Mexico's chocolate museum, Vitsoe's Australian encounter, and a Q&A with Scott Fellows of BassamFellows.
Nestlé initially hired Mexican architect Michel Rojkind to design a small addition – a separate entrance for school children to observe chocolate production – to its factory, 45 minutes outside Mexico City. Instead, Rojkind proposed building Mexico’s first “chocolate museum”.
Much of the project (equal parts design and PR feat) was upgraded, but the firm only had three months to design and construct a 635 sq m space. In the end, says the architect, the project’s tight timeline gave him freedom to improvise.
The resulting structure hovers 2.5m above the ground on concrete columns. Sheathed in red corrugated steel, the building folds, twists and gleams in the sunlight like a spaceship.
Vitsœ, manufacturer of iconic shelving and furniture by German designer Dieter Rams, is boosting its international presence with its first design shop in Sydney, launched in collaboration with Australian ceramic company, Mud Australia. It is due to open next month. Vitsœ is also looking for a partner in Japan. This fresh lounge-like interior at the London flagship was designed by architect Shideh Shaygan.
The Nordic convenience chain Pressbyrån is getting a makeover in a bid to add some personality. Now owned by Norway’s Reitan group, the chain has 325 stores in Sweden alone. BVD and Koncept architects designed the pilot store in Odenplan, Stockholm, and all stores will be remodelled within a year.
In this symphonic hall extension at the Musikhuset in Århus, Denmark, acoustics are fine-tuned with adjustable panelling designed by Kvadrat in collaboration with the Copenhagen-based firm, Art Andersen. Designed by Kjaer & Richter in 1982, its redevelopment is by CF Møller. Monocle got a sneak preview before its opening next month.
Scott Fellows – former creative director of Bally – co-founded BassamFellows with Craig Bassam, an architect and designer, in 2003. Based in New York, they design furniture, fashion and architecture. The furniture range, manufactured by the McGuire Furniture Company, launches in New York at the McGuire showroom on 25 October. Founded in San Francisco in 1948, McGuire produces furniture in rattan, teak, bamboo, oriental hardwoods, rawhide and aluminum.
Tell us about this collection.
McGuire approached us about designing a collection using rattan. We only work with natural materials so we were intrigued and saw it as a challenge to push rattan’s structural boundaries. We wanted the range to be extremely elegant and visually light.
What does the collection include?
The initial launch will include around 20 products – two seating groups, benches, a daybed and tables – with more in the pipeline. The rattan is limited to two finishes to keep the collection pared down and simple; natural and a blackened version.
What other projects are you working on?
We just finished a project for The James Hotel Group – a brand identity and interior design direction for its three new hotels in Hollywood, Miami and New York. They will open in 2009. For our collection we are working on new products including an accessories collection for desktops and baths, which we will launch at the Salone.