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No. 56

The NIRVANA Issue

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ON THE COVER

Mexican fashion designer Patricio Campillo’s dreamy collections—full of linen, embellished denim, and structured leather—draw from his personal experiences growing up in Mexico City and spending time at his parents’ ranch. Written by Rachel Gallaher, photographed by Andres Navarro.

NIRVANA

The GRAY edit of transcendent design. Lavish spaces and sumptuous décor from Europe to Mexico and beyond.

MARC DOMAGE

Designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando, a striking architecture intervention—a 30-foot-tall concrete chamber—in the center of Paris’ historic Bourse de Commerce building is part of a forthcoming art museum.

 
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FIRST LOOK

ART + DESIGN

Five years ago, the mayor of Paris gave French billionaire and businessman François Pinault a 50-year lease on the historic Bourse de Commerce building in the heart of the city. An avid art lover and collector, Pinault put forth a plan to transform the former Chamber of Commerce and Industry building into an exhibition space for contemporary art, including pieces from his private collection. To create the museum without impacting the edifice, Pinault tapped Japanese architect Tadao Ando, who is known for using empty space to represent the beauty of simplicity. The resulting architectural intervention—a round, 30-foot-tall concrete chamber nested into the building’s domed rotunda—creates a visual dialogue between old and new that is as emotionally arresting as any work of modern art. »

PATRICK TOURNEBOEUF

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REFLECT AND

REDEFINE

 

An exhibition more than two years in the making, Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America, will open on February 27 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Part of the museum’s Issues in Contemporary Architecture series, the exhibition, which features a set of commissioned case studies and runs through May 31, is an investigation into the intersections of architecture, Blackness, and anti-Black racism in the American context. “This exhibition, from the start, has been one of transforming the ways in which we imagine ourselves in public and private spaces, while recognizing the indelible presence of Black individuals and spaces in the formation of our cities, our landscapes, and homes,” says Sean Anderson, associate curator in

MoMA’s Department of Architecture & Design. Each of the projects proposes a design intervention in one of 10 cities across the United States, ranging from freeways to front porches and everything in between.

 

Click here to read an extended Q&A with Sean Anderson. »

Felecia Davis. Fabricating Networks Quilt. 2020. Digital print on cotton broadcloth, copper-coated, ripstop nylon, copper tape, cotton thread, stainless-steel conductive thread, LilyPad Arduino microcontroller board, speakers, and battery

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COURTESY STUDIO NOON

STAGED

TO SELL

Galerie Philia—an international contemporary design gallery with locations in New York, Geneva, and Singapore—is set to debut an exhibition co-curated by designer and architect Pietro Franceschini and gallery leadership. Opening February 15 (and running through June) at the iconic Walker Tower in Chelsea, the show will be staged in a two-floor loft-style apartment and will feature a selection of more than 70 pieces of furniture, art, and lighting

by emergent and established creatives from around the world. “While objects and artworks have plenty of space to express themselves, they are nevertheless in constant communication with one another,” Franceschini says. “This tension between ‘being displayed’ and ‘being functional’ shaped every decision we made and eventually set the mood of the entire exhibition.” »

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INTEL

RADICAL

ARCHITECTURE

There have always been two camps of architects: those whose work is rooted in practicality and those who break every boundary, and rule in the book, to make seemingly impossible designs a reality. Certainly, there is crossover, but architecture curator and critic Beatrice Galilee’s new book, Radical Architecture of the Future, is focused solely on the latter. Released in January, the publication celebrates some of the most experimental and forward-thinking design practitioners of our time as it explores diverse new ways of seeing, understanding, and building our environment. From a power plant in Copenhagen that also functions as a ski slope and public park (designed by Bjarke Ingels Group) to Ensamble Studio’s monolithic installations at the Tippet Rise Art Center in Montana, each project is a mini escape into a world of possibility.

—Rachel Gallaher

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©RASMUS HJORTSHOJ; ©IWAN BAAN

FROM TOP: Both a waste-to-energy plant and ski slope, CopenHill was designed by Bjarke Ingles Group in 2019, and is one of the tallest structures in Copenhagen. The Plasencia Auditorium and Congress Center in Plasencia, Spain, designed by Selgas in 2017, is wrapped in a translucent skin that allows light to enter the building’s interior.

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NIRVANA

ON THE RISE

PRIDE OF PLACE

Patricio Campillo’s clothing line celebrates history, heritage, and his deep reverence for traditional Mexican horsemen.

