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    Part Office transforms Venice Beach condos into “calm” live-work units

    Los Angeles design studio Part Office has renovated two condominiums on the California coast, as part of a wider conversion of buildings into hybrid residential and office spaces.

    Sited directly on the Venice Beach boardwalk, the Venice Lofts occupy a pair of buildings that are undergoing updates to create a 44,000-square-foot (4,088-square-metre) complex of 12 live-work units.
    Part Office used a minimal material and colour palette to transform the condos into live-work unitsPhase one of the project involved the completion of two units, as well as exterior common areas, hardscaping and landscaping in collaboration with LA studio Cactus Store.
    Finished without specific tenants, the spaces were designed to be neutral and flexible, with a restrained material palette of oak, concrete, steel and tile used throughout.
    Double-height spaces were kept open and sparsely furnished”In contrast to similar programs, where trends within start-up culture favour bold and irreverent design gestures detached from their specific users or locations, our intent was to create a calm environment that reflected a nostalgic coastal experience,” said Part Office.

    Code and structural requirements meant that the building envelopes were preserved, and that units need to have an equal division of “live” and “work” spaces.
    Accordion doors allow spaces to be separated or joined as requiredDue to the shift in office culture during the pandemic, the team chose to lend the units a less formal and more residential atmosphere. Although layouts of some units vary slightly, all are organised in a similar way.
    Lower floors are designated primarily for residential use, with necessities like kitchens and bathrooms, while other adjustable spaces are separated by rows of accordion doors.
    Concealed doors under the stairs open to provide storage spaceOpen double-height areas function as living spaces but can also be used as more casual work environments, and are sparsely populated with modular pieces crafted by LA-based Michael O’Connell Furniture.
    Open workspaces can be found upstairs, furnished with custom desks that feature angular steel bases and lime-washed ash tops. Each unit also comes with its own roof deck.

    David Saik gives Emeco a cactus-filled Californian brand home

    Grooved oak panelling used across walls and concealed doors was also lime-washed “to create a more beach weathered appearance”, and guardrails were installed with a very fine mesh “to appear like window screens overlooking the beach”.
    “Attention was placed on the detail, finish, and interaction of each material in order to elevate their appearance,” said Part Office.
    Workspaces upstairs are furnished with custom desksOn the exterior, orange glazed tiles by ceramic artist Sofia Londono were added to breezeways to demarcate unit entries, and the planting evokes windswept coastal environments.
    Venice Beach, which is known for its bohemian and creative spirit, is a popular place for small businesses like design studios and architecture firms to operate from.
    Orange glazed tiles and coastal planting were used to enliven the exterior spacesFurniture company Emeco recently opened a cactus-filled brand space in a converted an old sewing factory in the neighbourhood.
    The photography is by Taiyo Watanabe and Gustav Liliequist.
    Project credits:
    Design: Part OfficeTeam: Jeff Kaplon, Kristin Korven, Israel CejaArchitect of record: Klawiter and AssociatesContractor: Barling ConstructionLandscape: Cactus StoreFurniture: Michael O’Connell Furniture

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    Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos creates alfresco feeling inside Mexico City skyscraper restaurant

    Expansive triple-height windows and fully grown trees feature in this eatery at the top of a Mexico City skyscraper, designed by local firm Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos to create the impression of dining in a traditional Mexican courtyard.

    Called Ling Ling, the Asian fusion restaurant is located on the 56th floor of the Chapultepec Uno skyscraper on Paseo de la Reforma avenue and offers nearly 360-degree views of the city.
    Ling Ling is a skyscraper restaurant by Sordo Madaleno ArquitectosArchitecture firm Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos was asked to revamp the 1,000-square-metre interior to create the sensation of dining in one of the grand courtyards and terraces that are typical of Mexican architecture.
    The firm said it took a formal approach to the design process, using structural elements and construction methods to help blur the boundary between architecture and interior design.
    Greenery was incorporated throughout the interiorAt the heart of Ling Ling is a glazed triple-height space dubbed the “terrace”, which is covered by a portico-style structure.

