London and Architecture

The third day of BlogTour London started with a tour of the Waterloo Poggenpohl Showroom.  What a wonderful place for inspiration. No expense was spared on the materials used to create the beautiful showroom.

I talked a bit with Poggenpohl Waterloo’s Kevin Robertson about changes and trends he sees among their projects. He’s experiencing clients pulling away from the overly minimalistic kitchen designs. It’s safe to say Londoners still prefer clean kitchen design but the increased interest in wood countertops and architectural accents is a positive change.

Poggenpohl showroom via :Laurie Laizure | KitchAnn Style

Corey Klassen and I check out a custom stainless work top with integral sink and Blanco accessories

Poggenpohl was founded in 1892 and has remained a leader in the cabinetry industry for over a century. Poggenpohl prides itself in being at the forefront of the kitchen industry with trend-setting concepts. The minimalist lines and modern sensibility set them apart from the “many traditional cabinet makers offered in the U.S. and a new generation of homeowners are beginning to embrace this more transitional approach to design.”

An example of Poggenpohl’s commitment to innovation is their newest collection, +Artesio, designed by celebrated architect Hadi Teherani.

“The customizable +Artesio system includes not only cabinetry but also walls, floors, dining furniture and an independent ceiling with built-in ventilation, lighting and sound, delivering what Elmar Duffner, Poggenpohl’s chief executive, called a “room-in-room solution” that would be ideal for a high-ceilinged loft. A wide range of material choices for the cabinetry — including laminate, wood, glass and leather — allows for further personalization.”

After our visit to the showroom, Poggenpohl sponsored an architectural tour of the Southwark and South Bank area, led by architect Timothy Bruce-Dick.  I don’t have too many photos or notes because I decided looking up and walking and trying to capture tweets/photos/thoughts was not a good combination for me.

It was nice to walk for a while and just take things in. We’d walk through an area and take in the architecture and then  meet our bus and ride to the next stop.

Blogtour architecture tour | KitchAnn Style

Some areas that stood out for me was Lloyd’s Register of Shipping; the original facade was built in 1901, 65 Hopton St.; a bright yellow round building with stepped design,  Neo Bankside; a modern glass residential building with external bracing system, One America Square; a striking art deco building on a nondescript street and the Lloyd’s Building; home to Lloyd’s of London and sometimes called the inside-out building.

Tate Modern High Tea | KitchAnn Style

We concluded our tour outside St. Paul’s Cathedral and walked across the London Millennium Footbridge to the Tate Modern for High Tea. The view was incredible and as my first experience with High Tea, it will always be special to me.

After devouring all the sweets and finger sandwiches, we strolled back to the CitizenM. The evening’s plans were for a cocktail reception/launch party sponsored by Modenus. That night Veronika Miller unveiled the New Modenus website. If you haven’t been in a while you should visit it again. It is always evolving with new products, designer showcases, and blog posts.

I’m sure Veronika would way the evening had a few glitches but overall it was a huge success. Some of our group bought masks during the architecture tour and brought them to the party – they provided much entertainment.

New Modenus Laundch Party | KitchAnn Style

(Poggenpohl and Modenus are sponsors for BlogTour London 2013, but the views and opinions expressed on this blog are mine, and I will be honest in what I share. You, the reader, are my top priority and it is my goal to make sure you can trust the content and integrity of this blog.)

London Design Festival – Day 2 Continued

From the V&A Museum we headed to the nearby Brompton Design District. The Brompton Design District is a collaboration between leading design shops, exhibition spaces and institutions on and around the Brompton Road, London. Together with the major institutions of the V&A and the Royal College of Art & Design, the area has long been known for its contribution to art, design and education.

andrew_martin_elephantFirst stop: Andrew Martin

Interior design company Andrew Martin specializes in creating and supplying travel-inspired fabrics, wallpapers and designs using ideas sourced from cultures around the world.

Its ideology is to surprise, stimulate and entertain; its aim, to bring its multilayered, multicultural, easy living style to everybody who likes it.

Andrew Martin Collage | KitchAnn Style

A trip to the Walton Street showroom in London has been described as “like stepping in
to Aladdin’s Cave, with an almost bonkers mix of beautiful and enormous objects that
shouldn’t go together, yet somehow do.”

Andrew Martin Wallpapers | KitchAnn Style

The whole showroom seemed never-ending and the fabrics and wallpapers were most incredible. The staff was also super friendly and very knowledgeable. My favorite part was a fun little interactive art installation called Dandelion. It was created by YOKE, an interactive design company from Denmark, in collaboration with London-based design agency Sennep and was part of the exhibition Decode: Digital Design Sensations at the V&A in 2009.  I made a Vine but the sound is horrible so I’ve decided to share this video by Sennep.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/10904524]

de Le Cuona Logo | KitchAnn Style2nd Stop: de Le Cuona

After Andrew Martin we marched over to de Le Cuona to get an unveiling of the new fabrics by owner and creator Bernie de Le Cuona.

