Jonathan Hagos, director at Freehaus architects, gives three of his specification favourites

Terrazzo

Terrazzo has had a huge resurgence in popularity  and we love it for its inherent customisation potential. We’ve come back to it, in part due to our great relationship with London terrazzo specialist, Diespeker, having completed complex and bespoke pieces together. As well as flooring and counters we have designed some more unconventional pieces including a four tier terrazzo water fountain built around a column in a central London restaurant. The finish is a rich Lapiz Lazuli background and a mix of brass and blue glass chippings – not quite the traditional terrazzo of old!

diespeker.co.uk

 

Everyday materials
When facing a tight budget we often use everyday materials in an unfamiliar way. For the RIBA’s  temporary bookshop we used just ROCKWOOL products, lining the space with deeply buttoned quilt insulation to help ‘uplift’ the material. The café at Topshop’s flagship store is frequently reconfigured and refurbished to align with changes to the shop floor and fashion trends. We used everyday construction materials, often concealed, to provide a platform for change, which included materials such as Wedi-board tile backer and a  wall system of exposed plasterboard and metal ‘C’ studs – a detail we return to time and again.

 

Polished brass 
Brass also seems to be very on trend but for us it conjures memories of playing brass instruments at school and the smell of Brasso! With that in mind we’ve had fun designing a bespoke range of brass ironmongery with industrial designer Felix de Pass. Ironmonger Trapex helped the piece to fabrication. The range is based on the pure limitations of the material, cast, solid rod and tubular, which directly informed the size and functionality of the piece and the ability to customise handles to align with a project. Our handle featured recently at the Aram Gallery and we want to specify it on our projects.

trapex.com

 

Latest

3D-printed brick mimics lattice nest structure to boost insulation in cavity walls

Plastic brick could replace foam insulation in cavity walls

The UK Future Industrial Strategy group’s report Absolute Zero argues that there should be no UK airports by 2050. Does engineering consultancy Arup’s report 2050 Scenarios: Four Plausible Futures go as far? We ask its author

The UK Future Industrial Strategy group’s report ‘Absolute Zero’ argues that there should be no UK airports by 2050. Does engineering consultancy Arup’s report ‘2050 Scenarios: Four Plausible Futures’ go as far? We ask its author, Josef Hargrave of Arup’s Foresight, Research & Innovation Team

Italian furniture brand offers exceptional prices on selection of ex-display designer products from previous collections

Cassina sample sale offers a piece of design history

Now that higher education comes at some cost, student accommodation is increasingly blurring the boundaries between learning, working and living

Halls get more sophisticated to attract top students

From concrete tunnelling to self supporting stone facades and Range Rover Shopping Trips, how could an innovative engineering approach inject sustainability into design teams?

Engineering structures and energy with flair