Design Wire August 2019

MID COAST–PARKVIEW HEALTH began a $5 million renovation and expansion in May at its senior health facility, Mid Coast Senior Health, in Brunswick. LANGFORD AND LOW CONSTRUCTION will be conducting a 9,000-square-foot renovation at the Nursing and Rehabilitation at Bodwell facility, as well as constructing a new 7,000-square-foot wing at Mid Coast Senior Health. A news release from Mid Coast–Parkview Health states that residents “will enjoy the most modern, state-of-the-art amenities available, including a refurbished kitchen, dining area, activities area, and living units.” Hospice care services will be expanded as well and will include dedicated retreat spaces for family and loved ones. The project is expected to be complete by June 2020.

Construction on COLBY COLLEGE’s LOCKWOOD HOTEL is beginning this summer. The 48,000-square-foot building, which is named after the Lockwood Mills complex, will have 53 rooms, meeting rooms, a fitness room, and a full-service restaurant with a seasonal patio. The hotel is designed by nationally ranked architecture and interiors firm BASKERVILL and will be constructed by LANDRY/FRENCH CONSTRUCTION, who spent roughly nine months researching materials for construction. The structure will be modern, with a limestone facade that will help tie the building to the existing architecture on Main Street. Colby College has been steadily investing in Waterville’s downtown, and the $26 million project brings their total investment to $75 million since 2015. The project is expected to be complete in September 2020 and will be downtown Waterville’s only hotel.

Italian furniture brand KARTELL has created a bioplastic version of its iconic Componibili storage unit. According to Kartell, the sustainable version of the storage unit is resistant to breakdown by water and heat during use, but at the end of its life is 100 percent biodegradable. The bioplastic used to produce the unit is made from farm waste that is fermented by bacteria that produce natural polyesters. The unit comes in green, pink, taupe, and yellow, and will be the first bioplastic item for sale by Kartell. It’s unclear when the sustainable unit will hit shelves, but it’s an indicator that Kartell is moving toward an eco-friendlier future.

IKEA‘s newest homeware collection is helping to battle air pollution. Named FÖRÄNDRING, which means “change” in Swedish, the collection is made from rice straw, an agricultural byproduct that is typically burned by farmers in India. Nine out of ten of the world’s most polluted cities are located in India, and burning rice straw contributes a significant amount of smoke to already smog-dense areas. The lampshades and vessels are made from a pulp mixture of rice straw and fabric waste, and the mats and rugs are woven from rice straw that has been twisted into a cord. Förändring products will be available this fall.

AVESTA HOUSING has opened a 12-unit senior complex in Paris. The historic building, which was once the Mildred M. Fox School, has been renovated into affordable units. Rent for a one-bedroom ranges from $565 to $678 per month. Rebecca Hatfield, vice president of real estate development and management for Avesta Housing, says that there has been a rise in Maine seniors who need affordable housing; in 2018 alone, the company received 4,000 requests for housing, the highest number of requests in 47 years.

New York-based industrial designer MARCUS EISENDORF noticed how clunky the traditional watering can is. It isn’t natural to hold, it takes up a lot of space, and it’s easier to water plants with a nearby cup; functional small watering cans just didn’t exist—until now. Eisendorf created WATERING CAN, a small porcelain watering container that is similar in size to a soda can. The size and shape fit easily in the hand, and the can holds enough water for a handful of plants at one time. The spout curvature makes watering a breeze, and a small support circle doubles as a hanging hook when not in use.

KNOLL has teamed up with London studio BARBER AND OSGERBY to create a line of indoor/outdoor tables. The tables are made from enamel, which lends versatility. They are waterproof and won’t fade in sunlight; furthermore, enamel’s smooth, glossy finish is naturally antibacterial. “The design process was an exercise in purity and simplicity for the studio, and the result is an exceptionally durable collection that is both contemporary and classic,” Knoll told Dezeen. The table can be round or oblong, which can be produced in various lengths, and comes in four rich colors: gray/green, deep navy blue, dark gray, and aubergine.

Waste from corn production has been repurposed into a veneer. Mexican designer FERNANDO LAPOSSE has created TOTOMOXTLE, a marquetry material made from colorful husks of heirloom corn. To produce the material, corn husks are peeled from the cob, ironed flat, and glued onto a textile backing, which is then cut into shape. The veneer can be used on furniture and design objects, as well as for wall coverings. The material is renewable and natural, and it is helping to restore essential biodiversity. Having diversity in food species is important: if crops are all one species, there’s always the possibility of a single pest or disease eradicating an entire harvest. In addition, the project is employing Mixte people, a vulnerable indigenous population, to grow the heirloom corn.

The BREEZE duvet is the newest bedding by homeware brand BUFFY. Breeze is made entirely of eucalyptus pulp and fibers, making it biodegradable and vegan-friendly, and it is created with an ecological footprint that’s much smaller than other bedding options. Eucalyptus requires one-tenth of the water cotton requires to produce the same product, and according to Buffy, eucalyptus is naturally softer as well as antimicrobial. The pulp to create the duvet is sourced from Austria, where its extracted fibers are spun into a yarn for the exterior fabric and the thread; the fill is created from loose fibers, and it is all stitched together in a wave pattern to lend structural integrity and prevent fibers from clumping together.

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