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THE DESIGN CHASER

Project Kennedy by Guillaume Alan: A New Vision of Minimalism Inspired by History

8.16.2019

Today I'm sharing an exquisite project by Parisian designer Guillaume Alan. Located in a magnificent early 19th century haussmannian edifice near the Trocadero, with views of the Seine and Eiffel Tower, the apartment was designed for a French couple who had been long time fans of Guillaume's work. Travelling extensively and staying at beautiful places around the world, their wish was for something amazing, yet unexpected, that would live up to the hotels and villas they visited. A liveable place where they could entertain, it also needed to reflect a calm and serene atmosphere. What followed was a complete redesign where in addition to carrying out the architectural and interior design, Guillaume Alan also designed the furniture pieces especially for the spaces. With a focus around light, a tonal 'craie' (chalk) palette was purposely applied throughout, allowing for more depth, texture and warmth to be added to each room without the need to commit to a colour or unnecessary elements. 


The palette weaves through the home with bespoke painted walls, light grey brushed oak flooring with natural marble lines, brushed ash wood elements, and textiles in natural linen, leather, silk and wool. The living room brilliantly showcases Guillaume Alan's pure and flawless approach to defining a space. Vaults have been drawn to create a magnificent and unusual height ceiling, while the large window was inspired by an old door in Oxford, England. The three metre long fireplace has been carved inside a huge piece of natural Carrara marble and gives the feeling of floating in the air. 


In the dining room, strong lines and impeccable proportions are softened by curved lines of the furniture and smooth textural palette. The entrance hall, inspired by The Orangery in Versailles was created through a series of high ceiling stone arches with recessed mirrors. The original mosaic floor has been retained, showcasing beautiful grey, bronze and old gold tones. 



Chosen for its poetic grain, Carrara marble is carried throughout the home including the kitchen and bathrooms, providing a beautiful sense of cohesion. 




In the master bedroom, the marble is perfectly offset by the softness of handcrafted ash wood and textured doors, soft paint colours, and linen curtains. The bedside light designed by Guillaume Alan is made of brass and a silk lampshade and sits on a floating marble and ash wood bedside shelf. 



Pure and composed, the interior is further enhanced through understated, bespoke furniture pieces that have been thoughtfully designed to fit seamlessly within the spaces. "It's always a quest for perfection and excellence based on tradition and craftsmanship with creativity, sensitivity and poetry."



Flawless yet unpretentious, this stunning apartment shows restraint in its design, and opulence in spirit.

Photography by Matthew Donaldson

Background
Growing up in the world of architecture and interior design, Guillaume Alan took the plunge early, opening his first design studio in Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris, in 2002. A space which he designed with pure lines, concrete floor and wood panelling, the practice has become known for its timeless elegance and serene interiors. A second design studio followed six years ago in London, to cater for a growing international clientele. Working alongside his design partner Emilie Le Corre since very early on, Emilie and Guillaume share the same vision which they bring to life through their exclusive projects. 

Images courtesy of Guillaume Alan

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SSM x Bruno Mathsson

8.13.2019

Swedish design studio, Smâlands Skinnmanufactur (SSM), visited the summer house of iconic furniture designer and architect Bruno Mathsson. Located in Frösakull, among wooded landscapes and mile-long beaches on the Swedish west coast, the almost sixty-year-old house is an artist's dream, hidden amidst the trees. Once you step inside, the home reveals a scene that is light, warm and open. The perfect backdrop for the SSM range of leather furniture and wooden accessories, these take their place effortlessly alongside furnishings originally designed for the building by Mathsson himself. 

 
Simplicity, functionality and an intimate relation to nature authenticate all aspects of Bruno Mathsson's work. The summer house in Frösakull, also known as The House of Tomorrow, is no exception.  

”Standing in the atrium, surrounded by Mathson’s classic work, I sense the tide of history - and paradise” — Hillevi Magnell, Designer 


Each area of the home tells a beautiful story, where new and old meet. One of my favourite corners is in the bedroom, where the handcrafted SSM shelves hang proudly next to a rare double bed, the last of its kind. 


Created by hand, the Smålands Skinnmanufaktur products fit seamlessly, inside and out. These include the various hangers, eyeglass case and hat rack, along with furniture pieces, including the stool and daybed. Like the building, these products are manufactured to withstand weather and wind and will become even more beautiful with age, especially when cared for with love.


Art Direction by Hillevi Magnell / Design by Hillevi Magnell and Sara Rudenstam of SSM
Styling by Sundling Kickén / Photography by Emily Laye


Images courtesy of SSM 

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Seear-Budd Ross | An Interview with founders Thomas Seear-Budd & James Ross

8.12.2019

I first crossed paths with Thomas Seear-Budd earlier this year when he was in the process of setting up his architectural practice with business partner James Ross. Jointly establishing himself as an international photographer, Thomas has photographed the Antwerp residence of famed Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen for Home magazine, a project for award-winning McLaren Excell in London, and locally, for some of the most respected names in NZ architecture. Sharing a passion for beautiful design, calm spaces and natural textures, Thomas and James have now launched their practice Seear-Budd Ross in Wellington, NZ. Completing their first projects with more underway, their work is beautifully composed, already demonstrating an honest and well executed approach to design through rich materiality, clean geometry and attention to detail. 


The Antwerp residence of Vincent Van Duysen photographed by Thomas Seear-Budd for Home magazine. Both he and James cite the renowned architect as inspiration for their own architectural work. 

I caught up with Thomas and James to talk more about their new practice and how they envision it will unfold over time.

Tell us about the journey that led to the launch of Seear-Budd Ross.