By Rachel Gallaher

Photographed by Andres Navarro

Looks from Mexico City–based clothing brand the Pack’s Resort 2021 collection.

t the age when most children hastily throw on whatever clothes are available in their closets—matching or not—

before rushing out the door to play with friends, Patricio Campillo was giving his mother specific alteration suggestions for his outfits. Like many before him, the future fashion designer had already discovered that the key to a successful garment is, first and foremost, its fit.

     “I always knew what I wanted things to look like in terms of clothing,” says Campillo, who launched his clothing line, the Pack, in 2016. “Here I was, five or six years old and I would be like, ‘No, no, no, this doesn’t fit right,’ or ‘These are not fitted enough, I need them fixed!’ I’ve always been interested in fashion, but it wasn’t until more recently that I thought of it as something I could do for a living.”

     Raised in Mexico City by a father who worked in politics and an economist mother, Campillo moved to Spain after high school and landed an office job with a government agency. He struggled to fully engage with the work, which didn’t allow him to flex his creative muscles; as a result, he spent most of his time flipping through fashion magazines at his desk. One day, his boss said, “Patricio, you spend all your time looking at magazines and watching fashion shows. Maybe you should consider doing something in that field.”

     During university, Campillo took that advice and began tailoring his assignments to focus on fashion, which in turn led him to fashion journalism. In 2011, Campillo moved to Paris, where he secured a job as the assistant to the editor-in-chief at the Reality Show magazine, a position that opened up the back doors to the industry. “All of a sudden, I was going to all of the shows and the backstage re-sees,” he recalls. “I really fell in love with the clothes and after that, there really was no going back.” »

A

OPPOSITE: Campillo employs local artisans, who craft details such as the hand-carved buttons on this look from the Resort 2021 collection.

 
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ABOVE: Models wear pieces from the Resort 2021 collection. Like much of designer Patricio Campillo’s work, the collection takes cues from his childhood experiences on his parents’ ranch.

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Campillo takes inspiration from charros—traditional Mexican horsemen—for his collections.

ABOVE: The Pack’s Resort 2021 collection is the brand’s first foray into footwear; the collaboration with Cruda Cruda Shoes features embroidered mules in both linen and leather. Campillo is also starting to experiment with upcycling—the leather for the shoes comes from old airplane seats.

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     Campillo spent the next couple of years doing freelance styling and art directing, but it was in 2013 that his real breakthrough came. A close friend, womenswear designer Lorena Saravia, asked him to design a small capsule menswear collection. “I immediately locked myself up in my apartment for two months,” Campillo says. “I didn’t know anything about designing at the time, but I quickly discovered that that was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”

     Two years later, Campillo was back in Mexico and ready to launch the Pack. Imbued with strong pride for Mexican history, heritage, and craftsmanship, the brand presents a masculine-leaning but still highly androgenous collection of clothing inspired by nature, Campillo’s family’s ranch, and charros—traditional Mexican horsemen.

     Campillo grew up immersed in charro culture: Both his father and grand-uncle were charros, and his parents own a ranch a couple of hours outside of Mexico City; the Campillos’ house at the ranch holds a collection of antiques related to charro culture including chaps, saddles, ropes, and whips. Campillo recalls learning to ride around the age of three or four—someone would tie him to the saddle and give the horse a slap to get it trotting.

     Campillo’s hunger to explore his own stories began about two years ago, during Paris Fashion Week. After watching designer Virgil Abloh present his first collection for Louis Vuitton at the Palais Royal, Campillo walked away feeling disillusioned—the event seemed to be more about who was attending and which celebrities were sitting in the front row. “It was about everything but the clothes,” he recalls. Later that week, he attended an intimate show for Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto, who presented his collection at the same venue he’s been using for the past decade. It was a breakthrough moment for Campillo, who recognized that with Yamamoto, it wasn’t about movie stars or social media fame—it was all about the clothes.

     “After that, I turned everything I was doing around,” Campillo says. “I skipped a season and took time to look into my childhood and the things that give me a unique voice. I isolated myself from all exterior references and spent some time at my parents’ ranch.”

     The resulting collection was a spirited mix of structured jackets, sleek trench coats, high-waisted trousers, and flared leather pants. It was sophisticated and sexy, with strong silhouettes.

     Campillo has a razor-sharp focus on detail (bone buttons are hand-carved, embroidery is hand-sewn by local artisans), and the fabrics he works with are sustainable or made from natural fibers. “From the very beginning, when I thought about the brand, I knew I wanted to do something that would give back to society in an organic way,” he says. “I didn’t want to have a social-responsibility program tacked on; I wanted the core of my business to function as a benefit to society.”

