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

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

Tate Modern Switch House

Bold and beautiful, Switch House, Tate Modern's iconic new wing, is a welcome addition to London's South Bank 

BY DEE IVA

When London’s Tate Modern opened in 2000 on the South Bank of the Thames it was the talk of the town. Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron transformed a derelict power station into the world’s most popular modern art gallery. Its sheer scale and industrial aesthetic was not only a perfect backdrop to the vast collection of contemporary artworks and high-profile exhibitions but also captured the late Nineties minimalist zeitgeist.

Now, 16 years later, Tate Modern has an exciting new extension that is bound to set tongues wagging again. With its twisted, angular shape and horizontal slashes for windows, the 10-storey, pyramid-like Switch House is a bold addition to the original gallery, increasing display space by 60 per cent. Launching on 17 June 2016, its unveiling will be accompanied by a total rehang of the gallery's international collection, including fresh acquisitions. 

ABOVE: The brutal, modernist style of the new Switch House complements the existing Tate Modern
ABOVE RIGHT: Sharp angles and horizontal lines bring a new architectural language to the South Bank
BELOW: Light filters through the lattice skin of bricks; snaking staircases, concrete and pale woods create airy industrial spaces within

Set above the underground tanks once used to store oil for the original power station, Herzog and de Meuron's new baby is the most important cultural building to open in London in almost 20 years. Its size and unusual torqued shape has already divided opinion with descriptions ranging from beautiful to brutalist. Using polished concrete, pale wooden floors, exposed girders and snaking staircases, the Switch House continues Tate Modern's industrial vibe but its most striking feature is the ingenious external perforated lattice of 336,000 bricks which allows light to filter through in the day and seep out at night. Three floors of galleries are accompanied by a restaurant, members' room and rooftop terrace offering panoramic 360-degree views over London. And the old subterranean tanks, each measuring over 30 metres across and seven metres high, have now been revamped as The Tanks to house live performances, interactive art and video installations.

With the Design Museum due to move from Shad Thames to the former Commonwealth Institute in Kensington later this year – closing on 30 June and reopening on 24 November – the capital's art and design scene will soon be graced by two spectacular pieces of publicly accessible architecture that can hold their own on the international stage. It's proof of just how important the arts are to the city and more evidence of London's cutting-edge creativity.
tate.org.uk

BELOW: The tenth-floor viewing platform at Switch House can also be hired for events for up to 150 guests; Switch House really comes alive at night as it glows in the dark 

Tate Modern Switch House launches on 17 June 2016. To mark the opening weekend there will be a host of free events including film, music, tours and workshops from 17-19 June (10am-10pm). For more information visit tate.org.uk; Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1.

Photos: Iwan Baan

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

Serpentine Pavilion 2015: the ultimate Instagram playground

Love it or hate it, this year's Serpentine Pavilion sure knows how to party...

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

Like Marmite or Madonna, this year's Serpentine Gallery Pavilion is a vote splitter. Designed by Spanish architectural duo SelgasCano to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the London gallery's renowned annual pavilion commissions, its cocoon-like maze of psychedelic colour and playful slug-shaped plastic tentacles were bound to divide critics. Gravitas is ditched for a rainbow riot. Sleek sophistication for a trippy pleasuredome that feels low-tech, temporary and like a prototype work in progress (the pair see it as exploratory research for a future building).

As the launch shindig proved though, José Selgas and Lucia Cano's alien abode is quite the party pavilion. Exploring its tactile, translucent tubes, and peering out through its colour-changing plastic panels, broken up by breathtaking 'windows' to the park and sky, is fascinating and fun. And while some have been underwhelmed by its architectural construction of woven strips and scaffolding, and rough-and-ready finish ('like waking up with a hangover in a tent'), it's nothing if not photogenic. Visitors agree this is the ultimate Instagram pavilion, perfect for clicking, sharing and liking.

ABOVE: A café and events hub forms the core of SelgasCano's colourful Serpentine Pavilion, which combines clear and opaque walls 
ABOVE RIGHT: Its double-layered plastic skin wraps over steel arches
BELOW: Visitors enter via various portals and peek out through openings to interact with nature; at night the pavilion resembles a sexy spaceship

Being inside the pavilion is key to understanding its alternative appeal. 'The spatial qualities only unfold when immersed within it,' says SelgasCano. The pair 'sought a way to allow the public to experience architecture through simple elements: structure, light, transparency, shadows, lightness, form, sensitivity, change, surprise, colour and materials.'  These varying effects are created by wrapping a double-layered shell of flourine-based plastic (EFTE) in different hues over an amorphous, polygonal frame, with four tunnels formed from metal arches. Some sections are opaque, others translucent, with stained-glass-esque hues and reflections changing as you wander through, and the odd secret entrance to keep you guessing. 

SelgasCano is no stranger to colour, having designed the vibrant Merida Factory Youth Movement skatepark in Spain and orange creative workspace Second Home in London. This pavilion marks a bold change from recent paler offerings, including last year's rock-like cave by Smiljan Radic, Sou Fujimoto's ethereal white edifice (2013), Herzog & de Meuron and Ai WeiWei's sunken pool pod (2012) and Peter Zumthor's serene black courtyard garden (2011) – the last bright outing was Jean Nouvel's all-red pavilion in 2010. What's more, 2015's party pad really comes alive at night, glowing with good vibes. So throw architectural restraint to the wind and discover an iridescent Instagramable idyll.

The Serpentine Pavilion is open daily, 10am-6pm, until 18 October 2015 at the Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, London W2. Photos by Iwan Baan, NAARO and Jim Stephenson
www.serpentinegalleries.org