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Equinox Miracle Mile gym opens in former LA television studio

Curving walls, fluted columns and golden touches are among features that Californian firm MBH Architects added to an old TV studio in Los Angeles, while converting it into a gym for luxury fitness brand Equinox.Equinox’s new location is situated on Miracle Mile – a strip along Wilshire Boulevard that is home to many of LA’s biggest arts institutions, like The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and The Petersen Automotive Museum.

MBH Architects overhauled a 27,621-square-foot (2,566-square-metre) building that was completed in 1986, and formerly used as a television studio and office.The firm created spaces for pilates, cycling, group fitness, and hot yoga, and also included rooms for spa treatments, a juice bar, a retail space and a children’s play area.The decorative features of Equinox Miracle Mile were chosen to stand out from the brand’s other nine hubs in the city, while also addressing the challenges of the building’s unusual “zig-zag” layout and its poor natural lighting.

The spaces are arranged around a multi-storey glazed atrium with curving walls, which are fitted with artificial lighting at the base.”Sweeping curves formed by walls and ceilings with integrated lighting design provide natural wayfinding elements, leading members to the heart of the club,” said MBH Architects in a statement.Two curving, pale-rendered walls front the building, with lighting set into indents at the base to provide a golden glow.

A glazed volume topped with gold-hued beams slots in between to form the gym’s waiting area, which is furnished with a pair of chairs and plants.”A continuous curve was integrated as the main thread in the club, which emerges from the toe lights at the atrium entry, slides into the portal, ascends to the ceiling, and extends to the back of the club,” said the studio.Glass doors open from the entrance hall into the reception area, where the first of several large fluted columns is found. Cast in gypsum reinforced with glass fibre, the columns includes shallow grooves and have a golden finish on the lower portion.

MBH Architects intended these columns to be “an interesting focal point, encouraging people to touch and experience the subtlety of its surface texture”.Equinox’s logo is mounted on the wall behind the marbled reception desk, which also features lighting underneath. Above, a curved opening reveals a gold lining that becomes a ceiling feature as it wraps around the top of the group fitness studio.Another similar design is found above the shoe cubby at the entrance to the changing rooms. Golden brick-like tiles line some the walls in these areas, while others surfaces are covered with pale tiling.

A yoga studio adjoining the entrance to the dressing room is fronted with a two-way mirror, providing privacy for those exercising. Inside, the walls are black to offer a contrast the other areas inside the gym, which are predominently painted white and pale grey.Equinox was established in New York in 1991 as a subsidiary of major American developer The Related Company. In addition to Los Angeles amd New York, it has gyms across major cities like London, Toronto, and Vancouver.

Along with luxury fitness centres, the brand is also opening a chain of hotels. One of the first will be located at Frank Gehry’s The Grand mixed-use development in Downtown LA, while another is planned for New York’s Hudson Yards.

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Aketuri Architektai use grey tones to create contemporary family apartment in Vilnius

Lithuanian practice Aketuri Architektai has paired pale grey interiors with dark timber joinery for this family apartment in Vilnius.The apartment,  which is shared by a couple and their young child, is set within a recently-built residential development.

Being frequent travellers, they approached local practice Aketuri Architektai to create a series of contemporary yet comfortable rooms that they can relax in whenever they’re in Vilnius.”It had to be a place for recreation, comfort and composure,” said the practice in a statement. “Willingness to make interior spaces calm, pure, and free of unnecessary details was one of [the project’s] ruling intents.”

The architects began by knocking through a partition wall to turn the apartment – which had initially been two separate units – into one singular living space.The front of this enlarged apartment is dedicated to an open-plan dining and sitting room, completed in a dark, restrained colour palette intended to “bring balance and refinement to a cosy urban interior”.

Walls have been painted a shade of pale grey, matched by a rough concrete ceiling and stone-coloured sofa that sits at the room’s centre. The floors have then been clad in grey terrazzo, while clean white tiles form a grid-like splashback in the kitchen.Touches of warmth are offered by a tan-leather armchair by Vitra and a timber dining table. Spherical lamps by Italian lighting brand Flos have also been used to dress the space.

