zurich: qwstion invites store opening

© qwstion

swiss bag maker qwstion returns to the very same spot in in zurich's happening kreis 4 neighbourhood where it previously opened a pop-up concept store, but now it's here to stay for good. situated on the ground floor of a modern office building better known as domahaus, the store is spacious and expansive floor-to-ceiling windows allow in floods of daylight that give the premises a wonderful airy feel. called qwstion invites, it features a shop interior of subtle understatement, achieved through a mixture of well-picked materials and furnishings. at the very base of this aesthetic is the building itself: rendered into a whitewashed canvas of sorts, while a series of minimal interventions add a visual layer that provides interesting spatial perspectives when moving around the store.

the store has a largely versatile configuration, featuring many a custom-made furnishing on wheels. lighting is anoher aspect which has deservedly been given special attenttion with plenty of ceiling spotlights and a number of more decorative saucer lamps. qwstion invites is once again set up as a concept store, featuring more that just qwstion's sought-after range of men's and women's bags. a new effort has been made to provide shoppers with a curated collection of contemporrary lifestyle goods, ranging from apparel and shoes, to accessories, books and even furniture pieces. currently on the brand list are coveted names, such as a kind of guise, r.t.co, new tendency, juniper ridge and stutterheimand as its name already implies, qwstion invites aims to provide a platform to young designers to show their own products to a wide audience, and swiss talent damian fopp is the very first to do so. location: domahaus, badenerstrasse 156 [kreis 4].

© qwstion

los angeles: a.p.c. store opening

© a.p.c. / photography: taiyo watanabe

downtown los angeles continues to transform at the blink of an eye. the area is filled with fantastic architecture, making it the area to watch this coming decade. retail and hospitality have spearheaded a huge shift, led by brands with a more artistic inclination, but we're pretty sure it won't be long until the first illustrious name from the luxury stratosphere will settle here. meanwhile, the area continues to pull cool retail businesses we easily envision setting up shop here, and a.p.c. is one of the latest to arrive on tthe block. for its second outlet in the city, the french retailer picked a ground floor unit at the ninth and broadway building, an imposing landmark structure from the late 1920s by american architect claud beelman.

the a.p.c. store is located around the corner from the dramatic two-storey main entrance, below a façade decorated with similarly ornate terracotta filigree panels. the shop interior is created by laurent deroo, the brand's paris-based house architect. apart from the broad window sills lined with timber, the overall aesthetic strays away from the architect's usual palette. this is a lofty space, and massive shelving systems have been designed to properly fill it. dipped in soft greys, these furnishings blend well with the concrete flooring while at the same time being offset by a pristine white ceiling. the new a.p.c. boutique carries the brand's full range of men's and women's apparel, shoes and accessories. location: 125 west ninth street [downtown].

© a.p.c. / photography: taiyo watanabe

london: serpentine gallery pavilion 2015

© serpentine galleries / photography: naaro

instigated at the turn of the century, serpentine galleries celebrates each summer season with an architectural event that has now become one of the planet's most visited design exhibitions. some of the most gifted architects have created a seasonal serpentine pavilion amidst the greens of kensington gardens, including frank gehry, zaha hadid and sou fujimoto. for this 15th edition the renowned art venue has tapped josé selgas and lucía cano of madrid-based practice selgascano to come up with an inspiring design. and the spanish duo totally delivers, concocting an amorphous, double-skinned, polygonal structure that consists of panels of a translucent, multi-coloured ,fluorine-based polymer woven through and wrapped like webbing.

visitors can enter and exit the pavilion at a number of different points, passing through a so-called secret corridor between the outer and inner layer of the structure, and into the pavilion’s colourful interior. the architects’ inspiration not only came from the site itself, but from the ways in which people move through london, notably the subway with its many-layered, chaotic yet structured flow [open through oct 18]. on friday evenings, between july and september, the serpentine pavilion will once again become the stage for the serpentine’s park nights series of live events. location: serpentine galleries, west carriage drive, kensington gardens [kensington].

© serpentine galleries / photography: iwan baan

amsterdam: hacked 1.0

© alexander van slobbe + francisco van benthum + droog / photography: johannes schwarz

with their commitment to craftsmanship and a distinct sense of style, the practice of alexander van slobbe and francisco van benthum, two respected veterans in the dutch fashion scene, are a world away from the reeling and dealing of today's fast-fashion chains. the two loosely affiliated designers have now forged a collab for a counter attack of sorts by launching a new collection, entitled van slobbe van benthum. the initiative not only mocks the chains' relentless plundering of the collections of independent designers, but also makes use of their fabric remnants and deadstock. the two designers will tweak these into new men's an women's knitwear, jerseys and accessories without entirely concealing their origins. for the launch of the van slobbe van benthum collection, a pop-up retail space and installation, aptly named hacked 1.0, has been set up on the premises of hôtel droog in amsterdam's canal district. location: staalstraat 7b [centrum].

