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The Modern Austin Residences | Development

Kevin Burns Reveals New Details About Rainey Street Skyscraper, Including Name and Project Team

The tower formerly known as 9092 Rainey, which has been in the works for several years, officially has a new name and new project specifications.

 

The Modern Austin Residences will have 56 stories featuring 346 market-rate residences and 21 affordable housing units. Austin’s Urbanspace Real Estate + Interiors is developing the project.

The affordable housing units will be available to people earning 80% of median family income, which is $98,900 in the Austin metro. The market rate units will start in the $400,000 range for a one-bedroom unit. Three-bedroom units will go for $1.6 million and above.

These updates, provided by Urbanspace CEO Kevin Burns, come just a few months after Austin City Council approved a density bonus for the project, allowing the building to go higher than typically allowed. At the time, the tower was planned to be 51 stories high and to contain 400 total units.

Burns said some of the extra stories were added to improve the look of the crown of the building by hiding water cooling towers and other mechanical features. He said they ended up reducing the number of market rate residences but maintaining the same number of affordable ones.

Many have wondered about the fate of Container Bar, the popular bar made of shipping containers that sits on the project site. Burns said the bar will close just before crews break ground on The Modern, which is set for late March 2022.

However, Bridget Dunlap — who owns Container Bar as well as Clive Bar and Lustre Pearl — has signed on to run an entertainment space in the basement of the building.

“Container Bar had a good run, but I’m excited for what’s next,” Dunlap said in a statement. “This next concept will fill a niche that Austin is missing in the music/hospitality scene, and I’m glad to have the opportunity to stay in our spot.”

Nelsen Partners will be the design architect for the tower, Flintco will be the general contractor and Page will be the architect of record. Urbanspace will handle sales and interior design for the tower.

Sales are expected to begin at the start of next year. Burns said it will likely take two and a half years to complete construction. He projects they’ll finish in the second half of 2024.

Original plans for the tower included hotel space and permanent residences, but Covid-19 forced the developer to rethink the plan.

“The fact of the matter is what my company knows inside and out, backwards and forwards is high-rise condominiums,” Burns said. “So it allowed us to really focus on what we do best.”

Urbanspace has been tapped to sell the condos for other high-profile Austin towers, including The Independent, which has an onsite coffee and cocktail bar on the ground floor, similar to what is planned for The Modern. But The Modern Austin Residences represents Burns’ first foray into high-rise development.

Calls for denser housing within the city limits have grown louder amid the city of Austin’s persistent housing shortage. In June, the Austin Board of Realtors reported that the city had only 0.7 months of housing inventory on the market. That means if no new houses were listed, the city would be completely out of available housing in less than a month.

“We couldn’t beat the timing as far as the current market demands for products in Central Austin,” Burns said.

Rainey Street, in particular, has transformed considerably in recent the years. In the mid-2000s, the neighborhood received Central Business District zoning, making it easier to build big in what was once a residential area. The street is now known in large part for its bars, which largely occupy former single-family homes.

“Rainey street is evolving for families from all different walks of life, for those that want to ditch the car and be able to walk to everything,” Burns said. “I’m excited to see not just my project but the other projects that are going up in the area that are really going to create an incredible experience, not just for those that live there, but for the entire city.”

Article from: Austin Business Journal

 

Austin Ranks as “Best-Performing” City Once Again

Austin Ranks as

“Best-Performing” City Once Again

 

Photo taken from Aquila Commercial. 

 

For the third year in a row, Austin took the No. 3 spot on the Milken Institute’s Best-Performing Cities report.

Milken’s index ranks cities on a variety of metrics, including jobs, wages, salaries and technology output. It’s designed to help the public and private sectors evaluate and compare cities throughout the nation. It is particularly handy for Realtors, job recruiters and site selectors.

Placed in the “tier 1” category that includes 13 large and 13 small cities, Austin ranked number 3 right after (1) Provo, Utah and (2) Palm Bay, Florida, demonstrating its improvement in many indicators including “one year job and wage growth” and “five year job and wage growth”. No other Texas cities were in the top 10.

