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New Architecture in South Tyrol 2012—2018 by Studio Mut

Opinion by Richard Baird

Book design and layout by Studio Mut for New Architecture in South Tyrol

New Architecture in South Tyrol—a travelling exhibition and catalogue—brings to light the unique architectural boom happening in Alto Adige, also known as South Tyrol, the predominantly German-speaking northern-most province of Italy.

Selected by an international jury, the catalogue focuses on fifty-nine buildings from the region, realised between 2012–2018, and have gained local contemporary architects international recognition. These buildings are marked by their keen sense of locality and materialisation. This is documented throughout the exhibition catalogue by way of images and plans. Texts in English, German and Italian augment these, providing a comprehensive survey of recent architectural trends and developments in the region with the intention of facilitating international comparison.

The design of the exhibition catalogue, developed by Studio Mut, channels the architectural continuities present within the region and draws these out through the immediacy of imagery and technical drawings, and explored playfully in the balance of type and space. In this, the design of the catalogue captures the “lively and innovative architectural scene” rooted in a rich tradition of craftsmanship, and set within, and often in contrast to, an alpine context.

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Felt Coffee by Studio fnt

Opinion by Richard Baird

Logotype and packaging design by Studio fnt for South Korean coffee shop and coffee brand Felt

Felt is a coffee shop in Seoul with their own brand of speciality coffee which has been sourced by way of direct trade and roasted in Gyeonggi-do, a populous (relevant later) province of South Korea. They opened their first store in September 2015 and a second in October 2018. The team at Felt see every part of the coffee experience; its growing, harvesting, sourcing, roasting, preparing, branding, packaging and spatial experience as part of a total project, visiting coffee-producing regions to handpick raw beans, engage the quality control of professional green bean buyers, cuppers, roasters and baristas, in the creation of thoughtful space and in the commissioning of Studio fnt to develop visual identity.

Drawing on the experience of drinking the same coffee in the same space, a shared feeling but peripheral connection, Studio fnt worked with Felt to develop a visual identity and packaging for its coffee ranges. This is characterised by the simple and textural, and the precise and immediate, unified by a thoughtful and subtle concept, the use of intersecting lines and the demarcation and crossing of space.

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246 Queen by Studio South

Opinion by Richard Baird

Graphic identity by Studio South for 246 Queen, a retail, hospitality and business development within a mid-century modernist building in Auckland

246 Queen has a long and storied history. Opened in 1964 on Auckland’s Queen Street, it heralded a new era of modern architectural vision, exclusive boutique-based experience and an urban post-war retail sophistication. The building played host to fashion shows, designer concessions, furniture showrooms and contemporary dining. However, the architectural ideas drawn up by the original architects Rigby Mullan (Alan Rigby and Antony Mallen), remained only partially realised. These are now being paid homage to in the building’s renovation by the Wilshire Group working in collaboration with architects Fearon Hay, once again becoming a mixed-use space of food and drink, retail and commercial opportunities across eight floors.

Architectural details include a distinctive fascia of curved windows and accents, floor to ceiling central glass light well, exposed ceiling and concrete floors. This sits within a district of 20th-century architecture and mid-century landmarks, a broad range of coffee shops and casual dining, the Auckland Art Gallery and the century-old Albert Park.

The marketing of the building and its spaces is aimed at what are described as design-savvy directors. Those with companies within the creative sectors, smart PR, marketing, bespoke legal and financial services, those who have developed award-winning digital experiences or are tech innovators. Essentially, those with clients who expect the structure and space to fit the nature of the companies they intend to work with. In this way, modernist architecture functions as a material symbol of the pioneering spirit that now exists within the less material worlds of the service led and digital sectors.

The marketing language and the graphic identity of the building, designed by Auckland-based Studio South, draws on the history and original vision of the building. This revolves around the modernist, and aimed at those that recognise or are drawn in by mid-century architectural heritage and an associated graphic history, and desire access to contemporary international food and high-quality services in building and locally. This manifests itself through type and text, colour, material and structure, and through a graphic motif that is inspired by the building’s curved accents and large rounded windows.

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