    Here, planters filled with mature trees sit among the tables while climbing plants wrap around columns and hang from the portico structure overhead.
    The inner salon and dining room feature lowered ceilingsCeilings were brought down to human scale for the inner salon and the dining room, which are enclosed within vaulted timber structures.
    Highlighted by gentle illumination, these more intimate, cavernous spaces are fitted with purpose-built furniture.

    Space Copenhagen designs Esmée restaurant as “urban orangery”

    The design team selected a palette of vegetal hues for Ling Ling’s interior to complement the exuberant greenery installed throughout the space.
    Other plant-laden restaurant interiors featured on Dezeen include an “urban orangery” designed by Space Copenhagen that resembles a cross between a brasserie and a courtyard.
    Ling Ling has views across the cityElsewhere in Mexico City, architecture studio Taller ADG has created a dining area with a vaulted ceiling to echo old Italian trattorias.
    The photography is by LGM Studio.

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    Cooking Sections and Sakiya explore importance of non-human species in joint exhibition

    Turner Prize-nominated art duo Cooking Sections and Palestinian research collective Sakiya have created an exhibition in Edinburgh called In the Eddy of the Stream, which reevaluates the significance of plants and other organisms in our ecosystems.

    The multimedia show is on display at the Inverleith House of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh as part of the science centre’s three-year Climate House exhibition programme.
    In the Eddy of the Stream includes installations, performances and sculpturesSpread across six galleries, the exhibition presents a range of work from research-heavy installations to live performances, developed by Sakiya and UK-based Cooking Sections.
    The show aims to “draw attention to the breakdown of ecosystems through the removal of plants and the ensuing long-term harm to people, communities and other species,” according to Cooking Sections.
    In particular, In the Eddy of the Stream intends to highlight how certain plants and non-sentient animals like oysters have been threatened by the complex histories of land ownership in Scotland and Palestine.

    Recalling Recollection investigates the history of Palestinian plant species”The installations, performances and materials in this exhibition challenge how botany has been used as a mechanism of control and how it might identify new horizons,” Cooking Sections said.
    “We want visitors to look again at the impact of our relationship with nature and non-human species and imagine new ways, in which to develop that vital relationship to the benefit of all parties.”
    From the Shores that Found their Sea is a group of mosaics made from waste shellsOne installation, named Recalling Recollection, showcases 33 botanical specimens of edible and medicinal plants, which the British Empire classified as a threat to its wheat monocultures during the country’s occuption of Palestine in the wake of the first world war.
    Sakiya has presented the specimens alongside postcards from Palestine in both Arabic and English that share stories, anecdotes and relevant folklore attempting to reclassify the plants as vital organisms.
    “In the same gallery, an oak baseboard depicting the 33 plants lines the space in reflection and opposition to the room’s ornate cornicing,” Cooking Sections founders Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabe told Dezeen.
    Intertidal Polyculture includes ropes and nets made from biomaterialsAnother piece, From the Shores that Found their Sea, features a collection of wall mosaics formed from terrazzo-style tiles that are made out of waste mussel and oyster shells rather than traditional carbon-intensive cement.
    The shells were sourced from restaurants on the Scottish islands of Skye and Raasay that have adopted Cooking Sections’ Climavore menu – a regenerative approach to food sourcing developed by the art duo, which is also used by eateries at the Tate and V&A museums in London.

    “Food is one of the main drivers that is shaping the ecology of the planet” says art duo Cooking Sections

    A room with electric blue walls houses Cooking Sections’ Intertidal Polyculture project, a group of nets and ropes crafted from heather, kelp and purple moor grass instead of sterile plastics.
    When placed underwater, these natural nets and ropes encourage intertidal species to attach to them and grow.
    “All of this builds up towards a new framework for collective usership of the coast, a working process to advocate for the establishment of the tidal commons in Scotland,” explained Fernández Pascual and Schwabe.
    Oyster Readings is an installation and performance pieceOyster Readings is both an experimental installation and a playful performance piece that must be booked in advance.
    Here, visitors are invited to sit on organically shaped stools arranged around a matching table, both formed from a material made from crushed oyster shells in place of concrete.
    The piece is a play on traditional palm readingsEnveloped by a green fringe curtain, this space hosts palmistry-style readings where experts reveal information about the state of Scotland’s seas by analysing the patterns of local oyster shells, in a practice similar to studying tree rings.
    “Oyster Readings foresee the future of the coast through the ridged surface of an oyster shell, allowing you to read into our common oyster futures,” said Fernández Pascual and Schwabe.
    In the Eddy of the Stream presents various multimedia installationsIn the Eddy of the Stream gets its name from the concept of an eddy, which describes “a sheltered area where water flows back upstream against the current” and, according to Fernández Pascual and Schwabe, embodies the work they created with Sakiya.
    Similar projects by Cooking Sections, which is known for its focus on climate change, include an installation in Sharjah highlighting desert plants as an alternative to water-hungry greenery in arid cities.
    In the Eddy of the Stream is on show at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival from 2 July to 18 September 2022. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.
    The photography is by Shannon Tofts. 

