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Royal Actual by Sam Baron

Designer Sam Baron has created a collection called Royal Actual for Portuguese porcelain manufacturers Vista Alegre.

The range will be launched in at trade show Maison & Object, in Paris.

The following information is from Sam Baron:

Vista Alegre is the jewel of Portuguese industry. Founded in 1824, it cooperated closely during the first years of its life with the Manufacturing Royale of Sèvres. Nevertheless its strongest creative relationship was with the Orient.

In fact it was Portugal which created, in the XVI century, the first movement of cultural globalisation in the history of humanity . Indeed, the fact that the Portuguese were the first Europeans to reach the East (China and Japan) allowed-them to manufacture the first porcelain pieces to Europe. Through the hands of the Portuguese, Europe, who had no previous knowledge of the manufacture of porcelain, rapidly began to send their decorations to China, to be painted on pieces of porcelain or china manufactured in the East.

This created the first flux of a bidirectional, cultural and commercial relationship between two extremes of the world, giving rise to a rich heritage of pieces of art, commonly known as parts of the “Company of Indians”.

Today,whist maintaining its aesthetic and cultural origins, the Vista Alegre has decided to renew its product range through the commission of contemporary designers. Amongst these is the collection “Royal Actual” by Sam Baron, which will be presented for the first time, on a worldwide level at Maison & Object 2009.

We hope that this collection will promote the fusion between classicism and modernity, as well as the co-existence of Oriental and European shapes, thus expressing a new spirit in which Vista Alegre wishes to present itself to the globalised World.



Snap Chair by Karim Rashid

Designer Karim Rashid has created a chair for Belgian furniture brand Feek featuring a two-colour seat of two parts that snap together.

The chair consists of a metal frame, which supports two expanded-polypropylene pieces that form the seat and backrest.

It was launched at Interieur 08 in Kortrijk, Belgium, in October.

Here’s some text from Karim Rashid:

Snap Chair

The chair is 99% recyclable and a perfect example of “Cradle to Cradle” design.

Using only three different parts, metal frame (1x), Expanded Poly Propylene seat half (2x) and plastic stopper (4x), the entire lifecycle of Snap was considered during the design process.

Made out of 100% recyclable EPP (Expanded Polypropylene) the seat contains 95% air and only 5% material making it very lightweight.

You can design your own snap chair by combining 2 colors and can be easy upholstered by customers.



Casa Llorens by Eneseis Arquitectura

Spanish architects Eneseis Arquitectura have completed a family residence in Alicante, Spain.

The house is partly buried and protected from being overlooked on three sides, but opens up on the fourth side to trees and views across the landscape.

It is designed to be accessible for a wheelchair user. The architects aimed to make it sustainable by optimising the amount of natural light and ventilation in each room.

Photographs by Jose Alberto Vicente Mayo.

Below is some more information from the architects:

Casa Llorens (2006-2007)

Half-buried, garden-house, sustainable, accessible, designed by Eneseis Arquitectura.

The site is at Mutxamel (Alicante, Spain) in a housing area close to the town centre, but depends on the car for transport. The building connects the public street with a 40m narrow pass. It is surrounded on every side except the northwest, where it opens to some trees and the mountain view. The building opens towards the mountain view, and closes itself, looking for privacy, against the surrounding buildings.

Our first idea for the project came from a self-protecting instinct; the desire to build a controlled environment, our custom-made world. We modified topography to generate a trench situation, protecting the house from neighbour’s views and controlling the view out; the environment became the sky and the distant northwest landscape.

The soil that was removed from the trench was piled up on the perimeter, eliminating the usual need to take soil elsewhere. Thus, we made the relative elevation 1.5m, digging the natural soil just 0.5m. On this simplified space we adapted the architecture that completes the project. We modified 100% of the soil’s plot, generating a new reality, a synergistic union, a garden-house or house-garden, non-divisible, that chooses and generates its own accessible landscape.

We started with a linear floor distribution that begins turning, bending, raising…looking for the optimum solar place, and passive ventilation, extracting the air from the fresher places of the garden.

The sleeping-room zones remain half-buried, profiting from the temperature regulation of the thermal inertia.

We generated a continuous flow between the garden and the house, between inner and outer space. The house itself is an accessibility vehicle to the garden. When solving the accessibility problem, instead of thinking about the limitations, we preferred to think about creating an environment that could improve the abilities enjoying: resting on the water, swimming, taking sunbaths, traveling along the garden, flowing…

Inside, the spaces are dynamic, custom-fitted for a wheelchair. The movement is reinforced by the continuous white walls that build the house.

CATEGORY - Isolated family house
ARCHITECTS - Eneseis (Daniel Solbes Ponsoda, Jose Luis Durán, Jose Vicente Lillo)
SITE - Mutxamel, partida “La obrera”
CO-ARCHITECTS - Katerina Zeminova Daniel Cano
SURVEYOR - Raquel Barceló
BUILDER - Abelardo Granados
PROMOTERS - Llorenç Solbes y Virginia Mur
COST - 195.000 euros



Triflow tap by Zaha Hadid

Architect Zaha Hadid has designed a tap for British manufacturer Triflow.

Filtered water is channeled through a separate waterway, controlled with a touch-sensitive button.

“Our starting point was a series of formal studies on the conceptual terms of ‘fluidity’ and ‘seamlessness’ as we wanted to generate the fluid geometries of water in motion,” says Hadid.

“By applying advanced 3D software to our experiments into the viscosity of liquids, we were able to explore complex forms and their productivity for domestic environments,” she continues. “A major benefit of this design language is that you can create something that not only appears continuous, but also blends seamlessly with the ergonomic needs of a tap.”

Here’s some more information from Zaha Hadid Architects:

The Tap of the Future
Designed by Zaha Hadid for Triflow

Leading independent brassware designer, Triflow, has commissioned pre-eminent architect, Zaha Hadid, to design the tap of the future. Recognised for its world-first three-way tap, the Triflow brand is produced by one of a handful of existing British manufacturers. The collaboration with Zaha Hadid marks the company’s return to its founding principles: innovation and technological excellence.

Inspired by the movement of water, the designs are a formal expression of the continuous flow of liquid – merging tap spout, body and handle in a seamless trajectory of curvilinear geometries.

Featuring Triflow’s exclusive, patented three-way technology, the filtered drinking water is delivered through a dedicated waterway thereby isolating it from the hot and cold water streams - controlled by the tap’s discreet handle. Whilst a touch-sensitive electronic button activates the filtered water.

Concealed behind the fluid Zaha Hadid design is a highly sophisticated manufacturing process that is unique to the UK and has never before been used in the creation of a tap. The result is a tap that is as much a bespoke work of art as it is a kitchen or bathroom appliance.


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