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no.42 アーカイブ

2009年09月11日

Tips for color

All white and minimal interior design was a trend a few years ago, but lately, a decorative element in the space is coming back. With this background, color is now getting some attention again. However, in Japanese residences, natural colors such as white, beige, ivory, etc are still favored and other colors are not well utilized.
The recent trend in color is having not one particular color but rather, it's the color that gives a faded impression or an uneven color. In terms of space, one wall is not painted with one color but it has become the mainstream to combine color with different material textures such as wood, metal, plaster finish, etc. This can easily fit in with Japanese people who find it difficult to handle strong colors and it can readily bring some color to the space.
The color selection of a residence is deeply related to the resident's personality. Color is a valid expressive method to represent the family's lifestyle image, hobby, atmosphere, etc. To be able to do this, it is important to know the sensuous images that colors give.
To apply color to a large area, it is generally good to set the color saturation low and the color intensity high. The color of a space can be categorized into the base color, such as floors, walls, and ceilings. The control color would be the curtains, furniture and rugs and the accent color would be artwork and small articles. The accent color adjustment can be done easily by anybody. On the contrary, Japanese people find it most difficult to choose the base color. However, it is possible to create an impressive space by expressing it with various materials and colors such as paint application, plastering materials, wallpaper, tiles, etc. Rather than combining different colors, if different colors and textures are combined, it is possible to challenge an unexpected color that has never been used before.

F Residence

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The F residence stands in the suburbs of Osaka in the Kansai district. A husband, wife and two kids live in the F residence. The wife was mesmerized by the soft colors of material textures from the photo collection of Moroccan houses and decided to construct a house with more expression by putting colors on the walls. With that, architect Kenji Hashimoto made the base color as yellow green, which is neutral and blends into any kind of space.
The walls of the living room and dining kitchen on the 1st floor were painted with a light yellow green, and as a result, the contrast between the ash material floor and the dark brown TV stand is not as severe, and adds to the warmth of the space. The moderately rounded wall around the staircase is painted with yellow green with the yellow being the stronger color. The stained glass on this wall is breathtaking. When you go up to the 2nd floor through this staircase, it leads to a hallway with a light green wall where cloth paper with asperity is plastered on as a base. The semi-circle ceiling that reminds one of a mosque ambulatory is painted in bluish green.
To secure the privacy of the space, a big opening was established in the living room and in the dining kitchen. Both face the courtyard, which is surrounded by exterior walls. The part facing the road has only a narrow slit window. When an opening is large, it makes things bright, but a squeezed size window creates nuanced lighting and enhances the wall surface which is painted with a subtle gradation.

2009年09月13日

Watts Residence

The Watts residence is located on a hill in Barcelona situated in the northeast part of Spain. A husband, a wife, and a 4-year-old daughter live in this house. The couple wanted to get away from the urban noises so they purchased the residence, which was built in 1902. This area also has good access to the center of the city. In the past, modern architecture was in full swing, and the Watts liked the unique atmosphere of fusing modernism and craftsmanship. They renovated their place with the concept of "reviving the soul of those days."
This building consists of 3 stories and a basement, and has been passed down for about 100 years, with various owners fixing it up at different times. The couple spent about 2 months on herringbone-plastered floors and painted walls to recreate the original state of the building. As for the coordination of the fixtures, clasps and furniture, the couple consulted with the wife Jeanette's friends. These friends are a group of coordinators called "recdi8". In the old part of Barcelona city, are craft centers from ancient times and it is possible to acquire doors and handles that are made the traditional way. However, finding the furniture of those days is difficult, so with the philosophy of the early 1900s in mind, they employed a furniture manufacturer who maintains a classic modern taste. On the other hand, for the master bedroom on the 3rd floor, silver and white mosaic tiles were plastered on the whole surface of the wall to give it a modern feel.
While maximizing the charm of the building, the couple showcased their taste. When you are in the Watts residence, you can almost feel the active lifestyle of those days past.

