This Week in Interior Design: 15 December 2014

The latest, hottest, and up-to-date news in interior design, art, architecture, and real estate

Updated on June 06, 2017 9:06 am

Camille Besinga

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Monocle is Finally Here!


Source: Shah Salimat/Popspoken.com


Source: Shah Salimat/Popspoken.com


Source: Shah Salimat/Popspoken.com

The wait is over: Monocle is finally in the Lion City! And we don’t just mean another pop-up store. Monocle has set up a store and bureau in Singapore—not in a contemporary-looking, CBD-based office, but in 74 Jalan Kelabu Asap, among a row of residential terrace houses. It will officially open in the coming days, but already, Monocle has service staff who will prepare your lattes and answer your enquiries about the items on stock in their shop. In an interview with Popspoken.com, Monocle’s global retail operations manager Ian Hammond said that they really wanted their Singapore outpost to blend in with its low-key surroundings. Its currently led by Singapore-born and Toronto-based deputy bureau chief Jason Li, and the editorial staff will still expand to hire just five more people.

Southern California’s Desert House Up for Sale


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What happens when you hire an architect and give him free reign to design your home—out on the rocky desert? That’s exactly what owners Bev and Jay Doolittle did when they hired organic architecture-proponent Ken Kellogg to design a house on their 10-acre plot of land on the desert in Joshua Tree, California. The dramatic but uneven terrain might have been a challenge for many other architects in the late ‘80s, but Kellogg gleefully took on the project, even “jumping all over the rocks like a mountain goat,” Bev Doolittle told The Desert Sun in an interview. “He had been looking for rocks to build on.” The result of Kellogg’s work is nothing short of a masterpiece: an arthropod-looking structure made of understated concrete, looking right at home in its environment. Naturally, the interiors also had to be made in harmony with the structure, which was completed in 1993. Designer John Vugrin then worked on the interiors for a good number of years, doing his best to match the wild but majestic exterior. Built-in storage sweep across rooms, following the exoskeleton-esque exterior of the house, and custom-designed light fixtures also mimic the ribbing. The Doolittles have lived in the Desert House for only 10 years, and now, at 66 and 71 years old, the couple want to downsize and are selling their property for US$3 million. (The video of the property below will make your jaws drop even further after seeing the photos above!)

Singapore’s BCA: Have Your Windows Checked and Maintained Regularly


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According to a statement released by the Building and Construction Authority last Friday, there have been 43 recorded cases of windows falling from Housing Board flats and private homes in the first 11 months of 2014. The casement windows that fell were found to have corroded aluminium rivets, which are supposed to secure the window’s friction stays, or flat hinges that keep the windows steady while open. Says BCA chief executive officer John Keung, “One fallen window is one too many. It can pose a safety risk to the public and potentially be fatal. Because lives may be at stake, we urge homeowners to be responsible in checking and cleaning their windows twice a year, and if need be, change them.”

Last month, all of Singapore’s 1.2 million households were sent brochures on window maintenance along with their regular utility bills. The BCA stresses that homeowners should replace their window rivets with stainless steel, to check that fasteners are not rusty or loose, and to regularly clean window parts and lubricate joints or movable parts.

Shigeru Ban Designs Shelters for Disaster-Prone Areas


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Winner of the 2014 Pritzker Prize, architect Shigeru Ban, designed a series of temporary shelters following the disastrous typhoon Haiyan in 2013, which decimated many parts of the Philippines and displaced thousands of Filipinos. Ban, who has previously designed temporary shelters for disaster-stricken countries Japan, India, Turkey, and New Zealand, simplified his design by using a paper-tube-and-partition system. The house’s foundation is made of beer and soda crates filled with sandbags, while floor panels are built using coconut wood and plywood, both of which are locally available. Construction was carried out by students from the University of San Carlos Cebu, which helped eliminate delays.

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