Brick & Wonder Selects:
April Inspiration


Book We Want

We all love a redemption story, and in the case of this beautiful book, Ruin and Redemption in Architecture by Dan Barasch, there are scores of architectural feel-good stories. Across the globe, buildings that were once beautiful, massive, imposing and even industrial in scale have occasionally fallen into disuse. Some have been reimagined and repurposed. Some are completed projects, others merely future possibilities, but all of them reveal our compulsion to sentimentalize a ruin and imagine what it could become.

Also note the awesome cover design.

Bombay Sapphire Distillery, Heatherwick Studio; transformed 2014. Picture credit: Heatherwick Studio (pages 230-231). With a whimsical design that evokes a gin cocktail being poured, the two greenhouses offer an all-season connection to the natural world.
Alila Yangshuo Hotel, Guangxi, China, Vector Architects; transformed 2017. Picture credit: Images courtesy of Vector Architects (page 186, top). Set around a central plaza and reflecting pool, the original sugar mill structures now house a reception, café, bar, gallery and multipurpose hall. (former Sugar Mill, see page 183)
Ruin and Redemption in Architecture, Dan Barasch, Phaidon; St Peter's Seminary, Cardross, Scotland (pages 72-73)
Ruin and Redemption in Architecture, Dan Barasch, Phaidon; Transformed; Boekhandel Selexyz Dominicanan, Maastricht, Netherlands (pages 192-193)


Since we're all glued to the final season of Game of Thrones, we can’t help but cling to every morsel of the $15m-per-episode production’s general epicness. In this case, it may come as a surprise to you that many of the buildings, chambers and palaces are not entirely imagined by set designer Deborah Riley, but are based on real architectural sites. In this piece, she walks Curbed through the architectural inspiration behind Dragonstone, Meereen, the Bank of Braavos, the House of Black & White and the Palace of Dorne.

Better still, the comparisons are illustrated in “slide” format, so you can play with the uncanny relationships between what’s built and what’s fantasy.

Take a Seat

Speaking of nerding out, this interactive quiz on identifying famous chairs may be rather easy for the architects and interior designers out there, but it is nonetheless, very clever. And it never hurts to appreciate these legendary designs a little more, or discover the influences behind them.

While you're there, take some time to appreciate the other digital delights created by Ceros, an interactive content studio.

The cool chair quiz

Retail is dead…

While it’s a truism now that retail has been disrupted and that many brands and stores will not survive the apocalypse, some luxury appliance brands are doubling down with larger, more-elaborate “experience centers” that aren’t some much 'a place to drop in and buy a stove'. Executive Chef, Alex Diaz, and National Director of Showrooms, Brigg Klein, tells Cultured magazine, “All of our Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove showrooms are designed as an experiential space, meant to immerse guests and ultimately provide them with inspiration for their own kitchens.”

For instance at Fisher & Paykel’s Costa Mesa location, there will be no way for customers to take home a stove. “It’s a brand pillar within the selling experience,” Pierre Martin, the company’s vice president of marketing tells Business of Home. “But depending on the audience, it could be the tool that makes the sale come through.”

Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove Showroom, Miami
Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove Showroom, Miami

...but “Snark” lives on

Yes, we are aware that pretty much everything at the new behemoth Hudson Yards has been panned as antiseptic, out of scale, out of touch and just generally too shiny, but there may be one note of humor amidst all the hubris. Tongue-in-cheek architecture studio, Snarkitecture, has long been accustomed to creating wry temporary spaces that subvert what structure is supposed to do and look like. Now Snark Park is going to be their permanent space.

“In terms of 'play, we always look at the way that children interact with architecture. They misuse it, they misrecognize it,” firm lead Daniel Arsham tells Cultured Magazine. And yes, they are very aware that it may be construed as Instagram bait. This they embrace wholeheartedly.

Snarkitecture's new Snark Park
Snark Park

Featured Image: La Fábrica, Sant Just Desvern, Spain; Ricardo Bofill; transformed 1975–. Picture credit: RICARDO BOFILL TALLER DE ARQUITECTURA (page 158) The reinvigorated designs turn the ruin into a fortress, in which invasive greenery is duly invited to carpet the buildings. (former cement factory, see page 157)