Among the many advantages of living in the Lone Star State, Austin offers a low tax rate and plenty of space for expansion and development. Austin boasts a relatively low cost of living despite a thriving tech sector and has marketed itself as friendly and open to business relocations. Dell, Apple Inc., IBM, and Samsung Austin Semiconductor are all major employers, and BAE Systems recently announced a new Austin campus, which plans to bring an additional 800 jobs to the city. The state capital is also home to the University of Texas at Austin, which is a major research university with strong ties to industry. Oracle, the world’s second-largest software maker, also recently announced plans to move its headquarters to Austin from Redwood City, highlighting the city’s magnetic tech pull.

Despite a tumultuous 2020 globally, the large public sector has helped stabilize the economy. The federal, state, and city governments each employ over 6,000 people, contributing to a 16th place rank in short-term job growth. Housing affordability, however, will continue to be an issue beyond the pandemic, especially with the growth in housing costs in recent years.

 

CALIFORNIA LOSES STEAM

Municipalities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area — known lately for sending thousands of new residents to Texas — took a beating in the Milken report.

San Francisco, which took the top spot in last year’s breakdown of U.S. cities, fell 23 places. San Jose, which was No. 5 last year, came in at 22. And Oakland dropped 48 spots, going from 17 to 65.

But the biggest declines in the country came from some of the Bay Area’s outlying cities. Salinas suffered the largest drop of any U.S. metro area, falling 90 places from 41 to 131. The Santa Cruz-Watsonville metro area went from 52 to 124, a 72-point drop.

“A notable common characteristic of the cities that dropped the most is their proximity to larger ‘superstar cities,'” according to the report from the Milken Institute, which is based in Southern California. “Most of these metros also have low levels of high-tech industry concentration and extremely high housing costs. In Oakland’s case, these pressures have displaced many residents and decreased socioeconomic diversity.”

“The pandemic has had an outsized impact on cities where the economic effects of the current recession are exacerbated by high-housing costs,” said Kevin Klowden executive director of the Milken Institute Center for Regional Economics and California Center.

The Milken rankings measures economic vitality in 200 large metropolitan areas and 201 small metropolitan areas using job creation, wage growth and innovation industry metrics. The 2021 version of emphasized jobs, wages and high tech growth, housing affordability and household broadband access.

To download the full report from the Milken Institute, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

The Tech Scene: Austin-area Tech Employers

The Austin Tech Scene: Austin-area Tech Employers

 

Photo from: 9TO5Mac
Photo from: 9TO5Mac

 

Austin, Texas, has become one of the hottest relocation hotspots for tech talent during the pandemic. Ranked by the number of Austin employees, check out the top 10 tech employers with offices in the Austin Area.

The tech companies included provide some sort of proprietary technology that changes the way business is done. They include hardware and software makers, internet-based services, e-commerce companies, semiconductor corporations, manufacturers, biotech firms and artificial intelligence businesses, to mention just a few.

Information for the list is gathered from ABJ surveys, news coverage and company websites.

 

1. DELL TECHNOLOGIES

  • Address: One Dell Way, Round Rock, 78682
  • Brief Description: Dell Technologies helps organizations and individuals build their digital future and transform how they work, live and play with an innovative technology and services portfolio for the data era.
  • Sector: Hardware, software, IT, services
  • Number of Austin Employees: 13,000
  • Products & Services: IT products and services
  • Year Est. in Austin Area: 1984

 

2. APPLE INC.

  • Address: 12545 Riata Vista Cir., Austin, 78727
  • Brief Description: Apple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL) is an information technology company headquartered in Cupertino, Calif. that provides consumer electronics, software and services.
  • Sector: Hardware, software, services
  • Number of Austin Employees: 7,000
  • Products & Services: Mobile communication, computers, music players, related software/services, peripherals, third-party digital content and apps
  • Year Est. in Austin Area: 2004

 

3. IBM CORP. 

  • Address: 11500 Burnet Rd., Austin, 78758
  • Brief Description: IBM Corp. focuses on the intersection of business insight and technological innovation through five business segments: cognitive solutions, global business services, tech services and cloud platforms, systems and global financing.
  • Sector: Hardware, software and IT
  • Number of Austin Employees: 6,000
  • Products & Services: IT infrastructure, services, consulting, hardware/software, microelectronics, research
  • Year Est. in Austin Area: 1967

 