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    Dezeen Agenda newsletter features the Dezeen Awards 2022 longlists

    The latest edition of our weekly Dezeen Agenda newsletter features the longlists for this year’s Dezeen Awards. Subscribe to Dezeen Agenda now!

    This week, Dezeen revealed the longlists for Dezeen Awards 2022, which feature over 1,000 of the world’s best projects and practitioners across more than 40 categories.
    The architecture longlist highlights the best recently completed buildings from around the globe, designed by studios from 48 different countries including Peru, New Zealand, Germany, Mexico, Belgium and Japan.
    Grimshaw’s Victorian Tunnelling Centre (above) and LUO Studio’s Timber Bridge in Gulou Waterfront (above) feature in the Dezeen Awards 2022 architecture longlistDezeen also revealed this year’s studio longlist, as well as dedicated longlists for design, interiors, sustainability and media.
    Other stories in the latest newsletter include a roundup of seven innovative projects by Japanese designer Issey Miyake following the news of his death last week and an interview with the developer behind Saudi Arabia’s controversial megacity The Line, who says the development will “revolutionise our current way of life”.

    Dezeen Agenda
    Dezeen Agenda is a curated newsletter sent every Tuesday containing the most important news highlights from Dezeen. Read the latest edition of Dezeen Agenda or subscribe here.
    You can also subscribe to Dezeen Debate, which is sent every Thursday and contains a curated selection of highlights from the week, as well as Dezeen Daily, our daily bulletin that contains every story published in the preceding 24 hours on Dezeen.

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    GOA tops Metasequoia Grove Restaurant with cluster of tree-informed pyramids

    Chinese studio Group of Architects has created a restaurant topped with a canopy made from a series of aluminium pyramidal forms in the village of Suzhou, China.

    The structure, which was informed by a grove of metasequoia trees, was designed by Group of Architects (GOA) for a waterside site in China’s Jiangnan region.
    Metasequoia Grove Restaurant by Group of Architects features a canopy inspired by the trees on site”We want the design of Metasequoia Grove Restaurant to integrate into its natural setting and become a part of the landscape,” the project’s leading architect Chen Binxin told Dezeen.
    “The forms of the metasequoia trees are abstracted and translated into a purely geometric architectural language, a pyramidal frustum.”
    The restaurant features a group of pyramidal aluminium formsMultiple versions of the pyramidal shape in three different scales form the forest-like canopy that tops the restaurant.

    Skylights top each pyramidal module, letting light enter the interior, while short eaves at the canopy’s base frame views across the surrounding wetland.
    Light enters the space through the skylights and perforations in the pyramidsThe pyramidal roof modules comprise three layers: an outer layer of perforated aluminium panels, a central glass layer that increases luminosity, and an inner layer of wood panels.
    “We chose steel columns to respond to the density and verticality of tree trunks and perforated aluminium panels as the roof canopies’ outer layer to imitate the dancing sunlight spots and shadows that filter through leaves,” said Chen.