We met while working together at Studio Pacific in Wellington. We decided to enter a competition together and found the collaboration worked really well. This collaboration continued into a cafe fit out at Wellington Airport. And then a concept design for a house in the Wairarapa. With momentum building, we decided to take the plunge and both resigned from our jobs the same day. 

Do you share a similar approach to architectural design? What is your studio’s design philosophy? 

Yes. We always work together on projects. As we develop a design for a project, we generally agree when a project is not quite right. And then, as we keep iterating, we will arrive at a consensus that we are either heading in a good direction, or that we have solved the key issues. We think having two people tackle a problem is better than working in isolation. 

In terms of design philosophy, our ambition is to produce work of substance and quality. We see the Japanese style of Wabi-Sabi minimalism as an example of this. And we love strong, simple geometry. 

How would you describe your aesthetic, and how is this translated into your work? 


We are both drawn to the same aesthetic. We love to create rich, calm spaces with atmosphere. This means using light, geometry and materials as the foundations for any design.


Barnett House, Carterton, New Zealand / Concept Design by Seear-Budd Ross


Seear-Budd Ross is already showing diversity across residential, commercial and furniture design. Is there a particular area of design that you enjoy focusing on?

We really want to continue a diverse mix of project types. We think the small projects support the big projects. And vice versa. 

You recently completed the design of Three Quarter Society’s new kiosk at Wellington Airport. Rather than shouting for attention, you describe the new cafe as a "restrained counterpoint to its neighbours, a beautiful place of calm." How did you achieve this? 

We focused on the using two materials, timber and aged brass, to create a space that is simple, ordered and exhibits high attention to detail. There is also a really amazing bench seat behind the counter and provides a fantastic space to withdraw from the hustle of the airport. It allows users the opportunity to pause and view the planes, with Lyall Bay as the backdrop. It’s quite nice when the sun is setting over the water behind. We’re pretty happy with it.


Three Quarter Society Cafe, Wellington Airport, New Zealand by Seear-Budd Ross

Where do you find inspiration? 

We draw inspiration in connecting to the work of others in the fields of art, music, film, photography and design. And natural materials will always be integral in our work.

Tell us about your 'Table 01’ design. Is there a furniture collection on the horizon? 

This is a simple table that James made for his home. It is made from recycled Rimu and sealed with a wax finish. We would love to produce more furniture and at present we are working through designs for a bedroom collection.


Table 01 in waxed Rimu by Seear-Budd Ross

What else are you currently working on?

We are working with some really great clients on residential projects in Wellington. There is also an interesting pre-fab cabin that we are developing as a joint-venture with a client. And there are always furniture ideas being sketched and discussed. Watch this space!

How do you see Seear-Budd Ross growing over the next few years?

We want to work with interesting people on interesting projects. We would love to do a new build house in a rural setting. Or an ambitious hospitality project in an urban setting. We would love to do an art gallery.

What is one piece of advice you would give to aspiring architects and designers?

Find good people to learn from. And try to find people who value what you do.



I think those words will resonate with anyone in the creative industry, and I'm looking forward to following Thomas and James on their journey. You can do the same at Seearbuddross.com, and over on Instagram (@seearbuddross). 

Photography by Thomas Seear-Budd 

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Friday Design Selects

8.09.2019

First up today, BETA.Ø is an award-winning architecture firm based in Madrid, whose work demonstrates restraint and clarity. Their C.Ø House is a renovation project featuring large, light-filled open spaces with textured walls and ceilings. Together with meticulous design details, the home has a real purity in its design, and sense of calm. 


Komolab is a modern furniture and decor studio based in South Louisiana founded by designer Kyle Comeaux. With a focus on creating functional beauty through the use of fine materials including solid domestic hardwoods, all pieces are designed and produced in-house. Drawn to the clean, Scandinavian aesthetic, I've picked out a few favourite pieces below.  


Inspired by Scandinavian daybeds, the Walden Dog Bed is as functional as it is beautiful. It features a cushion (lined with waterproof material) with a removable cover made from dense wool-melton fabric, resting on a solid wood frame with leather strap accents. Definitely the most stylish dog bed I have seen, the dimensions can be customised to suit your very own pooch. 


Inspired by simple geometries, the Elysian Incense Burner combines a concrete sphere and and wood base for a bold yet elegant expression. Shown here in walnut, it is also available in white Oak and ebonized Oak finishes. 



The Entryway Wall Rack & Tackboard sets out to accomplish many things in the purist way. Comprising a mail slot, coat rack, tackboard for pinning notes and a magnetic keys-holder, I can see why Komolab describe it as the Swiss army knife of an interior! Shown here in white Oak, it also comes in Walnut and Maple. 


Visit komolab.com to see the full range of products. 

Photography by Michael Clifford

Thanks to Desiree at Vosgesparis, I discovered this stunning project today, by Interior Designer Jake Arnold. The new clinic of LA-based skin expert Shani Darden, the spaces feature a sublime material palette in soothing neutrals, and beautiful architectural detailing including arched doorways and a bold marble counter.  


Lastly today, I wanted to share ED_OFFICE, the HQ of Kiev-based architects Emil Dervish. A long-time admirer of Emil's work (his Beige project is still a favourite), I love getting a glimpse into the firm's creative world, to see where the magic happens. The building features incredible architectural detailing including high ceilings with beautiful mouldings, tall arched windows and herringbone flooring. A marriage of modern and traditional, I love how the original details and raw finishes contrast with contemporary furniture and lighting. 

Photography by Mikhail Loskutov

Images via Emil Dervish

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