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    Norman Foster creates angular retreat in Martha's Vineyard for “friends of the Foster family”

    Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning architect Norman Foster has designed the Foster Retreat in Martha’s Vineyard as a holiday home for his friends and those of the Norman Foster Foundation, which features furniture designed by the architect for Karimoku.

    Named the Foster Retreat, the mono-pitch roofed building in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, was built opposite Foster’s US home.
    The building draws on traditional wood structuresThe home was formed from a series of angled steel beams that are connected by timber beams with smooth timber louvres enclosing an outdoor patio space.
    According to Foster, the holiday home’s shape was informed by North American barn structures, with large amounts of timber chosen to reference Martha’s Vineyard’s traditional wood-boarded structures and its sustainability credentials.
    Pale wood was used inside Foster Retreat”The retreat takes inspiration from the generous wooden barn structures of North America and combines that tradition of timber construction with a small amount of steel in the form of skinny portal frames which touch the ground lightly,” said Foster, who is the founder of UK studio Foster + Partners.

    “Wood was the obvious choice not only for reasons of sustainability but also as a direct reference to the traditional buildings that characterise the island.”
    The building has a visible gridThe site levels around Foster Retreat, which will be used as a private residence for friends of Foster’s family and of the Norman Foster Foundation, were contoured to hide the building from the roadside and situate it within the landscape.
    The studio also added indigenous plants to the site, as well as a bank of solar panels that together with “a high level of insulation and shading” helps the building be more sustainable, according to Foster.
    Norman Foster designed the NF Collection for KarimokuInside the building, the holiday home has white walls with pale wood panels and wooden floors.
    To match the pared-back material palette of the house’s exterior and interior, Foster designed a wooden furniture collection named NF Collection together with Japanese furniture brand Karimoku.

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    The collection comprises a dining chair, two stools, a lounge chair, a sofa, and a dining table, all of which feature pale “skeletal” timber frames and padded upholstery.
    “The wood-based furniture I designed for Karimoku is an extension of the philosophy behind the building,” Foster explained.
    “lt has always seemed to me that there is a commonality between the American Shaker Movement and traditional Japanese furniture. Given my own admiration for the qualities of historic Japanese architecture, there are evident cultural links.”
    The furniture has skeletal frames and white padding. Photo is by Chuck ChoiThe collection was developed as Foster had trouble finding suitable furniture for the space.
    “When we started to think about what type of furniture could best fit in the spaces created in the Foster Retreat, Martha’s Vineyard, we realised that there was no single specific collection in existence that could be used for the different uses of the building, so I decided to develop a bespoke family of furniture,” Foster explained.
    “Timber was a natural choice to match the spirit of the building.”
    Foster Retreat was designed as a private residenceFoster Retreat is Karimoku’s seventh case study project, which sees the studio work together with architects on bespoke furniture collections.
    “I see the collaboration with NF as an important step for us as a brand – not only do we venture into a new area with the case at Martha’s Vineyard, but we also show how the brand can accomodate a more diverse furniture collection, showcasing the unique design languages of the individual studios, yet still maintaining a red thread throughout the collection in the use of materials, excellent craftsmanship and high quality,” Karimoku creative director Frederik Werner told Dezeen.
    The collection marks Karimoku’s seventh case study. Photo is by Chuck ChoiThe NF Collection will also be shown in an exhibition at Karimoku Commons in Tokyo, the brand’s retail and showroom space. Karimoku was one of a number of Japanese brands that showed at this year’s Salone del Mobile furniture fair as the focus on the European market grows.
    One of the world’s best-known architects, Foster leads the UK’s largest studio Foster + Partners. The studio’s recent projects include 425 Park Avenue, which is the “first full-block office building” to be built on Park Avenue in over 50 years, and the tallest building in the EU, the Varso Tower in Warsaw.
    The photography is by Marc Fairstein unless stated otherwise. All photography courtesy of the Norman Foster Foundation.
    The Norman Foster x Karimoku exhibition is at Karimoku Commons from 21 October to 9 December. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

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    Sik Mul Sung is a Mars-themed cafe with its own vertical farm

    South Korean studio Unseenbird has designed a cafe in downtown Seoul, where vegetables are grown in a glass-fronted cultivation room before being harvested, prepared and served to customers on a conveyor belt.

