Review, 31.03.2016

Louis Pretty
New Pastrami Deli in Berlin Kreuzberg

Childhood gang and gastro trio Oskar Melzer, James and David Ardinast’s latest food venture in Berlin’s Kreuzberg is the third diner named after a member of the Kosher Nostra. Louis Pretty mixes walnut-wooden e15 chairs, pink padded sofas and swimming pool-blue tables – for a contemporary spin on Palm Springs modernism. The menu is a Jewish-American fare and the dishes are to the point whilst still referencing traditional recipes. Head chef Joey Pasarella’s signature dish is a brisket that’s cured for a month, smoked, cooked and marinated to create pastrami that is served in different versions, such as on rye with gherkin and slaw. There’s a further selection of sandwiches, to matzah ball soup, salad with roasted cauliflower, chickpeas and a harissa dressing plus homemade desserts such as New York cheesecake with blueberry coulis. American diner-style filter coffee and lemonades are offer and a selection of wines and long drinks can take you into the evening. Everything can be ordered to go or eat in, for breakfast, lunch or dinner and a catering service is offered, so that classic Americana can be tailored to every event.

Louis Pretty collage

Feature, 13.01.2016

PHOENIX Restaurant & Bar
Dreischeibenhaus Düsseldorf

© Steve Herud

© Steve Herud

With the opening of PHOENIX Restaurant & Bar, Dusseldorf has gained a new place to meet, to eat well, to linger and to feel at ease. Located on the ground floor of the iconic Dreischeibenhaus and hosted by the building’s owner Patrick Schwarz-Schütte, the restaurant provides guests with modern interpretations of classic, seasonal dishes such as Fjord trout with avocado salsa and braised ox cheek with truffled polenta. Irina Kromayer and Etienne Descloux were responsible for the design and interiors of PHOENIX. Materials, forms and colours from this historic, listed building have been taken on, incorporated and reinterpreted.

© Steve Herud

© Steve Herud

Feature, 17.10.2015

SCHWARZHOGERZEIL
Dress up at Torstrasse

Known for her avantgarde and constantly good taste, entrepreneur Nicole Hogerzeil has established herself as trustworthy style pioneer. Hogerzeil presents her favorite labels such as Dries von Noten, Marni, Isabel Marant, Common Projects and Perret Schaad in her new store SCHWARZHOGERZEIL on Torstrasse — taking the best and new designers from her two former stores. The layout of the 150 m2 space was conceived by the interior designer Sylvester Koziolek, who combines 1940s Parisian charm, inspired by Jean Prouvé, Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand, with modern elements such as neon lighting and unique objects. The dominating, dark blue tones are echoed in the walls and the furniture, complementing the 14 meter long collage and curved lamps inspired by Royére. Keeping the same sense of individuality that Hogerzeil has assembling her clothing, Koziolek has created an environment to match her elegant assortment.

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Interview, 18.08.2015

Summer Reading Picks
Melancholy and Architecture: On Aldo Rossi

With “Melancholy and Architecture: On Aldo Rossi”  by Diogo Seixas Lopes we learn about obligations to express, “that there is nothing to express”. An interview with the author, who met Rossi by means of a misdemeanour…

Diogo Titel II

San Cataldo, Photo: Nuno Cera

Italian architect Aldo Rossi (1931–97) is, without question, one of the most influential architects of the second half of the 20th century.  In your book titled “Melancholy and Architecture: On Aldo Rossi” – recently published by Park Books and celebrated by the critics – you look at the significant contribution the architect has made to architectural discourse, offering a new perspective on the long cultural history of melancholy. How did you meet Aldo Rossi?

Diogo: My first memory of Aldo Rossi is stealing a pocket monograph of his work published by Gustavo Gili, in the early 1990s. It was a childish stunt, in a bookstore that was setting up shop at the architecture school in Lisbon. I did not know much about architecture, but at least I recognised the name of the architect. Maybe I was drawn by the image of the cover, which I think was the Teatro del Mondo. If I were to believe in certain kinds of biographic explanations, and that is not the case, I met Rossi by means of a misdemeanour.

While the influence of melancholy on literature and the visual arts has been extensively studied, its presence in architecture has been largely overlooked.  Why did you choose to shed light on this specific dark side of architecture?

