Frette x Dimorestudio

London's Mayfair has just had an injection of modern Italian style at the new Frette store in South Audley Street. The Fizz says molto bene!

BY DEE IVA

Emiliano Salci and Britt Moran of Milanese design studio Dimorestudio have brought the glamour and sophistication of a sleek Italian palazzo to the new Frette store in London’s Mayfair.

Opulent materials such as Marquina marble, emerald green glass and brushed brass create a stylish space to showcase Frette’s new Autumn Winter collections of luxury bed, bath and table linens, and nightwear. We’re particularly loving the beautiful duck egg blue walls, the colour-zoned floors and the elegant illuminated stairwell which features black glazed metal set on opal white glass. If you feel the need to take a pew, classic designs including Gerrit Rietveld's 'Utrecht' armchair and Charlotte Perriand's 'LC7' chair for Cassina are dotted around too. 

ABOVE: Glossy dark blue cabinets with brushed brass handles, full height sliding panels and clever lighting are just some of the luxe details in Frette's new London showroom
BELOW: Black marble and polished concrete is used to great effect. We love the change of colour in the floors to mark out different zones 

ABOVE: Incorporating emerald green and opal white glass, black metal, concrete and steel, the illuminated stairwell is a masterful mix of materials 

To mark the opening of the new Mayfair boutique, Brit designer Ashley Hicks has collaborated with Frette on a new range of embroidered geometric bed linen that will be exclusive to the store and available online in the UK. If you’re in the market for something more bespoke, head down to the lower ground floor where you can add your own touches to any item from Frette’s collections. 

Dimorestudio has pulled out all the design stops here, so much so that we just want to bed down and snuggle up for the night. Zzz...
frette.com  dimorestudio.eu

citizenM Tower of London

citizenM refines the concept of the boutique hotel with its latest bastion of style in Tower Hill, London. Let's groove tonight...

BY DEE IVA

The imminent relocation of the Design Museum from Shad Thames to leafy Kensington has rung alarm bells at the Fizz. For 27 years it was East London's temple of modern design, in stark contrast to its historic dockyard surroundings and the grandeur of the Tower of London. When its doors closed on 30 June we thought that part of London might be crossed off the design trail for good.

Now a new design hotspot has opened a stone's throw from the old Design Museum site. Dutch hotel brand citizenM has taken up residence in Tower Hill, bringing its signature mix of design showroom/chillax zone to East London with the launch of citizenM Tower of London. The hipster vibe of its sister hotel, citizenM Bankside, has travelled well to the other side of the Thames but has been tweaked with a dash of BritPop street style. 

ABOVE: The Living Room mixes iconic British emblems with sleek leather banquettes and dark shelving
ABOVE RIGHT: The neo Brutalist glass and limestone exterior of citizenM Tower Hill
BELOW: Double height windows look out on to some of London's most iconic buildings

ABOVE: Post-punk images of the Queen reflect the wry British sense of humour

The hotel's Brutalist exterior gives no clue as to what lies inside. Echoes of Sex Pistols' designer Jamie Reid are present in graphic illustrations of the Queen which adorn the walls of the communal areas, while cushions bearing Union Jacks, Welsh dragons and the Scottish flag sit proudly in the Living Room. In the post-Brexit climate this could easily be mistaken for nationalist pomp and circumstance, but in the hands of citizenM's Amsterdam-based design team Concrete it's nothing of the kind as these recognisable elements of British design are mixed with vibrant coloured 'Cone' chairs by Verner Panton for Vitra and George Nelson's classic 'Bubble' lamps. Julian Opie's distinctive line artworks featuring his signature flat colours and black outlines will also be familiar to BritPop fans (Opie created the album artwork of 'Blur: The Best Of' in 2000).

BELOW: Verner Panton chairs and George Nelson lights bring a touch of retro-classicism to citizenM; Julian Opie's paintings may not be for sale but you can snap up contemporary pieces from collectionM, a curated collection of accessories, books, and art and design objects; Communal tables, iMacs and printers are available if you need to be in work mode

Foodies are well catered for with coffeeM, where you can down a macchiato and a pastry on your way in or out of the hotel, and canteenM, a round-the-clock open kitchen which serves tasty treats from carrot cakes to curries and a wide selection of cocktails. Lovers of the London skyline should head straight to cloudM, the double-height rooftop bar which offers spectacular views of the Tower of London, The Shard, The Gherkin and the controversial 'Walkie-Talkie'.