    Sik Mul Sung cafe was set up by agri-tech start-up N.Thing, which also runs a vertical farm on the outskirts of Seoul, to make the company’s technology tangible and accessible to everyday consumers.
    Unseenbird wrapped Seoul’s Sik Mul Sung restaurant in stainless steelLocal practice Unseenbird was tasked with designing the cafe’s interior and wrapped large portions of its walls, counters and fixtures in sheets of stainless steel.
    This is contrasted with decorative red rocks and a floor made of matching pebbles, in a reference to N.Thing’s ambition to build a vertical farm on Mars.
    The cafe’s space-age theme is also reflected in its futuristic green perspex surfaces, which are played off against textured plaster walls.

    Food is delivered to diners via a conveyor beltSik Mul Sung’s focal point is a brightly lit, glass-fronted cultivation room where rows of vegetables grow in a vertical farming system designed by N.Thing, which can function without sunlight or soil.
    When customers place an order, the vegetables are harvested and used as ingredients for salads and ice cream.
    Vegetables are grown on-siteFood is delivered to diners via a conveyor belt that circulates the cultivation room and runs along the curved bar.
    The food itself is presented on circular plates that rotate to recall a planet in orbit.

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    “Customers can feel the values and dreams of the company together by experiencing cultivation, harvesting, processing and consumption here,” said Unseenbird.
    “Not only was the characteristic applied functionally to the space but the brand identity was well realised with the finishing materials and tones.”
    The vertical farm does not need soil or sunlight to functionSik Mul Sung has been shortlisted in the small interiors category of this year’s Dezeen Awards.
    Other projects in the running include a serene timber and travertine reading room in Shanghai and a coffee shop in Shenyang, China, where stacked bottle-green beer crates form the furnishings.
    The photography is by Yongjoon Choi. 

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    BC designs Francis Gallery LA to celebrate Korean art and culture

    Gallerist Rosa Park has opened a space in Los Angeles to showcase the work of Korean artists and designers, with interiors by local studio BC intended to reflect the country’s visual culture.

    Francis Gallery LA is Park’s second location and is an expansion of her original gallery in Bath, UK – both presenting the work of emerging Korean artists.
    Places of worship informed the interiors of the gallery on Melrose AvenueSituated on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, the new space was designed with Lindsey Chan and Jerome Byron, founders of LA-based BC.
    The duo preserved the building while transforming the inside with references to traditional Korean architecture and art.
    The inaugural exhibition displays the work of six artists, including photography by Koo BohnchangThese include a curved partition wall influenced by a moon jar and a contemporary re-interpretation of a hanok courtyard.

    “The space was conceived to pay homage to Korean art and design in subtle ways – whether it was in the curve of a partition wall, the colour palette of the interior paints, or the profile of a low bench in the courtyard,” said Park.
    BC designed the gallery to be pared-back yet warmPlaces of worship like chapels and monasteries were also referenced in the design. These were accentuated by the use of “humble materials” and pared-back forms.
    Although minimal, the intention was to ensure the gallery still felt warm and inviting, as well as provide an appropriate setting for the pieces on show.
    Rahee Yoon’s translucent acrylic blocks are among the works on show”I think this emotional connection to a space, to a work, is central to what I’m doing with Francis,” Park said.
    “It was of great importance to me that the space acted as the ideal framework to house works that I hope will move people.”

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    The inaugural exhibition at Francis Gallery LA is titled Morning Calm, on view until 7 January 2023, and features the work of six artists of Korean descent.
    Bo Kim, John Zabawa, Koo Bohn Chang, Nancy Kwon, Rahee Yoon and Song Jaeho are all at different stages in their careers.
    An abstract painting by John Zabawa hangs on a dark wallTheir painting, photography, sculpture and ceramics all explore Korean identity in an international context and offer insights into the artists’ cultural heritage.
    “With Los Angeles being home to the largest Korean community in the United States and Park having roots in both Seoul and LA, the debut show seeks to explore the nuanced connections between the two places,” said a statement from the gallery.
    References to Korean architecture at the gallery include a contemporary interpretation of a traditional hanok courtyardLA’s art scene has grown exponentially over the past decade, and the city is now home to many new galleries and exhibition spaces.
    Well-known names that have opened their own locations there include Hauser & Wirth and The Future Perfect, while others like Marta are using modernist buildings like Neutra’s VDL II House to exhibit.
    The photography is by Rich Stapleton.

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    Studio MK27 creates Patina Maldives resort on new island

    Brazil-based Studio MK27 has used wood, rattan and stone textures to create the buildings for a holiday resort on the Fari Islands archipelago in the Maldives.

