Posts tagged with "Rafael de Cardenas":

Prepare to be unsettled by Rafael de Cárdenas’ zigzagging, mirrored maze in downtown New York

Order is upended in AMAZE, a collaborative installation by architecture and design firm Rafael de Cárdenas/Architecture at Large (RDC/AAL) and artist and composer Sahra Motalebi, on view at Cadillac House in downtown New York until June 10th. Presented by Visionaire, the collectible art and fashion publication, the installation presents a topsy-turvy world for visitors to lose themselves inside Cadillac’s SoHo coworking space cum showroom. As the name suggests, AMAZE is a veritable labyrinth. Comprising four spaces, the installation folds into itself and fractures endlessly through layers of mirrors and see-through plexiglass that confuses boundaries and borders. Set in a dark void, visitors can roam in and out of the various rooms, seemingly going everywhere and nowhere at once. Visitors enter through a darkened anteroom where a lone orb of light hangs in the center of a ring of beads, encouraging a circumambulatory passage onto the riot of patterns beyond. Collisions of black and white that take RDC/AAL’s zig-zags and push them full-on into the realm of optical illusion explode in the next room to striking effect. Throughout this second room, a hall of mirrors repeats the space endlessly like a fashion-forward funhouse, with zigzagging reflections that riff on the patterned walls that lead up to it. There is a button placed discreetly next to one of the mirrors, which, when pushed, lights up the glass to reveal itself as two-way mirror, exposing a sort of janitorial closet. But, like everything else in this fractured space, it’s been turned entirely upside down. By unveiling the messy behind-the-scenes of this composed and collected (if bizarre) space, AMAZE only becomes stranger. Of course, beyond reflecting the hall ad infinitum to great visual effect, the mirrors offer ample opportunity for selfies, easy to find on the Cadillac House geotag and a fitting, if amusing, complement to the installation’s constant toying with visibility. The stark black and white patterns are juxtaposed with blocks of inviting colors that lend a certain warmth to this defamiliarized space. Similarly, panes of colored plexiglass muddy the boundaries between rooms and offer new possibilities of visual play. Set in a line across two of the rooms are three built-in tables with vases of flowers on top. Placed in front of plexiglass or mirrors, they further repeat themselves, heightening the totalizing effect of the installation. Not merely visually audacious, shrieks and murmurings recorded by Motalebi punctuate the installation, making viewers feel that they are in a decadent house of horrors. Equal parts pizzazz and paranoia, AMAZE is true sensory overload. AMAZE, Rafael de Cárdenas/Architecture at Large and Sahra Motalebi presented by Visionaire Cadillac House 330 Hudson Street, New York, NY Through June 10th

Rafael de Cárdenas curates a decorative arts installation for Christie’s

Rafael de Cárdenas of Architecture at Large ventured into his first curatorial endeavor with Christie’s for a special installation that premieres the sale of The Collector: English & European Furniture, Fine Art, Ceramics & Silver. From a gilt centaur with an amethyst base to a cameo acid-etched vase to a Louis XVI mahogany desk, de Cárdenas studied individual works in the upcoming sale to design a display of highlights from the auction. Showcased atop bronze-hued plinths, de Cárdenas’ favorite lots are interspersed in a landscape of flowers and palm leaves delicately arranged by Meta Flora. With over 300 lots, the auction encompasses 17th to 19th-century European furniture, sculpture, works of art, silver, ceramics, carpets and more, with starting prices ranging from the thousands to the hundred thousands. AN asked Rafael de Cárdenas about his installation design, his personal knowledge of decorative arts, and what he found fascinating about the sale. The Architect’s Newspaper: How long have you been collecting decorative arts and why did you start? Rafael de Cárdenas: Barring a few purchases at antique shops in France, I wouldn’t say I’m a collector of decorative arts. I collect quite a bit of design pieces but mostly 20th century. Working with Christie’s on this exciting collaboration may change that however. I will be bidding on pieces in the auction! Can you tell us about the installation and what your inspiration was? I don’t think these items need a lot of razzle dazzle; they are quite dazzling on their own. We are simply curating a particularly mannerist selection together on semi-rounded tiered plinths. The plinths isolate each piece, giving them more attention than they might normally have in a traditional living environment. We are working with Meta Flora to weave a monochromatic but lush landscape as an element interacting with the pieces. In your studies of the lots, what did you find most intriguing or surprising? Lot 237, a George Woodall for Thomas Webb glass cameo work, is particularly compelling in its general moodiness. I’ve been drawn to the glass works most, I’d say. Lot 271, a Louis Solon for Mintons glass vessel, is another favorite. Many of the smaller fragile works are so atmospheric almost to the point of no other function. What are your favorite works/artists from the 17th to the 19th century? I would have been unable to answer that a few months ago, but I particularly like the pieces by George Woodall for Thomas Webb Glass in the auction.   The installation is on view in Rockefeller Plaza at Christie’s from April 6-9. Afterward, the auction will follow on the day after, on April 10.  

