Of skyscrapers and sandcastles

A browse through Renzo Piano’s project list proves just how versatile an architect he is. From the Centre Georges Pompidou and the New York Times building, to the Shard in London, the Pritzker Prize-winnign architect continues to draw praise for his timeless architecture.

In an intriguing piece published on the Guardian a few days ago, the Italian architect says that has been making sandcastles for a long time. Building sandcastles reminds me of my childhood. But that’s not to say that you won’t find me building them any longer! I suggest you head over to The Guardian and give it a read because Piano has shared some tips on how to perfect your sandcastle.

Below, is a piece I had written for the Design special of Signé, a luxury lifestyle magazine published in Dubai. Click on the image to read the piece.
Renzo Piano

Creative Coalescence

A mural created by artist Anpu Varkey reflects the underground nature of the premises while drawing a parallel with characteristics like collective intelligence and shared work best epitomised by an ant (Anagram Office © andré j fanthome)
A mural created by artist Anpu Varkey reflects the underground nature of the premises while drawing a parallel with characteristics like collective intelligence and shared work best epitomised by an ant (Anagram Office © andré j fanthome)

Anagram Architects’ new studio promotes collaboration and creativity via symbolic design in an open-plan layout

New Delhi-based Anagram Architects – a spatial design consultancy, is known to deliver innovative, context-specific designs that encourage sustainable lifestyles. Naturally, when it came to its own office, in South Delhi’s creative Hauz Khas pocket, the team didn’t have tolook any further than its own design philosophy for inspiration.

The 12481 sq. ft. office accommodates the firm’s expanded team through the interplay of standout features that include the play of light and an open-plan layout. Pops of lime green add vibrancy amid a light palette of wooden tones and whites. Continue reading “Creative Coalescence”

When two become one: Ribbon Chapel

Intertwined spiral staircases meet to form this simple yet stunning chapel
Intertwined spiral staircases meet to form this simple yet stunning chapel/ Photography: Koji Fujii/ Nacasa & Partners Inc; courtesy the architect

A wedding chapel in Japan borrows its name from a pair of seemingly entwined spiral staircases

Tokyo-based architect Hiroshi Nakamura has designed a wedding chapel located midway on a hill in the garden of the Bella Vista Sakaigahama resort in Onomichi, Hiroshima.

The Ribbon Chapel's seemingly intertwined spiral staircases
The Ribbon Chapel’s seemingly intertwined spiral staircases/ Photography: Koji Fujii/ Nacasa & Partners Inc; courtesy the architect

The 80 sq. m. chapel mirrors the act of marriage both architecturally and metaphorically. Like the twists and turns of life, the self-standing outer and inner staircases undulate before they unite at 15.4 m. to form a single ribbon. They also allow the bride and groom to take their own path and to descend as one, symbolising a traditional wedding ceremony.

Photography: Koji Fujii/ Nacasa & Partners Inc; courtesy the architect

On ascending, sceneries of the ocean, mountains, sky and distant islands successively appear and disappear. At the core of the spiral’s movement is a chapel aisle that stands before a tree, while 80 seats for family and friends look out on to the ocean through the trees. Continue reading “When two become one: Ribbon Chapel”

Portside Resplendence: Ballard Estate

This piece was featured in the November 2014 issue of the Taj City Guide. Ballard Estate-1 Ballard Estate-2 Ballard Estate-3

Impelling Interior Design Trends for 2015

Give objects a cool, new lease of life and do your bit for the environment. Gupta feels that sustainability and the DIY trend will be trending in 2015
Give objects a cool, new lease of life and do your bit for the environment. Shabnam Gupta feels that sustainability and DIY projects will be trending in 2015

A new post is in order to welcome the New Year. If you have plans to give your home, office or personal space completely new look, this blog post might just be of help. I had interviewed Shabnam Gupta of the acclaimed The Orange Lane design studio for India Art n Design, an e-zine that celebrates creativity in all spheres of life, but mostly focussing on interior design and architecture. This story was a part of a bigger Trend Special that had professionals from the design world talk about upcoming trends from their respective fields.

Read on to learn more about some standout trends that took the design world by storm in 2014, and click here to read about the latest trends in design that you can expect to see in the year 2015. Continue reading “Impelling Interior Design Trends for 2015”

Rustic charm: Birdsong Café

Wooden tables, vitrines, old chairs and retro 1970s plastic switches on teak wood bases—subtle but strong design elements
Wooden tables, vitrines, old chairs and retro 1970s plastic switches on teak wood bases—subtle but strong design elements

Samir Raut and Amit Mayekar of Studio Eight Twentythree design Birdsong Café in suburban Mumbai as a contextual response to the surrounding heritage precinct

Starting out by ensuring that the design speaks the same language as its historic neighbours, the material palette has been restricted to concrete and wood – the former, a not-so-modern material and the latter, a centuries-old one. For Samir, these materials with their enigmatic charm fascinate because of their ability to age elegantly, almost as if they are able to tell stories of the space as it ages along with them.

Head over to India Art n Design to read the entire piece, complete with gorgeous imagery of the equally gorgeous cafe.