Category Archives: ARCHI&DESIGN

Chateau la Coste – art & architecture &…wine

As summer is kicking in (finally) it makes me think of the beautiful places we went the last couple of summers…and makes me want to go back since some are only a stone’s throw away, like le Chateau la Coste.



Every year my parents spend a couple of weeks in the south of France, in La Ciotat, a little seaport not far from Marseille. Besides the time at the beach we always do some trips in the close area around and one of my favorite places we’ve visited lately  was probably Chateau la Coste which we discovered two years ago thanks to my love. (Since Jean Nouvel happens to be the architect who designed the wine cuverie he knows the place and it’s owner quite well.)

La Coste is a little bijou in the Provence, close to Aix-en-Provence. It’s a wonderful mix of unique art and architecture set in this beautiful provencian landscape surrounded by good wine.

Some ten years ago the irish property developer and art collector Patrick McKillen has decided to transform his vineyard by completing it with a contemporary art center sculpture park.
He has invited numerous world-famous artists and architects and let them, inspired by this beautiful place, let their creativity run wild.
The result is a stunning encounter of Richard SERRA,  Andy GOLDSWORTHY, Louise BOURGEOIS, Tom SHANNON.. Tadao ANDO, Frank O. GEHRY and Jean NOUVEL .. to name only a few.

You start your visit at the art center designed by Tadao Ando..

la-coste ando

and then you continue your walk through the hills and fields of wine.. passing by a little chapel designed by Tadao Ando..


.. a pavilion by Frank Gehry..

la coste-

…or a piece by Tom Shannon, which reflects the surrounding landscape ..


….the wine cuverie by Jean Nouvel..

la coste ajn

..and so on and so on… The accumulation and density of artistic treasures is really impressive – just like their setting.

…in the end you can rest and have a bite and a drink at the café at Tadao’s art center building with a great few of the surrounding area and more art..

la-coste-resto one of the spiders by Louise Bourgeoise

la-coste louise

It’s really an amazing and unique place. Go and have a look if you’re en Provence. It’s evolving all the time since new pieces of art arrive every now and then.  I’m quite impatient to go back this summer.

…and we’ll probably look like this again – which was two years ago .. 🙂


La coste_


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Beautiful blue watermark tiles

I never thought tiles could be so beautiful! Usually I’m not a big fan of bathroom tiles (which is probably why we don’t have any- Em dislikes them even more than me) but those are just stunning..


Tiles-Deborah-Osburn 2


Tiles-Deborah-Osburn 3

…so poetic.. so delicate and feathery.. just like a watercolor painting  (which they actually are)

Tiles-Deborah-Osburn 4



This poem of indigo called Watermark collection is the work of designer Deoborah Osburn who has been creating tiles for over 25 years now.  Everytile is handmade and unique! Quite a piece of work. If you want to see more of her collections go to Clé.



P.S. You can read more about the process here

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Tables four two

We were thinking lately to get Maxou a little table and on his own to draw and amuse himself but we don’t want any of that basic children furniture that you find everywhere, most probably in plastic and in yelling colors ….

So I stumbled over this tables set – quite original and stylish.

Not sure if it’s really very practical with little kids but I definitely like it!

Tables for 2-Sheree

and en plus, it doesn’t take much space…

Tables for 2-Sheree2

….and once they’re grown you can still use it….

Tables for 2-Sheree3Tables for 2-Sheree4












Tables four two by Sheree B Design



Madame l’Architecte

This one is a  special for all architects among you, my fellow sufferers, and those who know this business.  After a really sh…y day  at the office, having a look at  this tumblr really helps to relativize, put things into perspective .. and see things with some humour and less gravity.
Some of my french friends may already know it: Madame l’Architecte. Two women architects who narrate in pictures and with a lot of humour the daily routine of their work! It’s just hilarious!

Here are some of my favorites .)

(For the non frenchies among you, I tried some translation)

Quand le maitre d’ouvrage te demande si l’estimation des travaux inclut les options.
When the client asks you if the estimate of costs includes options.


Quand tu demandes conseil à ton boss au sujet d’un courrier recommandé destiné à une entreprise –
When you ask your boss for advice about a registered mail for a contractor


Quand tes collègues te demandent comment s’est passée ta réunion de chantier et que tu leur résumes en quelques mots.
When your colleagues ask you how was your site-meeting and you recap in a few words


Quand le charpentier t’explique que les poteaux n’auront pas exactement la même section que celle que tu as dessinée.
When you carpenter explains to you that the pillars will not be exactly the same section that you have drawn.


Quand l’entrepreneur t’explique qu’il ne lit jamais ses marchés avant de les signer, car cela demanderait au moins une semaine avec deux avocats, et que de toutes façons il a un accord cadre avec le client… “alors bon, les pièces contractuelles… Mme l’Architecte…”


Quand tu gagnes un concours face à un Jean Nouvel (Oh yes,  sorry my dear – it happens to the best  of us .)
If you win a competition against Jean Nouvel (for the non-architects, it’s like winning a tennis match against Roger Federer)


…and so on…

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Origami door

I would love to have this door at home!

