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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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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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.

Alex Schweder | Performance Architect

Alex Schweder coined the term “Performance Architecture” in 2007 to encapsulate the understanding of architecture that gives cues for how we are to behave and offers itself as a prop for inhabitants to form and perform their identities. His work along these lines has been exhibited and collected internationally in prestigious institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Britain, Perform 17, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. He is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome and currently lives and works in New York City.

Todd Saunders | For Fogo’s Sake

Well known for his exemplary work on the Fogo Island Inn, Todd Saunders’ firm is led by a strong contemporary design sensibility. The studio believes that architecture must play an important role in creating place through the use of form, materials and texture to help evoke and shape memory and human interaction. The office operates within existing natural, as well as, manmade contexts. Examples range from an award nominated dramatic viewpoint structure set amidst a rich protected landscape to several new-build houses within more traditional suburban settings.

*This video contains mature language and may not be suitable for all viewers.

UBC SALA Modern House Series: Copp House

On October 26th, we hosted the launch of the latest in the SALA Modern House Series, Copp House by Adele Weder with photography by Michael Perlmutter.

In 1950, a young Vancouver architectural apprentice was handed a small house project that his boss was too busy to take on. The apprentice, Ron Thom, took the simple plan and rectangular foundation that had been roughed in, and transformed it into a groundbreaking work of architecture that gained national fame. Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and Richard Neutra, but using local wood and paying careful attention to its verdant oceanside setting, Thom created a landmark for the new architectural movement known as West Coast Modernism. The client, Dr. Harold Copp, was himself a trailblazer, the first head of the physiology department in the University of British Columbia’s new Faculty of Medicine and a research pioneer. Generously illustrated with both vintage and contemporary architectural photography, line drawings, and photographs of the architect and residents, the Copp House is the story of a cultural landmark on the shores of Vancouver.

UBC SALA Modern House Series


 
Merrick House is a documentation of one of the jewels of West Coast Modern architecture, a home that, as a young architect, Merrick built by hand on the steep wooded slopes of West Vancouver, BC in the early 1970s. The photographs by Michael Perlmutter bring out the wonders of the architectural space and materiality, and the text by Tony Robins explores Merrick’s influences, the many spatial moves he employed and the changes made over time with successive renovations.

 
 
 

 
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Mario Bellini | The Essence of Innovation

 

Last month, we had the pleasure of hosting Mario Bellini – iconic Italian Architect and Designer –  who shared his thoughts on his work and inspirations since the 1960’s.  Prior to his talk, we took Mr. Bellini to see the Museum of Anthropology, designed by our local favorite Arthur Erickson.  This mildly Brutalist building seemed to please Mr. Bellini – it’s sensitivity to the environment, and use of materials spoke to some of Bellini’s work which he described at length to us later that evening…

Bellini is a fascinating designer, and someone who has helped mold Modern design since he graduated from Milan Polytechnic with a degree in Architecture in 1959.

He is the winner of 8 Compasso d’Oro awards and the MoMA holds 25 of his designs in their permanent collection. Throughout his career he has moved between the worlds of design, architecture and interior design by applying design principals on a variety of scales.  His many influences are diverse and range from the human body to classical architecture, fashion, and animals.

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House Shumiatcher Book Launch

Last week, we welcomed Leslie Van Duzer of UBC’s SALA and Judah Shumiatcher to our showroom. They discussed significant moments during Architect Shumiatcher’s career, inspirations and how he came to build a very special Vancouver home for his family.

There are still copies of the publication available in-store and for online purchase. Signed copies are available upon request.