BELOW: canteenM serves a wide selection of hot food and cool cocktails around the clock

Thankfully, the 370 bedrooms at citizenM are tranquil sanctuaries, away from the visual razzmatazz of the public areas. Extra large beds, rainshowers and lush toiletries designed by Commes des Garçons, Viktor&Rolf and Helmut Lang are installed in all rooms and mood tablets allow you to control the lighting, blinds and room temperature from under your duvet. Seriously, if this isn't the coolest hotel in old London town we don't know what is. And with a new 216-room sister hotel just launched in Shoreditch, we reckon we'll all be applying for citizenship...
citizenm.com

Serpentine Pavilion 2016

London's 2016 Serpentine Pavilion unzipped! A triumph of materials and form, Bjarke Ingels' intriguing design is accompanied by four startling Summer Houses

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

It wouldn't be summer in London without the annual unveiling of the Serpentine Pavilion, bringing cutting-edge modern architecture to Kensington Gardens beside the Serpentine Gallery. 2016's Serpentine Architecture Programme sees Denmark's Bjarke Ingels take centre stage with a jaw-dropping pavilion inspired by an 'unzipped wall'. Whereas 2015's pavilion by Spain's SelgasCano was all about psychedelic colour, Ingels' creation explores poetic material form.

Design fans can also explore four accompanying Summer Houses by international talents – Asif Khan, Kunlé Adeyemi, Barkow Leibinger and Yona Friedman – as part of an expanded offering for the 16th edition, on show until 9 October 2016. All riff on Queen Caroline's Temple, a classical 1734 summer house by William Kent a skip from the gallery. What's more, each temporary structure showcases an architect who has never built in the UK before.

ABOVE: Serpentine Pavilion 2016 by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)
ABOVE RIGHT: Danish architect Bjarke Ingels in front of his pavilion
BELOW: An 'unzipped wall', Ingels' pavilion is formed from stacked, sculptural fibreglass frames with an inviting chamber within 

SERPENTINE PAVILION
Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)

Transforming a straight line into a three-dimensional space, Copenhagen/New York-based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)'s Serpentine Pavilion takes its cue from an 'unzipped wall'. The cavity within becomes a dramatic space for a daytime cafe, events and the Park Nights cultural programme, while the elegant spire above acts as a cathedral-like beacon. It's simultaneously cubic and curvy, chunky and translucent, geometric and ethereal, or as Ingels puts it: 'A structure that is freeform yet rigorous, modular yet sculptural, both transparent and opaque, both solid box and blob.'

Borrowing its structure from a basic brick wall, it is formed from fibreglass frames rather than clay bricks or stone blocks, with the wall then pulled apart to reveal the cave-like interior. 'This unzipping of the wall turns the line into a surface, transforming the wall into a space,' says Ingels. The effect is part valley, part hillside, setting up seductive repetitions and undulations via waves of component blocks, harnessing graphic light and shade. Inspiring recent projects by BIG include 2 World Trade Center in New York and the Danish National Maritime Museum.
 

SERPENTINE SUMMER HOUSES

Asif Khan
Up-and-coming London architect Asif Khan discovered that the original Queen Caroline's Temple was positioned to catch the sunlight from the nearby Serpentine Lake, as well as the rising sun on the queen's birthday, and aims to recapture that combination in his delicate Serpentine Summer House. A sinuous circle of white timber staves, its circumference has been unpeeled, allowing changing views of the temple. A polished mirrored platform and roof inside amplify the experience. Khan's past work includes the colourful Coca-Cola Beatbox Pavilion at the London Olympics and Littlehampton's contemporary West Beach Cafe.


Kunlé Adeyemi
Kunlé Adeyemi (head of Amsterdam/Lagos practice NLÉ) offers an inverse, rotated replica of Queen Caroline's Temple for his Serpentine Summer House, turning its robust form into a reimagined sculptural installation. Shelter and relaxation is still the name of the game, with rough, prefabricated sandstone building blocks forming a room, doorway and window for visitors to interact with the space and each other. While the sandstone is similar to the temple's materials, the interior surfaces are softer. Adeyemi's combination of carved-out void, homely interior and fragmented furniture blocks offers a deconstructed, playful temple for the 21st century. If you love it check out his prototype Makoko Floating School designed for a Lagos lagoon.


Barkow Leibinger
Barkow Leibinger (Berlin/New York) took inspiration from another, extinct 18th-century pavilion by William Kent, on a man-made hill near the gallery, which rotated and offered 360-degree views of the park. At some point it disappeared, until this 2016 Summer House in-the-round paid homage to the original. Open to its surroundings, it looks like a ribbon, thanks to its undulating structural band of plywood on a steel frame. Loopy but lovely, it's somewhere to see and be seen.


Yona Friedman
A squiggly modular design that can be arranged in different formations, Parisian veteran Yona Friedman's Summer House picks up on his pioneering late 1950s project La Ville Spatiale (Spatial City). A space-chain structure, representing a fragment of a larger grid, it explores mobile architecture using elevated space to save on land footprint (vital for growing cities). It also encourages customisable spaces, allowing residents to define their own modular homes – a future-forward vision by this 93-year-old visionary.

BELOW: The original, classical Queen Caroline's Temple by William Kent, inspiration for all four summer houses

www.serpentinegalleries.org
The Serpentine Pavilion is open daily (free entry), 10am-6pm, until 9 October 2016 at the Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, London W2 (closed 6 July until 1pm 7 July). Event programme Park Nights runs until 23 September 2016. 

Photos by Iwan Baan; Queen Caroline's Temple photo by Garry Knight

Himitsu x Tom Dixon

Himitsu, America's hottest cocktail bar in Atlanta, Georgia, is the talk of the town for a select set of savvy drinkers...

