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Varian Designs’ Reclaimed Furniture Fuses Old with New

November 2, 2009 Leave a comment

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Varian Designs’ Reclaimed Furniture Fuses Old with New

Old bequeaths new in Varian Designs‘ beautiful reclaimed furniture, which blends found materials and craftsman techniques with a modern aesthetic. Each piece in this sustainably crafted line is finished using all-natural old-world techniques, and extra close attention is paid to the details and joinery. In the Bartizan Desk pictured above, wood and steel are artfully brought together with the addition of a simple box for storage. The overall effect is a modern line of furnishings that celebrates each piece’s unique history, and we were excited to see lead designer Forest Dickey recently debut his latest collection at Dwell on Design.

Modular Passiv-Haus Concept Offers Customizable, Net-Zero Home

October 29, 2009 Leave a comment
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Modular Passiv-Haus Concept Offers Customizable, Net-Zero Home

This prefab concept house, Mini40, comes out of Austria and has a slant towards the increasingly popular Passiv-Haus design method, which promotes a very tight and low-energy design. Hailing from Innsbruck, architect Mario Handle designed this passive home so that it doesn’t require any conventional heating. In fact, in good solar locations, it could be completely off-grid, powered by photovoltaics. The Mini40 was also designed to be constructed with modular parts, and reminds us a little bit of Werner Sobek’s modular homes, although the Mini40 has a slightly warmer aesthetic. And with just as many variations as Sobek’s homes, including the Mini60, Mini80 and Mini120, the concept can be expanded to become a larger-sized home or even multi-family housing.

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Modular Passiv-Haus Concept Offers Customizable, Net-Zero Home

In most locations, the Mini40 would require about €200 per year in heating costs to run a heat exchanger that heats both the air and water. In sunnier locations, a photovoltaic system could take care of all electricity costs, making the Mini40 a net-zero home. The module itself is built from austrian larch, a local wood, which is then insulated with recycled cellulose. The front facade is a fully-glazed wood frame with three levels of glass and then framed with black slabs. Black steel tubing accents the front entrance.

The Mini40 is the core module for this prefab home concept and multiple units can be combined to create larger homes. The Mini80 requires 2 modules and the Mini120 uses 3 modules. Prefabrication is handled by a local wood builder and is delivered in 2-3 parts. Handler hopes to have a couple of these homes built sometime in 2010 and is currently working on a module that would allow the home to be delivered inside a shipping container.

Ancient Church Renovated into Modern Bookstore

October 29, 2009 Leave a comment
Ancient Church Renovated into Modern Bookstore

Ancient Church Renovated into Modern Bookstor

Whether you’re religious or not, this old Dominican church will certainly bring you the enlightenment you’ve been seeking. After months of renovation this magnificent structure originally constructed in 1294 has opened its doors to the public as a “brand new” bookstore in the heart of Maastricht. A superb example of adaptive re-use, the Selexyz Dominicanen infuses rich and historic architecture with plentiful shelves ripe with information.

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Ancient Church Renovated into Modern Bookstore

Dating back to the 13th century, the structure was a Dominican church until Maastricht was invaded by Napoleon in 1794 and the group was forced out of the country. Since that point it has been briefly used as a parish, then a warehouse, then an archive, then a giant parking lot for bicycles (not such a terrible idea) and finally made over into a bookstore.

Led by architecture firm Merkx + Girod, the new installations are highlighted by a towering, three-storey black steel book stack stretching up to the stone vaults. The highest shelves are reachable by lift or by a set of stairs within the sleek, well-made stack. The views provided from the top shelf along the nave of the church are nothing short of uplifting.

At the back of the church customers and visitors can sit and admire the beautifully renovated 14th century ceiling frescoes, or chat over a cup of coffee in the café situated in the former choir. In a bit of humor the bookstore also installed a cross-shaped reading table where anyone can sit and flip through the magazines and newspapers kept in the slats of the table. So far the design has won the Lensvelt de Architect Interior Prize, and in 2008 The Guardian called it the “best bookstore in the world”.

Selexyz Dominicanen belongs to the popular Selexyz chain and maintains a wide selection of books across all subjects, even boasting a sizeable collection of books in English. As more and more churches are being abandoned due to redundancy, maybe this is something for Barnes and Noble to think about…

Rocking Chair Uses Motion to Power Attached OLED Lamp

October 28, 2009 Leave a comment
Rocking Chair Uses Motion to Power Attached OLED Lamp

Rocking Chair Uses Motion to Power Attached OLED Lamp

The serene back-and-forth movement of a rocking chair is nothing if not relaxing. It can also be useful and productive, according to Rochus Jacob. The designer’s Murakami Chair, a winner in designboom’s Green Life competition, uses the kinetic energy produced by rocking to power an attached OLED lamp.

During the day, the Murakami chair stores energy in an on-board battery back. And in the evening, stored energy provides juice for the lamp.

According to Jacob, “I was looking for opportunities to generate energy through activities we naturally do. The final result is a rocking chair that enables the user to experience production and consumption of electricity in a gentle and rewarding way. An abstract process becomes tangible and eventually cultivates natural awareness. Complexity is covered by simplicity.”

In that vein, the chair is reminiscent of other kinetic-energy powered everyday devices that we’ve covered, including the Kyocera OLED phone and the rain-powered umbrella.


 

Domino Table by SIDD

October 28, 2009 Leave a comment
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Domino Table by SIDD

SIDD is a small group of artisans committed to fine wood works and designs. One interesting product created by SIDD is the Domino Table, that was built over 6 weeks by a single craftsman. The Domino table lends new elegance to a classic exercise in physics and play.

All SIDD products are fully custom and made to order. Finally I can say the the product looks very interesting but the price is $1400 ( quite discouraging ).

Glass Bathroom Suites – new Glass suite by Ceramica GSG

October 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Inspired by water, the Wave wash basin design by Italian company ArtCeram is an artful display of fashion and function for the bath. Ideal for small modern spaces, in pairs for the elegant master bathroom or as a single fixture in the powder room, these wash basin designs feature a single 50cm wide strip mounted to the wall, leaving floor space free for a more spacious feel to your bathroom. In one fluid motion, the design incorporates an integrated mirror cabinet, taps and fittings, all contained within this small but striking bathroom essential. Check out this and other amazing basin designs at ArtCeram.

Glass Bathroom Suites – new Glass suite by Ceramica GSG

October 28, 2009 Leave a comment
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Glass Bathroom Suites - new Glass suite by Ceramica GSG

Make the most of your minimalist bathroom design with a glass bathroom suite by Italy’s Ceramica GSG. The nice thing about these glass bathroom suites is they are so versatile – on a white background, a simple silhouette of glass held by white frames is barely there; against a dramatic black backdrop, the collection creates a striking, modern look. But regardless of your bathroom’s style direction, these suites will define the whole design. This coordinating collection of wall-mounted and freestanding sinks, toilets and bidets is complemented with high-polished chrome hardware, for that elegant yet understated sparkle. For more info on this stylish new glass bathrooms, visit Ceramica GSG.

Glass Bathroom Suites - new Glass suite by Ceramica GSG

Glass Bathroom Suites - new Glass suite by Ceramica GSG