For more than two decades, Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen has created exquisite buildings and residences with profoundly elemental spaces enriched by a refined palette of materials. The results are sublime, rich, minimal yet tactile. He has designed furniture and decorative objects for such leading international manufacturers as Tribù, B&B Italia, Poliform and Swarovski. Van Duysen celebrates the essence of form, the elegance of proportion and the refinement of hidden details.
It might look like a plain bunker from the outside, but inside you will find one the most impressive art collections of Berlin. During the Second World War it functioned as an air raid shelter, now it is the home of Christian and Karen Boros, who live with their son amidst paintings by Elizabeth Peyton and a series of installations by groundbreaking artists such as Olafur Eliasson. It is a dream home that once seemed impossible to realize, but has now become an art manifesto for Berlin’s historical Mitte district, where change is the norm. Simply wonderful.
Whenever you feel like working out of the office, but you’re not a megalomaniac enough to book a Playing Circle location all for yourself, there’s always the new Starbucks at the Rembrandt square.
It’s the biggest Starbucks in Europe and its interior has been composed by 35 local artists under the supervision of designer Liz Muller. She’s managed to create a cosy atmosphere in this vast space, with rather strong nods to Dutch culture, like a wall made of ‘speculaas’ molds and antique Delft blue tiles.
Its original marble floors (dating back to 1926) were left intact. And it seems the manager posts a Tweet whenever their fresh baked cookies come out the oven.
If you feel like heading for Austria, go to Graz and stay at the Wiesler. Why? They understand that luxury isn’t about gold plated taps and glossy leather sofa’s. The Wiesler has been around since 1909. They know their business. As they quite nicely put it themselves; it’s a place where you can be yourself but also reinvent yourself. Somewhere between soul and art nouveau, but always in the here and now. Well done Wiesler.