4. ACCENTURE PLC 

  • Address: 323 Congress Ave., Austin, 78701
  • Brief Description: Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security across more than 40 industries.
  • Sector: Technology consulting
  • Number of Austin Employees: 4,500
  • Products & Services: Professional services with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security; Strategy and Consulting, Interactive, Technology and Operations services
  • Year Est. in Austin Area: 1976

 

5. AMAZON.COM LLC

  • Address: 11501 Alterra Pkwy., Austin, 78758
  • Brief Description: Amazon.com LLC is an online retailer based in Seattle with distribution center in San Marcos and an office at the Domain.
  • Sector: E-commerce
  • Number of Austin Employees: 4,000
  • Products & Services: Online retailer with distribution center in San Marcos and an office at the Domain
  • Year Est. in Austin Area: 2015

 

5. NXP SEMICONDUCTORS

  • Address: 6501 W. William Cannon Dr., Austin, 78735
  • Brief Description: NXP is a semiconductor designer and manufacturer of smart chips for automotive, mobile, and the industrial IoT.
  • Sector: Semiconductor
  • Number of Austin Employees: 4,000
  • Products & Services: Semiconductor design and manufacturer of embedded processors, such as microcontrollers and digital networking processors
  • Year Est. in Austin Area: 1974

 

7. SAMSUNG AUSTIN SEMICONDUCTOR LLC

  • Address: 12100 Samsung Blvd., Austin, 78754
  • Brief Description: Samsung Austin Semiconductor, a US-based subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., is one of the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing facilities in the world with more than 3,000 employees and 2.45 million square feet of floor space.
  • Sector: Semiconductor
  • Number of Austin Employees: 3,000
  • Products & Services: Broad semiconductor processors including mobile, graphic, consumer, networking/high performance computing, Internet of Things, RF and automotive
  • Year Est. in Austin Area: 1996

 

8. AT&T INC. 

  • Address: 816 Congress Ave., Austin, 78701
  • Brief Description: AT&T is a modern media company headquartered in Dallas whose mission is to inspire human progress through the power of communication and entertainment.
  • Sector: Communications
  • Number of Austin Employees: 2,800
  • Products & Services: Advanced IP-based business services, wireless high-speed Internet access and voice service
  • Year Est. in Austin Area: 1881

 

8. INDEED

  • Address: 6433 Champion Grandview Way, Austin, 78750
  • Brief Description: More people find jobs on Indeed than anywhere else. Indeed is the #1 job site in the world (comScore, March 2018) and allows job seekers to search millions of jobs in more than 60 countries and 28 languages. For more information, visit indeed.com.
  • Sector: Internet, software
  • Number of Austin Employees: 2,800
  • Products & Services: Job search engine, job postings, job advertising, resume subscriptions, employer branding products, company pages, skills tests
  • Year Est. in Austin Area: 2004

 

10. APPLIED MATERIALS INC. 

  • Address: 9700 E. Hwy. 290, Austin, 78724
  • Brief Description: Applied Materials is the leader in materials engineering solutions used to produce virtually every new chip and advanced display in the world.
  • Sector: Tech manufacturing
  • Number of Austin Employees: 2,510
  • Products & Services: Materials engineering for the semiconductor, advanced display and adjacent industries
  • Year Est. in Austin Area: 1992

 

 

Cypress & Shoal Creek Public Space Strategy

Cypress & Shoal Creek Public Space Strategy

 

Shoal Creek conservancy is excited to announce their draft public space strategy that envisions the potential future of the district on their Cypress & Shoal Public Space Strategy community engagement headquarters. Input on transforming Cypress & Shoal Creek is highly valued by the conservancy, who will be accepting input from the public until January 31st. Below you can view the public outreach summary from 2020, as well as detailed information on each of the five project areas, including: a summary of existing conditions and public input, imagery to illustrate proposed design concepts, and the Draft Public Space Strategy for the area. Please visit the Cypress & Shoal Creek Public Strategy Page to leave your feedback.

