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The UK’s affinity for Mid-century design | Midcentury Magazine

Interview with Tabitha Teuma, Editor of the independent UK-based biannual, Midcentury Magazine which celebrates the best of 20th Century interiors, furniture and architecture.

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Design Trip | Brighton

If you have 24 hours in Brighton and want interiors inspiration with design that doesn’t take itself too seriously then we recommend 5 hotspots. Stylish lighting, geometric prints and fun aplenty!

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Design Trip | Barcelona: Keeping your playful side

This latest design trip was a must from our perspective; Barcelona is such a playful city growing in architectural merit. Check out the 5 must-do experiences when visiting this young and vibrant city.

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Monthly Musing 5 | Toughook

This monthly musing focuses on renovations we’ve made to the front of our home; a breezy midcentury beach bungalow. We also took the opportunity to interview Managing Director of UK company Toughook; Tony Hopkinson.

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Hampshire Festival of Architecture 2014 | A feast of skill (and cladding!)

We popped into the incredibly light and airy Winchester Discovery Centre to go and see the compelling Live, Work, Play Architecture Exhibition which is showcasing a plethora of talented Hampshire-based architects. The exhibition is staged by RIBA Hampshire and demonstrates a healthy mix of how to meet the brief of a dwelling in which to live, work and play in the modern era. With over 100 projects featured it’s a fascinating exposé on the work being produced and created in the South of England… as well as emblazoned proof that cladding of all forms is well and truly ‘in’ with architects!

Winchester Exhib

We happened to park next to one of the developments featured in the exhibition: ‘St Valentines Close’ by T2 Architects. We were struck with how well it suited the surrounding Victorian and Edwardian terraced streets whilst affording contemporary living. More or less exactly as stated in the exhibition: ‘a contemporary reinterpretation of the surrounding vernacular with 21st century materials and construction technology’.

T2 Architects

It’s a mixed-use redevelopment of a former commercial laundry site on the edge of a conservation area providing 14 new houses and 300m2 of office space completed late 2013.

Winch development

Generous front doors open out onto covered entry porches with side storage and low front walls. There is a simple rhythm and repetition of design, elevations and materials throughout the mixed development with pitched slate roofs, projecting entry porches and bay windows.

Winch doorway

The simple palette of grey and wood makes the design seem understated and welcoming whilst providing a stylish urban solution to living centrally in an area which is on the whole heavily conserved.

In fact, Winchester seems to have lots of quirky interesting builds around the place (like the one below which was for sale!). We look forward to going back soon to do a real street tour of Winchester’s urban buildings…

Winch house for sale

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Rome | A lesson in lasting design

Our first design trip of 2014 was to the eternal city of Rome; obviously not just a UNESCO and World Heritage Site but one with some serious contemporary design flair...

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A look back on our first year

2013 has been a busy year for us and thanks to everyone who has contributed to growing our online community!

This year we’ve been busy masterminding a complete modern refurbishment of a terraced 1930s city home in central Bath, a two-story extension to a substantial arts and crafts 1930s home in Dorset and consultation for a spanking new SIPS German-pre fabricated home in Dorset. We’ve also purchased a new ‘project’ for ourselves which is a 1970s bungalow devoid of any architectural merit or real beauty… this will ensure we can put our money where our mouth is and make it both eco and modern! Follow our progress on this blog and on twitter.

In other news we’re thrilled to have been ranked in the top 500 social media influencers in Architecture and the Built environment for 2013. If you don’t already follow @sustmeme then it’s a great whose-who to follow with the top ranked being @archdaily @riba @architizer @dezeen and @greenroofsuk. This year in particular we’ve enjoyed following @ollywainwright @dbrayarchi and @littletinhouse but of course if you don’t already, give us a try @ecomodernstudio.

We’ve also sought out design inspiration to share with you where possible from design trips to Copenhagen, London and Paris. We’ve had some brilliant ‘monthly musing’ contributions from talented international professionals in architecture and design too. These include Channel 4’s Laura Jane Clarke, BBC1s Gabrielle Omar, Elle Designer of the Year Donna Wilson and Berlin-based graffiti artists JanundJS.

So what’s next? In 2014 we will be sharing further international design trip experiences (Rome & Barcelona being top of the list) and of course bringing you some very exciting ‘monthly musings’. Let’s make 2014 the most creative, eco and modern one ever!

Thanks for following and supporting us!

[To avoid confusion these posts have been uploaded from a previous site so may be outdated!].

Monthly Musing 4 | Donna Wilson

Donna creates furnishings, accessories, tableware, odd objects and perhaps most famously; creatures. She has an experimental playful design approach which is refreshing and fun.

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Fishy Friday

Happy Friday! Just a quick blog from us today. We spent some time in the glorious sunshine at Lymington Harbour this morning and thought these  beautiful textures and colours might be nice to share…

Boat

These blues with the sanding patterns in were hypnotising:

Blue boat

Moving forms:

Dry grass

…and a pretty cedar shingle shed, although a great shame that a guttering system hadn’t been installed, as it was tarnished quite badly from rain:

Shingle hut

Enjoy your fish n’ chips Friday everyone!

Paris | Beneath The Surface

We visited Paris not long ago and had a stroll across to Parc de la Villette discovering this building en route. It appears to be a 60s concrete residential building but the shapes are beautiful and as you can see there are several of these curved and tiled walkways within a central courtyard.

Paris

The vibrant and very intricate retro tiling on the inside of the walkway:

Paris - orange

We then went to see the Eileen Gray exhibition at Centre Pompidou. Unfortunately we don’t have photographs of the exhibition but it was fascinating and it is true that ‘this exhibition has been created in the image of the artist that it honours: discreet, modest and overflowing with personal creations’ (Time Out Paris).

Gray was certainly a multi-talented designer who grew as she went from sketches to furniture design, only creating prototypes, and building houses to accommodate her creations! Geometric simplicity from the Corbusier school is evident but she is original through and through. You can catch this exhibition until the 10th May 2013.

Pompidou

We then took the opportunity to browse through the other modern and architectural shows at the Pompidou. So many beautiful colours and designs which we couldn’t possibly capture in just one blog.

Below is a striking model of the UK Pavilion ‘Seed Cathedral’ which was built for the Shanghai Expo in 2010 by the awe-inspiring Heatherwick Studio. The build consisted of 60,000 identical rods of clear acrylic to create the beautiful asthetic, we shouldn’t be surprised though as these were also the people behind the Olympic Cauldron for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Heatherwick

Our last pit stop was at the fascinating new 104 Cultural Quarter for some culture, coffee and croissants. The building was once a slaughterhouse and city morgue and now plays host to a vast communal art space.

Artists of all genres compete for free studio space (dancers, ballet, wood workshops, festivals, leave-a-book-take-a-book library, exhibitions, play areas etc) and it makes for a fascinating Saturday afternoon. Open to all kind of art, this enormous architectural hub creates a space where art meets the public. It is a great place to get acquainted with the city’s contemporary art scene and even the cafe showcases the incredible skillset of those involved. A plywood city of perceived simplicity!

104 Cultural quarter