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Summer Sunday Brit Style

Sunday, July 7, 2013 - 16:10

Whatever your Sunday...

tea on the terrace...

watching Wimbledon or just games in the sun...

down beside the sea...

or at home in the garden...

cutting some flowers...

having summer treats...

walking in the countryside...

lounging out...

eating something cool...

or hot...

...have a terrific Summery Sunday!

- not recommended, will cause brainfreeze -

Image Sourcebook: Hendy Curzon Gardens (most), Vintage Dorset, Myty, Martha Stewart, Pimms, Leonarda Designs, FooMoo


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Birds Eye

Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 20:35

This week we have a big little treat for you - a bird's eye view on the world. And no we don't mean a Captain Bird's eye perspective...

...on, well fish fingers and such

but rather a vantage point from the sky of our naturally occurring landscapes across the globe, courtesy of two very talented photographers. The leader photo in this blog was simply of docked boats in a harbour. Beautiful!

be prepared to be filled with wonder



Alex Maclean


Klaus Leidorf
















Here's to jetting off to other lands this Summer and here at home, all of us having ourselves a very British Summer. We'll be sharing how to get the most out of it throughout July.

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Cloud vision

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - 08:03

New forms of environment are being created that merge the natural and man made, enabling a unique marriage of architecture and nature. We call this Exterior Design, a blanket term that combines architecture, landscape design, gardens, interior connections and outdoor sculpture and installations under one roof. Over the years we are finding our designs and approach to projects gravitating more and more towards harmonising the manufactured and nature, but also challenging our pre-conceptions of it too.

Sou Fujimoto is a huge inspiration to us, currently as the leading light in a new generation of artists who are reinventing our relationship with the built environment and landscapes: both country and urban.

Fujimoto’s designs inhabit a space between nature and imitation, clearly structured by organic dwellings like nests, caves and forests. Concepts are manipulated and molded into spaces that allow inhabitants or visitors entirely new experiences and new ways of connecting with the outdoors. There are not really any outdoors with Fujimoto – the boundaries between inside and out are blurred, blended and bended.

Sou Fujimoto has designed this year’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, opened to the public this weekend. At 41 he is the youngest architect to attain this much sought after commission.

The Serpentine Gallery’s architectural program sees a new temporary outdoor structure built every year by June for a four-month tenure in London’s Kensington Gardens.

Fujimoto’s aim was not to create a building but to create a place. An “architectural garden”.

In keeping with a large portion of his projects Fujimoto has again adopted a cloud like form for the Pavilion. In this case a delicate lattice like structure in white-coated steel forming a semi-transparent irregular ring that protects visitors from the elements. This cloud-like transparency also allows them to remain and feel connected to parts of the surrounding landscape.

He has created a geometric cloud-shaped form that appears to rise like a mist over the undulations of the park. All vantage points have been considered; internally and from afar and the result is a multi-purpose social space with people suspended in it.

The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion inhabits 350 square metres of park. In Fujimoto’s words “For the 2013 Pavilion I propose an architectural landscape: a transparent terrain that encourages people to interact and explore the site in diverse ways.”

Sou Fujimoto always designs houses and places to function on multi-purpose levels. The absence of walls in some spaces and the inclusion of them in other unexpected ones creates a strangely harmonious coexistence of order & disorder throughout his work. Truly inspirational.

Blown off the same cloud

On trend: Other designers & artists that are exploring cloud forms, either by capturing them or capturing us within them.

Leandro Erlich’s Single cloud collection.

Nimbus Berndnaut Smilde

Sustainable house by GLR Architects, Gilberto L. Rodriguez

Cloud constellation By Nathan Sawaya from the ‘In Pieces’ Exhibit.

Yes it’s lego.

Cloud people

Meteoros by Lucy and Jorge Orta hangs above London St Pancras Station.

Installation performance art by Caitland Brown and Wayne Garrett.

“What happens when a five year old, an 85 year old and an intoxicated twenty year old stumble upon a Cloud made of over six thousand light bulbs? Interaction ensues and a performance is born.”

Clouded vision

The much controversial MVRDV’s ‘The Cloud’.  Artists impression pictured above, designed back in 2011. When the Dutch architects firm designed the connected twin towers for South Korea they experienced a vitriolic backlash from some American camps that viewed it as a re-animation of 9/11 despite the cultural divide. After personal death threats to individuals in the design team and a realisation of the genuine distress this concept was resonating with another culture (one which they had not considered in their design processes) MVRDV went back to the drawing board. Shame. It could have been beautiful but is understandably too close for comfort in our contemporary culture.

