Search results for "yabu pushelberg"

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Enter by July 9

Seven forward-thinking designs from the 2017 Best of Products Awards
With the 2018 Best of Products Awards entry deadline just around the corner, we wanted to take a moment to remind you of last year's winners. Here we highlight only a handful of the most riveting and forward-thinking winning products from seven categories in the 2017 Best of Products Awards. With groupings that span from HVAC to residential furniture, outdoor to textiles, and smart home systems to facades, there are many opportunities for great designs to be acknowledged. You'll find more information about the various categories and how to enter on the 2018 Best of Products Awards competition page. Good luck and don't wait too long; the deadline is July 9! OUTDOOR PUBLIC

MANGROVE REEF WALLS KVdR Design with Jessene Aquino-Thomas

Approximately half the world population lives in urban areas near coastlines, with coastal armoring reducing native habitats and enabling invasive species to thrive. Mangrove Reef Walls are integrally cast within seawalls to recreate tidal habitats along urbanized waterfronts. The digitally developed mangrove and oyster geometry maximizes surface area and texture variety promoting adherence, growth, and hiding areas for numerous species. Ultimately, these eco-friendly seawall panels may be tuned for a variety of local species.

HVAC

WHISPERRECESSED LED Panasonic

The WhisperRecessed LED is an 80 CFM exhaust fan that hides abaft an LED Recessed Light and disappears behind the ceiling. It is an attractive way to remove moist, polluted air from the home, and it helps to prevent mold and mildew. The architectural-grade recessed light fixture provides powerful yet quiet ventilation.

OPENINGS

PORTAPIVOT 6530 XL Portapivot

With their discreet joinery, these unique room dividers are designed to be mounted on an already finished floor and under a solid or reinforced ceiling surface, without any preinstalled mounting systems. The minimal aluminum frame is designed to be fitted with 6- or 8-millimeter-thick safety glass and is available in three anodized colors: silver, black, and bronze. The axis can be positioned at one-third or in the center, with a configurable swing capacity of 90, 180, or 360 degrees.

TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION MAKERARM Makerarm A beautifully designed robotic arm that’s infinitely customizable, Makerarm is a factory on a desktop. It offers interchangeable tool heads that easily snap on and off, allowing instant conversion from a 3-D printer to a CNC mill to a laser engraver to a pick-and-place machine, among countless other functions, in a matter of seconds. Makerarm rotates 360 degrees and, at over 700 square inches, its work area is one of the largest of any 3-D printer or fabricator on the consumer market. BATH

FONTANE BIANCHE Salvatori + Fantini

A dialogue between circle and square runs through this entire collection from Fantini, created in collaboration with Italian stone company Salvatori. The washbasin is carved from a square marble block, from which a circular hemisphere is extracted. The Fontane Bianche line also includes faucets, showers, and handles.

FACADES

CORSO Innova Tile

This long-format brick presents a new emphasis on the horizontal lines of fine brick installations with its 19.70-inch unit length. The extended shape, the colors, the variations of textures, and the size and position of mortar joints work together to express the modernity of terra-cotta. The architectural ceramic method of production broadens the range of available colors.

RESIDENTIAL INTERIOR FURNISHINGS

MUSHROOM TABLE Yabu Pushelberg for Henge

Designed as complementary pairs, the Mushroom Tables have an unexpected lightness given their all-metal construction with softened, refined edges and rounded corners. The tables’ differences in height and scale are precisely considered, while the process of sand-casting is reflected in both form and finish, exhibiting a handwrought fluidity. The base of each table is more substantial than its top but is mirrored in its form; slender posts change in profile, from circular to square.

