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Issue # 5
Archive stories

cover Apartamento Magazine issue #5

Spring/Summer 2010

Featuring: Dominique Nabokov, Takashi Homma, Narukiyo, Rachel Chandler, Claudia’s kitchen, Alchemy of the everyday, Daniel Riera, Alex Wiederin, Marlene Marino, Luna & Leandro, Family act, To build your own home, Lovefoxxx, The Boat Club, Justin Bond, Imaad Wasif, Midori Araki, Walter Pfeiffer. Plus: everyday life travel supplement with Koryo Hotel, 24 Hours Vancouver, Japanese mountains and Phoenix photo journal.


  • Pyongyang: Koryo Hotel. A 143 metre high, twin-towered hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea with 43 stories, opened in the glorious year of 1985, intended, as are all monuments in the country, to showcase the strength/glory/insert forceful adjective of North Korea. The Koryo constitutes exactly 50% of the amount of five star hotels in Pyongyang—and, according to...

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  • Zurich: I happened to meet Walter one evening in Zurich by chance, out of pure luck. I don’t even recall the year or if it was spring or fall, but I remember Walter laughing and telling stories. He loved to say beautiful, mixed with Italian and French words. It was photographer and friend Linus Bill who...

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  • An unconscious collector Tokyo: Narukiyo is originally from Fukuoka, in the south of Japan. He is the owner of a popular restaurant in Shibuya, Tokyo, discreetly hidden from the public on a back street. There is a counter bar that surrounds the kitchen and sits around 15 people. It’s always full of people enjoying themselves with...

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  • Text by Cameron Allan McKean

    Midori Araki

    Use beyond function Tokyo: Choosing to meet Nakako Hayashi on the train platform was not a good idea, but we did it anyway.  Nakako makes Here and There Magazine and today is taking me to see artist/designer Midori Araki. For now she has to wait on a concrete platform between endless express trains while I run late....

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  • Scenographies from a marriage Buenos Aires: Ten years ago in an art gallery I was like a child interacting with the artworks of Leandro Erlich, and the sensorial quality of the art made me happy; it was simple and complex at the same time. They were mini-installations (an elevator which looked as though it led...

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  • East Village ‘Realness’ New York City: Justin Bond is a singer/songwriter who became famous for his now retired character Kiki, the hilarious, elderly, alcoholic lounge singer of the highly celebrated performance team Kiki and Herb.  If you had the honour of catching them perform then you know that Justin’s reinterpretation of a pop song made you...

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  • Text by Anja Aronowsky Cronberg

    Dominique Nabokov

    A vitrine to the world New York City: At the Apartamento headquarters, Dominique Nabokov’s images have been a source of reference forever. Her photographs of empty living rooms, devoid of the usual trappings of an interior photograph, have become the stuff of legends around here. Her Paris Living Rooms and New York Living Rooms have no...

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  • Going home New York City: On a quiet street in lower Manhattan, Alex Wiederin, creative director and founder of Buero New York, has carved a home out of a former maze of a loft. The airy, plush space exhibits the type of domestic atmosphere reserved for the trans-Atlantic, New York-by-way-of-Europe creative types seen often in New...

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  • The story begins when I was a kid. My mother and I are queuing at a food outlet in Maputo, my hometown. At this time Mozambique had a Marxist-Leninist regime, and all food was rationed. In some stores there was nothing but empty shelves. When people got hold of five litres of oil, they would swap...

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  • When I was packing to go from London to São Paulo, my Peggy Noland sequined ‘Rainbow Unitard’ was falling out of a box, onto the floor… the sun was hitting it hard, as if it was the only thing that was supposed to be shining in the room. I looked at it and all my...

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  • Text by Scott A. Sant'Angelo

    Enzo & Romeo

    pets Age: Enzo 4, Romeo 3 Breed: Whippet Gender: Both male Special marks: Enzo has brindle markings and Romeo has fawn markings Feeding: Two measured meals of high protein kibble twice a day with special meals prepared for their birthdays. Enzo and Romeo were both purchased from a whippet breeder in Southern California that specializes...

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  • A conversation chaired by Thea Slotover On a freezing Thursday evening in late January, I met food writer Claudia Roden, cafe and shop owner Leila McAlister and artist Georgie Hopton for a conversation about food. Seated in Claudia’s snug kitchen in Golders Green, London (and fuelled by plenty of delicious Spanish nut cake), we discussed foodie...

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  • Visiting the French architect Jean Renaudie’s social housing blocks in Ivry sur Seine in the suburbs of Paris reminded me of one of my favourite movies, My Dinner with Andre by Louis Malle, where one of the leading characters talks about breaking free of the habits of mechanical, automatic living: ‘But, Wally, don’t you see...

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  • Richard is a father and Cosmo is his only son. Richard lives in a big converted warehouse in Hackney, East London. Although Cosmo lives in a squat nearby, he spends a lot of time here, especially on weekends. I visited them one cloudy spring Saturday afternoon and we talked together over tea and cakes. Richard...

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  • Text by Nicola Enrico Stäubli

    Rearranged

    Recently, someone asked me: why does an architect who wants to make a living as a product designer work as a bike messenger? I actually remember my first six months after graduating; working in an architect’s office was a frustrating experience. Drawing plans all day wasn’t what I expected. When I quit, I decided to...

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  • Rachel Chandler’s building is a classically tiny New York City tenement walk-up, which is located in what is still a neighbourhood-y and charming part of Soho. Her building, she says, is inhabited primarily by old people who own ferrets. I see someone that could definitely fit this description as I exit later, and wonder about...

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  • I’ve always had a soft spot for the words Charles Dickens wrote in 1859: ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.’ And so now might be the time for a humble forewarning, as my version of ‘A Tale of...

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  • Text by Enrique Giner de los Ríos

    The aeroplane kitchen

    My mother’s husband was a painter. Every Saturday he met other friends, also artists, to paint and discuss each other’s work. The eldest of the group provided the studio. The studio was lost amongst the gardens of his house, on the outskirts of the city. I spent many Saturdays of my childhood there. The place...

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  • Text by Enrique Giner de los Ríos

    Less is a bore

    In cities all over the world it is possible to observe inherited gestures, or free interpretations, of the architectural imagery of Herzog & de Meuron. It is common to see, in the same neighbourhood, repeated versions of the Dominus Winery. Dubious clones that, with different objectives, use the notorious solution of enclosing stones in gabions...

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  • Concept by Ana Dominguez & Omar Sosa Edited by Studio Marina88      

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  • For a brief moment a couple of weeks ago I found myself standing in front of a mirror thinking, ‘I’m as big as a house’.  I suppose it’s pretty natural to feel that way at some point when you’re pregnant, but I can’t speak for everyone because I’m just one person in a world full...

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  • At the time I got this space, in 2007, I was tempted to go and live in the countryside, and in fact I spent a few weeks in Mallorca looking at amazing houses with palm trees, swimming pools and fireplaces. While in the middle of the countryside, I realised it wasn’t the time for be...

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  • When the age of false Hermeticism first dawned in Los Angeles in the 1930s, ambitious huckster prophets such as Manly P. Hall converged on the high vibration hub of Los Feliz, its current locus being the University of Philosophical Research nestled in the foothills below Griffith Park. I have overheard certain enlightened beings claim to...

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  • The Anthroposophic colony in Dornach/Switzerland Driving from the Swiss town of Basel to the small neighbouring city of Dornach is a strange experience. You leave the speedy Swiss metropolis and dive into a strangely quiet and meditative surrounding, with people dressed in pastel colours, smiling at every stranger. They live in a kind of colony consisting...

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  • Ten years ago, Kings Cross was a grotty area of decaying houses and 8am hookers. The arrival of the Eurostar saw the area bulldozed, and no doubt the new Kings Cross, slowly growing around us, will be clean, branded and homogenous. Meanwhile, though, it’s an industrial wasteland, acres of nothing where great machinery churns through...

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