Most tax offices are about as charming as, well, doing your taxes. Leave it to UNStudio's Ben van Berkel — an architect who made an NYC loft look like sculpture and a shopping mall feel like a museum — to design a government tax building that’s so cheerful, you’ll actually want to get audited.
Some of history’s best furniture designers worked as architects. In this great tradition, UNStudio, the mega-talented Dutch architects headed up by Ben van Berkel, will unveil three chair designs at this year’s Salone Internazionale Del Mobile.
The most interesting design isn’t a chair exactly, but a chair and a table in one. SitTable for the small Rotterdam company PROOFF has padded seating recessed into its long wooden tabletop for a furniture twofer that is designed, per the architects’ description, "for the various ways in which people communicate."
UNStudio, the wonderfully imaginative firm of Dutch architect Ben van Berkel, has built something virtually unheard of in the architecture world: a shopping mall that doesn't suck.
Not only does it not suck, it's actually pretty damned cool. The Galleria Cheonan, in South Korea, pairs pragmatic design moves aimed squarely at how people shop today with some razzle-dazzle flourishes (dancing walls!) to elevate what would otherwise be an unlovely epicenter of conspicuous consumption into something approaching a museum.
If some of architecture and design's biggest names seemed conspicuously absent from this month's Art Basel Miami Beach—that annual, must-attend conclave for the glitzy-arty set—it was because they were halfway around the world in the adjacent Chinese cities of Hong Kong and Shenzhen.