nhow Berlin is the new brand of the Spanish NH Hotel chain. According to the hotel, nhow is all about being ‘unconventional, life affirmative, constantly in movement, locally rooted while at home anywhere in the world — an idea, in other words, corresponding to lifestyle of the new creative class.’
The hotel opened in November 2010 and placed design, art and music at the heart of what it wanted to achieve. Therefore, in essence the hotel seeks to be the lifestyle hotel of choice among the burgeoning music scene in Berlin. So much so that the hotel even features its very own nhow Music Sound Floor, which is run by Hansa Studios – a place where singers such as U2, REM and David Bowie have recorded!
The architecture is by Sergei Tchoban, and has a striking presence compared to its surroundings. The interior is by the internationally known Karim Rashid, whose signature style is Pop Art – as you can clearly see from the interior! We absolutely love this hotel, it has strong principals and looks to die for, who wouldn’t want to stay at such a top class hotel?
Advertising agency KBP West has recently commissioned Jensen Architects to design its San Francisco head offices. The offices are very vibrant, colourful and quirky to say the least. They incorporate three separated wings, partioned by acoustically sealed folding doors. This allows the areas to be used simultaneously for different tasks without interference, while at the same time if required the doors can be opened to merge into a large meeting space. There are also four meetings rooms, each with different themes, materials and colours. Despite the use of strong themes and colours the whole office seems to compliment each segregated part, thereby creating a unity.
Other cool features include walls coated with chalky substance, allowing for quick and easy notation of ideas in the heat of the moment. It is also a very aesthetically pleasing touch, working well with other components of the design. Lastly, there is also an indoor garden and 16ft dining counter to finish off the space.
[Pictures via Jensen Architects]
They’re Snapshots from the office of Tocquigny, an advertising and measurement agency based in Austin. Tocquigny (toe-kee-nyee, if you feel like saying it out loud) actually started out as a design studio, and moved into running interactive ad campaigns and then reporting the results. Today, they work with some pretty big companies, including IBM, AMD, and Seagate.
Creative Time presents Playing the building, a sound installation in which the infrastructure, the physical plant of the building, is converted into a giant musical instrument. Devices are attached to the building structure — to the metal beams and pillars, the heating pipes, the water pipes — and are used to make these things produce sound. The activations are of three types: wind, vibration, striking. The devices do not produce sound themselves, but they cause the building elements to vibrate, resonate and oscillate so that the building itself becomes a very large musical instrument.
The Israeli cafe chain Aroma Espresso Bar recently opened its second location in New York, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. With vibrant colors, playful wall graphics and designer chairs styled for lingering, the two-level coffeehouse translates the concept for the company’s original New York venue—a long, narrow Soho space with a huge window facade—to a completely different neighborhood vibe. The material template starts with red wall tiles that arch down from the ceiling and extend the brand’s modern-yet-homey ambiance. “We took the colors that are characteristic of Aroma in Israel, and created a more comfortable feel, like a kitchen at home,” said Ilan Waisbrod, president of Studio Gaia, which designed New York restaurants Republic, Cafeteria, and BondSt, and now has a busy international practice. The distinctive rhythmic arches, separated by niches that contain indirect lighting fixtures, are just one of many strong visual statements that give the space its dynamic, theatrical look, while also giving this dowdy stretch of 72nd Street some much-needed pizzazz. The firm has designed a third Manhattan Aroma location, soon to open in the Financial District, where a more muted material palette and earth-toned color scheme seem in keeping with a buttoned-down Wall Street audience.
Benthem Crouwel designed a new visitor and research center for the Heimbach Group in Düren, Germany. The new building of the Research and Visitor Center is an ‘in-house-designed house’. Two new building will be added to two existing buildings and a lightweight roof will be placed over them.
The design concept looks very familiar. The dutch architectural firm also applied this white, lightweight rooftop in their design for the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, currently under development. This museum was also partly renovated and a new open glass structure was added, just like the visitor and research centre of the Heimbach Group. It makes one wonder what Benthem Crouwel Architects will come up with next.