    Patina Maldives occupies one of the four islands that makes up the artificial archipelago, which was built over approximately 10 kilometres of reef on the northern edge of North Male Atoll.
    Patina Maldives is located within the new Fari Islands archipelagoStudio MK27 has designed architecture and interiors for buildings across the island, including an arrival pavilion, a spa, a kid’s club, and a cluster of bars and restaurants.
    Accommodation is provided by a mix of beach suites, private in-land villas and water villas that project out to sea.
    Studio MK27 designed architecture and interiors for the resort’s various buildingsNever rising above the tree canopy, the buildings are dotted around the island in an arrangement designed to create areas of vibrant social activity and spaces of complete seclusion.

    “Patina is unique in the Maldives: an opportunity to be together in isolation,” said Studio MK27 founder Marcio Kogan. “[It is] one of the most remote places on Earth and still a place designed for people to meet one another.”
    Natural materials are combined with earthy colours”Patina Maldives embraces our natural conflicts: desire for peace and party, for nature and design, technology and rusticity, self-indulgence and deep reflections,” he added.
    The materials palette throughout consists of earthy colours, matt finishes and natural textures that are intended to chime with the natural landscape.
    Water villas come with their own swimming poolsMany of Studio MK27’s own designs can be found in the furnishings, including woven lighting pendants, neatly crafted shelving units, and cabana and deck chairs co-designed with Norm Architects.
    The villas feature high-tech sliding window systems that allow the interiors to be opened up on three sides at the touch of a button, as well as custom-made blackout blinds.

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    “We escalate the textures and emotions from zero to 100, from soft shadows to overwhelming light,” said Studio MK27.
    “It’s a rhythm with contrast, pauses and transparencies. From slow dolce far niente to exuberant real vitality, it is a place for people to bond with nature and each other, for people to experience the essential with glamour.”
    There are also suites and villas inland and on the beachMany of the buildings are characterised by clever details.
    The spa centres around a shallow pool, with a skylight above offering a play of light and shadow, while the kid’s club is defined by colourful window apertures.
    The spa centres around a calming poolThe bar and restaurant area, known as the village, has its own sense of style.
    Arabesque, a restaurant serving Middle Eastern cuisine, combines patterned terracotta blockwork with copper lights, while the Brasa grill is designed as a Latin American smokehouse.
    The Village is a cluster of bars and restaurantsStudio MK27 has worked on many projects in idyllic locations, such as the beachside Vista House, or Jungle House, which is located in a rainforest.
    The studio spent five years developing designs for Patina Maldives, which officially opened in May 2021.
    Studio MK27 custom designed much of the furnitureThe hotel was longlisted for Dezeen Awards 2022 in the hospitality building category, while the spa is shortlisted in the leisure and wellness interior category.
    It is one of three resorts located on islands within the Fari Islands archipelago, along with the Ritz-Carlton Maldives and the Capella-Maldives.
    The photography is by Fernando Guerra.
    Project credits
    Architecture: Studio MK27Lead architects: Marcio Kogan, Renata FurnalettoInterior designers: Diana Radomysler, Pedro RibeiroProject team: André Sumida, Carlos Costa, Carolina Klocker, Diego Solano, Eduardo Glycerio, Elisa Friedmann, Gabriela Chow, Gustavo Ramos, Giovanni Meirelles, Julia Pinheiro, Lair Reis, Laura Guedes, Luciana Antunes, Renato Rerigo, Regiane Leão, Renata Scheliga, Ricardo Ariza, Marcio Tanaka, Mariana Ruzante, Mariana Simas, Samanta Cafardo, Suzana Glogowski, Tamara Lichtenstein, Thauan MiquelinDeveloper: Pontiac Land GroupLandscape designer: Vladimir Djurovic Landscape ArchitectsLighting design: The Flaming BeaconConstruction: Alhl PvtProject manager: Mace Group

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    Four homes haunted by ghostly apparitions

    To mark Halloween, we have rounded up four homes where ghostly residents have been unwittingly captured by photographers.

    The life of an architectural photographer might seem rather glamorous, but few people realise it sometimes means coming face-to-face with the undead.
    This roundup features four homes where a ghostly figure has been caught on camera by the photographer.
    Read on if you dare:
    Photo is by Jackal LiuNancy’s Big Apartment, Taiwan, by Studio In2