Schneider Residence

On the west side of the old city where Gothic architecture of Barcelona, Spain remains, there is a newly developed urban area called the Eixample district. The Eixample district was developed in the 19th century by Ildefonso Cerdá 's city planning project. Architect/owner Claudia Schneider lives here with her one-year-old son and her husband, who runs a music and book publishing company. Claudia found this 150-year-old building in the corner of a leafy park, which is reminiscent of the above project. Claudia purchased the 2nd floor and renovated it herself. The plan was to keep it mostly intact, but she realized there was not much light coming in so Claudia tore down the wall of the living room that was used as a gallery by the previous owner. Then, she designed a sunroom connected to the wooden terrace, which faces the park. This is a scheme to take in sunlight in an appropriate manner from the openings located on the east and the west sides of the room. Also, a swinging door connecting the bedroom and the dining/living room was changed into a sliding door. Keeping the door opened or closed can change the atmosphere of the room to suit the occasion. The other door is painted blue to reflect the existing tiled floor and is also painted orange because Claudia likes to accentuate the white space. On the whole surface wall of the living room, a thin metal bookshelf was built. Also, originally designed CD shelves were installed on both the left and the right sides of the fireplace, which is in the center. A lightweight yet durable metal material contrasts nicely on the white wall and makes this space refreshing, in addition to being surrounded by books and CDs.
While bringing out the attraction of the existing building, Claudia added the necessary elements for her lifestyle. This residence is filled with the joy of living in a culture that shows the history of generations.

2009年09月15日

Dyeing Craftsman Sachio Yoshioka

From the past, Japanese people have been adoring and getting joy out of beautiful colors of flowering plants, and through this, have polished their five senses. Their sharp senses have been utilized in various scenes like waka and kimono. Dyeing craftsman Sachio Yoshioka inherited the senses and extracts colors from plants just like ancient craftsmen in order to recapture the traditional beautiful, radiant Japanese colors.
Yoshioka is the 5th generation family head of "Somenotsukasa Yoshioka" built during the Edo period. This dyeing atelier is situated in a quiet town along Uji River in the Fushimi district in Kyoto. After graduating from university, Yoshioka got a job at a publishing company and then launched an art-book publishing firm. At first, Yoshioka's younger brother was going to go into the family business of running the dyeing atelier but his brother suddenly declined, so Yoshioka started to work as a dyeing craftsman 21 years ago.
Since chemical dye was imported from Europe in the early Meiji period, primary material of dye shifted from plant dye to chemical dye in Japan. Somenotsukasa Yoshioka adopted chemical dye from the 3rd generation but Yoshioka was attracted to the beauty of ancient color dyed with plants, which is perceived as a rare cultural property, so he eliminated all the chemical dye hoping to revive the ancient color in the modern age.
At the atelier, the work of dyeing silken threads to purple was being done. Lithospermi radix (purple plant roots), which eventually become dye, are pounded with a wooden hammer and softened in a millstone. They are then mixed with hot water to make a bath of dye. Bath of dye is transferred to a tub that is on the fire and then silken threads are soaked in there. Cultivation of lithospermi radix is hard, and dyeing takes a long time. But that deep purple which carries light is utterly beautiful. Japanese culture makes one's lifestyle coincide with the four seasons and the traditional colors that Japanese people's senses familiar with, cannot be changed, and are therefore the core elements of Japanese manufacturing.