The Insiders

William Forsythe

and to be inside a cloud whilst safely anchored in historical architecture... could it feel like this?

or does it just feel like being at a big old party?

Head in the Clouds

Jaume Plensa

Silver linings


Ahhh the very lovely Guiness commercial...

Ever wandered as lonely as a cloud?

Some say that every silver lining has a cloud...

Sorry for all the puns but we had to roll with it! (resist, resist the rolling clouds one...)

Are you feeling on cloud nine yet?

Here's to a very sunny Summer with not too many clouds, just the right amount.

Cloud vision image Sourcebook: Iwan, Arch daily, Bingbang Pouf, Design boom, Peta Pixel, Abitare, Daily Mail, Architects journal, Dezeen, We heart it, Home dsgn, Design inspiration, Doug Wong, Guiness, Lonely Cloud wordpress, HC Gardens.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 19:41

Woebegone: Is this the saddest flower you have ever seen? It just about broke our hearts when we photographed it. It sort of sums up the glumness of this Spring so far here in the UK - what with arctic winds today (!) and literally no sunshine this week. (This image has not been doctored or photoshoped... it really is this miserable). With our web servers struggling with technical problems we can't post the big blog planned today either. (... typing this frantically in case it crashes again!)

Well it's not all been doom and gloom. We have been photographing all of our new gardens and landscapes projects in May ready for our new portfolio launch.

We also have an article out in the Oxford Times Homes & Gardens this week all about making your Front of house and garden exceptionally stylish. You can look it over here next week if you are not local to pick up a copy.

Well here's to a lovely extended BH weekend and some sunshine please. We are still waiting on Pimms o'clock to happen this year.

Images: Hendy Curzon Gardens, Nature's best, Pimms

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Floral Engineers

Friday, May 17, 2013 - 12:17

There are artists using plants and flowers as their medium and who are challenging our notions of floral ‘arranging’ and design. These are the new wave, at the cutting edge of floral artistry. These are the Floral Engineers and they are yielding exciting results as they harness nature and manipulate cut flowers in to the architecture of their designs.

We have featured fashion's favourite Thierry Boutemy both in our Floral Couture & Flowerland blogs. Now we bring you two more Floral Engineers.

Makoto Azuma, owner of Jardins des Fleurs now located in Minamiaoyama, Tokyo exhibits his pieces internationally, but his shop still sustains the essence of his craft and his ethos that flowers are gifts and should be treated accordingly.

Makoto Azuma’s ‘shop’ somewhat resembles a laboratory yet it doesn’t render his processes clinical. It seems to emanate the ultimate in care and respect for nature.

Makoto Azuma says “Ultimately I have respect for plants. Plants can lead me, and vice versa. I believe I should be at the same place in the same direction as plants are. Also I’ve been managing a field for growing seasonal flowers and plants for 4 years. I think it’s very important to grow plants. Of course I do create works using the plants I grow. I think a great deal about the distance between plants and myself. I want to accept plants and want plants to accept me. So I’ve been farming as a spiritual place to train myself.”

Here are a selection of Azuma’s creations and exhibitions from his career so far as he continues his forays into experimental botany and blurs the boundaries between art and science.

Daniel Ost, the second Floral Engineer we have been exploring has a floral emporium located on the Rue Royale in Belgium. Ost’s exuberant arrangements and installations often appear other wordly as if they have ‘landed’ on our planet and subverted nature.

Ost has been nicknamed The Bridge for his ability to blend Eastern and Western styles and sensibilities throughout his international exhibitions.

Ost says “In the West we use flowers in a purely decorative way, but in Japan they work with the flowers’ soul to express not just beauty but ideas like death”, hence his recent interest in the decay of plants as he himself grows older.

Ost regards himself as a bloembinder, derived from an old Flemish word. Ost says “It’s a word that’s hard to translate. It refers to what you do to bind flowers together, but it’s not like ‘florist’ in English of ‘fleuriste’ in French. It’s much more beautiful than that.”

As the Flower show season opens up here in the UK heralding the start of Summer, we will continue to bring you new innovations both in Landsculpting and Floral engineering.

The Floral Engineers SourceBook: NY Times Makoto Azuma, Colossol, Thierry Boutemy, Park and Cube, Shift, Sky my Limit, Trender, Hc Gardens, Klaus Leidorf, Ziplevel, Jardins des Fleurs, Botanemy.

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