    Interiors specialist StudioIn2 was inspired to mess with dimensions using full-height partition walls and tall furnishings inside this Taipei apartment by the 1989 comedy film Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
    But perhaps horror flick Paranormal Activity would have been more fitting, as the sliding doors are intermittently moved around by an eery, supernatural figure.
    Find out more about Nancy’s Big Apartment ›
    Photo is by Jeremie WarshafskyPape Loft, Canada, by StudioAC
    A ghostly figure was captured haunting the mezzanine of the Pape Loft, which fittingly occupies a renovated church overhauled by Toronto firm StudioAC.
    The studio created the minimalist two-bedroom house by carrying out a “design purge”, though the renovation failed to banish the sepulchral wraith.
    Find out more about Pape Loft ›
    Photo courtesy of VoraVallirana 47, Spain, by Vora
    A figure wearing orange trousers can be seen pacing the corridors of the Barcelona apartments revamped by architecture studio Vora.
    In the apartment, original patterned tile floors were also retained, as part of an interplay between the old and the new.
    Find out more about Vallirana 47 ›
    Photo is by Jochen VerghoteAntwerp apartment attic, Belgium, by Van Staeyen Interieur Architecten
    Van Staeyen Interieur Architecten converted a dark and dusty attic in Antwerp into a living space that features arched portals, curvy furniture and yellow decor accents.
    Despite the playful new interior, the attic appears to be haunted by a ghost child who was captured playing in multiple locations in the renovated loft.
    Find out more about this Antwerp apartment attic ›

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    Schemata Architects creates sports store with fixtures made from discarded marine debris

    Display fixtures made from jerry cans and blocks of polystyrene salvaged from the ocean feature in this concept store for a outdoor brand on Jeju island by Schemata Architects.

    Created for Kolon Sport, an outdoor brand with sustainability at its core, the concept store is located in a commercial building on the island of Jeju. Jeju is South Korea’s largest island and is renowned for its beach resorts and volcanic landscape.
    The Kolon Sport store was designed by Schemata ArchitectsKolon Sport is known for upcycling clothing from its own inventory that would otherwise be thrown away.
    Schemata Architects wanted the interior of its Jeju concept store to align with the brand’s upcycling ethos and looked at ways in which it could incorporate recycled elements.
    It used waste collected from the sea to create display units”We focused on the fact that 20,000 tons of marine debris is incinerated annually on the island of Jeju without any way to reuse it, leading to the destruction of the rich natural environment, and conducted an experiment to produce clothing brand fixtures out of marine debris,” said the studio.

    Stacked into puzzle-like arrangements, the discarded marine debris includes jerry cans and blocks of white polystyrene. Debris was also used to make hangers, shelves, and tables for the store.
    Polystyrene and jerry cans were stacked and piledFor the interior itself, the architects wanted to make minimal interventions. The store’s walls are a patchwork of peeling paint, exposed concrete, bricks and breeze blocks, while lighting is provided by simple strips of tube lights.
    On the outside of the building, signage was limited to a simple logo and the uniform white storefront blends into the neighbouring buildings.

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    “This is an approach to urban development that we call ‘invisible development’,” said the architects. “At first glance, nothing seems to have changed from the outside, but once you get closer and enter the building, you can see how interesting it is. And it makes you wonder if there will be similar changes in the other building beyond.”
    The Kolon Sport space is a continuation of the studio’s wider Arario Project – a community development project on Jeju that has seen the architects renovate several buildings – including a multipurpose store, restaurant, gallery and hotel – as part of the rejuvenation of the island’s Tap-dong district.
    It is located on Jeju island in South Korea”The Kolon Sport project was not limited to the renovation of a single commercial space as an upcycled brand, but aimed to break down the space’s own territory and spread the value of that brand in stages in the town,” explained the architects.
    “The project was planned to protect the nature of Jeju island, to implement initiatives to expand environmental sustainability, and to become a hub of sustainability for the town.”
    Walls of the store feature expose brick and concreteThis project has been shortlisted in the large retail interior category of Dezeen Awards 2022 alongisde a second hand book and clothing store in Shanghai that features display fixtures inspired by grocery stores and a reconfigurable sales showroom in Japan.
    Photography is by Ju Yeon Lee.

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    The Quoin hotel by Method Co opens in historic Delaware bank

    US hospitality firm Method Co has turned a Gilded Age-era bank building into a boutique hotel in Wilmington, Delaware, which boasts the city’s first rooftop bar.

    The Quoin offers 24 guest rooms within a four-storey Victorian Romanesque brownstone that was constructed as the Security Trust and Safe Deposit Company Building.
    The lobby at The Quoin features a mixture of contemporary and Shaker-influenced furnitureCompleted in 1885 by Philadelphia architect Frank Furness, the downtown building features original arched windows and mouldings that were preserved during the renovation, which Method Co’s in-house team undertook in collaboration with Stokes Architecture.
    “Pronounced ‘coin’, the name is derived from the Old French word meaning ‘corner’ or ‘angle’, honouring the legacy of the original building, while also referencing the legacy of the original banking house — connecting the building’s history, location, and architecture through a single thread,” said Method Co.
    The hotel’s main restaurant and bar is located just off the lobbyThe building’s time period influenced the colour palette for the hotel’s interiors, based on paints dating back to 1820.

