miami: neon jungle

© architecture at large / photography: kris tamburello

miami has gradually evolved into one of the global hubs of art and design, and maison & objet is yet another showcase which has decided to launch a satellite edition on these sunny shores. now in full swing for only the second time, it rallies designers, architects, property developers and other professionals from around the globe to the miami beach convention center, but meanwhile there's a related event that lures visitors across town to the city's buzzing design district. we're talking neon jungle, the pop-up presentation of rafael de cárdenas, owner of new york city and london-based practice architecture art large practice, and this year's recipient of the maison & objet americas designer of the year award.

the main event's wild theme has been interpreted by way of miami's iconic culture of pleasure and indulgence. the set-up, a collab with creative director alexandra cunningham cameron and the miami design district, features a neon-infused and pixelated landscape, replete with custom-designed modular furniture and lush jungle foliag. the temporary venue will be a buzzing social hub, as it comes with a curated program of hosts, courtesy of designer emmett moore, paired with musical soundtracks concocted by deft union [open through may 15]. location: 160 n.e. 40th street [design district].

© architecture at large / photography: kris tamburello

los angeles: frame store opening

© frame

few other denim brands have a dedicated retail space this sleek, but then again, this is frame. the brainchild of jens grade and erik torstensson, two entrepreneurial swedes who've earned their spurs in a number of capacities in the realm of fashion media and marketing, it's positioned as a premium denim brand, and only four years after its inception, it's stocked by leading retailers across the u.s. and canada. not surprisingly, the duo's clever brand positioning and strategy has paid off, and many of today's a-listers can be seen parading down the street in frame jeans. and now, following this enormous success, frame has opened its first boutique.

and where else could such a retail statement be made but in the highly trend-conscious environs of west hollywood where the brand is headquartered? for this retail space, grede and torstensson extended their nordic sense of style, and collaborated with stockholm-based architect christian halleröd to create a matching setting. the store measures 1,550 sq.ft. [144 sqm.] and flaunts an interior that blends nordic understatement with typically southern cali elements, pairing dark timber, marble and polished concrete flooring. the frame store carries the brand's complete men's and women's collections, in addition to items exclusive to this new retail showcase. location: 8467 melrose place [west hollywood].

© frame

moscow: metaforms

© mars center

founded in 1988 in the heart of moscow, the mars center is the oldest contemporary arts venue in russia and the first privately owned gallery. the venue has become known for its specific and keen interest in the rise of multimedia art and all its developments, and as such its collection is a display of what goes on in the fast-evolving environment and facilitates unusual emotional experience through dealing with interactive media with many installations. and mars center's current exhibition, entitled metaforms, and presented in collab with creative association artmossphere, is no exception. the show is a tribute to the general enthusiasm for high technology aroundthe globe today. visitors get to experience new opportunities offered by virtual reality through installations by leading russian artists and designers from moscow and st. petersburg.

these hi-tech concoctions, all especially developed for the exhibition, feature a cool mix of new tools and media, in addition to three-dimensional street art by way of a vr headset, creating a fascinating immersive experience. but that's not all. interestingly, the show also sheds light on the artists' creative process and how these installations came about. the exhibition space is transformed into an immersive game zone, albeit a very artsy one, in which parallel reality suddenly becomes available to all. the list of participating artists includes aesthetics groupmisha mostnootkpokras lampas and aber [on through aug 31]. location: mars center, pushkarev pereulok 5 [meshchanskiy].

© mars center

berlin: sunspel store opening

© sunspel

following several store openings in london and melbourne, british heritage brand sunspel continues its expansion, planting a flag in berlin’s mitte district. the store, situated on popular shopping thoroughfare alte schönhauserstrasse, features the brand's latest retail design codes. the natural palette of english ash wood and german oak not only underpins the brand's symbiosis of nativeness and viciity, but it's also quite compatible with the store's flexible configuration that allows it to transform into a full-fledged exhibition space. so, next to stocking the full sunspel men's and women's collection, the new outpost aims to be a platform for artists, adding a cool twist to the shopping experience and fostering a relation with the creative community along the way. the first showcase on the premises, opening on fri – may 20, is by german photographer anne schwalbe whose work often captures the ordinary, but with a keen eye for detail and an evocative twist. location: alte schönhauserstrasse 41 [mitte]

© sunspel

san francisco: sfmoma reopening

© henrik kam

following an expansion of its premises that forced it to close for three consecutive years, sfmoma will reopen on sat – may 14 as the largest contemporary arts venue stateside. the museum's original building, designed by swiss architect mario botta and opened two decades ago, has been given a new extension that helped redefine san francisco's downtown skyline along the way. the new sttructure, by leading oslo-based architecture practice snøhetta, features no less than ten floors, and as such it towers majestically over the older red brick building, defying even taller buildings nearby.

