Design Miami: Droog + Atelier Bow Wow

Design Miami: Droog + Atelier Bow Wow

By Aaron Britt
Last night was the Design Miami vernissage party, and my first look at the tent by architects Aranda\Lasch, and the dozens of gallerists and the high glitz of the Miami art and society set. Though there is loads to report, and rest assured, that's coming, I did want to dash off a quick dispatch on a rather winsome project from Dutch design heroes Droog and the very talented Tokyo–based architecture firm Atelier Bow Wow.

The two companies put their heads together to collaborate on a very tall, narrow house concept in Amsterdam dubbed Townhouse. The premise is simple: Atelier Bow Wow designs a house explicitly to be furnished with and dedicated to the furniture designs of Droog. I chatted with Mirai Morita from Atelier Bow Wow, and she described how the two companies arrived at the design for the house. "We wanted to make a space that would be both a kind of house and a gallery for Droog pieces. So each room should maybe have one Droog piece." The result--only a model at present—is a kind of spiraling staircase, each long, wide, low platform stepping up to the next. The private areas of the house are in a column at one end of the narrow structure with the public spaces, terraces really, making up the rest.

One has the sense of always climbing in this house, but as Morita told me, "it was the only way. You must have stairs to maximize this kind of house. But each time we tried to make a staircase, we lost a lot of floor space, of which there wasn't much to begin with."

She tells me that at present the project exists only in renderings and as the model on view at Design Miami in the Droog booth. The site for the house in Amsterdam is also all picked out, thanks to a partnership with the Dutch housing association Ymere. All that's missing is a buyer.


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