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The Face Joan Lao

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Spanish architect Joan Lao handled over 3,000 projects in the United States, Dubai and South America. He lives with his wife LINA and his daughter Afrika in the house located along the beach of the village Gava, which is far south from the center of Barcelona. He himself handled everything like the architecture, interior design and designing the furniture. It is an attractive location as the beach spreads beyond the narrow road on the south side of the flat 1,000m2 land plot. As you enter the entrance gate, you will see a beautiful swimming pool, and in the back, the Spanish colonial style building arranged in a modern sensibility stands with symmetrical windows on the left and right sides. The entrance door is 7m. Joan designed the house to be in a high position so that one can fully enjoy the ocean view from the large living room and the dining room on the 1st floor. The staircase on the north side is designed to be the backbone of the house and is plastered with maple colored limestone. Once you go up this staircase, there is a master bedroom and also a lounge space on the 2nd floor where you can relax with a view of the ocean. On the south side of the 3rd floor, is Afrika's bedroom and the terrace was established so you can overlook the horizon. The north side was made to be functional by establishing closets. To control the rise in room temperature due to strong sunlight in the summer, the number of windows on the east and west sides was minimized and the eave for the window on the south side was made deep. The indoors is designed to have almost a square proportion and is coordinated with different textured grayish colored walls and furniture by his sharp, insightful design sense. The residence where you can relax from the bottom of your heart was created.




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2009年09月16日

Close-up Designer Nani Marquina

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The nanimarquina showroom/office is situated near Sagrada Familia and is the representative rug brand of Barcelona, Spain. Colorful rugs are hung from the ceiling in the showroom and they have a presence like art objects. The main designer, Nani Marquina grew up with her father, Rafael Marquina who is an architect/designer and she decided to pursue a career in nature and design.
After graduating from a design school in Barcelona, she launched nanimaruquina in 1987. It was a harsh environment at first, because it had just been liberated from Francisco Franco's dictatorship and there were not many working women at the time. All the rugs are handmade; detailed images are "ASIA" which comes from the image of Asian gardens in the shade and "AFRICAN HOUSE" which is associated with African noble residences. Her ideas vary from uneven circles with a touch of handmade feel to recycled bicycle tire tubes. The Topissimo collection won many prizes including the Red dot Design Award. Stereoscopic dots are spread all over the rugs, are individually made into knots by craftsmen and give the product a high quality feel.
Nani's business activities as a designer were commended with Business of the Year, and she is also highly valued in society for being representative of a hard working woman. Nani is clearly passionate about her rugs, and it shows, because it helps to enlighten people's lifestyles. "Touch the color! " said Nani and smiled.


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Showcases Flamant

An interior design exhibition "Maison et Objet" takes place every year in Paris. Among the exhibitors, a Belgian interior design brand Flamant has a huge booth and gets a lot of attention from buyers and the press. In 1978, three Flamant brothers, Alex, Geo and Jacques went into their father's business which was antique dealing and at the same time, they newly launched a brand which presents home accessories. In the process of introducing accessories like a matching lamp for antique furniture in the showroom, there were many requests from clients wanting to purchase everything in each room as one coordinated room. At that point, they realized that a "recipe" to produce homes that people want, i.e.; interior designs and colors that blend in the modern space while still maintaining an antique feel, was desirable.
At Flamant, four recipes of "colour ambiance" are introduced twice a year by colorists and coordinators to make sure all the items they carry match beautifully. Their 2009 Autumn/Winter themes were "MARIE-ANTOINETTE", "SUITE/HOTEL"ArtD残o, "FLANDRES HERITAGE" and "CHALET MODERNE". Then, historical backdrops, paint color, wallpaper, and fabrics are determined according to these 4 different themes. People can easily create the "Flamant style" by even combining different brands of furniture if they fully utilize the golden "recipe" which form homes.

Window Treatment

Windows and doors have a significant role in daily life, because they connect the outside and the inside. Functions of windows and doors vary from them being an entrance/exit, ventilation between the outdoors and indoors (like a garden and terrace), and lastly, functioning to let light in and create a nice view. Moreover, the positioning of windows and opening/closing styles of windows (like sliding doors and swinging doors), form an important role in the architectural design. On the other hand, the role of windows and glass doors is huge in terms of interior design and interior coordination. The concept of combining window positioning, curtains, blinds, and furniture cannot be cut loose. In addition to the functional aspect, considering both exterior and interior appearances can help to achieve more beautiful openings.
In this article, we will cover small opening designs like sash frames, small windows, slit windows, and design approach by referring to examples from home and abroad. At the same time, we will explain how to treat curtains and blinds, which is important when considering openings.

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About no.42

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