BY DEE IVA

This deeply glamorous watering hole in Atlanta, Georgia, is possibly the hardest bar in the world to get into. Forget the velvet rope, that’s so last century; to gain entry to Himitsu you’ll need a password and have to submit yourself to an iris scan.

Himitsu (Japanese for 'top secret') is the brainchild of Farshid Arshid who opened Umi, Atlanta’s most sought-after sushi restaurant, in 2013. Having created a destination dining spot, Arshid turned his attention to launching a stylish drinking den with high standards and impeccable design credentials.

ABOVE : The main bar in Himitsu
ABOVE RIGHT: Tom Dixon (left) with Farshid Arshid (right)

ABOVE FROM TOP: An angular copper reception desk takes pride of place in the lobby; Red upholstered 'Pivot' chairs in the first-floor lounge
BELOW RIGHT: The pressed cast-iron base of the 'Roll' table features a built-in wheel

Designed by omnipresent Brit talent Tom Dixon and his Design Research Studio, Himitsu is a few cuts above your usual cocktail bar, favouring quality of clientele over quantity. If you pass muster once inside you’ll be surrounded by signature Dixon pieces specifically chosen to offset the raw industrial space. Clusters of glowing ‘Melt’ lights hover over gleaming blue-green leather banquettes and plush copper-legged ‘Scoop’ and 'Pivot' chairs. You can set your glass down on Dixon's mirrored 'Flash' tables or his marble-topped ‘Roll’ tables complete with cast-iron bases bearing the Tom Dixon imprint and wheel detail. The sleek bar is covered in Dixon’s trademark copper, which also extends to the faceted tea light holders dotted around the lounge. American artist Todd Murphy’s eerie ‘King of Birds’ painting (below) is a key focal point, its rich colours and textures inspiring Himitsu’s overall mood.

New York’s finest mixologist Shingo Gokan has been summoned to devise an intriguing list of Ginza-style craft cocktails using Asian ingredients such as Thai basil and yuzu and if you’re feeling peckish Fuyuhiko Ito from Umi is on hand to provide tasty Japanese snacks and sushi.

So, if you’re looking for high style in the Deep South, try your hand at Himitsu. You may have to jump through hoops to get in but we know you’ve got what it takes to make the grade…
puraibeto.com/himitsu

To China With Love

Showstopping UK design company Stufish Entertainment Architects is strutting its stuff in central China. East greets west...

BY DEE IVA

If you’re going to stage a theatrical, dramatic and spectacular show these days you’ll need a theatrical, dramatic and spectacular building. This was obviously the thinking behind the newly opened Han Show Theatre in Wuhan, China. Purpose-built to house The Han Show, a visually stunning extravaganza of acrobatics, dance, music and light by Franco Dragone, this futuristic theatre brings New World technology to the heart of a rapidly changing Old World.

It’s the handiwork of UK-based Stufish Entertainment Architects, which has made its name by creating eye-catching environments, sets and theatres for Lady Gaga, Pink Floyd, the Beijing Olympics and the UK Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Perched on the edge of Donghu Lake, the theatre resembles a giant Chinese paper lantern, bathing the western end of Wuhan’s Central Cultural District in a seductive red glow each evening. Thousands of suspended red aluminium discs form the skin of the building, each lit by a circular array of LEDs. Once inside, there’s a cavernous 2,000-seat auditorium with moveable seating, a 10-metre-deep performance pool and three larger than life moveable LED screens that make sure no detail of the show is missed.

ABOVE: The Han Show Theatre lights up the sky at night
BELOW: Slender support columns resemble the fringing on Chinese lanterns; Seating in the auditorium slides back to reveal a 10-metre-deep pool. Enormous LED screens hover behind the performers on stage.

 

Stufish has been busy on the other side of town too. To the east, overlooking Shahu Lake, another lyrical building sits waiting expectantly for cinema buffs to wander into the world’s first indoor movie theme park. Showcasing interactive performances, 4D and 5D cinema screens, and film-themed rides, the Wanda Movie Park is a state-of-the-art entertainment complex, spread over 80,000 square metres. The sinuous outline of this beautiful building is inspired by the 2,000-year-old Bianzhong Bells on display in the Hubei Provincial Museum. Each section is covered in self-cleaning golden aluminium panels echoing the grandeur of the Bianzhong in their heyday. Once again, LED lighting is wrapped around the exterior to provide a hypnotic display at night, while the glittering inner sanctum is a dazzling 21st-century Metropolis of light awash with animated LEDs across three floors. Both projects were commissioned by Beijing-based developers Dalian Wanda Group, aimed at creating waterway connections between Wuhan's six lakes.

BELOW: Glow in the dark... the amorphous Wanda Movie Park gives good silhouette; The future's so bright, Fritz Lang should be happy

 
Movie Theme Park_Stufish-3896.jpg

If these landmark additions to the Eastern skyline are anything to go by, we'll be booking our ticket on the E&O pronto...
stufish.com