     Last month, the Pack dropped its Resort 2021 line, which includes, for the first time, shoes and jewelry. “I went a lot deeper into the artisanal process,” Campillo says. Airy oxide-dyed linen shirts in earthy tones, and white washed-denim jackets serve as a backdrop for river-stone pendants and hand-embroidered, pointed leather mules. Silhouettes are more relaxed than in previous collections and the layered looks exude sensual escapism— one imagines wearing them to watch the sun sink behind the horizon at the end of a hot summer day.

     Although Campillo says that he doesn’t think about the future that much, he does hope to see the Pack becoming an international brand—one that will always be manufactured in, and inspired by, Mexico. “I see myself going deeper,” he says, “and working on making something unique that feels like a continuation of this story.” »

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Patricio Campillo.

“FOR ME, IT’S VERY  IMPORTANT TO PORTRAY THE BRAND WITH A MASCULINE AESTHETIC, BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN THAT IT’S SPECIFICALLY FOR MEN. WHOEVER RESONATES WITH MY AESTHETICS AND THE STORY I’M TELLING, THEY CAN WEAR IT. WE ALL HAVE A FEMININE AND MASCULINE SIDE.”

PORTRAIT: DORIAN ULISES LÓPEZ MACÍAS

—PATRICIO CAMPILLO,

FASHION DESIGNER

“The Resort 2021 campaign is a story of a journey that begins with physical death and ends with ascension into another plane of reality,” Campillo says. It was shot in Zacualpan de Amilpas, an area south of Mexico City in which the designer spent time as a child. Although his clothes have a masculine edge, Campillo says that they aren’t necessarily gender- specific.

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AUTUMN/WINTER 2020 COLLECTION: DORIAN ULISES LÓPEZ MACÍAS

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Courtesy Tolu Coker and O.G Studios

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For Autumn/Winter 2020, Campillo opted for tailored looks that enhance the angles of the body—boxy shoulders nod to the 1980s, while hip-hugging flared-leg pants make legs look longer. Durable materials such as denim and lambskin find elegant forms in this collection. 

“I DON’T KNOW WHERE IT’S GOING TO TAKE ME OR WHAT THE CLOTHES WILL LOOK LIKE IN FIVE YEARS, BUT WHEN IT COMES TO CREATIVITY, I THINK SELF-REFERENCE IS IMPORTANT.”

—PATRICIO CAMPILLO, FASHION DESIGNER

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ABOVE:Replica isn’t going to represent every single person,” says Coker. “But through the documentary, I saw people’s very distinct differences, but also so many similarities. Even though that collection was designed around four real people, many people messaged me after the show saying, ‘I really connected with that and I could see it in the clothing.’” RIGHT: The finale of Coker’s sophomore collection, Juvenile Consciousness, included a sheer dress made of deadstock fabric, accessorized with a Nigerian-inspired headpiece fashioned from discarded belt buckles, bolts, and old jewelry.

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NIRVANA

GENESIS

“WE’VE ALWAYS BEEN INSPIRED BY THE COMPLEXITY OF NATURE, ITS TEXTURES, ITS CONTRASTS, ITS MOVEMENT, AND JUST SIMPLY ITS BEAUTY.”

—AUDRÉE L. LAROSE, DESIGNER

The Fleur de Velours light fixture, part of Canadian design studio Larose Guyon’s Automne collection, pays homage to the staghorn sumac tree. The delicate brass-fiber leaves are cut by hand and the blown-glass globes are adorned with 24-karat-gold-plated details.

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The striking Duvet des Chardons chandelier comprises 1,148 feet of thin, golden chains delicately attached to a 24-karat-gold-plated solid brass structural core. A bespoke lighting mechanism is encased in the cylindrical base and the hand-blown glass globe emits a romantic, candlelight-like glow.

PERFECT PAIRING

A pure crossover between design workshop and art studio, Larose Guyon uses traditional décor, such as lighting and furniture, as a medium to produce fantastical, bespoke art pieces.

By Rachel Gallaher Photographed by Karel Chladek

WHEN AUDRÉE L. LAROSE AND FÉLIX GUYON SET TO WORK ON THEIR NEWEST COLLECTION—three handcrafted, limited-edition lighting fixtures inspired by the ethereal colors, textures, and shapes found in nature— they weren’t thinking about producing lighting in the traditional sense. The duo, who founded their design studio Larose Guyon in 2015 in Verchères, Quebec, wanted to use the medium to more deeply explore materiality.

     “We weren’t creating lighting fixtures,” Larose explains, “we were creating art pieces, installations,

and we chose lights as one of our materials to reflect on the other ones and add lots of shininess and sparkle. It wasn’t just about the fixtures themselves; we wanted people to come into our world and into our creativity, so we’ve created a poetic world to share emotions.”