The other side of the home plays host to the bedrooms, which have been concealed behind darkwood joinery to provide a sense of privacy.Following the patina of the living area, the bathroom has also been completed in unevenly finished grey tiles.

Aketuri Architektai is one of several practices to tap into the ongoing trend of sombre-toned interiors – MWAI used a soft-grey palette in the renovation of a west London flat, while Wei Yi International Design Associates employed slate-coloured walls throughout a luxury apartment in Taiwan.

Photography is by Norbert Tukaj.

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Janson Goldstein creates bicoastal atmosphere at ALC boutique in New York

Wide archways, vintage furniture and tropical plants feature in the first bricks-and-mortar shop for women’s fashion brand ALC, designed by American architecture firm Janson Goldstein. The ALC Soho store is located along Greene Street, alongside many other high-end clothing and design boutiques. Encompassing 3,000 square feet (278 square metres), the boutique is the first physical retail space for ALC – a ready-to-wear fashion label that was started in 2009 by Los Angeles-based designer Andrea Lieberman.

Lieberman was born in New York City and studied at Parsons School of Design. The designer travelled extensively and worked as a celebrity stylist prior to launching her own clothing company. The new shop, along with two others slated to open this year, represent her “ultimate vision” for ALC and enable her company to connect with its customers in person. All three stores are being designed by Janson Goldstein, a New York architecture studio.

“Each store is designed to draw from different parts of the brand’s heritage, playing into the designer’s bicoastal roots and world travels,” the architects said in a project description. “Understanding that the materiality and colour of the store were preeminent, we began by assembling a range of materials that ‘lived in the world’ she was looking to create.” The Soho boutique serves as the brand’s flagship location. The project was completed in four months, from the initial brief to opening day in April 2018.

For the narrow and deep space, the team created three distinct rooms, with the central space envisioned as a “more formal square”. The rooms are separated by wide, rounded archways that align with one another, providing a clear view from the front of the shop to the rear. Display areas carved into walls also feature an arched form. “By breaking up the space this way, ALC is able to tell different stories within their collection, and the customer is easily moved through a series of intimately proportioned spaces,” said architect Steve Scuro, a partner at Janson Goldstein.

To capture the fashion designer’s New York roots, the architects preserved certain elements found in the “classic Soho storefront”, such as cast-iron columns and a large skylight. Dark grey concrete tile flooring and vintage furniture that came from local shops are also meant to exude an East Coast feel. In contrast, light-toned finishes and decor are intended to denote the brand’s connection to the West Coast. Pink drapery was hung in the fitting room, and “off-green” wool rugs were placed on the sales floor. The space is also decorated with a range of potted tropical plants.”California is represented by the softness of the forms, the lightness of the wall finish and the large travertine tables that ground the centre of the front room, which were fabricated in LA,” the team said.

The two additional ALC shops will be located in New York and California. One boutique will be housed within a Bloomingdale’s department store on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and the other will be located in the Pacific Palisades neighbourhood in Los Angeles. Soho is a busy shopping destination, as many furniture and fashion brands have stores and showrooms in the area. Among the names to recently open there are Tom Dixon, Everlane, Menu and Casper.

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Harrods Fine Watches department features a sweeping marble staircase

Rundell Associates has revamped the Harrods Fine Watches department by adding a marble staircase and a floor designed to look like a timepiece.The west London-based architecture practice has revamped the two floor showroom inside London’s famous luxury department store.The marble staircase sits at the centre of the gallery-like display spaces. One side of the curved staircase is covered in book-matched panels of creamy Cipollino Tirrenia, a stone favoured for its strong veining.