 

PUBLIC OUTREACH SUMMARY: SPRING 2020

MARGARET MOSER PLAZA
  • congested plaza and street
  • confusing bike connection
  • not enough space for all uses
  • too many cars
  • no scooter parking
CONVERGENCE PLAZA
  • creek trail is poorly lit and feels unsafe
  • trash not cleaned regularly
  • blind crossings and hairpin turns are challenging for cyclists
  • could use more places to sit
MARKET PLAZA
  • confusing vehicular intersection
  • dangerous crosswalk
  • redundant drive streets
  • not enough bike parking
  • poor landscaping and maintenance
  • not enough shade
BOWIE STREET UNDERPASS
  • create safe connections for bikes and pedestrians
  • wider sidewalks
  • put vacant land to good use
  • deal with train noise
SHOAL CREEK TRAIL
  • widen the trail
  • create a safer trail
  • clean up trash and unsafe behavior
  • create passive seating areas

 

EXISTING BIKE & TRAIL ROUTES

 

CYPRESS & SHOAL CREEK: PROJECT AREAS

 

 

1. MARGARET MOSER PLAZA & 3RD STREET BRIDGES

Area of 3rd Street between the 360 Condos and Third + Shoal buildings, continuing over Shoal Creek via two renovated bridges.

 

MARGARET MOSER PLAZA & 3RD STREET BRIDGES: TODAY

PUBLIC FEEDBACK SUMMARY

  • congested plaza and street
  • confusing bike connection
  • not enough space for all uses
  • too many cars
  • no scooter parking

OPPORTUNITIES

  • streamline traffic for safety and convenience
  • create easier bike connections
  • restore historic railroad bridge for pedestrians
  • provide views of Lady Bird Lake
  • improve water quality of street stormwater runoff

CONSTRAINTS

  • city utilities spanning Shoal Creek
  • decaying railroad bridge
  • narrow commuter bridge
  • busy plaza
  • flood plain of shoal creek

 

 

MARGARET MOSER PLAZA & 3RD STREET BRIDGES: CONCEPTS

  • separated pedestrian and bike lanes across new bike/ped bridge
  • people-dominated plaza plaza specs where cars yield to pedestrian traffic
  • wider pedestrian bridge for bikes, scooters, pedestrians and pets
  • green streets with shade trees for health and comfort
  • clear directional signs
  • gateway element for district identity
  • restoration of the historic rail line
  • park space on old trestle bridge

MARGARET MOSER PLAZA & 3RD STREET BRIDGES: IN THE FUTURE

PLAZA GOALS

  • manage bikes, cars and people
  • improve safe crossings for all
  • narrow drive lanes and slow cars
  • improve and widen sidewalks
  • streamline the bike connection
  • incorporate sustainable design techniques

BRIDGE GOALS

  • new, wider commuter bridge
  • restore trestle bridge for public use and creek crossing
  • no impact to creek flood plain
  • provide a new, safe trail under bridges

KEY PLAN

 

 

 

2. CONVERGENCE PLAZA

Area between The Independent and the Austin Energy substation, at the convergence of 3rd Street and the Shoal Creek Trail.

CONVERGENCE PLAZA: TODAY

PUBLIC FEEDBACK SUMMARY

  • creek trail is poorly lit and feels unsafe
  • trash not cleaned regularly
  • blind crossings and hairpin turns are challenging for cyclists
  • could use more places to sit

OPPORTUNITIES

  • provide a continuous trail along the creek
  • improve lighting along the creek trail
  • widen paths for pedestrians and bikes
  • improve areas around Austin Energy land for public use

CONSTRAINTS

  • overhead and underground utilities
  • confusing traffic crossings and conflicts
  • significant grade changes

 

 

CONVERGENCE PLAZA: CONCEPTS

  • dedicated bike lanes
  • wider paths
  • dog park for residents and to reduce landscape damage
  • educational and wayfinding signage
  • use special paving colors or patterns to aid in wayfinding
  • utilize open space
  • provide space for seating

 

 

CONVERGENCE PLAZA: IN THE FUTURE (OPTION 1)

PLAZA GOALS: EAST-WEST

  • dedicated bike lanes
  • reduce bike and pedestrian conflicts
  • connectivity to new development
  • utilize open space
  • wider paths

CREEK TRAIL GOALS: NORTH-SOUTH

  • continue trail under bridges
  • interpretive/educational signage
  • wider paths
  • safer conditions

 

 

KEY PLAN

 

 

CONVERGENCE PLAZA: IN THE FUTURE (OPTION 2)

PLAZA GOALS: EAST-WEST

  • dedicated bike lanes
  • reduce bike and pedestrian conflicts
  • connectivity to new development
  • utilize open space
  • wider paths

CREEK TRAIL GOALS: NORTH-SOUTH

  • continue trail under bridges
  • interpretive/educational signage
  • wider paths
  • safer conditions

 

 

KEY PLAN

 

 

 

3. MARKET PLAZA

Area of 3rd Street and Power Plant Drive between Trader Joe’s/Seaholm Residences and the Gables West Avenue apartment building, reimagined as a public plaza.