    Natural motifs were also introduced through hand-drawn illustrations, and various patterned wallpapers found throughout the communal areas and the bedrooms.
    Patterned wallpapers with natural motifs are used throughout the interiorsIn the lobby, an eclectic mix of contemporary and Shaker-influenced furniture forms a cosy lounge area around a black fireplace.
    Three food and beverage spaces have been given distinct identities.
    Bedrooms on the top level have extra character thanks to the original arched cove windowsJust off the lobby, The Quoin Restaurant and Bar serves wood-fired fare based on the cuisines of southern France and northern Italy and features wood panelling and banquette seating that create an intimate setting.
    A craft cocktail lounge, named Simmer Down, has an original brick ceiling and a mural painted by Reverend Michael Alan.

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    The bar on the rooftop, billed by Method Co as the city’s first, is designed as a happy hour spot with cushioned rattan seating and offers light bites on the menu.
    Bedrooms are simply decorated, with wallpaper used to create feature walls behind the headboards, as well as wooden furniture and herringbone parquet flooring.
    The rooftop bar is billed as Wilmington’s firstThose on the top level have extra character thanks to the cove-arched windows and walls that curve to follow the roofline.
    Method Co’s other hotel properties include the Roost East Market in Philadelphia and the Whyle in Washington DC, which was longlisted for the 2021 Dezeen Awards. Both were designed with Morris Adjmi Architects.
    The building was constructed in 1885 as Security Trust and Safe Deposit Company BuildingThis is the company’s first venture in Wilmington, the largest city in the small coastal state of Delaware, which is known for its beach houses.
    Examples of these include an oceanfront residence by Robert Gurney and a single-family home built using wood reclaimed from a nearby agricultural structure by DIGSAU
    The photography is by Matthew Williams.

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    White leather curtains enclose Lisbon wellness centre by AB+AC Architects

    Portuguese practice AB+AC Architects has designed a multifunctional wellness centre in Lisbon that doubles up as an artists’ residence.

    The Open Hearts wellness centre is arranged around one large room, which AB+AC Architects refers to as the shala. This Sanskrit term refers to the idea of home but also, in the context of yoga, a place where people can learn and practise together.
    The Open Hearts centre is orientated around a curtained room known as the shalaAs well as yoga classes, this adaptable space will host everything from breathwork classes and sound baths to meditation sessions, film screenings, dining experiences and creative writing workshops.
    Running around the periphery of the shala are floor-to-ceiling curtains crafted from white vegan leather, which can be drawn to keep the room out of view from the bustling street outdoors.
    At the front of the room, a wall of gold-tinted mirrors conceals a series of storage compartments. When an event is being held, the room can also be temporarily dressed with floor cushions and long birchwood tables.

    Behind the shala is the artists’ residence”Normally, when a design is very flexible, there is a risk of ending up with a very generic or sterile space, as if the only way to address adaptability is through non-specific design,” explained AB+AC Architects.
    “We knew that creating a neutral mood that could accommodate a variety of programs would not be stimulating, so we decided that the centre had to be able to evoke different emotions based on the function occurring at that given moment.”
    This includes a dining room and bespoke kitchenA grand limestone archway to the side of the shala grants access to the artists’ residence, which is entered via a narrow lounge area.
    The room is topped with a light-up ceiling that measures eight metres long and, when the artist is hosting an exhibition, washes their work in a complementary glow.

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    Next up is a small dining area and a custom-made kitchen suite featuring wooden cabinetry and a terrazzo-style countertop.
    Surfaces in the adjacent bedroom are painted a crisp shade of white while the corner dedicated to the bathroom – complete with a freestanding tub – is clad in distinctive terracotta tiles.
    The same gold-tinged mirrors from the shala are used here to help disguise the toilet.
    A terracotta-tiled bathroom contrasts with the white walls of the bedroomShould the resident artist want some fresh air, they can head outside to the small private patio.
    Here, a concrete planter that winds around the edge of the space is overspilling with leafy tropical plants, while volcanic stone pebbles are scattered over the floor.
    Foliage lines the private outdoor patio of the artists’ residenceOpen Hearts Lisbon has been shortlisted in the civic and cultural interior category of this year’s Dezeen Awards.
    Other projects in the running include a cow shed-turned-library, a historic cinema in Berlin and the world’s first multi-storey skatepark.
    The photography is by Ricardo Oliveira Alves.

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