“The sweeping staircase is a significant new architectural feature that we hope will be enjoyed by customers for years to come,” said Mike Rundell, designer and founder of Rundell Associates.Materials used in luxury watches have been used throughout the department’s interiors.”The new Fine Watches department was conceived as a meticulously crafted environment that reflects the art and materiality of watchmaking, using the highest quality materials to create the sense of timeless elegance that Harrods is known for,” added Rundell.

Terrazzo has been used for the floors and stairs, customised in a complimentary cream colour and flecked with fragments of mother of pearl, which is often used to decorate timepieces.Bronze inlay strips designed to mimic the details of a watch face spoke out from the centre of the floor, which is inset with a golden H for Harrods.The handrails are made from patinated bronze and topped with plush leather shaped to look like the strap of an expensive watch.

Pale leather has also been used to clad the walls of the department, tooled by master leather expert Bill Amberg.Above the stairs a vaulted ceiling dome is illuminated by lights programmed to sync with natural daylight levels, gently shifting throughout the day.According to the architects, the oval shape of the light feature was designed to reference the shop’s original grand light-wells. Designed by British architect Charles William Stephens, work on the Knightsbridge department store begun in 1894 and the store has always featured ornate interiors.

Lights in the coving and along the floor edges provides a diffuse light throughout the gallery space and stairwell, and the individual display cases are lit to show their wares to their best advantage.The pale colour scheme, carefully celebrated lighting and soft walls were all choosing to create a “calming” atmosphere and a hushed acoustic.Rundell Associates also re-opened the historic entrance on Hans Road to create direct access to the fine watch department from the street.

There are ten brand boutiques in the department, including Audemars Piguet, Rolex, Tudor and Tag Heuer, along with a multi-brand shop and VIP areas spread across the ground and lower ground floor.In Chengdu, China, Neri&Hu has designed a shop for an Italian accessories brand with an oculus based off of the Pantheon in Rome, and in Macau Foster + Partners has designed an Apple store with composite marble and glass walls that glow like a paper lantern.


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Handwerk outfits Fifth Avenue Kitchen in Harlem with clever storage solutions

Interior design studio Handwerk has retrofitted the kitchen in a New York apartmentwith features including a pegboard wall for hanging mugs, aprons and other items, to make the most of the small space.Handwerk Art and Design redesigned the gallery-style Fifth Avenue Kitchen for a couple that makes documentary films, after first seeing how they used the space.

The studio reconfigured the existing kitchen by removing part of a wall, which allowed them to alter the layout of doors to adjacent rooms, and helped improve the flow into and around the cooking space.”Starting with a study of their cooking habits and spatial needs, we designed a set of custom cabinets for the whole kitchen that placed everything specifically and precisely,” said the studio, led by Gregory Bugel and Fiona Sanipelli.

“The owners came to us with some uncertainties,” they continued. “They wanted a kitchen that was finely tuned to their space and way of living, and were suspicious of off-the-shelf cabinets, and how well they might perform in a small New York City kitchen”.Located in a pre-war apartment building in Harlem, the kitchen measures 160 square feet (15 square metres), so hooks and nooks were incorporated to make the most of viable storage areas.

The new layout comprises an oven and an eat-in counter on one side, with a refrigerator and sink opposite.”Working iteratively, we hit on a design that allowed the clients to use their kitchen in a much more efficient and performative way than before the redesign,” Handwerk said.A focal point of the space is a lightwood pegboard wall at one end. Holes cut into the wood accommodate pegs that can be used for hooking and storing items on, without the need for shelves.

Open storage areas include cubbies above the sink and fridge for kitchen tools and spices, and a tall bookshelf in one corner.White doors conceal the upper cabinets, while vibrant blue is used for the cupboards below. In between, the backsplash features small, round turquoise tiles.The juxtaposition of colours and materials, balanced against other white surfaces and light-toned floor, makes the kitchen appear roomy yet cosy.

“The clients wanted something that brightened the home and acted as a focal point, so we went through an extensive colour study before deciding on the palette of green, blue, grey, and natural wood,” said the studio.New York City apartments where the kitchen also formed a key part of renovation work include a pied-à-terre and a long narrow home – both in Chelsea – and a rowhouse in Queens.


