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Friday, September 30, 2011

Repurposed Cement Factory

My design eye leans towards objects and architectural spaces that have been given a new life in unexpected ways…re-invented. Last blog post, I introduced this notion as Boudustrial, the collision of Boutique and Industry. HeyMdesign is interested in promoting the ideas of creative reuse and repurposing of existing buildings and home design and will track innovative design that uses sustainable materials and technology that considers the user and the experience.  

FAVE of the week:

My Boudustrial series kicks off with the most impressive adaptive reuse project I have ever heard of in Barcelona, Spain called the Cement Factory. Architect Ricardo Bofill imagined the conversion of an abandoned turn of the century cement factory into his architectural offices, exhibition space and personal apartment with guest rooms and extensive gardens. I wish I could have been one of the arquitectos on this project or atleast a guest. Can I, Mr. Bofill? The two year renovation ingeniously sculpted out extensives spaces by demolishing parts of the industrial silos, gigantic engine rooms and by exposing other hidden elements within its thick concrete walls. For example, see how his offices exposed and retained the industrial silo accents. Framed in such a way that they are art unto themselves. See pics below:

I love the the lofty interiors with its high ceilings, sleek contemporary furniture and moderate decorative elements. See pics below:

How magnificent the curve of the vertical silos form a sculptural backdrop to this concert and cultural activity hall! I can hear the resounding sound of music! See pic below:

Thru the interiors you can glimpse into the luscious gardens of eucalyptus,olive and cypress trees. See pics below:

I would love to sit in that garden and sip some sangria with Mr.Bofill. He is my hero! This is an inspiring transformation!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Are you a Boudustrialist?

Marcel Duchamp's Bicycle Wheel
I am passionate about Architecture and have respect for design that can be experienced, and bring global awareness. See past FAVEs of the week. (Green concrete, Floating homes, and Waste Landscape blogs)

Relative to interior design, furniture and lighting, I am inspired by all things crafted with an attention to detail.. I get excited when traditional materials such as wood and metals are merged and used in unexpected

Like Marcel Duchamp's 20th century Bicycle Wheel, he challenged assumptions about what constitues a work of art. By simply taking a prefabricated bicycle wheel and attaching it to a pedestal, he subverts the established notion of the artist's craft and the viewers experience.

Can we apply this notion into 21st century interior and architectural design?   Yes, and I call this movement Boudustrial: the collision of boutique and industry.  In future weeks, I plan to investigate how traditional materials such as wood and metal can be used in a refreshing, whimsical and unique ways.

 SUBMISSIONS for The Boudustrial Series:
Calling all furniture, lighting, industrial, interior and architectural designers: would you like to submit your products and/or projects that are contemporary with an industrial and whimsical edge? I plan to share your designs on my blog as part of my Boudustrial series.

Send Hey M design:

-Your image (s) as high resolution JPEG files
-Description of your product or project with a link to your blog or website
-Send your images to . ( Upload them to a drop box if the file is large)

Look foward!

Waste Landscape

FAVE of the week:

It's no surprise that digital music, led by iTunes is believed to take over sales of CD's. Its sad in the near future that we will lose the tangibility of the CD product.

An art installation called "Waste Landscape" by Elise Morin and Clémence Eliard at the CENTQUATRE in Paris France exhibited how CD's will ultimately disappear from our daily life. Dunes of 60,000 hand sewn metallic CD's create a 600 meter undulating landscape. 

What a powerful installation to experience the awareness that CD's will ultimately transform into toxic waste! This is a moving installation, I hope it comes to New York City!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fantastico Museo in Galicia,Spain

My FAVE of the week:

I really love the postmodernist artist Richard Serra who takes into account the viewers reaction as they approach and move through his structures. I remember walking thru his massive Corten Torqued ellipses feeling off kilter by the asymmetry and awe inspired!! So, I was extremely excited when I came across a new project in Galicia, Spain that seems so Serra-esque. But what is it? Is this a park or a musuem or both?

Nieto Sobejano Arquiectos envisioned it to be both, a musuem-park. Built outside the city of Galicia, these beautiful looking Corten steel silos engage the landscape and form Spain's Museo Interactivo de la Historia de Lugo.

