Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Halldor Gunnløgsson's Second Home

It seems as if Danish architect Halldor Gunnløgsson built himself another, even nicer home after this one - and not too long after either. In the same area as well (Denmark's golden coast). Strange.

Great photos too.

Update: The second house was built between 1958-9, when Mr. Gunnløgsson had remarried. He lived here with his wife Lillemor until his death in 1985, and Lillemor may still live there. The astonishing pictures are from what seems to be a great book called Scandinavian Modern Houses. More information on Jakob Halldor Gunnløgsson and this house in particular here.

"The building is erected as a wooden framework between the two end walls. The end walls are made in stone and are white-washed, while the wooden construction is stained in dark shades... The "glass-walls" on this side have two sliding doors, also in glass, which form the entrance to the terrace. The interiors are typical of Gunnløgsson's work: simple materials and very few colours. The ceilings are constructed by means of untreated deal battens. The visible beams are stained in dark shades in the same manner as the supporting timber described above. The interior walls are made of wood and varnished black and have a polished surface. The sliding doors, which separate the main room from the kitchen and the bedroom, are painted in a light grey while the chimney brickwork is treated as the outer walls and white-washed. To keep the simplicity and the minimalist impression even the heating pipes are invisible, embedded in the floor and covered by heat-conducting Swedish marble also, in a light grey tone."

To me, this is quite possibly the perfect house.

Thanks, Derek!

Matthias Hoch - Silver Tower

Today is the last day at Galerie Nordenhake Stockholm (Hudiksvallsgatan 8, open until 6) to see Matthias Hoch pictures of the hollow Silver Tower in Frankfurt. The now-defunct Dresdner Bank had famous typographer and designer Otl Aicher together with ABB achitects draw the building - and everything in it - and when it opened in 1978 as the bank's headquarters it stood as the talest building in Germany.

The building's name comes from the aluminum façade it carries. The design is meticulous in every detail - all shapes and objects - including  desks, lightswitches and various buttons, windows and even the floorplan, are shaped as as rounded rectangles. The building must have been immensely expensive to build - ammenities to staff included a pool on the 32nd story, and a conference room secure from wiretapping, with an amazing light installation over it's rounded- edge squared table (see above). Ken Adam, set designer famous from cold-war thrillers such as a number of James Bond flicks, as well as Dr. Strangelove, could not have designed a better set for this paranoid  reality-supersedes-fiction aspect of corporate architecture during the cold war.

But alas, Matthias Hoch is not an architectural photographer per se. The architecture only serves as a backdrop to his socially investigative photography where banal pictures of stacked late-seventies chairs, or a perfectly designed but dusty control panel of unknown use, reveals a lost age - but also a preperation for a new dawn. In early 2009 the Commerzbank took over the Dresdner bank, but since they already have their own headquarters in a later, taller building by Norrman Foster, and because a sale in the midst of the financial crisis was deemed impossible, the building is under renovation by russian workers for future leasing to the Deutsche Bahn. It was during this period that Matthias Hoch had full access to the building, and even though the new owners are opting for  a certificate of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen - approval that the renovation was carried out with the utmost respect for the original design, it is unknown whether the blue and red late-seventies chairs will remain, as well as many of the other designs specifically made for thebuilding.

More information at Galerie Nordenhake.

Archival photos of the Silver Tower:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

More Red Wegners


Red Hans J. Wegner CH-24 "Wishbone-chars", or "Y-chairs as we call them in scandinavia. Not quiete as poetic. See the red vintage Wegner chairs here.

first picture from
second probably an add from Carl Hansen & Søn on Dinesen Douglas fir floors
third from the home of Filippa Knutsson, from Elle interiör, via annagillar

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Photographer Anita Calero's West Chelsea Loft










Nice space, great use of colour and great collection of industrial furniture, including a rare collapsable Jean Prouvé 'Standard'-chair.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ursa Major

While living in Argentina in the fifties, danish artist-author-designer-inventor-mahematician-poet Piet Hein created this candelabra to remind him of his home. It is modelled after the star constellation Ursa Major, "the Plough", which is only visible from the northern hemisphere.

available from Jackson's



Apple may be the company today we think of first which actually takes product design seriously. Too bad those products don't always run nearly as smooth as they look.

