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UNStudio announced as principal architect for the Qatar Integrated Railway Project

Qatar Rail has commissioned Dutch architectural firm UNStudio principal architect for the Qatar Integrated Railway Project (QIRP). The strategic aim of QIRP is to encourage the population of Doha to use the rail service as an alternative to private transportation. Continue Reading…

Retail: tincan by AL_A




Next week award-winning design and architecture studio AL_A present tincan, a six month restaurant project in Soho, serving the best tinned seafood in the world.

“While designing a new cultural centre in Lisbon, our team discovered a former fishing tackle shop, which was transformed into a tiny, vibrant restaurant serving only tinned seafood. What started as lunch quickly became an idea, and subsequently a new project,”  the designers told Despoke.

 Tincan elevates the humble tin to an object of desire in a setting designed by AL_A, which offers 30 different tins, all of the finest quality seafood, to eat in the restaurant or to purchase at the store.


An array of cans form a striking repeat pattern against the black Corian® backdrop setting the tone of the fit. Working with their collaborators, AL_A have designed lights to showcase LG’s OLED technology, a wafer thin light source, stackable aluminium stools and tables made by Iduna of Portugal.


We love the concept of: no kitchen, the finest tinned seafood delicacies, super healthy, and great graphics with the tin as the hero.


Opening 15 September: Tincan – 7, Upper James Street, Soho, W1F 9DH.

Images: Paul Winch-Furness

AL_A / Tincan



The ‘Knot House’ by Atelier Chang






Five white sculptural buildings designed by Atelier Chang for the hospitality group House of Mind rest on a coastal cliff top in South Korea.


The ‘Knot House’ resort, inspired by different knots, consists of one two-storey house, the owner’s residence, with a clubhouse and four other one-storey buildings hosting six guest rooms. Continue Reading…

Retail: Selfridges’ world-famous windows arrive in Birmingham


Its disc-embellished exterior has been a city icon for 11 years, but now Selfridges is giving city shoppers another reason to stare, as its world-famous window displays arrive in Birmingham.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to Selfridges’ Oxford Street store to see the highly imaginative schemes that have entertained and enticed shoppers for decades, making them a tourist destination in their own right.

Originally installed in 1909 to encourage customers to visit, the windows have become an integral part of Selfridges’ identity, providing a platform to showcase the most exciting exclusive product, themes and events taking place in-store.

Now, as part of a £20 million redevelopment programme which will see the store boast a revamped Beauty Hall and launch a new, dedicated Menswear space, Selfridges Birmingham will follow in the footsteps of the founding store. Continue Reading…

Lookbook: Slovakian rural style by JRKVC


Bratislava-based architect – Peter Jurkovi of JRKVC references Slovakian rural architecture to create a small but perfectly formed family home. (+ Lookbook)

“There are certain principles encoded in traditional folk architecture, verified by ages and still relevant. Especially in the context of the need to reduce our ecological footprint and energy waste. Bigger is not always better! Simple buildings did not fight with the nature, but has become part of it,” said Jurkovi. They were built of local materials that were readily available and did not need a long and difficult transport – wood, clay and straw to name a few. The windows did not perform as well as today, so they were kept rather small. An under–roof porch, called “gánok” was traditionally part of the house, ensuring the contact with the outside environment even in winter or during bad weather.”

Continue Reading…

Architecture: Concept / Outcome by Sou Fujimoto Architects


Above: Maquette of House NA by Sou Fujimoto Architects

Today we launch ‘Concept to Outcome’ a new feature for Despoke, where you will discover both new and historical architectural models alongside the outcome. Without further ado, we start with the extraordinary 914 square-foot transparent  ‘House NA’ by Sou Fujimoto Architects. Out of context from the traditional vision of the Japanese home and its neighbours, the house, upon completion in 2011, captured the attention of the design world. (Inc. footage)

house na


To see the full range of Images visit:  Iwan Baan

Window House, Kanagawa by Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects

Window House, Kanagawa by Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects

Window House in Kanagawa by Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects


Window House designed by Tokyo based practice Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects is situated in Kanagawa facing Sagami Bay with a view of Mt. Fuji and Enoshima. Continue Reading…

Alfred St. Residence by Studio Four


A single level Victorian house in Prahran previously renovated in the 1980’s has been remodeled by Australian company Studio Four, to provide the family with a stronger connection to space they were housed in. Studio Four redesigned the ground level and added a first floor, which enabled the house to adapt to the growing needs of a family with preschool children, and their future needs as they progress through school and university.


The new living areas to the rear of the dwelling promote openness and interaction unlike the enclosed Victorian space at the front of the house. The latest openings provide increased connection to the existing courtyard spaces, with fresh landscaping providing a green backdrop to each internal space.

A subtle material palette of white with pale timber insertions provides a neutral backdrop for the family’s collection of art, books and objects, while enhancing the visual connection between the interior spaces with the courtyard garden adjacent.