the striking eastern façade, slightly terraced and marked by irregular ridges that mimic the waters of san francisco bay, comprises of uniquely shaped frp panels. interestingly, silicate crystals embedded in the surfaces of the panels, catching the changing light and cause the façade to change appearance throughout the day. the new extension has an opposite open character, engaging with the urban surrounds by offering new routes of public circulation throughout the neighborhood and into the venue. the latter is particularly evident through the howard street gallery, a new and inviting ground floor space that's home to richard serra's colossal sequence sculpture and other artworks, and accessible free of charge. 

next to stellar new exhibition spaces, highlights of the new building include the lofty main foyer on the second floor, and it's here where all visitors services, orientation and ticketing can be found. also on the premises is the so-called white box space, a gallery, education, performance, and event space with a flexible ceilin, and movable podia and seating. up on the third floor an expansive vertical sculpture garden is situated, and it's quite a horticultural novelty, featuring over 16,000 plants. with the new wing's additional 225,000 sq.ft. [20,903 sqm.], sfmoma's exhibition space has more than doubled in size. no worries, all this ample space will be fully utilized as the museum has acquired or been donated heaps of new works.

in the latter category falls the sizeable fisher collection of gap founders don and doris fisher, and one of the planet's the world’s greatest private collections of contemporary art. since the mid-1970s the couple started to collect art to adorn their company's san francisco headquarters, and over time they amassed a variety of exemplary works by some of the greatest artists, including andy warhol, elsworth kelly, sol lewitt and anselm kiefer. spanning more than three floors of sfmoma, the initial installation of this collection presents a specific focus on american abstraction, american pop, figurative, and minimal art after 1960, in addition to german art after 1960. location: 151 third street [soma].

© henrik kam + iwan baan

paris: observatory of light

© fondation louis vuitton / photography: martin argyroglo

conceptual artist daniel buren [1938] certainly knows how to top things. fondation louis vuitton, the striking arts venue by the eponymous luxury powerhouse, is widely considered as a masterpiece by american architect frank gehry. modeled after a ship, its billowing glass sails rise above the lush greenery of bois de boulogne, guiding visitors from afar to its location. and it's these very sails that the acclaimed french artist has tweaked as art of a special art project at the venue. entitled l'observatoire de la lumière, or 'observatory of light' in english, it officially opens to the public on wed – may 11, and sees the transformation of all twelve glass sails that are wrapped around the building, by adding coloured filters, in turn punctuated, at equal distances from one another, by alternating white and blank stripes perpendicular to the ground.

thirteen coulours have been selected, creating projections and reflections that'll show the structure in a new light. and that's not all, folks. in tandem with fondation louis vuitton's transformation, a temporary venue called burencirque will be set up opposite the building to stage the 3 times a hut show. originally devised in the early 2000s by buren in collab with brothers dan and fabien demuynck, pioneers of contemporary circus, it's a multidisciplinary project in which new talents, both national and international, are invited to interact with features created by the directional french artist. this quirky show will be performed on three consecutive night only, on jun 2-4location: 8 avenue du mahatma ghandi [neuilly-sur-seine].

© fondation louis vuitton / photography: martin argyroglo

los angeles: bottega veneta maison opening

© bottega veneta

following the opening of its first super flagship, or rather maison, on home turf in milan two-and-a-half years ago, bottega veneta has added a second one on rodeo drive, the golden mile of luxury shopping in beverly hills. measuring 4,828 sq.ft. [449 sqm.] spread over three floor, the interior design has been supervised by creative director tomas maier and is, not surprisingly, as discreet chic as the image of this luxury brand. given the style statement that such a maison makes, and the exclusive ambiance that comes with, the store doesn't feature a generic bottega veneta interior. it has been given a setting that's inspired by mediterranean revival architecture, and obviously maier took it up a few notches to fit his luxury retail vision.

defined by a monochrome palette and a subtle play of light, the settings are a sophisticated juxtaposition of stone floors, plastered walls and bleached-oak ceilings. the bottega veneta maison carries the brand's full range of men's and women's apparel, bags, shoes and small leather goods. adding up to the stature of the new retail space, it'll exclusively stock special versions of the beverly 71/16, a women's bag that was first created in 1971. this is bottega veneta's second store in the area  the other one's situated at 8445 melrose place – and replaces the brand's smaller retail space further down the road. the brand's third maison is slated to open mid-2017 in new york city. location: 320 north rodeo drive [beverly hills].