 

 

MARKET PLAZA: TODAY

PUBLIC FEEDBACK SUMMARY

  • confusing vehicular intersection
  • dangerous crosswalk
  • redundant drive streets
  • not enough bike parking
  • poor landscaping and maintenance
  • not enough shade

OPPORTUNITIES

  • provide safer intersections
  • introduce more shade
  • improve water quality from street runoff
  • designated bike path
  • better pedestrian experience
  • re-vegetate the median with native plants

CONSTRAINTS

  • vehicular access and parking needs
  • fire department access
  • Austin Energy overhead power lines
  • pet relief needs

 

 

 

MARKET PLAZA: CONCEPTS

  • dedicated bike lane
  • dedicated pedestrian plaza
  • pop-up retail opportunities
  • stormwater treatment from street runoff
  • safer crosswalk
  • tighter turning radius for cars and shorter crosswalks
  • bold graphic markings to slow traffic
  • speed hump slows cars at crosswalks

 

 

 

 

MARKET PLAZA: IN THE FUTURE

GOALS:

  • reduce vehicular dominance
  • repurpose redundant parallel streets for pedestrians and bikes
  • provide safer crossings and reduce confusion
  • provide dedicated bike
  • improve pedestrian experience
  • maintain street parking
  • increase retail opportunities, such as pop-up markets
  • manage stormwater runoff
  • connect to future Bowie Street underpass

 

 

KEY PLAN

 

 

 

 

 

4. BOWIE STREET UNDERPASS

Connection of Bowie Street underneath the Union Pacific rail line, linking up with Sandra Muraida Way and ultimately to the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail around Lady Bird Lake.

 

 

BOWIE STREET UNDERPASS: TODAY

PUBLIC FEEDBACK SUMMARY

  • create safe connections for bikes and pedestrians
  • wider sidewalks
  • use vacant city-owned property next to the train line for improved streetscape

OPPORTUNITIES

  • create designated bike & pedestrian connection to Pfluger bridge
  • create safer crossings
  • provide shaded sidewalks

CONSTRAINTS

  • Union Pacific active railway
  • Austin Energy overhead power lines
  • narrow roadway
  • significant grade changes

 

 

 

 

BOWIE STREET UNDERPASS: CONCEPTS

  • wide shared path
  • trestle underpass structure
  • street trees
  • improved crossing
  • gateway element

 

 

 

BOWIE STREET UNDERPASS: IN THE FUTURE

GOALS:

  • create a designated bike & pedestrian connection to Pfluger bridge
  • create safer crossings
  • provide wider sidewalks
  • provide shaded paths

 

 

KEY PLAN

5. SHOAL CREEK TRAIL AT RIO GRANDE STREET

Shoal Creek at Rio Grande Street and 4th Street where Little Shoal Creek daylights, including improvements to the Shoal Creek streambank and trail.

 

 

 

SHOAL CREEK TRAIL AT RIO GRANDE STREET: TODAY

PUBLIC FEEDBACK SUMMARY

  • widen the trail
  • create a safer trail
  • clean up trash and make space feel more space
  • create seating areas

OPPORTUNITIES

  • widen the trail
  • create passive seating areas
  • showcase historic Little Shoal Creek
  • remove invasive species and restore native habitat

CONSTRAINTS

  • narrow conditions
  • flood plain
  • utilities spanning creek

 

 

 

SHOAL CREEK TRAIL AT RIO GRANDE STREET: CONCEPTS

  • capture runoff from the streets in forebays to treat pollutants before entering the creek
  • provide educational signage
  • provide scenic overlook areas

 

 

 

 

SHOAL CREEK TRAIL AT RIO GRANDE STREET: IN THE FUTURE

GOALS:

  • widen trail to provide seating for people watching
  • create scenic overlooks
  • showcase historic creek outfall
  • remove invasive species and re-vegetate with native plantings
  • create a safer environment
  • provide lighting at night
  • clean up trash
  • provide educational elements

 

 

 

KEY PLAN

 