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Building Images

Photography’s power to shape the experience of architecture goes on display at the Parrish Museum
Buildings have been reliable photography subjects since the medium’s invention, and a new exhibition at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, New York, tracks how architectural photography sells a narrative as much as the buildings themselves. Through careful selection by guest curator Therese Lichtenstein, Image Building: How Photography Transforms Architecture examines how architectural photography inherently creates subjective experiences. From now until June 17, 2018, patrons can view 57 images by 17 renowned and lesser-known photographers who shaped a language of architectural photography that’s survived well into the age of Instagram. Organized thematically intro three sections, Cityscapes, Domestic Spaces, and Public Places, Image Building places historical photographs alongside contemporary images to track an evolution in style, technique, and places themselves. Modernism has proven an especially rich vein for these comparisons. Image Building places Julius Shulman’s carefully staged Case Study House photos against images of quotidian features from cookie-cutter, low-income housing. Each series is trying to sell something, whether it be an idealized life of post-war leisure, or commentary on the alienation that mass-produced housing induces. This dichotomy is on display throughout the exhibition, and hammers home the heightened artificiality of architectural photography. Buildings are three-dimensional structures and flattening them hands the narrative over to the photographer. For instance, Hiroshi Sugimoto’s fragile, out-of-focus takes on famously photographed architectural landmarks are a commentary on their now-lessened status in the world, having been sidelined and (literally) overshadowed in the years since their construction. But this series serves another purpose, as it highlights how vital the technical aspects–light, depth of field, the use of color–are to each photograph's meaning. Take Iwan Baan’s delirious photos of Torre de David in Caracas, Venezuela. Devoid of people, but featuring the scattered items they’ve left behind, Baan captures the chaotic energy present in the half-finished Torre de David skyscraper, now overrun with squatters, from the perspective of its inhabitants. Looking at The City and the Storm, Baan’s aerial photo of a Manhattan plunged into darkness following Hurricane Sandy, Baan singles out what he calls the “electricity haves and have-nots,” as viewers are drawn to the centers of finance that serve as islands of light in a darkened city. The Parrish Art Museum, designed by Herzog & de Meuron and shaped like an extruded “M,” built from simple materials and completed in 2012, played an important part in the foundation of Image Building. As Lichtenstein told AN, the Parrish itself was partly the inspiration for the show. The way it was sited, the photographs that Baan took of the building, and the long, uninterrupted views down the museum’s “wings” all stoked questions of how photography proliferates the ideas behind the buildings themselves. As it becomes easier and easier to proliferate images of buildings, looking back to the history of the form may provide an important tool for the professional and amateur architectural photographer alike. On Saturday, April 14 2018 at 5:00 PM, the Parrish Museum will host a dialogue between The Architect's Newspaper's Editor in Chief William Menking and photographer Iwan Baan on the use of photography to instill buildings with feeling and meaning. More information on the talk can be found here.
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What We Saw

Six quick picks from BDNY 2017
The Boutique Design Trade Fair (BNDY) is the hospitality show, bringing together the industry's interior designers, architects, developers, and experts to see the latest furnishings, lighting, fabrics, wall coverings, flooring, carpeting, bath and spa, and accessories.   We spent one day going to and fro between 600 booths and presentations. Check out a few of our favorites below. Hayon x Nani collection Jaime Hayón for Nanimarquina Spanish designer Jaime Hayón designed a collection of rugs based on hand-drawn sketches for Nanimarquina’s 30th Anniversary. The Paul Klee–like rugs feature curious motifs and figures, including animal heads, abstract shapes, and fluid line work. Grid Collection Warp & Weft for Yabu Pushelberg The first four rugs from a new collaboration between Yabu Pushelberg and Warp & Weft were revealed during BDNY (the remaining eight designs will be released throughout 2018). Inspired by the right angles and geometry of urban topography, principals George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg softened and simplified the visual narrative of rigid city streets by deconstructing grid-like patterns and transforming them into one-dimensional planes. Spanish industrial design masterminds Miguel Milá and his son Gonzalo Milà created a a sleek rattan outdoor seating collection, available in natural wood and black. Olivio Armchair iSiMAR This expressive armchair is fashioned from polyester powder-coated galvanized steel, and is offered in 24 colors and 5 metal finishes. Cestita Batería Santa & Cole A new wireless adaption of a light fixture originally designed in 1962 by  Spanish designer Miguel Milá is now available as a small rechargeable, portable table lamp. Cestita is encased in a bent wooden structure with a top handle that envelops an opal-shaped orb. Koord El Torrent Designed as a part of the portable division of the collection, these battery-powered luminaires filter light through a woven rope shade creating a venetian blind lighting effect; available in four sizes, a variety of colors, and suitable for outdoor or indoor use.  
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Best of Products Awards