A cluster of small and large cylinders define above and below ground spaces and illuminates at night thru an exoskeleton of Corten mesh.

Take a look at the color of the steel juxtaposed against the landscape. Its perfecto! I will have to go check out this musuem-visitor center on my next travels to Spain.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Trinity Root 9/11 Memorial

Trinity Root by artist Steve Tobin was dedicated to the people who died on September 11, 2001. This powerful sculpture in the churchyard of Trinity Church in New York City reminds us all of growth, the passage of time and our connection to all things.

This photo is licensed under a Creative Commons license.  Photo credit as Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Reface or Replace?

Hey MDG,
I really dislike my kitchen cabinets and cannot afford a new kitchen. How can I transform my kitchen without the expense?
Amy from Boston


You are right! Building a new kitchen is costly and intrusive. Talk to anyone that has lived thru it and they will tell you that it is rough, and that's saying it mildly... Have you ever heard of Refacing cabinetry? This is a really good option for you to transform your kitchen without spending the big bucks. Ask yourself these questions first:

Are the bones of your cabinets in good condition? Are your cabinets built 20-30 years ago? If so, they may be unattractive but are solidly constructed and are good candidates for kitchen cabinet refacing. Are you happy with your kitchen layout and the way it functions? If you are nodding your head yes, then refacing is still a good option.  Is your existing kitchen floor level? If it is, you are good to go for refacing but if the floor is not level sometimes settling can cause cabinets to sag so you may find some obstacles ahead. Are your existing cabinets painted? If they are painted before 1978, the paint most likely has lead in it and refacing contractors are required to take special precautions when working and required to give you a brochure called "Protect your family from Lead in the home." I hope your cabinets are not painted because this is an added expense to your project.

So how does refacing existing cabinetry work? Basically your contractor will remove your old doors and drawer fronts and then rough up the old face frame and side panel finish in preparation for the new veneer covering. Can you believe thats it? Finish options are plastic laminates and wood veneer. Plastic laminates will be the less expensive option. Check out Formica laminate for a wide range of solid color, wood grain and patterned laminates. Refacing with wood will cost 10 to 25 percent more than the laminates. Take a look at Tabu Veneer. Tabu offers natural beautiful wood veneer in a full range of colors. See the Ebano, Teak and the Noce Wood Veneer images. Don't you love it!! Contact the  New York Sales Rep at materialsinc for pricing assitance.

Once the veneer covering is wrapped over the existing wood, your contractor can re-install the 'new' cabinets and drawer fronts. Voila, you have brand new cabinets and you didnt have to wait months! You can then select some cool looking decorative hardware to finish off your project and personalize your cabinets. Take a look at focalpointhardware. They have a lot of brands to offer.

So, how much is refacing going to cost you? How much you pay for refacing depends on the size of your kitchen. Whatever you pay it will be significantly less than the cost of a new custom kitchen. People dont realize that there are a lot of other hidden costs to kitchen remodeling: moldings,installation, any required plumbing or electrical,refinishing your walls if cabinet locations change, sales tax, and delivery charges.

If you do not get your refacing contractor thru a recommendation, make sure you get references and go see their work. Check corners, edges, and where stiles and rails meet on cabinet doors. These intersections should be crisp!
Good luck with your renovation!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Floating homes?

I hope everyone remained safe and has dried out from the wrath of hurricane Irene last week. Certain areas got hit harder than others like North Carolina where homes were submerged underwater. So, wouldn't it be cool if homes were able to float? Well get this: Brad Pitt's Make it Right Foundation, responsible for rebuilding New Orleans after Katrina, has teamed up with Morphosis Architects to unveil eight green homes that float when flooded.

So no surprise here.... FAVE design of the week:

According to Thom Mayne of Morphosis, the house floats when floodwaters rise and glides up 12 foot guideposts. Its like a house boat, who knew? The house is made up of green materials and breaks away from electric lines and plumbing and has batteries to power up kitchen appliances and other devices inside up to three days.  Here are some images: conceptual to completion:

Talk about innovative green design! I would love to see this in action!