    C+ Architects mingles old and new inside Restaurant Ya in Beijing

    Kitchens and private dining balconies are located in the restaurant’s eastern wing, which is wrapped in a rubble stone facade.
    In an effort to emphasise the lightness of the structure, the studio designed the building to have only 10 load-bearing columns, which have been arranged around the edges of the space. Opposite each of the load-bearing columns is a group of three columns along the window frames.
    Slim columns support the weight of the structureBy adding the same paving to the interior and the waterside terrace, the studio aimed to create a cohesive aesthetic across the restaurant and its exterior.
    Two-metre-wide, single-bay floor-to-ceiling windows connected by narrow frames enhance the visual openness of the space.
    The roof hangs over dining spaces surrounded by glass wallsSet to open in October, the restaurant will be used as both a dining space for visitors and a small banquet hall for holding public events.
    It is part of a larger governmental scheme for the redevelopment of Shanwan village, which will include a B&B also designed by the studio, currently under construction. The proposed development includes guest rooms, additional restaurants, an outdoor events space and a pool, alongside preserved residential houses and forests.
    “As architects, we want to increase the recognition and attention to this village by reinforcing a sense of local identity through the design and turning this project into an attractor to promote the local ecotourism industry while activating the surrounding areas,” said Chen.
    Metasequoia Grove Restaurant by Group of Architects has been longlisted in the hospitality building category of Dezeen Awards 2022.
    Other restaurants in China featured on Dezeen include Cheng Chung Design’s restaurant inside a brick art installation and a 0321’s restaurant containing a florist enclosed in a translucent pink box.
    The photography is by In Between.

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    Norm Architects creates inside-out greenhouse restaurant in a Swedish meadow

    Danish studio Norm Architects has completed Äng, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Sweden that features a glasshouse entrance and a subterranean wine cellar.

    The restaurant is located in the middle of a meadow in Ästad Vingård – one of Sweden’s largest vineyards.
    Norm Architects has added the Äng restaurant to a Swedish vineyardThe main component of the restaurant is a minimal glass building supported by a steel structure. Its design resembles an inside-out greenhouse, with the steel structure on the inside and a smooth exterior that reflects its meadow surroundings.
    Accessed via a stone pathway that winds through the grasses and crops, guests enter Äng through a glass door, where the stone flooring continues inside.
    The restaurant has a steel structure surrounded by glass panelsThe entrance takes guests past an open kitchen with a stone counter and bespoke artworks of organic forms.

    Inside, the glass building is designed to give diners the feeling that they are sitting in the middle of the field with nothing but clear skies overhead.
    “With inspiration found in both the unspoiled Nordic nature surrounding the premises of Äng and Japanese sensibilities in design aesthetics and craftsmanship, the interior provides a holistic, sensory experience,” said Frederik Werner, partner at Norm Architects.
    A stone counter and oak furniture features in the open dining spaceThe interiors are furnished with oak furniture by Japanese brand Karimoku, for which Werner is the creative director, and wood and stone sculptures made by Norwegian artist Anders Pfeffer Gjengedal .
    The furniture include the Äng lounge table, which was designed exclusively for the restaurant and constructed from solid oak.
    Other bespoke pieces include an oak serving tray by Keiji Ashizawa and a solid wood trolley inspired by the umbrella and shoe racks by the entrance of Japanese temples.
    Solid oak furniture by Karimoku fills the spaceA range of tableware designed to complement the restaurant’s atmosphere was created in collaboration with Sweden-based design studio Bonni Bonne.
    The collection of plates and bowls are made from green wood, an ancient woodworking method that creates natural silhouettes and raw textures.
    A grey cube-shaped volume is surrounded by further seatingArtworks by Danish designer Sara Martinsen made from materials found in the forest are also displayed.
    Norm Architects said its aim was to carefully balance every element of the design from architecture to design, lighting, taste, smell, and sound.

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    “The fundamental ambition behind the Michelin-starred Restaurang Äng is in many ways in line with Norm Architects’ design philosophy of striking a delicate balance between all the sensory experiences that make up a space to create a harmonious setting, where all elements support one another,” explained Norm Architects partner Peter Eland.
    A series of stone sculptures from a quarry in Växjö, Sweden, reference the Japanese Karesansui gardens of raked sand and stone. These dry landscape gardens celebrate yohaku-no-bi, meaning the beauty of blank space.
    Stone sculptures from a Växjö quarry sit in the spaceThe interior also features discrete acoustic walls. Constructed from canvas, the studio specified the panels be made in a shade reminiscent of the jute sacks that are used to store grain.
    Bespoke cabinetry is filled with sculptures and ceramics by Viki Weiland and Ulla Bang, both artists who work with curved, simple forms.

    Ceramic pieces are on display in the restaurantAs well as the main restaurant spaces, Äng also has a hidden elevator that transports guests underground to a catacomb-like wine cellar with a dark lounge setting in its centre.
    “With the changing of light, we play on the phenomenon of chiaroscuro; a technique from visual arts used to represent light and shadow as they define objects in order to achieve a sense of volume,” said Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, architect and founding partner at Norm Architects.
    “When stepping into the shadows, the vision weakens while the remaining senses intensify. One automatically pays more attention to sounds, smells, tastes and touch and even the intuition and instinct are strengthened.”
    The cave-like wine cellar was inspired by the visual arts technique chiaroscuroTo emphasize the transitions from one atmosphere to another, the floor tiles in the wine cellar recall a brick floor to enhance the cave-like feel, while the main dining room has a wooden floor.
    Founded in 2008, Norm Architects says its work builds on the traditions of Scandinavian design. Other recent projects by the Danish studio include a spa-like dental clinic modelled on art galleries, and a Swedish forest retreat “designed for a simple life”.
    The photography is by Jonas Bjerre Poulson.

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    Mutuus Studio designs inclusive Supernova nightclub in Seattle

    A giant disco ball holds the DJ booth at this nightclub in Seattle, designed by local firm Mutuus Studio to be a “safe and welcoming environment for women, BIPOC, and all members of the LGBTQIA+ community”.

    Supernova was established by DJ Zac Levine with Mutuus Studio, GMD Custom and several artists as an inclusive art and entertainment space.
    The Supernova nightclub is centred around a DJ booth inside a hemispherical disco ballThe nightclub occupies a 6,500-square-foot (604-square-metre) timber warehouse building built in 1937 in Seattle’s SoDo neighbourhood, which was transformed by the team into a two-floor venue.
    “Supernova’s guiding principle was to create a safe and welcoming environment for women, BIPOC, and all members of the LGBTQIA+ community as employees, patrons, and entertainers,” said Mutuus Studio. “Catering to diverse audiences, and self-expression, Supernova welcomes everyone to enjoy a night of dancing, music, and art.”
    The club occupies a former warehouse in Seattle’s SoDo neighbourhoodPatrons enter past graffitied walls and a neon-lit hall of mirrors onto a mezzanine on the upper level, which overlooks the main dance floor below.

    The DJ booth is housed within a huge disco ball, covered in small mirrored tiles and measuring eight feet (2.4 metres) in diameter.
    Rows of disco balls scatter light across the VIP areaThe hemispherical booth sits in the centre of a 30-foot-long (9.1-metre) stage, used by entertainers for performances of all kinds.
    These are accompanied by lighting arranged in diamond patterns behind the booth and other audiovisual equipment suspended from the roof.
    The venue is entered via a hall of mirrors illuminated with neonsA variety of installations can be found throughout the club’s many smaller spaces.
    A VIP area is demarcated by classic red velvet ropes and golden stanchions, beneath a ceiling of more disco balls that scatter light fractals across the dark space below the mezzanine.

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    In another lounge area, fluorescent panels cut into wavy shapes frame sofas and a pink neon mounted on the back wall.
    Some of the panels swoop down from the ceiling to create additional seating, while the first spans the room’s full height and is punctured by an amorphous shape that forms the doorway.
    Spaces within the club include a lounge framed with wavy fluorescent panelsDrinks are served from a metallic bar, as well as through the front of a vintage Volkswagen van – its windscreen missing but headlights still functioning.
    Supernova currently hosts weekly events, including house music and disco-themed parties on Fridays and Saturdays.
    A vintage Volkswagen van forms a barThe project was completed in July 2020 during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, when many nightlife venues were hit hard by lockdowns and restrictions.
    In response, creative studio Production Club designed a personal protective suit for clubbing in the time of social distancing, which includes features for phone integration and beverage and vape consumption
    The space is filled with a variety of sculptures and installationsBased in Seattle, Mutuus Studio has completed a wide range of projects in the Pacific Northwest – from designing a cosy farm-to-table restaurant, to turning a large, steel sphere into an installation in a waterfront park.
    The photography is by James Gerde, unless stated otherwise.
    Project credits:
    Mutuus Studio design team: Kristen Becker, Saul Becker, Jim Friesz, Jorge Gomez

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