 

***Please visit the website linked here to give your input. 

 

Multifamily Project Winner: The Independent

The Independent is Named the Top Multifamily Project

in ABJ’s 2020 Commercial Real Estate Awards

 

 

Category: Multifamily development

Companies involved*: Buyer broker: Constructive Ventures

Seller brokers: City of Austin (land sale), Urbanspace Real Estate + Interiors (condo sales)

Lead developers: Aspen Heights, CIM Group

General contractor: Balfour Beatty

Primary architect: Rhode Partners

Primary MEP: Garza Bury

Landscape architect: Studio Balcones

Interior designer: Rhode Partners

Civil engineer: Urban Design Group

Structural engineer: LAM+DCI

Title companies: Heritage Title (land sale); Heritage Title and Stewart Title (condo sales)

Financiers: CIM Group, Bank of the Ozarks

Law firms: Dubois Bryant & Campbell LLP, Winstead PC

* all information provided by nominator

Why it won: The Independent tower’s Jenga-like design marked a welcome addition to the downtown skyline when it was completed in 2019.

Austin’s tallest tower at 58 stories, The Independent has also turned heads with its unique crown — which is now illuminated at night to give the tower a special glow at all hours of the day. There’s enough intrigue in The Independent that the story of it’s design and construction has been featured in a Science Channel program called “Impossible Engineering.”

And the hits just keep coming: The Independent has now been honored with a 2020 CREA Award for a new or rehabbed multifamily development.

The Independent features 363 condo units across 950,000 square feet while resting upon just 1.7 acres, maximizing the land and taxable value. The $300 million-plus project has helped the city of Austin reinvigorate a portion of downtown that has gone from hosting power and water plants to towering, new buildings that welcome people day and night.

Aside from its architectural prowess, The Independent has met LEED Gold certification standards for environmental efficiency and sustainability — its application for official LEED Gold certification is currently pending.

What’s more, project co-developers Aspen Heights and CIM Group contributed more than $1 million to various funds that helped improve the infrastructure and beauty of the area.

 

Behind the Design | The Camaleonda Comeback

Camaleonda

 

The Camaleonda system, originally designed by Mario Bellini in 1970, makes its comeback 50 years later. Speaking a contemporary language, between structural solutions and sustainable choices.

 

                                                                             THE HISTORY:                                                                                                                                              50 YEARS THAT HAVE NOT GONE BY

 

Presented to the public in 1970, Camaleonda has passed through 5 decades of design history as a true icon. Designed by Mario Bellini, this modular sofa has designed the aesthetics of an entire era of interior design, thanks to its great success both in terms of the public and critics. It is constantly featured in most international design museums and in film-sets that have defined the collective imagination. An Object that is loved by design affectionates, antique dealers and interior designers alike is finally back in production after a careful design process that involved the close collaboration between B&B Italia’s Research & Development Centre and Mario Bellini.

Mario Bellini’s work is characterized by bringing together design and architecture and Camaleonda testifies to his unique ability to move confidently between diverse design languages, between macro and micro, geometry and curves, artificial and natural materials. As Bellini himself says, Camaleonda was created to fill a void: “At the beginning of the 1970s, upholstered furniture for the home stagnated into the tired traditional stereotypes and radical-proactive elitist forays into the future that, although stimulating, rarely challenged the relationship between the evolution of new patterns of behavior in the home and the types of furniture available on the market at the time.”

With Camaleonda we find ourselves in the presence of a sofa intended as an architectural element, capable of transforming the landscape of the interior space that inhabits. A landscape that is neither immobile nor permanent, as its chameleon-like nature involves change and transformation. A promise that is clear from the name itself, as Bellini recalls: “Camaleonda is a name that I invented 1970 by mixing two words: the first is the name of an extraordinary animal, the chameleon (camaleonte in Italian), that can adapt to the environment around it and the word ‘onda, wave, that indicates the curve of the sea and the desert. Both these words describe the shape and function of this sofa.”

Camaleonda continues to live on thanks to an identity that has become an evergreen iconic vintage, current for each generation precisely because of its timeless qualities.

 

                                                                                 THE PRESENT:                                                                                                                                                      A CONTEMPORARY REISSUE

 

In its reissue, Camaleonda preserves the elements that have made it a contemporary classic. By mutual agreement, Mario Bellini and B&B Italia have decided to keep with the 90×90 cm seat module, together with the backrest and the armrest, faithful to the original project, whose original cutting pattern was used for the new edition.

