“It was in rough shape from years of use and misuse and had seen better days,” architect David Shove-Brown says of an 8,000-square-foot, 1907 building in Washington, DC, that he and his Studio3877 partner David Tracz had been asked transform it into the latest outpost of Matchbox. Over the years, the building had done duty as a bowling alley, a jazz club and a car dealership and still retained a great character, so, he says, “It was pretty clear we wanted to be true to the building”—with a straightforward approach to its history and materials that matched the restaurant’s approach to ingredients.
When Hayden Slater, one of the minds behind the Pressed Juicery, approached the architecture firm Standard, helmed by Jeffrey Allsbrook and Silvia Kuhle, he was thinking big and small. In addition to a space in Beverly Hills (it would ultimately become both the design idea lab and flagship for the company), Slater and his partners planned on rolling out several more locations, ranging in size from small to smaller. They wanted a firm that could create a concept flexible enough to fit a compact storefront on down to almost a niche, with elements that could be incorporated or not without diminishing the character of the brand.
If you read the print edition of FORM, you’ll definitely remember Michael Webb’s fascinating story Color and the City, investigating the role that color does or doesn’t play in today’s urban fabric. To illustrate the article, we included an image from the Firmeza Foundation of a Brazilian favela the group had painted.
One look at the new Tetra light from POD Design (now available from ahaLife), and you know there's something afoot. The design might be simple, deceptively so, but there's something about its form that invites contemplation and further inspection. We talked to the brains behind it—Brooks Atwood, Assistant Professor of Industrial Design at NJIT and principal of POD Design—to get the inside scoop on what makes it so singular.
By Michael Webb
The Museum of Modern Art in New York was the first to embrace architecture as an art, and the exhibition Henri Labrouste: Structure Brought to Light, is the latest in an 80-year succession of landmark exhibitions. It’s the first solo show in the US to celebrate the genius of a 19th-century French architect who created two extraordinary libraries in Paris: the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève (1838-50) and the reading room of the Bibliothèque Nationale. Their soaring, light-filled volumes, daring structure and rich ornament, were a major influence on several generations of architects, and they still inspire awe—notably in a memorable scene from Martin Scorsese’s Hugo. That clip is shown in 3D, alongside the exquisite drawings that Labrouste created during his years at the French Academy in Rome and his long practice. They alone are reason to fly to New York: Masterpieces of draftsmanship that chart a decisive shift from classicism to modernism. The lightness of the roof vault and the slender cast-iron columns belong to a different word than the stone monuments of Greece and Rome. Strip the surface ornament and these reading rooms are models of functional engineering along with the great train sheds and the Eiffel Tower, Oddly, Labrouste (1801-75) seems to have realized no other buildings of note, but these two ensure his immortality.