Great work by austrian designer Klemens Torggler. Fascinating what some people can do out of an ordinary object like a door, right?

It’s truly capturing only just to watch it over and over and over again…

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Weeks faves

New Year… new trying. Since my life schedule at the moment often doesn’t leave me enough time to write posts as I would like to, I decided to set up  ‘Weeks faves‘ where I share things which I have stumbled upon during the week. So hope you enjoy!

KonneKt is a game that allows children in isolation to interact and play through glass barriers with others

Isn’t that great? Unbelievable that nobody has thought about this before. I love this idea and I really hope it can get realized and go into production so that kids all over could enjoy it.



…a loudspeaker that you an actually sit in! Crazy.. but I would to have one of those at my office (especially when my colleague is there)
Equipped with 18 speakers and fitted with Tempur pillows that adjust to your body shape.
Designed by Scandinavian Studio Total and Pjadad.

And since it’s friday afternoon and almost time for the apéro here in Paris…

bottle opener
bottle opener3
bottle opener 1.1

I would love to have one of those in my kitchen. Beautiful bottle openers. I never thought I would say that one about a bottle opener – but these are really little masterpieces made of brass.
Crest bottle opener



And this one is especially for you, my chéri 🙂
The Undo button for you iphone. At least for me it’s new and I remember how often you swear that you cannot undo something that got erased or recover a text that just disappeared…voilà!

Have a great weekend!

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Long distance watch

So beautiful.. and so romantic. A watch that keeps two times: one local for you and the second one for your love that is far away (in another time zone)

This beautiful Long distance watch is a design by Kitmen Keung a japanese-canadien china-based designer.



Beautiful idea

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Playing with food: allowed

How great are these ceramic plates?!! Love them!
Maxou is coming into an age where eating becomes sometimes difficult so I can only imagine what it will be like if our little tricks with avocado or dice of ham won’t work anymore. So I’m definetly getting some of these!! They look so much fun, don’t they? You just can’t not unload them, right?

boguslaw sliwinski plate toy

boguslaw sliwinski plate toy2

boguslaw sliwinski plate toy3

boguslaw sliwinski plate toy1

Designed by the polish designer Boguslaw Skiwinski . Wish listed!

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You’ve probably already heard, or ‘seen’ of Banksy, the graffiti-artist from England who adds to an ordinary street wall a value of up to £450,000 (!).
He does, what I like to call, a kinder, a nicer kind of graffiti. I’m not a fan of graffiti but his has something.. touchy, a little touch of romantic drawing to it which is due to the stencilling technique, I would guess. Which make his sprayings appear more soft and tender and not so brutal like most of the graffiti – at least to me.
Banksy (which is only a pseudonym, his identity remains unknown) is a provocateur (as we say in french). He loves to provoke and chock society with his graffiti.

“His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humour with graffiti done in a distinctive stencilling technique. Such artistic works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world.”

Like this statement on child labour in the UK which appeared lately on a wall in London, for example.


.. or this

banksy_london mur

..or this one which figures on a wall near Betlehem


And now there are entire Banksy murals up for auction! Apparently entire pieces of walls have been removed from buildings in order to be sold, leaving a blank spot and disappointed neighbors who got used to their Banksy graffitis declaring that “a community landmark had been removed.


The profits of the auction are supposed to go to charity. But not all of them. Some of the disapeared murals are considered as theft. Crazy, right?

You can read more crazy stuff about him here.

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This week is Maxou’s first week at the crêche (french for daycare facility for children). And as a mother and an architect I’m quite interested in the facility itself from a personal and an architectural point of view, of course.
So when I started to apply for a place in the crêches in our neighborhood I passed by every crêche in order to have at least a glimpse at it from the outside. Having grown up in a little town in the country of German you can only be disappointed though. Most of the facilities in Paris are setup on the first floor of general apartment or office buildings. An inner court is quite a luxe (I’m not even talking about a real garden) and even daylight can be quite meager as the buildings around are high and the streets narrow. So I was quite happy when we got a place at a crêche that is an independent building with a little inner court where the children can play when ever they want. (And which is only 5 minutes walk from ourplace!) I still can’t believe it.
And though I feel very grateful I still couldn’t help but feel kind of envious when I saw this architectural report about children facilities around the world. So I wanted to share.

This is a kindergarten in Tokyo by the architects duo Tezuka Architects.



I love the fact that you can walkon the roof!

The following is also a project by Tezuka Architects  in Tokyo and is called “Around a tree“.  It’s definitely my favorite.  The whole building has been designed around an old twisted zelkova tree.  Some rooms are high and some are just a small as a little child, some closed and some are completely open. There seems to be no boundary between the internal and the external.





Photos: Katsuhisa Kida

This one called Traumbaum is a project in Berlin by the architects Baupiloten.




Photos: Jan Bitter

… and this is Tukusi Nursery School in Hiroshima by UID Architects, a peanut-shaped building with large curved walls and large windows and a beautiful garden.




Photos: Hiroshi Ueda

Who wouldn’t be jealous? They’re great, right?!

Photo above: Doisneau

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