The generous polyurethane padding that forms the characteristic capitonné design remains unchanged, still manufactured with the innovative system of cables, hooks and rings created by Bellini in 1970, which defines the characteristics look and modularity. Thanks to the tie-rods and the rings, the modules can be unhooked and recombined at will, allowing the sofa to adapt to an evolving taste and the dynamic needs of those using it.

The fundamental characteristics of Camaleonda is its unlimited modularity, a geometric pattern that allows each element to become a sort of enormous pixel through which to define your home environment. By hooking and unhooking seats, backrests and armrests, you can enjoy the luxury of changing your mind as many times as you desire, moving and redesigning the space. A concept which is dead to Mario Bellini: “Of all objects, I have designed, Camaleonda is perhaps the best in terms of its sense of freedom. There are infinite number of possible configurations.”

The padding has been thoroughly updated by the B&B Italia Research & Development Centre, making it even more comfortable than the original version. Thus the magical balance between the rigorous geometry of the square and the welcoming of the roundness of the padding is confirmed, further underlining the elasticity and tactile ergonomics that characterize many of Mario Bellini’s design projects. Camaleonda can be upholstered with B&B Italia’s entire textile and leather collection, allowing for another variable in the multitude of possible combinations.

Camaleonda is a dynamic, alive and sincere object, not at all enigmatic, that allows for an infinite number of configurations while still maintaining its peculiar and unique identity.

 

                                                                                    THE FUTURE:                                                                                 SUSTAINABILITY AND CIRCULARITY

 

The re-edition of the Camaleonda does not look back at the past, but on the contrary, it aims to rewrite an indisputable classic in a contemporary perspective.

Aesthetics, dimensions, proportions, and the way it is configured remain unchanged, while the composition of the interior has been completely redesigned with no room for nostalgia. “When I was asked to update Camaleonda, it was immediately clear to me that I should never or would never be able to do anything. Change the shape? No, the way it was intended is as good today as it was then. Change the materials? Yes, and that’s why I had a conversation with a company that is a leader in terms of its ability to transform a piece of furniture into a sustainable product.”

The “sandwich” structure of the Camaleonda is made up of recycled or recyclable materials that can easily be disassembled. The seat, backrest, armrests and bases are made of wooden panels. The sofa rests on the floor on a series of spherical feet made of FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified beech wood.

The padding of the seat, the backrest and the armrests are made of polyurethane in various levels of density and firmness. The highest degree of complexity lies in the seat, where elements are shaped and assembled to allow every layer to interact, at the same time guaranteeing a high level of comfort. The various layers generate empty spaces or pockets designed to create a comfortable spring effect.

The engineering and composition of the seat allow the interior elements of the sofa to be disassembled and therefore easily recyclable. The padding is protected by a removable cover made of dacron, a synthetic fabric that is entirely made of recycled PET, the same material used to manufacture plastic water bottles.

 

                                                                                   THE DESIGNER:                                                                                                                                                           BEHIND THE DESIGN

 

Mario Bellini is an architect and designer internationally renowned. He received the Golden Compass Award eight times (one assigned to B&B Italia Le Bambolein 1979) and 25 of his works are in the permanent design collection of the New York MoMA, which dedicated to him a personal retrospective in 1987.

He has designed countless art, design and architecture exhibitions over the years, both in Italy and abroad: among the latest those at Palazzo Reale with Giotto’s masterpieces (2016) and – at the Milanese Museo del ‘900 – the one dedicated to Margherita Sarfatti (2018-2019).

In 2015 the Milan Triennale awarded him a Gold Medal for his career in architecture. Since 1991 he has been named as the Royal Honorary Designer of RDI.

Bellini has dedicated himself to almost entirely architecture since the 1980s. Projects currently underway are the New Polytechnic School of Genoa (2006-2020), a vast hotel and residential development on Virgin Gorda Island in the British Virgin Island (2018-2020). He also has various projects within the design stages.

 

                                                                          ENDLESS COMPOSITIONS:                                                                          GLI SCACCHI

 

Mario Bellini has also designed Gli Scacchi, which uses a combinatorial nature of Camaleonda to create the chess pieces. These series of accessories can be utilized to become extra tables or seats.

