohe Pavillon

Art:

Komposition 8; 1923 by Vasily Kandinsky at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Komposition 8; 1923 by Vasily Kandinsky at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Bauhaus Stairway by Oskar Schlemmer;1932 at The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Bauhaus Stairway by Oskar Schlemmer;1932 at The Museum of Modern Art, New York


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This month, Architectural Digest has a story about La Concha, a once-abandoned 1958 Puerto Rican landmark which just barely escaped demolition. Thankfully, a groundswell of nostalgia in the community lead Renaissance Hotels to give the crumbling hotel a second chance.

Marvel & Marchand Architects/Interior Design by Jorge Rosselló Interior Designers and Space Planners  Text by Michael Frank/Photography by Dan Forerr

Marvel & Marchand Architects/Interior Design by Jorge Rosselló Interior Designers and Space Planners/Photography by Dan Forerr

Excerpt from the story by Michael Frank:

La Concha was “Originally designed by Osvaldo Toro and Miguel Ferrer, with an eccentric but utterly lovable seashell-shaped restaurant by Mario Salvatori.  … The hotel featured vaulted ceilings that capped poolside cabanas, a sea of white marble in its interiors and Salvatori’s whimsical mollusk of a restaurant floating in a reflecting pool that seemed to merge into the infinity of the ocean beyond…”

Architectural Renovation by The Office of Marvel & Marchand Architects/Interior Design by Jorge Rosselló Interior Designers and Space Planners/ Photography by Dan Forerr

Rosselló designed handblown Murano glass lamps for the restaurant

Only the bones of the building were left when architect José R. Marchand and designer Jorge Rosselló began the work of resuscitating the hotel; but they were able to work from the original drawings to revive the architecture while updating it in a way that faithfully reflects its former quirky grace.

The presidential suite

The presidential suite

The penthouse terrace

The penthouse terrace

Guest room

Guest room

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country5These indoor and outdoor rooms by Southport, Connecticut Architects, Austin Patterson Disston, just breathe with sunlight and fresh air. About this time of year, I get a ferocious craving for anyplace ELSEWHERE. A fantasy of a summer escape to someplace where I can breathe, eat and bask – usually, near some sparkling and serene body of water. This year, with a travel budget that is pretty much nonexsistent, I, like many others have to find that escape someplace closer to home. Any of these spaces would make for a perfect place to hang out with of few of my closest friends, eat too much guacamole and drink something-tinis… (Photos courtesy of Austin Patterson Disston Architects)

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