Pictures by Paul Fairchild, via my new favourite blog COLT+RANE

Friday, December 3, 2010

Good-looking picture of a good-looking bridge. I wonder where it is located...

Richard Neutra in Europe - Rang Haus






These photos are from Iwaan Baan's series of houses built by Neutra in Europe between 1960-1970, which was showing at the MARTa Herford Museum, Herford, Germany this summer, and the Swiss Architecture Museum in Basel this fall.

Richard Neutra's post-war creations in Europe are lesser known than their counterparts in California, but no less fantastic. The house above was built in 1961 in the outskirts of Königstein for a professor at the University of Frankfurt.

In this case, pictures say more than a 1000 words, and Iwaan Baan's photgraphy really makes you feel as if you were standing right there, in the middle of this amazing house.

Man, I wish that was my office in the last picture.

Buy the book here.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Father and Son Grung

When it comes to design and architecture, Norway's contribution tends to be downplayed - something which I can find no good reason for. This is a shame, but below you will find examples of great norwegian architecture by father and son Grung.


Leif Kuhnle Grung, born 1894, was the pioneer of functionalism in his native Bergen, Norway. Having studied in Stockholm he was heavily inspired by Erik Gunnar Asplund, but also by Frank Lloyd Wright and the Bauhaus. Being the champion of modern architecture in Bergen he became both heavily criticised and highly respected. Kalmarhuset, perhaps his most striking, almost expressionistic, work in Bergen - built from white concrete and dark-red brick, received the following statement from Bergen's most important pre-modernist architect Fredrik Konow Lund: the so-called Kalmarhuset is a school-example of what not to build in a culture-village like Bergen".
In 1945, shortly after the war, Leif Grung was accused of conspiring with the Germans, and was thus expelled from the Bergen Architectural Association. Leif Kuhnle, who was described as having  "a remarkable personality with a distinctive artistic nerve" was devastated, and commited suicide.

A few days later, the first prisoners of war returned from Germany, who testified that not only was he falsely accused, but that he had been an intermediary for the escape routes to England, as well as a saboteur of German building plans.

In 1949 he was awarded the Houens Foundations Prize for Good Architecture posthumously for his Blaauwgården building.

Villa Lau-Eide, 1935

(photo by Klaas Vermaas)
 Kalmarhuset, 1936.

(Photo by Thorir Vidar/ )

Blaauwgården, 1936. The building is aesthetically divided into two wings to represent its functions: offices on the left - storage to the right. The building also incorporates elements of traditional dock architecture in Bergen.

(Photo by Thorir Vidar/ )

Sources and further information:

To be continued.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fever Ray - "When I Grow Up"

Video directed by Martin De Thurah. Perfect video for this song; really beautiful shots, storyline everything. The haunting vodoo scene - set in the ideal(?) Swedish suburb, somehow captures exactly what Karin Dreijer's music is about. Part Roy Andersson - part David Lynch. Watch in full-screen.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fabricius/Kastholm II

68 diametres of copper delight. From Nordisk Solar Compagni.



The picture above was not taken 40 years ago, for the sofa pictured was conceived in 2008 by Jean-Marie Massaud. Yet it could have easily been designed anytime during the last century. It stands as a definition of timeless design, like the Eames 670, the Barcelona chair or the Chesterfield furniture before it. I cannot imagine any room of any style, colour or use where it would seem out of place. It. Is. Awesome.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gropius Residence

These amazing pictures of the home of Walter Gropius in Lincoln, Massachusetts, are from the photo-book Handcrafted Modern by Leslie Williamson. The house was built in 1938 and remained his home until his death in 1969. It is declared a National Historic Landmark and is now owned by Historic New England and open to the public.

From Wikipedia:

"Set amid fields, forests, and farmhouses, the Gropius House mixes up the traditional materials of New England architecture (wood, brick, and fieldstone) with industrial materials such as glass block, acoustical plaster, and chrome banisters. The house structure consists of a traditional New England post and beam wooden frame, sheathed with white painted tongue and grove vertical siding. Traditional clapboards are used in the interior foyer, but are applied vertically. Striking as it is, the house was built with economy in mind, and total construction costs were $18,000."

All of Mr. Gropius' posessions are left in the house, which is why these pictures give you the sense of him having just left the room.

More information and pictures: