Dome Home

12/28/2008

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I can’t decide whether I love or hate these Japanese dome homes. Apparently they are quite eco-friendly, natural disaster-resistant, and egalitarian.  I kind of like the sauna and watering hole executions…
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I am obsessed with Desiree Dolron‘s eerily intimate portraits of Cuban life. Her photographs of classrooms, kitchens, and sitting rooms are Vermeeresque, dark but angelically lit, Dutch Master-style. The beautiful series, titled Te Di Todos Mis Sueños (I Gave You all my Dreams) is just one more reason for me to get back to the motherland.

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Brand Royal

12/27/2008

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I absolutely adore porcelain anything, and Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg is the dream stuff is made of. They have been churning out the finest porcelain in the world since 1747. Inextricably linked to Germany’s Royal Bavarian Wittelsbach family, the house produces all of its figurines and serving pieces using original methods at the Nördliches Schlossrondell Palace in Nymphenburg. Schloss Nymphenburg was built in 1664 as a summer residence for Elector Ferdinand, and is still owned by the Bavarian royal family.

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No other factory in the world still manufactures its products the way that Nymphenburg does. It’s one of the last places where all products are made entirely by hand, and the term “manu factum” really does mean what it says. The conscious decision not to use any type of automated process has produced the most breathtaking pieces. The porcelain paste – which other companies buy as a semi-finished product – is made on site. Nymphenburg also creates and mixes its own paints; its porcelain painters work without templates. Each item is shaped and painted by hand, each ornament individually applied and all designs, regradless of how intricate, are cut with tiny blades into the unfired porcelain. Nymphenburg consciously decided to only employ manual production methods, and since the 18th century has refined them to near perfection. Clients are often amazed to hear that delivery of a four-part food service will take two years.

The buildings and workshops are as much works of art as the pieces they produce.  I could live in the Paste Mill or Gilding Room.  The spaces are so magnificent, they are available to rent out for events and film shoots. Can you imagine???

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I keep a little of file of great rooms I’d like to sit around in for a while. Here are a few.

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I keep a little of file of great rooms I’d like to sit around in for a while. Here are a few.

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I almost had to peel myself off the floor when I saw the Bergdorf Christmas windows.  I swear they have a hidden porthole to my brain.  How do they do it all over again year after year?


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To take my mind off Matt in Paris (during Thanksgiving!) I’m taking imaginary trips to some other capital cities. First off, Brasília, the spectacular mid-century seat of Brazil. The UNESCO World Heritage Site was planned and developed in 1956 with modern design diety Oscar Niemeyer as the principal architect. The city looks like Mies, Saarinen, Le Corbusier, Eames, and Breuer all took a few more classes and vomited all over a two thousand square mile swath of land.

At the age of 100, Neimeyer is the last living modernist design legend.  The centenarian has been invited by president of Angola to design a new capital city for his country, four times the size of Brasilia. In a recent interview Neimeyer laughs, “Four times the size of Brasilia? So it could take four times as long -That’s 16 years!” If he took the commission he would be 115 years old at the time of its inauguration.

These days Neimeyer is apparently happy to sit around and keep in touch with old friends including Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. (He’s a member of the Brazilian Communist Party since 1945, and was presented with the Lenin Peace Prize in 1963.)

Brasília became the capital of Brazil in 1960 and is the seat of all three branches of the Brazilian government.

An awesome article on Neimeyer HERE.  More pics after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »