Monday, 11 August 2014

Raising the bar

We've been working with Plymouth University to help realise the design and installation of a new bar for the new Performing Arts Centre being build and due to open in Autumn 2014.

Lem Harris, a third year student on the Spatial and Interior Designer BA course, won a competition to design the bar, which was set as a live project by MULTI-STORY-THINKER Jonathan Forster in his role as part time tutor for the Plymouth course.

Lem's design included a bent and warped bar front and back bar which we've been helping to fabricate using brushed stainless steel panels.  

The project involved technical issues of how to form the design with a cost effective and hard waring solution.  Drew and Co, the contractors who successfully won the tender to supply and install the bar, 
were keen to get involved to find a solution but were also aware of the educational benefits of involving student Lem in the process.

Drew and Co's director Ian Botterill experimented with aluminium foils, which provided the look but weren't resilient enough.  We suggested using sheets of .75mm brushed stainless steel and tried a hands on (and feet) approach to bending and warping the sheets.  Using sand bags and brute force and deft use of body weight we quickly established a technique for shaping the panels.

With a technique worked out it was Lem's chance to make the real thing with only one chance to get it right.  No pressure!


video







Friday, 8 August 2014

Being prepared

We're working with the Topsham Sea Scout Group to help them redesign and rebuild their scout hut. Built in the early 1960s this timber hut is typical of scout huts across the country.  It's recently fallen fowl of its low lying position in relation to the River Exe and during the recent high tide and storms it was flooded with 2 feet of water causing irrevocable damage.

The hut is coming down and a new design is planned to take the scouts through for the next few decades.  It's a sad moment in a way but provides and opportunity to redesign the space to reflect the activities and the increasing numbers of Sea Scouts, Scouts, Beavers and Cubs who use the building on a weekly basis.

We're consulting with the local planning department and the environmental agency (we need to raise the building up about the flood risk) but most importantly we'll be talking to the scout leaders and the children that use the building to create a space that really works for the way they want to use it.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Picture perfect

Digital printing has long been a way of introducing individual imagery to interiors and with production costs coming down it’s easy to introduce unique designs into your home.

Wallpaper, shower screens, kitchen backsplashes all become a canvas for your creativity helping to stamp your own personality and style.  Images from your phone or computer can be printed onto almost any surface.

Caroline Shortt from Barc Architects is a big fan of the process.  Her halo lit panel of trees transforms the humble toilet into a natural haven.  It feels a bit like the wardrobe in Narnia, where you might end up in an enchanted forest.  The vaulted room is clad in cedar and an led strip lights the paper and emphasises the curve of the vault drawing the eye to the back of the space.  




AnniePhilips’ innovative and uplifting images work well in kitchens and shower rooms.  Her designs are printed onto a film and laminated between panels of toughened glass.  

The composition can be adapted to fit the available space and the colours matched with the rest of your decoration giving you total control.  It’s a simple and effective way to create something different and individual.



Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Unlocking the potential of listed buildings

Old buildings need to adapt to accommodate our modern lives but when renovating listed buildings it’s important to preserve the historic character whilst maximising the potential of the spaces.  This involves discussions with both your client and the local authority conservation team to achieve design solutions that are practical whilst being sympathetic to the building. 

We’ve recently completed this refurbishment of a beautiful Georgian building in Salcombe Regis where our clients wanted to remove the kitchen from the main space, relocate it to the rear of the building, and open up access to join the spaces.


























































It’s often difficult to determine the history of adaption that most old buildings have gone through so getting to know the property is important.  Seemingly historic features can be younger than they look so understanding what is of real historic value (to be retained) and what can be altered is the key to unlocking potential.

The previous kitchen design ran round the perimeter of the room around a large farmhouse style kitchen table.  Not very practical in terms of layout and not ideal for entertaining where you might want to hide away the mess of a busy kitchen from your party guests.  


















 

 

A series of more modern utility rooms provided space for the kitchen to be moved into.  Investigation of the layout and structure revealed a filled in opening, which previously provided access to a service corridor.  Reinstating this archway provided the link between the two spaces

Use of materials and colour help to make the most of the space.  Cornice, skirting and architraves are reinstated to match the originals and a new stone floor, running through from front to back, unifies the kitchen and dining area, which are decorated in a pale off white, which helps bounce light around the spaces.

 

A long table provides dining for 12 and there’s room for fireside seats with the alcoves providing space for a free standing dresser and a day bed.  It’s a multi-functional family room that looks like its been here for years.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Oh I do like to work beside the seaside

I'm sitting on a leather poof by a dark stained low table in The Harbour Works, the new 'flexible workspace' provided in Torquay by the Torbay Development Agency (TDA).  With sun streaming through the floor to ceiling Georgian windows and the sound of seagulls in the distance I feel like I'm on holiday. 
































A working holiday perhaps as this place is geared up for 'people like me' to work remotely with drop in facilities, meeting rooms and a flexible open plan space.

The rooms, set on the first floor overlooking the harbour, are designed with a mix of Eames-esque classics, a soft palette of greys, cushions, rugs and natural oak flooring which creates a sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere.  The style picks up on trends in office fit out and Third Space thinking, somewhere between home and office, it's a sanctuary away from the tourist masses.

The TDA is making lots of effort to create flexible work spaces across the region.  A sister site, The Sea Works in Brixham, provides similar drop in facilities whilst the more establish innovation centres provide office and conference space, all aimed at providing a range of cheap and flexible options for local businesses of all sizes.

























The club/coffee house like aesthetic is reminiscent of iconic spaces like Shoreditch House and Soho House in London.  The Harbour Works lacks a rooftop pool but with the sea literally metres away it's got the real think on its doorstep.  A galley kitchen including a bean to cup coffee machine provide the creature comforts.

With dedicated meeting and video conferencing rooms and the remaining open plan space there's flexibility to create different types of working spaces from individual desk and meeting tables to armchair working.

It operates on a membership basis where you can pay for day by day attendance or bulk buy packages, includes free wifi and a bookable mac, and best of all you have access to the TDA's business support services and networking opportunities throughout the year.

Ideal for the agile workers of today's economy or an alternative to your conventional office space.





Monday, 2 December 2013

Danish Box Sets.

With the return of Borgen to our screens and the approach of those long winter nights the prospect of curling up on the sofa to work through some quality drama is really appealing.  With the popularity of box sets we're posed with the problem of how to store them.
  


Montana is a system that gives you the freedom to create unique and personal designs for your home or office.  It's combination of 42 boxes in 4 depths available in 49 colours gives creative freedom and scope to create a truly unique design just for you.

Wall mounted, free standing or on wheels the combinations can help to fill corners, become features or help to shape space as a wall/divider.   Keep it straight and regular or go free style.  Ideal for everything.


If you're working your way through those great Scandinavian dramas this furniture will help you emulate the style and give you somewhere to store those DVDs.


Available from Oskar in Bristol.  TAK.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Stripes

From a Telegraph Property tweet Marianne Shillingford, paint brand Dulux's creative director and the design director of Dulux Design Service, demonstrates  in this video  how to paint a room with horizontal stripes, using paints from Dulux’s autumn 2013 palette, Urban Folk.