Here is AN Interior’s first ever list of top 50 interior architects and designers

Welcome to AN Interior's inaugural top 50 interior architect and designer list, featuring emerging and established firms across the U.S. While these architects' and designers' talents certainly go beyond interior work, they are deftly pushing the boundaries of residential, retail, workplace, and hospitality spaces and cleverly reimagining the spaces we inhabit. Ensamble Studio  Boston, Madrid With a distinct focus on the process of making, Ensamble Studio leverages material technologies to produce dramatic spaces and forms. 64North Los Angeles Multidisciplinary studio 64North provides branding, interiors, website, and product design services. Architecture is Fun Chicago
As the name implies, Architecture Is Fun produces playful designs, frequently working with children’s museums; it won AIA Chicago’s 2017 Firm of the Year award. UrbanLab Chicago, Los Angeles
UrbanLab’s highly graphic design sensibility brings together smart solutions and visual identity in projects ranging from small storefronts to urban infrastructures. Design, Bitches Chicago, Los Angeles
The irreverent work of Design, Bitches employs layers of color, light, and material to build engaging interior spaces across Southern California. LADG Los Angeles
LADG produces uncanny forms and clever spaces by leveraging common construction materials.
Toshiko Mori Architect New York
The minimal interiors of Toshiko Mori belie their complexity, framing dramatic landscapes and challenging notions of craft. Young Projects New York
The formally expressive interiors and objects by Bryan Young utilize smooth geometries and refined materials.
Tacklebox’s interiors are filled with “ordinary” materials deployed in unexpected ways, recontextualizing the quotidian.
Michael K Chen Architecture New York
MKCA’s puzzle-like built-ins make the most of tiny living spaces. NADAAA New York, Boston
NADAAA’s work engages with high-tech material investigations and form finding. LOT New York, Athens
The influence of LOT’s Greek office is clear in its mellow, refined interiors and the firm’s furniture line, Objects of Common Interest. MOS Architects New York
The highly intellectual work of MOS plays on contemporary and historical architectural philosophies. Norman Kelley Chicago, New York
A self-described superficial practice, Carrie Norman and Thomas Kelley explore the concepts of play, illusion, and flatness, all within an often tongue-in-cheek understanding of historical precedent. Snarkitecture New York
It should be no surprise that a firm named Snarkitecture produces works that are often outlandish—tempered by clean, white color palettes. INABA Williams New York
Part think tank and part design firm, every INABA Williams project is rooted in an in-depth research process.
Elliott + Associates Architects Oklahoma City
Rand Elliott has been focusing the country’s attention on Oklahoman design for the past 40 years. SPAN Architecture  New York
SPAN creates high-finish spaces full of carefully chosen materials and details. Home Studios  New York
Home Studios produces polished, finely detailed commercial and hospitality interiors filled with fine wood, stone, and metal detailing. Architecture in Formation New York
AiF brings together eclectic styles for a wide range of projects, from large hospitality to urban lofts.
Only If— New York
Only If— fuses smart geometries with clever materials for striking interiors.
Ezequiel Farca + Cristina Grappin Los Angeles, Mexico City, Milan
Ezequiel Farca and Cristina Grappin draw from their collaborations with Mexican artisans and use local materials to create contextual works for high-end clients. Bureau Spectacular Los Angeles
The comic book sensibility of Bureau Spectacular delves beyond the superficial with spaces that encourage the occupants to live a less ordinary life. Barbara Bestor Los Angeles
Between her many residential and commercial projects across L.A. and her book, Bohemian Modern: Living in Silver Lake, Barbara Bestor is an influential force on Southern Californian design.
Johnsen Schmaling Architects Milwaukee
Johnsen Schmaling translates the beauty of the rural upper Midwest into site-specific residential projects.
Morris Adjmi Architects New York