Meet the winners of our 2017 Best of Products Awards!
After hours of carefully deliberating over hundreds of entries for our largest-ever Products Awards, we are excited to share the winning designs. The 15 diverse categories included everything from hardware and furniture to facades, HVAC, and technology. Our amazing team of judges evaluated entries for innovation, aesthetics, performance, and value, selecting one winner and two honorable mentions for each category (we couldn’t choose just one!). Stay tuned next week to meet our honorable mentions. Both winners and honorable mentions are featured in our September issue—out September 6!
The Best of Products Awards Jury:
James Biber Partner, Biber Architects Olivia Martin Managing Editor, The Architect’s Newspaper William Menking Editor in Chief, The Architect’s Newspaper Patrick Parrish Owner, Patrick Parrish Gallery Tucker Viemeister Founder, Viemeister Industries Pilar Viladas Design writer and editor

THE WINNERS

 
Textiles INFINITE NEUTRAL Wolf-Gordon
Interior Residential Furniture
MUSHROOM TABLE
Outdoor Residential
SKYE
Outdoor Public
HVAC
WHISPERRECESSED LED
Facades
CORSO
Smart Home Systems AIO WALL MIRROR Robern
Structural
PROSEAL LE Icynene
Interior Commercial Furniture 
BUZZIFLOAT Alain Gilles for BuzziSpace
Kitchen
HOUSEHOLD RECYCLING COMPACTOR Krushr
Technology & Innovation 
MAKERARM Makerarm
Openings PORTAPIVOT 6530 XL Portapivot
Finishes & Surfaces ULTRA SPEC® SCUFF-X Benjamin Moore
Lighting
INFRA-STRUCTURE FLOS
Bath FONTANE BIANCHE Salvatori + Fantini
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Yuichiro Hori of Stellar Works Weighs In

Why China is absent from the design conversation
Despite its solid economic growth and sizable population (the largest in the world), China is noticeably absent from many conversations and events surrounding design. As numerous publications have pointed out, there was very little representation of China this past year at Milan Design Week and New York Design Week, among others.  To learn more, The Architect’s Newspaper (AN) managing editor Olivia Martin sat down with Yuichiro Hori of Stellar Works, a Shanghai-based design company, to talk about the current design climate in China. Although Hori is Japanese, he found Shanghai to be the best place to launch Stellar Works, a cross-cultural brand that has worked with designers such as Yabu Pushelberg, Space Copenhagen, Neri& Hu, and David Rockwell. Stellar Works has been praised as one of the few companies truly representing China (and Asia in general) in the design fair circuit. The Architect’s Newspaper: Tell me a bit about starting Stellar Works and how you ended up with a factory in Shanghai and a factory in France. Yuichiro Hori: My background is in furniture design, so I was designing my collection without my own factory and I was supposed to be making everything in Japan. The quality of Japanese manufacturing is very good, but the problem is that the factories aren’t very flexible. The Japanese manufacturing mentality is conservative and people hesitate to take on new challenges. This leads to long lead times and high costs. I had lots of ideas for my new collections, but it was difficult to get them done. When I went to China, I was surprised by the large-scale furniture factories with new machines and highly skilled workers—I was very impressed! I started asking some of the Chinese companies to work with me. Ultimately, I set up my own factory in Shanghai, which is an amazing environment: It is innovative and dynamic and international and I am able to find skilled workers easily. So, I moved to Shanghai for my factory there and also started working with the high-end French manufacturing furniture firm Laval to do the furniture’s hand detailing.   How does that combination of Japanese-Chinese-France work?  It’s very interesting. It’s a unique combination. Everything is different, even the way we work and the way we talk. Every day we have a new surprise—mostly positive surprises. We are learning about each other and learning from China. The French factory is smaller than the Shanghai factory and can only be open for 35 hours a week, whereas the Shanghai factory can be open for double that because the people are very young and very willing to work. Obviously, the two cultures are very different. We like to say that we are made in Shanghai rather than made in China. We enjoy the city here and the nice living environment. Typically, strong design movements come out of very strong economies and Shanghai has a strong economic background. As we get more and more design requests we can support the improvement of local manufacturers and challenge new designers.  Overall, we have noticed a lack of Chinese design at major furniture fairs, even as the Chinese market has grown. Do you agree with that or are we looking in the wrong places? I think China is still more hardware than software. China is the factory of the world; they are producing everything and exporting everything. So the challenge for China is that they are so focused on manufacturing design rather than creating it. I definitely don’t think that is bad, but it makes it more difficult for design development. But, China is booming and growing so sooner or later it is going to happen.
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Towering Above The Rest