     Larose and Guyon met in 2014 when they were both working as interior designers. “We’ve never found a better fit than each other,” Larose says. “As much as our methods and outlooks on design differ, we strangely converge in the most

unique way, allowing both of us to merge edges and flaws and thus drag each other forward.”

     For their first collection, La Belle Époque, Larose and Guyon opted to work in copper, creating a set of simple yet functional objects and home décor pieces (a book rack, candleholders, bottle racks, a curved fruit bowl) meant to oxidize over time, developing a rich, unique patina. It was a harbinger of their work to come, and an example of the duo’s deeply investigative (and story-driven) approach to design. »

From a distance, the Valse au Crépuscule installation brings to mind shells dangling from a fisherman’s net, but a closer glance reveals that the charm-like objects are shaped like autumn leaves.

“Our first collection is the perfect example of how we wanted to create something magic and unique, and of how we want to contrast femininity with masculinity,” Larose explains. “Like a soft nostalgia, it revisits the elegance of the late 19th century, when machine, in all its strength and might, also knew how to speak in a soft and poetic voice.”

     Over the next half-decade, Larose Guyon would continue to turn out fantastical pieces, marrying art and design in a blur of lighting, furniture, and sculpture that celebrates the duo’s love of beauty and respect for materials, which include solid brass and 24-karat gold. The studio works with master artisans to realize each of its pieces, with a single, intricate lighting fixture taking up to 120 hours to produce.

     The studio’s most recent collection, Automne (released in late 2020), consists of three limited-edition lighting fixtures (each with a run of 16 pieces) inspired by the changing

seasons in Verchères. “We wanted to create a moment, a scene stopped in time, as if we were walking in nature with the sun reflecting and shining on the warm colors of autumn,” Larose explains.

     The impressive pieces include the Duvet des Chardons chandelier, inspired by the ephemeral essence of thistledown (similar to dandelions’ feathery filaments), which is 6 feet in diameter and holds 1,148 feet of thin, golden chains attached to a 24-karatgold-plated solid brass structural core. Its silhouette calls to mind a spiderweb covered in morning dew. The Valse au Crépuscule displays hundreds of brass-fiber leaves suspended from a handwoven net of golden chains; its light source is five translucent hand-blown glass bulbs. For the Fleur de Velours, the designers looked to the changing hues and fascinating shapes of the staghorn sumac tree, meticulously handcrafting the delicate brassfiber leaves and hand-blown glass

globes that hang from a branchlike structure of solid brass.

     For the first time since the studio’s founding, it is partnering with a nonprofit organization—One Tree Planted—and allocating a portion of the profits from the sale of each Automne collection piece to fund the planting of 1,000 trees. Once the collection is sold out, a total of 50,000 trees will have been planted.

     “With this collection, we mainly took our inspiration from nature, so it just seemed natural for us to give back to this nature if we still want to have something to take our inspiration from in the future,” Larose says. “Repairing the climate’s balance, improving air quality, and restoring ecosystems and wildlife will help ensure that future generations will thrive on our unique and magical planet.”

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Each component of the Valse au Crépuscule fixture is hand-assembled by expert artisans who spend more than 120 hours connecting the individual brass-fiber leaves and glass fruitage to a delicate chain net.

“FROM AN INITIALLY COLD AND EVEN DIRTY MATERIAL, WE CUT A RAW DIAMOND AND CREATED SHEER JEWELS.”

—FÉLIX GUYON, DESIGNER

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NIRVANA

CHANGEMAKER

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Milanese architect Stefano Boeri, a global leader in the urban forestry movement, has a vision for bringing humans and plants together, especially in densely populated areas. 

GREEN(ER)

LIVING

Architect Stefano Boeri presents a housing model designed to bring people and plants (more than 20,000 of them) together.

By Michael Wilson

PORTRAIT: CHIARA CADEDDU; RENDERING: STEFANO BOERI ARCHITETTI

buildings’ staggered balconies hold large containers that facilitate growth up to three stories high, which in some instances allows multiple residences to enjoy the same trees. In this way, 322,917 square feet of vegetation are planted in just 32,292 square feet of ground surface. “We have to do our best to make cities greener,” Boeri says. “The Vertical Forest is a small intervention, but it represents one possible way.” Completed in 2014, »

“SYMBIOSIS IS NOT ABOUT TRYING TO COPY NATURAL FORMS— THAT’S NOT AN IDEA I LIKE,” says architect Stefano Boeri. “There are some examples in the history of architecture of buildings that ape natural phenomena, but that’s not the case here; what we’ve done is make simple, modest buildings designed to be houses for plants. From my perspective, that’s the best way to put architecture and nature together.” Boeri pushes the branches of a

cypress tree to one side as we chat via Zoom. He’s sitting on a balcony at his first Vertical Forest (VF01), a pair of residential towers in Milan’s busy Porto Nuova district. “What we have here is a bit unique,” he says. “This kind of proximity [to elements of the natural world] is something that you’d usually experience only at a house in the suburbs.”