Diogo: Aldo Rossi frequently mentioned a text by Raymond Roussel, explaining how he had written some of his books. Roussel describes a very methodical process, while his works are anything but clear-cut. A lot of the choices I made, or for that matter anyone else in a similar situation, were of technical nature. Choices of structure and content, choices of form really. True, I was also drawn by a personal proclivity for certain states of mind. And then, the idea to portray Rossi as a dark star of architecture. But, as it is often said, the work should speak for itself.

San Cataldo, Photo: Nuno Cera

San Cataldo, Photo: Nuno Cera

Exploring Rossi’s entire career, you trace out the oscillation between enthusiasm and disenchantment that marks Rossi’s work, and closer explore of one of Rossi’s landmark creations, the Cemetery of San Cataldo in Modena. An emotion built in stone?

Diogo: Your question seems to derive from the famous dictum by Goethe, about architecture being frozen music. I never liked that expression much, it seems too formal and – frankly – too German. Sure, you cannot or – in my point of view – should not discuss the work of Rossi without taking into account a deeply emotional aspect associated to it. That is also what makes his case so interesting, the disruptive side of his personality. But then there is the rest. There are the buildings, the projects, the texts, the drawings and so forth.

Melancholy and Architecture – on Barbas Lopes. As a practicing architect yourself, is there a presence of melancholy in your work? – As the “Teatro Thalia” comes to mind.

Diogo: Originally, I wrote this as a doctoral dissertation at ETH Zurich. It was roughly done at the same time of the project and construction of Teatro Thalia, in Lisbon. Barbas Lopes is a partnership with my wife – Patrícia Barbas – and an architectural office dealing with the basic facts and figures of the trade . There is no underlying theme, just the specific conditions of each work. But contaminations do happen, and we are firm believers in them. In the case of Thalia, by some strange coincidence, they happened to be about ruins and memories retrieved from oblivion.

Melancholy and Architecture: On Aldo Rossi
Diogo Seixas Lopes
Park Books (2015)
ISBN 978-3-906027-47-0

Feature, 16.06.2015

SWISS DESIGN AWARDS 2015
Hall 4.0 Messe Basel
16.06. – 21.06.2015

The Swiss Design Awards are Switzerland’s leading national design competition organized annually by the FOC (Federal Office of Culture) since 1918. Coinciding with Art Basel and Design/Miami, the annual Swiss Design Awards exhibition provides a representative overview and a unique insight into contemporary Swiss design practice: products and objects, fashion and textile design, graphic design, photography, scenography and mediation (curating and criticism). The winners of the Swiss Design Awards will be offered their choice of either a money prize of CHF 25,000, an internship in a renowned office or a studio residence abroad.

SDA2015

Credits (from the top): Fashion & Exhibition, Photos: Nici Jost | PAD, Dimitri Bähler

SWISS DESIGN AWARDS, FEDERAL OFFICE OF CULTURE

Project, 08.05.2015

STANLEY DIAMOND
La Buvette, Frankfurt am Main

After their pastrami buvette Maxie Eisen, the three restaurateurs Oskar Melzer, James and David Ardinast took the next step, opening their first fine-dining restaurant Stanley Diamondnamed after Maxie Eisen’s notorious Jewish- American mafioso associate from the 20th century and also located in Frankfurt’s Bahnhofsviertel. Culinary references to bygone times characterize the kitchen which is inspired by European classics. Traditional recipes that have steadily disappeared from restaurant menus are revived with a contemporary take to form a diverse and seasonal menu featuring classics such as Leipziger Allerlei, plaice ‘Finkenwerder style’, Osso Bucco, Bouillabaise, Baba au rhum or apricot dumplings. The interior, designed by Paul Bauer in collaboration with the architects Hollin+Radoske and the design company e15, plays with the combination of contrasting materials. A long stone wall made from green Indian marble, a rose-pink concrete flooring and a gleaming copper ceiling are set off against wooden elements and custom made seating. With strong ties to the city, Melzer and the Ardinast brothers combine fine-dining with the rough and vibrant atmosphere of the Bahnhofsviertel. 

