Oh my Gaudi!

 
 
Spain is a country that is home to a wealth of design talent — currently and historically. As someone who works within the design industry, I had to visit Gaudi’s masterpieces when I found myself in Barcelona this summer. Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to have visited a very special building — Casa Batlló — multiple times. Each visit felt like a new experience as they have been at different points in my life — high school, university, and now adulthood.

For those who are not familiar with Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926), he was a Spanish architect based in Barcelona in the province of Catalonia. His artistry was one of a kind. Gaudi was strongly influenced by his passions: his work (architecture), nature, and religion. Seven of his works have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO: Park Güell, Palau Güell, Casa Milà, Casa Vicens, Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló, and Cripta Güell. All of these are located in Barcelona.
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Planting Trees

For the month of August, when you purchase any wood product, we will plant a tree in your name in northern British Columbia. The province has established itself as a leader in forest management, implementing stringent forest policies, stewardship programs, and scientific research.

Forests cover two-thirds of B.C. – totalling almost 60 million hectares. In recent years, insect pests and diseases have decimated many of these areas. The dead trees become fuel for wildfires, and in the summer of 2017, we experienced the worst wildfire in our history, with over 1.2 million hectares burned. Our reforestation partners are experts in rehabilitating B.C. forests and ensuring they have a sustainable future.

We are currently exploring the many qualities and beauty of wood. Visit us in-store or check out our blog to learn more about how amazing this material really is.

Meeting Peter Cardew


The Meeting Table by Peter Cardew Architects, currently on display in our 50 Water Street showroom.

After designing the head office and five stores for the Vancouver-based athleisure company Reigning Champ (2 in Vancouver, 2 in Toronto, 1 in L.A), Royal Architecture Institute of Canada Gold medal-winning architect, Peter Cardew was asked for design suggestions for the company’s library. For this project, Cardew designed a shelving system, a display system, and a Meeting Table which is currently on display in the window of our 50 Water Street showroom.


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Remembering Aalto

At the invitation of the Finnish design company Artek we recently left Vancouver behind and headed to Helsinki to experience the architecture and history of one of Artek’s founders — Alvar Aalto.

The visit began at the original 1935 Aalto House — the home and office designed by Alvar and his wife Aino. This is a humble and private structure that can easily be missed. Once inside, one can see that the main focal point of the home is its Southern facing side which opens itself up to the sunlight, a key theme in Aalto’s work.
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Japan Handmade 2019

 

On June 6th, we welcomed the return of the Japanese Master Craftsmen, Takahiro Yagi of Kaikado (Metal Tea Caddies), Shuji Nakagawa of Nakagawa Mokkougei (Wooden Vessels), Toru Tsuji of Kanaami-Tsuji (Wire Weaving), and Kenya Imanishi of Kagizen Yoshifusa (Confectionary) to speak about their craft and family legacies.

Ruth Jones Interview

 

It was our privilege to have Ruth Jones, a master textile artist, design an elaborate window installation for our 50 Water St. showroom in conjunction with the Textile Society of America Biennial Symposium held in Vancouver. When you meet Ruth and see the dedication and passion that she has for her work, you gain a new appreciation for the art and craft behind textiles.
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Masters of West Coast Modernism

 
On October 4th, we hosted the West Coast Modern League, to celebrate the creative contributions of Bruno Freschi, Don Vaughan, Paul Merrick, Peter Cardew, Richard Henriquez, and their pivotal roles in the shaping and evolution of the west coast design ethos.
 
This was the second instalment of the Masters of West Coast Modernism, this series aims to reflect on the creative contributions to our built environment of West Coast Modern Masters, and to offer insight into influences of personal and continued significance to their careers, design philosophies, and creative processes.

Japan Handmade

In mid-June of this year, we were honoured to welcome four Master Craftsmen from Kyoto, Japan. Each has honed their craft in very different disciplines. Intimate, hands-on workshops showcasing each craft were offered to lucky participants who gained insight into the intricacies, as well as, the greater principles centred around craft in Japan.
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Embrace Colour

Strolling past our Gastown showrooms you will notice our summer window displays are an homage to our inspiration for this season — the artist David Hockney. With Los Angeles as one of his primary muses, Hockney pulls from the Californian palette of bright yellows, greens, blues and pinks. Evoking lush lawns, summer heat and shimmering swimming pools, his fearless use of colour is refreshing and thrilling.

“…If the water surface is almost still and there is a strong sun, then dancing lines with the colours of the spectrum appear everywhere…”     — David Hockney

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