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Framestudio refurbishes mid-century Sea Ranch Cabin in northern California

Design collective Framestudio has restored a 1960s cabin originally built by American architect Joseph Esherick as a model for low-cost holiday housing.The Sea Ranch Cabin is one of a series of Demonstration Homes designed by Esherick, who practised in the San Francisco Bay Area.The cabin is surrounded by redwood trees in the planned community known as Sea Ranch, in California’s Sonoma County. The area is a popular vacation destination and characterised by its simple, wooden retreats.

Spanning 684 square feet (63 square metres), The Sea Ranch Cabin has a small footprint split across various levels that create an interconnected space within.The building was updated by local collective Framestudio, which is made up of a team of architects and designers, and also has an office in Oakland.The renovation entailed the addition of more storage and sleeping areas inside, while retaining the character of the wood exterior.Sea Ranch Cabin was originally built by Esherick in 1968, as a prototype for cheap but comfortable weekend retreats in the area.

The 10-mile (16-kilometre) stretch of California coastline where the Sea Ranch community is located was designated as a residential development in 1963, when developer Oceanic California Inc enlisted a group of architects including Esherick, Charles Moore, William Turnbull Jr and Donlyn Lyndon to built getaways.Designed in the modernist tradition, many of the houses drew influences from the local agricultural buildings, and were built using local materials like Douglas fir and redwood.

This resulted in a style that became known as “Third Bay Tradition” or simply “Sea Ranch”, but many of the properties were later altered and expanded as the community’s popularity grew.Those that have been updated include Bluff Reach, which was given new finishes and a guest house by Butler Armsden Architects.”Because of their elemental layout and small size, few of these homes remain in their original state,” said Framestudio.

During the renovation, them kept interiors modest to honour Esherick’s original plans, balancing their alterations with the preservation of the exterior.Additions included a full kitchen and room to sleep six, along with new storage areas. Black-laminate cabinets, a dishwasher, and extra drawers in the toe kicks were installed.Cabinetry, a fan-based exhaust system and reclaimed wooden elements from the period were all restored.

The cabin houses a pair of bedrooms on the upper level, where the Framestudio constructed a full-height partition to provide privacy between the two. This element can be folded away into a wall, so it blends in with the original rough-sawn Douglas fir panelling.”The open-plan nature of the home was preserved, specifically on the bedroom level, which lacked doors in the original design,” said the firm.

Other space-saving additions include a bunk bed, a built-in sofa in the living room, and a queen-sized pullout bed.Sea Ranch is considered one of the best collections of modernist architecture on America’s West Coast. In keeping with the aesthetic, new homes in the community – like Meadow House by Malcolm Davis Architecture – have to follow similar shapes and use local materials.

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Female-focussed co-working clubs amplify the voices of women and equal rights

Women-only co-working spaces are opening across the globe in response to a push for gender equality, according to their founders, who believe the clubs are changing the way their users work. Workspaces and members clubs geared towards women, like Seattle’s The Riveter, Toronto’s Make Lemonade, London’s AllBright and New York’s The Wing, have all opened in recent years. Following a trend for communal and casual working, this even newer type of workplace is designed to allow women to thrive in an environment traditionally dominated by men.Female-focussed workspaces follow push for gender parity

Amy Nelson, who founded The Riveter in 2017, believes that the venues are drawing and expanding on the success of recent campaigns for equal rights – particularly in the workplace – like International Women’s Day, global marches and #MeToo. “In light of the #MeToo movement and the Women’s Marches, the world is recognising that there is power in women having a collective voice, and sharing stories in a way that has impact and affects change,” she told Dezeen. The Riveter currently has two locations in Seattle, one in Los Angeles and another two set to open in each city later this year. The clubs are designed for women first and foremost, but also allow men to join in some instances.

