Story of the Month
The New Neue


“better to repair than restore; better to restore than reconstruct.”

David Chipperfield, Form vs Function. Mies und das Museum. (Speech), 27.11.2014

 

 

The quote above, taken from a speech given by the architect David Chipperfield in 2014, voices the conclusions his team came to during the surgical restoration process of Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe’s iconic Neue Nationalgalerie building in Berlin. A landmark ‘International Style’ structure and the last completed project Van Der Rohe made before his death, it was also the only building he completed in Europe following his emigration to New York. 

 

After winning the restoration contract for the Neue Nationalgalerie in 2012, David Chipperfield Architects began the task at hand in earnest in 2015. They stripped the structure’s interior and removed its shell, extracting a total of 35,000 building components, restored them, before reinstalling them in their original position.

The result is hypnotising – at first indistinguishable from the original building, but on closer inspection, you realise they have delivered a better-updated version of an already mythical architectural icon. The painstaking attention to detail, and dedication to the building, is best summed up by Chipperfield himself:

 

 

“Our task was not only to repair its body but to protect its soul.”

David Chipperfield, Form vs Function. Mies und das Museum. (Speech), 27.11.2014

 

 

We could read this quote, out of context, as an environmental statement, directed at our engagement with the planet. We have all been tasked with the repair and renewal of our environment, and our ongoing commitment to eco-innovative sustainable materials and material solutions is paramount. Our research is firmly rooted in finding the most sustainable solutions.

 

The first exhibition in the upstairs glass space, and exterior terrace, is a beautiful survey of the sculptural works of Alexander Calder – “Minimal / Maximal” – a fitting opening choice, as his work Têtes et Queue (1965) was exhibited at the building’s inaugural exhibition in 1968. In this way, another type of restorative act is played out, as the work stands in the same place it occupied 53 years ago.

Instead of finding new forms through experimentation and struggling with insecurities of a new society, Mies reasserted the idea of order, through a humane classism, building a temple, not of stone but now of glass, a new transparency, reconsidering through this transparency not only the enthusiasm of a modern and progressive world but a new openness between inside and outside and between the individual and the structures of society.” 

David Chipperfield, Falling Walls Conference (Speech), 8.11.2014

 

 

With Van Der Rohe’s temple open once again for art disciples, ushering in the new Neue, David Chipperfield Architects have schooled us in a restoration masterclass, which we cannot wait to visit! All the information can be found on the Neue Nationalgalerie website to plan your visit.

Design
The New Wave Parisian Designers

For Paris Design Week this year we focus on designers that put sustainability to the forefront, through recycling, upcycling, the use of bio-materials, eco-innovation and much more.

Story of the Month
Surface Reflections

The eagerly awaited Luma Arles, housing Maja Hoffmann’s Luma Foundation initiative, opened its doors in Arles on June 26th, solidifying the city’s reputation as an important French cultural destination. 

 

The site is dominated by a twisting multifaceted behemoth of a tower designed by starchitect Frank Gehry, clad in over 11,000 metal panels, which has already caused controversy among the local people! Luma Arles is situated in an industrial railway yard, replete with several renovated 19th-century warehouses that previously belonged to SNCF and over 6000m2 of sprawling landscaped gardens by Bas Smets to explore and reflect in.

The scintillating surface of the tower was informed by Van Gogh’s painting, ‘Starry Night’ (1889), and the rocky Alpine faces that can be seen from the commune. The light strikes the faces and facets of the tower’s metal panels, in different ways throughout the day, reflecting in multiple directions at once, mimicking the impasto brushstrokes of the painting’s surface, imitating the cypress tree that dominates its composition, and illuminating the Arles skyline. 

 

The new multifaceted metallic surface created by the irregular placement of the plaques together explores the visual potential of the material’s reflective possibilities with natural light and awakens the three-dimensional possibilities of the tower under sunlight.

For our Recreation Carpet event in 2019 we created a sculptural POS shelf element using layers of our material Alucore. Alucore is a 100% aluminium honeycomb composite sheet material, usually exploited in architecture and the aeronautical industry as a clean metallic surface due to its flatness, lighter weight and tensile strength. We preferred working with the profile of the sheet, favouring the uneven broken honeycomb, which gave us a new material once layered and cut to form. 

 

The resulting sculptural element is a wonder under light, and this technique can be applied to any type of sculpture or 3D backdrop, with endless layering possibilities.

 

If you are interested to learn more about Alucore, look at the material page here, or  contact us for more information.

Fashion
Couture
Up Close

All photographs copyright and courtesy, Vogue Runway & Nowfashion

The couture fashion shows are always a highlight for us with their artisanal applications and fastidious attention to detail and material experimentation. Traditionally, they allow the designer to explore their creative fantasies and try things out that need not be commercial, freeing them from the constraints of series-type production. Each piece of couture is hand-finished and the invention and dedication to craft and material advances are breathtaking. 

