Architecture News: Facebook & Apple HQ’s

Apple Campus 2 by Foster + Partners, currently under construction in Cupertino, California, is located just a few blocks away from the existing Apple HQ, the new hoop shaped building will accomadate up to 13,000 employees. This was done to maximize efficiency and convenience to Apple’s employees located at the Infinite Loop Campus.

The new campus will provide office, research and development facilities, and will include a striking café within the main building, a separate corporate fitness center and a corporate auditorium seating 1,000 people. Parking will be provided under the main building and in one multi-story parking structure.

I must say…I’m a little bit jealous I don’t work in an office like this…or even this one…the proposed plans for the new Facebook headquarters.

Frank Gehry’s designs for the new Facebook headquarters, situated in the Silicon Valley were deemed too flashy and not in keeping with the kind of culture of Facebook – they wanted it to appear more anonymous.

Frank was quite willing to tone down some of the expression of architecture in the building,” he told the Mercury News, explaining that they plan to disguise the white stucco building with a rooftop garden: “Our intent is that it almost becomes like a hillside, with the landscape really taking the forefront.”

The exterior will take into account the local architecture so that it fits in well with its surroundings. Trees will be planted on the grounds and also on the rooftop garden that spans the entire building. An underground tunnel will connect the Gehry-designed building with Facebook’s existing campus over the road.

The 40,000-square-metre building will house 2,800 engineers in a single warehouse-like room, open with desks that can be quickly shuffled around as teams form and break apart for projects.

Gehry was brought in to design the campus last summer, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stating at the time that he wanted an office with “the largest open floor plan in the world”. Another great place to work I think!


In Focus: String Shelving

Swedish architect Nils Strinning designed String in 1949.

This super flexible, distinctive and minimalist shelving system earned him the reputation as one of the designers who laid the foundations of modern Scandinavian design.

Over the years, the String system has been used in many a home across the world and is a popular system for home offices and storage in small places. The measurements of the String system are fixed and have never been altered, allowing for a String shelf to be rebuilt, reinvented and transformed many times over.

Each component of the system is so well thought through that there is almost an infinite variety of combinations. Thanks to its slim panels it is possible to create a shelf large enough for any number of books, yet still appear light in weight.

String Pocket is a simple, pre-packed kit that includes two side panels and three shelves in a variety of finishes, including pink, yellow and copper.The String Plex Pocket features clear perspex panels and shelves in black or white. Plex can also be supplied for larger compositions and gives the system a slightly modern twist with the perspex side panels.

String Pocket makes a perfect solution for those storage issues you have in small places such as the kitchen or bathroom. Or, if you have plenty of room, they can be used to showcase personal and sentimental items.

The String system includes the following pieces that can be built up to any composition, big or small, to suit the needs and functions of the user. The side panels are available in three finishes and four sizes, shelves are available in a range of sizes also and are finished in three woods and three colours.

Additonal pieces include a magazine shelf in wire or wood:

A work desk, cabinets with sliding drawers (glass or wood) and drawers…

…and even a fold out table!

Try out the fantastic ‘Build Your Own’  programme on the String website to compose the system of your dreams!

Design Classics: Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman

The Lounge Chair is one of the most famous designs by Charles and Ray Eames.

Created in 1956, it is now a classic in the history of modern furniture. The original design featured dark wood veneer and leather upholstery and was inspired by the traditional English club chair. This iconic chair is now produced by Vitra with the same care and precision for more than 50 years – its design remains as cutting edge today as it ever was.

Combining the ultimate comfort with high quality materials and workmanship, the Eames Lounge Chair is of the highest standard. Available in a number of wood finishes including Santos Rosewood, Cherry and Walnut, partnered with stunning leather in a selection of colour finishes. A lighter finish was introduced a few years ago, a collaboration between Vitra, Hella Jongerius and the Eames Office. The chair was finished in a white pigmented walnut and paired with snow white leather, giving the classic chair a more feminine feel.

Each Lounge Chair is made by hand at the factory in Weil-am-Rhein – you can even watch them constructing the chairs in the new Atelier. The idea of the Lounge Chair Atelier is to allow the general public gain a real time glimpse into part of the workshop and the production process, and experience the craftsmanship that goes into making a design classic.