© bottega veneta

st. petersburg: tanzploshchadka restaurant opening

© tanzploshchadka

although an absolute must-see, st. petersburg's imperial splendour can be quite daunting, overwhelming even, with mile after mile of ornate historic architecture and cultural treasures beckoning from every corner. so, when in need of a contemporary break, do as the cool locals do. as of late, they find refuge at tanzploshchadka, a recently opened restaurant and club right in the middle of city's historic tsentralniy district. the latest brainchild of kirill ivanov, singer of popular band сбпч, and hospitality entrepreneur aleksandr berkovskiy, it's situated in a massive landmark building where it occupies an elongated, lofty vaulted space with patio.

making full use of its location, the interior design by local practice architalis incorporates the abundance of exposed bricks, and pairs it with a quirky mix of custom-made furnishings and vintage finds. the atmosphere is full-on homey, and because there's a lack of windows, special emphasis has been put on lighting, which comes in a very compatible variation and volume. the coziness extends well into the courtyard which boasts its own bar and – yes, why not? – a basketball hoop.

additional fun props inside, include artsy billboards and lush artificial plants.very much a multi-purpose venue, tanzploshchadka comprises of a restaurant and bar, and at the far end, ample space to show off your slickest dance moves below the prerequisite glittering disco balls. the restaurant's menu lists cosmopolitan fare, featuring plenty of tasty salads, and dishes such as thin crust pizza with different topping options, succulent russian beef and tarte flambé. the food is paired with an array of fruit juice cocktails, liquors, beers and plenty of other beverages. location: konyushennaya ploshchad 2a [tsentralniy]

© tanzploshchadka

hong kong: superfuture print city guide series

hong kong: superfuture print city guide series

the superguide series

the superfuture superguide travel series was originally created in 1999 for globally minded fashion and design related professionals who needed to stay informed of the freshest establishments around the planet. starting in tokyo, it was a reaction against the typical tourist driven recommendations and formats available at that time.

originally available online only, superfuture has become synonymous with detailed city shop reviews and maps, which developed into custom itineraries and guides for both private and corporate clients. soon after this, followed a series of periodically edited downloadable PDF city guides. to date superfuture produces and maintains 10 cities worldwide. with the introduction of app technology, superfuture also created an iphone app for hong kong and tokyo. 

superfuture now presents its third iteration of the series with its first ever print edition in collaboration with hong kong based retailer and publisher kapok

back to the superfuture

superfuture founder and producer wayne berkowitz explains: “new technologies will always keep emerging  though there is still something satisfying about holding an old-skool printed map when discovering a city”... he continues: “looking at my smartphone screen is the last thing I want to do on a holiday – sure, it’s great for taking instagram pics, but trying to multitask and view maps and read lists on a tiny screen totally stresses me out”. 

“it’s pretty obvious that these days’ people have increasingly limited attention spans; zero time to read lengthy guidebooks, and zero patience for research. i feel this is exactly the sort of city guide that is suited to our hyper technological lives - one that is highly curated and simply informs users of the definitive places they need to see. no more. no less... and a clear map to help them navigate. one that they can scribble on with a pen and will still be there when their phone battery inevitably runs out”.

the supernew mini guide format

this new simplified format is an easy-to-read hand held folded list of short, sharp reviews and detailed maps. a curated best selection of current shops, food and dining, nightlife and culture. “hong kong is the perfect city for exploring on foot as you never know what you’ll discover down a little lane, up a flight of stone stairs, or inside one of the thousands of jam-packed commercial buildings”, says superguide editor kate springer. “we have tried to capture that colorful, eclectic vibe by carefully selecting a mixture of worthy openings and timeless gems — all laid out on easy-to-use maps with suggested walking paths”. the folded layout is packaged inside a protective sleeve cover. 

the future printernet

for those still hooked to their tech devices, the guide also provides an interface to connect to a downloadable version of the print guide via QR code. 


available now at KAPOK hong kong stores or online via KAPOK webshop $HK95 [$US12]

download press release  

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osaka: chanel store relocation

© chanel

when it comes to retail, the golden rule still is: location, location, location. and with so many brands out there vying for a top spot, it can take a little while before the perfect opportunity arises. fashion power house chanel has had a longtime and prominent presence in osaka's upscale shopping zone of shinsaibashi, but recently relocated further down bustling midosuji dori to set up shop on the premises of department store daimaru. measuring a spacious 450 sqm. [4,844 sq.ft.] on one level, it's not just another outpost, but in fact the brand's biggest boutique in western japan.

and with such a stature comes a matching interior design, courtesy of peter marino. the new york city-based architect is no stranger to the brand, having designed dozens of chanel stores across the planet. and very similarly, the aesthetic of this store channels the signature design codes of the french luxury brand, and is also a firm nod to designer coco chanel's private apartment on rue cambon on paris. upon entering through the white marble façade entrance on midosuji dori, shoppers are immediately immersed in the world of chanel by way of a seting that showcases the full collections of ready-to-wear, handbags, shoes, accessories, and fine jewellery.

additionally, there's a separate section that presents the coveted range of watches from the première, j12 and mademoiselle privé collections. referencing the private apartment feel, the store is divided into several intimate rooms, each with a different homey setting and decorations. further increasing the sense of treading on the grounds of a well-appointed luxury home are specially commissioned artworks, such as a sculpture by johan creten and an ornate mirror by duo curtis jeré. location: daimaru, south building, 1-7-1 shinsaibashi suji, ground floor [shinsaibashi].

© chanel