© alexander van slobbe + francisco van benthum + droog / photography: johannes schwarz

munich: viu store opening

© viu

although successful with its online retail concept, swiss eyewear brand viu doesn't underestimate the power of a brick and mortar presence, and now that it's gradually becoming a household name in certain circles, an ambitious roll-out of new stores has kicked off in neighbouring germany. the first store expansion has taken the brand to munich where it has set up shop in a corner of the isarvorstadt, an area of town that through time transitioned from a jewish quarter to a nightlife hub with many gay bars and clubs, but then again viu seems to have a penchant for quirky locations. occupying a ground floor space of a mid-19th century building, it features a setting by co-founders fabrice aeberhard and christian kaegi that not only does justice to the building's architecture, but at the same time also complies with the brand's signature aesthetic. against a backdrop of exposed brick walls dipped in a white hue, grid-engraved wooden panels present the current eyewear collections. expansive windows allow in plenty of daylight, but the frames are highlighted by a sophisticated system of suspended lamps. matching beautifully with the flooring of polished concrete is a custom-made table and two carefully sourced brass pendant lamps. the new viu store carries the brand's full range of eyewear. coming up next month is an additional store in berlin. location: reichenbachstrasse 38 [isarvorstadt].

© viu

st. petersburg: zaha hadid

© zaha hadid architects - zephyr sofa [2013] / photography: jacopo spilimbergo

what more can be said of zaha hadid other than that she's one of the greatest architects of our time? since establishing her own practice in london in 1980, the pritzker architecture prize winner – an honour which she shares with only one other female – has designed a number of high-profile structures around the world that push the boundaries of modernity and have a strong evocative quality at the same time. and next to that, hadid successfully dabbles in industrial design, showing off the very same brilliance. following the design of a striking private residence in suburban moscow in 2008, the iraqi-born starchitect has found a new presence in russia, this time in the country's cultural capital st. petersburgby way of a mid-career retrospective.

opening sat - jun 27 at the state hermitage museum's imposing winter palace, the showcase, officially entitled zaha hadid at the state hermitage museum, presents many of the seminal paintings, drawings, models and design objects of hadid’s forty-year repertoire, conveying the ingenuity and dynamism of her architectural projects in variety of media including film, photography and installations. interestingly, hadid has always had a connection of sorts with russia as she directly engaged with the work of the russian avant-garde early in her career, developing an artistic inventiveness that transcends the context of the russian social experiment and continues a narrative of a new spatial perception. the exhibition is part of the ongoing hermitage 20/21 project which collects, exhibits and studies the art of the 20th and 21st centuries. location: winter palace, nikolaevskiy hall, dvortsovaya naberezhnaya 34 [tsentralniy].

© zaha hadid architects / tatlin - spire and dongdaemun design plaza, seoul / photography: virgile simon bertrand

milan: kenzo store renewal

© kenzo

revived by retailers-turned-designers carol lim and humberto leon, the kenzo brand is riding an unprecedented high, opening new stores at key locations around the globe. the store in milan has been one of the first to open since the brand regained the global limelight, but already its interior has been revamped to meet the retail standards. designed by the aforementioned duo, the 246 sqm. [2,648 sq.ft.] store now boasts an interior of extended horizontal lines that compensate the relatively low height of the two floors. the palette is industrial-inspired with large swathes of soft greys, offset by contrasting materials and hues. grids of tube lighting seamlessly complement the linear aesthetic, and add a slight futuristic touch. a staircase of natural stone is paired by a boxy sales counter in a similar material, and a number of off-beat furnishings, such as ottomas with fur accents and glass vitrines lined with shiny metal, add up to the it atmosphere of the renewed kenzo store. the same can be said of the electronic screens which present footage of the brand's latest collections and other curated themed footage. the store stocks kenzo's men's and women's apparel, footwear and accessories collections. location: via manzoni 25 [duomo].

© kenzo

new york: the four horsemen bar opening

© the four horsemen / photography: justin chung

the gentrification of williamsburg is going leaps and bounds, and although the phenomenon usually comes with unfavourable side effects, there are plenty of benefits as well. this part of brooklyn has become a sought-after area for a demographic of savvy urbanites who venture here to set up home, establish a business, or simply to have a good time. the ongoing buzz has spawned a new infrastructure of happening yet also genuine hospitality venues, and in such an appealing variety that it's closely followed around the planet. one of the latest gems to arrive on the block is a sleek modern wine bar called the four horsemen.

although conceptualized as a laid-back neighbourhood establishment, it's backed by a team of driven professionals, led by founders christina topsøe, a former corporate lawyer, wine connoisseur randolph moon, and last but not least, lcd soundsystem frontman james murphy. the interior of the four horsemen, created by new york-based practice ole sondresen architect, has a distinct scandinavian feel, pairing the building's concrete shell with latticed timber paneling, matching furnishings in light wood and simple globe light fixtures. the front section features window seating and a bar with stools, followed by a cozy dining section.

