The W* Global Interiors issue: from SoCal modernism to Teutonic refinement
Welcome to our Global Interiors special, seeking out the best new design and architecture around the world. This year, we focus on six design powerhouses: the Czech Republic, Denmark, Mexico, Singapore, the UK and the USA. Plus, we make a special toast to Teutonic refinement in a 48-page German supplement.
But our reach is by no means restricted to these seven territories nor, in fact, to our little blue planet. We present furniture by young Vietnamese designers District Eight, a minimalist tea house in Athens and an equestrian complex in Australia. We head to Abu Dhabi to take in the colossal curve of Jean Nouvel’s Louvre. We ponder the playful prefabs of an eco-friendly park near Paris, and lounge, longingly, in a duo of Marcio Kogan-designed residences – a jungle house and an urban penthouse – in Brazil. We cosy up in high-tech igloos in the Finnish wilderness, and trek to the remote but extraordinary Japanese island of Naoshima, to see the latest architectural commissions of the Benesse Art Site. And we tour the West Coast outpost of Hauser & Wirth, the newest in a series of openings turning LA into an international art capital.
We even take to the stratosphere, as we slip into Y-3’s bespoke flight suits for Virgin Galactic at Foster + Partners’ Spaceport America, and discover the latest of the architects' commissions for space exploration bases on the moon and Mars.
But my personal favourite in the issue is Benjamin Kempton’s interiors shoot, inspired by the home of Austro-American architect Rudolph Schindler in West Hollywood, built in 1921–22. Last year, Benjamin made a pilgrimage to the house, and was struck by its geometric lines, redwood frames against concrete walls, and generously proportioned windows. It is often called the birthplace of Southern California modernism, for it was there that Schindler drew up the majority of his radical work.
It also has a special place in social history. Schindler and his wife, Pauline, had devised it as an experiment in communal living, and for years they lived there with another couple, Clyde and Marian Chace, who likewise shared their penchant for free love.
Benjamin, photographer Steve Harries and set designer Jason Parker worked together, going to great lengths to perfect the lighting, get the wood to look right, and recreate the mood of the Schindler House. Rudolph and Pauline would have felt right at home. I hope you will too.