Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Balmain opens first London store

French fashion brand Balmain has inaugurated its first flagship store in London. Located on South Audley Street, the store was designed by architect Joseph Dirand, who had also overseen the refurbishment of the Paris flagship in 2009. 

Set amongst architectural examples of the Queen Anne Revival style typical of Mayfair, the new 220-square-meter boutique features a sober stone exterior, with both the large front window and glass entry framed in black lacquer and gold leaf. Inside, the floor reveals geometric designs made from beige thalas and grey hainaut stone, furniture inspired by Pierre Balmain’s favourite mid-century French designers André Arbus and Jean Royère, and antique brass and polished stainless steel fixtures similar to the ones that Dirand designed for the Paris flagship.

Photographs courtesy of Balmain

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Versace Spring/Summer 2015 menswear campaign

Fashion brand Versace has unveiled the campaign to promote its Spring/Summer 2015 menswear collection. Photographed in New York by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott and styled by David Bradshaw under direction of Giovanni Bianco, the advertising campaign features models Filip Hrivnak, Alessio Pozzi and Miroslav Chech. 

Photographs courtesy of Versace

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie launches inaugural men’s footwear collection

Canadian travel and accessories brand WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie has today launched its inaugural men’s footwear collection.

Guided by the intention “to engineer footwear that provides a perfect blend of form, function and value”, the brand’s co-founders Byron and Dexter Peart are starting the new line with an offering of two styles for Spring/Summer 2015: the Montoro (a classic derby updated with a bias cut and gold and silver finishes) and the Lennon (an oxford-style sneaker with a contemporary shape). New models, including sandals, are expected to become available later in the year.

Photographs courtesy of WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie

Zaha Hadid unveils first building in Brazil

Zaha Hadid Architects have made public the first images of their inaugural project in Brazil, an 11-storey apartment building on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.

Named Casa Atlântica (after its location on the waterfront Avenida Atlântica), the residential block will feature a skeletal façade design with each storey resembling a horizontal vertebra, and will only comprise 30 apartments serviced by a 6-star hotel. Other exclusive benefits of the property include a spa, a cinema, and a rooftop pool overlooking the beach.

Images courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

Thursday, 18 December 2014

American Institute of Architects announce winners of 2015 awards

The Board of Directors of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) have this month announced the latest winners of their most prestigious awards.

The Edward C. Kemper Award, given annually to an architect who has contributed significantly to the profession through service to the AIA, went to Edward Mazria for catalysing the architecture community to address climate change through the design of decarbonized, sustainable and resilient built environments.

Edward Mazria

Rural Studio received the 2015 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award in recognition of their student-led design/build projects that address the dire needs of one of the American South’s most underprivileged regions.

Rural Studio

The 2015 Architecture Firm Award, given annually as the AIA’s highest honour to an architecture firm in recognition of consistently producing distinguished architecture for at least 10 years, went to Ehrlich Architects.

Ehrlich Architects

Peter Eisenman was announced the recipient of the 2015 AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion in recognition of a 60-year career devoted to architectural writing, research, and teaching through his long associations with several schools of architecture and Universities, including Cooper Union, Princeton, Harvard, and Yale.

Peter Eisenman

The top prize of the year, the AIA Gold Medal (awarded to an individual whose significant body of work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture) was awarded to Moshe Safdie for his “comprehensive and humane approach to designing public and cultural spaces across the world” that have “touched millions of people and influenced generations of younger architects.”

Moshe Safdie

Images courtesy of AIA

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Dwayne Wade and Alejandro Ingelmo launch new Way of Wade sneakers

NBA player Dwayne Wade and shoe designer Alejandro Ingelmo have unveiled their latest collaboration, the ‘Third Element’ sneaker collection, during the latest edition of Basel Art Miami Beach.

Available in three colour combinations (iridescent gold/black, black/silver and purple/black), the new sports footwear range is part of the collaboration established between Wade and Chinese group Li Ning, a large company head-quartered in Beijing that also manufactures, develops, markets, distributes and retails sports products under a number of brands.

Images courtesy of Li Ning Company 

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Winners of the 2014 RIBA President's Medals Student Architecture Awards announced in London

The winners of the 2014 RIBA President’s Medals were announced on 3 December at a ceremony at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in central London. The prestigious RIBA President’s Medals, which date back to 1836, reward talent and excellence in the study of architecture, and this year invited nominations from 317 schools of architecture located in 61 countries, the highest number ever in the history of the awards.

RIBA President's Medals

Nick Elias, from the Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL) received the highest design prize of the evening, the RIBA Silver Medal (awarded to the best design project at Part 2 – Diploma/Masters level) for ‘PoohTown’.

