Design Library: Atelier Bow-Wow: Behaviorology

Jul 12, 2014

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Design Volume 10: Atelier Bow-Wow: Behaviorology

Year: 2010

Category: Architecture, Science

Author: Atelier Bow-Wow

Contributors: Terunobu Fujimori, Washida Menruro, Yoshikazu Nango and Enrique Walker

Publisher: Rizzoli New York

 

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Atelier Bow-Wow is an architecture firm like no other, and a favourite of EQ3′s Creative Director Thom Fougere.

 

The Tokyo-based firm is a two-part team, made up of architects Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima. Known for their use of the urban vernacular, Atelier Bow-Wow follows the framework of “Void Metabolism,” designing small houses that fit between existing buildings and fill the gaps in Tokyo’s residential areas.¹

 

In their book Atelier Bow-Wow: Behaviorlogy (2010), Tsukamoto and Kaijima explore what it means to design a small house in a big, chaotic city. They present over 30 of their completed architecture projects, many of which are multi-level homes that take advantage of small, unused, and often awkward patches of land in Tokyo.

 

Each of the featured projects are truly unique, their real unifying factor being Atelier Bow-Wow’s extensive research on the behaviorology of these buildings, their environments, and their occupants. Whether its redefining the meaning of “a view” or re-imagining the stair landing as actual living space, the architecture of Atelier Bow-Wow challenges conventional space planning and design practices.

 

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In Gae House, a main floor opening floods the half-basement home office with light. Atelier Bow-Wow (2003)

 

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Windows stand in place of eaves troughs at Gae House, offering an unconventional view to the outdoors. Atelier Bow-Wow (2003)

 

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Kus House makes the most of an oddly shaped lot with its stepped facade and its wall of windows that widen with each level. Atelier Bow-Wow (2004)

 

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A cylindrical staircase connects the many levels of Kus House and provides structural support. Atelier Bow-Wow (2004)

 

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In Tread Machiya, staircase landings serve as living spaces. Atelier Bow-Wow (2008)

 

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Stair treads serve as surfaces for lamps, toss cushions and other objects in Tread Machiya. Atelier Bow-Wow (2008)

 

Tsukamoto and Kaijima’s House & Atelier Bow-Wow is a good example of their consideration towards a building’s behaviorology. Designed to function as Tsukamoto and Kaijima’s residence, as well as Atelier Bow-Wow’s head quarters, this semi-public building is nestled so tightly between adjacent houses that it is barely visible from the street.

 

Atelier Bow-Wow’s answer to these spatial constraints were exterior walls that slant inward to meet code, and large window openings to frame neighbouring houses (a mere 1 to 2 metres away). In this way, they connected their interior to its environment, rather than fought against it.

 

This section drawing from Atelier Bow-Wow and shows the studio / residence’s many levels.

This video tour of House & Atelier Bow-Wow offers another perspective.

 

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House & Atelier Bow-Wow is designed with a slanted exterior to meet code. Atelier Bow-Wow (2005)

 

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Large window openings face neighbouring houses, connecting the interior of House & Atelier Bow-Wow to its surroundings. Atelier Bow-Wow (2005)

 

 

Essays written by contributing professionals in architecture, art and sociology break-up the catalogue of work featured in Atelier Bow-Wow: Behaviorology. The book closes with a look at the art installations (or “micro public spaces”), furniture and other smaller bodies of work that have garnered Atelier Bow-Wow much international attention. You can learn more about past publications from Atelier Bow-Wow here.

 

Architecture for Long-Bodied-Short-Legged Dog, YouTube video by architecturefordogs

 

Source:

1. Atelier Bow-Wow, Terunobu Fujimori, Washida Menruro, Yoshikazu Nango and Enrique Walker (2010). Aterlier Bow-Wow: Behaviorology. Page 13. Location: New York, New York. Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.

2. Archinet.com, Atelier Bow-Wow Tokyo Anatomy (interview with Yoshiharu Tsukamoto)

Modern Classics Never Get Old

Jul 11, 2014

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Have you heard of S Style & Fashion Magazine?

 

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Inside the pages of their Summer 2014 issue, S Style explores the fresh perspective of florals in fashion and home design.

 

It’s perhaps an ironic and telling statement that the EQ3+ Marimekko Unikko Teapot made it into their botanical round-up. Having just recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary, the Unikko pattern is hardly new. Its graphic variation on nature’s poppy has been a design icon for decades (something that EQ3 Product Developer Enri touched on in this blog post on florals), and the design community continues to find new ways to bring the pattern into both their homes and their wardrobes.

 

It would seem, then, that Unikko’s newness lies in its longevity.

 

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And, couldn’t the same be said of other design classics?

 

Furniture from Mid-Century designers such as Eames, Nelson and Noguchi have been staples in the home since Herman Miller first released them back in the 1940s and 50s. They continue to be key elements in the modern interior to this day and, as part of the EQ3+ line, we’ve found they complete EQ3′s room settings with their classic design: a Marimekko Teapot adds the perfect pop of colour to EQ3′s Basics dinnerware collection, a set of Shell Chairs complement EQ3′s clean-lined dining tables, and an Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman live happily next to one of EQ3′s Canadian-made sofas.

 

Visit one of our stores for more inspiration on mixing classic and modern pieces. Or visit EQ3.com to browse EQ3′s handpicked selection of iconic designs.