Art
Art Materials


After another arduous moment without art galleries and museums in our daily lives, they have finally reopened here in Paris! We took a walk around to see the latest shows in town and selected some of our favourites that are guaranteed to stimulate your creative material desires…

Photo credit: All images courtesy the galleries and artists cited

#ASLOVES
The Memory
of Waste

This month #aslovesLink’ the latest recycling project by WE+ that deals with the problem of commercial building waste in Japan. Their research was born from a real problem – commercial buildings in Japan have an extremely short lifespan of only 5 to 10 years…
Using discarded building materials that come exclusively from the demolition of commercial buildings (including wood, brick, and metals), WE+ first crush the various elements into pellets before separating them into rough and fine grains. The rough grains will later become the surface patterns and the finer grains pigments, once the material is solidified.

 

These grains are then mixed, molded, compacted, and assembled into a new hybrid material that is used to create furniture objects and wall elements imbibed with the memories of their previous commercial applications. With beautiful surface textures, material ingenuity, and a timeless industrial aesthetic, ‘Link’ is one of our favourite creative eco-projects of the month!

 

WE+ is a contemporary design studio, based in Tokyo, that gives form to new perspectives and values through unique production methods and means of expression, developed on the basis of research and experimentation.

Photo Credit: Images by masayuki hayashi (excluding process images) courtesy we+

Story of the Month
Concrete
Crush

Concrete is an endlessly versatile, beautifully simple material with timeless appeal. This month, we take a look at two big concrete news stories and highlight some of our innovative concrete materials.

 

After several delays due to the pandemic, the Pinault Collection has finally opened its doors in the iconic Bourse de Commerce building in central Paris. Since building work began in 2017, we were eager to see how one of our favourite architects, Tadao Ando, would re-imagine the space whilst keeping the building’s historical details and highlighting the impressive Pinault art collection.

Ando, known for his poetic use of concrete, took his signature material and built a twenty-nine metre wide, nine-metre tall open-top concrete cylinder in the space,  letting the light from the original glass dome flood in, exposing the 19th-century fresco on the ceiling. The cylinder has a walkway at its height to give spectacular views of the fresco and the architecture of the space and the matt faces of the concrete slabs are the perfect material choice to juxtapose against the historical majesty of La Bourse.

 

Another big Concrete story in the news this month was the completion and inhabitation of the first 3D printed concrete house in Europe. With its whimsical sausagey appearance and soft lines, it feels at once both futuristic and prehistoric. Composed of various parts that were 3D printed off-site before being assembled together on-site, it is the first in five houses that are planned in the city of Eindhoven (The Netherlands) as part of ‘Project Milestone’.

“’Project Milestone’ can rightly be seen as a milestone for many reasons. Not only when it comes to the technology and the builders, but also with respect to design, the municipality, the future occupant, and the landlord. When the first occupant receives the key, they have a home that meets the latest needs for comfort. Made sustainably and energy-efficient, but also comfortable, light and quiet, in fantastic wooded natural surroundings.

From Project Milestone’s Website 

 

In 3D printing, the concrete used is optimized as it is able to be applied and layered where it is specifically needed for form and construction, unlike poured concrete which must be solid and uses a lot more primary material. The more concrete that is used, the more CO2 emissions are released, as greenhouse gasses are released when concrete is produced, so this new method is both energy-efficient and more environmentally friendly.

 

Here at American Supply, we have many different concrete-effect materials in our collection that give you the look and feel of concrete without the weight, environmental impact, and complications of their application, making them perfect for forward-thinking merchandising and POS solutions. These materials allow you to achieve the beautiful aspect of concrete without using massive amounts of raw materials and can be used for temporary or permanent applications depending on your needs.

If you are interested in any of these materials do not hesitate to contact us, and we will be happy to advise you technically and creatively for their availability and application methods. 

Materials
Recycled and Renewed

Our new 2021 Eco-Collection segments a curated selection of our eco material offer into four key categories: Recycled, Recyclable, Eco-Concept, and Natural.

 

This month, we look at Recycled materials, focusing on the textile potential of Recycled PET. 

The recycling process for PET is circular, as once the new PET items have served their purpose or come to the end of a reasonable lifespan, they can enter back into the recycling system.

 

In our library we have many textiles composed of 100% Recycled PET, here are some of our favorites:

MATERIALS_MegaFeutre
MEGA FEUTRE A high density (1020 gr/m2) felted textile, with a sculptural rigidity.
MATERIALS_Poly-Pop
POLY-POP A lightweight fine weave brut canvas, with a strong color palette.
MATERIALS_Toilux
TOILUX A heavy (380 gr/m2) double-faced canvas.  The front face has a larger weave than the reverse.
MATERIALS_Denimlike
DENIMLIKE A lightweight washed woven denim-like twill, with a soft touch.
MATERIALS_Duchesse
DUCHESSE A heavy single-faced satin-twill on twill support, with a soft touch and a pleasing shine.
MATERIALS_Charente
CHARENTE A mid-weight (180 gr/m2) mottled felted textile, with a supple hand and a variable surface.

Contact us if you are interested in any of these new materials.