Halfway housing: A renovation of a Modernist Classic.

They became instantly iconic when Dutch architect Piet Blom’s Cube Houses were completed in Rotterdam in 1984. With 38 small cubes and two so called super-cubes, they have become a much loved feature of the city, and have been in constant occupation since completion.

Recently, the buildings have enjoyed a top to bottom renovation and are once again are looking splendid. Read more

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Shared living a lifestyle choice: by Naruse-Inokuma Architects.

Modes of living have varied with the age and the prevalent culture. Recent trends suggest that evermore single people will live alone in small apartments, but this is not sustainable. More interestingly, some single people are beginning to challenge this paradigm, thanks in part to popular TV shows that depict fashionable young, and even older people, enjoying this way of living.

The problem to date has been that most accommodation is converted from larger houses, but this project by Naruse-Inokuma Architects is a new build. The opportunity has therefore been given to consider what shared accommodation could actually be like. Read more

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When the moon hits your eye: Lights by Matteo Ugolini for Karman.

As a student I lived in lots of places, mostly dives that were recommended by virtue of the fact they were clean, and relatively inexpensive to rent. However, the true price paid for inhabiting such uninspiring rooms was the inexorable sapping of the spirit, a finite resource at the best of times. In one such dwelling, gorged on love, and therefore insulated from my surroundings, I was certain that I could see the stars whilst staring heavenward, awake at night.

That memory is evoked by these lamps designed by Matteo Ugolini for Karman. Read more

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Play architecture: Conan House by Moon Hoon.

Photo credits: Moon Hoon.

This unusual looking house located in Daejeon, South Korea is known as “Conan house” which translates as play house. Moon Hoon, its designer, has extended that concept to the architecture, in that it is both playful and whimsical.

At the centre of the house is a staircase that winds up the building in a slightly haphazard way creating interesting spaces that are exploited as features of the design. Externally, the form resembles an uneven octagon in section with a octagonal pattern inscribed in the façade. There is a sense that the form is a coiled spring waiting to unwind. Read more

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Famous fish looses its bite: Jaws knife sharpener by Propaganda.

Of all the dangers known to be present in the family kitchen, sharks are not usually considered amongst them. But this knife sharpener, designed by studio Propaganda and dubbed “Jaws”, might change that.

Amusingly reminiscent of the famous fish with which it shares its name, its form appears to be surfacing through the kitchen counter to take a bite from… Well, being toothless it cannot bite anything, but it will keep your knives sharp! Read more

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