The demand for these venues is closely tied to the growth in the number of female entrepreneurs, said Nelson. She added that women are currently launching more businesses than men, and it is only going to grow from there, as the spaces “amplify the voices of women and equal rights” and encourage a snowball effect. “We’re seeing a shift in the value our society places on women succeeding in business,” Nelson said. “Workspaces that are female-focussed have a platform to advocate for increasing opportunities to grow.”

Venues provide relief from “toxic” work environments Rachel Kelly, who established Make Lemonade in Toronto, agrees that the rise of these clubs is a consequence of women joining forces to fight for parity in the workplace. “The growth of workspaces for women is a response to what’s happening, and an indicator for more change,” said Kelly. “It’s a sign that we’ve all been craving more spaces where we feel comfortable, accepted, and surrounded by like-minded people.”

“There’s a lot of work to be done to create equal opportunities for women in all aspects of business, and it’s no secret that there’s a toxic environment in other workspaces, including other co-working spaces,” she continued. Co-working spaces have ballooned in popularity over the past five years, in response to the increase of freelancers and start-up businesses needing temporary desks. In most models, members are offered a rentable workspace, a place to network with like-minded people, and other benefits like access to talks and social events.

By limiting their clientele, the owners of the female-only clubs are hoping to offer their members unique opportunities, like the discussion of gender-specific topics. According to Kelly, talks hosted at the spaces that focus on gender imbalance and pay gaps are helping to empower their attendees. “The conversations sometimes bring tears, but at the end of the conversation, there’s a plan, and someone is feeling refreshed and most importantly, supported,” said Kelly. “I’ve often asked myself: if this was a space with primarily men, would this happen?”Women feel “less pressure when men aren’t around”

At AllBright – the UK’s first members club for working women – co-founder Anna Jones said that members “feel like there’s less pressure on them when men aren’t around”. “In a mixed-gender environment, men tend to dominate discussions and put themselves forward as leaders,” she told Dezeen. “In a female-only environment, women are more likely to speak up, share their experiences and talk about their successes – and also talk honestly about the challenges they are facing.”

Jones and her partner Debbie Wosskow named the club after Madeleine Albright, an American politician and diplomat famed for the phrase: “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other”. Jones and Wosskow also run the AllBright Academy, which offers two 10-week-long digital courses. One focuses on women who lead their own businesses, while the other is for “those with ambitious career goals”.

“Women-only spaces offer women community, network and a supportive environment for their business,” said Jones. “There’s a camaraderie and a sense of ‘girls in it together’ that we’ve witnessed at AllBright events and within our academy.” AllBright’s interiors were completed by designers Katie Earl and Emma Rayner, who took the opportunity to create spaces that specifically meets women’s needs. The London club includes a spa area for manicures, massages and blowdrys, a gym, and a prossecco bar, alongside its office facilities.Demand for female-only clubs and workspaces continues to rise

“The rise of all-women workspaces has bought career women to the forefront and is making it ‘normal’,” said Earl and Rayner, who run London-based studio No12. AllBright will open another space later this year, after receiving “a constant stream of membership applications” since opening on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2018. “People vote with their feet and the demand is very apparent,” said Jones.

Another success story is The Wing, which has rapidly expanded across New York, with locations in Manhattan’s Flatiron and Soho, and a third in Brooklyn’s Dumbo. It is also set to open branches in Washington DC and San Francisco later this year. Separating people by gender is a point of contention for some, who argue that the idea is a move away from equality.But the founders and members of all-female co-working spaces collectively believe that the clubs mark an important step in the gender equality movement, with an end goal of achieving parity in work environments.

“We’re not changing the way women work, but we are changing conversation on how to support women in the workspace so that they can be successful and equity can be achieved,” said Kelly. For now, the fight for gender quality in the workplace continues. Dezeen is doing its part with an initiative called Move the Needle, which was launched in March 2018 to help encourage diversity in the architecture and design industry.

