The exuberant forms of his fixtures in the Barnes & Noble executive library seem derived in equal part from nature and science fiction. They hang directly above a weighty table of milled end grain, like extraterrestrial seedpods bursting with energy and light.
1. Toyo Ito, Meet Ross Lovegrove
For the third summer running, London’s Serpentine Gallery commissioned an architect who has never completed a building in the U.K. to construct a temporary pavilion on the Kensington Gardens lawn adjacent to the gallery. Japanese architect Toyo Ito and international structural design firm Arup collaborated on the 2002 pavilion, which houses a cafe as well as hosting lectures, films, and other events. The building’s skin of quadrilateral planes is based on various dissections of a square. Main structural components consist of flat sheets of steel cut and welded together; Ito and Arup then affixed aluminum-clad panels to the frame. Openings were either glazed or left open, creating a breezy atmosphere for patrons seated in Ross Lovegrove’s custom-colored polypropylene chairs. No worries about rain, though: Gaps between the glass and metal were sealed with injected silicone. “Serpentine Logic,” page 67.–S.K.
2. Mirror Image
The biggest selling point of Paul Maenz’s Berlin duplex may well be the view. Located in a two-year-old building designed by Ortner & Ortner Baukunst, the apartment faces the Brandenburg Gate in addition to providing a panoramic perspective on the leafy expanse of the Tiergarten beyond. However, for Maenz, who for many years owned a Cologne gallery representing conceptual and minimal artists, the interior vista is equally important–and far more changeable. Artwork rarely stays long in a given spot. Among his more interesting experiments was to position Jeune Femme Etonnee, a 2000 oil on canvas by Paris-based Julien Michel, opposite a 1996 mirror mosaic wall by Switzerland’s John Armleder. The installation of the two pieces, in the apartment’s main hallway, could have provided the punch line to a contemporary-art brainteaser: What do you get when you combine a Michel and an Armleder? Something very akin to a Chuck Close. “Brandenburg Concerto,” page 148.–L.K.