Booming Seattle dominates nationwide crane count
The latest “crane index” report from construction industry tracking firm Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) reveals the ongoing construction boom across the American West, as the region's major cities see broad increases in the number of cranes on the ground. RLB’s biannual skyline count has tallied nearly 400 fixed cranes in operation across the U.S. and the Canadian cities of Toronto and Calgary. Toronto topped out the list, overall, with 72 cranes in operation. Seattle fell one spot to second overall, with Los Angeles, and Denver, Colorado—tallying 58, 36, and 35 cranes, respectively— rounding out the top three American cities on the list. Chicago; Portland, Oregon; Calgary; and San Francisco follow closely behind with the list with 34, 32, 29, and 22 cranes each. Seattle’s count has held steady from the last report in October 2016, when the city first captured top ranking. The cities of Calgary, Denver, Los Angeles, and Portland, according to the report, saw increases while crane counts over the period since, with counts for Boston, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Toronto remaining the same. In Seattle, the city’s emerging Denny Triangle neighborhood and regional growth associated with recent upzoning measures aimed at alleviating the regional housing crisis there helped to keep the city’s crane count high. Wolfstreet recently reported that an estimated 67,507 apartment units are in various stages of development in the city. In Los Angeles, meanwhile, a city-led push to add 8,000 hotel rooms to areas surrounding the Los Angeles Convention Center is responsible for many of the gains there, as several projects like the Gensler-designed Metropolis, Fig + Pico, and 1020 Figueroa developments climb out of the ground. High rise developments going up in surrounding downtown areas, as well as the ongoing construction of the new Los Angeles Rams National Football League team stadium by HKS Architects, account for some of the other gains. Overall, the RLB report cites strong growth in residential construction as an overall driver for the general increase in cranes across the region. RLB’s next report is due January 2018.
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Big and Tall

66-story tower proposed for Downtown Los Angeles
Global architecture firm Callison RTKL and Newport Beach, California–based MJS Landscape Architecture have released a rendering of a new 66-story tall mixed-use residential tower proposed for the bustling entertainment district in Downtown Los Angeles. According to documents submitted to the Los Angeles Planning Department, the project would bring 200 condominium units and a 220-room hotel to 925 S. Figueroa, Urbanize.LA reports. The project would also include 94,000 square feet of retail spaces and parking for 617 automobiles. The project is one of a handful of towers Callison RTKL is currently working on in the Downtown L.A. area, including a 57-story tall,  Jenga-shaped tower proposed for a lot adjacent to Pershing Square. That tower features projecting, cantilevered swimming pools and a sky-lobby. Callison RTKL is also working on the three-towered Oceanwide Plaza, also on Figueroa Street. The new, rectangular tower is set to rise out of a large parking and retail podium. That podium will be topped with recreational uses for hotel guests and condominium residents. The rendering released for the project indicates that like many of the historic high-rise towers across downtown, the monolith will be capped by a flat-topped roof. The arrangement used to be inscribed in local fire code as a safety measure to be utilized in the event tall buildings had to be evacuated via helicopter, but the rule was recently overturned. The project at 925 S. Figueroa marks the 19th high-rise tower proposed or under construction along Figueroa Street in Downtown Los Angeles. Architects Gensler recently revealed plans for an eccentric, 52-story tall tower at the southern edge of this new district. Gensler is also responsible for the Metropolis, 1020 South Figueroa, and Fig+Pico projects along Figueroa. Meanwhile, SOM and P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S are behind the Olympia development, while Harley Ellis Devereaux and Hanson LA are deep into construction on the twin Circa towers. The developments—which track along the Blue and Expo light rail lines and surround the L.A. Live, Staples Center, and Los Angeles Convention Center complexes—are sure to continue to grow in their ranks as the city moves toward building 8,000 new hotel rooms near the Convention Center by 2020.
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Hodge Podge Tower

