A view into our world at Suzanne Lovell, Inc. and the ideas that inspire us daily.
Azzedine Alaia has always loved art. Even before he could afford pieces, he started a smaller personal collection that centered around what touched him- the classics. His first substantial piece was a Roman torso which he eventually sold as a necessity to pay for his taxes on fateful year. Fast forward and Alaia is one of the world’s most sought-after couture designers… his love for art never evaded or diminished him.
Gustave Eiffel is Alaia’s Paris headquarters in the Marais quarter of Paris. Within this old warehouse, Alaia conducts every aspect of his life… from personal to profession. He lives upstairs with his partner, Christoph von Weyhe, a talented painter in his own right, he works downstairs… where he is privy to and cognizant of everything that goes on and now, he has open Galerire Azzedine Alaia- a place to showcase his art.
Feeling that art is to be shared with others, Galerie Azzedine Alaia is different from both the typical museum and gallerie. The work displayed is returned to the artist following the exhibition, nothing is ever sold. The shows always have a personal feel to them, and are smaller and quite intimate. It’s clear that Alaia’s early career path played a part in this endeavor. As a young man, Alaia studied at the Ecole de Beaux Arts with hopes of becoming a sculptor. Head curator Donation Gran says, “In the gallery, we started with projects more related to fashion and photography. But, we’re expanding it now to more encompass this extraordinary community that surrounds the house.” Several years ago, Richemont, a luxury group, invested in Alaia which allowed for a second, full-time gallery space. Special commissions and exhibitions are booked a ways out and the list for future shows is long and prestigious.
Thanks Mr. Alaia, for sharing yet another one of your amazing talents with us!
Recently opened, the new Shanghai Natural History Museum is an architectural feat. Perkins + Will spent 9 years on perfecting the design, development and construction after winning an international design competition. Drawing upon traditional Chinese cultural references was important; thus, the building beautifully represents the harmony between humans and nature. Taking inspiration from the ancient Chinese tradition of mountain water gardens, China's natural landscape was stunningly "minimized".
The circular design allows for easy movement within, and the interior organization is made easier by the nautilus shell design which, in nature, is one of the truest geometric forms... perfect for a natural history museum.
More than 10,000 artifacts (representing all seven continents) are displayed in the bright, light-filled building. The 30-meter atrium is welcoming and the adjacent glass wall mimics the cell-structure of both plants and animals.
And finally, the design is environmentally friendly... the building is bioclimatic by maximizing the sun's output for solar power; nearby, the courtyard pond provides evaporative cooling. The interior temperature is regulated via geothermal and rain water is collected from the vegetated roof, stored in the oval pond and recycled.
Perhaps most importantly, with an additional 20 exhibition spaces, this space won't soon get outgrown!
It's hard to believe that this building has had so many different lives...
Built in 1942 and used as a Nazi bomb shelter, it became a Red Army POW camp after the war, an East German banana storage warehouse and even an avant-garde performance location. It upped its pedigree tremendously once Karen Boros visited the space and decided to alter it into the perfect spot for her and her husband's impressive contemporary art collection.
Obviously, there were complications in turning this former bunker into an exhibition space, but in doing such, they created the penthouse they now call "home". The open-plan penthouse has a beautiful wrap-around terrace, a zen outdoor garden and a reflecting pool.
Karen Boros has always been involved in art and since 2005, she's been intricately involved with Art Basel. In fact, the couple met in 1998 at Art Basel and now have a varied collection of contemporary art by dozens of different artists in their personal collection. Far from finished, the couple recently bought a 1928 Bauhaus building which they've converted into a studio for young artists. They say that art keeps them grounded... we're thankful for art!
Francois Pinault, the french fashion magnet, announces that he will be adding to the cultural richness of Paris with a private museum. Mr. Pinault famously created two private museums in Venice, Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana and he will now be adding to this collection.
The museum is set to take over the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the center of Paris and the city's Mayor said they will find a new home for the building's current occupants. Tadao Ando will oversee the renovation process just as he did for the two museums in Venice. If this museum is half as spectacular as Pinault's Venice museums we are sure it will be our new favorite in Paris!