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Escolano + Steegmann creates apartment that recalls rooftops of Barcelona

Bold geometric shapes and terracotta tiles are used to reference the city rooftops in Escolano + Steegmann’s renovation of an apartment in Barcelona.Called Casa Conxita, the 84-square-metre apartment has a linear, east-west layout that looks out onto the street at one end and into a courtyard at the other.The plan is divided lengthways into two zones with the private spaces, such as bedrooms and bathrooms arranged along one side, and one large open-plan social space occupying the other.

The architects said the use of this open-plan social space is open for interpretation, but it’s primary function is to allow light to travel from one end of the apartment to the other.”The program is not fixed, but mostly suggested,” said Escolano + Steegmann. “The topography gives rise to the different scenes of domesticity.”A series of small steps at the courtyard end of both the private and social spaces bridge the 40-centimetre height difference between the apartment and the courtyard patio.

The kitchen and dining room sit in the centre of the apartment, on the cusp of each zone.The divide between the two areas is marked by a series of sliding timber walls that run along a metal track.”The sliding surface filter works as a dynamic device that introduces complexity into the plan, allowing the construction of various forms of spatial arrangement, subject to different degrees of privacy or mutual exclusion” explained the architects.The architects deliberately used specific materials to define the apartment’s movable and static elements.

“The materiality of the project is simple,” they said. “Wood is used for the tectonic – as a definition of the mobile elements, and ceramic tiles, habitual in most of the roofs of the city, are used as a definition of the static.”The geometric shapes and elements used in the apartment are also designed to reference the shape and colour of the city’s buildings and rooftops.

The apartment features an original vaulted brick ceiling – known locally as a Catalan arch. These arches have been featured in a number of apartment and retail renovation projects in the area including the nearby showroom of Spanish furniture brand Kettal, which was designed by Patricia Urquiola.

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Crushed tiles used to create terrazzo details in Laia and Biel’s House in Barcelona

Terrazzo grout made from crushed tiles and a long spruce plywood storage wall feature in this renovated Barcelona flat by Spanish firm TEd’A.The apartment provides a Barcelona base for Laia and Biel Huguet, owners of Mallorcan tile brand Huguet, in the city’s Gracia district.Its 65-square-metre interior is arranged across three consecutive rooms, with a view onto the street at one end of the apartment, and a view onto a central courtyard at the other.

TEd’A founders Irene Pérez and Jaume Mayol aimed to open up the interior of the property, so that light could penetrate the darker central space.By inserting a long spruce plywood storage wall that snakes through the space and intersects all three rooms, the architects were able to create six smaller interconnected spaces linked by archways and doorways between the rooms and through the storage wall.”This new [storage wall] element organises the space and physically and visually connects the entire floor from one end to the other,” they explained.

“As a new and autonomous element, it is introduced into the house of Laia and Biel almost as a sculpture, independent and exempt from the perimeter that contains it.”The first space is split into a kitchen and dining room, the central windowless space is split into a living room and bathroom, and the third space houses a bedroom and study. A small 15-metre-squared terrace is accessed from the dining room.Sliding doors with textured glass panels and internal windows allow the light to filter through from either end of the apartment, while creating privacy.

Working with Laia and Biel’s tile company, Huguet, the architects used tiled flooring to define the new layout. It was not possible to use the apartment’s original 13 x 13 centimetre diagonally-placed clay tiles, so the architects decided to remove them.The original terracotta-coloured tiles were replaced with similar tiles of the same size produced by Huguet. Also laid diagonally, the square tiles are complemented by longer bespoke tiles that are laid around the perimeter of each room and alongside the storage wall.

Huguet describes these bespoke elongated tiles as a contemporary take on the traditional cement tile carpets that are used in Barcelona’s modernist houses.Instead of disposing of the original tiles, Huguet cleaned them and crushed them into tiny pieces measuring between five and eight millimetres.This reddish-coloured aggregate was then mixed in with white tile grout and used to fill in the one-centimetre gaps between the new tiles, before being polished to create a glossy, even finish.