Gensler reveals renderings for 52-story tower in Los Angeles
It’s finally happened—the furious rush of development along Figueroa Street in Downtown Los Angeles stretching from the still-under-construction Wilshire Grand Tower has finally reached Interstate-10. The highway is Downtown L.A.’s informal southern boundary, separating the increasingly tony central city from starkly less affluent neighborhoods located directly to the south. Over the last year, as the Wilshire Grand Tower has gone up and the city’s transit system immediately below has expanded, a large collection of proposals for a new district of high-rise, residential towers has been gradually unveiled beside the L.A. Live and Los Angeles Convention Center complexes. The latest proposal, first reported by Los Angeles Downtown News, marks the 18th new tower proposed for the stretch, with at least 17 other new high-rise housing towers currently awaiting approval or actively under construction. Gensler has a hand in several of the projects, including the Metropolis (four towers), 1020 South Figueroa (three towers), and Fig+Pico (two towers) projects. SOM and P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S are behind the Olympia development (three towers), while CallisonRTKL is working on the Oceanwide Plaza (three towers) development, and Harley Ellis Devereaux and Hanson LA are partway through construction on the twin Circa towers. Gensler’s latest contribution to the district—1660 South Figueroa—will take over an existing car dealership lot and will contain more than 300 residential units, as well as a 250-key hotel and 15,000 square feet of ground-floor office and retail space. Broken down further, the tower is expected to contain 202 market-rate condominiums and 134 apartment units, including 23 condominiums and nine apartments reserved for low-income households. The project also calls for 499 parking stalls dispersed across nine levels of parking, five of which would be located underground. In contrast to many of the other projects mentioned above, most of which are articulated as generic, glass-clad mixed-use towers composed predominantly of vertically-extruded floorplates located atop ornamented retail and parking podia, 1660 South Figueroa is articulated as a hodge-podge of typological tower forms. The tower’s tripartite vertical organization exists as a long and narrow, 19-story housing block at its base that features balconies and large-scale punched openings at its upper reaches. That mass is topped by a pair of 20-story glassy condo towers, one canted slightly off-axis, creating a narrow and tall donut hole at the center of the building. Above that? A six-level mass itself topped by a diminutive, multi-story mid-rise mass. Throughout, the agglomerated mass of towers features grassy accretions, vegetated expanses of building mass punctured by horizontal, punched openings. Details for the project are forthcoming; groundbreaking, construction timeline and budget for the project have not been released.
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Circa 2018

New renderings revealed for twin condo towers in Downtown Los Angeles
The architects and developers behind the new 2-million-square-foot Circa complex have revealed new renderings for their partially-completed project in Downtown Los Angeles’s South Park neighborhood. The project, designed by architects Harley Ellis Devereaux with interiors by Hanson LA, will bring 648 apartments to the neighborhood in a pair of 35-story high rounded, twin towers. Those units—located above a 48,000-square foot, five-story retail and parking podium—will be arranged in one-, two-, and three-bedroom configurations and will range in size from 700 to 3,800 square feet. The towers will be connected by a landscaped pool patio and cabana areas located atop the podium. Additionally, according to the new renderings released by the developer, the towers will also feature streamlined floor-to-ceiling glass curtain wall exteriors. The buildings’ eastern and western facades also contain protruding exterior balconies. A construction camera overlooking the site shows the podium level and towers’ structural components partially completed, with the towers rising out of the ground and nearly reaching their apex. The complex is located along a booming strip of development that includes a collection of at least 15 other new high-rise housing towers that are either undergoing approval or under construction, including Metropolis (four towers), Oceanwide Plaza (three towers), 1020 South Figueroa (three towers), Fig+Pico (two towers), and Olympia (three towers). These towers, funded predominantly by foreign capital and located directly across from the Staples Center, L.A. Live complex, and Los Angeles Convention Center are due to change not only the character of the areas immediately surrounding these venues—many of the proposed projects feature large-scale, electronic signs for advertisements and art—but also the city as a whole by introducing a large collection of luxury and market-rate apartments, condominiums, and hotels. Circa is due to open in early 2018. For more information on the project, see the Circa website.
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Fig + Pico

New hotel towers revealed for L.A.’s booming South Park neighborhood
San Francisco–based Gensler and New York and Toronto-based Yabu Pushelberg have released renderings for the Fig + Pico development, the latest set of towers for Los Angeles’s rapidly transforming South Park neighborhood. New York-based real estate firm Lightstone Group is working on the latest scheme for the city’s entertainment district, which encompass a grouping of towers on a 1.22-acre site directly across from the Los Angeles Convention Center and rising on the same block as the Harley Ellis Devereaux-designed Circa project, which is made up of a pair of elliptical, 38-story residential towers containing 648 units. Urbanize.LA reports that according to an initial study released by the Department of City Planning, the Fig + Pico project would encompass trio of mixed-use hotel projects, with two of those hotels co-located within a 42-story tower containing a combined 820 rooms. The third hotel will be located in a 25-story tower adjacent to the tallest mass and will contain 342 rooms. Preliminary renderings contained within that report show a cluster of rectilinear, glass-clad monoliths sprouting from a mid-rise podium structure. All three towers are supported by slender, super-tall columns and are alternately oriented toward the south and west. The podium structure for the two taller masses has been designed to contain 11,000 square feet of ground floor retail spaces, as well as rooftop pool decks, conference areas, and a 353-stall parking structure while the third tower will contain 2,100 square feet of retail space among other programs. The project represents the latest addition to the city’s projected skyline, which according to proposed and currently-under-construction projects, will be steadily marching southward from the new AC Martin-designed Wilshire Grand tower toward Interstate 10 over the next few years. Just last week, Skidmore Owings & Merrill and P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S revealed designs for a crop of residential high-rise towers. Like many of the adjacent residential and hotel projects, Fig + Pico is expected to have, per the developer’s request, illuminated signage along the retail podium levels for advertising and possibly, digital public art installations, as well. Pending city approval, the project is due to break ground in late 2017 or early 2018 and will be completed by 2022.
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Going for Gold, eh?

Yabu Pushelberg designs a super-Canadian interior for the Canada Olympic House in Rio
Certain things come to mind when conjuring images of Canada: maple leaves and syrup, poutine, Drake running through "The Six," and Mounties—to name a few. Upon first viewing photos of the Toronto-based Yabu Pushelberg's design for the Canada Olympic House (COH)‚ it's apparent what country the house belongs to (without being too kitschy). The mostly red and white structure features sculptural installations and furniture by Canadian artists and designers. "Our aim is to show the world that Canadian design is progressive and sophisticated. The design for Canada Olympic House is bold, smart, fresh and unexpected," remarked Yabu Pushelberg cofounder George Yabu. Cofounder Glenn Pushelberg also said "The Canada Olympic House design is conceptually powerful and aims to represent all things Canadian with respect to excellence." In an impressive feat, the entire project (assembly and installation) had to be completed in less than two weeks, and will have to be broken down in the same amount of time. The quick turnaround inspired much of the design, which uses simple, low cost materials. The entry features a bold, red 8-foot-high hoarding printed with white lettering that welcomes visitors and leads to a lobby that features a bright white vinyl floor printed with Canadian Olympic Team graphics. In the spiral stairway leading to the second floor is a mobile made of suspended red and white canoe paddles designed by Toronto-based artisans Moss & Lam Art Studios that guides visitors up to the celebration lounge. The lounge is furnished with modular furniture from the Canadian Tire Canvas Collection, which is interspersed with custom made tables by Saint-Damase Furniture. A deconstructed Canadian flag made of  strips of painted canvas, also by Moss & Lam Art Studios, is suspended from the ceiling. The Petro Canada Pantry is stocked with snacks and illuminated by three glowing canoes—custom made by a Canadian artist—alongside vintage photos of Canadian Olympic athletes. In the backyard terrace red and white ombre Muskoka chairs evoke a "quintessential" Canadian yard. Finally, the team store is inspired by a modern log cabin and features goods from Hudson's Bay, which also provided textiles for the project, as well as plenty of #TeamCanada merch.
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UUfie Transforms Flagship Store With Icy Cool Glass Block