as said, this is first and foremost a wine bar, and as such it stocks an impressive 200 different wines from around the planet that represent the best of their particular terroir. but its not all about wines here though, there'll be also be a selection of rare beers are beers and a bespoke beer on tap called the shallows, brewed exclusively by from brooklyn brewery. and that's not all, folks. the four horsemen is a wine bar with benefits, culinary benefits so to speak. supervised by chef nick curtola, the establishment serves charcuterie, some house-made, cheeses and snacks, as well as hot and cold plates that focus on vegetables and lighter fish and meat preparations. bread, a humble but essential element of many a good meal, is made in-house. location: 295 grand street [williamsburg].

© the four horsemen / photography: justin chung

singapore: faculty pop-up store

© k+ / photography: marc tan

faculty is a newly launched menswear brand from singapore. founded by acclaimed designer larry peh, in collab with brand director lenz fan and artist-turned-entrepreneur lyn she, it's presenting its first collection at k+ gallery. the collection features a number of staples of a men’s wardrobe, ranging from shirts, t-shirts, chinos, denim and socks. intended for the savvy contemporary male, faculty aims to fill a void in the menswear marketplace by crafting apparel and products that draws from peh’s varied roots in graphic design, art direction, branding and photography. interestingly, each item is designed and packaged in grey, reflecting the dynamic of ideas from the use of grey matter in its creation.

raising its profile, faculty has recently set up a pop-up store and workshop space at k+ gallery where items from the collection are for sale. an important element in the collection is denim, and as such it's featured prominently inn the brand's campaign images by new york-based artist john clang. along an exhibition of clang’s visuals, faculty has also initiated a range of exclusive collaborations with indigo-dye artisans buaiso and the craftsmen of sueki ceramics, both from the land of the rising sun [open through aug 2]. additionally, shoppers can also learn the intricate art of shibori and roketsuzome at workshops conducted by buaiso. location: scotts square, 6 scotts road, unit 03-14/15 [orchard west].

© faculty

paris: maison souquet opening

© maison souquet / photography: eric antoine

ah, paris! acknowledged around the planet as the ultimate city of love, this specific reputation, however, also has a saucier side with a similar appeal. at the turn of the 20th century when morals were, let's say, more pliable, the maisons closes, or pleasure houses, played second home to the socialites and aesthetes of paris. and it's this bygone era of haute debauchery, also known as la belle époque, that has inspired the many sumptuous settings of maison souquet, a new hotel in the pigalle area of town. situated in a former pleasure house, behind an inconspicuous façade marked by two red lanterns and a matching canopy, unfolds a peculiar splendour concocted by french interior architect jacques garcia.

a renowned stylemaster with a penchant for unmistaken elegance, garcia has recreated a lavish, otherworldly refuge for those who prefer hospitality to be more than just ultimate comfort. intimate and oozing a sense of rare exclusivity, maison souquet boasts only 20 rooms, including six suites with unique interiors. upon entering the premises guests and visitors are wowed by the plush décor of the salon des 1001 nuits, an inviting place where to mingle or relax in style, nipping a signature cocktail from the nearby bar. the latter is a popular destination in its own right, featuring a monumental fireplace, replete with piano, books, and even games.

as an extension of sorts of the salon, the homely conservatory, furnished with a comfortable circle of sofas, leads to an outdoor smoking area. the grandeur downstairs obviously extends into each of the rooms upstairs where it manifests in various forms. the deluxe rooms may be the establishment's most compact pads, but what they may lack in size, the make up with a dazzling interior of a variety of precious silks. and whimsically, each of the rooms is named after a famous courtesan. for instance, room 203, also known as rita, is interwoven with thousands of colourful peacock feathers. 

upping the ante in more ways than one are the junior suites, featuring exquisite detailing, and a selection of well-picked furnishings and artworks to match. situated on the third and fourth floors, maison souquet's luxury is presented on a larger scale. two small apartments, named la païva and liane de pougy, are decorated especially in homage to these women. appointed in a style as exuberant as their courtesan lifestyles, the two la païva junior suites form an apartment that is home to a collection of objects rivaled only by the liane de pougy junior suite. and don't let the classic aesthetic fool you, all rooms are equipped with modern amenities, such as an hd flatscreen tv, climate control and wiress internet access.

adding up to the luxury feel of the place are complimentary toiletries and perfume provided by hermès. and the very same can be said of the spa facility. exclusively reserved to hotel guests, it's equipped with a 10-metre swimming pool, a hammam and treatment room, all in an equally evocative luxurious setting. mind you, it's also available for private use upon request. and being a five-star establishment, maison souquet's pampering scheme includes some handy extras, including a butler service for those who require tailor-made attention. location: 10 rue de bruxelles [pigalle].

© maison souquet / photography: eric antoine