The Lounge Chair Atelier opens up various perspectives: from its use of natural materials to individual production steps right through to the longevity and sustainability of the Lounge Chair. In the VitraHaus our customers can select their preferred variant of the Lounge Chair & Ottoman and then follow the construction of their unique version there and then. It will then be delivered to your home!

You can watch a video of the Eames Lounge Chair being made here.


Fight The Fakes

Seeing as we will be heading off to Milan next week to visit the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, I thought I’d direct you to this interesting article about fighting the fakes…

‘Drawing attention to what seems to be an epidemic of counterfeits and knockoffs that has invaded the furnishings market, fair organizer Cosmit has introduced intellectual and industrial property regulations for all exhibitors at Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the annual extravaganza that attracts over 300,000 visitors.’

The Italian commision, INDICAM, who oversee the prosecution of counterfeit goods have drawn up a list of rules which will be distributed to all exhibitors at Salone. The regulations stress the companies’ own obligation to respect industrial property and intellectual rights. Offenders will be ordered to remove the goods in question, and exhibitors have been warned that they may be asked to withdraw any items where rights are violated prior to the fair taking place.

‘Beyond the fair itself, Elle Décor Italia has embarked on an aggressive campaign against fakes of all kinds, called “Be Original.” Besides publishing an ongoing series of articles, the magazine has collaborated with leading manufacturers to take over the windows of La Rinascente, Milan’s foremost department store, filling it with displays of iconic pieces from such industry heavyweights as Alessi, B&B Italia, Cassina, Flos, Kartell, Knoll and Vitra.’

The show begins next week, running from the 9th April to the 14th April, where visitors and fellow exhibitioners can view for themselves the high quality, licensed goods on show.

Product In Focus: Tatou

The lovely Patricia Urquiola’s latest design for Flos is the Tatou lamp, available in suspension, floor and table versions.

Tatou takes its name from the French word for Armadillo and draws influence from antique Japanese armour. The inspirations behind Urquiola’s Tatou can be seen in its shape – the final design is made up of four methacrylate plates that combine to form the dome of the shade.

The perforated shade of the Tatou and the overlapping plates allows for a harmonic play on light and shadow – the light floods the lamp whilst still being filtered discreetly. Although mass produced, Urquiola wanted the Tatou series to retain strong artisan connotations.

This is evident in the elegantly patterned design and symmetrical shape, as well as the three colour finishes (white, black & ochre-grey).

Grand Repos & Repos

Repos & Grand Repos by Antonio Citterio and Vitra. Launched at Milan Design Fair 2011 (and featured again at this years show), the latest lounge chair from Vitra is now available to order in a collection of cosy, wool fabrics and finished with a beautiful blanket stitch in a contrasting colour.

Repos & Panchina

The generous padding, high backrest and inviting armrests exude luxury and comfort. The Grand Repos features a 6cm higher backrest with an impressive wing chair element. To accompany the Repos and Grand Repos is the matching ottoman and new slim footrest, Panchina which is available in two lengths.

Grand Repos & Ottoman

Uniting the expertise of office chair technology with the ultimate comfort of a lounge chair, Grand Repos responds to every demand of the user. Its bio-mechanical construction allows the chair to adapt to many seated positions – the invisible mechanism adjusts to the users body weight and can be locked in numerous positions, seated upright or in a reclined position.

Grand Repos @ Milan 2012

Grand Repos in Leather

Both chairs are now avaialble to order…get your orders in now! Order your Grand Repos or Repos Lounge Chair.

Is Faking It Coming To An End?

Let’s be crystal clear on what constitutes a fake… to compare design with fashion; just as only the original Roland Mouret studio can make an authentic RM dress, the same applies to certain manufacturers who legally own the rights to make particular designs.

But whether we’re talking a legitimate Chanel handbag or Vitra, a multinational corporation who own the licence to make all of the Eames’s furniture, the point is the same… anyone else flogging their work, is an UNauthorised, UNvalidated, UNmonitored, UNendorsed intellectual property thief.