 

Image Source: S Style & Fashion Magazine, Summer 2014 Issue

Geekanoids Review the Herman Miller Mirra 2 Chair

Jul 9, 2014

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We all know the importance of using an ergonomic task chair at the office; and, most of us even know why. But, do any of us really know how?

 

Even with an intuitive design such as the EQ3+ Herman Miller Mirra 2 Chair, we still might have questions about chair settings and proper positioning of the arm rests, seat and lumbar support.

 

That’s why we love the Mirra 2 Chair video review Dave published, earlier this week, on his popular YouTube Channel Geekanoids. Dave was in a cycle of going through a chair a year, when he decided it was time to invest in a quality task chair from Herman Miller - the original Mirra).

 

He’s had the chair for years, and just recently upgraded to the new Mirra 2 Chair. Dave’s video shows off the features of his new chair, and how to actually use all of them. So, whether you’re debating the investment or just want to make the most of your existing task chair, this video’s for you!

 

YouTube video by: Geekanoids Channel

 

Learn more about the Mirra 2 Chair here.

Music Library: Stars and Stripes

Jul 4, 2014

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This one goes out to all of our friends south of the border!

 

Made in America by the staff at EQ3 Emeryville and EQ3 San Francisco, this star studded playlist is sure to get the patriotism pumping this Independence Day weekend. Happy Fourth of July from all of us at EQ3!

 

 

PLAYLIST 07.04.2014

 

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01. Peaches | Presidents of the United States of America
02. 4th of July | Soundgarden
03. American Music | Violent Femmes
04. Rhythm Nation | Janet Jackson
05. American Girl | Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
06. Fireworks | Animal Collective
07. Firework | Katy Perry
08. Party in the USA | Miley Cyrus
09. Surf Wax America | Weezer
10. Born in the USA | Bruce Springsteen
11. Made in America | Kanye West and Jay-Z
12. Surfin’ USA | The Beach Boys
13. American Idiot | Green Day
14. Star Spangled Banner | Whitney Houston

 

Album cover art by Alex, EQ3 Graphic Designer

The Craft: Salvaging Reclaimed Teak Wood in Indonesia

Jul 2, 2014

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EQ3′s Reclaimed Teak collection has been a customer, and an in-house favourite, since it was first introduced to the EQ3 product line in the Fall of 2012. The collection began with a few pieces for the living room, and has since expanded to include casegoods for the bedroom and dining room, as well. Natural variations in the wood’s pattern and colour ensure that no two designs are alike.

 

Recently, a customer reached out to us about the collection. He had just purchased the Reclaimed Teak Bed and Low Dresser and wanted to know more about the salvaged wood materials that went into making his new furniture. Where does the wood originate from? What age is the wood? What is the salvaging process like, from start to finish?

 

Curiosity piqued, we sat down with EQ3′s Casegoods Product Developer Madi Cash to learn how old wood is given new life as modern furniture.

 

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Where does the wood used to construct EQ3′s Reclaimed Teak furniture originate from?

 

EQ3′s Reclaimed Teak collection is constructed with wood salvaged from the central Java region of Indonesia. The country’s hot and humid climate is perfect for growing teak and other unique wood species.

 

 

What was the wood used for in its previous life?

 

Teak is a beautiful hardwood traditionally used in Indonesia as a structural component in civic buildings and houses. As time progresses and cities evolve, many of these grand buildings and houses that were built many years ago are now being torn down. Before reclaimed woods evolved into a desirable consumer good, the original teak structure was often discarded. This is completely insane considering the inherent beauty of this material. About ten years ago, a group of individuals began re-purposing the material for smaller projects. While researching our teak stumps, we met this group and began our partnership. Since then, reclaimed woods have become more popular than fresh wood!

 

 

How old is the salvaged wood?

 

The age of the material varies and depends on the age of the building the wood was salvaged from.

 

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You experienced the salvaging process, first hand, during one of your frequent visits to Indonesia. What was this experience like?

 

Watching their process is a unique experience. Layer by layer the structure is carefully skinned, revealing massive teak beams and delicate teak door and window frames. After the material is salvaged it is then sorted into piles and subsequently laminated into useful material, each plank becoming entirely unique. The resulting planks of reclaimed teak showcase intricate and varied patterns inherent in the material. The new planks are an homage to the life the teak has led and reflect the new life it is beginning.

 

 

How does the making process behind EQ3’s Teak Wood Stools differ from the rest of the Reclaimed Teak collection?

 

The Teak Wood Stools are salvaged from the same region as our Reclaimed Teak collection. However, they are literally stumps of trees that have been cut down. Some of these trees will have been cut many years ago, and some as few as five years ago. Each stump will vary wildly from the next.

 

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You’ve worked closely with our team based in Indonesia on the development of our Reclaimed Teak collection. What are you currently working on? What’s next for the collection?

 

We have recently rounded out our collection with the introduction of the Reclaimed Teak Shelving Unit and Reclaimed Teak End Table. The collection was an evolution. It started with the Coffee Table and Plasma unit, which EQ3′s Creative Director Thom Fougere designed, and gave way to the bedroom, dining and storage pieces that I designed. It was fun to work on the collection in this way and allowed us both to put a lot of thought into each piece.

 

Right now we’re working on updates to some of the existing pieces but are just hoping that people continue to admire (and purchase!) the existing collection.

 

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Image Source: All photographs credited to Madi Cash

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