During last week’s London Design Festival, Zaha Hadid introduced a collection of housewares and tabletop items created exclusively for the posh Harrods department store. No stranger to merchandising opportunities—the architect has produced a bevy of brand extensions, including furniture, swimsuits, wine bottles, jewelry, and shoes—this latest venture is described as a “luxury homeware line.”
Water has been called the oil of the 21st century. Whether too much (Exhibit A: Hurricane Sandy) or too little (Exhibit B: California, Texas, and the Southwest), conserving, cleaning, and controlling it has never been a higher priority for architects and their clients. From rooftops to underground, these innovative systems and products work to make the most of every drop.
Whether used to enhance the identity of an entire community or an individual institution, street furnishings present a primary opportunity to engage the public with design. Here’s our pick of products—created by Zaha Hadid, Yves Behar, Antonio Citterio, and others—for seating, lighting, and other outdoor accoutrements that have exceptional architectural appeal.
Moveable partitions give structure to open floor plans and adapt to shifting spatial needs. Defining diverse areas large and small, public and private, they have long been utilized in office settings, and are gaining popularity in residential loft developments. Fitted with clear or translucent panels of glass or resin, the walls transmit rather than block natural light.
Fixed or floating, glass panels can bring color, pattern, texture, and spatial definition to an interior—without impeding the spread of light throughout the space. Used as part of a wayfinding or identity scheme, or simply to introduce a note of artistic distinction, the choices range from traditional cast and mouth-blown design to high-tech fabrications.
In the residential bathroom, “transitional” style—an admittedly ambiguous label, but one that has nonetheless persisted in the industry—has lately and happily edged closer to contemporary. The shift is certainly attributable to design trends found in the hip hospitality sector. Here’s a selection of items that are new to the market.
With a 17-inch bathing well, wide deck, and integrated lumbar support, this oval soaking tub offers comfort and easy access. The center-drain, 66-by-36-inch acrylic fixture is available with straight or fluted shroud.
Door hardware falls into two groups: the seen and the unseen. The former is designed to arrest the eye, while the latter is built to impress with sophisticated functionality and satisfying haptics. Here’s a selection of standout handles, hinges, and tracks for contemporary applications.
These load-bearing stainless steel wheels can carry a wood or glass door leaf weighing up to 1,760 pounds. The floor track can be surface- or flush-mounted.
While architects often dream of floating houses and cities of the future, a new floating technology is promising to clean up our waterways. The winner of the 2014 Disrupt-O-Meter award is Puralytics, for the innovative technology that’s at the root of the LilyPad, a floating, portable water purification device that works without chemicals, consumables, or power.
At Salon del Mobile, the specialized trade show Eurocucina focuses on innovation in kitchen systems and appliances. This year, trends include a fascination with dark woods and the evolution of wall cabinets from closed boxes to open shelves. On the bathroom front, exhibitors at the Salone del Bagno were promoting unusual finishes and materials for plumbing fixtures and fittings.
Now available with a glass worktop, ultra-thin doors, and a redesigned backsplash panel that facilitates installation around utility lines. Designed by Gabriele Centazzo.