Design/Architecture - Issue 39 - Magazine | Monocle

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Crate idea


Cassina is adding to its “I Maestri” portfolio of reissued designs from the 20th century with four revived pieces by Le Corbusier. You wouldn’t immediately recognise them as Le Corbusier designs – there’s no tubular steel and they aren’t so strictly rationalist.

The writing desk, stools, table and coat rack are made from solid oak and are based on pieces made by Le Corbusier for his architectural projects during the 1950s. Beautiful examples of his later, more organic approach to design, the stools are inspired by wooden whisky crates and the desk is a reimagining of a design for the children’s bedrooms at the Unité d’Habitation in Marseille.

Hot seat

Rock on


Montréal-based designer Olivier Desrochers may be colour-blind but he compensates for this by designing beautiful forms such as his Ronron rocking chair. The seat has a low back and elegant, subtle curves. It’s available in walnut (pictured), oak, cherry or teak.

Biting back


Cafeterias often go hand in hand with plastic seating and neon lighting. But Tokyo Zokei University has taken a different approach with a new dining area that breaks with conventions. The 515-seater space by Yasuda Atelier is airy with walls of glass and high white ceilings. Centre stage though are Taiji Fujimori’s furnishings: simple chairs with minimalist metal frames and equally clean-lined tables that complement the flooring. “As it is a cafeteria at an art university, I wanted to create a big canvas for students,” explains Fujimori. “I used laminated bamboo as it’s strong, ecologically friendly, and a material of the future.”

Timely news

Made in: Germany

STOWA watches

Since 1927, STOWA has assembled watches by hand from its base in the Black Forest, a region long known for making clocks. By the 1960s, STOWA watches were being exported to nearly 80 countries. Today, the workshop is owned by the talented independent watchmaker Jörg Schauer, who is keen to preserve the clean looks of the company’s product line, including its Marine model based on German naval observation clocks.

Key craft elements:

  1. Movement with Côtes de Genève decoration.
  2. The hands on the watch dial are made from blued steel.
  3. The strap is available in either hand-stitched leather or finely linked Milanese mesh.

Cool of the jungle

Sri Lanka — HOUSING

In the Maduru Oya Special Forces Camp, amid the thick jungle of a surrounding national park, lies the Holiday Cabana. Designed by local architect Damith Premathilake and built by the Army using wood and a shipping container found in the cantonment, the small house is owned by Lieutenant Colonel Chandimal Peiris and is intended as a lakeside retreat for the officers.

Top of the shops

Melbourne — LIGHTING

Inspired by Japanese spinning tops, Melbourne designer Kate Stokes’ Coco Pendant light is made from hand-turned Victorian Ash and manually spun aluminium, so each piece is unique. The powder-coated shade comes in black or off-white, but Stokes is toying with the idea of adding different colours, sizes and wood to the range.


Batumi Aquarium by Henning Larsen Architects

Danish firm Henning Larsen is building a 2,000 sq m aquarium in Batumi, Georgia, inspired by pebbles on its shoreline. Due to complete in 2015, four self-supporting round concrete buildings will each house a different marine life: Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, the Black and the Red Seas.

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