Hailing originally from South Africa, Bernie’s textile collections pair understated English elegance with sub Saharan accents. de Le Cuona works with European craftsmen to create exquisitely understated woven linens with beautiful textural finishes, soft wool paisleys , liquid velvets, and cashmere sheers.

de Le Cuona collage | KitchAnn Style

de Le Cuona is available worldwide via showrooms in London, New York and Moscow as well as online.

Fellow Blogtour companion and designer/blogger extraordinaire, Marilyn Russell, wrote a beautiful post on Bernie de Le Cuona back in May. It’s definitely worth a peek.  {Read it Here}

3rd Stop: 100% Design
Continuing on we next stopped at 100% Design held at Earls Court Exhibition Centre in West London.

100% Design is still one of the largest and most comprehensive design destinations open during London Design Festival. This year the show focused on four industry sectors, each arranged around a central “hub” by different designers: Interiors by Talenthouse; Office by TILT; Kitchen & Bath by Aberrant Architecture; Eco Design & Build by Material Lab

At the center of the Kitchen and Bath hub, U.K. design studio Mette, in sponsorship with Gaggenau, set up the show’s restaurant and an inspiring Farm Kitchen exhibit which explored the integration of micro-agriculture within the kitchen experience.  For the exhibit, Mette brought together a variety of designers and manufacturers, including Bulbo, Back to the Roots, Flip and Tumble, Modern Sprout, ConcreteWall and Auxano,

farm kitchen exhibit 100% design | KitchAnn Style

I wandered the kitchen and bath hub – happy to be in my element – exploring products from Dornbracht, Porcelanosa, Corian, Interior iD, Amberth, deVOL, Pando and Rotpunkt. Brass was definitely trending in the kitchen displays and as expected the bathroom displays were very streamlined and minimal. After my feet and shoulders gave out, I joined my BlogTour in the Bloggers Lounge for a beer.

kitchen & bath hub 100% design | KitchAnn Style

4th Stop: Casa Brindisa

A short cab ride later we came to our final destination – dinner at Casa Brindisa. Casa Brindisa is a stylish Spanish Tapas restaurant located in South Kensington. This seemingly never-ending tapas dinner (I think we had 7 courses) was hosted by BlogTour sponsor Du Verre Hardware. I really enjoyed having co-founder Gina Lubin at my table and getting the opportunity to talk with her. I also have to note that the Rise pull made a really cute napkin ring.

Casa Brindisa Dinner | KitchAnn Style

We rolled ourselves into cabs at the conclusion of dinner and headed back to the citizinM Hotel where many of us gathered in the bar to discuss the events of the day. It was a long but fabulous day. Keep checking back for my next post on day 3.

London Design Festival – Day 2

DAY 2: Brompton Design District, 100% Design

We began day two at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), now in it’s 5th year as the London Design Festival’s central hub.

Our guides whisked us through the various exhibits hardly giving us much time to stop and take in the exhibits much less capture a good photograph.

In partnership with Swarovski, the London Design Festival commissioned 14 designers to each find a tiny detail within the V&A and highlight it using a Swarovski lens. The project, entitled God is in the Details, takes the famous phrase coined by legendary German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as a starting point to encourage the visitor to discover design features that may have otherwise been overlooked.

image via Swarovski | KitchAnn Style

image via Swarovski | KitchAnn Style

Canadian Designer Omer Arbel created the 28.280 installation, suspending 280 individual Bocci 28 series handblown glass lights from the museum’s cupola to create a giant chandelier. The installation plunges almost 100 feet from the ceiling and through a hole in the floor before emerging in the atrium of the gallery.

Bocci 28.280 | KitchAnn Style

“28 Series is an exploration of a fabrication process which is part of our quest for specificity.
Instead of designing form itself, here the intent was to design a system that haphazardly
yields form, almost as a byproduct. ‘28’ pendants result from a complex glass blowing
technique whereby air pressure is intermittently introduced into and then removed from a
glass matrix which is intermittently heated and then rapidly cooled.

The result is a distorted spherical shape with a composed collection of inner shapes, one of 
which is made of opaque milk glass and houses a light source.”

28.280  and V&A via Bocci | KitchAnn Style

Other notable exhibits included V&A Designer in residence Julia Lohmann‘s installation of a huge sculpture made of seaweed, a white noise voice remixer created by Yuri Suzuki, a walk-through exhibit of 5,000 paper windmills created by Najla El Zein called The Wind Portal and The Dinner Party still life set up by Scholten and Baijings where visitors look upon a dinner scene and hear music playing softly in the background created by the objects before them by composers Moritz Gabe and Henning Grambow.

V&A collage London Design festival | KitchAnn Style

Perhaps the most breathtaking exhibit at the V&A is the Pearls exhibit running through January 19th in collaboration with the Qatar Museums Authority.

This lavish display explores the history of pearls from the early Roman Empire through to the present day and showcases some of the most exquisite pearl jewelery including the famous Mikimoto pearl necklace worn by Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor’s Bulgari pearl-drop pendant earrings.

Pearl exhibit via V&A | KitchAnn Style

To be Continued…Brompton Design District on BlogTourLondon