From Functional to Fashionable: glass blocks used to create a glowing facade in Shanghai.

Located in a high-end fashion district in Shanghai, this storefront was dramatically reclad in a custom glass block assembly by Toronto-based architecture studio UUfie. The facade is part of an adaptive reuse project, converting an old office building into a new flagship store for fashion house Ports 1961. Eiri Ota, the Director and Principal Architect of UUfie, says the design concept evokes the idea of a landform that resembles an iceberg floating freely in the ocean, “During the day, [the facade] mutes the surroundings, while subtly reflecting the sunlight. In the evening, the view is icy and crisp, and the surface illuminates with embedded LED lights integrated into the joints of the masonry.” The iceberg concept is inspired in part by the fashion brand’s celebration of the spirit of travel. The facade is composed of two types of glass blocks, a standard 12” (300mm) square block and a custom mitered block of the same dimensions. The use of corner blocks offers a seamless uninterrupted materiality. From a distance a larger grid emerges, registering the facade control joints and steel frame beyond. The grid acts as an organizing element for the building envelope, controlling the limits of the material while providing a basis for formal adjustments to the massing of the facade. At key moments, the building face pulls and pushes, establishing the main pedestrian entry and billboard displays for passersby. Ota relates these design moves to the building’s context, “the building has a sense of being undulated, expanding and contracting, as if it is shaped by its environment.”
  • Facade Manufacturer J. Gartner & Co. (HK) Ltd.
  • Architects UUfie (Design Architect)
  • Facade Installer J. Gartner & Co. (HK) Ltd.
  • Facade Consultants T/E/S/S atelier d’ingénierie (facade engineer); Inverse (lighting consultant); eightsixthree Ltd (project coordinator); Yabu Pushelberg (design producer)
  • Location Shanghai, China
  • Date of Completion 2015
  • System Glass block on steel frame assembly with integrated LED lighting
  • Products 300mm x 300mm glass block, 300mm x 300mm custom corner glass block
UUfie was able to achieve a three-dimensional “corbeling” look for the glass block by carefully integrating steel plates into the design. As the facade tapers, the blocks rest on a stainless steel plate of the same dimension, which extends to a steel frame. LED lighting, inserted into the masonry joints casts light toward the interior, which is indirectly reflected back to the exterior, establishing a soft glow effect and conveying the depth of the assembly. UUfie’s Toronto-base office worked to refine the detailing of the wall system to ensure that the on-site assembly process would operate as smoothly as possible, which meant condensing the number of connections in the modular assembly down to a set of standard details. This effort doubly helped to establish a rigorously refined aesthetic and efficient construction process, reflecting Ports 1961’s approach to carefully honed craft production. The finishes selected for the facade were a thoughtful addition to the project. The glass block is a satin finish, and the underside of the exposed steel plates is shot blasted to create a soft matte finish. These deliberately “soft” finishes operate contextually to contrast with Shanghai’s electric chaos. Ota attributes the success of the project to the facade’s materiality and formal massing: “The differing geometries and changing perspectives of the facade express the transformative nature of the city and the people of Shanghai.”