Carefully proportioned spaces and forms—and a sensitivity to history— define Morris Adjmi’s elegant work.
Neil M. Denari Architects Los Angeles
Teaching at UCLA in addition to running his practice, Neil Denari is a perennial thought leader in the space where technology and architectural form meet. WORKac New York
With clever twists on typical programs, WORKac’s interiors are unexpected and playful. archimania Memphis
The progressive Memphis-based firm is taking a leading role in redefining what architecture can be in the Southeast through its numerous projects and help in redeveloping its city’s waterfront.
Shulman + Associates Miami
Shulman + Associates draw on the history, materials, and culture of South Florida to formulate vibrant, innovative commercial and residential interiors. Clive Wilkinson Architects Los Angeles
Focusing on workplace and educational facilities, Clive Wilkinson has helped define the aesthetics of contemporary creative professional and learning spaces.
Rafael de Cárdenas Architecture at Large New York
Native New Yorker Rafael de Cárdenas incorporates ’80s and ’90s glamour and pop culture into his high-profile endeavors.
Studio O+A San Francisco
The workspaces designed by Studio O+A express its clients’ stories and personalities, pushing the envelope of the modern office.
New Affiliates New York
New Affiliates works in “loose forms and rough materials” to create elegant spaces.
Biber Architects New York
James Biber approaches every project with a fresh vision, letting design and function guide the form.
Olson Kundig Seattle
With a dedicated interiors studio, Olson Kundig has redefined the Pacific Northwest architectural typology.
OFFICIAL Dallas
OFFICIAL designs bright interiors with pops of color and custom furnishings. The two-person studio also has its own furniture line.
Aidlin Darling Design San Francisco
Materials are at the forefront of and celebrated in each project by Aidlin Darling Design. Leong Leong  New York
Brothers Christopher and Dominic Leong use broad, decisive formal moves to organize space into crisp, refined interiors. Alexander Gorlin Architects New York
For the past two decades, even when minimalism reigned, Alexander Gorlin has been layering colors and patterns with great success. Craig Steely Architecture San Francisco
Craig Steely celebrates the tropical locales of his projects with interiors that reflect and embrace the native flora.
Aranda\Lasch New York, Tuscon
Truly experimental, Aranda\Lasch explores pattern and fabrications as easily as space and form.
Andre Kikoski Architect New York
Known for creating everything from architectural interiors to furniture and finishes, Andre Kikoski consistently delivers refined designs. SO-IL New York
Airy and ethereal, yet highly programmatic, the formal and material exercises by SO-IL are unmistakable. Peter Marino Architect New York
Leather-clad Peter Marino is the go-to for sumptuous interiors in high-end retail and hospitality around the world. Slade Architecture  New York
Slade’s lighthearted approach brings together form, color, pattern, and material. Charlap Hyman & Herrero  Los Angeles, New York
Bold interior forms with a refined material palette typify the work of RISD graduates Andre Herrero and Adam Charlap Hyman.
BarlisWedlick Architects New York
BarlisWedlick produces super-efficient, passive projects without neglecting aesthetics. Schiller Projects New York
Schiller Projects works through analytic research to design everything from architecture to branding.
Reddymade Design New York
Reddymade’s interiors are influenced by founder Suchi Reddy’s Indian upbringing, with lush colors, patterns, and rich materials.

Architecture abounds at Design Miami 2017

The 14th edition of Design Miami will take place in Miami Beach from December 6-10, 2017, with a series of gallery highlights, auxiliary events, and design curios that will highlight architectural elements and lesser-known pieces from designers both old and new. Highlights include a solo show of furniture designed by Swiss architect Albert Frey for his own Palm Springs home, completed in 1949; a dining table by Chinese architect Ma Yansong of MAD, part of his MAD Martian collection, and an immersive “Isolation Sphere” by French architect Maurice-Claude Vidili from 1971.

