igloo habitat & arhitectură / #83 / nov 2008


interview / Karim Rashid

Having started his career at the age of only 19, Karim Rashid is now an undisputed star of contemporary design and the author of over 2 500 creations, many of which have won awardsand have been included in the collections of prestigious museums, such as the New York MoMA and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He set out to "democratize" design and he succeeded, at least in North America; he set out to change the face of human habitat and he designed a whole hotel, from A to Z; he set out to change the way people see themselves and he wrote a book, "Design Your Self", which he launched in Bucharest on the 10th of October, 2008. He tells us about origins, beliefs, colours and utopias.

"I use colours to create shapes, moods, impressions and to touch the public psyche. Colour is not just colour and it's not intangible - it's real, strong and has a strong physical presence. I think about using colours to encourage people to experience things."

project / House on the Hill

Situated in a privileged location, on a hill slope, surrounded by a rich vegetation, the house on the hill is at the same time ostentatious and discreet, thus bearing resemblance to an aristocratic residence - home to its inhabitants, and to outsiders - imposing and somewhat unattractive.

The surroundings accentuate the house's position. The hill where it is located is covered with fine grass, to avoid obstructing the view on the house, and trees have been planted on the side areas and the surroundings. The garage is faced by a covered area, parched with stone, reminiscent of the carriage driveway typical to old urban palaces. The organic-shaped pool is situated along one side of the house.

major functions / Train Stations

The railway station, which is the architectural program typical to railway transport, has an ambivalent character. It is, at the same time, a junction and a place. It's a junction because it is also a localized access point, and it is a place because it makes up a separate part of the city, being a part of the infrastructure and consisting of several buildings and public spaces. In short, it's a center of urban life. This dual character is interesting from the point of view of the interaction between the two dominant function, both of them highlighted separately and alternatively.

Thus, if the junction is the dominant feature (in this case, there is a high accessibility level), the station may generate a critical mass of the demand for the development of adjoining activities. On the other hand, if the railway station is more a place than a junction (and there are many activities taking place), the station may give the necessary support for the development of the transporting network. Thus, the co-dependence of the two functions shows the importance of railway stations, as important parts of urban infrastructure, associated to the poles of socio-economical development, and as main instruments in urban development.

interior / SUBU Beijing

Opened in December 2007, within the Season's Place mall in Beijing, Subu restaurant, work of the non-conformist Danish Designer Johannes Torpe, sets out to offer its customers an experience as close as possible to having lunch on a spaceship. The setting is not an accidental one. Hosting over 120 shops, including Louis Vuitton and Gucci, the Season's Place mall is a gateway allowing Occidental luxury to enter China.

Johannes Torpe was inspired by the aesthetics of 1960's science iction movies, especially Stanley Kubrick "2001: A Space Odissey". The name Subu makes one think of an abysmal creature or of a giant shellfish floating through space. From the structural point of view, Subu consists of a large, triangle-shaped room, flanked by cocoon-like booths, closed by glass walls. These are a modern interpretation of the traditional Chinese booths.

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