Architecture/Design | Monocle

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Law of attraction


Sombre, elegant and transparent, this is everything a courthouse should be. The winning design is by 3XN, Lemming & Eriksson Engineers and landscape designers Schønherr Landskab. The building is an extension to the existing neo-classical courthouse in Copenhagen and is due to be completed in 2012.

Family planning

Slovenia [housing]

The Sotocje social housing complex in Kranj, 15km from Ljubljana, occupies land that formerly housed a rubber factory. Designed by Bevk Perovic and intended for young families, perforated aluminium envelops the three buildings, mirroring the wooden construction common to the ­medieval village. Balconies with exterior curtains give a playful sense of theatre.

Start of planning: late 2006
Start of construction: January 2008
Completion: September 2009
Total floor space: 10,000 sq m above ground, 5,000 sq m garage below ground
Total site space: 6,000 sq m
Number of units: 142
Layout: mainly one to three bedroom apartments

Pot luck

Made in: France

Poterie Renault

Glazed stone cookware from Poterie Renault has been a fixture in French homes for over 160 years. Run by a fifth-generation of Renaults, brothers Hubert and Gilles, the small factory is based near Orléans, once one of France’s major pottery hubs. Now it is the only remaining company in the area making this traditional stoneware. “Some shapes we produce are the same as they were in the 19th century,” says Hubert. However, the clay mixture has been altered to be dishwasher and microwave-proof and the enamels adapted to conform to international standards. Today, Poterie Renault exports 30 per cent of its products.

Key craft elements:

01 The local clay used is found in abundance in the area. The enamels brought in are hand-mixed in the factory.
02 Some pieces in the Poterie Renault line are still hand- thrown, such as the handle of this classic pitcher.

Q & A: Takeo Okuma

Director, CLASKA/DO


Fans of design hotel Claska can now visit its first standalone CLASKA/DO store, which has recently opened its doors in Shibuya, Tokyo.

What is the store concept?
It’s a stage for mixing the new with the traditional in terms of contemporary Japanese design.

Which products do you expect will be popular in 2010?
Woven silk Yuki Tsumugi scarves, white unpainted Daruma dolls and our Claska black leather bag, designed by Rare Gem.

What next?
We would like to open five to eight stores around Japan over the next three to five years.

CLASKA/DO, Shibuya Parco Part 1, B1F, 15-1 Udagawa-cho

Shacked up

Australia [to let]

Inspired by the “traditional and unpretentious” beach shacks of the 1940s and 1950s, these holiday homes available for rent have been designed by Shane Thompson, a partner at BVN Architecture. Nestled in Point Lookout, a small town on Stradbroke Island off the coast of Brisbane, the simple design features a façade made of hardwearing terracotta tiles and expansive shutters crafted from kwila to keep everything cool without compromising on the views. This is a laidback, cosy design that is perfectly tuned into island life. BVN was set up in 1926 and employs 310 people across four offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra

Touched wood

Canada [furniture]

Inspired by German firm e15 and the landscapes of its native Quebec, Hh is a new brand offering hand-finished furniture from upcoming designer Louis-Philippe Pratte. Made from locally sourced red maple and fir, the utilitarian pieces are branded with À Hauteur d’homme’s weighty typographic logo.

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