In this video from NOWNESS, an excerpt from Yuri Ancarani's documentary "Il Capo" (The Chief), the filmmaker captures the mesmerizing business of Marble extraction in the hills of Northwest Italy. The prized delicacy of the Carrara stone's surface is juxtaposed against the dramatic size and weight of the blocks they are removing, which eventually fall with an earth-shattering thud. Similarly the rugged power of the excavators is in marked contrast to the precise, understated gestures of the chief himself, who directs his workers with a complex series of predetermined hand signals.
"Marble quarries are places so unbelievable and striking, they almost feel like they are big theaters or sets," explains Yuri Ancarani. "I was so taken by the chief, watching him work. How he can move gigantic marble blocks using enormous excavators, but his own movements are light, precise and determined."
This article was originally published on February 25, 2015.
Unfortunately, I think that there is a big uniformity all over the world that makes everything very, very similar and very impersonal – very little imagination, I think. I guess it resembled me, this house, somehow.
This video from NOWNESS’ In Residence series features Swiss furniture designer Mattia Bonetti in his home on Lake Lugano. Bonetti is based in Paris but maintains this home in his birthplace: Lugano, Switzerland. Designing furniture since 1979, Bonetti is known for his vibrant designs, often full of historical allusions and in contrast to his subdued persona. In the video, the artist and designer mention that some of the home’s accessories were handmade by Bonetti himself.
Continue reading to learn about Bonetti's inspirations in restoring and adding to his lakeside home.
There are so many moves that the architect makes that you don’t understand the moment you see the house… and as those things reveal themselves, it’s always these really beautiful moments because it’s sort of like a poem or a song coming together in a way where it makes sense – you’ve heard it before but you didn’t understand it
In the latest video from their In Residence series, NOWNESS takes a look inside the recently restored Lautner Harpel House, built in 1956 by Los Angeles architect and Frank Lloyd Wright protege John Lautner. After purchasing the house in 2006, design restorer and Resurrection Vintage co-founder Mark Haddawy sought to restore the house to its original conception – a process that required the removal of several ill-conceived additions, including a second story.
Check out the video to see inside the house, and how its individual moments come together to create a signature example of California Modernism.
"You see, the first goal in this place was to deliver something beautiful where such an ugliness was there before,” says Calatrava in the film. “To deliver something optimistic looking to the future where so much sadness and depression was there.”
Intimidating to design a Design Museum for designers? No, because what you're doing is working with the challenges of the existing space.
In this new video from NOWNESS, the audience is treated to a viewing of the new Design Museum in London, courtesy of its interior architect John Pawson. Part interview and part guided tour, NOWNESS uses the unorthodox technique of giving the building's designer his own camera, making parts of the video an intriguing insight into how Pawson sees his own work.
Designed in collaboration with OMA and Allies and Morrison, the project is a thorough renovation of the former Commonwealth Institute building, a 1962 structure by Robert Matthew, a founding partner of RMJM. Pawson dwells on the experience of working with their dramatic hyperbolic paraboloid roof, the materials used in the design, and the challenges of working on such a sensitive project.
I want you to let me do all the ideas I still have in my head.
In the latest installment of the In Residence series, NOWNESS visits the last house designed by legendary Mexican architect Luis Barragán, Casa Gilardi. By the time current homeowner Martin Luque and advertising agency partner Pancho Gilardi approached Barragán to ask for a house design in 1975, the architect had already formally retired. He originally declined to take on the project – until he made a visit the site, where he was captivated by a remarkably beautiful jacaranda tree. Changing his mind, Barragán remarked, “Don’t chop down this tree, because the house will be built around it.”
Check out the video to learn the rest of the story behind the masterwork and to see the vibrant house as it stands today.
“They are projects that cannot be bought, cannot be owned, cannot be possess, to be kept; they are projects in total freedom. Nobody can own this, because if you own something, it’s not free.” -Christo
In this latest video from NOWNESS, Bulgarian artist Christo explains the fleeting nature of his most recent work, The Floating Piers, a floating dock system wrapped in yellow fabric that connects the towns of Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio to the island of San Paolo in Italy’s Lake Iseo. First conceived by Christo alongside his late wife and creative partner Jeanne-Claude in 1970, The Floating Piers is in the midst of its 16 day run, lasting until July 3rd. After the conclusion of the exhibition, all components will be removed and industrially recycled, leaving its site precisely the way it was found.