The three pieces that make up the series are inspired by the game of chess, in particular the queen, the knight and the rook (hence the Italian names Regina, Cavallo, and Torre), light and easy to move like on a chessboard. “They are among the most playful pieces of furniture I have ever designed”, Bellini states.

In 1971, the original version of Gli Scacchi represented a remarkable technical innovation as they were produced in self-skinning polyurethane foam, a solution which was initially used only by the automotive industry and was introduced for the first time in furniture. The 2020 reissue offers soft covers made of think leather and calf hide with visible stitching.

 

A classic is reborn 50 years after its introduction, maintaining all of its original character with a new dedication to a sustainable future.

Infinitely configurable, infinitely versatile, available now for order at Urbanspace.

Behind the Design | Nanimarquina Silhouette

Nanimarquina Silhouette

 

After success of the first collaboration with designer Jaime Hayón in 2017, Nanimarquina presents Silhouette, a collection of rugs for indoor and outdoor use that highlights the acclaimed casual style of the Valencian based designer and artist.

 

Depicted with a delicate stroke, the illustration defines the silhouettes of several imaginary characters that intertwine and coexist in a beautiful composition.

Hayón subtly introduces color through small elements brimming with personality that help to interpret each of the images.

Nine faces are distributed at different angles so that the rug can be viewed from any perspective, fitting perfectly in any space.

Through this new collaboration with Jamie Hayón, Nanimarquina introduces the embroidery on kilim techniques for the first time. A laborious process handmade in Pakistan, the chain stitch embroidery adds texture and a soft volume that emphasizes the sinuousness of the illustration.

Despite its delicate appearance, it is a sturdy technique suitable for both residential and commercial use.

Nanimarquina also presents, for the first time, an outdoor hand-tufted rug, developed with 100% recycled PET fiber and produced in India. This combination provides great utility while transferring a sense of well-being that is needed for an outdoor space.

 

 

Born in Madrid in 1974, Jamie Hayón enjoys an illustrious career in the recent history of contemporary design.

His exhibition entitled “Mediterranean Digital Baroque” at the David Gill Gallery in London, and the collections of bathrooms he designed for ArtQuitect marked the beginning of his meteoric international rise, which was then established with the BD Showtime collection and his subsequent work with companies such as Camper, Llandró, Bisazza, Swarovsky, and Moooi.

Learn more about Spanish designer, Jamie Hayón and his collaboration with Nanimarquina design inspiration behind the Silhouette:

Did you specifically create the illustration thinking that it would be a rug? And if not, what made you feel it would work well as a rug?

It’s a freehand drawing, similar to the work in my sketchbooks. I consider the disposition, which was interesting from different angles; in other words, it would work for a rug. 

You are a compulsive illustrator, where do your characters come from? Specifically, what is the story behind the figures in this drawing, and their personality?

There are infinite characters that are part of my imaginary. They change and evolve, according to my current interests. There are characters that are endearing, others are more ironic, and some even provoke fear on occasion. In the case of characters, what I am most interested in is the ability to transmit emotions.

From the sketch to the product, what happens when one of your personal drawings becomes an object? Something to be shared and interpreted by others?

This happens in very exceptional cases in which the format, material, and use are ideal to portray emotivism through the figurative. Rugs for Nanimarquina are the perfect example; the format is ideal to be able to work with absolute freedom, similar to a painting or tapestry.

Compared to the first collaboration, we could say that this proposal is less busy, depicting fewer strokes, less characters, and more restrained use of colour. How has your work evolved? Is this style a common feature in your current projects?

I wanted to contribute a different stylistic language able to integrate with other facets of character, more serene. Above and beyond the evolution of my work, I wanted to complement our collaboration and expand the range of use.

This is the second time you have worked with Nanimarquina. What would you highlight about the collaboration with Nanimarquina?

Working with Nanimarquina is a pleasure. Collaborators are able to work surrounded by respect and mutual admiration. The knowledge regarding each fibre and material, the variety of techniques, and the close work with artisans is palpable in the result of Nanimarquina rugs. 

You design different types of objects, what attracts you to specifically design rugs?

I am attracted by the possibility of working with an object from a purely artistic perspective, witnessing the translation of artistic expression onto a vary different surface than that of paper or canvas.

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