Studio Four

RIBA Manser Medal: long list revealed

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Above: Lens House by Alison Brooks Architects

The best new homes in the UK competing for the RIBA Manser Medal: long list revealed. The longlist for the UK’s foremost private housing design award have been revealed by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

23 stunning homes form the 2014 longlist for the RIBA Manser Medal, in association with Hiscox, for the best new house or major extension in the UK. This year’s judges are Honorary President of Hiscox, Robert Hiscox, Michael Manser CBE, Lady Patty Hopkins and Carl Turner, the 2013 recipient of the Manser Medal and Tony Chapman, RIBA Head of Awards.

RIBA President Stephen Hodder said:

”The 2014 RIBA Manser Medal longlist reveals the most innovative, sustainable and beautiful new homes to have been completed in the past year. The exciting line-up is a testimony to the wonderful talent and achievements of some of the UK’s best architects.”

Highlights from across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland include: Continue Reading…

‘5 Minutes Only’ with Je Ahn of Studio Weave


Studio Weave co-founders Je Ahn and Maria Smith


Above: ‘Smith’ at Clerkenwell Design Week 2014.

‘Five Minutes Only’ is a series of quick fire rounds with industry influencers and leaders of disciplines in art and design. Today we welcome Je Ahn co-founder Studio Weave – one of London’s hottest young architectural practices.  Continue Reading…

Urban Plunge: New Designs For City Swimming


Above: King’s Cross Pond, Club Ooze (Eva Pfannes & Sylvian Hartenberg) & Marjetica Potrc London, UK, opening autumn 2014.

Launching to coincide with the London Design Festival (13-21 September 2014), Urban Plunge explores both existing schemes and future visions for river swimming in the heart of our cities.

Commissioned by Roca London Gallery, it showcases international design and architectural projects that transform urban rivers into public leisure spaces, giving people an exciting new, water-level perspective on their metropolis. 

Curator Jane Withers, a design consultant and co-founder of Wonderwater, has selected five key projects to illustrate architecture and design’s role in radically changing river usage, challenging our attitude to the urban water environment. Continue Reading…

Diary: The Bartlett School of Architecture Summer Show 2014

Heston Blumenthal’s dream team: Seymourpowell & AfroditiKrassa design ‘The Perfectionists’ Cafe’

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If you are flying from Heathrow Terminal 2 this summer treat yourself to a meal at Heston Blumenthal’s new restaurant ‘The Perfectionists’ Café’. Not only are you guaranteed an innovative dish – the design identity and interior are on an equal par. Leading design company Seymourpowell designed the brand identity and AfroditiKrassa the interior.


Seymourpowell embedded the newly developed brand mark – The Clockwork Knife across brand identity, signage, restaurant stationery and retail items. The addition of a sculpture composed of a chef’s knife with an unexpected clockwork key depicts Heston’s search for culinary perfection. The physical artifact, imagined and directed by Richard Seymour was realised by mechanical sculptor Rob Higgs, it sits above the main signage, acting as a signal for diners. Continue Reading…

Roksanda Ilincic Shop designed by Adjaye Associates opens in Mayfair


When Roksanda Ilincic decided to open her flagship store in London’s Mayfair she turned to a longtime collaborator British architect David Adjaye. The designer referenced her style– drawing on the play of geometry’s and symmetries. The site is a grade II listed building and in order to preserve the historic fabric of the existing space, the shop is a like a box within the original frame. As visitors enter, the former shop window remains intact, and a new glass screen with an inner entrance marks the contemporary intervention. The window display acts as an interim space between old and new.

The walls comprise staggered concrete slabs that repeat as forms for the plinths. The layering is slightly irregular, giving the impression of a richly choreographed three-dimensional pattern. The floor is a composite marble herringbone parquet. Towards the rear, there is a glass wall, which mirrors the glass screen at the front of the shop. The overall colour palette is neutral, with single bursts of colours or mirroring for some of the shelves and rails, which snake around the room, to guide visitors through the space. The free standing units are made out of glossy lacquered joinery, rose gold stainless steel and concrete and provide display plinths, till and seating. The existing columns are wrapped in angular diamond shaped casing, made from a softly reflective rose gold polished stainless steel.

Downstairs, the VIP and office spaces are a mix of vibrant blocks of colour and soft finishes – to contrast with the ground floor shop space. The walls are fabric paneled and each room has its own colour – ranging from yellow, beige, pink, purple and maroon.

Roksanda Ilincic / David Adjaye


News: Matches open Wimbledon flagship store designed by MRA Architecture + Design

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Tom and Ruth Chapman, joint CEOs of MATCHESFASHION.COM, determined after 27 years in Wimbledon Village  the location of their first boutique to merge their further 3 small stores located in the area into one luxury shopping environment combining the digital and physical platforms of the business. With the appointment of MRA Architecture & Interior Design practice they set about designing a modern interior concept for the 320m² flagship store based on the brands ‘edit’ and modernist inspiration offered by Tom – who personally sourced specific mid-century furniture and suggested artists such as Donald Judd for reference to meet his aesthetic needs.  Continue Reading…

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