Design Finds

Each week we compile a list of our favourite stand-out design, architecture and decor achievements. This week we share the progress of Thomas Heatherwick’s (who has designed the soon-to-open ZeitzMOCAA in Cape Town) 1000 Trees, a school hall whose carbon footprint is zero, and the world’s longest art gallery, among others.

Heatherwick Studio releases new video of 1000 Trees under construction in Shanghai

Thomas Heatherwick’s studio has revealed its own video and photographs of its tree-covered development in Shanghai, following the release of drone footage earlier this week.

Photography and video: Noah Sheldon.

Heatherwick Studio’s 1000 Trees, previously called Moganshan, is currently under construction next to the city’s M50 arts district. The huge tree-covered development design is split across two sites, connected by a narrow strip of land containing a number of government offices and a historic building. The London-based studio released a video and images, less than a week after unofficial drone footage by architects Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost was published online. The new material shows the stepped concrete structure nearing completion, with many full-sized trees planted on the roof.

Chiangmai Life Architects constructs a zero-carbon sports hall in Thailand entirely from bamboo

Photography: Markus Roselieb (CLA) and Alberto Cosi

This sports hall for a school in Thailand utilises prefabricated bamboo trusses to span more than 17 metres without steel reinforcements or connections. Commissioned by the Panyaden International School, an international and bilingual institution located in the country’s Chiang Mai province, the project was designed by Chiangmai Life Architects (CLA), a firm who specialises in bamboo and earth architecture.

The building’s design is based on the lotus flower, a symbol of both Thailand and Buddhist teachings. The design team, led by Markus Roselieb and Tosapon Sittiwong, was asked to construct a large hall able to accommodate 300 students while blending with its natural surroundings. The brief also called for modern sports facilities and stated that only bamboo could be used to maintain the school’s low carbon footprint.

Stockholm’s subway is the world’s longest art gallery

Photograph: Getty

Photograph: Arild Vågen

Photograph: Broberger

Photograph: Arild Vågen

Photograph: Arild Vågen

At 68 miles (approximately 109km) long, the Stockholm Metro is not the longest in the world, but features, however, the longest gallery in the world. In 1957 the Stockholms ‘tunnelbana’, or Stockholm Tunnel Rail, began inviting artists to decorate its stations as a means of democratising art. Finnish artist Per-Olov Ultvedt made the first works inside the central hub, painting the rough-hewn exposed bedrock with crisp blue-and-white floral patterns and the silhouettes of the workers who built it; Signe Persson-Melin and Anders Österlin collaboratively designed the mosaics on the tunnel tiles. Today, 90 of the system’s 100 stations feature work by more than 100 artists.

Revamped Barcelona house features herringbone floors and a covert dining area for easy living

Photographs: José Hevia

Spanish architect Raúl Sánchez has overhauled a five-bedroom house in Barcelona so it can function as either a weekend retreat for its owners or as a rental home for tourists. With his renovation of House 106, Sánchez aimed to make the 170-square-metre property more versatile. He felt that, by removing some of the old walls and replacing them with alternative partitions, spaces could be easily adapted to suit the needs of different occupants.

On the ground floor, this involved removing partitions that divided up the living, dining and kitchen spaces. Instead, he added a curved wooden wall that forms a backdrop to a small dining area. Built from oak veneer panels, this wall functions as a screen, giving diners some privacy – but it is also helps to keep the living space relatively open.

Maharam and Paul Smith Celebrate Their 15 Year Anniversary with a New Print

In 1992, British fashion designer Paul Smith called the CEO of U.S. textile brand Maharam with a proposal: Could he sew one of their punchy prints into a suit for an upcoming collection? Maharam said yes. And the collaboration stuck — the two creatives have been working together ever since, producing more than 20 electrifying textile designs.
Now, to commemorate the 15th year of their partnership, Maharam has turned the pattern of a woven silk tie into Dots, a new pattern available in nine different colours. With punchy polka dots laid over a smart houndstooth, it’s the perfect blend of British intellectualism and American pop.