New York’s Patrick Parrish Gallery has collaborated with MIT’s Self Assembly Lab to present a series of experimental robotic fabrication displays, including a 3-D calligraphy process that makes objects in a gel suspension. Salon 94 will show a monumental 11.5-foot-tall concrete bench titled Core by London-based designer Philippe Malouin. Clothing brand COS brings their successful Milan bubble installation to Miami this year, this time titled “New Spring Miami.”

The annual Panerai Design Miami/ Visionary Award goes to Mwabwindo School, a collaborative educational project in Zambia by Joseph Mizzi’s 14+ Foundation. The project is designed by Selldorf Architects and will feature original artwork by Rashid Johnson and newly-commissioned furniture by Christ & Gantenbein.

Other talks that are part of Design Miami include  about queer space with Rafael de Cardenas and Aaron Betsky, and “Spatializing Blackness,” with USC architecture dean Milton S.F. Curry, architect Sir David Adjaye, artist/designer Amanda Williams, artist Hank Willis Thomas, and Watts House Project cofounder Edgar Arceneaux.

Rafael de Cárdenas designs vibrant department store interior in St. Petersburg, Russia

Within an historic art nouveau building in St. Petersburg, Russia, Rafael de Cárdenas and his New York–based firm Architecture at Large have designed a vibrant and modern interior for the third floor of the Au Pont Rouge department store. The eight-story, 30,000 square foot building, designed by architects Vladimir Lipskii and Konstantin de Rochefort, was constructed between 1906 and 1907. Early in its extensive history, the building was home to a department store rumored to boast the Romanov family as customers. The design for the third floor does not represent the historic character of the building, said de Cárdenas in an interview with AN. However, a variety of unique colors, textures, and layouts combine to create a distinct shopping experience. The project's overall spatial arrangement differs from the traditional perimeter layout for department stores. In a perimeter layout, stalls are arranged in a track tracing the perimeter of the store. In this retail space, however, stalls and changing areas are located along the linear spine of the floor. Public spaces, circular in shape, also make up the spine and host designer pop-ups, activities, and services areas. de Cárdenas noted that the varying ceiling heights helped to distinguish the open zones that comprise the spine from more intimate ones that flank the spine. These more intimate areas have lower ceiling heights and are separated green glass walls layered with expanded metal mesh. Lighting, in tandem with the colors, also alludes to the contrasting qualities of these spaces. On the window-facing side of the spine, the ceilings feature green, anodized aluminum fins. This detail “[captures] the light in a more interesting way,” said de Cárdenas. On the atrium side of the spine, the ceilings are simpler, flat, green surfaces with recesses for lighting . As the day progresses, the glow from the lights “casts a soft gleam over everything.” The fourth floor of the store, also designed by Rafael de Cárdenas and Architecture at Large, is not yet complete but de Cárdenas did note that the two floors are cohesive.

AN interviews interior design international rising star Rafael de Cárdenas

Rafael de Cárdenas founded Architecture at Large in 2006 and he has steadily taken the world of interiors by storm ever since. With his studio’s residential and commercial projects, he has built a body of work that deftly injects a jolt of born-and-bred New Yorker pop-culture sensibility into a market that is so often more workaday. He was recognized by MAISON&OBJET as Designer of the Year in January 2016. AN sat down with him to discuss the world of interiors past and present.

The Architect’s Newspaper: Moving in scale from your furniture to art galleries, interiors, and even ground-up buildings, do you feel like your work is all one continuous project? Or are there certain aspects in which you take pleasure in each that don’t exist in the other scales of projects?

Rafael de Cárdenas: I always move from small to big; I always think that way. Even in terms of doing ground-up work, I think of how the space feels and what space does to people. It happens to a lesser degree at the scale of doing a building, but I suppose that does other things.

A spatial experience versus an imagistic experience? Do you normally work from the inside, out?

Yes, it’s like an anthill. I’m figuring out, or scripting, how we might operate inside, and then the form emerges from that. Of course there’s always other constraints too.