The result is a distinctive lattice pattern created in a terracotta terrazzo that stretches across the entire apartment.”Our idea was to keep the best parts of the old flat we bought,” Biel Huguet told Dezeen. “For two reasons: sustainability – do not throw something nice that can be reused – and also to keep a part of the history and the tradition of Gracia in our new flat.”

“The terrazzo joints was something we ‘discovered’ last year, when Ted’A made our showroom,” he continued.”Since a few years ago I was very concerned about the joints. People do not think about them: they just think about the tiles. But at the end, when you have a floor, you have both: tiles and joints. The joints can get dirty and cannot keep the colour you want, even with cement tiles and their narrow joints.””I thought the best way to keep the joints ‘perfect’ was by polishing them. And to polish them, the grout has to be solid and executed very well. So Ted’A and me found this solution,” he added.

“In Barcelona we went beyond, and Ted’A had the brilliant idea of not using a standard aggregate but to instead smash up the old clay tiles and use them as aggregate.”Huguet also manufactured the apartment’s cement washbasins, shower tray, and kitchen top, in order to create continuity throughout the interior.Terrazzo has made a big come back in recent years with an increasing number of projects featuring it.Some other imaginative uses of the flecked material include a Greek island home on the Aegean coast with mint green terrazzo floors, and a collection of speckled furniture made from recycled ceramics.

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Casper offers rentable nap rooms in the city that never sleeps

Mattress startup Casper has opened a space where New Yorkers can relax and refresh, and even sleep for a short while in tubular wooden pods.Located in Manhattan’s Soho neighbourhood, adjoining Casper’s main retail shop that opened earlier this year, The Dreamery was designed by the brand’s in-house team in collaboration with architecture firm Hollwich Kushner.

It was created as a place for visitors to rest and freshen up, “bringing better sleep to more people and to more places,” according to the brand.Inside is a bright lounge area with a separate, darker room for napping. Users can reserve 45 minutes of rest time for $25 (£19), which can be booked on Casper’s website, via ClassPass or Mindbody, or simply walking in.

“Noticing that everyone was downing green juice and wearing fitness trackers — but falling asleep at their desks — Casper set out to champion sleep as an essential pillar of wellness,” said a statement from the brand.A dark blue archway with lights resembles a starry night, while a much brighter lounge has white floors and walls and a series of seating areas.

Sleeping pods are housed in a separate dimly lit room. A set of cylindrical wooden vaults serve as private nooks, with grey curtains to close them off while in-use.Inside each wooden volume is a Casper twin-sized mattress, as well as linens and pillows by the brand.”The Dreamery is about making sleep and rest a part of our regular wellness routines — similar to how many people prioritize a workout class,” said Neil Parikh, co-founder and COO at Casper.

Behind these sleeping pods are windows, which have been covered in a black material to virtually mask daylight.Private wash and changing stations are also provided in a separate area with sinks, storage bins and mirrors.Included in the experience are constellation-print pyjamas and cleansing amenities, yet there is no mention of how laundering services work.

Launched in 2014, Casper has become one of the biggest disruptors in the mattress industry in the US, with a foam mattress that is shipped in an easy-to-handle rectangular box.The start-up focuses on innovation and frequently launches new sleep-related products, ranging from bed frames to travel-sized pillows.

“The [store’s] concept enables us to pilot new ways of bringing better sleep to more people and to more places – whether that’s here, the workplace, airports, or beyond,” said Parikh.Earlier in the year, the brand opened its first store, featuring small A-frame house designs where customers could test its mattresses.The Dreamery is located at 196 Mercer Street, between Houston and Bleecker streets in New York City. Plans for the Casper store also involve hosting public events regarding wellness and sleep.

Other nap-bar designs include a room in Dubai with oversized curvy cushions by Smarin, and a pop-up “sleeperie” in London with red hammocks by Hassell and Draisci Studio.

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