     Along with its human tenants, VF01 hosts some 15,000 perennials, 5,000 shrubs, and 800 trees. The

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A rendering of the Nanjing Vertical Forest. Its two-tower design is modeled after the Vertical Forest in Milan

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A concept for the Cancun Smart Forest City in Cancun, Mexico, which will be designed to house up to 130,000 residents.

VF01 is a prototype for other developments by Boeri’s firm; buildings in Lausanne, Switzerland; Nanjing and Shanghai, China; Utrecht, Netherlands; and Paris are currently in progress.

     Boeri, who was born in Milan, founded Boeri Studio in 1999 with Gianandrea Barreca and Giovanni La Varra; in 2008, he established Stefano Boeri Architetti, and five years later, with Yibo Xu, expanded to Shanghai. Boeri’s architectural work ranges from visionary urban planning to the design of private apartments, but is united by a sensitivity to geopolitical and environmental impacts. A specific focus on the relationship between cities and nature led to the conception of VF01, which has won multiple awards, including the International Highrise Award in 2014 and the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s Best Tall Building Worldwide award in 2015. Boeri also

writes and teaches extensively, and is chairman of Fondazione La Triennale di Milano, one of Italy’s leading cultural institutions.

     Boeri’s big-picture approach is reflected in his commitment to the concept and practice of urban forestry, the manifesto for which he helped to write. The declaration invites a long and diverse list of specialists—architects, urban planners, botanists, agronomists, forestry corps, tree growers, geographers, ethologists, landscape scientists, and others—to act in the best interests of the planet by finding ways to increase the presence of trees and plants in cities.

     But do Boeri’s Vertical Forests only perpetuate the notion that access to green space in an urban context is a luxury, available only to city-dwellers of means? It’s arguable, after all, that a meaningful connection to nature should be a human right, not just a benefit of

moving into a Boeri-designed tower. “This is the case with VF01,” Boeri admits with a sigh. “It required a lot of investment and research. We spent months testing materials and technologies, which was expensive. But the cost of the building per square meter is misleading; many families living here are ordinary people—they’re not all football players.” Forthcoming Vertical Forests will, he suggests, be more affordable. “In Eindhoven [the Netherlands] we’re building a social housing Vertical Forest,” he says. “The cost of construction is very low, and we’ll be renting out small apartments to students and young couples. We’re using prefabrication, and making maintenance simpler and cheaper. We are trying to learn from the mistakes and the limits of what we’ve done. It’s not always possible, but that’s how I work.”

BELOW: A rendering of Wonderwoods, designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti and MVSA Architects, for the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands. The tower’s façade will host about 10,000 plants of 30 different species, equivalent to one hectare of forest vegetation capable of producing about 41 tons of oxygen each year. 

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NIRVANA

ARCHITECTURE

RITUAL

IN REMEMBRANCE

The South Haven Centre for

Remembrance brings dignity in death.

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By Rachel Gallaher

Photographed by Ema Peter

The South Haven Centre for Remembrance, designed by Vancouver’s Shape Architecture, is a solid, angular presence in the winter twilight. The dark exterior was chosen to contrast with the snow, which is heavy on the Canadian prairies.

THE SOUTH HAVEN CENTRE FOR REMEMBRANCE—a nondenominational facility and columbaria, built for the city of Edmonton, where people can purchase cemetery plots—was more than just another project for architect Dwayne Smyth, a partner at Vancouver’s Shape Architecture. It was, in a sense, a homecoming as well. “I’m from Alberta [the province in which Edmonton is located],” he says. “My grandfather lived in Edmonton, so there’s a family history there. I’ve spent a lot of time out in the prairies. It may be cold, but they have the most beautiful skies.” Much of the building’s design was considered in relation to the land, and a 40-foot-tall tower at its northwest end serves as a beacon and makes reference to the existing grave sites, monuments, and columbaria of the surroundingcemetery. »

Architect Dwayne Smyth designed a custom fixture, the Spirit Light (seen in multiple at right), which is a solid cast-glass ellipsoid containing a void at its center. In certain conditions, the lights r