You have a diverse client list, ranging from Nike to Baccarat to Delfina Delettrez. Do those projects bring the same kind of pleasure, or is it more like flexing different muscles?

I don’t know how this happened; it’s not like I have some desire to be.… Well, I like architecture a lot, but I’m not interested in the discourse of academic architecture.

I vividly remember a well-known architect, who shall not be named, say that “architecture is the history of ideas.” I remember being like, “You’re just saying that because you haven’t convinced anyone to build anything, and the few things you have built suck, and it’s not emblematic of what you say.” I have a problem with heroism—the heroic architect—because I’m not a genius, and I’m not trying to save the world, but I build almost every single project that I design. It’s important that even things that are not built, we’ve been paid for!

It’s the culture of production—you have to make things. What if an artist only had the history of ideas? If you make only one thing, it better be amazing. Like Kafka. You know, Kafka didn’t publish a lot.

So if architecture puts relatively few physical things out there in the world, and those few things need to be prodigious, what would an analogous format be for smaller-scale projects? As in shorter, more self-contained works that are more frequent but still convey a definite atmosphere? Would it be more like poetry?

Kafka was a ghost, and ghosted things are very romantic and beautiful. James Dean is so romantic and beautiful because we didn’t have him for very long. I would say that my approach, because I’m so obsessed with music, is in many respects like making songs—and some of them are not great! Some of them are B-sides. But sometimes I’ll look back at the B-sides five years later, and I’ll think, “That was really cool; let’s revisit that.”

Everyone’s different, and there are people who build on one project forever, and those successful examples are rarely stylistic. Like I.M. Pei for example, you could argue he had a style, but I.M. Pei also did something else with space and form, he just often used similar forms. Or Rem [Koolhaas], for example, I feel like it’s the same project over and over again—and I love it, it just keeps getting better and better. But the reason I don’t work like that—the single project, that is, I do think I’m getting better—is I’m an architect, and I didn’t necessarily set out to be an interior designer. I resist the term a little bit, and the only reason is because I do think that I claim this for architecture, I just happen to do things in a way that I can do them faster, with smaller budgets, and convince people to build them. That happens to be New York interiors, but the vantage point is architecture. I’m very satisfied by what I’ve been able to do, especially since it was never a passion – I didn’t set out to work in this business. I don’t love interiors. I shouldn’t say that… I love space, I love atmosphere, and it’s a combination of a million things, and I arrived here in a very circuitous way. I’ve never worked for an interior designer, so I had no idea how it was done.

So I wouldn’t say poems, because I don’t necessarily look to poetry for inspiration, but I look at music. I look at things that work really fast. Poetry is quiet and works slowly. Music and fashion by nature work on a more compact schedule: They’re fingerprinting the moment right now. When you hear music from a time, it signifies that moment. I think poetry and literature fingerprint a moment less effectively, or at least it’s less specific. It’s more an era than a moment. You can look at a skirt and you can tell almost to the year [when it was made], and music works similarly. I love that; I think that’s cool.

Do you collect any design pieces?

I do. I just sold a ton of stuff recently. I started buying a lot of Memphis stuff, a few things were my family’s from when I grew up, but I sold a lot of the Memphis stuff. I hate the constant thing where people say, “Oh, so you love Memphis.” That’s such a basic thing to say, in the K-Hole [the trend forecasting group] sense.

Because it’s too self-evident?

It’s just a dumb thing to say. For example, Frame did a story a few years ago. It was the color issue, and some publication had called me the King of Color. But everything has a color! Beige is a color! I have a few projects that are multicolored.

But in general your projects are pretty restrained in terms of color palette.

Even black and white, almost everything is black and white. It’s just such a funny thing.

So Memphis is the too easy comparison, but there are other references, like Bruce Goff, Frank Lloyd Wright, I even read some Buckminster Fuller formal tropes… I love Bruce Goff. To be honest I’m actually not so familiar with Buckminster Fuller, except that we had to make a geodesic dome in summer camp—that was the first time I’d ever heard of Buckminster Fuller.

Where would you go out in New York in the 1980s and ’90s?

