House Z22 und Warehouse F88
This is the reconstruction of a 170-year-old multi-family house in Zurich, Switzerland. You may think this interior is too minimal, too industrial, but don’t you just love the interplay of the different textures and clever use of lighting as an architectural – almost sculptural – form? Not sure about the big ‘chipboard’ sliding door between the bathroom and dining room, though.
Covet House, Oporto, Portugal
The concept of Covet House is simple but revolutionary – take beautiful old homes in different parts of Europe and fill them with wonderful furniture and objets d’art, but not like a showroom, like a real home. The purpose of the houses is to give people an authentic experience of interior design at its best. As you can see from the top photo, the concept has really taken off. But you don’t have to leave home to get the experience because Covet House offer 360o virtual tours at www.covethouse.eu/virtualtour.
Tinie Tempah’s House, London
If you haven’t heard of Tinie Tempah, he’s a British rapper, pictured above in the room he had specially designed just for his sneakers. Five years ago, he bought this house designed for the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen by legendary British architect Sir David Adjaye. Tinie has kept many of the house’s original features, including a stuffed giraffe, but has added his own personal touches. “The giraffe was already there, but I bought a zebra, which is my favourite animal,” he said, so that the giraffe could have a friend in the house.”
The colours of India
The diversity of Europe’s population makes for incredible diversity in the architecture coming out of the continent. Three of the designers featured in this article work in Europe but weren’t born there. Sir David Adjaye, the designer of Tinie Tempah’s house, was born in Tanzania. And the architect of the colourful house shown above is called India but was born in Iran and has a Persian father and Egyptian-English mother. Today India Mahdavi lives and works in Paris, and is considered one of the best interior designers in Europe and the world.
And now for something completely different
If you don’t fancy a giant yellow sculpture in your living room, as shown in the first example of India Mahdavi’s work, here’s a more subdued but no less interesting example.
Now for some Scanditecture
Neutral colours are supposed to be en vogue at the moment, but someone clearly forgot to tell India Mahdavi and the Stockholm-based designers of this project, called Hidden Tints. “Colour helps to emphasise the splendour in the detailing of the architecture,” explains Sanna Wåhlin of Note Design Studio. “In fact, the approach to colour in architecture in the old days was much braver than we see today. It deserves its place again!” Note’s approach is clearly playful – there’s a swing in what is obviously a child’s bedroom on the right above.
The growth of eco-hotels
The third designer featured in this article who wasn’t born in Europe but works there is Kengo Kuma. He’s from Japan but has an office in Paris and one of his latest projects is this plant-covered Eco-Luxury Hotel on the Left Bank. “In the dense urban context of the Avenue de France, we felt the need to create a green lung for the city,” he says. “Nature finds place at the core of the scheme, translated in the intimate public garden where all senses are awoken.” Plants will spill not only cover the rooftop and spill out between the overlapping wooden blocks that make up the facade of this hotel, but also form a huge garden set inside the hotel’s atrium, providing a retreat from Paris’s fast-paced urban environment.
Grace Apartment, Monaco
We couldn’t end our journey through Europe without a visit to this elegant apartment, appropriately named for Grace Kelly. The 380 square-metre space – huge in a city with the highest property prices in the world – was achieved by combining two apartments in a 1970s building. The prolific, young interior design duo of Emil Humbert and Christophe Poyet created Grace to reflect their “vision of the Riviera lifestyle” in an era-appropriate style.