July 29th, 2013
Did I make a trip to outer space? Found the stairway to haven? Landed on the set of 2001: A Space Odyssey? Sorry to disappoint but I’m far from being the adventures type. I prefer to keep both my feet firmly on the ground. All I did last Friday was buying a ticket to Brussels to visit the Atomium, a national relic from the 1958 World Fair. I admit there was some adventure involved in the sense of me finding the strength and courage to face public transport and crowds of tourists eating fries and ice cream to lock myself up in this futuristic steel construction during the current heat wave our country is blessed by. All this to view the temporary exhibition DIGITAL POEM by artists Joanie Lemercier, LAb [ a u ] and Visual System an ode to Le Poème Electronique by Le Corbusier and Xenakis.
I must say it was all worth it. The experience is rather brief but breathtaking. For that small half hour you are wondering around in the fifth sphere of the construction you will experience a surreal world. All elements seem to be perfectly in sync from the architecture to the art, music and visuals. Beautiful with a touch unease and creepiness. You will even witness the arising of a new sort of moon.
Now I must admit I had never been inside the Atomium before. I never even had seen it from up close. So when the subway train came out of the tunnel I admit I gasped like a kid. So I cannot not post a picture from the construction on the outside.
Looking at the Atomium is like looking at pictures of sixties models wearing Courrège or Cardin. I love to see how an extreme and bold view people used to have of the future while we know so often keep on drawing inspiration from the past.
Brussels you are odd and strange often beautiful, sometimes ugly but I love you.
You can watch a part of the installation here, but please be your own judge and take that trip to Brussels…and maybe have some fries on your way home.
all pictures by elisabeth for aestheticshelter.com
June 15th, 2012
What struck me the most when I visited Koek & Zopie was the interior. It’s masculine with wood and steal details mixed with a vintage mood that’s modern at the same time. Going through my inspiration files I felt the office of designer duo Robin Standefer & Stephen Alesch of Roman & Williams is the embodiment of that aesthetic. Both designer have a background in the arts and met in the 1990′s while working in Hollywood as production designers and art directors. By looking at these picture you can just see and feel their designs tell a story of past and present. There names might not ring a bell but there projects will, two of New York’s most famous hotels, the Standard and the Ace Hotel.
I planned to post picture of other projects but then I found this really great interview which just explains it all. Do watch, Stephen Alesches sketches are worth the viewing alone. He still, until today, makes all presentation drawings by hand. Genius.
pictures where found here.
April 24th, 2012
Built in Brussels, in the early thirties of last century, the private mansion of Baron Louis Empain by Swiss Architect Michel Polak was designed in the then prevailing Art Deco aesthetic. I have a weakness for the Art Deco movement which found it’s expression not only in architecture and interior design but also in industrial and graphic design, fashion and furniture. It’s considered to be an ornamental style (a dirty word when I studied architecture) but it just appeals (other dirty word) to me. I’m still stunned to see the eye for detail. Even the drains, doorknobs, lighting fixtures and heaters were carefully considered. Their aim was to design a total work of art. There is a richness in the use of materials, colours and textures, which resulted in unusual combinations as marble, polished granite, bronze and exotic wood, as depicted here. But i’m not the only one who fell in love with this aesthetic. Remember last week …when I took you to Malibu?
Since 2005 the villa is open to the public (after severe restoration) and is now the home of the Boghossian foundation: ‘making it a centre of art and dialogue between the cultures of the East and the West’. It is truly beautiful, a real aesthetic shelter, and so worth the visit.
All pictures by elisabeth for aestheticshelter
April 20th, 2012
Pictures next week…Still figuring out how to describe the most beautiful house I saw in years. Have great weekend!
all pictures by elisabeth for aestheticshelter