In the latest installation of NOWNESS’In Residence series, British architect Ian Simpson describes how was told by his careers teacher "not to set [his] sights too high" when he decided that he wanted to become an Architect. Here, he discusses the design intentions behind his home – the tallest residence in the United Kingdom's second city: Manchester. For Simpson, "home is [only] forty seconds away by lift."
“Objects, colors, every artwork, every light, everything is linked to our history—everything is a perception of the meaning of our personal life, and also, of course, an aesthetical way of living.”
In the latest installation of NOWNESS’In Residence series, designer, entrepreneur and university lecturer Carlotta de Bevilacqua uses the context of her home to delve into ideas of what makes a home, the role design plays in her life, and how design requires risks, among other topics. Learn more about de Bevilacqua’s perspective by watching the video above.
"You cannot bullshit with concrete." - Kulapat Yantrasast
Kulapat Yantrasast is the latest to be featured on NOWNESS' In Residence series. Set within Yantrasast's home in Venice Beach, the Thai architect and founder of wHY shares his thoughts on how to create meaningful architecture, from the "process of making" to designing with a "sense of play" and how the building can form an "engaging" relationship with its user.
“To build a house like this for yourself, it’s a very, very easy and very difficult task because you’re your own client, and you can do whatever you dreamt of, it has to be here, and there are no excuses to make mistakes or anything.”
In the latest installment of the In Residence series, NOWNESS goes into the home of Mexican architect Carlos Herrera in Cuernavaca, just outside Mexico City. While the house functions as a weekend residence, it was built to be lived in—as Herrera explains, it’s a place to entertain guests, and, eventually, it could be a place to retire. The single-level house follows Herrera’s simple, earth-toned design aesthetic, filled with clean lines and sharp angles. Learn more about the design and inspiration behind the house in the video above.
"A living space should be a sanctuary. It has to be a place where you can reflect on your life." - Tadao Ando
NOWNESS has released a new video, this time interviewing the legendary Japanese architect Tadao Ando about his first New York building: Ichigoni 152. Planned to replace a parking garage on the corner of Kenmare and Elizabeth Street in Manhattan’s Nolita, the seven-story, seven-residence building aims to embody the energy of living in New York, while maintaining its role a "quite" and "sensitive" place of refuge for its inhabitants. "I would like to create something that only a Japanese person could do," says Ando. "It's about sensitivity."
NOWNESS' latest In Residenceseries takes us into the Parisian home French architect Joseph Dirand. Adorned with an eclectic mix of vintage relics backdropped by a simple pallet of raw materials, the apartment reveals Dirand's taste for minimalism. “I always want to get inspired by different things and I realize there is no end to learning,” says Dirand.
The latest episode in NOWNESS' In Residence series takes viewers into the Esplugues de Llobregat home of Catalan artist Xavier Corbero. Albert Moya captures Corbero's life size cabinet of curiosities— brimming with art pieces and eclectic miscellany— as the artist himself wanders through a Piranesi-esque series of seemingly impossible cantilevered staircases and arches.
"What I try to do does not stem from reason," says Corbero, "What I always attempt to do is poetry."
While you might not recognize him, you know his work; much of today’s most famous buildings are being archived through the lens of Iwan Baan. As the go-to photographer for many of the world’s leading architects, Baan is constantly on the move and exploring new places. And, just as he describes in the NOWNESS video above, he has found that the best way to understand a new city is to “go up” and view it from above.
NOWNESS takes you inside Danish architect Knud Holscher's minimalist, brick-and-glass home on a suburban cul-de-sac just 25 minutes north of Copenhagen. Holscher, one of Denmark's most acclaimed architects and industrial designers, built the 1970s home to experiment with what he believes makes an ideal home: a modest open plan, clean lines and simple interiors.