RIBA Silver Medal: Nick Elias (Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL) for 'PoohTown'

Simon Dean, from Kingston University, was awarded the Bronze Medal (for best design project at Part 1 – degree level) for ‘Flow, 1944’.

RIBA Bronze Medal: Simon Dean (Kingston University) for 'Flow, 1944'

Jasper Ludewig was awarded the Dissertation Medal for ‘Made Ground: A spatial history of Sydney Park’, submitted by the University of Sydney, Australia.

RIBA Dissertation Medal: Jasper Ludewig (University of Sydney), for ‘Made Ground: A spatial history of Sydney Park’

Other student awards presented at ceremony included:

Silver Medal High Commendation:
Justin Cawley from the University of Sydney for ‘An Ark for Endangered Atmospheres’

Silver Medal Commendations:
Yannis Halkiopoulos from the University of Westminster for ‘Brooklyn Co-operative’
Louis Sullivan from the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, for ‘The Living Dam’

'An Ark for Abandoned Atmospheres' by Justin Cawley

Bronze Medal Commendations:
Samuel Little from London Metropolitan University for ‘City Frame: The reappropriation of Maple House’
Emily Priest from the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, for ‘Rong Xhan Safehouse’
Ho Yeung Tsang from the University of Hong Kong for ‘Urban Living Transition: Vanishing heritage of Hong Kong residence’

Dissertation Medal High Commendation:
Ekaterina Tikhoniouk from University College Dublin for ‘Towards a Common Ground for Play: Examining the history of play and playgrounds in Dublin’s Liberties’

Dissertation Medal Commendation:
Leon Fenster from the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, for ‘Exilic Landscapes: Synagogues and Jewish architectural identity in 1870s Britain’

'The Restored Commonwealth Institute' by Adam Bell

'The Institute  of Concrete Poetry' by Oliver Riviere

Serjeant Awards for Excellence in Drawing:
Part 1: Oliver Riviere from the University of Brighton for ‘The Institute of Concrete Poetry’
Part 2: Adam Bell for the University of Greenwich for ‘The Restored Commonwealth Club’

The UK office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) also awarded the SOM Foundation Fellowships UK, selected from this year’s entries for the RIBA President’s Medals, to Kent Gin from the University of East London for ‘Cultural Perforation of Madrid, Disruption of the Defined’ and Mike Lim from the Royal College of Art, for ‘Untitled, 2014. Mixed Media’.

For more information and to see this year's entries, visit

All images courtesy of the RIBA

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Burberry marks year of financial growth with new stores worldwide

Following the successful implementation of core business strategies in 2014 that included launching a new fragrance, relaunching heritage products, and upgrading its mobile platform, British luxury fashion and accessories brand Burberry is closing the year with a 14% underlying growth revenue and an overall outperformance across its digital channels.

Burberry store in Rodeo Drive, Los Angeles

However, the most significant of Burberry’s achievements over the last year was the expansion of its retail network, with some existing stores being refurbished and nine mainline stores opened. Earlier in the year, the brand inaugurated a new flagship store in China (located in Shanghai’s Kerry Centre), and reopened its flagship store in San Francisco (in a four-floor historic townhouse on Post Street). More recently, Burberry reopened an expanded two-floor store in Munich, unveiled its biggest store to date in Japan (occupying four floors of a building in Omotesando, Tokyo), and opened a new flagship store in Los Angeles.

To mark the opening of the Los Angeles store (set on the corner of Rodeo Drive and Dayton Way in Beverly Hills), Burberry’s design director Christopher Bailey unveiled the Burberry Rodeo Drive Walk of Style plaque, which commemorates the contribution the brand has made to the fashion industry and its connection with Los Angeles’ entertainment community. 

Burberry store in Shanghai, China

Burberry store in Shanghai, China

Burberry store in Rodeo Drive, Los Angeles

Burberry store in Rodeo Drive, Los Angeles

Burberry store in Rodeo Drive, Los Angeles

Photographs courtesy of Burberry

Museum of the History of Polish Jews wins inaugural Finlandia prize for architecture

The Museum of the History of Polish Jews, designed by Finnish architects Lahdelma & Mahlamäki, has been announced as the winner of the first Finlandia prize for architecture, awarded by the Finnish Association of Architects. Located in the Jewish quarter of Warsaw (which the Nazis turned into a ghetto during the Second World War), the museum opened to the public in April 2013 but only recently unveiled its eight core exhibition galleries (housed in a 5,000 square meter space), which illustrate the thousand-year history of Polish Jews from their arrival in ‘Po-lin’ as travelling merchants in medieval times until today.

Photographs courtesy of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews