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Isabel’s Picks for Spring 2020

CHALLENGING TIMES AHEAD

Stay safe, stay at home

Isabel Picks for Spring 2020 - Isabel Barros Architects Wexford.OFFICE WORKSTATION, Fantoni, Hug, WALL HOOKS, Schönbuch,Studio Taschide, Cut wall hooks, BASIN TAP, Hansgrohe, PuraVida Single lever basin mixer 110,  Tubs & Tiles, PLANT BOX, Ferm Living

1. OFFICE WORKSTATION

Brand: Fantoni

Collection: Hug

Price range: n/a

Features: The Hug lounge collection expands with a system of sofas and modular pods, available in a variety of configurations to provide small, cosy spaces that are discreet and soundproof, in which to work, chat, communicate or relax. The sofas are fitted with USB ports, and the accessorizable tops with multi-sockets. The screens are sound absorbing.

Available to Ireland from: Fantoni UK

2. WALL HOOKS

Brand: Schönbuch

Designer: Studio Taschide

Name: Cut

Price range: from €43

Material: Solid wood

Available to Ireland from: Schönbuch 

3. BASIN TAP

Brand: Hansgrohe

Series: PuraVida

Name: PuraVida Single lever basin mixer 110

Price range: from €313

Key features: Laminar spray. Swiveling spray former. Flow rate at 3 bar: 5 l/min. Joystick ceramic cartridge. Suitable for continuous flow water heaters. Available in Chrome/White.

Material: Surfaces – Chrome.

Available in Ireland from:  Tubs & Tiles 

4. PLANT BOX

Brand: Ferm Living

Name: Plant Box

Price range: €199

Material: Powder coated metal.

Key features: Suitable for outdoor use. The Plant Box can be used for decoration all over the house, as temporary storage in the hallway or as a divider to create cosy corners in larger rooms. They are suitable for flowers, plants, books, toys and magazines – or maybe a little of each. 

Available to Ireland from: Ferm Living

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See More Picks

See Full Gallery of Isabel’s Picks


Context note – The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak a pandemic on the 11th of March 2020.

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

Recommended measures to prevent infection include frequent hand washing, maintaining distance from others (social distancing), and keeping hands away from the face.

Irish Women Receive the 2020 Pritzker Architecture Prize

Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara were awarded the 2020 Pritzker Prize. It is the first time that two female architects receive this prestigious prize. They make the 2nd and 3rd Pritzker awardees to have been graduated from UCD – University College Dublin, Ireland.

Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, the 2020 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureates

The Pritzker Architecture Prize is awarded annually to honor a living architect or architects whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision, and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.

Universita Luigi Bocconi, 2008, Milan, Italy

The pair established Grafton Architects in 1978 in Dublin, where they continue to practice and reside. In just over forty years, they have completed nearly as many projects, located in Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Peru.

Offices for the Department of Finance, 2009, Dublin, Ireland

Farrell and McNamara have designed and built several schools and architectural works for institutions and universities. They have won many international competitions and awards.

University Campus UTEC Lima, 2015, Lima, Peru

Their buildings consistently remain purposefully rich, yet modest, enhancing cities and lending to sustainability while responding to local needs.

Offices for the Department of Finance, 2009, Dublin, Ireland

As architects and educators since the 1970s, Farrell and McNamara create spaces that are at once respectful and new, honoring history while demonstrating a mastery of the urban environment and craft of construction. Balancing strength and delicacy, and upholding a reverence of site specific contexts, their academic, civic and cultural institutions, as well as housing developments, result in modern and impactful works that never repeat or imitate, but are decidedly of their own architectural voice.

Solstice Arts Centre, 2007, Navan, Co. Meath,Ireland

Their approach to architecture is always honest, revealing an understanding of the processes of design and construction from large scale structures to the smallest details.

UL President’s House, 2010, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

The architects are continuously conscious of the dialogue between the internal and external, evidenced by the mingling of public and private spaces, and the meaningful selection and integrity of materials.

For their integrity in their approach to both their buildings, as well as the way they conduct their practice, their belief in collaboration, their generosity towards their colleagues, especially as evidenced in such events as the 2018 Venice Biennale, their unceasing commitment to excellence in architecture, their responsible attitude toward the environment, their ability to be cosmopolitan while embracing the uniqueness of each place in which they work, for all these reasons and more, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara are awarded the 2020 Pritzker Architecture Prize.

Pritzker Architecture Prize, Jury Citation

When Did You Stop Thanking?

Last week we received a very nice email from a young couple that came for an initial meeting. All it took them were two lines and maybe one minute of writing. How easy is that?

We spend a lot of time with initial meetings, if the meeting needs to be outside of the office it could take up to 3 hours including travel and meeting time. We then prepare a fee proposal, it could take up to 2 hours to have it ready and sent off. It is a lot of hours that we offer free of charge.

The initial meetings are often very informative and an eye opener particularly for young couples unaware of the complexity of the construction process. It is nearly a master class where at the end their brains hurt with so much information.

The young couple sent an email thanking for taking the time to meet with them. This simple gesture is very unusual and it was highly appreciated.

We have lost the count of how many times we have sent a fee proposal and never heard back from people. It hurts.

When did you stop thanking people?

If you ask someone to prepare a quotation for you at least acknowledge the time they spent taking care of you and say THANK YOU. Never mind if you have no intention of proceeding.

Follow the example of the young couple – It is nice to be nice, it is essential to be kind and grateful.

Here are a few sentences you can use. They are all free and quick to execute:

  • Thank you for taking the time to meet with us and prepare a fee proposal. We will review and get back to you ASAP.
  • Thank you for coming from so far in such a wet and miserable day. We have studied your fee proposal but we feel this is not the right time to proceed.
  • Thank you for your fee proposal but we have decided to appoint a different person.
  • Thank you for your quotation, we will ask for a pay rise and proceed as soon as we get it. 😀
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