Over the weekend I stopped into thew new A.P.C. flagship shop, a space that’s nestled between buzzing Melrose Ave. and the sleepy Melrose Place. The area is dotted with high-end boutiques — such as the lavish Alexander McQueen to the iconically pink Paul Smith – but when you walk into the new A.P.C. it feels like you’ve escaped to a warm, summer retreat. What used to be an old antique shop has been transformed into something comfortable, spacious, and well-considered, with a thoughtful mix of architecture and vegetation.
The central plot features a luxuriously planted garden of Californian natives and is framed by a very large window, spanning 59 ft across 3 sides supported by diagonal wooden columns. In every sense it becomes the true heart of the structure. Ceramic brick, commissioned specifically for this project, is used for the floor and acts as a homage to the Hispanic history of Los Angeles, while providing extra light in its reflective nature. It also remains cool to the touch, important to the boutique where air conditioning is kept at a minimum.
The floor also unifies the space, where 3 presentation spaces are created by playing with the differing volumes inherent to the building. Ceilings range from a 20 ft cathedral-like stature to a more humble cottage-like height. As well as the central courtyard, the dual entrance from Melrose Avenue and Melrose Place creates a flow and sense of accessibility to the boutique.
Walking through the space you’re definitely met with a sense of comfort. I went around noon and the light was marvelous, spilling in from the skylights and tall windows. As mentioned above the floor tiles really do reflect the light beautifully, which in turn makes all of the wooden elements radiate a warmth that I’ve never experienced in a retail environment before. I wanted to sit and relax in the shop like it was my home.
The boutique will house the full A.P.C. men’s and women’s collections as well as the recently expanded denim collection, accessories, and collaborations. The Melrose shop will be the crown jewel to an ever-expanding presence in Los Angeles with new shops opening in downtown and Silver Lake in late 2014. Based on this space I’m excited to see how they continue to evolve their spaces.
Last November Nowness asked Moby to curate a playlist which twined music with buildings. The resulting piece was accompanied by some beautiful illustrations by the London-based illustrator Adam Simpson and I feel he really did an excellent job of combining Moby’s musical selections with his architectural choices.
You know those little people who inhabit architectural renderings? Where the hell do they come from? I know one source now, it’s called Skalgubbar and it’s the passion project of Teodor Javanaud Emdén.
I started the project a few years ago and it has taken off fairly recently and my people who are my family and friends have now started to infiltrate the world of architecture. They are featured in a lot of architecture competitions projects (that I have seen 2013) and almost always in at least one shortlisted project.
The variety and range of people are incredible, anything from a person with a bouquet of balloons, an old woman holding giant mushrooms, or a man petting a black cat on the ground.
Two of my favourite things are architecture and illustration so it’s no wonder that I love these illustrated buildings by the Italian illustrator Giordano Poloni. Giordano currently lives and works in Milan where he creates both illustrations and motion-graphics for clients such as WIRED, Random House, Vice Magazine and Smith Journal. These images come from an ongoing series called “Climbing in Love” which Giordano describes as “a personal series about architecture and love stories”.
Sometimes things aren’t always what they seem. This 200 year old stacked stone house in Linescio, Switzerland has been discretely gutted on the inside by Buchner Bründler Architekten, turned into a simplistic dream space, perfectly formed in concrete. My favorite detail is the sleeping space above the fireplace which allows the concrete to gather ambient heat from the fire and keep you warm at night. Brilliant, right?
Making a home truly your’s is a very personal process. In most cases it means arranging your belongings in a certain way or painting rooms a color you love. For home owners Joris Brouwers and Nicky Zwaan it meant taking matters into their own hands; designing, building, and furnishing their house themselves. The final home certainly stands out from the block, as you can see above, and the inside is like a secret getaway you want to explore.
About 45 minutes east of Reykjavik lies the Ion Adventure Hotel, a stunning boutique hotel which rests upon the peaceful terrain of Iceland. I came across the Ion and was immediately struck by it’s incredible design and it’s openness to the surroundings. It also kind of looks like something out of a James Bond film.
I’m not normally a fan of re-imagined movie posters that take a minimalist slant but I must admit that I quite like this series created by the Barcelona-based illustrator and architect Federico Babina. Entitled Archicine, the series takes a number of iconic buildings from cinema and turns them into vintage-looking posters. It’s a series that presents a wonderful overview of architecture on screen and Federico’s style lends a beautiful crisp and clean aesthetic to the buildings of the silver-screen.