These suppliers of ‘faux-furniture’ will often use the original designer’s biographies and credentials as marketing to mislead the customer, as well as using words such as ‘inspired by’ or ‘in the style of’ after the description. When shopping for classics, always look for the words ‘licensed manufacturer’ and if you are still unsure, do some research!

Under current UK copyright law, designs can be freely reproduced 25 years after being created – hence the proliferation of “authentic replica” furniture. When you can pay around £400 for a replica Eames Lounge Chair, around a tenth of the price of an authentic model, it is easy to see why they are so popular.

But not everyone is as enthusiastic about these ‘authentic replicas’ and buyers of affordable fakes and many are trying to highlight the importance of supporting legitimate businesses and designers.

For example, earlier this year Samantha Cameron discussed how she had bought a replica of Achille Castiglioni’s classic Arco lamp – a mere £250 compared to the original’s price tag of £1,600.  When Elle Decoration’s editor in chief, Michelle Ogundehin saw this, media uproar followed.

 “Here was the ambassador for British fashion basically buying a knock-off design. If she doesn’t understand the importance of that, then that is very worrying. If Samantha Cameron sat on the front row of Fashion Week wearing a fake Burberry coat, you would never hear the end of it.”

The ELLE Decoration UK campaign for Equal Rights for Design highlights the extent of the misunderstanding around these unlicensed copies and asked for the government to support the campaign and the UK copyright laws. And they have.

The Enterprise and Regulatory Bill has passed through the House of Lords for its second reading this week, all thanks to Elle Decoration’s ’Get Real, fight the Fakes’ campaign.

However, buried within the bill is section 65, an innocent looking paragraph that ultimately could have a dramatic knock-on effect for the world of designers, manufacturers, publishers and museums. This is due to the bill proposing to “omit section 52″ of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act of 1988, which covers the “effect of exploitation of design derived from artistic work”.

But not for long. Repealing section 52 will extend the copyright of design to the life of the author, plus 70 years – meaning you would have to wait until 2048 until you could buy that Eames Lounge chair knock-off.

Terence Conran, founder of The Conran Shop, commented on the news of the bill, “By protecting new designs more generously, we are encouraging more investment of time and talent in British design. That will lead to more manufacturing in Britain, and that in turn will lead to more jobs … Properly protected design can help make the UK a profitable workshop again.”

While designers rejoice at this news, the ‘faux-furniture’ industry is furious, claiming the move will threaten more than 6,000 furniture companies in the UK alone.

But while this may be a victory for the protection of designers’ intellectual property, bringing the discipline in line with music and literature, a crucial by-product of the bill has been entirely ignored.

“On the face of it, the bill looks like good news for design,” says Lionel Bentley, professor of Intellectual Property at the University of Cambridge. “But there are lots of people that have been critically overlooked: from university lecturers teaching design history, to book publishers, to museums – everyone will now have to seek permission.”

For example, if the V&A holds an exhibition of fabric design from the Second World War, permissions will need to be gained to include images of these designs in exhibition catalogues and on postcards. This new law will also apply to any book published that illustrates a work of 20th century design will no doubt have to be edited and reprinted.

It has been said that a clause can be easily formulated that would capture the replica design manufacturers, but not affect all these third parties. Ultimately though, does this bill represent a move forward for designers, finally bringing the intellectual property of design in line with other creative disciplines? Or is it another example of adding needless red tape, affecting the world of publishing, teaching and museums?

On The First Day Of Christmas…

Pink Apple bought to me…a Hamper full of Luxury!!!

With all orders over £250, Pink Apple will send a FREE luxury gift hamper full of goodies.

Including goods such as luxury cheeses, homemade jams & chutneys, handmade biscuits & chocolates* – all supplied from our local deli, The Larder.

*contents may vary from that listed.

Beat The Cassina Price Increase!

There are just two days left to get your orders in with Cassina at the 2011 prices! All orders must be placed with Cassina by 5pm tomorrow to guarantee beating the price increase which comes into effect on the 1st November.

Call us now on +44 (0)1234 818 456 or email us at should you require any assistance with your order.