Monday, February 28, 2011

"Liefesteel" from Flexform


via Lotta Agaton

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Father and Son Grung, Part II: Geir Grung

Geir Grung (1926-1989) followed in his father's footsteps and became an architect. He studied alongside Sverre Fehn, under the influential Arne Korsmo, and the three alongside Christian Norberg-Schulz, Håkon Mejlva, and P.A.M. Mellbye founded PAGON (Progressive Architects Group Oslo Norway) in 1950, an influential think tank that helped spur creativity throughout Norway's architectural landscape, bringing continuation to the pre-war functionalist ideals and shaping them into architecture for a new age. Sverre Fehn and Geir Grung would work together several times over the coming years, both shaping the finest work of post-war modernism from Norway.
Above and below we see Geir Grung's own house, Villa Jongskollen. The building lies upon some great Norwegian mountain, overlooking firs and fjords, like a nordic Farnsworth house. The idea of a raised living room, enabling the firt class view, is as clever as the rest of the house's planning. It is surely one of he most spectacular villas ever built.

More information on Geir Grung can be found in the Norwegian National Museum's exhibition on post-war Norwegian architecture. Or in this book.

Økern Aldershjem (retirement home in Økern), a collaboration between Geir Grung and Sverre Fehn in 1955 that received the A.C. Houen Foundation diploma.

An ineresting residential building on President Harbitz gate 21, Oslo, 1967. Notice the large windows, generous balcoies and car park.

The elecrical powerplant in Røldal/Suldal, by many regarded as his magnus opus. Now converted into a hotel, see below.

It has a leaf gold fireplace...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Eyo, whatup, Bird?!

- Omar Little

Birds have always fascinated me. They're really just flying dinosaurs you know.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sylt House

Ad-Man Wolfgang Behnken of Young & Rubicam, whose Hamburg apartment I posted here, also owns a retreat on the island Sylt (the German equivalent of St. Tropez, Malibu, Båstad ,or what have you) - equally sparsely decorated with 20th century design icons - such as the Florence Knoll sofas, Serge Mouille lamps, and Hans J. Wegner Cowhorn-chairs along Kjaerholm tables. A rare vintage Jean Prouvé  Standard-chair  and desk is seen on the upper floor of this traditional Friezenhaus, and stacks of books and magazines are  scattered around the floor, whilst photography by superstars such as Annie Leibovitz, Richard Avedon and Helmut Newton are to be found here and there on the floor. I'll never understand it. Looks striking though, even though the palette is quite earthy.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Eating Pecan Pie Like a Stylish but Neurotic Texan

Looks like a still out of A Single Man, don' it? Or American Psycho. Whichever.
While on the topic of food I couldn't help but to post this picture from Wallpaper*, styled by my man Tom Ford, as well as the recipe for this southern usonian tradition.

1 cup of white Karo syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbs flour
1 cup pecans

Beat the eggs and sugar together, add flour, then syrup, vanilla and pecans.
Pour into a 9in prepared pie shell.
Bake in an oven at 150°C for one hour.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Kitchen by Ahlstrands

Not all that is new is bad. When things are made with quality, they can last a lifetime (or two). This kitchen was made old school, by 50-year old carpentry firm Ahlstrands, in what I believe is Santos palisander.

Flöjtblåsaren 2

From the mid 30's to the early 70's, apartment-buildings all over Sweden were being modernised: windows replaced, facade-ornamentations stripped, kitchens and bathrooms installed and floorplans dissected. This was done for several reasons, the most important factor being the Swedish welfare-states ambition of raising the living standard for each and every Swede - if not the largest, then by all means the most successfull such a transformation of an entire nation.

But aesthetics was an important factor too, especially when it comes to the more well-off inhabitants the inner city, who according to the architectural eqiuvalent of Laver's law were bored with the old and yearned for the new.

They still do.

In the pictures below we stumble across yet another document of time: 1968, Stockholm, upper middle-class couple. I am reminded of the Californian house I wrote about not too long ago, but also the office and home of architect Henry Haubro-Nielsen in southern Stockholm, and like the latter, I vow to the new owners to save as much of these wonderfully qualitative detailing as possible. This house has, albeit tastefully, already been tarnished with once, and we have to remember that it was still real craftsmen and carpenters who redid its interiors. This time round I am not so sure it will be updated with the same finesse. Don't get me wrong, renovation may be neccessary, but tossing out the kitchen, bathroom and doors isn't. (And while you're at it, put up some fresh but vintage sea-weed wallpaper from Tapetorama).

Hopefully Roy Andersson will buy it.

On paper Sweden has since the end of the eighties quite strong (too strong at times, not strong enough other times) protection of the built environment, but it is almost exclusively for exteriors. Few interiors, especially ones like these, are being saved.

And they are becoming increasingly rare.

Pork, mutton, lamb roast, ham, game, beef, veal, roast beaf... No teppanyaki as far as the eye can see. You need help with this?

Perstorp-laminate, pattern "VirrVarr", designed by Sigvard Bernadotte in 1958.

See the rest of the photos here, at Fantastic Frank

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Union 76 Gas Station

Beverly Hills, 1965, by Gin Wong and William L. Pereira.

via A nave do bom gosto

Friday, February 11, 2011

Party at the Kaufmann's

The Kaufmann Desert House, Palm Springs. Designed by Richard Neutra in 1946.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rainbow House

Comparing architecture to music is quite a clichée, but with this house, considering it was built for jazz musician Russ Garcia, such an allegory isn't too far off.

This above video, featuring Devendra Banhart and his girlfriend, beautifully directed by Lisa Eisner, was made for spectacle-firm Oliver Peoples (you know, American Psycho?). It is set in the Garcia residence, also known as the Rainbow House (which was pulled down by an aussie hillbilly with a mullet and a truck in Lethal Weapon 2) on Mulholland Drive, designed in 1964 by none other the man himself - the master of googie architecture - John Lautner. It is a truly amazing house, and it only gets bettter once you see it's insides and the stunning spaces it posesses.

                                                                                                                                                     Picture by Julius Shulman
                                                                                                                                                Pictures by Francois Dischinger

The house had seen it's best days, and at the turn of the millenia, countless "improvements" had wrecked the  soul of the house, but its current owners has however had it renovated by architects Marmol & Radziner, who also worked on the restoration of Richard Neutra's Kaufmann house, and the decorator, Darren Brown, put that old-school playboy-feel to the interiors.

The binuclear floorplan of the building is as genius as it is original, and I cannot help to wonder why it hasn't been more widely copied. On the one side of the house exists the private sphere: bedrooms, bathrooms, an office and a movie room - spaces that do not demand the grand volume of the great room, situated in the other wing, along with an elevated dining area and a open kitchen. When it in 2002 came on the market, it did so at the bargain price of $1,395,000.

Devendra Banhart, 2010 Photos by Lisa Eisner