STANLEY DIAMOND

Project, 15.04.2015

dóttir

Root vegetables, Icelandic moss, Scandinavian mountain herbs and dried seaweed join Berlin’s culinary scene with the resturateurs of Grill Royal and Pauly Saal’s newest venture: restaurant and bar dóttir. Inspired by her Scandanavian roots, head chef Victoria Eliasdóttir combines her experience from kitchens in Sao Paulo and Berkeley with Icelandic, Danish and Swedish cuisines and preparation methods, creating dishes with fish from the Baltic Sea, regional vegetables, lamb and unique flavours. Located in the ground floor of a corner building that stood empty for many years in the business district surrounding Friedrichstrasse, dóttir is separated into a bar, dining area and open kitchen – marked by the original plaster walls, freshly installed old wooden floorboards, antique furniture, tailor-made sofas, and, of course, artworks from the owners’ collections – with access to an enchanting hidden courtyard in the summer.

Photos: Stefan Korte
DÓTTIR

Feature, 12.03.2015

VOYAGER – THE GRAND TOUR

In 1977, NASA launched two probes, Voyager’s I and II, each of which had on board an identical “Golden Record.” They carried messages, images and sounds of the Earth and its inhabitants into outer space, intended to provide extraterrestrials with an idea of what was, at the time, considered ‘terrestrial.’ Despite having since disappeared from both the outer reaches of the solar system and collective consciousness, the programme now receives a unique bibliophilic memorial.

Voyager_TheGrandTour01

Photo: Voyager – The Grand Tour, Drittel Books, Martin Eberle

In Drittel Books’ latest publication, Voyager – The Grand Tour, author and photographer Martin Eberle documents and recapitulates this self-intoxicated pinnacle of the space age in three volumes: Voyager – Mission, Voyager – Golden Record, and Voyager – The Grand Tour. Bridging the gap between science, photography and cultural history, the volumes revisit the places, protagonists and technologies associated with the mission, using the sober insight of the 21st century to resolve the mission’s self-referential messages to the Earth’s inhabitants both pictorially and textually.

Voyager Mission Status Bulletin No. 7, Sept. 5, 1997, NASA/JPL; Voyager – Mission, Drittel Books, Martin Eberle

Photos: Voyager Mission Status Bulletin No. 7, Sept. 5, 1997, NASA/JPL; Voyager – Mission, Drittel Books, Martin Eberle

DRITTEL BOOKS

Feature, 27.02.2015

MARCO BRAMBILLA – APOLLO XVIII
Times Square, NYC
01.03.2015 – 31.03.2015, every night from 11:57 p.m. – midnight

Inspired by the shift in expedition technologies from hybrid manned-electronic to virtual models, artist Marco Brambilla, in cooperation with NASA, presents Apollo 18. As part of Midnight Moment, Apollo 18 transforms the New York City landmark into a virtual launchpad. Reinterpreting mankind’s relationship to space exploration in the electronic age, the video collage presents the countdown to an imagined lift-off of a Saturn V rocket. Weaving never-before published archival footage from NASA missions with computer-generated imagery, Apollo 18‘s countdown builds dramatic tension without climactic release, compressing the entire imagined mission into spectacle. Covering many of Times Square’s electronic billboards, the multi-channel video installation is presented as a communal event, condensing manned space exploration into the feverish moments before liftoff.

Photo: Nasa

Photo: Nasa

MARCO BRAMBILLA, TIMES SQUARE ARTS / MIDNIGHT MOMENT

Project, 13.02.2015

Zenkichi Berlin

Bringing the authentic dining experiences of Tokyo to Berlin, Zenkichi shies away from typical sushi and teriyaki dishes. Instead, the Japanese brasserie focuses on exquisite, traditional Japanese dishes with modern flair, their specialties ranging from homemade tofu with light dashi sauce and deep fried potato rice cake served with spicy mayonnaise, to black cod Kyoto miso marinade and Berkshire Kakuni, a simmered pork belly in traditional dashi broth with a soft boiled egg. The multi-dimensional experience combines the fresh, seasonal dishes with an equally special Tokyo-style interior. Hidden away in the lower ground floor of a Mitte building, Zenkichi opens with a lounge and sake bar, which leads to a dining area past the reception. Unlike the usual large seating area, the dining space is composed of 35 semi-private booths of varying sizes, equipped with bamboo blinds for extra privacy. The distinct seating concept reflects what owners Motoko Watanabe and Shaul Margulies point to as a Japanese desire to “concentrate on their food and their company.” Further establishing the intimate atmosphere, the dining experience is completed with subdued lighting and organic materials, composed of dark stained wood, bamboo sticks, granite paving and black pebbles.

Photos: © Zenkichi 
ZENKICHI