The first time I went out, I was 13, and I went to the Saint with a friend’s older brother, and it was just like, “Wow.” Then the next time I went out, I was around 15, and I went to this bar in the chapel of Limelight called Shampoo, around 1989 or ’90. That was club-kid at its peak, house music. NASA [Nocturnal Audio Sensory Awakening] opened around ’92, but it was pretty classic house. I remember being like “Wow, I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Have those experiences and those interiors influenced your work today?

Yeah, totally. I want to do that. I want to be that.

What about those environments do you try to integrate into your projects or the way you work?

There are interesting things with form that equate human emotion, and that is a sort of confusion. Confusion can be a very evocative thing: It can be titillating, and form and pattern can do that. That sort of envelopment and immersion is important.

Last question: your favorite Instagram accounts? For any reason—stalking, research, pure time wasting… Well, they’re all time wasting… But I love Matt Connors’ Instagram, @cattmonnors. I love Paloma Powers, partly because she has such a finely honed aesthetic. It is finely honed, and I really like her and I think that within the grand scheme, she is pretty awesome. I like Louis Rambert, he’s a friend who is a window dresser at the Bon Marche in Paris. I really like Stefan Beckman. I love RuPaul—not necessarily her Instagram account, but I think she deserves more, I think she’s kind of a genius.

Rafael de Cárdenas on the facade as an opportunity for identity and seduction

The 2800 sq. ft. flagship store opened ahead of Baccarat's 250 year anniversary.

Architecture at Large, a multi-disciplinary practice working within the architecture, interior, art, and branding fields, recently transformed a blackstone Madison Avenue facade into a flagship store for Baccarat, a French manufacturer of fine crystal renowned for their craftsmanship and innovative designs. The facade draws inspiration from said craftsmanship of the 250-year-old brand. Composed of three-layers of custom frit glass, a large-scale, faceted pattern abstracts the cutting of crystal glass into a super scale pattern.  "One of the most difficult techniques in the cutting of crystal is the diamond cut," says Rafael de Cárdenas, founder of AAL,  "and one of the key attributes that sets Baccarat apart from their competition is the level of intricacy to their cuts." Through various densities of fritting applied to the three layers, ranging in density from 25-75%, a dynamic shifting image is created for passersby and visitors to the building. The Baccarat facade affords limited views of the interior walls, lined with a disorienting blend of dark Macassar ebony wood interspersed with mirrored strips folded into a zig-zagged, corrugated surface. These walls—along with a large centralized chandelier hanging over the entryway—reflect daylight in the space. Cardenas says the sharpness of this feature wall was inspired by the brand itself. “We liked the idea of creating a mystery - of obscuring the interior to create a sense of seduction.” Specific portals utilizing clear glass were framed out on the ground level to establish storefront display zones, and selectively above to reveal the chandelier from the exterior.
  • Facade Manufacturer Pilkington Planar by W&W Glass, LLC
  • Architects Architecture at Large (design architect), Gensler (project architect)
  • Facade Installer W&W Glass
  • Facade Consultants W&W Glass, EBM Engineering (structural engineering)
  • Location New York, NY
  • Date of Completion 2013
  • System point supported structural glass system with custom ceramic fritting
  • Products Pilkington Planar
The retail project was composed of a notably significant project team, pairing two architecture firms with a code consultant, structural engineer, and project manager. The team ultimately influenced the identity of the facade through performative analysis. Fritting pattern densities were adjusted, and ultimately increased during the design process to promote greater heat retention within the interior space, helping to reduce HVAC loads on the building. The existing floor plates of the building were modified to create a large, two-story entrance to the store, resulting in a significantly altered facade opening, infilled with a two-story glass storefront. Through custom frit patterns and layering of material, Cárdenas’ team was able to produce an architectural effect that behaves like crystal itself. “The tradition of having a very holistic identity that has a street presence was definitely honed in Asia,” says Cárdenas, who cites Shiro Kuramata's work with Issey Miyake in the late 1970's as triggering a particularly dynamic retail design culture. "In Asia, all of the brands have their own buildings. Here in New York, on Madison Avenue, the architecture already exists. The facade has no relationship to the interior. With this being said, we were able to create a very strong identity using only glass."