The past two weeks have been bleak for the design blogosphere. (To put it mildly; I'm talking sad and boring.) But, never fear, MAINPrjkt is here to weed through the mundane to find the gems, and here they are. This week's PRJKTDump features some surprisingly architecture (with a couple of partial failures), maps, branding, objects, and a couple of awesome images (including your moment of zen). I'm resisting putting a Zaha project on here, as well as some more super hero based projects, which I apparently have obsessions with. Enjoy:
ISSHO Architects: Yufutoku Restaurant
The first of two restaurants on today's exhibit, this one is a noodle shop located in Tokyo. The outside is awesome: the facade is a rippling surface made of Machiya-style-inspired louvres, cut at varying widths according to the overall form. Not particularly difficult to understand, but certainly nice to look at. The inside, however, is an epic, boring failure, so I've not put any interior shots here. (See more on Comptemporist.)
Innarch: Don Café House
Inversely, here is a nice bit of interior restaurant architecture in Pristina, Kosovo. Mostly, relying on the two side walls, which are also series of sections cut to make a total form, the interior is actually well composed, I think. The forms aren't particularly gimmicky or too much of a crutch; the lighting, bar and furniture is all very well chosen. And truly, the subtlety and restraint of the wall installations is really nice, unlike many other instances of this method of form-construction that get out of hand and garish. Interior: win, for the most part, I think. For more pics see Contemporist, again.
OODA: Pristina Mosque proposal
Moving on to epic, awesome architecture, check out this other project for Pristina, Kosovo. As you all may have been aware, the Muslim community in Pristina has been holding a competition for the design of their new mosque. Many arch blogs have been logging all the entries, and I've been resisting the urge to do a roundup of my favorites. (I'll probably end up giving in.) BUT, here's one that the historically-minded side of me really really likes. The proposal comes from OODA, a formally-minded firm with some really interesting projects in their portfolio. The central mosque area is set up on what can only be called a plinth, far back from the street, under a huge Jean-Nouvel-meets-HdM-esque dome that since askance on a hidden base. The interior is interesting, hiding the women's prayer gallery behind the large mesh that may or may not be load bearing. Nearing the street, the plinth dissolves into a series of interconnected voids housing small courtyards, gardens, and classrooms for the community/mosque, all covered with gardens for a very Spanish mosque typology. Awesome. Check out more info and photos on Design Boom and +Mood.
Atelier Z+: Restaurant by Yuangxiang lake
Here's another piece of really awesome architecture to reinvigorate any designer: a restaurant that looks as if it has washed up from a lake like driftwood. The building is a set of five concrete blocks, each framing particular views of the lake, lakeshore, and sky (as opposed to boring, ubiquitous panoramic views—smart). A section reveals that each tilting, precarious-seeming block has a stepped interior, providing plenty of space for seating and walking like a normal person while preserving the tilted volume. Totally confusing, and I love it. Stitched together with overlapping circulation, the interior of each block forms a kind of hidden topography with these five bizarre blocks. It's really an excellent, inspired project, and I love it. Check out more info and photos on ArchDaily.
Jacques Garcia: NoMad Hotel
Usually I don't fall for pretty pictures of immaculate interiors, and initially—I admit—I almost overlooked this one. French designer Jacques Garcia was hired to revamp the interior of 1903 Beaux Arts building into a gorgeously rebranded hotel in Manhattan, called NoMad. The guest rooms were inspired by 17th & 18th century design, rehashed in 21st century language, with curated art and photo collections for each room. (This being a crucial part of why I love this project so much.) The NoMad also features a two storey library and 24 foot mahogany bar (featuring a special, one of a kind beer from the brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewing Co.). Gorgeous period-inspired textiles pad the entry way, populated with a staff garbed in custom designed uniforms by menswear design collective Bespoken. Altogether it's a branding design WIN. Check out more photos on Design Milk.
Luca Fontana: Osso branding
And moving on to more branding design: super skilled, Milanese graphic designer Luca Fontana has produced the ad and product line for a new butcher in Milan, to awesome affect. There's nothing particularly difficult to understand about this project, it's just beautiful graphic work, and should be shared. Everything from bags, menus, boxes, cards, and posters has been designed with a massive technical skill and graphic taste. Cheers to Osso, for supporting good design and understanding its power over customers and the market.
More images on Design Taxi.
Marcus Kirby: New York maps
Marcus Kirby, of The Future Mapping Company, has produced a new map series of New York. Famous, evidently, for his maps of London, Kirby's goal is to embrace those visual qualities that make good graphic design amazing and apply them to maps, producing map-artwork that will survive the shift toward a digital urban topography that is otherwise making physical maps useless. (In other words, he's trying to survive Siri's domination of his territory.) And he's pretty successful, if I do say so. The maps are really pretty, with awesome colors, and provide a series of relevant information like bike lanes and their directions, parks, gardens, water, etc. Really fun. Check out more photos and info on Cool Hunting, and order some for yourself @ $57 each on his website.
Mathieu Lehanneur: Cloudy
So the writeups for this are all designer bullshit about organic forms and paradoxes, etc. In short, it's a really well crafted, pretty light fixture made out of glass blown into formally complex steel moulds, then finished with gradient opacity to create a spotty, hazily articulated atmosphere indoors—somewhat like the affect of a lightly cloudy day. It's a nice object; I covet it; it reminds me of the atomic bomb-inspired 'Mushroom Lamp' from h220430, featured in our first ever PRJKTDump. Check out more photos on Contemporist.
Antonin Fourneau: Water Light Graffiti
French Artist Antonin Fourneau has created a truly stunning, inspiring, uplifting installation that will take your breath and put a smile on your face. Thousands of LEDs form a massive matrix that lights up wherever water makes contact, and then dim as the water goes away. So you can use buckets, sponges, and spray bottles to write or draw any bit of hyper temporary art you want, and it's amazing. Check out this video, it's stunnin. (via Core77)
Ed Feingersh: Marilyn, 1955
Marilyn Monroe moved to New York in 1955 to pursue a 'serious career in acting', working at the Actor's Studio, learning the Method, and generally shirking all connections to Hollywood. Ed Feingersh followed her for a week and, supposedly, captured images of Marilyn 'like we've never seen her'. Legit or not, these images aren't the practiced, careful, coaxing images of Marilyn that we're most familiar with. They are just awesome, mostly honest, and certainly visually gorgeous black and whites of the icon in New York that you've probably never seen. Please try to keep from swooning until you've seen them all, over at Vintage Everyday.
Yonhap News, South Korea: photoshop FAIL
And now we've arrived at the MAINPrjkt version of your 'moment of zen': a fabulously photoshopped cover image for a South Korean newspaper, showing President Obama 'shaking hands' with South Korean President Park Guen-hye. Priceless. What's even better, the two actually had an in person meeting, during which they actually shook hands and actual photos were taken. Nevertheless, we have been given a gift from the meme gods with this completely unnecessarily photoshopped cover image.